Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
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Dodging the Storm by Marjorie Osterhout from Dear Marjo
I’m so desperate for quiet time that I actually hide in the bathroom. But I can’t even do that without the kids shouting through the door. Even the dog can’t seem to get by without my presence.

In the Skin of a Marshmallow by Katherine J. Barrett from Of This Fantastic Peach
Some campers hold their marshmallow just above the blaze and wait, patiently wait, for the sugars to caramelize to a golden summer tan. Others, mostly kids, show no such restraint. The marshmallow is set alight, brandished like a medieval torch, then extinguished in a single breath.

Mixed by Avery Fischer Udagawa from Four Worlds
Is it time to talk with our daughters about race? More specifically, should we discuss the fact that they look different, almost everywhere they go?

RSVP Hell by Marjorie Osterhout from Dear Marjo
I’m not asking for a handwritten note on formal stationary, or even a phone call. I use an online site to invite people, so all it takes is one click to say yes or no. Just one click! Then if you change your mind, just click again. It’s not that hard. 

Birthing the Mother is Back! Class 1: Poetry is the Map by Cassie Premo Steele from Birthing the Mother Writer
I’ve just returned from a five-month hiatus from this Birthing the Mother Writer column. My life has changed in incredible ways during this time, and yet, through it all, it is always poetry that I return to, that returns me to who I am.


Swimming These Waters by Kathryn Wallingford
How do I simultaneously teach my sons about the natural cycles of the earth and about why religion is important to me?

Haru-Haru by Kathleen McKitty Harris
My son was different. As a toddler, he shrieked at the sensation of water on the soles of his feet. He shook at the side of the tub, clinging to my neck as if each bath immersion would mean our final parting.

Bodies of Water by Melissa Crowe
I am obsessed with bathing. Some days I bathe three times—once upon waking, once with my daughter (we play mermaids, drink seaweed tea from plastic stacking cups, squeeze the lemon from the mouth of a rubber duck), and once again in the late evening, the house quiet, her asleep.

In Harm's Way by Susan Lerner
After my own mother left Dad and me, when I was four, I swore that one day I’d be the perfect mom—wipe my children’s tears, dab their scraped knees with soft gauze.


Friction by Monet Lessner
The baby moves again, in quick, tiny motions. They are giving her two more weeks to grow, then forcing her out. She will be fine, they say, you will be fine. Everything will be fine. I want to believe them.

The Cradle of Civilization by Laurie Kruk
Terry grunted, rummaging in her backpack for her Greek-English dictionary. Instead, she found her latest journal. Flipped it open, jotted down: Marina, Goddess of the Sea. A bit too old and fat to be a siren. What about me? Twenty-ninth birthday yesterday, no man in sight, to Mom’s despair.


Essential Reading: Solitude by Jessica Smock
This month our editors and columnists are reflecting upon the theme of Solitude.


Arrival by Nichola Ruddell

Motherhood Koan by Beth Suter

Rosey, Leaving by Jane McCafferty

The Sound of Mattie Leaving Home by Tricia Knoll

Abecedarian on Knowing Where to Look by Tiffany Herr


Art and Family Intersect: A Review of Family Trouble: Memoirists on the Hazards and Rewards of Revealing Family by Sarah Thomas
In the introduction to her compelling anthology, editor and memoirist Joy Castro claims that “memoir is the genre of our era.” I agree. Through the ubiquity of social media, autobiography appears easy—almost reflexive, like capturing the infamous “selfie.

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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