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The Curator of Sex on how making a baby blew her mind

It was after a year of working with us that my babysitter finally realized that I am the Curator of the Museum of Sex. With our living room bookshelves filled with sex titles and my desk strewn with piles of purposefully NSFW content, I’m pretty impressed about how accepting and non-judgmental she was across the year, as she must have wondered what it was that my husband and I did for work while she watched our two small children. She knew I worked in a Museum, it never dawned on me to tell her which one.


Across the last decade I have worked at the Museum of Sex, starting at the age of 22, three months after graduating the preppy and privileged Connecticut College. It was August of 2004, and I would be starting a Master’s program in Anthropology that September at the New School. I had the whole world figured out, and grad school, I thought, was my first step toward becoming a beloved and mind-opening professor who teaches Anthropology 101 and summers with her family in exotic locales, living with indigenous tribes. I wanted to become the Iris Apfel of Anthropology.

But as with all plans in our early 20s, the plans quickly changed. That August as I signed my first lease, for my first apartment, my boyfriend at the time wandered into the Museum of Sex. A few blocks away from the leasing office, Nick killed time at the museum, sent away as I knew the broker’s flirtations didn’t factor a boyfriend into the scenario. When the paperwork was sorted, I bounded with excitement to meet Nick, at a museum I had never heard of, and never knew existed —the Museum of Sex. As liberal and adventurous as I am, I was a little nervous. What in the world is the Museum of Sex?

Established in 2002, the museum had not even been open for two years when I first visited. “Dedicated to an uncensored discourse about sex and sexuality,” as the mission dictates, were words that held no meaning for me until I first walked through its doors that life-changing summer. Even then, with the museum still rough around its edges, figuring itself out as an institution and working through growing pains, I fell in love. While I didn’t know what to make of the contemporary art show on the ground floor, with a huge projection of a vagina, anthropomorphized with googly eyes and smoking a cigarette no less —the exhibition on the second floor, “Sex Among the Lotus: Three Thousand Years of Erotic Obsession” is what hooked me. A survey of sex in China, the exhibition, spread across two galleries, inspired me to pull my sketchbook from my bag to jot down quotes.

Is this what a museum could be? Fun and informative? Entertaining and educational? A few days later, I dropped my resume off at the front desk. You never know, right?

A few weeks later I began working at the museum, replacing the anthropologist researcher, who was off to do his fieldwork for his dissertation. Across the next two years I was promoted Assistant Curator and once I completed my Master’s, on the cusp of taking another job at a more traditional museum, I was offered the job of Curator. It was an offer I couldn’t refuse.

I was feeling on top of the world, and at the time, I thought a proposal from Nick was right around the corner. But, like so many plans, that one was shortly going to fade away. I experienced my first official, gut-wrenching, almost faint on the subway because you forgot to eat out of sadness kind of heartbreak. I was 24, and a single “Curator of Sex” in New York City.

As you can imagine, with that title, I got a lot of attention across the bars and night clubs of New York City. In a city where, “what do you do?” is often asked before knowing someone’s name, my answer was a conversation starter, to say the least.

Still, those were not always the conversations I wanted to be having. Some people found it appropriate to tell me about every pornographic endeavor they forged and others incorrectly believed “curator” was actually a code word for sex worker. Not surprisingly, the one man who actually wished I had any other job in the world became my husband. After meeting by chance in a bar, and after a year of that dramatic, confusing, untenable, and maddening New York City dating, Jason, proposed to me at the top of Runyon Canyon in Los Angeles in November 2008. In September 2009 we were married in Marrakesh, Morocco surrounded by 100 of our closest friends and family. The next year, just around our first wedding anniversary, a Shiba Inu puppy named, She-ra, named after the beloved ‘80s cartoon warrior princess of the same name, joined our family. It felt like playing house and we celebrated that first anniversary sitting on the floor, drinking champagne, as our four pound pup ran and slid across the floor of our Tribeca apartment.

She-ra was the first step in creating the family I had always wanted and never had. Her affection also helped soften the blow each month I saw a negative pregnancy test.

As my husband and I were approaching the one-year mark of trying to become pregnant, I was starting to question my womanhood and my brand-new marriage.

I was only 28, I never imagined it would take that long to conceive. But after a girls weekend in LA, in which I felt like something just wasn’t right, I returned to New York on Valentine’s Day 2011 to finally see the positive test I always dreamed of.

Later that year, my son Kai was born, and his sister, Zia, joined us in 2014.

I am still the Curator of the Museum of Sex.

Now, I’m also a wife and now a mother.

The last few years of motherhood have been the most amazing, and candidly, the hardest of my life. With two difficult pregnancies, preterm labor scares and bed rest, followed by eight months of breastfeeding both children, I feel like only recently have I been able to stick my head out from the blur. I’ve tried my best to maintain glimmers of my pre-motherhood identity and simultaneously begin to craft a new one.

And as much as I know about sex, at least from a professional perspective, I never learned as much personally as I did the last few years through my pregnancies and motherhood (I’ve also never talked so much about my own vagina with near strangers).

As educated as I am on sex, I also realized how disconnected so many of us, myself included, have been from the information about baby-making sex, the awkward comical sex while pregnant, and navigation sexuality after this body-changing, life-changing experience. Like many of my life’s surprises over the last decade, I could never have predicted the impact becoming a mother would have on my total understanding of sexuality. Sex means new things to me now....pleasure as well as procreation, but also how I feel about myself, my partner and our relationship. As every parent knows, it’s also much harder to be romantic, let alone spontaneous, with a household of little people, schedules, exhaustion and “life.” Sex is an exciting, overwhelming, and complicated topic at all stages of life, but why is it that no one told me it would become even more so once becoming a mother?

The last three years have given me a deep understanding and reverence for motherhood. They’ve also helped me find the courage to realize that, if I can do this whole motherhood thing, I can do anything, even talk, think and write about sex —after baby.

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With two babies in tow, getting out the door often becomes doubly challenging. From the extra things to carry to the extra space needed in your backseat, it can be easy to feel daunted at the prospect of a day out. But before you resign yourself to life indoors, try incorporating these five genius products from Nuna to get you and the littles out the door. (Because Vitamin D is important, mama!)

1. A brilliant double stroller

You've got more to carry—and this stroller gets it. The DEMI™ grow stroller from Nuna easily converts from a single ride to a double stroller thanks to a few easy-to-install accessories. And with 23 potential configurations, you're ready to hit the road no matter what life throws at you.

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2. A light car seat

Lugging a heavy car seat is the last thing a mama of two needs to have on her hands. Instead, pick up the PIPA™ lite, a safe, svelte design that weighs in at just 5.3 pounds (not counting the canopy or insert)—that's less than the average newborn! When you need to transition from car to stroller, this little beauty works seamlessly with Nuna's DEMI™ grow.

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The thing new moms of multiples really need to get out the door? A little peace of mind. The PIPA™ base features a steel stability leg for maximum security that helps to minimize forward rotation during impact by up to 90% (compared to non-stability leg systems) and 5-second installation for busy mamas.

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4. A diaper bag you want to carry

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5. A crib that travels

Getting a new baby on a nap schedule—while still getting out of the house—is hard. But with the SENA™ aire mini, you can have a crib ready no matter where your day takes you. It folds down and pops up easily for sleepovers at grandma's or unexpected naps at your friend's house, and the 360-degree ventilation ensures a comfortable sleep.

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With 5 essentials that are as flexible as you need to be, the only thing we're left asking is, where are you going to go, mama?

This article was sponsored by Nuna. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.


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Baby stuff comes in such cute prints these days. Gone are the days when everything was pink and blue and covered in ducks or teddy bears. Today's baby gear features stylish prints that appeal to mom.

That's why it's totally understandable how a mama could mistake a car seat cover for a cute midi skirt. It happened to Lori Farrell, and when she shared her mishap on Facebook she went viral before she was even home from work. Fellow moms can totally see the humor in Farrell's mishap, and thankfully, so can she.

As for how a car seat cover could be mistaken for a skirt—it's pretty simple, Farrell tells Motherly.

"A friend of mine had given me a huge lot of baby stuff, from clothes to baby carriers to a rocker and blankets and when I pulled it out I was not sure what it was," she explains. "I debated it but washed it anyway then decided because of the way it pulled on the side it must be a maternity skirt."

Farrell still wasn't 100% sure if she was right by the time she headed out the door to work, but she rocked the ambiguous attire anyway.

"When I got to work I googled the brand and realized not only do they not sell clothing but it was a car seat cover."

The brand, Itzy Ritzy, finds the whole thing pretty funny too, sharing Farell's viral moment to its official Instagram.

It may be a car seat cover, but that print looks really good on this mama.

And if you want to copy Farell's style, the Itzy Ritzy 4-in-1 Nursing Cover, Car Seat Cover, Shopping Cart Cover and Infinity Scarf (and skirt!) is available on Amazon for $24.94.

Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy.You've got this.

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Daycare for infants is expensive across the country, and California has one of the worst states for parents seeking care for a baby. Putting an infant in daycare in California costs $2,914 more than in-state tuition for four years of college, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

Paying north of $1,000 for daycare each month is an incredible burden, especially on single-parent families. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines affordable childcare as costing no more than 10% of a family's income—by that definition, less than 29% of families in California can afford infant care. Some single parents spend half their income on day care. It is an incredible burden on working parents.

But that burden may soon get lighter. CBS Sacramento reports California may put between $25 and $35 million into child care programs to make day care more affordable for parents with kids under 3 years old.

Assembly Bill 452, introduced this week, could see $10 million dollars funneled into Early Head Start (which currently gets no money from the state but does get federal funding) and tens of millions more would be spent on childcare for kids under three.

The bill seeks to rectify a broken childcare system. Right now, only about 14% of eligible infants and toddlers are enrolled in subsidized programs in California, and in 2017, only 7% of eligible children younger than three years of age accessed Early Head Start.

An influx of between $25 to $35 million dollars could see more spaces open up for kids under three, as Bill 452, if passed, would see the creation of "grants to develop childcare facilities that serve children from birth to three years of age."

This piece of proposed legislation comes weeks after California's governor announced an ambitious plan for paid parental leave, and as another bill, AB 123, seeks to strengthen the state's pre-kindergarten program.

Right now, it is difficult for some working parents to make a life in California, but by investing in families, the state's lawmakers could change that and change California's future for the better.

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When a mama gets married, in most cases she wants her children to be part of her big day. Photographers are used to hearing bride-to-be moms request lots of pictures of their big day, but when wedding photographer Laura Schaefer of Fire and Gold Photography heard her client Dalton Mort planned to wear her 2-year-old daughter Ellora instead of a veil, she was thrilled.

A fellow mama who understands the benefits of baby-wearing, Schaefer was keen to capture the photos Mort requested. "When I asked Dalton about what some of her 'must get' shots would be for her wedding, she specifically asked for ones of her wearing Ellie, kneeling and praying in the church before the tabernacle," Schaefer tells Motherly.

She got those shots and so many more, and now Mort's toddler-wearing wedding day pics are going viral.

"Dalton wore Ellie down the aisle and nursed her to sleep during the readings," Schaefer wrote on her blog, explaining that Ellie then slept through the whole wedding mass.

"As a fellow mother of an active toddler, this is a HUGE win! Dalton told me after that she was SO grateful that Ellie slept the whole time because she was able to focus and really pray through the Mass," Schaefer explains.

Dalton was able to concentrate on her wedding day because she made her baby girl a part of it (and that obviously tired Ellie right out).

Ellie was part of the commitment and family Dalton if forging with her husband, Jimmy Joe. "There is no better behaved toddler than a sleeping toddler, and she was still involved, even though I ended up unwrapping her to nurse her. I held her in my arms while my husband and I said our vows. It was really special for us," Dalton told POPSUGAR.

This is a wedding trend we are totally here for!

Congrats to Dalton and Jimmy Joe (and to Ellie)! 🎉

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The internet is freaking out about how Peppa Pig is changing the way toddlers speak, but parents don't need to be too worried.

As Romper first reported, plenty of American parents have noticed that preschoolers are picking up a bit of a British accent thanks to Peppa. Romper's Janet Manley calls it "the Peppa effect," noting that her daughter started calling her "Mummy" after an in-flight Peppa marathon.


Plenty of other parents report sharing Manley's experience, but the British accent is not likely to stick, experts say.

Toronto-based speech and language pathologist Melissa James says this isn't a new thing—kids have always been testing out the accents they hear on TV and in the real world, long before Peppa oinked her way into our Netflix queues.

"Kids have this amazing ability to pick up language," James told Global News. "Their brains are ripe for the learning of language and it's a special window of opportunity that adults don't possess."

Global News reports that back in the day there were concerns about Dora The Explorer potentially teaching kids Spanish words before the kids had learned the English counterparts, and over in the U.K., parents have noticed British babies picking up American accents from TV, too.

But it's not a bad thing, James explains. When an American adult hears "Mummy" their brain translates it to "Mommy," but little kids don't yet make as concrete a connection. "When a child, two, three or four, is watching a show with a British accent and hears [words] for the first time, they are mapping out the speech and sound for that word in the British way."

So if your baby is oinking at you, calling you "Mummy" or testing out a new pronunciation of "toh-mah-toe," know that this is totally natural, and they're not going to end up with a life-long British pig accent.

As Dr, Susannah Levi, associate professor of communicative sciences and disorders at New York University, tells The Guardian, "it's really unlikely that they'd be acquiring an entire second dialect from just watching a TV show."

It sure is cute though.

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