Babies are beautiful, precious creatures. They’re also helpless little monsters that can cling on to you 24/7, especially in their first few weeks and months. For me, this meant spending the better part of my summer in exactly one place: on the couch, holding my high-needs bundle of joy in my arms.
These needs kicked in as soon as we’d left the maternity ward. As a second-time human incubator, I had an idea of how messy the so-called fourth trimester can be, but it turned out I knew nothing. My newborn wasn’t anything like her big brother, who never had an issue with being put down and napping on his own as a baby. No, she wanted to be held at all times — and really mean that.
If I tried to go to the bathroom? Crying.
Fetch a snack for myself? Crying.
Put her down on the couch next to me just so I could stretch my back and legs a little? Crying.
Make her nap in the sleeper/bed/on the couch/floor/anywhere not touching me? So much crying you’d think they cancelled Christmas.
The only time she would consistently chill was during our daily two-hour walk. I’d pop her in the carrier, she’d fall asleep in an instant and I’d roam the streets of Vilnius with my arms and legs blissfully free. I’m not gonna lie, the whole episode was tough for both of us. But little by little, through some perseverance and introspection, I learned to just kind of lean into it.
You see, I figured that I’d had an active life before and I’d have one again. Right now my petite chenille needed me to go the extra mile for her. “These are the moments of connection”, as former Dawson Leery, current Instagram family man James Van Der Beek so aptly described the baby years. I decided to embrace those moments, back pain notwithstanding.
It wasn’t long until my baby and I both started to mellow out and truly enjoy our time together. Her utter joy whenever she just sees me continues to be the most wonderful gift.
A happy side effect of living on the couch was that I finally had the chance to catch up with all the media I’d been missing out on over the past few years thanks that whole working mother thing. Okay, I still wasn’t going to jump into any murderfests like Game of Thrones or Chernobyl because I didn’t have the energy for that then and I doubt I’ll have it for a while. I was all about ’em good times.
Today, my days are more varied. My tiny trooper is growing up and becoming more independent — well, as independent as a 3-month-old can be. My media habit has slowed down since I started being able to (occasionally) do other things during the day. Case in point: this post.
To put a cap on this very special episode of our lives, I’ve jolted down one-sentence reviews of all the Netflix shows, YouTube channels and podcasts I’ve been mainlining over the past three months. You’re welcome.
The Society (Season 1): Teen dystopian thriller addresses real-world issues from the rise of political opportunism to incels with surprising intelligence, falls disappointingly short on world-building
Jessica Jones (S2-3): Perpetually angry, superpowered private detective and her adoptive sister fight crime and their own traumas in an uncomfortably poignant New York noir
Tales of the City (2019) (S1): Set in a rapidly gentrifying San Francisco neighborhood, Lauren Morelli’s heart-warming ensemble show meditates on the meaning of chosen family, generational divides within the LGBT community and disappearance of traditionally queer spaces
Rita (S3-4): Rebellious school teacher and her nerdy younger colleague fight to stay weird in a hilarious and touching Danish being-of-age dramedy
Workin’ Moms (S1-3): Shockingly realistic and wildly funny Canadian mommy comedy centers a ragtag line-up of parents trying to survive the baby years, leaves no taboo intact, proves once again that Canadians Do It Better
Riverdale (S2-3): Small town noir, murder mysteries, gang wars, death cults, illegal underage fight clubs, secret gay conversion camps and torrid high school romance come together in a deliciously off-the-rails Twin Peaks for teenagers
Nappyheadedjojoba: My imaginary best friend Ti applies makeup, goes to the gym and destroys the white supremacist patriarchy/other brands of stupidity with her funny, funny words
ContraPoints: Campy and fun video essays by Natalie Wynn combine Western philosophy, transgender issues and critique of the far right, have reportedly converted some guys on the internet to the right side of history
Financial Diet: Down-to-earth and easy-to-digest money advice for millennials, by millennials
Hot and Flashy: Mature beauty influencer Angie reviews a revolving door of products and procedures, gets to the bottom of their ingredients and cost-effectiveness better than your average 20-something with YouTube access
Lab Muffin Beauty Science: PhD scientist and science educator cuts through the beauty industry’s marketing speak to offer thorough, evidence-based skincare advice, once hilariously reviewed Pharrell’s anti-aging regime
Dr. Davin Lim: No-nonsense skincare advice from my favorite cosmetic dermatologist, because apparently I’m a person who has a favorite cosmetic dermatologist?
Breaking Beauty: Entertaining insider talks with big names in the beauty industry from Jen Atkins to Tata Harper, Emily Weiss and Mathilde Thomas
Guilty Feminist: Laugh-out-loud funny comedy show about the lived experiences and contradictions of being a feminist in the 21st century, challenging the idea that feminism is a meritocracy where you either “win” or “fail” (because let’s face it we’d all fail)
Bad with Money: Comedian, author and self-described deadbeat Gaby Dunn examines the intersection of finances and social justice through a series of very interesting and relatable interviews with guests who are, or have been, “bad with money”
So that’s it and I hope I didn’t leave anything out, besides the 5+ shows that I only watched an episode or two of before giving up. Did you find any new media on the list that piqued your interest?