Plus, laundry pods, really? |

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belinda-luscombe
Hiya folks who bring up folks,

I'm reliably informed it's not too late to get a flu shot. My entire family came down with the flu this season and I didn't, which I attributed to my getting vaccinated, but it might have helped that I avoided them like the plagued. (I'm not good with phlegm.) But really, this year's flu has been particularly severe and unexpectedly tragic; the flu shot is reportedly only about 30% effective, but it's better than nothing. So get stuck, and get your kids vaccinated too.

I’m at belinda.luscombe@time.com or @luscombeland on Twitter. Feel free to follow me, but not necessarily my parenting philosophy. P.S. If you like this newsletter, please pass it on to a friend. And if you got it from a friend, sign up here for email delivery each Friday. You know, more or less.
roundup

This is not strictly parenting—more like avoidance of parenting—but a new study found that women who were on the birth-control pill for more than 10 years had a lower incidence of cancer. Scientists already knew that the pill was associated with a lower cancer risk, but they didn’t know this was especially the case if the women were obese or smokers. That is, the pill seemed to lessen the carcinogenic danger of those conditions. TIME

Sleep. The struggle is real. You’re a better parent, a happier person and a more productive human when both you and the other members of your family get enough sleep. But for something so natural, falling asleep can be really difficult. So here’s a handy primer for you and your littles. (A non-child friend recently tried the rewriting-your-nightmares exercise recently, with mixed success, but I’d love to read the results.) Real Simple

After years and years and years of decline, more women are becoming mothers. There was an uptick of 7.5% in the bearing of children between 2006 and 2016. But motherhood looks a little different now, in case you hadn’t noticed, especially single-motherhood. Here’s a summary of the changes. TIME

You’ve probably heard by now the deeply, deeply upsetting story of the couple in California who, instead of home-schooling their 13 children, were maltreating them for years and years. If you haven’t, by all means skip it. A colleague and I spoke to psychiatrists and social workers about how parenting could go so wrong and they said it was really rare, thankfully. But here’s what else might have been going on. TIME

While bearing and raising offspring among the most primal of human experiences, the circumstances and manner in which we do that vary widely. The New York Times has a nice little suite of videos that detail six different people’s experience of becoming parents.

This should go without saying, but laundry pods are not food. I know, I know, don’t we have enough to worry about without this kind of nonsense? You might want to tell your teens that no matter what they see on YouTube, they should not eat them. They’re not even hallucinogenic or anything. (Unless your kids are really suggestible, like mine. Then just don't mention it.)   TIME

PFFT: Parenting from Famous Types

Joanna Gaines, TV home renovation personality and mother of four and a half children (she's pregnant),

"You sow seeds early on and work hard to be intentional and then over time you move on to new lessons and challenges. Then one day you look up and the seeds you planted in your little children's hearts are now in full bloom."

 
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