Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood

I’m the first to credit the instructor for her patience in working with me, but the real key to my (perceived) success is the simple fact that I added the word “Transform” to my calendar. Every week, those nine letters encourage, challenge, and keep me humble.
The same could be said about reading and writing. Do these activities fill specific slots on your calendar?

Tonight, I’m less worried about whether my husband and I will be up to the task of raising a child who has suffered the trauma of losing her parents. No, my main concern is whether I’ll have the confidence to raise my hand and participate in class. Committing myself to this path of fostering shakes at my core and leaves me frustrated with myself for my discomfort among these people, all of whom seem genuinely kind and giving. I wonder what it will take to actually get me to share something with my classmates?

This month’s Essential Reading theme is food, and our staff have diverse recommendations. The first talks about our complicated relationship with eating, hunger and our emotions. The second continues that theme, but from a fictional point of view in a Parisian setting. The third is a collection of five books on food and family life.

When I was a little girl, I believed in ghosts: I loved the true story collections about doors opening and closing, small children in old fashioned clothes appearing at the foot of someone’s bed, the sudden chill in a room on a lovely summer day, the foggy shape in the corner of a photograph.


There is no heroic rescue at sea here, at least not from the child's point of view. There is only what needs to be done to help a child, doing our best, and hoping nobody hates us for it.

The baby is awake again. He's hungry. You feed him, only wincing a little this time. You remind yourself that this is beautiful.


Maybe the kingfisher has already signaled that her time has come, and I'm holding on to a future that's destined to slip away.

I pick up the crumpled note to my mother and unfold it. I used to write letters to her all the time when Benji was a baby.


They would’ve worn silk kimonos if they were older. Instead, they wear barrettes, the color of pearl, the silver clasps cleaned with toothpaste by Jun’s mother...

In telling stories to my children, I am participating in a ritual thousands of years old


We're looking at food with this month's Literary Mama staff reading recommendations.

Hunger, bright orange—a burning sun / needs constant fuel to stoke its flames / —but not as bright as pain, white-hot ...


Because you stayed silent you took / the newborn child, downy and slick, / soaked with her mother’s rage, / howling with your daughter’s grief, / you took her as yours


May you never know the heartache / of mothering a child with mental illness / the breath-stopping anticipation of the next phone call / the debilitating exhaustion / of fending off her demons


Because memory swims in the cells / of the body and not in the soul / or the mind or the dark pool of / the eye, my body gave way for yours.


Lord, please. I can see nothing / farther from divinity / than the wars of men / where every god is made / to serve the grave / agenda.

Kraft discusses the unique possibilities of the graphic novel and how her journalism is activism.


Lefler muses about comedic influences, offers advice on finding one's voice, and shares why giving back is important to her.

When I started reading If Mom's Happy, I sent my kid to school, called in sick, and sexted a filthy message to my baby's daddy.


Throughout Hagar Poems Mohja Kahf speaks through several female characters from the Quran, juxtaposing sacred ancient stories with contemporary settings and chatty dialogues.