Sunday, May 10, 2020

2019's baby names delayed and The Atlantic and New York Magazine on motherhood for Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day! I had been planning to write about the most popular baby names of 2019, as I had for 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019, but that's not going to happen. NBC's Today Show has the news.
For the first time in nearly 25 years, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will not be releasing its list of the year's most popular baby names.

Since 1997, the SSA has released an annual list of the previous year's most popular names for boys and girls. Typically, the list is released the Friday before Mother's Day, but this year, the administration announced that the coronavirus pandemic had caused them to shift their plans.

"Out of respect and honor for all people and families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the announcement of the 2019 most popular baby names is being rescheduled to a to-be-determined date," said the administration in a statement. "The agency sends its gratitude and heartfelt thanks to everybody fighting the pandemic and providing vital services throughout the country during these difficult times."
Looks like the COVID-19 pandemic has put this holiday tradition into isolation. That's disappointing. Here's to hoping the Social Security Administration will have the list ready by Father's Day.

In the meantime, I present two videos about the reality of motherhood, beginning with The Atlantic's A Poetic Ode to Motherhood.

Becoming a mother changed the way Nanfu Wang saw the world. This is an experience common to new parents, but it’s often ineffable. Wang’s new film, Between Everything, renders the perspective shift of motherhood in cinematic poetry.
YouTube suggested New York Magazine's Motherhood Through the Years, which I watched and enjoyed enough to share with my readers. As I last wrote in PBS Digital's Storied examines pandemics in literature and entertainment, "Behold the power of the YouTube algorithm!"

We asked six moms about what motherhood is like at a month, six months, a year, five years, 15 years, and 30 years. Does the mother of a 30-year-old feel like she knows what she’s doing any more than the mother of a 1-month-old baby? What are the greatest challenges and triumphs of motherhood? What we wanted to define was how mothering changes as children age — what we learned is that through years of challenges, heartache, and joy, once you’re a mother, “Everything changes. Everything.” Call your mom.
Yes, I will call my mom. I'm glad she's still around.

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