Expanded

For Renee, Charlotte, Christina, and Katy What happens to a motherWhen the heart she grew for youSuddenly has to make room For two What happens to a motherWho once spent her daysPlayingTeachingCuddlingDancingBribingLaughingExplainingExploring Is now married to the couch, bed, or kitchen floorReally anywhere the newest and most helpless childNeeds her more What happens to a motherWho…

Formula

I had to stop breastfeeding when the baby was 5 weeks oldI say had to, but really, it was a choiceThat’s what motherhood is– choice after choice after choiceHow will I mother in this moment?How will I respond to the things that are out of my control today? I had to decided to stop breastfeeding…

Screaming for Smiles

Today I encountered a woman screaming at her children because she wanted to take a photo of them smiling in front of a lake. Her kids were grinning at each other, at passers by, up at the cloudless sky, across the gleaming water– they were smiling at everything except for their mom. In fact, they…

Lessons From a Bumble Bee

Sitting in the garden last week, as if in slow motion,I watched my daughter touch a bumble bee on the backAnd then lean forward to blow it a loud, exaggerated kissBefore it flew away Maybe not the safest thing to be observing, without stepping in,But I was mesmerized by the sceneAnd I was also tiredBut…

The Shore

I don’t recall the last time I laughed so muchOr cared so littleEspecially with spandex coveringOr barely coveringThe softest parts of my body The beach was crowded when we entered the surfBut when we emerged hours laterThe sudden emptiness surrounding us felt disorientingWhere were the sun tents, the castle builders, the couples?Even the seagulls had…

Praying for Keeps

Millions of prayers whisperedAs parents look down on their young A full lifeA future wifeHealth, wealth, and safety These words are prayers but more like pleasA dealA demandA need We dream of hopes for those tiny toesAnd wishes for that grinBut what if all we hope for them is already within? I pray for self-acceptance,…

On Mothers and Cups

If we don’t think it’s important to teach our children that our needs as a parent and person matter, we are incidentally teaching our children that someday, their cups won’t matter either. We are teaching them how to be a martyr. That their life, wellbeing, and happiness is dictated by others and they don’t have a say in the matter.

Exactly Enough

People start asking you very soon after having a child if you plan to have a second one. A harmless and understandable question, sure. But it always sends a shock through me. I know the socially appropriate way to respond, so I smile and give a lighthearted, “Maybe!” or “We’ll see!” Sometimes if I have the time…

The Questionnaire

I sat in the lobby waiting to hear my name. Mismatched clothes, slippers for shoes, bloated and empty belly resting on my striped thighs. I couldn’t look at the glowing women around me, I wondered what they might see in my face? Terror Exhaustion Apathy Sadness Counterfeit joy Envy Anger Confusion Physical pain Emotional pain…