Design

Have a Lovely Weekend.

What are your plans this weekend? Alex and I are going on a date (just us!) tomorrow night, which we haven’t done in ages. Hope you have a good one, and here are a few posts from around the web…

Yes! Love these advertisements.

Winners of National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year competition.

What a pretty summer dress.

To get your kids moving, walk out the door.

Top 10 cold summer dinners.

Why people are having fewer babies these days. (NYT)

This Scottish bookstore allows people to rent the upstairs apartment — and then run the store! “Once you move in, you’re handed the keys and cash box and the shop is yours to run as you see fit. You can reshelve or redecorate as long as you tend to customers.”

Pajamas for special nights. ;)

Women all over the world looked up at the exact same moment and drew the sky they saw.

Bravo for this wonderful (and necessary) children’s book.

Finally, if you’d like to volunteer to help reunite separated families, you can sign up here.

Plus, two great reader comments:

Says Kim on a 600-square-foot family apartment: “I’ve found that I am much closer to my daughter because of our small home. Because we share a bathroom, I don’t do things behind closed doors, like plucking my eyebrows, shaving or leaving the box of panty liners out. This has prompted many casual discussions between us that has led to great conversations about positive body image and puberty.”

Says Laura on fun finance with Paco: “I set up automatic transfers from my paycheck a few years back and have slowly built up a little nest egg. My bank lets you rename bank accounts, so I renamed my nest egg account ‘Touch me and die.’ Turns out the bank employees can also see my nickname. I’ve gotten quite a few laughs out of them over the years.”

(Photo by 3191 Miles Apart. Brilliant ads and getting kids moving via Swissmiss.)

  1. Ali says...

    Love the ‘All Are Welcome’ book. So necessary and so infuriating that it should be necessary. There is a children’s book here in Australia called ‘I’m Australian Too’ which made me dissolve into tears when I first read it.

  2. A says...

    A,
    Another A reaching out with a similar story. I also terminated an accidental pregnancy and feel it was 100% the best choice for my partner and I. We decided together that we had neither the time nor the energy to devote to a child. And you know what? THAT’S OKAY.

    I also can’t believe that people still feel the need to inform others that their lives will be meaningless/empty/loveless/etc. without children. I find so much love and fulfillment and meaning in my relationship with my husband, and I am glad beyond belief that I can return those feelings without the diversion of a child. It doesn’t make me selfish. It doesn’t make me unloving. It’s my choice and I stand by it, and so does my husband. We both love other people’s kids but we never doubt our decision to not have any of our own.

  3. J says...

    I definitely need to start a “touch me and die” savings fund.

  4. Love the “Highlight the Remarkable” ad! One other amazing (and important) campaign that comes to mind is MESH design’s “fake pregnancy clinics” billboards. Not sure if they have other locations on display or in the works, but their Instagram page shows two for Charleston and Morgantown, WV (https://bit.ly/2NPj6al).

  5. Mims says...

    I am surprised no one listed environmental reasons for not having children.
    My husband and I conscciously choose to have only one, he is 19 now. BIll McKibben (of 350.org) wrote a wonderful book called Maybe One: A personal and environmental argument for single child families over twenty years ago and its premise is even more urgent now. The earth is finite with finite resources. Fertility rates need to decline, we are overpopulating the planet and trashing it in the process because no one wants to live simply. We all want to eat meat, drive a car, takes vacations via air travel and more. My son not planning on kids.

    • AN says...

      This. So much this.

    • Dianne says...

      I am sympathetic to the environmental arguments, but I am genuinely curious: if you advocate for a shrinking population, whom do you expect to care for you in your old age (I mean literally–who will staff the retirement communities, the hospitals, etc.) and to fund your retirement (workers either contributing to social security or generating the economic output that will power the growth of your annuities/stocks etc) if subsequent generations are dramatically smaller than your own? These are very serious issues in countries with aging populations, and I am genuinely curious about suggestions for how to manage these problems for countries with declining fertility rates.

    • Yulia says...

      Overpopulation is the environmental issue no one talks about. It is just too sensitive a topic! I’m not surprised it doesn’t come up, but the lack of conversation means parents of multiple children probably haven’t considered the short- and long-term environmental impact their families have on the environment.

      (For me: I happen not to be interested in children, but if I change my mind I hope to adopt.)

    • T says...

      Dianne, a few options – though controversial: robotics and voluntary euthanasia. Both ethical minefields for sure.

  6. Marina says...

    I loved the One Sky artwork, are those pieces available for purchase?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i’m not sure, marina! you might email through that site? sorry i can’t be more help! xo

  7. Jessica says...

    I saw the Women Who Draw piece and want to purchase a/some print(s)! But I can’t figure out how to ask them about it, there’s no way to comment on the page. Does anyone know?

    • Yulia says...

      I’ve been obsessed with exploring the One Sky/Women Who Draw artists for the past two days! They are all linked at the bottom of the page–you can probably get in touch with the individual artist via their websites and send them an email.

  8. That’s a pretty dress, but I would never wear 100% polyester in the summer!! Only cotton or linen will do it for the summer for me.

  9. AN says...

    I just spent a week in China where I inquired if they still have a one-child policy. It’s now two, but after that, one must pay the government to be able to have additional children. I often wonder how many Americans would be much more thoughtful and considered about how many is too many if actual money had to change hands (which of course it does in the form of collective impact on our resources, health, quality of life, etc.)

    • Desiree White says...

      We are Americans. Land of the free. Do you think China is more thoughtful? Do you know what they did to the babies that were “not allowed”? Google it. See how girls were treated because most families wanted a boy. I would not want to live in a country that controlled how many children I bear. So if someone were to say, have a third child by accident. With birth control , and a condom. (It happens) . Then what shall they do?

  10. Donna says...

    Joanna and team – just wanted to offer a heartfelt thank you for your continued efforts to reunite families. I read this blog (and have FOREVER) for a host of reasons, but just as often as not, it’s to smile in the middle of a hectic day. I know there are people who feel this subject on a lifestyle blog offers anything but a smile – however, clicking on that link and scrolling through these comments, knowing that really good people are still working on this, makes my whole heart smile. So, thank you, for always finding a way through food or fashion or just good old fashioned humanity, to make me smile. xo

  11. Evelyn says...

    Re: the NYT article. I am 37 and am 98% sure I don’t want kids (and would likely explore adoption if I did). I still think about it as I watch my friends start to get pregnant (we are all career-focused, late-marrying women). It’s like they’re all getting on a train to a new destination for a new life, and I’m not going. I’m standing on the platform, feeling sad I won’t see them as much, and partly wishing my brain *wanted* to go to pregnancy kid town, but I know deep down, I don’t want to. And so the train pulls away.

    My husband is okay without kids. He started his own business two years ago and it’s his passion – but he doesn’t make six figures (maybe on a good year, but you can’t guarantee good years). He said he’d go work at a big corporate firm to make more if we chose to have a kid but he’s so happy working for himself – to me, that’s really important.

    There are so many tradeoffs and things to think about when planning a family and the future. It all keeps me up at night, but as I said, I am beginning to really feel like I can say “we aren’t having children” and not feel ashamed or uncertain.

    And don’t even get me started on the planet – there won’t be a food supply as we know it in 20 years so, one less body to feed at least.

    • t says...

      ooooomph! This is me. I might have some useful advice of what I’ve learned so far… Your friends will have less time for you, and it will hurt, they will leave you out of things because they assume you aren’t interested. If you are interested, speak up – again and again until they are sure that you mean it. For me, I love kids, I just don’t want to have my own. Over time my friends are learning the kid things that I enjoy and would like to be invited to. They are also starting to come out of the fog of babies and into school-aged kids. So I guess my advice is, be honest with your friends, tell them all of what you’ve said above but also accept that their babies are their number one priority so you’ve got to get on board with loving their little ones yourself. If you can become besties with the baby, you are IN! And lastly, try and make some childfree or parent-of-older-kids friends to help fill the gaps too. They’ll come back to you; be patient, honest and kind (to yourself as well as them).

      Also, there is ABSOLUTELY nothing wrong with your brain. Your brain is so well functioning that it has consulted with your heart and soul and they all seem on the same page. It’s ok to reassess, but equally, you owe it to yourself to stay the course of what is right for YOU!

    • Jess says...

      Thanks for the perspective, T! I am in the same boat as Evelyn and I think I need to be more vocal about wanting to still be included in my friends’ plans, even if they do include their babies, as everyone is well aware of my position on having my own children. I would never want them to think that I don’t want to spend time with them just because the time will likely involve/revolve around kids!

    • T says...

      No worries Jess, it’s SUCH an adjustment, one we didn’t ask for but it can really be enriching to have a baby in the mix – most times ;)

  12. Lisa says...

    This last week we have been having an absolute nightmare trying to figure out childcare. I’m in an incredibly privileged position – I get up to a year maternity leave (half of it fully paid – thanks work!) and I have a relatively well paid job. Even so, I considered not going back because full time childcare for two children in London is the same as our rent (and nearly all of my salary). I’m going back to work for a number of reasons (one being, I really love my kids but I need time away from them, and I need intellectual stimulation) but we’re basically going to have to suck it up for a few years. The UK has some of the most expensive childcare in the world, and a scheme that was supposed to help (30 hours free childcare for 3+ year olds) is so unworkable nurseries are having to close or pay their staff below minimum wage.

    All that to say – I would love to have a third, but given that we don’t have any family near by and childcare costs are so ridiculous, it’s unlikely.

  13. Inês says...

    Jennifer, I agree with you. But the few times that I get relaxed, have a moment to myself, realize that I have nothing urgent to do, I get the feeling that I must be forgetting something. Because these times just don’t occur in my life. It’s always a run. My mind is set to think that if I take a break, I’m missing the opportunity to get somehting done.
    I wish I could change this and really relax.

  14. L says...

    I would also like to know more about the group coordinating the rapid response efforts. I want to help in any way I can but also want to know to whom I’m handing over my details.

  15. Kate Ban says...

    Joanna
    I think I saw your husband in East Village this afternoon. As soon as I recognized him I flinched a bit like oh my god I know him!! It’s a cup of jo’s husband!! I saw him in many photos! sounds like star-struck. Lol. He and I were walking on the 2nd ave.. If it was really him, tell him he was handsome in person as in pictures!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes!!! hahahaha, he was getting my bike for me — i had parked it one night on 3rd st and 2nd ave, and he went to get it and ride it home :) so funny, what a small world!

  16. GJ says...

    @Lizzie – Your response is exactly as mine would be. Thank you for wording it so thoughtfully and respectfully!

  17. Sky says...

    In regards to the NYT article, I too find it disheartening that so many women of my generation who want to have children are putting off having them– or not having them at all– because of not being in a good enough place financially. Though I sympathize completely with anxieties around money, I sometimes wonder/fear that we as a society are getting overly cautious about committing to one of life’s most meaningful and defining experiences (for many people at least .) There’s this idea that everything needs to be in place, everything needs to be nearly perfect, in order to have children, despite the fact that our bodies (and often our hearts) are telling us not to wait, and eventually, won’t allow us to. A mentor of mine, with four grown children of his own, once told me that there is no good time to have children, and that if you want to have children, you have children. Because for many of us, family is what life is about.

    My partner and I are in our late 20’s, just out of art school. He works at a hospital making very little. I work at a preschool where I make $12/hour. We pay for our own health insurance. But we get by. We’re definitely not in a “good place” financially, but we have decided not to let that stop us from starting a family. Neither of us grew up in families that had a lot of money. We didn’t go to private schools. We went on camping trips for vacation. I wore lots of hand-me-downs and got one toy from my parents at Christmas time. Sure, it was annoying sometimes to see your friends having things you didn’t, but I think we turned out fine and most importantly, we knew we were loved. I will say we are very lucky to have extended family able to provide us free daycare, which is a major obstacle for many people. But still, I don’t think financial situation should prevent people nearly as much as it does from starting a family when they want to.

    • Sarah T says...

      Families who delay parenthood for financial reasons aren’t doing so (in my experience) so they can afford private schools and fancy vacations. It’s a lot more fundamental than that. They’re trying to figure out basic care for the child (either daycare or the cost of one partner staying home). I’m genuinely happy for you that you’re taking the plunge into parenthood, and I did the same with both of my kids (diving in without having it all figured out).

      But, man, the money stuff is REAL and it is HARD.

    • I agree with you completely. People seem to be prioritizing every other aspect of life ahead of having children now. Rather than sacrifice, people want everything set up ideally so children don’t hamper one’s lifestyle. I wish they could see that the joy and the love far outweigh the stress and the hardship.

  18. Colleen says...

    Yes! I’m basically working for health insurance for the family.

  19. Kim V. says...

    Yay! The group, Immigrant Families Together is collecting donations to post the mothers bonds and reunite them with their children. They’ve already reunited 3 mothers with their children! It’s run by volunteers and headed by Julie Schweitert Collazo, a journalist and former social worker (actually you’ve linked to a few of her articles in the past; she’s a wonderful writer).

    Here is the link for the bond donations:

    https://immigrantfamiliestogether.com

    • Donna says...

      Kim this is awesome – thank you!

  20. Meggles says...

    As a younger Gen X-er, I feel incredibly lucky that my generation was able to establish itself compared to Millenials. I feel like mine was the very last generation that was able to afford college, housing, and starting a family. I feel like my husband and I just made it (we are 41 and 42) before these costs became absolutely ridiculous. I feel for Millenials. It isn’t fair what they inherited in regards to skyrocketing costs. My husband and I wanted to have a family more than anything, and I’m incredibly grateful that we were able to do that.

    • Colleen says...

      I’m 39 and feel the same way.

    • sasha l says...

      Same. 45, my husband is 50. If we were starting out we’d have to move to a cheaper community, I wouldn’t be able to make the choices I did when my kids were young (staying home mostly, working a little). Another life could be happy too, but we certainly wouldn’t be able to afford this one and it makes me sad for my kids who are early 20s. If I were them, I wouldn’t have kids, and I dearly love being a mother.

  21. The NYT article breaks my heart. The number one reason young people don’t want children is so they can have more leisure time?? They are completely missing the heart of life, the joy, the sacrifice, the growth, the breathtaking love, the most spellbinding journey we are offered.

    My husband and I have four incredible children (all under age 5!) who are a mountain of work, but would I trade them for more leisure time? Never. Though I do sometimes trade them for a weekend away ;)

    • Meg says...

      I’m not sure why this is heartbreaking? Different people want different things out of life. I have decided not to have children, and one of my reasons is I absolutely love the all the time I have to spend on my hobbies, travel, and social time. My decision isn’t any more “right” than your decision to forfeit that for your children, and vice versa.

    • Lizzie says...

      It sounds like your personal experience is beautiful, but no need to pity those that don’t make the same choice! The acceptance of women doing what is best for them is important, no explanation needed.
      The notion that a woman needs children to feel whole is rooted in so much patriarchal bullshit. It’s more helpful to support people in doing the things they want to do, even if you just wish they could share in all the love you feel.

    • Sadie says...

      I suspect some people who say they want more leisure time may mean that they are not sure they will have time to rest, enjoy moments of recreation, or care for themselves if they have (more) children. It’s one thing to say you want to preserve your leisure time if you work 30 hours a week. It’s something else to say you need to preserve your leisure time when you work 80. There’s only so low you can go when it comes to time you aren’t actively earning a living or managing the daily stresses of life before you have a quality of life that’s so low, it wouldn’t be wise to add more time commitments.

      I think it’s great that people are making sure they have room in their lives before bringing more people in. It means less resentment and that children are given the care and attention they need to thrive.

      Personally, I often think I would have another child if I had more financial resources to care for one, but I know that doing so would put too much strain on what we have. Leisure time is also a resource and there’s also good reason to think about it when considering whether to have a child.

    • A says...

      Abby, believe it not, to some of us women, having children is the very last thing we would ever desire – ever. To the point that when I accidentally got pregnant, while married and financially stable, we chose abortion, because I knew having a child would bring me that much unhappiness. So while the thought of not having children is heartbreaking for you, for me not having children is as essential to me as breathing. It’s important to realize that for some women, having children would make them miserable. I’ll take leisure time any day – no heartbreak required!

  22. Christiane says...

    My partner and I named our joint account “marriage”. We get lots of laughs too!

  23. Renee says...

    It cost $300 a week where I live to put an infant in daycare. Nowadays it does take two incomes to provide a stable lifestyle for your children and you may still struggle. I can see why men and women are opting out of having children.

    • Ali says...

      And that’s pretty cheap! I pay more than that for only 3 days per week of care.

  24. Emily says...

    Fascinated by the NYT article about people having less babies! I am 24, just graduated from graduate school in May, currently working my first full time job, and in a tight financial situation. I often compare myself to my mother, who at 24, was married and had me, while also working full time at a tech company. Almost weekly, I ponder how she handled all of this responsibility when I at the same age, still call her crying after a tough day at work and long to fly home just to have kiss her me goodnight on the forehead. I feel like I still need my mother more than I can be a mother.

    • RLT says...

      I know what you mean, Emily. If it helps, I have three kids of my own and I still call my mom to complain about a tough day. I’m married, have had a career, have a home of my own and I’ll be 40 in a few months. . . yet, I still need my mom. You will always need your mom. You will always need someone to love you the way your mother does.

      Just remember, you can do hard things. Like motherhood or whatever else comes your way. And hopefully, for a very long time, you’ll have your mother cheering you along the way!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      emily, what a sweet and beautiful note. xo

  25. Juliet says...

    “Her Right Foot” by Dave Eggers
    ^best children’s book I have read in a long time

  26. Sarah says...

    On getting kids moving: my husband likes to say that the fastest way to get a child to come to you is to get a comfortable seat. Sure enough, when calling their name over and over and over fails, if I sit down and put my feet up and relax, they are on my lap in seconds.

    • Michelle Bengson says...

      Haha! Never thought about this but it is so TRUE!

    • Michelle Bengson says...

      So TRUE! Haha…never thought about it until your comment!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s so cute, sarah!

  27. Lesley says...

    I have happily chosen not to have children for a few reasons and thank you for linking to a story about this!

  28. laura says...

    To add on to the list in the first link of advertisements: Rosalind Franklin!

    Franklin advanced the discovery of the structure of DNA through her “Photo 51.” However James Watson, Francis Crick, and Maurice Wilkins received a Nobel Prize for the discovery and were first published on it. Wilkins had shown Frankin’s Photo 51 to Watson without Franklin’s permission, and so, Watson and Crick were able to publish their first model on DNA. They received the Nobel Price in 1962, four years after Franklin had passed way at age 37. Franklin’s studies also contributed to coal & RNA.

  29. Christine says...

    Thank you for the link on contributing to the reunification effort! For Chicago readers interested in supporting the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights, consider attending this clothing + book pop-up later this month: http://nobletrade.org/ (Thank you COJ team for your advocacy for this issue!)

    • RLT says...

      Oh my goodness! Thank you for sharing this!

    • Donna says...

      Thank you!!!

    • Donna says...

      Christine – I’m in Chicago and just posted to my FB – hope there’s an amazing turn-out!

    • Donna – Thank you so much sharing! It’s a small space, so RSVPs will be key! Appreciate you getting the word out locally. :)

  30. Claire says...

    This “Walk out the door” advice troubles me. Our kids, especially our little kids, generally have an underlying reason for needing us that may not be obvious. Even when we think they shouldn’t need us to do X, Y, or Z (help them get dressed, carry them), their quest for control in the moment is usually a quest for connection, or an expression of apprehension. Sure, walking out the door will teach them that we’ll walk out the door. We’ll walk out the door before they get their needs met. And sure, this will be effective, because fear of abandonment is a primal fear. From sleeping training to insane homework expectations, contemporary childrearing seems to be very focused on skipping steps that are essential to proper child development, including dependence on a parent/caregiver and plenty of time for free play. The real problem is not our children’s resistance to moving at our pace; it’s our pace. Our society is not set up to welcome children. We have to work all of the time to support our families. We have to drag even our littlest babies out the door before they are even truly awake in order to arrive on time for others to take care of them all day. Dawdling children are normal. Dawdling children are perfect. It’s we, collectively, as a society, who need to change, both to make it possible for children to move at their natural pace, and to understand that their seeming resistance might be an expression of an unmet need (usually connection).

    • Rahel says...

      Well said. Thank you for this important comment. My mother promised me as a young kid that she would never threaten to leave me as a motivator to get going, and I really valued this promise over the years. I think it set a great baseline of trust for our relationship.

    • Katerra says...

      Preach sister! So so true!

    • Bonnie says...

      Honestly so much parenting “advice” like this leans heavily on the idea that parents have unlimited patience, support, help, and time. Children are marvellous little beings but they also have to learn that the world doesn’t revolve around them. You can love and adore and connect with your kids perfectly, but sometimes you just have to leave the damn house.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i agree, bonnie! kids can definitely learn to put their shoes on in a timely way — they are smart people, they can do it! :) (and i think fussing bc they simply don’t feel like getting ready is very different from crying because they are actually upset/hurt/etc)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      PS i also don’t think the parent here is threatening to leave the child behind, but more just saying, i’m waiting outside your room/outside the house, until you come join me!

    • Jennifer says...

      I LOVE your comment, Claire. “The real problem is not our children’s resistance to moving at our pace; it’s our pace.” Yes!! I teach yoga and really try to communicate to my students that it’s ok to slow down. To do nothing (As a wise friend of mine says, “Sometimes doing nothing IS doing something.”) I encourage my students to adopt a slower pace with their families and in their day to day lives. But many people simply don’t feel as though they have the option to slow down. I so agree that it’s up to us as a society to change this collectively.

    • Katie says...

      I loved your note, Claire. Thank you. There were important points, especially when it comes to little children.

  31. Rebeka says...

    Who is coordinating the Rapid Response list?