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Pop Culture Cheat Sheet: FEBRUARY

pop culture cheat sheet february pop culture cheat sheet february

As moms, our days are filled with countless time-based decisions — apply makeup… or clean up breakfast?— 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 pour yourself a drink, ditch your bra, and settle in for these fun nuggets.

Streaming…
Cheer on Netflix

There’s a reason all those Cheer-related posts are proliferating your social feeds: the show is amazing. The six-episode docuseries follows the country’s top college competitive cheerleading team in their quest to take the national title. See humans catapulting into the air, backstage drama, a coach with a take-no-prisoners attitude, and enough shots of rural Texas to fill the Friday Night Lights-sized hole in your heart. Just be prepared. Because once you start Cheer, you’ll only want to talk about Cheer.


Book…
Weather by Jenny Offill

Weather, Jenny Offlil’s followup to Dept. of Speculation, tells the story of Lizzie, a Brooklyn librarian who gets swept up in a profound cloud of gloom. Already overwhelmed with parenting and marriage, Lizzie also cares for her recovering addict brother and aging mother. As if that weren’t enough, she has a side gig answering emails for a doomsday podcast. Okay, okay, it sounds dreary but, fortunately, you can count on Offill to channel dread into meaning and find beauty in the tedium of parenthood. Plus, it’s a swift read at 200 pages, so even the busiest of moms can plow through it.


Podcast…
Nursing and Cursing 

What if there was a podcast that felt like someone put a mic in your weekly phone date with your BFF? (Fine, that probably is happening, but that’s a story for another day.) Nursing and Cursing lets us in on a group of real-life longtime friends having candid conversations about motherhood. Kate, the ringleader, lives in New York, and the rest of the hosts fan out through the country from Hawaii to Oklahoma and Florida. You gotta love how casual the production value is because, hey, that’s life. You’ll hear hosts chewing margarita ice and needy kids interrupting the podcast to ask for homework tips. And, unlike with most parenting podcasts, they don’t bother bringing on a parade of “experts.” The pod serves as a good reminder that we’re all in this together, just shuffling our feet through the playground wood chips with zero clues and, sometimes, zero Fs.


Newsletter…
LZ Sunday Paper 

Long gone are the weekend mornings when we can linger over the paper with a cup of coffee. But I do make sure to take a husband-length bathroom break when the LZ Sunday Paper hits my inbox. Media guru Lauren Zalaznick breaks down the week’s female-related news into newspaper format with different categories including business, politics, arts, sports and some funny stuff thrown in for good measure. With the abundance of newsletters right now, none of us are hard up for quick-hitting headlines. In fact, we’re swimming in links. So it’s helpful to have them delivered in a tidy email package with a unique frame and a reliable cadence.


Mom Crush…
@Wingandaprayerfarm

You’ll want to slow your scroll once you see Tamara E. White’s feed. She’s a shepherdess and homesteader in Vermont who posts the most soothing pictures of sheep, sunsets, sweaters, pie… basically anything you’d need to chase away the winter blues. Tamara’s kids are grown, which gives her a unique perspective on parenting, and she often talks about her experience homeschooling them back in the day. One of her daughters works on the farm now, and you’ll never see chores look so appealing.



Toby Lowenfels is a writer and mom of three in Culver City, California. Follow her daily musings at @tobyfels.