My Scary Mommy essay about the struggle of being an introverted mom in a pandemic

Time to yourself – particularly if you’re a mom – has become just another casualty of COVID-19. And as the lone introvert in an extrovert family, I’m struggling.

A couple of weeks ago, I tried to steal away to do a 10 minute guided meditation in my bedroom when my nine year old barged in and settled on my bed.

“Sweetie, I just wanted to meditate for a few minutes,” I said, already seated on my floor cushion. “What do you need?”

“I wanted you to read to me, but you can meditate,” she said. “I’ll just watch.”

“But there’s nothing to watch,” I said, adjusting my AirPods. “You’ll just be watching me sit here quietly with my eyes closed.”

“That’s OK,” she cheerfully shrugged, pulling my comforter up over her legs and opening her book. “I can just read.”

Cue some very un-mindful interior screaming. READ THE REST HERE

My Scary Mommy essay about how a cursed road trip was good for my marriage

One summer Sunday afternoon in 2019, my husband — a 50 year old litigator who, on most days, wears a suit and tie — laid himself spread eagle on a gas station’s sun-warmed pavement, as did I (on the car’s other side), straining to see what was making a flapping noise beneath my Honda Fit.

“Looks like the screws might have come out of that thing,” Joe said, pointing to a large shield that hung low between my front tires.

It was a relief, actually, to be able to see what the issue was, since neither of us knows a thing about cars. Maybe, just maybe, I thought, we wouldn’t break down and find ourselves stranded in Michigan’s Deliverance country, nor would we lose any more time.

We were already cutting it close as it was.

Joe’s best friend from high school — Steve, whom we’d seen maybe twice in the last dozen years — was getting married to a young woman from the Dominican Republic, where Steve owned a bar (despite primarily living and working in Nashville).

There had been no official invitation to the nuptials. Instead, Joe had received a call from Steve a month or two earlier, asking us to come to a vineyard outside Traverse City, four hours away, on this Sunday in June.

The exact time of the ceremony seemed in question until shortly before we left. “It’s either four or four-thirty,” Steve told Joe. “I’ll check.”

Joe and I exchanged amused, bewildered glances. READ THE REST HERE

My YourTeenMag essay about what I gained by helping my tween with her math homework

The first time my 12-year-old daughter asked me about hiring a math tutor for help with middle school algebra, I said “no” because, well, I’m cheap.

Plus, I felt confident that my partner and I could field her questions when they arose.

Then, a few months later, after I’d repeatedly stayed up until 11 PM with Lily, working on pre-algebra problems, my husband re-introduced the math tutor idea.

I slapped it down once again.

This time, though, my “no” wasn’t an outgrowth of stinginess and arrogance.

This time, it was because, in this pandemic moment—when my seventh grader holes up in her room for hours each day, pulling further and further away from her family and the world outside—these late-night middle school algebra sessions have become our lifeline back to each other.

I’ve had to invest some effort, of course.

The first problems Lily brought to me triggered foggy memories of y=mx+b, but God help me if I remembered what any of it meant.

So after an initial fight-or-flight blink of panic, when I wondered if hiring a math tutor would have been the wiser course after all, I searched for a Khan Academy clip and mumbled, “Sweetie, it’s been nearly 40 years since Mommy did this. Give me a sec.” READ THE REST HERE