This Week in Family
What does motherhood look like today? Around Mother’s Day, the Family section took a closer look at the lives of American mothers. The share of the American population who are mothers is lower than it’s been in a quarter century, and moms today are, on average, older than they’ve been in the past. But even though it can seem like older moms are everywhere, having kids after 40 continues to be extremely rare. It’s a trend that’s dominated by more affluent parents, in part because of how expensive it can be to give birth later in life.
Many of you are probably watching a modern-day fairy tale unfold right now. Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are getting married today, and billions around the world are tuning in (and millions have even traveled to England to see it for themselves). Even as so many women are turning away from traditional gender roles, the fairy-tale wedding seems to have an enduring appeal, writes Caroline Kitchener, an associate editor at The Atlantic.
This illustration by Arsh Raziuddin accompanied Ian Bogost’s piece about why open floor plans have become so popular, and why they don’t quite offer the freedom from domestic life that designers idealize. Home models with kitchens, living rooms, and dining rooms that flow into one another became popular in the mid-20th century, with the supposed virtue of making it easier for women to balance child care, cooking, and socializing—but, as Bogost writes, these floor plans also render home life a constant “exercise in multitasking.”