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Dear Moms: thank you.

Mother’s Day, right from the very beginning, has always been complicated for me. Maybe it’s because my very first one was so upside down, so sad without my own mother, so beautiful and joyful to be a mother myself to my newborn son. But mostly it always feels complicated because as any mother will tell you, the business of mothering is a 24/7 job. We never stop caring or fighting or loving. It seems odd that we should celebrate something all encompassing only one day a year, and do so with such simplistic frivolity. More than that, we often honor Mothers specifically for what they do for others. I love my children more than my own life. But I bristle whenever I receive cards from them thanking me for what I do for them (which is a lot!) but mostly because it’s a reminder that I’m doing too much for them (which won’t help them down the stretch) and because it makes it seem like our connection and love for each other is tied to things that are actionable, which I would hope they would no
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Rachel Hollis' Instagram is The Bad Place

  Women, mothers, pull up a chair.  I wish to have a word with you about Rachel Hollis, toxic positivity, and women as a commodity.  Do you know Rachel Hollis? She is a self proclaimed motivational speaker and life coach. She has nearly 2 million followers on Instagram, has published multiple NY Times bestsellers, and runs her own business, has a product line in Target, a clothing line on QVC, her own fitness app, and sells out large convention size stadiums where people pay $40 for a general ticket or up to $200 per person for a VIP pass that will give them things like “digital swag” (those two words together form a new one that has an unclear meaning to me), and video playback on all speakers. Rachel Hollis is a business and the thing that she is selling? Why that’s you. It wasn’t always this way. As one of the few bloggers still kicking around that started out nearly nine years ago, many of us old folks can tell you how quickly the landscape of personal essays and blogging changed.

It's Not a Pandemic Wall.

I’ve been inching closer to the anniversary of the date when I knew it was all changing with an incr e asing sense of dread. That day, in my mind, was March 9th. I was playing soccer with the girls in the field outside my son’s school while he attended basketball tryouts inside. Just then the email came through from my father’s Assisted Living community saying they were closing their doors indefinitely because of COVID. There would be no more visits, no hugs, and no idea what comes next. I looked at the girls joyfully playing in the last light of the day and snapped a picture of the evening sky. I wanted to remember what it looked like when I knew their entire world was about to change. I’ve read lots of pieces recently about the  pandemic wall  that many of us are feeling one year in to quarantine but to be candid, that isn’t quite what I’ve been feeling lately. Until I read these words on Claire Bidwell Smith’s instagram the other night: “This month marks nearly everyone’s anniversar

Gen X Is Not Okay.

You really ought to check on your Gen X friends. It is difficult to articulate what this middle is like right now for us. We are caring for the parents above us, watching this pandemic ravage their mental health as they stay isolated inside, but simultaneously worried that if we try to hug them or comfort them or encourage them to leave they will catch a deadly disease. At the same time we are trying to shepherd our kids through this thing too, somehow ensuring that they don't grow up to be permanently scarred and weird because all they know are screens and adult conversations and that is not a childhood. We are doing all of this while we hold the line on businesses and jobs and careers. We are twenty years in. We are the ones with enough institutional knowledge to keep the office or that business afloat right now. We are 15 years into a marriage and at best, two away from needing a new roof. We are holding ALL of it up. But watching everything unfold yesterday just about nearly br

Parents of 2020: Take a Bow

I wanted to write a special note to the parents out there and just let you know that you did such an awesome job this year. This was the year where we couldn't hide from our kids who we really are anymore, or what we really feel. 2020 was a brutal reminder to parents everywhere, that one of our core responsibilities to our children, is to live and feel and experience this world in a way that is authentic. To model for them what it means to feel happy and sad and angry and hungry and weak and overwhelmed. You did such a fantastic job this year, modeling and giving them permission to be a feeling person in this world.    Parents of 2020: take a bow. What a phenomenal job you did trying and failing miserably to homeschool them. It was genuinely awesome the way you lost your temper again and again, and had to figure out how to constantly keep composing yourself. What a great job you did showing them that all teachers are special, magical creatures akin to unicorns. I love the way you s

Dear DoorDash Doppelgänger

I know that other people developed hobbies and stuff during quarantine, but I spent my time doing extremely important things like conjuring up a fake relationship with someone who accidentally used my email to order DoorDash. Please enjoy this 1,800 word description of this alternate reality. Also, if you know Jenn in California, tell her I say hi. 

Never Underestimate the Mothers

  I remember the very first moment I knew I was pregnant. I hadn’t taken a single test yet undeniably, this was a thing that I knew. I felt different in a way I had never felt before, in a way I couldn’t even articulate. My husband didn’t believe me and of course who could blame him? I was being silly. Why did I think I was pregnant? Because I had slept a little later that morning, or had devoured that cheeseburger at the airport? Maybe. But I was different. I was changed. And six different home pregnancy tests later he believed me. Indeed, I was. We were expecting our son. The thing is that women always know. We know our bodies, we know our children before we even know them, we know when people are trying to lie to us, or intimidate us, or control us. We know what it feels like in our gut when someone comes for one of our children, that feeling when our minds go blank and all we can think of is the feeling of hot rage and mixed with the cool steady calm that guides us toward that chil