Jessica Smock

I'm a freelance writer with a doctorate in education policy and development,... read more

Why FX's 'The Americans' Is TV's Best Show About Marriage and Family

Prepare to forget everything you think you know about Keri Russell and her role as an introspective college student who got the most famous haircut in primetime television history.  Felicity is all grown up now.  And she's a spy.  Not a hero spy either.On FX's new hit show The Americans, she plays Elizabeth Jennings, a Soviet spy in an arranged marriage of convenience with her husband Phillip (played by Matthew Rhys, of ABC's Brothers and Sisters), who's also a spy....more
This is my new favorite show and you have articulately illustrated exactly why. I'm fascinated ...more

5 Parenting Vows I'm Sticking To After Watching HBO's "Girls"

I'm transfixed by Lena Dunham and her friends on HBO's Girls. These self-absorbed, generally very unlikeable, and deeply flawed girls captivate me. However, as a feminist, as a GenX-er, as a woman whose twenties aren't in that distant in the past, I mostly want to scream at each of the girls,"What are you thinking?" 'Girls' courtesy of HBO ...more
Good post. I'm in college myself so I can relate to these girls but I do agree on many of the ...more

How Many Kids Do You Have?

"How many kids do you have?" It's a normal question to ask another mom. However, for some -- many more than you realize at first thought -- it's a loaded question. Not only does it bring up memories that may weigh heavy on a mom's heart, but it also calls into question who is asking and why and what are the boundaries of sharing and how much does everyone need to know and on and on. Kat at No Holding Back wrote about it recently, having lost one of her twin daughters to Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS)....more
@lisacng It's so true.  I know some women who do not want to talk about it all, but the majority ...more

5 Parenting Vows I'm Sticking To After Watching HBO's "Girls"

I'm transfixed by Lena Dunham and her friends on HBO's Girls. These self-absorbed, generally very unlikeable, and deeply flawed girls captivate me. However, as a feminist, as a GenX-er, as a woman whose twenties aren't in that distant in the past, I mostly want to scream at each of the girls,"What are you thinking?" 'Girls' courtesy of HBO ...more
Good post. I'm in college myself so I can relate to these girls but I do agree on many of the ...more

My 20-Year Battle With Insomnia: I’m Ready to Fight Back

I am a terrible sleeper. I haven't always had trouble sleeping, but I can trace my nearly 20 year battle with insomnia to my years in graduate school. My grad program was a very challenging one, and most of it took place in my second language. The reading eluded me, and I don't think there was a single day when I could say I felt caught up. Add to that the fact that most of my courses were on Monday and Tuesday, and it meant that Sundays were incredibly anxiety-provoking. ...more
Hi Lisa.  I know this is an old blog, but I just found it and thought I'd throw out another easy ...more

I Don't Like Breastfeeding!

Oh, breastfeeding. I won't argue that breastmilk is good for babies. I don't necessarily think it's horrible that hospitals are pushing breastfeeding just to be labeled as "baby friendly." But the truth is that breastfeeding isn't the be all and end all and if we neglect to talk about that -- that sometimes it hurts, that it's not always fun, that some moms simply don't like it -- we're doing moms an injustice. I believe in a whole truth look at things so moms can not only make informed decisions but feel supported. That's why I loved this post from Paula at Beauty Through Imperfection....more
I just started a Facebook Group on  this subject.  It is called "There are many GOOD reasons ...more

3 Things I Swore I Would Never Do As a Parent (and Have Already Done)

I remember it so vividly, those days before baby. I remember sitting in bed with my husband chatting about what it would be like when our little one arrived. We joked about the ridiculous things other parents did and laughed about how silly they were. We didn’t read any parenting books in advance because we were convinced that it would all “come naturally” and we would just know what to do. It all seemed so simple. Well, six months in and it is just as my mother said, “Being a parent is the hardest job you’ll ever love.” That being said, I have fully eaten my words when I said I wouldn’t do certain things once the baby was born....more
I'm in the midst of my first pregnancy and I've also told myself I won't do any of these ...more

The Internet Debates "Cry It Out" -- No One Agrees, Everyone Is Tired

Apparently babies, sleep training, sleep deprived parents and the "cry it out" method are back in the news with a sensational headline on CNN.com: "Should Babies Be Allowed to 'Cry it Out?' As if we don't have enough to argue about on the Internet when it comes to parenting. "Do this, don't do that, can't you read the forum, blog and news story comments?" Alas, the question is out there, so what are tired parents supposed to choose? I'm probably not the best person to ask this question as I was the envy of more than one friend....more
This mother of 3 and grandmother of 12 has a few thoughts. First of all are we going to hold a ...more

Pregnancy Feels Different This Time

I am now officially telling people I am pregnant, instead of just declining a glass of wine while they smile at me knowingly. This means people like to ask me the hard pregnancy questions like, "Is it a boy or girl?" and "Is it just like last time?"...more
I know what you mean... and I guess that's why 'they' say every pregnancy is different. I have 3 ...more

Dear Lily on 'How I Met Your Mother' -- Yes, Motherhood Is Hard

Dear Lily, You've been on my mind and my heart since the latest episode of How I Met Your Mother aired. While I acknowledge that you are a fictional character, I have become attached to you and your friends over the years. I have laughed and cried with you for eight seasons now. But the other night, dear Lily, I cried for you. Because -- damn -- motherhood is hard, isn't it?...more
My friend is a Childbirth Educator, and I am a doula.  She passes out a card to birth partners ...more