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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The Dishes Can Wait…and Other Lies

“They’re only young once.” The words are superimposed on an idyllic picture of a child in nature or a beach with footprints leading to the horizon. There’s always a hazy filter. The bottom caption implores you to leave a counter full of dirty dishes, to eschew housework, to be present for your children for they will grow up before your very eyes. We are reminded that no one has ever said they wish they had spent more time doing housework, and less time with the kids. Don’t feel bad if…

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Semi-Lucid Thoughts of a Sleep-Deprived Mother

I haven’t slept for more than three straight hours in eight months. I’m being held together through sheer force of will, caffeine, and napping in toilet stalls. Sometimes I forget what I’m doing–while I’m doing it. Why am I in the kitchen and why is the cat in the refrigerator? Did I say cat? I meant toothbrush. Sometimes I mix up words. I have a yoga mat in my office that is only used for corpse pose. I’m mostly doing a decent job of being a person who is, you…

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