Seasonal Affective Disorder: A Plan of Attack

Since leaving the ever-sunny South at age 18, I have experienced definite mood disorder during the fall and winter months, and it's more pronounced after becoming a mother. We as mothers are more susceptible to the changes that seasons bring, particularly in the gloomy months. We have fewer pleasurable distractions, fewer opportunities to help ourselves, fewer outs than we did before our lives at home with children.I deeply admire those mothers who delight in the still, homey indoor time of … [Read more...]

Merit Badges for Mom

After spending this week in Edinburgh, Scotland in a dumpy Travelodge room passing around a horrendous stomach virus with my kids while my husband goes to the National Archives, I have been thinking that we should start a merit badge system for moms. My brother is an Eagle Scout; here are some badge categories for all you Eagle Moms. 1. Medic: for singlehandedly taking care of vomiting children and controlling destructive toddlers while our own innards are being thrashed2. Chef: for … [Read more...]

Because Mom can only do so much…

Angel of God, My Guardian Dear.To Whom God's love entrusts me here.Ever this day be at my side.To light and guard, to rule and guide.Thank you, my childrens' Guardian Angels, for picking up everywhere I leave off.Thank you, my husband's Guardian Angel, for guiding our one life.Thank you, my Guardian Angel, for lighting every step.Thank you, Lord, for sending one powerful angel of heaven to each of us here below. … [Read more...]

Heroism of the Habit

My husband recently rode a train between Cambridge and Edinburgh. A fully-habited sister took an empty seat next to a middle-aged businessman. In a somewhat-clueless, English surfer-dude tone, the businessman broke the silence and addressed her: “Hey. Are you a nun?” The sister replied, sweetly, “Well, yes.” And a quiet conversation ensued between the two of them.So what is the purpose of the habit? For that matter, why should priests wear a collar outside of celebrating the sacraments? Why … [Read more...]

Lactivism, yes. Nursing nudity, no.

I used to think that my (albeit softcore) lactivism necessitated approval of immodest breastfeeding practices. We’re all in this together, breastfeeding moms, and we need to show the world that breastfeeding rocks. Maybe that means leaving the nursing cover at home and breastfeeding publicly without shame?After all, every breastfeeding mom has gotten her share of infuriating reactions. Like being asked by the staff of a department store to nurse in the bathroom instead of in the comfortable c … [Read more...]

Happy Graduate Student Family Life

In her comment on a recent post, KT wrote, “I was wondering if you would consider doing a post advising on, or asking for advice for families that operate on a low income due to a husband in grad/law/med school. We are about to embark on this journey and I would love some input on how families with kids make it work on such a small budget. Any tips, advice or encouragement would be greatly appreciated. I work part time now with a 2.5 y/o with the possibility of adding another baby in the summer, … [Read more...]

Grocery Delivery, where have you been all my life?

Grocery shopping has always felt like a battle I couldn't win. Back home in Philadelphia, I paid sitters a small fortune or spent my nights at the grocery store so that I could shop alone and actually focus and go to several stores to get the best prices. I tagged along with friends to Costco and Sam's Club to  stock up on essentials to avoid frequent bulky shops. During the past 5 months in Europe, I have had to shop almost every day for our family of five into a stroller basket because we have … [Read more...]

Having “older kids” is fun!

My husband has been traveling for two weeks for conferences and research, so it’s been just the kids and me, in England out of our usual element and without outside support or company. In spite of desperately missing our hero, we have been having a truly delightful time together. For quite a few years, for the most part, I felt like the most delightful part of motherhood was my husband’s return home at the end of the day and the kids’ bedtime. Now in retrospect I can see how draining, although pu … [Read more...]

My Roving Band of Barbarians

We have been having a blast traveling around Europe and England since March for my husband's dissertation research. It's academic tourism at it's finest; the kids and I have been enjoying ourselves immensely, taking on Europe by triple stroller. The drawback is, amid this foot-loose and fancy free adventure, we've been quite antisocial and apparently have forgotten our manners. And the English are not especially charmed by children who have forgotten their manners. Cute barbarians in London … [Read more...]

Crocs: Because Form Follows Function

When I first saw a pair of Crocs back in 2005, I was certain I had never, ever, ever seen a more hilariously and hopelessly ugly pair of shoes than these gaudy Swiss-cheese clown-shoes. My New Years resolutions for 2006 were to lose my first-time pregnancy weight and to wait out the Crocs trend come hell or high water.Our generation has seen a memorable progression of waterproof footwear. Before I was born, if I’m not mistaken, summertime footwear options were either flip flops or old tennis s … [Read more...]