Praise for stepmothers

My son spends half of his life under another roof with his father and a woman I did not choose. This woman rises earlier than she’d prefer to care for my son. She cooks meals for him, listens to him, plays with him, considers his preferences and needs and desires. She rides airplanes with him, holds him when he cries, advises him … Read More

The Joy of Ex

I didn’t know when I was divorcing that I’d eventually come out the other side happier. I didn’t know that I’d come to love and appreciate and respect my co-parent again, in a fresh and true and far more sustainable way. I didn’t know that my son would would thrive. I didn’t know how incredibly resourced, powerful, and courageous I … Read More

Becoming an outlaw

Since he had words, my son has been trying to find the right names for the complicated constellation of adults in his life. For years, he called Taylor “Daddy’s husband” and could not be persuaded to call her what she was: Daddy’s girlfriend. With a good number of his aunts, uncles and grandparents divorced and reconfigured in relationship, Teddy still struggles with … Read More

The One Thing You Cannot Live Without

People who suffer from the rare condition CIPA, congenital insensitivity to pain with anhidrosis, can’t feel physical pain. While this might seem like a kind of advantage, it actually puts these people at risk of seriously hurting themselves without getting the warning signs that help protect the rest of us. Through my divorce, I discovered I had a similar liability–though … Read More

Note to Self: Do Not Marry Tom Cruise

I bought my first People magazine ever when I saw Katie Holmes’ escape from Tom Cruise plastered across the cover. This marriage had always been symbolic to me of that precipice where the fairy tale leaves off and Happily Ever After is a free fall. While I’ll never know and am not too concerned about what actually happened between those … Read More

The Surprising Gift of Office Life

I was working from home by day, mothering by night. My big outings were walking the dogs and taking my son to school — neither of which required showering, dressing, or interacting with humans for more than a brief exchange. I had been depressed and exhausted for so long, I had lost my reference point for how a happy and … Read More

Prince Loving

What fairy tale genius decided that the answer to a woman’s prayers was Prince Charming anyway? When a woman is immobilized from a C-section, supporting the family financially without any help, too exhausted to take her own shirt off, what good does Charming do her? What if little girls today were raised on a new archetype: Prince Loving?  The guy … Read More