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Amy Brenneman opens up about the abortion she had when she was 21.

'The Leftovers' actress joined several other women in filing a briefing with the Supreme Court.

Today, the Supreme Court is hearing what's been called the most significant abortion case in more than two decades.

It's a case that will determine whether or not states can enact strict abortion laws aimed at shutting down clinics, and it's a case that may have far-reaching consequences for the future of reproductive rights in America.

It's called Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt, and it tackles the constitutionality of Texas' HB2 anti-abortion law.


Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images.

Ahead of the case, a number of women shared their stories with both the court and with the world. Among them was actress Amy Brenneman.

During her junior year of college, Brenneman had an abortion. Until now, she'd never publicly shared the story but only because it was so uneventful.

Photo by Alexandra Wyman/Getty Images.

Here she writes for Cosmopolitan:

"My abortion story is absolutely uneventful. It has left no scars. But in this current political climate, one in which a woman who makes the responsible choice of not bringing an unwanted child into this world is forced to drive 500 miles or is violently harassed on her way to the clinic door or is pushed to take matters into her own hands, this uneventful-ness seems downright miraculous. May it always be so uneventful. May abortion once again be accepted for what it always has been: a necessary component of responsible family planning."

In a video recorded for the Center for Reproductive Rights, Brenneman tells her story, which begins during her junior year of college.

She had been doing everything the "right" way, she says. She and her boyfriend had been having safe sex, but as no form of birth control is 100% effective, she became pregnant — a pregnancy she wasn't equipped to deal with.

GIFs from the Center for Reproductive Rights.

She eventually went on to have two children of her own at a time in her life when she was ready and able to parent.

And that's not at all odd. Many women who've had abortions either already have children (61%) or plan on having children at another point in their lives. In cases where a pregnancy is terminated as the result of a fetus being non-viable or threatening to the life of the woman, many of those pregnancies are even planned.

Still, in Brenneman's case, this was an unplanned pregnancy, and she chose to terminate it for the sake of her own well-being and the well-being of her future family. And legally, this is her choice to make. Whether somebody else would do the same thing in her situation is beside the point — that's why it's called a choice.

The world we now live in, the world of laws like HB2, would have taken Brenneman's uneventful experience and turned it into a nightmare.

Rather than that simple experience of finding a doctor in a phone book, undergoing a quick procedure, and being able to move on with her life, things could have been so different.

Since 2010, more than 231 new abortion restrictions have been implemented by states across the country. HB2 just happens to be one of the harshest.

Here are three things restrictive abortion laws like HB2 do to make things as inaccessible and uncomfortable as legally possible.

Recall how Brenneman called her abortion "uneventful"? Lawmakers are actively trying to make sure that's not the case anymore.


1. Restrictions on clinics would have made finding a doctor a whole lot tougher for Brenneman.

HB2 includes a host of provisions aimed at shutting down clinics. From requiring doctors to have admitting privileges at local hospitals (often difficult to get and totally unnecessary) to regulating the size of hallways, signage, or even bathrooms, these provisions — called targeted regulation of abortion provider (TRAP) laws — serve one purpose: to make it harder for clinics to stay in business.

Lawmakers claim these regulations benefit women's health, though it's unclear how making sure a hallway can accommodate two rolling beds at the same time (something that you'd almost never need to do in an abortion clinic) accomplishes that. And it's not as though there's any data to back lawmakers up. The only data that seems to matter is the number of clinics that get shut down as a result.

2. With laws like these on the books, Brenneman may have had to wait up to 72 hours after an appointment with her doctor before having a procedure.

Dozens of states have waiting periods for abortions, often ranging from 24 to 72 hours. The stated goal of these periods is to make sure the woman is comfortable with her decision (as though she wasn't able to make up her mind on her own), but the end effect is that it often requires the person seeking the abortion to take off from work (a luxury many don't have), travel to one of just a few clinics in the state, stay in a hotel for multiple nights (which can be expensive) — all before having this simple procedure. What Brenneman described as "uneventful" suddenly becomes a stressful, multi-day road trip for basic health care.

3. Brenneman would have been forced to wade through piles of medically-dubious "counseling" designed to discourage her from going through with the procedure.

Six states require that the person seeking the abortion be told that personhood begins at conception. Four states make doctors tell women inaccurate information about their future post-abortion fertility. Five states require that doctors tell a woman that there's a link between abortion and breast cancer (there's not).

The goal here is to confuse and manipulate the woman. Officially, these are all presented as being in her best interest, but given the inaccuracy of so many of the claims that need to be made, it's hard to believe it's for anybody's good.

Today, as the Supreme Court hears arguments in Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt, this is how we fight back — by telling our stories.

We all know somebody who has had an abortion (though we may not know it). In her opinion post at Cosmo, Brenneman recounts asking former NARAL president Nancy Keenan why it seems the marriage equality movement has been able to make sure leaps forward in such a short amount of time while reproductive rights seem to be going in the wrong direction. Her answer? "Stories."

"The tide of marriage equality turned when same-gender couples began to tell their very specific stories: not being allowed in the hospital room of their partner, not being able to adopt children together, not being seen as equal to their heterosexual peers," writes Brenneman.

She's not wrong — and this is exactly why we've recently seen more women come forward to share their stories, whether it be through the #ShoutYourAbortion hashtag, A is For's "Abortion Tweets Theater," or even in the story of Wendy Davis, whose famous 13-hour filibuster of the bill that would eventually become HB2 made her a national hero to some women. Sharing stories makes a difference.

And that's what it'll take to move the needle on reproductive rights, too: stories. There's a lot of shame and stigma attached to abortion, but people like Brenneman are speaking out, filing briefings with the court, and just generally fighting back.

You can watch Amy Brenneman tell her story in the video below.

Sponsored

3 organic recipes that feed a family of 4 for under $7 a serving

O Organics is the rare brand that provides high-quality food at affordable prices.

A woman cooking up a nice pot of pasta.

Over the past few years, rising supermarket prices have forced many families to make compromises on ingredient quality when shopping for meals. A recent study published by Supermarket News found that 41% of families with children were more likely to switch to lower-quality groceries to deal with inflation.

By comparison, 29% of people without children have switched to lower-quality groceries to cope with rising prices.

Despite the current rising costs of groceries, O Organics has enabled families to consistently enjoy high-quality, organic meals at affordable prices for nearly two decades. With a focus on great taste and health, O Organics offers an extensive range of options for budget-conscious consumers.

O Organics launched in 2005 with 150 USDA Certified Organic products but now offers over 1,500 items, from organic fresh fruits and vegetables to organic dairy and meats, organic cage-free certified eggs, organic snacks, organic baby food and more. This gives families the ability to make a broader range of recipes featuring organic ingredients than ever before.


“We believe every customer should have access to affordable, organic options that support healthy lifestyles and diverse shopping preferences,” shared Jennifer Saenz, EVP and Chief Merchandising Officer at Albertsons, one of many stores where you can find O Organics products. “Over the years, we have made organic foods more accessible by expanding O Organics to every aisle across our stores, making it possible for health and budget-conscious families to incorporate organic food into every meal.”

With some help from our friends at O Organics, Upworthy looked at the vast array of products available at our local store and created some tasty, affordable and healthy meals.

Here are 3 meals for a family of 4 that cost $7 and under, per serving. (Note: prices may vary by location and are calculated before sales tax.)

O Organic’s Tacos and Refried Beans ($6.41 Per Serving)

Few dishes can make a family rush to the dinner table quite like tacos. Here’s a healthy and affordable way to spice up your family’s Taco Tuesdays.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Total time: 22 minutes

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 packet O Organics Taco Seasoning ($2.29)

O Organics Mexican-Style Cheese Blend Cheese ($4.79)

O Organics Chunky Salsa ($3.99)

O Organics Taco Shells ($4.29)

1 can of O Organics Refried Beans ($2.29)

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Add 1 packet of taco seasoning to beef along with water [and cook as directed].

3. Add taco meat to the shell, top with cheese and salsa as desired.

4. Heat refried beans in a saucepan until cooked through, serve alongside tacos, top with cheese.

tacos, o organics, family recipesO Organics Mexican-style blend cheese.via O Organics

O Organics Hamburger Stew ($4.53 Per Serving)

Busy parents will love this recipe that allows them to prep in the morning and then serve a delicious, slow-cooked stew after work.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 7 hours

Total time: 7 hours 15 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 ½ lbs O Organics Gold Potatoes ($4.49)

3 O Organics Carrots ($2.89)

1 tsp onion powder

I can O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 cups water

1 yellow onion diced ($1.00)

1 clove garlic ($.50)

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

2 tsp Italian seasoning or oregano

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Transfer the cooked beef to a slow cooker with the potatoes, onions, carrots and garlic.

3. Mix the tomato paste, water, salt, pepper, onion powder and Italian seasoning in a separate bowl.

4. Drizzle the mixed sauce over the ingredients in the slow cooker and mix thoroughly.

5. Cover the slow cooker with its lid and set it on low for 7 to 8 hours, or until the potatoes are soft. Dish out into bowls and enjoy!

potatoes, o organics, hamburger stewO Organics baby gold potatoes.via O Organics


O Organics Ground Beef and Pasta Skillet ($4.32 Per Serving)

This one-pan dish is for all Italian lovers who are looking for a saucy, cheesy, and full-flavored comfort dish that takes less than 30 minutes to prepare.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Total time: 27 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp dried basil

1 tsp garlic powder

1 can O Organics Diced Tomatoes ($2.00)

1 can O Organics Tomato Sauce ($2.29)

1 tbsp O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 1/4 cups water

2 cups O Organics Rotini Pasta ($3.29)

1 cup O Organics Mozzarella cheese ($4.79)

Instructions:

1. Brown ground beef in a skillet, breaking it up as it cooks.

2. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder

3. Add tomato paste, sauce and diced tomatoes to the skillet. Stir in water and bring to a light boil.

4. Add pasta to the skillet, ensuring it is well coated. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Remove the lid, sprinkle with cheese and allow it to cool.

o organics, tomato basil pasta sauce, olive oilO Organics tomato basil pasta sauce and extra virgin olive oil.via O Organics

Health

Psychologist explains why everyone feels exhausted right now and it makes so much sense

Psychologist Naomi Holdt beautifully explained what's behind the overarching exhaustion people are feeling and it makes perfect sense.

Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash

It seems like most people are feeling wiped out these days. There's a reason for that.

We're about to wrap up year three of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it's been a weird ride, to say the least. These years have been hard, frustrating, confusing and tragic, and yet we keep on keeping on.

Except the keeping on part isn't quite as simple as it sounds. Despite the fact that COVID-19 is still wreaking havoc, we've sort of collectively decided to move on, come what may. This year has been an experiment in normalcy, but one without a testable hypothesis or clear design. And it's taken a toll. So many people are feeling tired, exhausted, worn thin ("like butter scraped over too much bread," as Bilbo Baggins put it) these days.

But why?



Psychologist and speaker Naomi Holdt beautifully explained what's behind the overarching exhaustion people are feeling as we close out 2022, and it makes perfect sense.

In a post on Facebook, she wrote:

"A gentle reminder about why you are utterly exhausted…

No one I know began this year on a full tank. Given the vicious onslaught of the previous two years (let’s just call it what it was) most of us dragged ourselves across the finish line of 2021… frazzled, spent, running on aged adrenaline fumes…

We crawled into 2022 still carrying shock, trauma, grief, heaviness, disbelief… The memories of a surreal existence…

And then it began… The fastest hurricane year we could ever have imagined. Whether we have consciously processed it or not, this has been a year of more pressure, more stress, and a race to 'catch up' in all departments… Every. Single. One. Work, school, sports, relationships, life…

Though not intentionally aware, perhaps hopeful that the busier we are, the more readily we will forget… the more easily we will undo the emotional tangle… the more permanently we will wipe away the scarring wounds…

We can’t.

And attempts to re-create some semblance of 'normal' on steroids while disregarding that for almost two years our sympathetic nervous systems were on full alert, has left our collective mental health in tatters. Our children and teens are not exempt. The natural byproduct of fighting a hurricane is complete and utter exhaustion…

So before you begin questioning the absolutely depleted and wrung-dry state you are in- Pause. Breathe. Remind yourself of who you are and what you have endured. And then remind yourself of what you have overcome.

Despite it all, you’re still going. (Even on the days you stumble and find yourself face down in a pile of dirt).

Understanding brings compassion… Most of the world’s citizens are in need of a little extra TLC at the moment. Most are donning invisible 'Handle with care' posters around their necks and 'Fragile' tattoos on their bodies…

Instead of racing to the finish line of this year, tread gently.

Go slowly. Amidst the chaos, find small pockets of silence. Find compassion. Allow the healing. And most of all… Be kind. There’s no human being on earth who couldn’t use just a little bit more of the healing salve of kindness."

Putting it like that, of course we're exhausted. We're like a person who thinks they're feeling better at the end of an illness so they dive fully back into life, only to crash mid-day because their body didn't actually have as much energy as their brain thought it did. We tried to fling ourselves into life, desperate to feel normal and make up for lost time, without taking the time to fully acknowledge the impact of the past two years or to fully recover and heal from it.

Of course, life can't just stop, but we do need to allow some time for our bodies, minds and spirits to heal from what they've been through. The uncertainty, the precariousness of "normal," the after-effects of everything that upended life as we knew it are real. The grief and trauma of those who have experienced the worst of the pandemic are real. The overwhelm of our brains and hearts as we try to process it all is real.

So let's be gentle with one another and ourselves as we roll our harried selves into another new year. We could all use that little extra measure of grace as we strive to figure out what a true and healthy "normal" feels like.

You can follow Naomi Holdt on Facebook.


This article originally appeared on 12.23.22

Images provided by P&G

Three winners will be selected to receive $1000 donated to the charity of their choice.

True

Doing good is its own reward, but sometimes recognizing these acts of kindness helps bring even more good into the world. That’s why we’re excited to partner with P&G again on the #ActsOfGood Awards.

The #ActsOfGood Awards recognize individuals who actively support their communities. It could be a rockstar volunteer, an amazing community leader, or someone who shows up for others in special ways.

Do you know someone in your community doing #ActsOfGood? Nominate them between April 24th-June 3rdhere.Three winners will receive $1,000 dedicated to the charity of their choice, plus their story will be highlighted on Upworthy’s social channels. And yes, it’s totally fine to nominate yourself!

We want to see the good work you’re doing and most of all, we want to help you make a difference.

While every good deed is meaningful, winners will be selected based on how well they reflect Upworthy and P&G’s commitment to do #ActsOfGood to help communities grow.

That means be on the lookout for individuals who:

Strengthen their community

Make a tangible and unique impact

Go above and beyond day-to-day work

The #ActsOfGood Awards are just one part of P&G’s larger mission to help communities around the world to grow. For generations, P&G has been a force for growth—making everyday products that people love and trust—while also being a force for good by giving back to the communities where we live, work, and serve consumers. This includes serving over 90,000 people affected by emergencies and disasters through the Tide Loads of Hope mobile laundry program and helping some of the millions of girls who miss school due to a lack of access to period products through the Always #EndPeriodPoverty initiative.

Visit upworthy.com/actsofgood and fill out the nomination form for a chance for you or someone you know to win. It takes less than ten minutes to help someone make an even bigger impact.

What's accepted now but will be embarrassing in the future?

We can all be sure that as society evolves, many things that seem normal today will be cringeworthy to people in the future, whether it’s our fashion, politics, civility, or how we treat the environment.

If we look back just 30 years ago, same-sex marriage was illegal, people routinely smoked in bars and restaurants and it was fashionable to wear platform sneakers.

So, when we look back on the world of 2024, there are bound to be many things that we’ll be embarrassed about in 30 years, especially when we are forced to live with the repercussions of the decisions we make today. On a lighter note, we’ll all also have clouds full of photos of ourselves wearing hairstyles and clothes that look utterly ridiculous in hindsight.


We asked the Upworthy community to share their thoughts by asking a big question on Facebook: "What's something that's accepted now that we'll be embarrassed about in the future?" Our readers responded with funny takes on current fashion and concerns about technology use and how we treat our fellow human beings.

Here are 21 things we accept today that we’ll probably be embarrassed about in the future.

More than a few current fashion trends will look silly in the coming years.


"Yoga pants. I love them to death, but I can easily see them as the parachute pants of tomorrow." — Deborah

"Barn doors in your house." — Joyce

"Tattoos all over the body." — Vicki

"People wearing socks and sandals." — Jeremy

"Wearing pajamas in public." — Ivy

"Huge, over-sized false eyelashes." — Patricia

Hopefully, people in the future will be more considerate when using technology than we are today.



"Walking around with your eyes locked on your phone. Or eating at a table with 4 people looking at their phone. One day, we will either fall off a cliff or realize life is what is happening off the screen." — Elise.

"Texting in the presence of another person." — Kate

We can also hope that in the near future, we will be able to solve many of today’s pressing public policy issues so that the next generation will live happier and healthier lives.



"Lack of healthcare for everyone." — Sharon

"Making the planet unlivable for human beings." — Karen

"Spending hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer's money to build a sports arena for a billionaire. Then charging the taxpayers outrageous amounts to attend events there." — Stacy

"How the US is systematically clawing back women's rights to decide what they do with their bodies. It's beyond shameful." — Jason.

"Allowing guns everywhere." — Amy

"That we drive fossil fuel-powered vehicles." — Heidi

Some people are concerned about the way students and their parents behave in modern-day America.



"Parents trying to run schools: yelling at teachers for their child’s poor performance, yelling at principals when their child gets in trouble, book banning based on an individual’s religious ideologies, etc." — Beth.

"Entitled children talking back to their parents and teachers." — Connie

"Cry rooms at universities where students can go and work out their anxiety and cry and be upset if their professor uses words that are too difficult for them. Universities are institutes of higher learning, not institutes of babysitting. That will be an embarrassment in the future, as it is an embarrassment to me and many others now." — Della

In 30 years, we may be embarrassed to look back on the level of general civility in 2024.



"Panic buying of toilet paper during the pandemic." — Tony

"Ageism. It’s everywhere, all the time, and no one seems to mind. No one is defined by the amount of time they’ve spent on the planet but it’s used as an identity and as a weapon (ask any teenager, 40-year-old woman, or retiree…). I can only hope that one day it will be a source of embarrassment that we were all so dismissive and judgmental." — Rosy.

"Human beings living on the street." — Andrea

"Torturous killing of animals for food." — Mae

While this list may seem like a litany of complaints people have about living in the modern world, it should give people hope. If we’ve overcome past embarrassments, today’s can be fixed as well.

via Kelsey Dawn Williamson / Facebook

An unexpected statement on a Frog and Toad T-shirt.



Kelsey Dawn Williamson, 23, from Benton, Illinois has ordered over 50 shirts from AliExpress, an online retailer based out of Hangzhou, China. But when the Frog and Toad shirt she ordered on May 10 arrived, she "literally did not know how to react so I just took a few moments to stare at it and try to process."

The infant-sized shirt has a picture of the iconic reptiles from the children's book series riding old-fashioned bikes with "FUCK THE POLICE" written at the bottom.


Williamson posted a photo of her daughter Salem in the shirt on Facebook and it quickly went viral.

The shirt that was delivered looked exactly like the one in the online store, just without the caustic N.W.A. lyric.

China, comedy, NWA

Frog and Toad T-shirt that was advertised.

aliexpress.com

While it seems utterly bizarre that someone would create a shirt with "FUCK THE POLICE" written beneath a picture of Frog and Toad — a duo who've never been known to harbor ill will against law enforcement — there's a good reason.

Memes featuring Frog and Toad are so popular they have their own subreddit. The shirtmaker, who probably doesn't have a license to use Frog and Toad, must have got the photo from a Google search. The person who made the shirt was most likely Chinese and either didn't speak English or has a very poor eye for detail.

After Williamson received the shirt, she Facetimed her husband and they screamed together. "We both just lost it, dying of laughter," she told Buzzfeed. "All he could say was 'Oh shit.'"

"I've told [Salem], 'People really like your frog shirt!'" Williamson said. But she's not letting her child wear the offensive shirt to preschool. "It's going in her baby box so we can bring it up when she's older."

Unfortunately, the incident has been all laughs for Williamson. She's received messages from people who've fat-shamed her daughter.

trolling, body shaming, negative feedback

The online trolling.

via Kelsey Dawn Williamson / Facebook

Frog and Toad memes, memes, fuck the police

Nothing nice to say.

via Kelsey Dawn Williamson / Facebook

e-commerce, Facebook, children\u2019s books

A positive message.

via Kelsey Dawn Williamson / Facebook

"People were actually messaging me just to say mean things about her," she said. "A ton of people calling her fat, asking me what I feed her to make her so big, telling me the shirt I bought was too small."

But Williamson has remained strong and fought back against the shamers. She edited her post to address her daughter's weight but refuses to take it down. "SHE SEES SPECIALISTS FOR HER WEIGHT. SHE CANT HELP IT. I CANT HELP IT. MY HUSBAND CANT HELP IT. IT IS OUT OF OUR CONTROL. JUST LAUGH AT THE FUNNY SHIRT," Williamson wrote on Facebook.

That's right people, just laugh at the funny shirt, and stay out of people's business.

children\u2019s literature, encouragement, education, social behavior

Frog says, “Come at me, bro!"

This article originally appeared on 06.01.19

Representative photo by Gustavo Fring/Pexels

What do you do when your kindy-age neighbor challenges you to a bake-off?

It's been six years since "Bluey" debuted in Australia, and since then, the show has grown into a global phenomenon. Though it's aimed at kids, the series has created a passionate following among people of all ages who adore the heart and humor the Blue Heeler dogs from down under have to offer.

And it's been just over seven years since an adorably cheeky little girl, Harper, made her way into the world, and she has also grown into a viral Aussie phenomenon.

Harper lives next door to Brandon and Jordan Nolan, the twin music duo Take Two, in Sydney. Her interactions with their family seem like they come straight out of an episode of "Bluey," right down to the uncanny similarity between Harper's voice and the young "Bluey" cast members (whose identities remain anonymous).


Many of the interactions take place through the fence between their yards and Harper is never shown fully (a wise choice). The neighbors will share things over or under the fence, with Harper pranking the guys more than once with something that looks like food but contains dirt.

In a particularly hilarious video, Harper shares the "legit" cheesecake and ice cream she made as part of their bake-off competition. Seriously, 5-year-old Harper sounds just like Bluey's little sister, Bingo, with the quick wit to match.

Watch:

@alwaystaketwo

Replying to @Zoe_heem My 5yr old neighbour challenged us to a bake off.. here is her cake!! Is it safe to eat but?? 🤷🏼‍♀️🍰 (Part 3) 👩‍🍳♥️ #foryou #fyp

Harper also met Brandon's baby boy, Grayson, when she was 5, and that video is also an instant classic.

@alwaystaketwo

Replying to @46username Part 2 of my 5yr old neighbour meeting my son for the first time 😆♥️👶🏻 she loves him but still hates us.. 🤷🏼‍♀️ #foryou #fyp

When she was 6, Brandon went for a walk with her and talked to her about him moving 10 minutes away. Her reaction is perfect.

@alwaystaketwo

Today I had to tell my 6yr old neighbour I’m no longer going go be her neighbour anymore.. *NOT CLICK BAIT* 😭💔🏠 ##foryou##fyp(Like for Part 2)

Now that she's 7, her voice sounds a bit more like Bluey than Bingo, and still just as surreal to hear in real life asking questions like, "Have you been achieving much in life?"

@alwaystaketwo

My 7yr old neighbour’s dad is a doctor👨‍⚕️😡👊🏻 and he couldn’t fix my shoulder after I paid him.. here’s my argument with her #foryou #fyp

It's hard not to hear the resemblance to the "Bluey" characters, as evidenced by the comments.

"Is that bluey and bingo on the other side of the fence!? 😅"

"Literally thought 'how could bluey and bingo are their neighbors?'"

"There needs to be an episode of Bluey where they get new neighbors and the girls befriend them like this."

"Bluey and Bingo living next door is wild."

"Please tell me that we all think the same thing because we are parents? It took me one second to say Bluey!"

"Omg I’m not the only one that thought omg BINGO!!!"

You can follow @alwaystaketwo on TikTok for more fun with Harper and her neighbors.

Family

Exhausted mom posted a letter begging her husband for help. And then it went viral.

An open letter by Celeste Yvonne shows overwhelmed mothers how to ask for support.

Photo via Celeste Yvonne, used with permission.

Celeste Yvonne wrote a letter to her husband asking for help.

Taking care of a newborn baby is mentally, physically, and spiritually exhausting. For the first four months (at least!), new parents have to dedicate every part of themselves to caring for this young life.

There's little time for self-care during this chaotic period, let alone a moment to be fully present with a partner.

A blogger who goes by the name Celeste Yvonne is the mother of a toddler and a newborn and wrote a revealing open letter to her husband asking for more help with their children. It's going viral because it paints a very real picture of what it feels like to be a mother who feels stuck doing everything.


It's also important because it gives specific ways for parents to support each other.

Dear Husband,

I. Need. More. Help.

Last night was hard for you. I asked you to watch the baby so I could go to bed early. The baby was crying. Wailing, really. I could hear him from upstairs and my stomach knotted from the sound, wondering if I should come down there and relieve you or just shut the door so I could get some desperately needed sleep. I chose the latter.

You came into the room 20 minutes later, with the baby still frantically crying. You placed the baby in the bassinet and gently pushed the bassinet just a few inches closer to my side of the bed, a clear gesture that you were done watching him.

I wanted to scream at you. I wanted to launch an epic fight that very moment. I had been watching the baby and the toddler all damn day. I was going to be waking up with the baby to feed him all damn night. The least you could do is hold him for a couple of hours in the evening to I can attempt to sleep.

Just a few hours of precious sleep. Is that too much to ask?

I know we both watched our parents fulfill the typical mother-father roles growing up. Both our mothers were the primary caretakers and our fathers were relatively hands off. They were excellent dads, but they weren't expected to spend a significant amount of time changing diapers, feeding, caring, and tending to the kids. Our mothers were the superwomen who maintained the family dynamics. Cooking, cleaning, and raising the children. Any help from dad was welcome, but unexpected.

I see us falling into these family dynamics more and more each day. My responsibility to feed the family, keep the house clean, and take care of the kids is assumed, even as I return to work. I blame myself for most of it too. I have set the precedent that I can do it. And in truth I want to. No offense, but I'm not sure I want to know what a week's worth of dinner would look like with you in charge.

I also see my friends and other moms doing it all, and doing it well. I know you see it, too. If they can manage it, and if our mothers did it so well for us, why can't I?

I don't know.

Maybe our friends are playing the part in public and secretly struggling. Maybe our moms suffered in silence for years and now, thirty years later, they simply don't remember how hard it really was. Or maybe, and this is something I berate myself over every single day, I'm just not as qualified for the job as everyone else. And as much as I cringe just thinking it, I'm going to say it: I need more help.

Part of me feels like a failure for even asking. I mean, you do help. You are an amazing father, and you do a great job with the kids. And besides, this should come easy to me, right? Motherly instincts, no?

But I'm human, and I'm running on five hours of sleep and tired as hell. I need you.

In the morning, I need you to get our toddler ready so I can care for the baby and make everyone's lunches and drink a cup of coffee. And no, getting the toddler ready does not mean plopping him in front of the TV. It means making sure he went potty, giving him some breakfast, seeing if he wants water, and packing his bag for school.

At night, I need an hour to decompress in bed knowing our toddler is asleep in his room and the baby is in your care. I know it's hard to listen to the baby cry. Believe me, I know. But if I can watch and pacify the baby for the majority of the day, you can do it for an hour or two at night. Please. I need you.

On weekends, I need more breaks. Times where I can get out of the house by myself and feel like an individual. Even if it's just a walk around the block or a trip to the grocery store. And some days when I've scheduled swim class and play dates, and it seems like I've got it all under control, I need you to offer to lend me a hand. Or suggest I go lay down during the kids' naptime. Or start putting away the dishes without me suggesting it. I need you.

Lastly, I need to hear you're grateful for all I do. I want to know that you notice the laundry is done and a nice dinner has been prepared. I want to know you appreciate that I breastfeed at all hours and pump when I'm at work when it would be easier for me to formula feed. I hope you notice that I never ask you to stay home from your networking events and sport activities. As the mom, it's assumed I'll be home all the time and always available to care for the kids while you're out and I feed that assumption by, well, being home all the time.

I know it's not how our parents did it, and I hate even asking. I wish I could do it all and make it look effortless. And I wish I didn't need kudos for doing things most people expect from a mom. But I'm waving a white flag and admitting I'm only human. I'm telling you how much I need you, and if I keep going at the pace I've been on, I will break. And that would hurt you, the kids, and our family.

Because, let's face it: you need me, too."

After the video went viral, Yvonne filmed another thanking everyone who read it and addressed the biggest question it raised: Did the letter work?

"Yes, absolutely. Communication works — most of the time," Yvonne said with a laugh. "I told [my husband] all the stuff I'm doing on the back end that he had no idea about. And then he told me all the concerns and the stress he's been having as a new father. Things that I had no idea about. It was so eye-opening, and I'm so grateful for it.”

Watch the YouTube video below:

This article originally appeared on 3.20.18