Burned-Out Mother Seeks Personal Assistant

I recently found myself standing in Target, unable to move. I stared intently at the boxes of pasta, trying to appear deep in thought on the relative merits of angel hair vs. rotini and hoping nobody noticed that I was no longer sure how to put one foot in front of the other. Exhaustion had spread into the very core of my being, and I could no longer power through—I am a burned-out mother. I glanced at my shopping list and wondered when I’d learned to write in a foreign…

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My Baby is a Worrier: She Gets it From Me

I’ve spent an enormous amount of mental energy forging routes around fear; taking the long way to avoid those scary woods.  It’s an exhausting and isolated path, full of its own obstacles and lacking a GPS signal. My way was studded with compulsion and hidden distress, holding myself responsible for outcomes and creating imaginary control where I had none. I hid it well, which only served to make the road more desolate. When I see my five-year-old struggling, I worry that one day she too will turn inward and it…

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Dear Mom Who Is Totally Screwing Up

Dear mom who is totally screwing up, Today my five-year-old daughter screamed the whole way home because I would not buy her a pottery wheel. Today I lost my patience. I will lose my patience again tomorrow. I sometimes clean up her messes, because I can’t deal with the potential meltdown, or the calm presence it would take to walk her through how to clean it on her own. I let her watch kids’ shows with obnoxious characters who whine a lot and lack depth. I tune her out after…

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No Underwater Piano for My Kid

When I finally arrive at my daughter’s after school program each evening I hear other parents admonishing their kids to hurry up because they have to get to swimnastics practice. T-ballet? Underwater piano? I honestly can’t keep track of the widely varied activities that her peers seem to be rotating through each season. It exhausts me to even hear them discussing their extracurriculars. Back when my daughter was my only child and I was a better parent, we did try signing her up for ballet through our local rec center….

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How to Take Your Kids Camping without Losing Your Mind

I love camping, but my idea of a great trip has evolved over the years. In college we hiked into the national forest, pitched a tent, and sent somebody back for the cooler of beer. As young adults we were equally as suited to backwoods minimalist, as parties in the woods. We once fit four adults in a Camry and drove 12 hours to a multi-day camping festival. Things have changed. These days we take two cars to camp 30 minutes away. It’s worth it, but making the most of…

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