The Mom Behind the Machine

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I used to go to my room to cry.

I would hold it together until I fixed a snack for one child, pulled down a toy for another, and assigned math pages to two more. Finally, with trembling lip, I’d hustle down the hallway to the privacy of my bedroom.

There, my God and my pillow absorbed the tears. Because someone called with bad news. Or I didn’t get my way in marriage. Because it was the wrong time of the month. Or mothering and homeschooling four kids was just plain lonely and hard. Continue reading

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A Normal Day at the Pool

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There’s a drawer in my dresser that’s really hard to open. It takes all of my strength – and much prayer – to pull it.

It’s the second one from the bottom. It’s the first one with two brass handles instead of one. It’s my swimsuit drawer.

This year was especially difficult. Due to my newly diagnosed hypothyroidism, too little exercise, and maybe a few extra beers and burgers, I’ve gained some weight. My middle’s round and protruding, my breasts aren’t. The veins in my legs have risen to a whole new level of artistic expression. My thighs have gone from small curd to large curd. And my upper arms haven’t stopped flapping since I waved goodbye to last summer… Continue reading

Solo Performance

198475_1720986784587_7340023_nIt was that heavy time of day. You know, that time when you realize that another day is slipping away and all you have to show for it is a bigger pile of dishes, more laundry, and the same stagnant set of worries from the days before.

You know, that time of day when everyone’s tired, but restless. Hungry, but fed-up. Fragile, but rock-hard. When school is over, but homework is looming. After friends have disappointed, but before siblings are appreciated.

You know, that time of motherhood when the problems are too big to wrap in a blanket and conflicts don’t end with a time-out. When a pacifier or teddy bear just won’t cut it. When being a mom just isn’t enough. Continue reading

My Mom is a Teacher

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In her kitchen, I didn’t learn much about cooking, but discovered the importance of fun over fussiness.

In her family room, I didn’t learn much about parlor etiquette, but fell in love with family.

In her dressing room, I didn’t learn how to purse my lips or or paint my face, but learned to keep smiling at the girl in the mirror. Continue reading

The Six Stages of Parental Failure

“Hold up. Let me take a pic.”

My son forced a smile, then ran to catch up with his class.

“Love you! Have a great day!” I called after him. A little too sweetly and much too loudly.

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I checked the photo before uploading it to my Facebook page. Not a great shot, but… Nope, you can’t tell he had been crying. Nope, you can’t see how wrinkled his shirt is. Status update: “My sweet boy- headed to his last field-trip of the year.”

I went on with my day- distracted by work and eager to forget that morning’s drama: Continue reading

When Two Is More Than Three

Chris Sardegna
Chris Sardegna

It was another hard day of no leggings, yes pants. Homework first, FaceTime second. No eyeliner, yes blush. Talking, hugging, slamming doors…

Being a middle school girl -even a fun, beautiful, smart one- is rough.

And being her mom is exhausting.

It was the dark time of night when confidence turns into confusion and anger becomes fear. Even though I was in bed, I knew sleep probably wouldn’t come, but definitely not if I didn’t do one more thing… Continue reading

When You’re Almost Googled Out of a Job

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We were getting ready for church and I wanted to check in on my middle-school daughter. Lately, she’s had many tearful fashion crises and I was prepared to help her settle on a cute outfit. You know how girls need their moms for stuff like that… Continue reading