Soothe the Baby and Stir the Soup

 We arrived at the mountain in the early afternoon, before the warm Autumnal light of New England started to gush through the trees like golden honey. Walking in the woods is our family medicine, and after days of online school with little joy or movement, it’s crucial to let our animal bodies run around in the woods. In the parking lot, something spooked our gigantic puppy Charlie, and he turned and bolted without realizing I was right behind him. His skull made contact with my leg at such a velocity that astonishing pain spiked through my knee. He twisted his leash around us both, all while trying to escape, pulling me backwards so my hip cracked into the fender of a parked car. It all happened so fast, that I mostly laughed and tried to stay upright, but actually, ouch. Given that we had sat in front of screens for the majority of the day, I insisted that we persevere with our hike, dammit. I tried not to favor my tender leg, so as to reassure them. “I’ll go slow behind you guys, do

Be a Better Person; Stop Giving a Shit

We’d been sweaty and pissy to each other all day, so it was time for a swim. We arrived at a nearby lake, my kids bickered about which frog net they would carry, and grumbled about which snacks I did or did not bring, they even argued about whose bag was heavier. But I ignored them and walked ahead. Somehow, they survived and arrived at the water’s edge with me, not dead on the trail from the terrible disease ‘heavy bag-itus’, as was threatened.   I stood in the water, texting a friend, answering her thoughtful query about how my day was going. At the moment, little else felt as important to me as having a simple catch up with my friend.   Not too long ago, I would have felt self-conscious if I was blatantly ignoring my children in public in favor of my phone. Even though I am a rock-solid awesome mom, the public performance of motherhood often prevented me from doing things that nourished me.     Women must not only be sexually appealing and visually pleasing at all times, but they mu

The Fallacy of Self-Care Being Accessible to All

  You may feel like you’re barely getting by every day, with all the stressors that come with being a functional adult. You may feel like you can barely make it to the next month, even though you’re working as hard and fast as you can. You may feel like you’re a little fish trying to swim upstream, while the bigger fish cruise right by you with ease. Well, now with the self-care movement, you can feel like you’re failing at yet another thing.   Supposedly, wellness and self-care should be open to everyone, but keep in mind that unless you’re eating charcoal a cai avocado toast, healing with crystals, and wearing only the finest organic cotton, then you’re doing it all wrong.     I’m sorry to share that you’re just going to have to work harder at properly taking care of yourself, and if you can’t get to that island retreat with silent purebred puppy shamans and fermented gold leaf massages with bone broth facial infusion treatments, then, well, you only have yourself to blame. Sad. Tha

Sometimes, a Fake Mustache Can Help

  When I was a teenager, my family moved to a new city and I transferred to a large high school. Although I was very shy, I was enticed by the options for clubs and extracurriculars, and joined the stage make-up group. I had been curious about using colors and techniques on the face and body to enhance and amplify storytelling, so joining felt like a perfect fit. Little did I know that I’d utilize what I learned to celebrate my family’s safety during a global pandemic.   The first few meetings went well, I met nice kids, and after learning some basics, I was eager to start trying out some techniques. Every time we broke up into small groups to practice, the teacher who led the group pulled me aside as his partner. I couldn’t quite identify my discomfort about how often or how excessively he touched me, or that he wouldn’t  le t me wo rk with the other kids. I was the shy new kid without any friends, and couldn’t name what was happening to me, and even though I loved learning about stag

Repair The World: Start At The Roots

          My littlest child loves the trees, and invites me to quietly walk in the forest nearly every day, now that we have time for such things in our new normal. We’ve explored many of the luscious green trails all over western MA. We almost always feel safe to explore, always grateful to live in a place of such abundant natural beauty.   Recently, we learned about an invasive plant called knotweed and my child was transformed from mellow hiker to tireless activist. Knotweed can grow incredibly fast, is extremely destructive to trails and forests by exacerbating flooding, and releases chemicals that hinders the growth of native plants.   “We have an opportunity to heal the world, and now that we know about this, it’s our duty,” he shouted emphatically as he yanked the plants up, exposing intricately tangled networks of dirt-clotted roots.   The bags I pack for our daily hikes now include not only water and snacks, but work gloves and metal trowels. I was slower than my child to a

Nuclear Family on Lockdown: 7 Ideas to Keep Your Marriage From Melting Down While Isolating With Kids

As hard as it is to be separated from your work community, friends, and the daily pleasures of regular non-socially-distanced life, there is something to be said for the difficulties that have emerged from being in constant contact (and I mean CONSTANT) with the partner whom you supposedly love the most. Maybe your love is relatively new, and there’s a teeny baby to occupy these long, weird, timeless days. I’m not talking to you, although I definitely know that this pandemic is effecting you all in some uniquely terrifying ways. But I’m calling out to the middle aged grumpy-ass married people who were slogging along through the exhausting life of dual-incomes, child-rearing, mortgage/tax/bills-paying, oh, and throw in some aging parents, among other things. We are known as the  sandwich generation , and although the percentage of adults who are  married  or  living together  has been steadily declining for the past few decades, that hasn’t dissuaded so many of us from giving it