In January 2020, I sent my first newsletter note. To my old friends here, thank you for sticking with me. New friends, thank you for joining me. I set out to tell whimsical personal parenting stories while sharing useful news from TIME and TIME for Kids. But this past year, like many aspects of parenting, was nothing like I planned. Besides overwhelmed, I bet unprecedented was my most-used word. Any one of the plot points of 2020 would make for an interesting story. Together, they're too broad. No network would approve even a horror show based on such unlikely and awful events.

In January 2019, I lost one of my best friends. I imagine her response to the events of the world since she left it, and I worry about her husband and three young kids. I think often of her response when people praised her bravery and grace during her five-year battle with breast cancer. “I have no f*@!ng choice,” she’d say. “I’m a parent.”

It’s January 2021: What will this year bring? On New Year’s Eve, at home in our pajamas, my family made our annual resolutions. Mine reflect my resignation to being powerless to plan. They reflect the reality that 2021 won’t be a magic antidote to 2020. And they reflect my current parenting philosophy, which is to survive rather than thrive.

What does that look like in action? We made a candy island on New Year’s Eve. We decided to prioritize small moments of joy over major milestones and accomplishments. Championing candy consumption isn’t good parenting. But I can live with it. Do you have any grand plans for the year ahead? Share them with me at andrea@time.com.


Looking for help talking to your kids about President Trump's impeachment? TIME for Kids has a helpful explainer for kids in upper elementary school. 

More women have been freezing their eggs during the pandemic. 

Have you heard your kid singing a sea shanty lately? (Yes, you read that correctly.) Here's why.  

In our advice column about COVID-19, we take a question from a college student whose roommate isn't taking the pandemic seriously.

Despite the pandemic, fewer children died in 2020. Researchers are trying to figure out why. 

Stephanie Zacharek reviews two new films, Herself and Pieces of a Woman. Each of them is about motherhood in its own way. 

Angie Thomas, author of the best-selling The Hate U Give, has a new young-adult novel out. It's about the cult of masculinity. 

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