Relationships

What Would You Like to Discuss This Year?

Hi!!!!!!! Hope you had a wonderful holiday, and apologies for the late post today. I have a sore throat and am sequestered to our bedroom until I get my COVID test results back. Update: The test was negative:) (What a sentence! If I had read that in January 2020, I would have been perplexed.)

I’d like to kick off 2021 by saying three things:

1) It’s okay to be feeling overwhelmed. Mondays are hard, Januarys are hard, going back to work after a break is hard, a global pandemic is hard. It’s okay if you aren’t feeling your most sparkly and energetic!

2) We watched The Fugitive last night and it really holds up.

3) And the big question: What would you like to discuss together this year? Do you have any big or small questions for us to tackle? What’s on your mind? Please share below, and we will get on it (or consult experts!).

More posts coming up tomorrow, and sending so much love your way. xoxo

(Photos from When Harry Met Sally.)

  1. D says...

    I know this is a bit late but I hope you see it!

    I think it would be awesome to do a post (or many) about PCOS. A lot of women have it, I think maybe somewhere close to 10%? Anyway, there are resources out there on the Internet and books and podcasts of various helpfulness, but what I’m interested in is hearing from actual women who have it. For me, the most distressing symptom has been hirsutism and I find that it’s often the least addressed (or commented on as an afterthought) in what I read about on PCOS.

    I had to take it upon myself to really self-research and advocate for myself. Traditional doctors are often very dismissive or unhelpful (want to put you straight on meds/ the Pill, which just ~sort of~ mask symptoms and don’t solve anything long term). In my mid/late 20s I took it upon myself to seek out holistic ways to heal from the inside-out. I had lots of success with an herbalist and lifestyle changes, and am more comfortable in my body at 30 than I ever have been before.

    Anyway, I’d LOVE to hear from other women in this community with PCOS (and would be really happy to share my experiences too). I think you might be surprised how many women have experiences with this and other hormonal issues. It’s such a frustrating thing to go through because women’s healthcare just isn’t where it should be! And these under-researched, sort of “tricky to diagnose” syndromes can cause so much shame and confusion. Oh, if I could just go back and talk to my sad, anxious, hairy, acne-ridden teenage self who had no one to talk to! It’s still difficult and expensive to find real experts– maybe post on that too!

    Thank you so much for considering!

    • Katy says...

      I have it too! Would LOVE a post on this and happy to share my experiences. Came here from the adhd post – it’s really different for everyone what symptoms will be the most severe, and how to manage the symptoms.. bc there is no cure. As I said in the other post, I do find I have success with hormonal BC and metformin for insulin resistance, but so many people have different experiences. And finding a good healthcare provider who won’t treat you less than because you’re overweight (when it’s really hard to lose weight bc of the insulin resistance) is so hard! Thankful I found a great practice in my late 20’s/30s but I was diagnosed in high school! And not to mention the fertility issues it can bring up if that is your path. But also thin people can have PCOS but aren’t taken seriously! Would love a cup of jo/pcos community crossover!

      <3 hang in there cyster!

  2. Lauren says...

    HNY! I’d like to see more career advice (i.e., different career paths, how to transition into a new career, asking for a promotion, etc.)

  3. jodell hammond says...

    also my favorite and most people’s as evidenced by over 1,000 comments…i think we all appreciate when you do the “how are you feeling” posts..breakfasts, favorite book or podcast, etc it means so much in such turbulent times ..for me i see that and i let go of a big exhale and curl up and take it all in..it’s such a treat and for a time we all feel closer and in it together!!

  4. jodell hammond says...

    bucket lists

    how would you spend your perfect day in winter

    grandma recollections..i’ve read some on here and it’s so sweet

  5. D says...

    Starting over! I’m sure once we turn the page on this pandemic, a lot of people will be leading different lives, but me? Within the next few months, I’ll be divorced, putting my house on the market, moving to a new city, starting fresh with two toddlers, navigating a new school system, trying to make friends, and – eek – possibly date. I’d like a post! And possibly a pep talk.

    • Marisa says...

      While I cannot relate to all of that, I can relate to some, especially the – eek – getting back into dating. Hoping we got this?! :)

  6. Catherine says...

    Ok, so this is like my 5th or 6th comment (sorry!), but I would love a community post where people contribute their ride or die products- bonus points if they’re clean/socially responsible, etc. I’m at the age where I want to love everything in my house, but I don’t want to have to test 20+ products to find the best-ever laundry detergent or dishwasher powder. I would love to hear about the products that your friends/readers are passionate/would shout from the rooftops about. (To contribute, my current ride or die products would be Vahdam chai tea for me and Alaffia bubble bath and Puracy stain remover for my toddler :).

    Also, I know laws vary from state to state, but I’d love to hear more about the experience of surrogacy, both for the surrogate and the eventual parent(s).

    Finally, the Fugitive really is the best. My family used to make fun of me because I’d even watch it when it was on tv on the Spanish channel… and I most definitely do not speak Spanish.

  7. Catherine says...

    I know you have one post from 2018, but I would love more parenting posts for those with with only children please! I’m pretty sure we’re done having babies (the first year is so, so hard… and I’m old!), but I’d love tips and tricks. I grew up in a large family, so I always had lots of built-in playmates. I love thinking about traveling with our daughter once it’s safe again, but it makes me kind of sad thinking she has to hang out with just us or other adults during her vacation (no cousins anywhere close to her age).

    And, to somewhat contradict myself, I’ve always been curious about fostering and I’d love to see some profiles of foster parents. The foster parents who are usually featured in the news or online are so, so unlike me and have such different situations (huge families, stay at home mom, rural or suburban location) that I’m not sure I could make work.

  8. Lauren says...

    Sorry to comment on this a week late, but I was just chatting with a friend who had a baby last week and is stuggling with breastfeeding and it brought me right back to when I was in her shoes with my kiddo a year and a half ago. Breastfeeding was incredibly difficult for me and I have a distinct memory of googling around trying to find a blog post along the lines of “permission to stop breastfeeding.” I didn’t find what I was looking for, but in my dreams it would be a post on Cup of Jo giving new mothers gentle permission to do what is best for them and their babies with some data poins to show that at the end of the day, a fed baby and a happy mama are the best outcomes. I think this sort of content would be inredibly valuable for a lot of women who stuggle with breastfeeding.

    Thank you for all that you and your team do – this is my favorite place on the internet!! xx

    • Catherine says...

      I also struggled with breastfeeding. I loved the article by Hanna Rosen called “The Case Against Breast-Feeding.” Even though I knew the benefits of breastfeeding have probably been overstated, and my partner told me repeatedly to stop making myself crazy, I didn’t stop until my daughter turned 14 months. Pouring her a glass of milk from the grocery store, and not pumping at work, became the ultimate luxury.

    • Charlotte says...

      Hello Lauren
      My son’s 13 now so this was a long time ago, but I struggled too when he was only weeks old. Two things really helped:
      1. I went to see a specialist nurse at a local hospital (on the NHS in the U.K.) and she helped teach us both how to get the “latch” right (before that he was attaching too tightly and making me sore to the point of bleeding)
      2. I alternated with formula in bottles. I used a bottle as an emergency fall back when I was desperate – my husband had to get our son to take the bottle the first time, but once he got it, he was fine with it – and after we had adjusted to easier breast feeding, I kept one bottle of formula a day in the mix for a few reasons: it let my husband feed him; it meant occasionally I could sleep longer; and as I was planning to return to work at 6 months, I know in advance my son would take a bottle during the day at nursery.
      It was a lifesaver because it took all the pressure off, and we still got to breastfeed (I stopped at 8 months because of being back at work). Breastfeeding was so easy once I got used to it but I vividly remember how hard it was at the beginning, and I’ve never come across any advice that says you can do both. Your body will adjust according to demand so you can balance it how it suits you.
      Hope that helps someone!

  9. Bernadette says...

    I may be a bit late to the party with this request, but I’d love to see a post (or several) about truly nontoxic skincare, body care, and makeup brands or products. My resolution for 2021 is to switch to non-toxic products (from toothcare to lip balm, facewash to bodywash, the whole shebang!). However, I am so overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information (and misinformation) out there. For example, I’m a big Burt’s Bees fan, but some of their tinted lip products/lipsticks/glosses have chemicals that have been linked to cancer. Obviously nothing is perfect, but I want to make informed purchasing decisions. With so many things labeled “green” “clean” or “organic” that it can be hard to differentiate between products. I’d love Cup of Jo’s guidance and keen eye for quality on this endeavor. Thanks!

    Additionally, I know this is more of a lifestyle blog, but I’ve loved posts that veer towards career–especially targeted content about women in demanding professional careers. I am a young lawyer, and I find myself wishing for candid content by other professionally motivated women (young and old). Work-life-balance content seems to dominate professional women discussions, but I’d love to see advice about making decisions, choosing a new job, deciding between firms or offers, navigating tricky work dynamics, how to ask for a raise, asking for feedback, etc from real woenwho have some experience and perspective geared at a cup of jo reader (one who values family, community, and self-rejuvenation time as much as professional success). I know that’s a bit vague, but I appreciate your openness to readers’ ideas!

  10. Cait says...

    Any chance you could do a home tour with Abby again? I loved her previous home tours.

  11. Katherine says...

    I would love a post on disappointment, particularly professional disappointment. We’re all sometimes turned down for jobs or schools or opportunities that we dearly wanted; then what? I’d love insight on any aspect of “getting over it,” from mantras and commiseration stories to brands of tea!

  12. Emily says...

    This might be too much work to put on your staff – but I would love to see follow-ups to posts that ask questions (top books, good podcasts, what movie, etc) with a breakdown of what this amazing group of people say in the comments (like a pie graph of the top 15 answers or something like that) – gleaning the wisdom of the reader comment section is part of what i adore about this little corner of the internet

    I also think it’d be interesting to see what the winner of your give-away ends up getting. (if they’re willing to share) – because you often ask “what would you get” and you do a great job showing items on everyday people – plus it’d be an easy way to double promote for your advertisers. just a thought

  13. beth says...

    Something I’ve struggled with this year: just months before the pandemic began, I found out that my husband of 22 years has had multiple affairs, and one was an on/off thing with one of my “friends” that lasted for 10 years. Obviously, I was devastated, but it was also a bit of a reckoning with myself and my own imperfections and ultimately we made a decision that we both wanted to save the marriage. We tried therapy but it was a bad fit, and I have confided in 2 friends about the situation over this past year, but have left my family and actually my closest friends out of it out of some weird sense of shame and also probably some misplaced protective instincts for my husband. Anyway, I think this would have obviously been difficult to sort through and deal with, but the pandemic and isolation has added a whole new surreal layer to this situation. It’s been over a year since I found out and we have mostly come out the other side of this, but I know there is definitely still lots of hurt and anger and mistrust lurking below the surface. Anyway, LOOOONGGGG story short, I’d be curious to read about other people’s struggles in their relationships in the face of the pandemic, and how couples handle their rollercoaster emotions when you can’t really can’t be by yourself.

    • Diana says...

      I’d also be interested in this topic! I recently left a three-year-long relationship because it was revealed to me that my partner had been cheating on me for a year. I’m very grateful that I have been surrounded by friends who have helped me move house, listened to me, booked and attended and STI test with me, and generally just been angels on Earth. But infidelity is a tricky thing, and reading perspectives and experiences would be very nice for feeling more connected to others.

      On another note, I just want to say, no matter how ‘imperfect’ you are, you did nothing to deserve the humiliation and hurt that your husband inflicted on you by disrespecting your relationship. Many imperfect people are able to to be faithful to their spouses, and you are justified in expecting better. I do hope that this year brings you healing, Beth.

    • Sarah says...

      First, I’m so sorry Beth, and I wanted to say congratulations on your resilience and doing a very hard thing.

      I would love to see more on pandemic relationship struggles. My partner has Bi-polar 2 and going through the ebbs- and flows (even while medicated) with him has been so enlightening and challenging. We also got engaged in December and it’s been surreal and wonderful, but also has brought up so much ‘burried’ anxiety I thought I had dealt with.

  14. Karli says...

    Not a mum but please more Motherhood around the World. It is my favourite series (well, maybe a tie with Beauty Uniform)

  15. beth says...

    I hope this doesn’t sound too shallow for these crazy times, but:

    I have gone my whole adult life without ever wearing makeup, save for occasionally putting on lipstick and almost entirely blotting it right off, but I just turned 45, and I think I suddenly might need to start. At least a little bit. But I have no idea where to begin, or any techniques, and I need help!!

  16. Theresa says...

    More posts from Gemma please. I’ll read anything she writes. :)

    • beth says...

      Agree!!

  17. JP says...

    A little late to this post, but would love to hear from expecting parents or those looking to start a family soon. How are they grappling with the current climate, both political and pandemic-wise?

    We’re getting conscious of our age and just really struggling with the ethics of trying to start a family and feeling safe doing so. Our parents like to tell us there was always some lingering threat in the air across generations, but this current climate feels especially intense.

  18. Kelly E says...

    Helping children deal with the continued pandemic and advice about working from home while kids are in virtual school.

  19. KM says...

    I am in my late 30s and single – and love being single! Dating/finding a partner is just not a priority for me. Is this normal? Weird? Does anyone else feel this way?? I love my friends, but almost every conversation inevitably turns to the topic of dating/relationships. With so much talk about relationships, I would love to hear from other women who have chosen NOT to prioritize being in a relationship.

    • Alissa says...

      I recommend the podcast “A Single Serving”! Also the Facebook group for the Forever 35 podcast now has a Singles subgroup specifically NOT focused on dating.

  20. Carolyn says...

    I’d love to see more about sustainable living practices!

    • Elise Hoppe says...

      Agree !

  21. Emma says...

    Would love to discuss unemployment and lack of success and struggling with money.

    I am close with a bunch of women who went to school for and currently work in the arts. Now that we’re in our mid 30s they have all settled down with/gotten married to partners who have some money. I am very fortunate to have married the love of my life but who barely knew what an IRA was even just a few years back. I don’t regret this relationship for a second and don’t think I even have a sense of “keeping up with the Joneses,” but navigating this dynamic, even with my closest friends, is frustrating and challenging. We have to say no to trips, to dinners out, having to say “can the group gift be a contribution of $40 instead of $150” and knowing even that’s more than I’d comfortably contribute. It was much easier when we were all pinching pennies!

    I’d also love to discuss what amounts and what obligation we have for donating to charities. Is there a percentage of their salary that people stick to? Do you do monthly donations to something meaningful to you? Do you just do an individual lump sum as you get asked? I would love to know how other people donate.

  22. Molly says...

    Divorce and life as a newly single 30-something who hasn’t dated in over a decade…and now finds herself single …in a pandemic! Help!

  23. Sarah says...

    I’d love to hear about relationships across the political divide–particularly those relationships we choose, like marriage and friendship (as opposed to relatives that you are stuck with or can distance yourself from). My partner and I have grown further and further apart on politics over the years, and it is a constant low-grade strain (depending on current events, sometimes high-grade). Our relationship doesn’t seem like it should work, yet he is simply a good partner and father. It works for now. We talk about our disagreements and can more or less see where the other comes from, even though we cannot agree. It can feel very lonely, and confusing, but I know we are not the only couple who are split on politics. And if our country has any hope of reconciling, surely a zero-tolerance policy towards those who disagree with you (within certain moral parameters) is not the way forward. How do other people cope?

    • caligirl says...

      I think this topic is extremely important. Now more than ever. I feel stupid about it now but I was one of those people who was ready to ditch all of the Trump voters in my life 4 years ago. Over time, I’ve come to understand them much more, though I still don’t often agree with them. The other more problematic thing that I’ve come to understand is that the divisions are fomented and manipulated by those in power. On both sides. I currently have Hate, Inc. by Matt Taibbi on hold at the library. I think we need to talk about this more. For the literal good of the country so many of us live in.

  24. Michaela says...

    +1 on motherhood topics! Pregnancy, postpartum, parenting, navigating relationships with partners and with friends, especially when your friends and peers are at different stages in their life (I’m 26, in graduate school, married, and expecting my first baby this summer, and almost none of my friends have gone to/are going to graduate school, none are married but some are engaged, and no one as far as I know is planning for kids any time soon!), and motherhood around the world!
    +1 on environmental things- ways to reduce waste at home and out and about, changes you can make to your home to make it more efficient, how to be environmentally conscious on a budget and with kids? Also would be super interested in environmentally friendly (or friendlier) beauty and style
    +1 on style/beauty uniforms- I love the ones that are mostly about the people! But I’m also a sucker for fashion and beauty goods.
    Stories about managing money- we are saving for a house and the whole process of finding and purchasing a home is NUTS, especially after being renters for so long!

  25. Bren says...

    I do have a question…a small one! I am committed to finally finding the answer in 2021. Please help me.

    How. Do. I. Properly. Roll. Pie. Dough?

    I understand the million other steps involved in making the pie, but rolling the dough realllly grinds my gears.

    Every recipe of and instruction from all of the pie gurus say to chill the dough for at least 30 minutes, and then roll it out. But when I try to roll out the chilled dough it’s soooo hard…BECAUSE IT IS COLD. It tears, it fights me. What am I missing?

    HELP!

    • Tabitha says...

      I find it really helps to let it thaw on the counter for about 2 minutes– not too long, of course, but just enough to let it roll out more easily! :)

    • .S. says...

      Hi Bren! Adding to Tabitha’s suggestion, I would also recommend that before you wrap the dough to chill it, shape it into a flat disc or rectangle (depending on what shape you’re going to be rolling it into later). It’s sooo much easier than trying to roll a ball! And if the dough is really firm when it comes out of the fridge you can whack it all over with your rolling pin before you start rolling (Claire Saffitz approved method!)

    • Bren says...

      Thank you thank you thank you for the suggestions! I’m making one tomorrow so will definitely be letting it sit for 2 minutes…and then I’ll whack it if I have to! Ha!

    • Katie says...

      I would add a little more water to the dough when you mix! Makes it a little more elastic and if it is sticky when you take it out of the fridge just be generous with the flour when rolling out!

  26. Kelsey Fogarty says...

    I would love to hear from parents who are autistic and the resources they use to help them parent and books for children to help understand their parents with ASD! My spouse has ASD and it has been so hard to find good resources for them, everything seems to be about siblings and/or other children.

  27. Nicole Brooke says...

    Topic idea for new year: Sustainable living!

  28. Kate says...

    I second all the mentions about mental health content! I’d love to learn more about identifying concerning behaviors in loved ones and how to respond. For example, I have a friend who is clearly severely depressed but refuses to get professional help and I feel SO helpless in supporting her. I also have another friend who is receiving treatment for an eating disorder and I want to learn more about to support her! I’ve found some Instagram posts that are helpful that emphasize it is important not to make any body comments, even it is positive about looking healthier now (which might make someone in recovery self-conscious about weight gain), so maybe actionable tips like that about changing our language.

  29. Elocin says...

    How to cope with a partner that struggles with mental illness including strategies when children are involved. Specifically ADHD, depression, anger, anxiety and abandonment issues.

    • Charlie says...

      Agree – Definitely mental health. I’m particularly interested in posts that can a. help normalize getting help and b. share the ‘how’ of getting help. For example, proven strategies: e.g. therapy, antidepressants, meditation and wellness practices, etc. (How do you choose a therapist? Why does meditation and physical activity help – what’s the science? Why is there so much stigma around antidepressants – and let’s correct the record: they can help create a happy life!?)

      2020 Was a year of introspection for me and many of my friends. For the first time, many of them confided in me about their own struggles with depression and anxiety. Sharing brought us closer. It also normalized seeking support. In a conversation with one friend at the beginning of the year, I shared that I knew a few people who had been skeptical and avoided antidepressants due to stigma and discouragement from their families, but later found the help of antidepressants life-changing: its taken a burden off of them, allowed them more energy, and created a more joyful life for them. My friend just sent me an email today, sharing that that conversation changed her own perspective – she’s now on an antidepressants and so much happier. I think conversations like that, that normalize and share real experience (instead reduce uninformed fear or stigma) can help so many people get the help they need to live their fullest, happiest lives.

    • Molly says...

      Yes! This!

      My partner struggles with depression, anger, anxiety and ADD too. We’ve been together for 13 years and the last 3 have been incredibly challenging and I feel lost in how to support him but also have boundaries for my own sanity.

    • W says...

      Concur. If you’d like to add alcoholism to that list of partner struggles, that’d be helpful. Of my girlfriends, I know at least 4 of us who are dealing with this, which suggests to me its a rather common issue. How can I be a partner to someone who tries/fails/tries to get help while caring for myself and health-fully remaining in the relationship, if that’s what works for right now?

  30. K says...

    Just in case Annie (school counselor) reads this. You made me feel so much better about my situation. I suggested more info on helping teenagers when they withdraw. I have been going to a great Psychologist with my son, but its a slow process. We spend a good amount of time laughing about silly things and the other trying to get to the bottom of things. I am forever grateful you took the time to write suggestions. I have tried them all. I just think the pandemic came at the worst time. Isolation is never good.
    And, Thank you Joanna for being you and creating this platform.

  31. Christie says...

    Working from home tips. I know it’s been so long, but I’m here for everything everyones got to make it easier: organizing your desk, what supplies work best, how to stop myself from suddenly talking 10x louder and 10x more animated on zoom calls (why?????), how to limit/shorten zoom calls, how to schedule breaks, how to not have 10 million zoom meetings a day, what you’re wearing on them, conversation starters or games for zoom calls with friends, good desk chairs to use, how to deal with me wanting the house at approx 80 degrees and my husband wanting it at approx 50 ha, how to keep my cat entertained and not have a panic attack if for instance I have to leave the house for say a 10 minute walk, etc etc etc. helppppp :) I don’t know how many are managing to work remotely with kids, I really don’t! I don’t even have kids and I’m so over being stuck at home constantly with only zoom calls for social interaction. (Am high risk so can’t do anything in person)

  32. Laura says...

    Hi COJ team! I love all these comments – I’m going to read through and really savor them. I am thinking about what I love about COJ, and I think the things that really resonate are the ones where the little choices indicate deeper thought, and the chance to go with that writer (or interviewee) really deeply into that personal choice. Those are the moments that bring me a sense of connection, and keep me coming back. I love Motherhood Around the World, and all of your beauty/style interviews for those reasons.

    In that vein, things I’d love to read about here, are: sense of purpose (I’m searching, as many of us are, to find direction and would love to know how others have found that compass), a series about one small thing that someone does to make the world better (we’re all struggling with such huge questions/change, and often the most important step is the next one, right?), and I love stories about perspective shifts (especially as it has to do with motherhood).

    With thanks.

    • Charlie says...

      Hi Laura, Definitely look up Rod Stryker’s FOUR DESIRES book. He’s an amazing teacher and he also has a training on purpose on yoga international’s website. I can personally vouch for the trainings: they were so helpful to me in understanding myself. (Also, I’ve heard good things about “The Second Mountain” but I haven’t read it yet myself.)

  33. Isabella says...

    Casting my vote for posts about living and consuming sustainably and understanding the environmental ramifications and cause-and-effect relationships between our actions and habits as individuals and the viability of our world.

    Also, curly hair styling tips ;)

  34. Betsy says...

    As we get closer to a vaccinated world… meet ups? I’m going to make a cross country move to Boston this summer and the thought of the having to court new friends (coffee dates, ghosting…) gives me all kinds of feelings. But every interaction I’ve had here makes me feel right at home. I’d love to meet CoJ readers in my area because we’d have at least one (great big) thing in common.

  35. S says...

    So many great suggestions!
    I’ll to add these ideas:
    -the mother-in-law relationship
    -energy levels/emotions/productivity during monthly hormone cycles
    -hair removal
    -anything having to do with the examined life; things people learn and do on purpose

  36. Mo says...

    I’d be interested to talk more about the ups and downs of marriage after having a baby. The first year was really tough on my marriage and quite lonely for me. It was hard to hear that everyone else seemed to be closer/more in love etc. than ever with their partner..meanwhile my husband and I were hanging on by a thread!

    • Charlie says...

      Hi Mo, You’re not alone. Sending you love. The Gottman Institute has a world of amazing resources on how to strengthen a marriage and work through challenges. I 100% recommend them. Their workshops are obviously not in person right now but their books are best sellers and easy to find. What makes them so great is that not just that they’re based in proven science / research on what leads to marriages working or failing – they give actionable advice and homework you can implement with your partner so you know HOW to make changes. I recommend starting with the main book (7 principles) but they also have a workbook you can buy in twos to do with your husband. May sound corny, but it works (and it’s proven to be effective)!

    • Vivienne says...

      You’re definitely not alone, Mo! I had a similar experience after my daughter was born a few years ago, and again after our second child was born. I ended up going to therapy, and my partner and I read a few of the Gottman books. It definitely helped a lot, as did time. It’s a huge adjustment! We still are figuring things out but we feel more stable.

      I second this thought. Would love to hear more about balancing career/motherhood/marriage.

  37. Lauren E. says...

    I am 7 weeks pregnant (teared up just writing that) so I am here for ALL the motherhood content!! I want to try my best not to Google every tiny little thing but I trust this community so much, especially when I comes to parenting. Looking forward to more articles on that :)

    • Isabella says...

      Lauren, we are here for *you*! Wishing you every possible goodness in this journey!

    • Michaela says...

      I am 12 weeks, Lauren, and me too! I’ve been digging through the archives of CoJ and it feels like a trusted friend, when in my “real” life, I’m the only one of my friends who is married so far and the first who is expecting!

  38. The documentary film Motherload has set off a cargo bike revolution for moms all over America. My friends and I have stopped using our cars and now use our cargo bikes instead to take our kids to school, buy groceries, etc. Living in suburbia and doing everything by bike isn’t always easy, but it’s so rewarding and it’s so important right now (for our planet and also for all the benefits of community that come from abandoning car culture). Please please help us raise awareness for this movement! As a cargo bike mom I would love to share my experience carting my three little kids around and I know lots of other cargo bike moms would love to share their experiences, too.

  39. Gracey says...

    I would love a post about reducing waste, particularly plastic use from our daily lives. My New Years resolution was to use less overall and to drastically reduce my family’s plastic use. It’s a bit daunting and there aren’t very many resources out there yet for how to make this work for someone like me (full-time working mom of 2 little boys in Brooklyn). I feel like Cup of Jo would be able to offer a smart, approachable perspective on this!

    • Kimberly says...

      Yes, and in that same vein I would love ideas about how to use Amazon less, since it’s bad for the earth and humanity.

    • Gretchen says...

      I hear you. I’m also a full-time working mom of two little boys (though not in Brooklyn) and I feel like I barely have time to decompress at the end of the day, let alone make big changes to our way of life. A few things that have worked for us are:
      – Cleaning supplies from Blueland (https://www.blueland.com/). We have switched to all of their products as our previous supply ran out. I do still use OxyClean with the laundry detergent, but I was doing that with my previous detergent because, well, two little boys.
      – Reusable baggies from rezip (https://rezip.com/).
      – Milk in returnable glass bottles. We have a local dairy whose bottles we buy and return at many of the groceries in our area. More broadly, Oberweis (https://www.oberweis.com/) is likely available in your area.
      – Metal water bottles (https://www.yeti.com/en_US/drinkware/rambler-jr-12-oz-bottle/21071500019.html#pos=15). My older son is very hard on reusable water bottles and has broken a few that are fairly sturdy, but this one is still going strong. It’s also really easy to take apart and wash and is completely dishwasher safe.

    • Gracey says...

      Thank you Gretchen!!!

  40. Jil says...

    Thank you for asking, Joanna. The answers are so interesting and rich, I could read through the comments for hours.
    I would love to read about women who are politically engaged. Not only in the narrower sense of party politics, but also in a broader sense of commitment to a specific cause such as gender equality or climate protection. Maybe also from the perspective in different countries.
    I would also be happy if the book club were continued. Especially in times of the pandemic.

    • Sarah says...

      Thanks for sharing this, Jil! I would also love to read about women who are politically engaged, especially at the local level. In the last year, I moved to a city that hosts lots of public forums, surveys, and volunteer sessions but I want to know, what’s the next step? how are other women driving change?

  41. JW says...

    I’m a progressive women in a very politically and culturally conservative part of the country. It has never been easy but 2020 has been incredibly disorienting and painful as these divides have become more prevalent and visible (think huge flags in yards/on cars, protests with visible firearms, many people without masks in public, etc.). I would love a discussion about navigating this painful reality, especially when moving away isn’t currently an option.

    • Roxana says...

      This would be really interesting. I’m in just the opposite situation. I am a conservative and live in a very progressive neighborhood (folks had their Bernie signs up around here for a loooong time). You would probably love my neighborhood ;). I’d encourage you to just think of your neighbors as people first. Look for your common humanity, even if it’s something as mundane as the flowers on someone’s lawn, or their cute dog. Admittedly, you will have to do the harder mental and emotional work of shelving the political divide when interacting with your neighbors and others in your community, but it’s doable and I believe it’s worth it. You shouldn’t be defined by your politics (there are a million other things that make you, you) and neither should they (even if they are really loud and proud about it). Try to think of it as an opportunity for you to experience personal growth, to love people who aren’t like you (which I think is a truer form of love, anyway. . . it’s waaay easier to love people with whom we agree). It’s a constant effort. Some days are better than others. It can be hard, but it can be done and we’ll all be better off for it. All the best to you!

    • EA says...

      This is incredibly hard and alienating, especially during the last four years. I would not be able to do it without my liberal community. Hang in there. Totally second topics on navigating a world where your neighbors prioritize selfishness and greed.

  42. Olivia says...

    I would really love a post about domestic violence. It’s an epidemic in the US, and it’s a very complex and important issue that can affect anyone. I love that CoJ tackles issues like miscarriage, racism, and ableism. This has a ripple effect, making us not only better informed, but also more supportive, open, responsive, and compassionate with ourselves and in our own communities. Please consider adding domestic violence to the list of things you are willing to discuss with us.

    • Rd says...

      Me too….

    • Jennifer Vercelli says...

      Me three, read a fantastic book on it that was incredibly eye opening – No Visible Bruises.

    • Charlie says...

      Especially verbal abuse, which is often clouded by gaslighting and no visible signs of damage. It makes victims feel like it’s their fault / nothing’s *really* wrong

  43. Allison says...

    I’d love to see an interview of several parents asking them how they navigate social media and their children. Like, how do you decide what photos of your kids are appropriate to post online, or whether it’s appropriate to post pictures of them online at all? I’m really struggling with it. Read: I have the most adorable 9 month old and I’d love to share pics of her on instagram, but I’m nervous about 1) them following her the rest of her life, or 2) big brother knowing what she looks like (I know that sounds crazy, but more in the like “google facial recognition tool” sense of things).

    • BC says...

      Love this idea– I’m struggling with it, too.

  44. Varina says...

    More CoJ, in general! My favorite part of my day. But specifically…

    + 1(0000) to the call for Motherhood Around the World

    More content on policy and politics, even when there’s no presidential election motivating the post(s) – the threat to our democracy is in no way over, and we will all need to be involved citizens to protect it.

    +1(0000) to calls for coping with relationship changes – whether it’s divorce, breakups of friendships, aging parents, marriage doldrums – always like hearing the thoughts and patterns of others.

    More reader-generated/supportive content. One of my favorite “posts” of this past year was the comment section for all the makers and creators in this community – I loved spending my holiday dollars supporting others in this way, and would love entire gift guides based on this! (I also love reader comments on parenting, FWIW).

    Financial literacy, planning, a basic 101 guide (every couple of months).

    And…I’d love a whole series on Coping with COVID. I think it’s assumed we all know what to do now (I know my office has moved on, for example). But I still feel like I’m drowning. How do you discuss the vaccine with people who feel strongly against? What (the F) are people doing for child care? What has school been like, for people who are back in school? What are people doing to keep their marriages intact (I’d like specific “date” ideas!)? What vacations are people planning in their heads?

  45. Meghan says...

    Alright, so in addition to literally every single one of the comments already posted (how are you all so insightful and brilliant?!), I’d love to talk more about divorce and single parenting. I never feel left out here in this space – I actually walked away from every other blog in my rotation during my divorce 6 years ago and stuck with Cup of Jo exclusively and have never looked back – but I know other single people and parents can agree that we feel a pang of loneliness when reading mentions of snuggling up to a significant other or laughing together at the end of the day over the antics of littles. Also, dating? As a single parent? During a pandemic?! Aiyiyi, please tell me I’m not alone in this whirlwind of wtf-erry.

    • Isabella says...

      I’m in the whirlwind with you! Lots of pangs; lots and lots of loneliness. Sending you hugs!

  46. Alex says...

    I’d love to hear stories from adventurous women – I’m talking Iron Man Athletes and Adventure Racers, or women who have moved/traveled extensively all over the world. I’m feeling pretty bored and beaten down and would love some inspiration on how to bring some hard core adventure and awe back into my life as I approach age 40.

    • Candace says...

      Seconded! Some inspiration like this would be awesome.

  47. JLW says...

    I love all the content on CoJ, and would love to see more on Perimenopause/Menopause, and would also to love to read more about what one commenter above called “Un-motherhood around the world”…

  48. AL says...

    I would love to see stories of women making big life changes later in life. I came out as gay this year after many years of thinking I was straight and in a heterosexual marriage. I would love to see some stories about this situation or other life changes women have gone through when older and how they navigated that. I think there is a narrative that we need to have it all figured out by 30. But as I am now turning 40 and feel this sea change in myself I know things are never set in stone.
    Would also love stories about separating/divorce and how to do that in a positive way.

  49. .S. says...

    So glad to hear your test was negative Jo! I would love to read more:

    – Parenting (and other things!) around the world
    – Advice for living sustainably, and specifically how to weigh or prioritize different impacts/decisions/reductions/eliminations, i.e. meat, flights (post-pandemic), plastic waste, clothing/textile waste, corporate/industrial emissions, etc.
    – Approaches to budgeting – our way is working well for now but we don’t have kids yet, and I’m just always curious about how people in different situations approach it. And similarly, how people have saved to buy a house! Neither my husband or I have generational wealth, and it feels like by the time we’ve saved enough we’ll be priced out of our city
    – Beauty uniforms that focus more on overall philosophies and approaches than stuff (there have been lots of these and I’ve loved them!)
    – Apartment/home tours that try to limit environmental impact, and are more suited to lower incomes (I love a little aspiration, but it can feel so depressingly unattainable sometimes)
    – Reflections on deciding to have/not have babies, especially during Covid and climate change
    – Switching careers after having babies or after staying home with kids when they’re little

    I also love the mix of experiences, backgrounds, and stories that are featured but I would love to hear more Indigenous voices and perspectives. We’re by no means doing things perfectly in Canada and I know things have improved a bit in the US over the last few years (Deb Haaland! All My Relations podcast!) but it still feels like there’s so little Indigenous representation. I think folks like Michaela Goade (@michaelagoade), Matika Wilbur (@matikawilbur), Tiffany Vanderhoop (@huckleberrywoman), Robin Wall Kimmerer, Destiny Seymour (@indigo_arrows), Holly Nolan (@lillienellbeadworks), and Kim Toney (@freshwaterstudio) would be a great fit for COJ!

  50. Ellen E says...

    -“how i became a mom” series to hear from people about the many many ways we build families and raise children
    -more of your beauty series!
    -essays of grief, healing, coping
    -more perspectives from disabled folx (i’ve loved the ones you’ve had so far!)
    -some kind of something about hobbies outdoors, being adventurous, exploring the natural world

    • Tina Crisas says...

      Yes to these!

  51. I’m going back to school at 32. I’d love to see stories of people like me, Late Bloomers, I think we’re called? :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      my mom went back to school in her 40s and loved it!

    • Erin says...

      Congratulations! I went back to school last year at 33 (and had a baby)! It is crazy but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I hate that I spent so much time worrying about it. Cheers to late bloomers!

    • Sara says...

      Yes to “late bloomers” and also the request for features on women making big life changes.

    • beth says...

      Fellow late bloomer! I went back to school at 26, then again at 33 for a master’s, and now I’m 45, in year 2 of my second master’s program. One of my friends got her PhD in her 60s. It can be awkward at times to be surrounded by much younger people, but it can also be really inspiring and refreshing, and I definitely have connected with my studies in a much deeper way than I would have at 18. Good luck on your adventure!

  52. Joy says...

    Yay for your negative result!!!

    I’d love to hear more from expats living all over the world. Nothing like America’s botched response to a global pandemic (not to mention centuries of systemic racism) to make you dream about moving to another country! My friend is married to a New Zealander and they are moving from here in California to NZ in March…I have half a mind to go with them! I think it would be interesting, though, to hear about some of the cultural issues other countries deal with (to help with the “grass is greener” thing). Although that would probably have to come from a local and not an expat. For instance, I remember when I lived in Norway a lot of my Norwegian friends said they admired the way Americans strive for excellence and don’t mind getting the spotlight, because in a lot of Scandinavia they live by the “Jante Law” that encourages more conformity for the sake of egalitarianism. (Similar was when I lived in Australia and they talked about Tall Poppy Syndrome.)

    Another thing would be parenting and child discipline. I found myself thinking several times about your post when you said Anton was grounded for several weeks…I always wonder about other people’s discipline techniques, what works and what doesn’t, and whether I’m too much of a softie with my spirited 5-year-old daughter!

    Thanks for all you do!!!

  53. Lauren says...

    Happy New Year!! As many others, this is my favorite corner of the internet :) thank you for keeping it kind and controversy free – definitely appreciated with all the news and opinions we’re inundated with day in and day out.

    I’d love to see fun conversation starters/topics to have with loved ones while we’re all cooped up.