2021年10月9日 星期六

But You Seemed So Happy

Parents are reassessing their relationships in our new normal.
A roundup of new guidance and stories from NYT Parenting.
Golden Cosmos

The pandemic has inspired a lot of people to reassess their relationships, and divorce filings are on the rise. While some of that increase is from the backlog of cases that occurred when courts closed in 2020, some of it must be because spouses were trapped inside together and realized it wasn't the life they wanted forever.

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"During the pandemic, couples took the time to re-evaluate their relationships and set their minds on reprioritizing, before deciding to either stay married or get divorced," said Elizabeth Overstreet, a relationship expert in Raleigh, N.C., in an article the Times ran in September.

I was thinking of this kind of thoughtful revaluation when I read Kimberly Harrington's essay, which is adapted from her new book, "But You Seemed So Happy." Her piece is about deciding to continue living with her ex after they separated, and then divorced. They both wanted to maximize their time with their teenagers before they left the house for college, and Kimberly found that they are better partners as friends and roommates than they were as spouses. "As our living situation continues, a curious shift has occurred: We ask about each other's days and share more now than we did before," she writes. Friendship is often considered as somehow subordinate to and less desirable than marriage in our society, Kim argues, but she feels she has the opportunity to change that perception.

Also this week, some deeply horrifying statistics about how much the governments of other rich nations invest in child care compared to the U.S. The Norwegian government (the most generous nation tracked by New York Times reporter Claire Cain Miller's analysis) spends nearly $30,000 on child care per year for every toddler. The United States spends just $500 per year, while the average wealthy nation spends about $14,000 per year. Though we know day care is difficult to find and afford in the U.S. writ large, a new survey from WalletHub finds that Montana, Tennessee and Colorado are all tied for the most child care centers per capita.

Speaking of vital shortages, access to diapers has been a huge problem since the beginning of the pandemic. As I have noted in previous newsletters, moms who can't afford diapers find that hardship to be more stressful than food or housing insecurity. More than a year and a half into this global crisis, Alyssa Lukpat finds that diaper need is still a pressing issue for millions of American families.

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Finally, we are working on a photo essay about adaptive Halloween costumes. If you have made or purchased an adaptive Halloween costume for your child, and are willing to be photographed and interviewed for a story, we'd love to hear from you. Please drop us a line here.

Thanks for reading.

— Jessica Grose, columnist, NYT Parenting

THIS WEEK IN NYT PARENTING

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Tatjana Prenzel

Can a Good-Enough Marriage Make for a Great Divorce?

In continuing to share a home, along with our teenage kids, my ex and I have found true partnership.

By Kimberly Harrington

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Kemalbas/Getty Images

As Courts Reopen, Divorce Filings Are on the Rise

Whether the pandemic caused new problems or amplified old ones, divorce cases have family lawyers and judges busier than ever.

By Vincent M. Mallozzi

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Mathias Svold for The New York Times

How Other Nations Pay for Child Care. The U.S. Is an Outlier.

Rich countries contribute an average of $14,000 per year for a toddler's care, compared with $500 in the U.S. The Democrats' spending bill tries to shrink the gap.

By Claire Cain Miller

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Liz Martin/The Gazette, via Associated Press

Diapers Are the Latest Pandemic Shortage

A police bulletin seeking information on a man recorded shoplifting packages of diapers drew fresh attention to a continuing crisis of access to the product, according to the National Diaper Bank Network.

By Alyssa Lukpat

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Calculator

The Best Places to Have Babies

A new study compares health care costs, accessibility to care, and baby- and family-friendliness in the 50 states and Washington, D.C.

By Michael Kolomatsky

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Tiny Victories

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After months of my toddler clawing at us, he finally listens when we tell him, "Nice hands," and softly rubs where he just clawed us. — Sarah Miller, Pendleton, Ind.

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