How to Keep Up With the News When You’re a Mom With Zero Time

keep up with news keep up with news

These days, the news is… overwhelming. And so is the load on parents’ plates. It’s not exactly like we’re swimming in free time right now? But even if you’re busy with back-to-school and the circus that swirls around that, here are some painless (read: bite-sized and doable) ways to keep on top of news — and pop culture! — so that you don’t have to feel like everything is passing you by…

stay on top of news10 Things you need to know today 

The Week mag delivers its digital newsletter every morning like clockwork and is exactly what it advertises: ten things you need to know to start your day. The best part is that there’s zero commentary or political slant so we’re just talking cold hard facts. What else can we really handle before starting the school-day morning shuffle?

Media: Email newsletter

Time: 6 minutes

Pop Culture Happy Hour  

You know the part of book club when you’ve finished the requisite 5-minute book discussion, everyone’s settled into their second glass of wine, and the gathering turns into a Bachelor blabber fest? Imagine a professional version of that conversational peak. Pop Culture Happy Hour brings together a roundtable of NPR correspondents to talk about whatever TV show, movie, or book is on tap for the week. I like the variety of perspectives but mostly stick around for their “What’s making us happy” feature where they all recommend random bits of pop culture nuggets for consumption.

Media: Podcast

Time: 20 min

Wait — 

Fans of the “I think about this a lot” column in The Cut will enjoy the NYT’s new weekly newsletter written by its Styles reporter Caity Weaver. Each issue arrives on Thursday afternoon with a tongue-in-cheek investigation of weird and under-explored yet burning Qs in news and pop culture, like “Wait– ‘Cats’ is Crazy” and “Wait– Beyonce is not actually a Vegan.” The newsletter shows promise of becoming the most potent source of distraction in your inbox.

Media: Email newsletter

Time: 5 min

The Ann Friedman Weekly 

We’ve all been feeling a bit of the feminist fury lately. (And if you aren’t feeling the rage, maybe you need to listen to more Lizzo.) If you’re looking to channel that energy into power—and even share that power!—The Ann Friedman Weekly will help you feel less alone. Host of the hit podcast Call Your Girlfriend, Friedman curates a stellar newsletter every Friday afternoon full of news items, actions and GIFs that always feels like an invigorating push into the weekend. A solid chunk of info to mix with your R&R.

Media: Email newsletter

Time: 10 min

Let it Be Sunday 

Joy the Baker is one of the OG food bloggers so you wouldn’t necessarily go to her site for the news. Except…let me tell you, her Sunday link roundup is the highlight of my weekend. In the middle of her recipe posts, you can find a news grab bag that’s just as appetizing as one of her dishes, including travel pieces, wellness tips, and some light cultural reads. And, lucky for us, it comes out just in time to help you smooth over those Sunday night blues.

Media: Web page

Time: 10 min


None of us have the time to explore the far and fascinating reaches of the internet all day to search for treasure, so thank goodness for Dave Pell. Somehow, he manages to take a day’s worth of garbage headlines and whip them into NextDraft, an email full of pithy headlines and relevant news blurbs. You’ll find yourself looking forward to the often hilarious afternoon news break while simultaneously marveling at how weird our world is.

Media: Email newsletter and app

Time: 10 min


Longform is a weekly newsletter service that curates all the top articles on the internet, everything from sports to history and  arts and culture. It arrives in your inbox every Saturday morning when you should, in theory, have more time for reading. (Ha.) If you’ve ever conversed with me at a party, you’ll notice that I spend all my time aggressively steering the conversation toward whatever Longform article I just finished. And I’m not sorry.

Media: Email newsletter and podcast

Time: Varies between 10-50 min

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Toby Lowenfels is a writer and mom of three in Nashville. Follow her daily musings at @tobyfels.