MONEY First-Time Dad

These Are the Countries with the Best Maternity Leaves

Luke Tepper
Mrs. Tepper took off four months to take care of this guy—and was paid dearly in smiles and dirty diapers. Ken Christensen

New dad Taylor Tepper argues that America needs to catch up with the rest of the world in terms of providing paid time off to new moms.

Two weeks ago, Mrs. Tepper returned to her full-time job—almost six months after giving birth to our son Luke.

She wasn’t altogether excited about the idea of leaving Luke in the hands of someone else while she relived paler experiences like commuting. Nevertheless, Mrs. Tepper soldiered on, and we ended our four-month experiment of living in an expensive city with a new child and without the income of the chief wage earner.

Right up there with “Is it a boy or a girl?” and “What name are you going with?” is another question every new mother should be prepared to answer: “How much paid time off do get from work?” If your answer is anything longer than a few weeks, you can pretty much guarantee kind words and jealous eyes in response.

We were fortunate. Mrs. Tepper, who works as a teacher, received around two months of paid maternity leave and was allowed to take the rest of the school year off unpaid. I got two weeks paid.

Most Americans are not so lucky. The land of the free and the home of the brave is one of two of the 185 countries or territories in the world surveyed by the United Nation’s International Labor Organization that does not mandate some form of paid maternity leave for its citizens. Many are familiar with the generosity of Scandinavian nations when it comes to parents bringing new children into the world, but who would believe that we trail Iran in our support of new families?

Iran mandates that new mothers receive two-thirds of their previous earnings for 12 weeks from public funds, according to a the ILO report. In America, mothers are entitled to 12 weeks of unpaid leave—but only if they work for a company that has more than 50 employees, per the Family and Medical Leave Act. And, for some context, more than 21 million Americans work for businesses that employ 20 people or fewer, per the U.S. Census Bureau.

The ILO report is full of unflattering comparisons that will leave American workers feeling woozy. Georgia—the country—allows its mothers to receive 18 weeks of paid time off at 100% of what they made before. Mongolia gives its new moms 17 weeks of paid time off at 70% of previous earnings. (Mongolia’s GDP is $11.5 billion, or about a third of Vermont’s.)

Lest you think paid time off for moms is a poor-nation phenomenon, Germany’s mothers receive 14 weeks of fully paid time off, while Canadian mothers can look forward to 15 weeks of 55% of their salary.

There are pockets of help stateside. Five U.S. states provide paid maternity leave: New York, New Jersey, Hawaii, California and Rhode Island. In Rhode Island, for example, mothers receive four weeks of paid leave—ranging from $72 to $752, depending on your earnings.

Meanwhile, however, the ILO’s maternity leave standard states that all mothers across the board should be entitled to two-thirds of their previous salary for at least 14 weeks.

Look, I’m not really saying that American women should defect to Iran or Mongolia or Georgia to push out their progeny. But it defies logic that we are the only developed nation not to have a national system in place that helps new families adjust to their new lives.

The benefits of implementing some compulsory system of continuing to pay women for a defined period of time after they give birth are known. Based on California’s family leave policy, which was instituted in 2004, economists found that employment prospects for a mother nine to twelve months after childbirth improved (meaning: more moms at that stage were employed after the bill than before it). Additionally, other research has found that mothers who return later to work are less likely to be depressed.

New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Connecticut Representative Rosa DeLauro (both Democrats) introduced the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act last year which, among other things, would provide new mothers with 12 weeks of paid leave at two-thirds of their previous salary up to a cap. But the Act is not yet a law.

A few years ago, Mrs. Tepper was in graduate school, and I waited tables. We made much much less than we do now and enjoyed no financial security. Often when I’m playing with Luke I find myself thinking, “What would we have done if he was born then?”

Taylor Tepper is a reporter at Money. His column on being a new dad, a millennial, and (pretty) broke appears weekly. More First-Time Dad:

TIME Family

10 Myths and Facts About Breastfeeding

breastfeeding
Getty Images

August is National Breastfeeding Awareness Month—and while breastfeeding rates in the United States continue to rise (nearly 80% of infants born in 2011 started to breastfeed), there’s still a lot that people don’t know about the topic. Does it hurt? Will my child not be as smart if I don’t do it?

We spoke with Kathy Mason, a registered nurse and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant with Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health, to clear up some common myths and misconceptions.

This guide is helpful for women making the decision whether to breastfeed their children—and for people tempted to comment on another woman’s choice on the matter.

New moms don’t make enough milk

MYTH

It’s true that women don’t produce milk for three to five days after giving birth, but they do make a thick, concentrated liquid called colostrum—and for the first few days, that’s all a newborn needs, Mason says. “Moms worry that they’re not producing enough right away, but it’s very normal for the baby to nurse and not take more than two teaspoons at a time.”

Health.com: 25 Surprising Ways Stress Affects Your Health

It’s better for baby’s weight and IQ

MYTH

If you aren’t able to breastfeed your baby—or you decide not to—you can rest easy knowing that the beneficial effects of breast milk on babies’ weight and intelligence appear to have been overstated. A 2014 Ohio State University study looked at families in which one baby was breastfed and another was fed formula and found no “breast-is-best” advantage in one child over the other. Though Mason says breast milk does have one clear advantage over formula: It contains antibodies that protect baby from infection.

It helps you shed baby weight

FACT

Moms who breastfeed burn about 300 to 500 extra calories a day compared to those who feed their babies formula, and research shows that they do tend to slim down faster. Breastfeeding also releases hormones that trigger your uterus to return to its pre-baby size and weight faster. “When the baby starts nursing you can actually feel uterine contractions as it starts to shrink,” says Mason. “It’s nature’s way of getting your body back into shape.”

Health.com: 11 Reasons Why You’re Not Losing Belly Fat

It’s normal to have difficulties

FACT

While most women should be able to breastfeed their newborns, it’s not always easy: In a 2013 survey published in Pediatrics, 92% of new moms had at least one concern on their third day of breastfeeding—such as the baby not latching properly, low milk supply, or breast pain—and only 13% breastfeed exclusively for six months as is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

“Unfortunately, we send moms home from the hospital after just two days, and the days immediately after that are the hardest ones for breastfeeding,” Mason says. Women having trouble should know where to turn for advice, she adds: Most hospitals have breastfeeding support groups or offer out-patient consultations, and moms can also take advantage of the La Leche League‘s toll-free breastfeeding helpline: 877-452-5324. Many hospitals have classes you can take before the baby arrives, so ask if you’re interested.

It may protect against postpartum depression

FACT

A 2012 study in the International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine found that women who breastfed were less likely to be diagnosed with postpartum depression over the first four months than those who bottle-fed. Researchers aren’t sure what the connection is, but Mason suspects it has to do oxytocin, the “feel-good hormone” produced when a baby nurses. “Plus, if breastfeeding is going well, it helps mom feel confident that she’s able to provide for her baby,” she adds. A 2011 study from the University of North Carolina suggests the opposite link may exist, as well: New moms who have negative breastfeeding experiences within the first two weeks had an increased risk of PPD.

Alcohol helps with milk letdown

MYTH

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, booze is not a galactagogue, which is a substance that promotes milk production. (Studies have shown that drinking beer can boost hormones associated with breast milk creation, but it’s actually the barley and hops that are responsible.) So what actually helps with milk letdown? Relaxation for mom, and skin-to-skin contact between mom and baby, Mason says. “When moms put babies up to their chests, their hormones just go wild,” she says.

You can’t breastfeed after breast surgery

MYTH

Mason has seen many women with breast implants nurse their babies successfully; these surgeries often involve incisions on the underside of the breast that don’t interfere with milk production or delivery. Women who have had breast reductions, on the other hand, may have more difficulty—especially if nerve endings around the nipple have been cut. “You may not know until you try to nurse,” Mason says.

It makes your boobs sag

MYTH

One reason many women with breast implants don’t breastfeed (or stop earlier than planned) is because they think it will change the appearance of their breasts, according to a 2011 study from the American Society for Plastic Surgeons. But, as the study authors point out, it’s the number of pregnancies a woman has—not whether she breastfeeds—that causes breasts to sag over time. That’s true with or without implants.

Health.com: 19 Diet Changes to Make During Pregnancy

It’s supposed to be painful

MYTH

“A lot of moms expect breastfeeding to hurt, and it is true that mom’s nipples may feel tender for the first couple of weeks,” says Mason. “But if the baby’s latching properly, there shouldn’t be real pain or soreness.” That’s why it’s so important to talk to a lactation consultant at the hospital (and perhaps after you go home) who can help you and your baby make the process as comfortable as possible, she adds.

It’s important to stay hydrated

FACT

Not drinking enough water can certainly affect how much milk you’re making, says Mason, which is why it’s important to stay hydrated (among other reasons). But you don’t have to go overboard, she cautions: “You don’t have to drink until it’s coming out of your ears; in fact, research suggests that overhydration can also decrease milk production, just as dehydration can.” Judge your hydration levels by your urine color, she recommends: light yellow means you’re drinking enough, dark means you should sip more.

Health.com: 14 Weird Reasons You’re Dehydrated

This article originally appeared on Health.com.

TIME motherhood

What the Recent Drop in Single Motherhood Really Means

Thanasis Zovoilis—Getty Images/Flickr RF

Another way to look at the recent figures

According to a new report just released by the National Health Center for Health Statistics, there has been a sharp decline in the number of kids born to single moms.

About 1.6 million women who weren’t married had kids in 2012, down from 1.75 million in 2007 and 2008. And more of those kids were born to co-habiting couples than before. Since not having two parents around is linked with an increased likelihood of having a lousy childhood and a more difficult life, that should be a cause for rejoicing.

This is the first significant decrease in several decades in what’s known as “nonmarital births.” (Probably “out-of-wedlock” sounded too Jacobean). But on closer inspection it’s not unalloyed good news.

Even after the recent sharp decrease, the number of kids born to single moms is still twice as high as it was in the 80s. And while the nonmarital birthrate has dropped 7% since the late 2000s, the overall birthrate—the number of births to all women—has dropped twice as much. What that means is that the percentage of kids born to single moms hasn’t changed much: 40% of all the people born in America have parents who aren’t married.

Similarly, while single black and Hispanic women are less likely to have a kid than they were in 2008 (the rate has dropped particularly sharply for Hispanic women), 72% of black kids and 54% of Hispanic kids are brought into the world via single moms. That number hasn’t budged much since 2011.

There are nuggets of good news in the report: the teen birth rate continues to fall. And the number of births to cohabiting couples (versus mothers who do not live with a partner) represents a much bigger slice of the unmarried birth pie than it did 10 years ago. In 2002, 60% of single women who gave birth were not living with the father. Now it’s down to 42%. But again, this number doesn’t look quite as good under close inspection.

Take this chart for example:

One indicator of a likelihood of a stable childhood is whether or not the child was planned. In the chart above, unintended pregnancies among women who are not living with a guy—the archetypal single mom—are down from 36% of the nonmarital births in 2002 to 28% by 2010. But unintended pregnancies among cohabiting couples went up. So the proportion of kids born to single moms who weren’t trying to have a kid did not change between 2002 and 2010: 57%. (And the raw number of nonmarital births is about 300,000 higher, so that’s a lot more unplanned kids).

How much difference does it make if the father and mother are living together when the kid is born? The jury is out on that. A lot depends on the circumstances under which people shack up. Studies have shown that if a couple is living together and intends to get married in a year or so, there’s very little difference in the stability of their union compared to married couples.

But couples who are living together out of economic necessity, or because they can’t quite decide if they can make the relationship work are less likely to stay together for a longer term. A child can really complicate that. It doesn’t seem yet that the U.S. is at that European-style place where kids born to couples who live together are in the same boat, stability-wise, as those with married parents.

Recent studies suggest cohabitation can make a slight difference, but so does a father’s age, education and race. (Absent black fathers are much more involved in their kids’ lives, than absent Hispanic fathers, and by some measures, than absent white fathers, according to this study.) “The extent to which cohabitation is a marker for social and financial support and for father involvement deserves further exploration,” write the authors of this new study.

One of the clearest findings of the Fragile Families Study done by Princeton University and the Brookings Institute in 2010, was that even if a baby was conceived by accident, many single fathers originally intended to stick around when the infant was born. But they didn’t. The combined pressures of poverty and parenthood proved to be too much for the relationship. The fact that the nonmarital birth rate has dropped is not at all the same as a drop in the number of kids born into very difficult family circumstances.

TIME motherhood

If You’re Fat, Blame Your Mom, Says Controversial PSA

Even if you're a full-grown adult

A startling Public Service Announcement from Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta has a harsh message for moms: if your child is fat, it’s your fault, even if he’s not a child anymore.

The video starts with a 32-year-old, 300-lb man, Jim, on the operating table after he’s just had a heart attack as life flashes backwards before his eyes. It’s a series of unhealthy choices, like ordering fast food and sitting on the couch, interspersed with warnings from doctors about his weight getting out of control. But as the flashbacks go further and further back, more of the blame gets shifted onto his mother– she took him to get fast food, she let him drink sugary juice, she even fed him french fries when he was a baby. “It’s the only thing that’ll make him stop [crying,]” she responds when her skeptical friend says “I still can’t believe you give this child french fries.”

The PSA ends with the text: “Your child’s future doesn’t have to look like this,” placing the blame for the adult man’s weight squarely on his mom.

While there are points where the mom does seem to be encouraging unhealthy behavior, like feeding a baby french fries, she also appears to care about his excessive weight gain. She buys him a treadmill, takes him to the doctor, and does other things to help him slim down. The organization even included a fake diary, called “Confessions of Jim’s Mom,” in which she describes how difficult it is to make healthy choices for her son. It includes “confessions” like:

I’m a little concerned about an article I read about juice being bad because it’s full of sugar. But if I take away the sippy, Jimmy throws an even bigger fit. What’s a tired mama to do? (I say, give the boy his juice. What’s a little extra sugar when it makes him so happy—and keeps me sane!?)

And:

I love my son with all my heart and I want him to be healthy. But I honestly don’t know how or where to start. Deep down, I wonder if I’m to blame for his weight problem. But if I force him to eat food he dislikes and do activities he hates (while the jocks tease him even more), he’ll resent me. I just want my boy to be happy.

On the one hand, numerous studies have shown that parents influence everything about their child’s weight, from their genetic makeup to their eating habits. But isn’t a 32-year old man responsible for himself at a certain point? Is it really fair to blame the mom entirely for something that an adult man has the power to change?

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta seems to acknowledge that this PSA could cause a lot of guilt. “As parents (and humans), we’ve all made decisions that didn’t look too good in hindsight,” they say on their website. “But today, right now, we have an opportunity for a life changing do-over. It’s true. We can rewind the future by doing something differently today, and literally change our story’s ending.”

But is it too late for moms of obese adults? Is it really all their fault?

TIME Family

Mom Says She Was Booted For Changing Diaper at Restaurant Table

Baby in nappy on changing mat.
Baby in nappy on changing mat. Lisa Stirling—Getty Images

A debate over parenting manners breaks out in a Texas pizzeria

A Texas mom told a local news station that her dinner out came to an abrupt end when she changed her baby’s diaper on a chair in the dining area of a restaurant.

Miranda Sowers says she was alone at Brother’s Pizza Express in Spring, Texas with her three children, ages 8, 4, and 4 months, when she realized her youngest needed a diaper change. But, Sowers says, the restroom didn’t have a changing table and she didn’t want to herd all of her kids out to the car, so she did what she had to do.

“I thought you know what I’ve got my own changing pad, she’s tiny, she fits right here on the chair.” she told KHOU, a Houston TV station. “So I laid her down quickly and quietly changed her diaper.”

While Sowers saw this is an inoffensive act of convenience, claiming that no one saw her do it, restaurant employees and patrons had a different take.

“As soon as you start opening the diaper, people start complaining about the smell of the diaper,” manager Donny Lala told KHOU. “Last thing I want is a customer throwing up.”

Comments on the story from KHOU readers were mainly against table-side diaper changing. Many self-described parents deemed Sowers inconsiderate: “Gross! I would have used the changing pad on the bathroom floor or gone to my car. Why do people feel so entitled?” wrote one reader.” Others urged the restaurant to install changing tables.

According to KHOU, the incident prompted the restaurant to bring the Sowers’ their food in t0-go containers and they were asked to leave. Sowers has since filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. Brother’s Pizza Express hasn’t backed down, but it might consider installing changing tables in the bathrooms. Brother’s Pizza Express did not respond immediately to calls for comment about the incident or the reported lack of changing tables in their restroom.

TIME feminism

Rich Moms of the First World, Stop Fighting About Breastfeeding

Olivia Wilde breastfeeds her son, Otis, in a new issue of Glamour
Olivia Wilde breastfeeds her son, Otis, in a new issue of Glamour Patrick Demarchelier—Glamour

We who crow about our choices speak from great privilege—and our arguments grow quickly tiresome

In 1969, my mother’s obstetrician advised her not to breastfeed, claiming it was “for the natives.” My older brothers and I were fed with formula. Her mother, in 1942, was not even presented with the option to nurse, pejorative or otherwise. Fashion is fashion, and people tend to follow it. When my baby was born, in 2009, we struggled. No fewer than four lactation consultants offered conflicting advice. My supply was low because his latch was problematic. His latch was problematic because my supply was low. My supply was low because I was depressed. I was depressed because my supply was low. Friends donated breastmilk, we supplemented with formula, I tethered myself to a breast pump. Eventually, we worked it out, and nursed for a good long while. How long is another minefield altogether.

Our emotionally charged, exhausting postpartum marathon seemed over-the-top to some. “No one will judge you if you give up,” I was told. “Formula is fine.”

But I did not want to give up. Not to prove a point, but because I felt certain that nursing was worth the struggle. The imperative to persist was fierce; my refusal to cede power and authority over my body and its capacities surprised even me. I wanted to nurse my child. I wanted to buck a rather sorry legacy of appalling misinformation. I wanted to reclaim what had been taken from and surrendered by so many women before me.

I did not favor hiding out under blankets or in another room when I nursed – to do so felt like a way of acquiescing to a specifically female brand of shame, and I was not ashamed. Nasty looks and comments and lame jokes were regularly tossed my way. So this is how much we fear and loathe and yearn to control women’s bodies. So this is why America alone among 118 countries voted against the World Health Organization’s 1981 campaign to regulate the marketing of infant formula.

In a history of baby feeding published in The New Yorker in 2009, Jill Lepore shared a profoundly simple insight: “When the rich eat white bread and buy formula, the poor eat brown bread and breast-feed; then they trade places.”

World Breastfeeding Week aims to “focus and facilitate actions to protect, promote and support breastfeeding.” A righteous and crucial goal. On the brochure, two women in colorful ethnic garb are pictured nursing their newborns. “The natives” referenced by my mother’s obnoxious OB have suffered gravely thanks to the unconscionable and relentless efforts of formula marketing since the mid-twentieth century. What cruel irony.

After Birth, coming in 2015 Courtesy HMH

We’re not talking about Pacific Heights or Park Slope, where women of great means and low infant mortality rates love to snipe about one another’s choices for sport. We who crow about our choices speak from great privilege, and our arguments grow quickly tiresome. Information, professional guidance, and support networking for expectant/nursing moms is proliferate in the here and now; women who choose not to avail themselves of said information must be acknowledged to be making a different kind of choice altogether.

Every mother I know indulges in some degree of shame about breastfeeding. Shame, it seems, is the primary directive. Didn’t nurse at all? You must be ignorant and/or selfish. Didn’t nurse long? What a pity. Nurse in public? You’re making others uncomfortable. Adore nursing? Keep quiet lest you become an irritating prostelytizer. Nursed too long? That’s disgusting. The pendulum swings this way and that, but a constant is that women of means get to “choose” whether or not they nurse, then get grief from absolutely every angle.

The actress Olivia Wilde recently posed for photos in an evening gown nursing her 3-month-old. “Breastfeeding is the most natural thing in the world,” she said. Wilde is educated and fortunate and has excellent choices. If a woman of her station were to choose not to breastfeed, there is clean water and room in the budget for formula. Globally, the problem has little to do with women like me nursing or not nursing or nursing in public or nursing through toddlerhood and beyond or nursing glamorously in the pages of a magazine. The problem is that everyone wants to be an authority on how women’s bodies are used, and it doesn’t take much more than a cursory glance at history to see what ridiculously repetitious, needless harm has come from that.

“Nothing in nature is more natural than anything else,” wrote the philosopher Adam Phillips. There have always been women who couldn’t or wouldn’t nurse their babies; wet nurses were once highly valued professionals. Nursing may be right as rain, but so too can be, say, adoption. Not to mention the all-too human impulse to profit off attempts to subvert or “improve” upon nature. Nestlé put the wet nurses out of business, and now we have organic formula and non-toxic bottles and adorable accessories galore. Lucky us. Our babies don’t often wind up with dysentery.

 

Elisa Albert is the author of The Book of Dahlia and a collection of short stories, has written for NPR, Tin House, Commentary, Salon, and the Rumpus. She grew up in Los Angeles and now lives in upstate New York with her family. Her latest novel, After Birth, is forthcoming in February 2015.

TIME motherhood

Olivia Wilde on Breastfeeding, Being a Working Mom

Olivia Wilde breastfeeds her son, Otis, in a new issue of Glamour
Olivia Wilde breastfeeds her son, Otis, in a new issue of Glamour Patrick Demarchelier—Glamour

Says she's inspired by her own mother

Actress Olivia Wilde’s cover shoot for the September issue of Glamour includes a photo of her breastfeeding her baby Otis, in a diner, in couture. Note that Otis is not wearing a diaper, so really anything could happen to that Roberto Cavalli dress.

Wilde notes that there’s “usually a diaper involved,” but otherwise the photo-shoot felt completely natural to her:

Being shot with Otis is so perfect because any portrait of me right now isn’t complete without my identity as a mother being a part of that. Breast-feeding is the most natural thing. I don’t know, now it feels like Otis should always be on my breast. It felt like we were capturing that multifaceted woman we’ve been discussing—that we know we can be. You can be someone who is at once maternal and professional and sexy and self-possessed. [But] I mean, I certainly don’t really look like that when I’m [typically] breast-feeding.

It’s worth noting that it’s much easier to breastfeed if you’re a well-paid actress, but much harder for working moms in low-income jobs to get clean places to pump milk and the time off work to do it. Wilde also notes that she doesn’t have any apprehension about continuing her acting work while raising Otis:

No, because of the example of my mom. My mom is such a badass working mother. That inspired me when I was pregnant. I wasn’t going to sacrifice myself because I was becoming a mother.

But that doesn’t mean she’s immune to the kind of self-doubt that sounds a lot like the well-known “Imposter Complex:”

I felt that I had been cast in films that, though I was very excited to be a part of, didn’t feel that they were actually the right roles for me. I felt like I was almost a fraud—like I somehow had become a kind of pinup version of myself.

Wilde’s glamour shot comes right smack in the middle of World Breastfeeding Week, and to celebrate the occasion we at TIME gathered together the 16 Top Breastfeeding Controversies.

TIME Opinion

‘Husband Hunting’ Shoes? Nine West’s Bizarre New Ad Campaign

Nine West

Also shoes for dropping your kids off at school. But those are the only two "shoe occasions."

If you’re just sitting at your desk like a normal person, you better not be wearing shoes, because this is not a shoe occasion. According to Nine West’s website, “shoe occasions” are “Starter Husband Hunting” and “First Day of Kindergarten.” At other times you might have to resort to wrapping your feet in paper towels fastened with rubber bands you stole off broccoli at the grocery store. No shoes for you!

Maybe this promotional campaign was meant ironically, but under the “collections” section of the retailer’s website you will find specific “shoe occasions,” and there are only two. Finding a “starter” husband (the hot, rich kind, not the beer-belly kind, obviously) and the first day of kindergarten (for the mom, not the kid) In other words, Nine West shoes appear to be created only women looking for a man or taking care of kids. Because that’s what women mostly do, right Nine West?

Each “shoe occasion” also comes with mini-pep talk and related imagery. For “Starter Husband Hunting,” the well-shoed model is posing in front of a bullseye with some arrows (Cupid’s bow?) and the accompanying text says:

Go get ‘em, tiger. Whether you’re looking for Mr. Right or Mr. Right Now… we got a shoe for that.

For “First Day of Kindergarten,” the fashionable mom is surrounded by used tissues, and the text says:

The bus arrives and so do the waterworks. Then it hits you: Mommy now has the weeks off. Wipe those happy-sad tears… we got a shoe for that.

Note that Mommy “has the weeks off,” so probably that starter husband she found is the one buying her all these Nine West shoes.

The best part of the Nine West “shoe occasions” is how the name of each shoe matches up to its stated purpose. For example, the “Starter Husband Hunting” collection includes lots of red leather and leopard print, with names like “Meowww Peep Toe Platform Booties” or “Love Fury Platform Heels” or “Jealouseye Pointy Toe Pumps.” Not sure how the “Lobster Smoking Slippers” got in there, unless Nine West thinks women are hunting for starter husbands on the Titanic.

The shoes Nine West recommends for dropping off your kid at Kindergarten have even better names, and are just as impractical. You can wear your “Tiptoe Black Peeptoe Booties” to a playdate with your 5 year old, never mind they’re almost 5 inches tall. There’s also the “Foodie Monk Strap Loafers,” because moms are celibate and love eating, and the “Disheveled Platform Booties,” also over 4 inches tall, because moms are always glamorously disheveled, amiright ladies? The “Lobster Smoking Slippers” make another inexplicable appearance. No clogs.

Nine West did not respond to requests for an explanation of the new campaign.

Nine West

 

TIME Family

Mom Sells ‘Brat’ Daughter’s Katy Perry Tickets on Facebook

US-POLITICS-SPECIAL OLYMPICS-PERRY
Singer Katy Perry performs at a concert in celebration of the Special Olympics on July 31, 2014 in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC. (MANDEL NGAN--AFP/Getty Images) MANDEL NGAN—AFP/Getty Images

Said she "didn't deserve" the tickets, and they sold in 5 minutes

It’s old-school discipline with a social media twist: when one North Dakota girl acted like a “brat,” her mother reportedly sold her Katy Perry tickets on Facebook to punish her.

In a Facebook post which started “daughter is a spoiled brat and doesn’t deserve these tickets,” Fargo, N.D. mom Cindy Bjerke sold her daughter’s Katy Perry tickets for $90 within five minutes of posting. They were reportedly sold on Fargo/Moorhead Online Garage Sale Facebook page, which requires administrator privileges to view.

Bjerke’s punishment drew criticism from other parents, who thought she didn’t need to publicly humiliate her daughter. “I think a lot of parents are like me where they feel like they’re being bullied about how they should parent their own children,” Bjerke told local media outlet WDAZ. “It doesn’t matter what side you’re on, you’re always wrong to somebody.”

The post was then removed by the Facebook page’s administrators.

TIME motherhood

Kim Kardashian is Nostalgic for Her Pre-Baby Body

She's probably the first mom ever to feel this way

North West is adorable, but Kim Kardashian seems to be having some nostalgia for body-before-baby. She posted an Instragram of herself on Friday from five years ago, with the caption: “ughhh I am 20 lbs lighter here! This was just 5 years ago! Ok I’m going back on my grind. I gotta get back here!”

It’s not the first time Kim has expressed dissatisfaction with her body after her pregnancy. Here’s another Instagram from three weeks ago, with the caption: “Throwback to a few years ago #SkinnyDays #OnTheTreadmillRightNOW”

Meanwhile, this is Kim two weeks ago:

So go figure.

 

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