• How I Became an Extended Breastfeeding Mom
    Motherhood

    How I Ended Up Breastfeeding a Toddler (and loving it)

    Before my son was born, I planned to breastfeed for a year. Maybe 18 months if we both wanted to keep going. But anything past that seemed like a long time to give up my body. Cut to three and a half years later, and I am still breastfeeding my son. Happily.  Sometimes I ask myself how I became this “crunchy” extended-breastfeeding mom. Honestly, it happened so naturally that I barely noticed. I just kept doing what I thought was best for my son and myself. This is my story—not a call for everyone to breastfeed into toddlerhood. I’m writing it because I think there’s power in mothers sharing their honest stories.…

  • Why I Only Have One Child
    Health,  Motherhood

    Why I Only Have One Child

    When my son was about six months old, the comments began. Time for another one, they said. He needs a sibling. At first I laughed it off. I blamed lack of sleep and fresh memories of childbirth. But with each of my son’s milestones, my excuses started to get weaker and weaker. Because the truth felt shameful: my body and mind were too broken to have another baby.  I’d been developing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for years, but it flared to its worst form when my son was eight months old. I was bed-bound for weeks at a time, too exhausted to do anything but breastfeed and crippled by guilt that I couldn’t…

  • Motherhood,  Travel

    Raising Bébé in France

    When my son was four months old, we moved to a tiny village in the South of France. It was the most idyllic place I’d ever lived, with 18th century stone façades, vineyards, and a quiet river running through. The perfect setting to raise a child. Like most women, I’d imagined my parenting style would look something like my own mother or the moms I saw on social media. But moving out of American culture and into French felt like stepping into a world of possibilities. I could suddenly be something very different than anything I’d ever seen. Cultural pressures were still there, of course, but they felt muted by distance…

  • Motherhood,  Travel

    Having It All

    Like most women, becoming a mother was a huge turning point in my life. I suddenly had to reassess everything I wanted and decide if and how I could do it with a baby. Did I want to be a stay-at-home mom? Did I want to work? Would we hire a babysitter for date nights and adult get-togethers with friends? Would I still pursue my personal callings? Of course, being me, I decided I wanted it all—motherhood, career, relationships, purpose—and I wanted it all at once. Thankfully, I was offered a job that allowed me to do just that. While most women have to choose between staying home or going back to…

  • Motherhood

    More Than Sweetness

    When our visas came in the mail, I laughed. I look like a double agent in this picture, I told my husband. Nobody mess with this girl. We both knew the real story: standing before the French consulate cameras, I was nursing my son. That white stripe on the right side—that’s my nursing cover. Underneath, I’m holding a boy who’s getting heavier by the day. And I’m feeding him, as I’ve practiced every few hours since he was born. I’m used to my son being an extension of my body, pressing his face against my skin and curling his long legs around my torso. When the visa process required fingerprints and a photo,…

  • Motherhood,  Social Justice

    Raising a Jonathan

    I grew up with all women, and it was pretty much like you’d expect it to be. We had long, complex relational talks. We went on sassy road trips while everyone was on their period. We fixed our own appliances. We didn’t really miss having men around. Then I gave birth to a beautiful son. Nothing could have prepared me for him. Motherhood, in any form, is daunting. Raising a boy when all you know is women is terrifying.  When I imagined motherhood, I saw myself championing my children in a world where they would be underdogs. That’s what my mother did for us, teaching my sister and me not to…

  • Motherhood

    Self-Care for Dummies

    A few months ago, if you’d asked me what I like to do for “me time,” I wouldn’t have known what to say. I’ve always been the counseling type, the honorary mama. It’s what I did for fun. Then I gave birth for real. Turns out, being a mother is not a hobby. It’s a full-time, high-energy, high-stakes job. And it’s easy to completely lose yourself in it. You look in the mirror, and you see this tired woman with spit up down her shirt, and you have no idea who she is or what she did with the pre-baby you. Suddenly, “me time” is no longer a luxury. It’s…