I had always heard about the “mama bear instinct,” where a new mom will basically do whatever it takes to protect her child. I’m not going to say I thought it was a bunch of hullabaloo, but I will admit I thought people were exaggerating for effect. Like saying you could die happy now that you’ve tried a cronut.
But then, 12 hours into being a mom, I felt the first stirrings of it. By month three, the instinct to protect at all costs was so strong, I was starting to scare myself. I would stay up at night picturing all these insane scenarios where my tiny newborn was in harm’s way, and then I’d imagine what I needed to do to save him. Leap in front of an out-of-control car? Yes! Throw myself on top of a rabid dog who was eyeing him up like a piece of steak? Where do I sign up? It was crazy, yes, but so satisfying.
So when I read about Adele taking the British paparazzi to task for illicitly photographing her one-year-old son and profiting from it, I could totally relate. (Well, at least to her need to protect.) According to multiple reports, the Oscar- and Grammy award-winning singer and her partner, Simon Konecki, sued the photo agency Corbis Images U.K. Limited for taking pictures of baby Angelo‘s “milestone moments” (like his first playdate) and making them available to British tabloids. Though the very private Adele says she has accepted that she’s in the public eye, she’s always maintained that her son is not — a point her lawyers emphasized to the High Court in London this week. “These images were taken during private, recreational time unconnected with professional or public engagements,” Adele’s solicitor, Jenny Afia, said (per the BBC News). “They represent a clear infringement of our client’s right to privacy.”
Afia also said the first-time parents believed “these images were of routine, everyday family occasions which the paparazzi has no right to intrude upon, profit from and file away in picture libraries for future reference and use.”
The High Court agreed with Adele, awarding Angelo a five-figure sum that will be squirreled away in a trust. In addition to the payment from Corbis Images U.K., the ruling also ensured the photos will never be used again.
Adele’s victory comes on the heels of a California law enacted last September aimed at protecting children of celebs from intrusive paparazzi eager to get a payday shot. The new law clarified the legal definition of harassment and made the possible punishment more severe, reports E! Online. Celeb moms (and mama bears) Jennifer Garner and Halle Berry, who have had their fair share of run-ins with paps, testified in support of the bill.
These wins are two very big steps in the right direction, though certainly more can be done to shield famous kids from the prying eyes of the public. The California law, for example, stopped short of restricting the transmitting, publishing or broadcasting of a child’s image or voice. But hopefully, legal victories like these will help ensure that the photos we do see of A-list kids have been taken with the full knowledge and consent of their (understandably) protective parents.
Tell us: What do you think about Adele’s win? Will it do enough to protect the privacy of famous kids?
According to the Daily Mail, the new mom told the magazine that even though she’s sleep deprived, she’s never been more content. And honestly, it shows. Just look at the smile on her and fiance Roger Mathew’s faces. Though she described the July 13 delivery as “way more painful” than she thought, the new mom (real name, Jenni Farley) said she still wants more kids but admitted that it might take some convincing before Roger is on board. In the meantime, it sounds like the new parents will be plenty busy raising their little girl and preparing for their wedding.
Sweet baby Jane! Fresh off of paternity leave, Jimmy Kimmel finally showed off photos of his newborn daughter — and she’s friggin’ adorable! But don’t take my word for it. See the cuteness for yourself below:
The big reveal happened during Monday’s taping of Kimmel’s late-night show, the Daily Mail reports. Naturally, the proud dad devoted his monologue to life with Jane, starting with her July 10 delivery. “My wife is doing fine, I’m fine too,” he told the audience. “I was so brave. I cried a little but I didn’t scream. You guys would’ve been very, very proud of me.”
The third-time dad — he has two older children from his first marriage — is clearly smitten with his baby girl. Explaining that he’s taking “somewhere in the neighborhood of 10,000 pictures of her a day,” he joked that Jane has finally had enough. “She thinks I’m with TMZ.” He and wife Molly McNearney have also set the bar pretty high for themselves as parents. “Rest assured we’re going to do everything in our power to make this the best baby since a cute little guy named Jesus,” he said.
Check out the full monologue — and see the rest of Jane’s baby photos!
Tell us: How did you share your baby’s first pictures?
But we’ve also been keeping tabs on his parents, watching how this next chapter of their real-life fairytale unfolds and seeing how they’re holding up now that baby makes three. And honestly, I’ve got to hand it to the first-time parents: despite all the pomp and circumstance surrounding them, William and Kate seem refreshingly normal. Consider the evidence:
They (or, rather, Kate!) struggled with breastfeeding. Though St. James’ Palace has declined to comment, breastfeeding didn’t come easy at first for Kate, and it was widely reported that the new mom breastfed her son. Like many of us, she required a little help from the pros in the beginning. Still, she acknowledged that the decision to nurse is a personal one. A source told the DailyMirror: “She feels that it is a matter of personal choice, and that new mums should do whatever feels right for them and their baby.”
They’re affectionate. There’s no shortage of photos of Kate holding onto George; he’s practically her shadow. (My faves? Here, here, and here.) And William is just as loving. During a visit to an England homeless shelter, he recounted how he spent the morning cuddling with his then-four-month-old. “He was saying he had been holding him and his baby had been smiling into the mirror,” a resident told People. Then there’s this awww-worthy photo of William tenderly kissing the top of George’s head.
They too were once knee-deep in drool. During their trip abroad, photogs captured Kate in a so-called “gross mom moment.” The family was at Australia’s Sydney’s Taronga Zoo, and George, who was teething at the time, had some drool on his chin. The dutiful mom did what any of us would do: she swiped away the saliva with her hands and dried them on her dress. The wipe-off may have inflamed the haters (and left a mark on Kate’s designer dress), but it scored major points with sympathetic moms worldwide.
They get down on the ground during a playgroup. While on their tour Down Under, the family went to a get-together at New Zealand’s Government House. It was Prince George’s first public engagement, and the tot was a big hit — as were his parents. The future queen was photographed on her knees with the babies, in her beautiful dress, showing her son how to play with some of the toys. Ah-mazing.
They host playdates. When the queen is away, George will play — and invite some friends over, too. Kate reportedly hosts playdates at the royal residence (with the queen’s blessing, of course), including one with George’s godmother, Emilia Jardine Paterson, and her toddler.
They let George be a kid. Yes, he has a lot of first names. Yes, the Queen of England is expected to attend his birthday party. But at the end of the day, George is a one-year-old boy, full of energy and curiosity and a zest for life. And his parents seem to respect that and allow for it. William, for example, recently revealed that the birthday boy is “charging around and opening doors” at the family’s apartment in Kensington Palace. “I think George will be running faster than me very soon,” he joked.
They’re hands-on. Sure, they have enough money to hire a fleet of fancy nannies to care for their son, but Kate and William seem determined to bring up their baby on their own. Even if that means enduring lots of sleepless nights and poop diapers. A source told Us Weekly: “Kate doesn’t want George to be more used to the sight of the help than to his own parents.” For his part, William has taken a job as an air ambulance helicopter pilot just so he can be closer to his family.
“I can’t wait to hop in the car and run errands with my child,” said no parent ever. If you’re not trying to snap your baby out of a crying jag with a one-handed backwards version of “Twinkle Twinkle,” then you’re mouth-breathing while an explosive poop fills up her diaper. (Side note: what’s up with the timing of those?) Oh, and yeah, you’re also trying to remember to keep your hands at 10 and 2, give people the right of way and always use your turn signal.
I mean, really.
Apparently, the engineers at Toyota are no strangers to the perils of traveling with kids and have designed what can only be described as every parent’s dream car. It’s a Sienna minivan, yes, but it’s a minivan that’s going to help you get from Point A to Point B without feeling like you’ve just run a marathon. That’s because it’s equipped with two magical features, the AP reports. The first, “Driver Easy Speak,” lets you speak into a built-in microphone that will amplify your voice through speakers in the backseat, making hollering over your shoulder a thing of the past (though feel free to continue shouting back there if needed). Best part? The feature only works for the driver, meaning your baby’s shrieks won’t be any louder than normal.
The second bell and whistle sure to win over parents is the “pull-down conversation mirror,” which lets you check on the kids without having to turn around. The feature is optional, but I can’t for the life of me imagine why a parent wouldn’t spring for it. Sparing yourself the agony of twisting around in the middle of a traffic jam to deal with a baby tantrum has got to be worth the extra cost.
But you’ll have to endure the road trips and errand-running without the high-tech help for now. The 2015 Sienna doesn’t roll into showrooms until this fall.
Tell us: How do you handle your baby’s meltdowns while driving?