Category Archives: Parenthood

The Human Operating System

A friend who is a life coach often asks on social media, what are you doing to practice self-care? My answer is usually, “More than you could possibly imagine.” There are so many moving parts in my self-care repertoire that sometimes it feels a self-indulgent. But I’ve learned the hard way that if I neglect […]

Timehop

When I heard people talk about Timehop, I thought they meant when Facebook greets you with these “x years ago today” memories. Apparently that’s just called Facebook Memories, and Timehop is an app — which I don’t need, since I have Facebook, right? This “7 years ago today” picture was in my Facebook feed the […]

Road Trip: Part Deux

You’d think the Grand Canyon would be hard to top, but it turned out to be third on Tessie’s list of awesome things on the northern Arizona leg of our road trip. When we got back to Williams, home base for the Grand Canyon expedition, I got off the freeway one exit too soon, which […]

Road Trip

My 10-year-old daughter and I spent the day at the Grand Canyon, her first trip there and my first time since I was her age. I was a little disappointed when I went as a child, because I expected it to look like it did in all the professional photographs I’d seen, the colors more […]

Slacker Mom’s assault on moral decency and good nutrition

The other night I took my two eldest daughters, 14 and almost 12, to their first concert. Fall Out Boy seemed a safe enough choice. I actually like some of their songs. People my age without kids apparently have never heard of them, though, because a couple of friends who asked who was playing responded […]

The Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time: A Comedy in Three Acts

Setting:  The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, in the City of the Holy Faith. Act I Portia, Cordelia and Tess and Mom wait for mass to begin.  Tess sits with arms crossed in stone-faced silence as her ploy to skip mass by faking sick has failed.  Elizabeth is in the ladies room to […]

Pain

Today I read a New York Times column that made my blood run cold. It was from two days ago, written by Emily Rapp, a woman who happens to live in Santa Fe, New Mexico, as I do. A woman who is a mother, as I am. A woman who has faced pain I cannot […]

Better by the dozen

What’s kept me from the computer lately is that one of my friends and her children are visiting from out of town this week. This means we now have six children in the house, but the other night we had two other friends over, who also have six children between them, for a total of […]

BC

I use this expression rather often and semi-ironically meaning Before Children rather than Before Christ, so instead of constantly putting (Before Children) in parentheses after I use it, I decide to give it its own post I could just link to in future and save time. Because as a mother of four and borderline OCD […]

The end of innocence

He was a sweet, golden-haired boy, and his mother had kept him pure. Then I came along. I, with my worldly daughters. We, experienced in the ways of the flesh — the ground and re-formed, battered and deep fried avian flesh — gave a little boy his first bite ever of fast food. And not […]

Toilet training future adults

Please, please, please, think it through very carefully before you blog about your children’s bowel movements, or post a You Tube video of your child dancing naked and singing about successful defecation, and then zoom in for a close-up of the chef d’oeuvre the little prodigy has produced in the potty. You don’t think people […]

Cooking with kids

No blog posts for the past few days, since I’ve been busy doing all those things good mothers (the kind who don’t sit on their computers blogging and reading blogs while their kids sit on the other computer doing who knows what) do — taking them on exhausting outings, reading to them, and letting them […]

A mother’s love

Before I had children, I had no concept of the power of a mother’s love. Truly, it can overcome almost anything. The example I am about to give is mundane, and many of you will laugh at me, but I’ll risk your ridicule and relate it anyway. I am not afraid of snakes, or mice, […]

Can’t sleep

When I told people that Portia was sleeping through the night, I had a feeling I might jinx it. Sure enough, she woke up hungry at 3:30 this morning. If that had been the only nocturnal disturbance, it would have been okay, since she’s only three months old, and infants are expected to wake their […]

Hate Kate

I was absolutely blown away by the number of hits this blog got after I posted my “Lazy shrew and breeder pig” post. I had no idea how many people Google the Duggars and the Gosselins. Especially the Gosselins. Especially Kate Gosselin, whom people (mainly women, from what I can see) apparently love to hate. […]

Imperfect Parent blogger of the week

Imperfect Parenting has named my humble little Moralia their parenting blog of the week. Toward the end of August the site will having voting for blogger of the month, and I’ll be in the running. Stay tuned.

The lazy shrew and the breeder pig

Last year there was a discussion on an e-mail list I’m on about the Duggars, the notoriously large family of 17 (soon to be 18) children. There were comments about how that was too many children to give individual attention to each, a snide comment or two about Mrs. Duggar’s hairstyle, and the general consensus […]

Bouncing back after baby

British mother of 13 (soon to be 14) Joanne Watson was featured in a Daily Mail story the other day. One photo in the story shows the 37-year-old blonde Mrs. Watson with her blond husband and baker’s dozen of mostly blond and beautiful children. The other photo is a full-length shot of an amazingly slim […]

To boldly go…

As I was reading Maureen Dowd’s cleverly titled column “Ich Bin Ein Jet-Setter” about Barack Obama’s world tour, the phrase “he will have to successfully complete a number of tasks” jumped out at me: yet another split infinitive appearing in what is arguably our nation’s most illustrious newspaper, The New York Times, written by one […]

C-section moms to the back of the bus

For years I’ve been reading about how there are too many cesarean deliveries performed in this country, that vain celebrity moms choose c-sections to have smaller babies and preserve their figures or suit the convenience of their schedules or avoid some of the potential after-effects of vaginal birth. We hear repeatedly from natural childbirth advocates […]

Portia Louise, home at last

Portia Louise Russell and her exhausted but deliriously happy mother came home from the hospital on Sunday, and it’s taken this long for me to get around to writing about it. First, the name. Portia is the name we had in mind when I wrote my earlier post about baby names, but I was keeping […]

Parenting news and blues

Newsweek poses the question: Having Kids Makes You Happy: True or False? The article cites several studies that find parents are in fact less happy than the childless (or childfree, as many prefer to call themselves), and that they have less happy marriages as well. The author, Lorraine Ali, is herself a parent, and counters […]

Men behaving badly – and the women who blog about it

One of my husband’s friends gave him a hard time because I “slammed” him in my blog the other day. I was dumbfounded, since the post in question didn’t mention my husband, and my comment was a general one about how mothers tend to feel guilty for frittering away time on the internet instead of […]

The worst mother in the world

Is there a mother who doesn’t feel like this is her once in a while? When we yell at the kids over something stupid and feel like a complete jackass afterward. When we sit like a zombie surfing the internet instead of reading to our children like we promised ourselves (or God forbid them) we […]

No more nurseries?

What do you mean you don’t HAVE a nursery????? This was my dumbfounded response when I toured the maternity ward (the only one in Santa Fe) where I’ll be delivering next month. The hospital where I had my other three children had one, and since all my deliveries were c-section and I wasn’t quite up […]

Wherefore art thou Ethelbald?

If Romeo and Juliet had been called Ethelbald and Hildegarde, would their names be synonymous with romance? Names have been on my mind lately, since we have to choose one for our fourth daughter next month. Our first and third daughters have traditional, mainstream names, Elizabeth and Theresa, and we didn’t catch any flak about […]

Motherhood as battleground: Alice and Rebecca Walker

This story appeared yesterday on my friend Patrick O’Hannigan’s blog, The Paragraph Farmer, but my friend Martha Brozyna, medieval historian and author of a recently published book on stock trading, had already sent me the link to the Daily Mail article. In it, 38-year-old Rebecca Walker blames her famous mother, author Alice Walker, for very […]

The Myth of Ageless Motherhood

On Mother’s Day, a story called “Ageless Motherhood” dominated the front page of my local paper, the Santa Fe New Mexican. The cover photo featured Joyce Bond, 53, with two of the triplets she recently bore. Births to women over 40 are “soaring” according to the article, with the birth rate to women 40-44 growing […]