April Must Reads

Topping our list of parenting reads: Peaceful portraits of sleeping parents-to-be, Silicon Valley’s best and worst jobs for parents, and what the Danes have to say about raising happy kids.

Some stories we just can’t keep to ourselves. Here, our recommendations for great reading.

ESSAY / Why I Creep into Expecting Parents’ Bedrooms to Take Their Picture
In the pre-dawn hours, a couple with a baby on the way lets Russian photographer Jana Romanova into their home. He relaxes in the kitchen and silently drinks a cup of tea as the couple falls back asleep. Once they do, he sneaks into their bedroom, scales a small ladder, and takes their photograph. Here’s why: “Amid the cravings and the body changes, the anticipation and the preparation; the joys and the aches, there’s little time for quiet. And yet here I’d found a moment in which parents were in complete rest (or maybe exhaustion?) together.”
(Vantage)

DESIGN / 5 Tiny Family Homes
Could you live in 200 square feet or less? The Miller family of Boise, Idaho, makes room for a baby—and a Great Dane—in this 196-square-foot space. Check out a few more families making it work in a smaller footprint.
(Dwell)

Two parents, a baby and a Great Dane—in 198  square feet. Courtesy of Dwell.

Two parents, a baby and a Great Dane—in 196 square feet. Courtesy of Dwell.

CAREER / Silicon Valley’s Best and Worst Jobs for New Moms (and Dads)
By frequently offering four months of parental leave (paid out at an employee’s full salary, no less), the technology industry is leading the field for generous family leave policies. The Atlantic’s Rebecca Grant compares the policies of 15 different tech companies—across size, vertical, and location—and makes a case for why disrupting parental leave is a good thing.
(The Atlantic) 

GEAR / Old-School Cool: Charming Toys Made of Nothin’ But Wood
The clean, modern craftsmanship of Candylab’s solid-wood toys will bewitch kids and parents. We’re especially digging the classic “Woodie,” or wood-paneled station wagon, that can haul a camper and a couple of surfboards.
(Wired)

The Woodie, Camper, and wooden surfboards from Candylab.

The Woodie, Camper, and wooden surfboards from Candylab.

TIP / Bedtime Yoga: 12 Poses to Help Kids Sleep Better
You probably wouldn’t carve this time out for just yourself, but if it helps your kids get to sleep? Bring it “om.” Mariam Gates, author of Goodnight Yoga: A Pose-by-Pose Bedtime Story, runs through a quick sequence aimed at soothing stress and calming the central nervous systems of 4- to 8-year-olds.
(Yoga Journal)

HUMOR / The All-Too-Real Struggles of Being a First-Time Parent, Illustrated
File this under, “It’s funny because it’s true.” Scottish illustrator Lucy Scott chronicles her hilarious misadventures in motherhood, and we’re betting you will recognize yourself in her di-chromatic doodles.
(Quartz)

Illustrations of first-time parenthood, by Lucy Scott. Courtesy of Quartz.

Illustrations of first-time parenthood, by Lucy Scott. Courtesy of Quartz.

CULTURE / How Danish Parents Raise the Happiest Kids in the World
Denmark has been home to the happiest people on earth for nearly 40 years, according to the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development. So they surely have the inside track on raising good kids. American mom Jessica Alexander shares the successful methods employed by her Danish husband to teach their children empathy, esteem, and well-being.
(Mother)

PROJECT / DIY Portable LEGO Kit for Little Travelers
This kit is a portable godsend for planes, trains, and automobiles. All you need is a lunchbox, a bin of LEGOs that includes a building plate, a pair of scissors, and craft glue.
(Mama. Papa. Bubba)

DIY portable LEGO kit for travelers, courtesy of Mama Papa Bubba

DIY portable LEGO kit for travelers, courtesy of Mama.Papa.Bubba

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