Hi, I’m Erin

Here’s me:

And here’s an image of me that was generated when I put a bunch of photos of my face into an AI image generator but didn’t read the instructions closely enough to understand that there weren’t supposed to be other people’s faces in the source images:

I’m glad that I know how I would look if it were capable to reproduce by dividing, like amoebae. Technology is amazing!

In case we’re unacquainted, here’s a little bit about me: I’m a writer and host/ executive producer of the Crooked Media podcast Hysteria. You may have also heard (or seen) me on other Crooked Media pods like Pod Save America, What a Day, Keep It!, and Lovett or Leave It. I’m an occasional contributor to The Daily Beast, where I write about politics, gender, and culture. I’ve written for the TV– It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Mythic Quest, and elsewhere. I’ve been a talking face in a box on places like MSNBC and CNN, and have had written work appear in other publications like Playboy and The New York Times. I started writing and editing at the website Jezebel, where I covered politics and culture and accidentally helped Ryan Lochte get a reality show. I have opinions. But, like, professionally.

I grew up in a very tiny town in rural Wisconsin called Frederic, went to college in South Bend, Indiana. I’ve lived in Chicago, then New York City and now, Los Angeles where I share my home with (in order of seniority) a cat, husband, dog, and child. In my free time (lol) I read, cook, and have killed many, many, many plants that I was supposed to be growing.

Why am I doing this?

Marriage and motherhood might seem like an odd choice for someone who, until relatively recently, was so commitment phobic that I would get stressed out picking polish colors at the nail salon because I had no idea if I’d still like Lincoln Park After Dark in a week. I’d have nightmares about engagement rings. I loved babies and kids… other people’s babies and kids. I was completely satisfied being the Party Aunt in my family. 

I’m a planner and a dreamer, but plans and dreams are malleable. You can change a flight or move cities or quit a job or even break up with a spouse, although I’ve heard that’s a lot of paperwork. But parenthood is sticky in the way those other things aren’t. It’s a commitment written in your blood and bones. I knew that once I became a mother, there was no way to become an un-mother, no matter what happened. 

And that was terrifying. Imagine committing to have the same roommate for 18 years and at the same time, you have to look after the roommate, and sometimes stick a tiny baby thermometer into the roommate’s butt as they cry and thrash and you are sick with worry because they cannot tell you what is wrong and they are too small to take most medicines, anyway, but all you want in the world is for them to no longer be in pain. Imagine committing to a roommate who can’t feed themselves, or who will paw at your breasts and pull on your shirt in public while you’re having a conversation with another adult because they believe that your breasts are their breasts. (I’m sure you can find something like this on Craigslist if it’s your thing; it’s not mine.) Imagine taking care of a person for years and years only to have them tell you that they hate you because you won’t let them go to an all-teen night club. Imagine paying for their college. 

Beyond that, it was hard for me to wrap my head around bringing another human being into a world that I was convinced was messed up and only becoming worse. Where could my kids live? Would their world be poison? How would I afford them? How would I keep them safe? Would I go insane with worry? How would I teach them to be a good person in a culture that encourages the worst of human nature? Who will I have to beat up? (for legal reasons, I currently have no plans to beat up anybody. But that could change.

I lived a lot of life and did a lot of stupid (fun) things before I “settled down.” I don’t believe that people need to choose between adventure and parenthood— the two can coexist, and not in a soft-focus “You’re My Greatest Adventure” nursery theme kind of way.

Why subscribe?

I started this newsletter as a way to document all of the ways that pregnancy, motherhood, and the culture surrounding both is cool, interesting, and fucked up, with the hopes that it would reach other people interested in this stuff— parents, grandparents, people figuring their own lives out, emotional voyeurs, whatever— as long as you’re not an asshole, I don’t judge.

If you subscribe, you’ll get one newsletter directly to your inbox every week— completely free— and access to all of my subscriber archives. Take every new step with me through parenting a toddler, or retrace my steps back to June 2021, when I first started telling people outside of my closest circles about my pregnancy.

Subscribing also means you’re part of a community of people who want to read about and discuss these things. It also means that we’ll be in conversation, in a way— I will be as interactive as I can and respond to your questions and suggestions for topics to cover. Toddler permitting.

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What about paid subscriptions?

I’m grateful to anybody who wants to engage with my work, regardless of whether they’re paying for it. But if you do wish to support the work and have access to additional content including video, audio, Q&A’s, and other cool stuff, you might want to become a paid subscriber. (If you know somebody who enjoys my work, a subscription is a great gift that doesn’t add any clutter or gather any dust!)

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In addition to receiving everything subscribers receive, paid subscribers will get an additional post or two per week, and be able to email me directly in response to posts. I will never spam you or send you desperate Politicians In September-style emails with subject lines like “I’m Asking You One More Time, [Name]” or “[Name]… It’s Bad News” because I hate that and I’m sure you do, too.

Thanks for reading all the way to the end of the About page, and I hope we’ll stay in touch!

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Motherhood: the most wonderful terrible job in the world.


Erin Ryan 

Writer (columnist, essayist, jokes, scripts, etc), talker (Hysteria podcast, etc), mother (dog, cat, human baby), sister, daughter, friend, frenemy, pain in the ass