Why ‘mom guilt’ is an unreasonable term

What is 'mom guilt'? It's a symptom of the tragic state of America's parental leave policies.

  • America's poor family leave policies for new parents are the reason why 'mom guilt' is universal – but that guilt is unreasonable, says Smith Brody.
  • 'Dad guilt' is not a term, but men should also be part of this conversation.
  • For every month of parental leave that a father takes, the mom's lifetime earnings increase by 7%. Studies prove fathers who take parental leave ultimately have better relationships with their teenage children.
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Thanks Mom: How your mom swaddled, worked, and fought the clock for you

Your mother most likely went through a lot to raise you when you were a baby... including getting some of the worst sleep of her life.

Your mother most likely went through a lot to raise you when you were a baby... including getting some of the worst sleep of her life. According to Lauren Smith Brody, a pregnancy rights activist and founder of The Fifth Trimester, most mothers of infant children don't get a solid night's sleep until 7 months in. In America, unfortunately, there is no law for paid pregnancy leave and many women are back to work after only 8.5 weeks. Lauren advocates for a more lenient policy, one that benefits both the mother and the company. Lauren's latest book is The Fifth Trimester: The Working Mom's Guide to Style, Sanity, and Success After Baby

Hope Together: How One Partner's Belief in Good Outcomes Affects the Relationship

Pregnancy is proving to be a crucial time to study the effects of hope and optimism within a relationship.

"The smallest indivisible human unit is two people, not one," wrote Pulitzer Prize-winner Tony Kushner, and Professor Eshkol Rafaeli and his team at the Affect and Relationships Lab at Bar-Ilan University have taken that to heart. Funded by the Hope & Optimism initiative, they have been investigating how hope functions in a couple—or a 'dyad', the most romantic term of all—especially as a dyad becomes a triad. Their research focuses on the emotional and mental health of couples having their first child, as it's a major life transition. So does hope fluctuate? Is it contagious? Must both be hopeful, or is one optimist enough to carry everyone through? Here, Rafaeli discusses his team's findings, and future work. This video was filmed as part of the Los Angeles Hope Festival, a collaboration between Big Think and Hope & Optimism.

Nobody Can Have It All, Including—and Especially—Women

No human gets everything they want in life, as Ariel Levy discovered in the worst possible way.

"The thinking that you can have every single thing you want in life is not the thinking of a feminist," says Ariel Levy, "it's the thinking of a toddler." According to Levy, Western culture isn't telling the whole truth about the human condition: you will not get everything you want in life. Levy knows this firsthand, having lost her child in her fifth month of pregnancy, which she wrote about for The New Yorker. By choosing to be an adventurer and "the protagonist in [her] own life," Levy admits she may have left it too late to start the process of having a child at 37 years old.The biological clock, which she refers to as a design flaw of the female body, is very much a women's cross to bear, and when it went wrong for her, the much-offered popular notion of "everything happens for a reason" brought her no solace. What helped her cope after her loss — and the series of hardships that followed — was not the comforting thought of a greater good, but surrendering fully to grief. Ariel Levy's most recent book is The Rules Do Not Apply: A Memoir.

Give Teens Over-the-Counter Birth Control Pills, Say Researchers

A new study from Johns Hopkins University supports making birth control pills available without a prescription.

Teenagers attend a party in a nightclub during Australian 'schoolies' celebrations following the end of the year 12 exams on November 25, 2013 in Kuta, Indonesia. (Photo by Agung Parameswara/Getty Images)

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