No-Fear Solo Parenting

Earlier this week, a revelation: I no longer fear the solo-parenting stint. Single parents may roll their eyes or snicker a bit. After all, they’re pros! But for me, parenting without backup has typically involved a lot of yelling, a ton of tension in my body, sad-turning-to-mad kids, and finally, a side of self-loathing to compensate for crummy parenting. So this week was a milestone. My husband was away for a long business trip. Normally, I’d have some handwringing around that, and a ‘circle the girlfriends and ready the margaritas’ mantra in mind. I’ll still be plenty glad to have my … [Read more...]

Safe Harbor Mama

Safe Harbor Mama

A few weeks ago in my weekly women's circle, our "homework" was to "try on" something we really wanted to be or do. To act as if. To practice a little fake-it-til-you-make-it. I decided to check out what it felt like to be a "safe harbor" mama. To me, that’s the kind of mother who creates a welcoming, safe place for her children, no matter what's going on. The kind of mom my kids will turn to, even when they’re older, even when they’ve really screwed something up. It’s the same basic idea as gentle, natural, or attachment parenting. Whatever you call it, I've been concerned that I'm not … [Read more...]

The Great Decluttering of 2011


From basement to rafters, I’m decluttering my house. (I've got good reason to do it!) Every possession will be considered. Every box unpacked. Every paper filed, shredded, or recycled. It may take all summer, or it may take til the end of the year. But I am on the warpath against clutter, working toward the day—at least one day!—when the house is set, and there’s room to breathe, and there’s a place for everything, and space for new things. A day when it’s all beautiful and functional and peaceful and just ahhhhhh. I’m not doing this alone. I’ve hired help. Julie’s got organization in her … [Read more...]

25 Reasons to Clear the Clutter


I’ve always had a special way with clutter. We stick together—especially if office supplies and paper are involved. My college roommate practically deserves sainthood for the number of times she helped me box up pencils, pens, and paperclips, and more and more of them each time we moved. (Jen Anderson, I'll never be able to thank you enough!) But since becoming a mother, clutter has become more than a sticking point. When I’m overly stressed or sleep-deprived, clutter turns my irritation into a seriously dark mood. Suddenly, I can see only the flaws and the junk and everything wrong with my … [Read more...]