As anyone with kids will tell you, so much parenting flies by the bottom of your pants, a sort of gig that involves figuring it out at work.
Things that never crossed your mind before, like finding the best gadget to suck snot out of your baby’s stuffy nose, suddenly become urgent problems.
And that’s why parenting forums are so popular, where weary mums and dads share tips and suggestions or voice their concerns. On a good day, these pages can be invaluable; Packed with practical tips and money-saving tips. But other days, the debates they foster can get so downright, and sometimes so angry.
Last week, a picture of one of America’s first families – Khloe Kardashian – was shared online. The new season of The Kardashians will air on Hulu, and one of the storylines will focus on Khloe and the arrival of her new baby. There was plenty of drama when the baby’s father, Tristan Thompson, got another woman pregnant around the same time. Pretty miserable behavior, I think we can all agree on that.
But that was not the focus of discussions in parent forums and groups. Instead, in the photo, Khloe cradles her child in her arms while lying on a hospital bed. Khloe – like her sister Kim – had chosen surrogacy for medical reasons. And because of this, the picture immediately caused heated discussions. People online branded the photo insensitive. One thread claimed it showed the Kardashians hit a new low. Some said there was ‘The story of the maid Vibrations” on the picture and that “LARPing (Live Action Role Playing) in a hospital bed” was “disgusting”.
Elsewhere, some decided the picture was unnecessary and questioned why she hadn’t sat down in a chair or put the sleeping child in a cradle – suggesting there’s some sort of agreed-upon etiquette or nifty manual for it, how to properly fit into the picture Minutes after the birth of a child.
There was also speculation that Khloe had “dressed up” her surrogate from the process. I know the world is filled with online detectives these days, but there’s just no way people can learn about the relationship between her and her surrogate from a picture.
This corner of the internet was a depressing place to stumble into. What kind of person begrudges a mother who holds her newborn baby in bed? There are also plenty of practical explanations; that skin-to-skin contact with parents and newborns is actively encouraged, that going through a long fertility and surrogacy journey and witnessing the birth of your child can be an emotionally and physiologically draining experience, that many surrogates want distance from birth parents and her child after birth, that it’s her baby and she can bond with it however she wants, and that beds are infinitely more comfortable than hospital chairs.
Again, in my experience, the only thing new parents want to do in the hours/days/weeks after their child is born is lie around like seals and stare at their baby’s tiny wrinkled face.
I’m not a Kardashian fan. In short, most of the time I find the relentless pocketing of their business empires tiresome. Her TV show is little more than a commercial for her various lingerie, diet teas, fitness corsets and makeup lines.
I understand they made a Faustian pact that every corner of their lives is fodder for public content.
They know their every move will be analyzed, celebrated, and torn apart in exchange for billions of dollars and as the undisputed titans of influencer culture.
But to criticize a woman who has chosen surrogacy for how she holds her baby is loaded. It implies that only those who give birth have the right to snuggle up in a hospital bed with a newborn, rather than it’s a moment for all parents – whatever their journey – to cherish and enjoy .
Oh, the crawling of exposed sexts
After outrage subsided over Maroon 5’s Adam Levine allegedly cheating on his pregnant wife with Instagram model Sumner Stroh, the narrative shifted to the content of the messages he sent.
Everyone seemed to agree Moves like Jagger The sixths of the lyricist were missing a bit. Or as New York Magazine shall we say “criminal bad”. The most poetic was “I may have to see the loot”. A sentence I can’t read without putting on Alan Partridge’s voice. This was followed by a request to “buy said prey a steak for dinner and whisper sweet nothings into it.” No wonder, said sex therapist and educator Gigi Engle Cosmopolitan Magazine that the news should be “illegal”. “This text should come with a trigger warning,” they said.
Cosmopolitan analyzed the news and said it had “unleashed a whole new level of terrification” during Jezebel criticized Levine’s use of the rolling eyes emoji, saying they wouldn’t be surprised if “the emoticon itself filed a lawsuit for its vile defamation.”
The site also listed things sexier than his sexts, including the disembodied voice of the New York City subway “Stay away from the closing doors.”
My sympathy scores for Levine are pretty low, but I can’t process any more screenshots of his sexts. Can you think of anything worse than people brooding over sexts you sent out at 3am on a Friday? Or everyone (your boss! neighbor! parents!) knows you asked if you could whisper sweet nothings into a booty? The thought provokes a whole body twitch. The stuff of nightmares.
AB*Witched college course? Sign me up!
New York University has announced that it is now offering a college course on the contribution that Lana Del Rey has made to world issues and social justice movements through her melancholic music. This course follows directly on from the Taylor Swift semester that NYU started last summer.
Of course there were some who scoffed at the courses but I think Irish universities should follow suit. A college course that spends hours analyzing the cultural contribution of B*Witched, Six, or Nadine Coyle’s passport? Sign me up!
https://www.independent.ie/life/i-have-limited-time-for-the-kardashians-but-who-begrudges-a-mother-holding-a-newborn-in-bed-42018757.html I only have limited time for the Kardashians, but who begrudges a mom holding a newborn in bed?