Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood

I’m shy of resolutions and their self-defeating magnitude, but with each new year, I return to this quiet intention: to read more books.

She has psoriasis; he has mites. / Are you ready to do what I did? / Otherwise, otherwise, otherwise.

“If there were a risk to me, it would be in not telling this story. And what harm we do to each other when we fail to describe the lived experiences of mothering and motherhood!” Sarah Townsend

I can’t recall / How to breathe / But you don’t notice / Grab my sleeve and tug / Ready to go back up the hill.

Observing my daughter from this unfamiliar passenger-seat vantage point, I momentarily see her as the young adult that she is.

It is not my patient but his mother, truly, who captivates me. She is a teenager in foster care. I sit with this mother every afternoon.

Still, the mom in me was struggling. LJ said they were nonbinary. Female didn't fit, but neither did male.

After months of being stretched beyond comprehension, I had broken open—literally torn—and now I feel shattered to pieces.

This is what she'll look like in just a few years, in a different kitchen, her own place. She'll walk in, make coffee in the dim light, finished crying about things she'll never tell me.

If I could afford to be irresponsible, I would have quit that job long ago. That's what I would have done when I was younger and alone.

Doesn't it feel like yesterday, Leo, when that sweet nurse placed Michael in my arms, and you said he had my curls? Now both our sons are grown-up men with families of their own.

My life is richer because of motherhood and writing.

I offered this, an image of me and Toby crouching in the road in upstate New York, seeing the ocean.

If you're a fan of historical fiction, we have recommendations for two books and one series in this month's Essential Reading.

I can't recall / How to breathe / But you don't notice / Grab my sleeve and tug / Ready to go back up the hill.

And now, his eyes drooping like commas / he settles a sentence / lies down in a pronoun / the O of a cradle / the space bar of nap.

She has psoriasis; he has mites. / Are you ready to do what I did? / Otherwise, otherwise, otherwise.

[B]ut you don't know / whether to count the little phantom / girl still galloping around / under your skin.

I need to see only her in my own life, / to understand her, what it was like to be a woman terrified always.

Whiskey / is the perfect color if what you have / is a singular capacity for swilling / embers.

Sarah Townsend speaks with Angelisa Russo about being part of a broader movement to write about the complex experiences of motherhood.

As a single Black woman who adopted her children from the foster care system, Nefertiti Austin writes about the erasure of voices of color in media and public discourse about motherhood.

Hail and Farewell is a story and an education, tender and profane, about a woman who marries an Army Ranger and signs her name to a way of life.

Motherhood So White fills the void of representation that Austin faced as a new parent, and it's an engaging resource for single, Black women who are considering adopting from foster care.