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Pop Culture Cheat Sheet: MAY

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As moms, our days are filled with countless time-based decisionsapply makeup… or drink coffee? — so we can’t spare a single minute on entertainment that does not entertain. Here are your recommendations for the month; now all you have to do is take off your bra, pour yourself a drink, and settle in for these fun nuggets.

TV…
My Husband Won’t Fit (Netflix)

Like I wasn’t going to click on a show called My Husband Won’t Fit. This offbeat Japanese melodrama involves a sweet married couple with a highly unusual problem. Due to a rare physical condition, all attempts at intercourse for Kumiko and Kenichi lead to a “dead end.” But the show isn’t just about this couple’s un-sexy attempts to have sex. My Husband Won’t Fit offers atmospheric glimpses into everyday Japanese life; it’s worth watching for the food scenes alone. After tearing through Beyonce’s Homecoming, you’ll find the slow, quiet pace of My Husband Won’t Fit kind of refreshing.

Book…
Inheritance by Dani Shapiro

I once heard about a woman who passed out in the middle of a meeting because she was wearing two pairs of Spanx. With a similar feeling of constriction, I found myself forgetting to breathe while reading Dani Shapiro’s memoir. Shapiro’s story chronicles her discovery through a simple DNA test that her deceased dad is not in fact her biological father. Naturally, this sends her into an existential crisis. Using her ingenuity and journalistic chops, she discovers who her real father is and takes her readers on a suspenseful journey that explores the true meaning of parenthood.

Mom Crush…
Amy Webb, @thislittlemiggy

Cincinnati artist and mom of three Amy Webb is not your average Instagrammer. One of her daughters was born with a disability known as limb differences and is affected in all four limbs. Doing things a little differently is the norm for Amy’s family and she approaches her Instagram feed the same way. In between giving advice on disability advocacy, Amy also shares charming captures of her family, DIY projects and outrageously uninhibited dance solos. And it’s a pleasure to see an artist using Instagram to raise awareness about a meaningful topic, as opposed to shelling out posts for big brands. <end rant> On top of all this, Amy has released a children’s book, When Charley Met Emma, about a little boy who meets a girl with limb differences. We could use more of this woman in our lives.

Subscribe…
DailyOM

I’m at the point in life where I’ll take all the help I can get to stay balanced and sane. And, sometimes, a perfectly worded subject line is all I need to get through a moment of stress. Enter: DailyOM, a spiritual email newsletter that sends daily inspirations on everything from relationships to “spinal reset” – whatever that means. Each email offers lyrical essays on how to attain moments of zen. Even if you only get around to reading half of them, it’s worth subscribing if you need a digital pep talk. Oh, and their daily horoscopes are also eerily accurate, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Podcast…
Double Shift

What does maternity leave look like if you’re working at a brothel? Or running a podcast about working moms? These questions and so many more are answered in Double Shift, a new show from journalist Katherine Goldstein. What we have here is not just another one-note program about how hard it is to be a working mom, or another podcast full of parenting advice. Instead, Double Shift focuses on using storytelling as a way to connect women from all walks of life. Goldstein profiles moms who are punk musicians, politicians, and sex workers, just to name a few. The guests are diverse and surprising and the topics are non-diaper related. It’s about time we had a podcast dedicated to real stories about the multidimensional people we call “Mom.”



Toby Lowenfels lives with her husband and 3 kids in Culver City, California, where’s she’s working toward perfecting the 20-minute dinner. Sign up for her weekly meal plans at DinnerIn20.com.