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Simple by Avery Fischer Udagawa from Four Worlds

For the five hundredth time, I sing “Simple Gifts” to our kindergartner at bedtime. This song anchors my lullaby line-up along with “Lord of the Dance,” a hymn with the same melody, which I hope might yoke a sleepy child’s interest in ballet with the Gospel.

Ear Gauges at 12: Oh, My! by Marjorie Osterhout from Dear Marjo

Dear Marjo, My husband and I let our 12-year-old son stretch his ears with ear gauges. While his peers are impressed and envious, *my* peers – other moms – are appalled.

Reader Response to Gathering in the Harvest of Girls: On Mothering, Desire, and Writing by Cassie Premo Steele from Birthing the Mother Writer

Last month’s column explored the theme of claiming your voice and your desire as a mother and as a writer. In this creative non-fiction piece, Kezia Willingham discusses the ways marriage and mothering have inspired her writing.

Surviving that First Date Night by Marjorie Osterhout from Dear Marjo

Dear Marjo, My husband and I haven’t had a Date Night since our baby was born, about six months ago. I'm okay with that; in fact, Date Night is the last thing I want to do right now. But it's the first thing my husband wants to do. (You can guess what's second.)

Baggage by B.L. Pike from Senior Mama

Moms have been sending their sons off to war since the beginning of time. Apparently we have, imprinted in our genes, an image of ourselves as the honorable mother, smiling pride through our tears, blessing our sons as they set off on their patriotic calling. But sending a daughter into battle is not an experience with a vast social history, so I'm making up the rules—and the role—as I go along.


Womb with a View by Annie Choi

hate my mother’s car. I loathe it. It’s an abomination to all things with wheels, including Rollerblades, which are bad enough on their own. Her car is the worst thing that’s ever happened to me. Worse than the time I saw a guy whip it out in the subway station.

Going Metal by Linda Breneman

On this particular day, I’ve decided to tell a story about the good old days, or, as the kids say now, “back in the day”: the 1972 weekend when his father and I made our pilgrimage to see the greatest rock band of all time, Led Zeppelin.

Beautiful Things by Rachel Haley

My six-year-old son has just told me he wishes he were girl. A few months ago, I would have taken this comment lightly, laughing, as I asked him why. Today I try to smile, even as I feel my body tighten, and my voice comes out lower than I want as I ask him why.

Girls Don't Drive by Maria Smilios

“Beep, beep, ephalent, beep,” she carried on, slipping deeper and deeper into her world of make-believe roads that stretched for miles and miles, roads that would take her over water and through the trees, roads filled with trucks and animals all going to the same place.


Homecoming by Heidi Vornbrock Roosa

Her mother is there, and you want that to be a good sign, that she is not visibly drunk, that she is the kind of mother who takes her daughter to community events, to parades, to see people and things.


Now Reading: October 2013 by Libby Maxey

Our editors’ picks for this reading list just happen to be books that depict women in memorable and convincing ways.

Essential Reading: Social Life by Libby Maxey

What is the “social life” of a mother?  I distinctly remember feeling that I had no such thing when my children were babies, but even those women who never seem to leave the couch for breastfeeding are still negotiating their place in a social world.


Two Poems by Sheri Grutz

Broken by Joan Manheimer

Handicap by Joan Manheimer

Wood and Clay by Emily Shearer

Picasso by Emily Shearer


A Conversation with Kate Hopper by Janine Kovac

Janine Kovac sat down with Kate to discuss her book, her writing workshops, and how to care for orchids.


A Review of Have Milk, Will Travel: Adventures in Breastfeeding by Camille Yvette-Welsch

Buller, a self-described feminist-art historian-printmaker-mama is the author of Reconciling Art and Mothering and co-editor, with Kerry Fast, of Mothering Mennonite. Her intent with this collection was to put humor at the forefront, a necessity for mothers on the hormonal overload of birth and post-partum overwhelm.

Debunking the Motherhood Myth: A Review of Ready for Air by Marilyn Bousquin

When Kate Hopper set out to tell her story of premature motherhood, she immediately bumped up against the myth that motherhood is a rosy experience in which every mother falls instantly in love with her baby and lives happily ever after. “Where are the other versions of that story?"

The Literary Mama Blog Editor searches for mama-centric news you can use — including information about publishing opportunities and literacy efforts; essays and writing prompts that motivate and inspire; and announcements about events, classes, and workshops. The current blog editor is Rudri Patel; read her bio here.

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