Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood

Many of us, regardless of our age, have a tendency to downplay the value of our work or cast aspersions on its quality, whether we’re talking about our housework, volunteer work, artwork, or whatever we do to pay the bills.

Every year standing in the pink papered aisle, / pulling out card after flowery card / scripted sentiments such as You were always there / for me and I am so lucky / to have you for a best friend. / Each one goes back, cardstock dropped / with a smack against plastic casing.

We are exploring the many colors of mothering with our reading recommendations this month with an “in the trenches” novel that will make you laugh out loud, an anthology of stories about mothers that will touch your soul, and a parenting guide that might just make your life a little more harmonious.

When I lean into my mother’s soft wool coat, / its closeted shape a new loneliness—she, no longer // seeking shelter from any cool draft—I breathe in / the lingering sense of time, of her hair, of Chanel No. 5.


It was the beginning of a lifelong conversation about death with my children, one that requires vigilance of thought and word. I am my daughters' guide through a forest of unanswerable questions.

Mom is a tiny, frail woman with wavy silvery hair and nearly everyone finds her adorable. Except me.


I could be whatever it was she needed me to be. I'd hang on. I wouldn't give up. She was my daughter.

It occurs to Hannah that this year's grass head will be their family's last. Shira, the youngest of her four children, will soon be moving on to first grade, leaving early-childhood crafts behind.

My little girl was taking wing and exploring her way through a world of images and words, independent of me.


We're featuring books about mothers and mothering with our Essential Reading recommendations this month.

In the dry season, drops drift down / every afternoon. / In the wet season, water pours from the sky...


The heirloom shines in the cluttered garage, / Ready for Mother’s children to fill it, empty it.


I need a card that says, You left / books around, and now I'm a teacher...


a worn woman stands in my mirror / half-cocked smile working its way to the corners


Everything smells sharper and sweeter to me, / so what must it be for them, keen-nosed hunters...

Short stories are like narrative poems: they leave us with lingering thoughts—about our past or present—and implore us to take a look within.


Things have changed quite a bit with the use of social media since I've become a parent, but structurally most things remain the same. I shouldn't have to dig to find myself.

"This is what I love about travel—how it heightens my senses. Some say travel is a vanishing act, disappearing down a rabbit hole, but for me it's appearing, coming into awareness. I look harder, I see better. Time seems to …