Terry Gross on not having kids and a civil chat on parenting

Back in grad school, I had an opportunity to interview Terry Gross, the host of NPR’s Fresh Air radio show on WHYY.

She finally agreed to an interview for the school paper after I stalked her for a couple of weeks and eventually told her in a voicemail of how Fresh Air has impacted me as an immigrant.

Continue reading Terry Gross on not having kids and a civil chat on parenting

From http://www.parenting.com/news-break/relax-daycare-proves-to-be-great-experience-babies

Daycare: What it costs and where to find one. No, really.

My daughter’s daycare is closing. To a nonparent, this isn’t a big deal, but it’s reducing me to a puddle of tears because not only is breaking up with a daycare hard to do, but because finding a good one is even harder.

It shouldn’t be. I don’t need my kid to play with sustainably-produced wooden toys in primary colors. I don’t ban food that’s fried, breaded or out of a can or say things like “Now, honey, remember we eat alfalfa sprouts before enjoying this chia seed crisp for dinner.” Nothing like this note to the babysitter.

Continue reading Daycare: What it costs and where to find one. No, really.


So I got no sleep and overdosed on Internet. Plus, podcasts.

I’ve been wracking my brain about why motherhood in the U.S. is ridden with anxiety.

There’s obviously the pregnancy and postpartum stress plus sleep deprivation, which is linked to impaired judgment and a higher likelihood of anxiety and depression. (Not to mention a hormonal, financial and body image mayhem.)

But there’s another stressor: The Internet.

Continue reading So I got no sleep and overdosed on Internet. Plus, podcasts.

Creativity for the Overwhelmed

People without kids often ask,”How come you don’t do that thing you used to do?” or “What do you do for fun?” Other than folding the top of the laundry pile as a feat of domestic accomplishment or the 3.5 minutes of a book before passing out, then, well, not much.

Yeah, I get it. Once upon a time, I’d get tanked up on coffee at some neighborhood cafe and read, write or edit without interruption – except to get more coffee or move away from the rowdy dudes over at the chess table.

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Intercontinental august 009

Buying vs. renting, city vs. suburb

Disclaimer: This post doesn’t try to hawk recommendations, advice or judgments, just my own dilemmas.

Real estate angst is a real thing.

I hear this all the time. Are you renting or buying? How much did you guys pay for your house? Hope I’m not being too forward seeing as I don’t know you, but what’s your rent?

Searching for a house to buy is kind of like high-stakes dating.

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Post-maternity work support network

Starting working again after maternity leave is sort of like traveling to a foreign country on a red-eye flight. Everyone speaks a strange language and moves with a goal-oriented speed, while all you want is a piece of furniture/historic landmark to crawl under and fall asleep for a couple of weeks.

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Seven signs you are raising a Russian baby

What does one say to a half-Russian baby?

I didn’t know, so I didn’t speak to my daughter for the first week of her life.

As an immigrant, I figured English would be a straight-forward way of relating to my future child. Plus, her father’s only Russian connection prior to meeting me was Red Dawn the movie and a gig at a college radio station, where he paraded around campus every May Day, chanting “Ain’t no party like the communist party, cause the communist party don’t stop.”

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Date Night: The Great Expectations

A version of this post appeared on ScaryMommy.com on April 9, 2016.

A date night for new parents is all about precious currency: money and time. And unrealistic expectations.

Factor in the prep and travel time – and the mental energy it takes to not obsess over whether your child, potentially hungry and/or neglected by a vodka-guzzling babysitter, is weeping into a teddy bear, drenched in snot and inconsolable tears.

Fact is, sometimes parents would rather sleep, watch Scandal reruns or take online “What breed of a dog are you?” quizzes by the quiet glow of the baby monitor.

But then there’s this “Hey you guys, go and enjoy yourselves, get CRAAAAZY, just go all apeshit out there, you hear?! It’s a RARE opportunity!!!!”


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Mama found a job

Recently, I wrote about my post-baby job search and babyproofing a new mom’s interview game.

Within a week and a half of writing the post and changing my approach, I got one job offer, one almost job offer (declined preemptively) and two interview invitations to some pretty cool firms. The point is, these ideas do work.

While getting acclimated at the new job and eating Chipotle takeout, I’ve been taking a short break from The Flying Yenta.

Please stay tuned for more posts, soon forthcoming.


Williams, Stewart and storytelling in journalism and public relations

Two developments in the world of journalism last week got me thinking about storytelling.

Brian Williams, anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News, was suspended for falsely claiming his helicopter was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade during the Iraq war. The credibility of the journalist, who’d won multiple awards and increased the network’s viewership, is now at stake.

And Jon Stewart announced that after 17 years of hosting The Daily Show – where despite disavowing the show’s seriousness, he was hailed as a voice of the generation – he plans to step down.

Continue reading Williams, Stewart and storytelling in journalism and public relations