You’re a Good Mom.

I like to think I’m a pretty good mom.

I make them read books.
I make them send thank you cards of gratitude.
I limit the screen time.
I make them exercise regularly.
I make them get fresh air.
I give them a hard bed time.
I make them master a routine.
I make them take mental breaks.
I brag about their little victories.
I make sure they’re bathed.
I make sure they’re cared for.
I give them space.
I make them do hard things.
I make sure they’re proud of who they are.

It gets me thinking.

How did motherhood allow moms like me to slip into a life where we stopped doing all of that – for ourselves?

If I want my child to do all of these things, why do I make excuses for myself?

Teaching the lesson is one thing, but actions speak louder than words.

If you want them to eat vegetables, you should eat them too.

You deserve to be healthy too.

If we want them to grow, we should show them that we still want all of that for ourselves.

We deserve to work and thrive too.

The lessons we’re trying to teach them, shouldn’t just fall by our wayside in complacency.

Revisit yourself and the vessel that serves them.
Take better care of yourself.

Do the same hard work on yourself that you’re asking your children to do.

Sometimes it’s easier to see it like this for ourselves, only after we have someone else relying on us.

You’re important. You’re doing a really hard job.

Make the time where you can.
Read more books.
Send a note of gratitude.
Eat a carrot.
Take a run, hit the gym.
Get some air.
Do hard things.
You deserve the hot shower.
Put the phone down, go to sleep.
Brag about your victories –  your kids should hear them all.

You deserve the same quality of life you’re offering your children – because sister, you’re a really good mom.

On The Rocks.

It’s not easy to admit when ‘we’re on the rocks’. You’re raising kids and you’re the last thing on each other’s task list.

It’s easy to pose for pictures, pick a filter and get them posted. It’s not as easy to pretend you’re happy when you’re husband seems less interested and your kids literally are plotting against you.

Because who has time to play tit for tat, or getting in the sack, when there are butts to wipe and homework assignments to be done?

It’s easier to go to bed early then to risk being being touched by the partner we love, because you’re tired of being needed or maybe, your breasts are still leaking.

Maybe you don’t share that loving gaze like you did when you were 25; you’re both exhausted with kids, work, and life.

But you don’t struggle over “how it should be” anymore. Because now, you know what you can depend on.

And you know every. single. time. it comes down to “each other”. He’s still the the first thing you think about in the morning; she’s the family’s full time director, stitched with poise and grace.

Part of loving someone is understanding that you won’t always like them; it’s accepting that you won’t always be likable eithier.

It gets better with small battles, and even better with time; it takes commitment through the valleys.

So, don’t fight without saying “I’m sorry”; don’t go to bed without kisses. Never leave the house without saying “I love you.”

It’s totally okay to be “on the rocks”– when the foundation cracks, the house falls down and your love prevails-  you will see, that together, you have built a home.

It Takes a Village.

I was a child who was raised by a village of other mothers – ones who raise me still.

And it takes a very special village to raise a very broken adult.

I try to be available and abundant because I know how it feels on the other end.

I know how it feels to wonder why my mommy didn’t want me, if she’s coming home, or ultimately – why she chose to walk away.

I know exactly what not-to-do, because she showed me exactly that.

But, someone raised you, and you’re not alone.

There are a lot of us out there – raising kids so they can have a life they won’t have to recover from like we still are.

And raising eachother in the mix.

I expected motherless motherhood to be lonely, but instead, I find it to be crowded at the extra mile.

I never expected an abundance of arms lifting me up and rooting me on.

But, here we are.

I didn’t understand that so many other mothers were “on-call” to help. 

Sometimes it’s hard to be motherless in motherhood, but others, I realize that there’s always some other mother to call.

Some mother who gets it.

Some mother who shows up for you.

Some mother who loves you.

Some mother who claims you, trauma and all.

Those mothers – they’re the village.

It was the village that raised me when I needed a mom.

That raised my standards for a better life.

The evolving village that raises me now. 

There’s an army of women who understand you, who want you, who support you – even if your own mom doesn’t.

An army of other mothers who love so selflessly, they always have extra to give.

The village doesn’t just mother our children, it mother’s us all.

And honestly, it takes a very special village to raise a very broken adult.

Lean Into Who You Love.

Lean into who you love.

Hold tight to what you know.

When the world is forced to go to sleep, look around and lean into your own.


Let them fill your voids and spaces.

Let them calm your fears.

You can’t do it all alone.

Let them feel you here.

Lean into them.

In a world constantly searching for answers and excelling through unknown –


Lean into who you love.

Stay Home, Stay Safe.

For Baylee Kraft, age 8. Story by Brooke Kraft. Writing by Wallflower Writing.

Anderson sisters from Lower MI, visiting the towers.

I was listening to the briefing from the governor and noticed my 8 year old looking, distracted from her stay at home learning.

I was tempted to shut it off, to shield her from the woes of the world, but I didn’t. I told her she could take a break and she began to watch with me.

She’s the same age I was when I watched as the twin towers fell and the world sank with fear.

To me, this parallel will be paramount in our lives. Now, she and I share an extraordinary view of a world-altering event, at the same age of life.

For a child not knowing much, that day, when the pentagon lit and the second tower toppled, I remember feeling like I knew the world changed.

Quick enough, I was 16 years old, reading about it in history books. Here we are now- the current infrastructure a nod to the fall of the twin towers.

I was scared then, but somehow still hopeful at the unity that follows tragic times, times like today.

Inevitably, there will come a day we will be forced to unveil some pretty tough realities to our kids.

Some realities we will never be prepared to talk about, because some things you can never be prepared for.

But, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t talk about it, because you should.

It doesn’t mean your kids can’t feel what’s happening around them, because they can.

Or, that they aren’t curious – they are. That this can’t be a learning process. Or something they remember- because they will.

I invited my 8 year old to watch the news about the global pandemic, concerning a totally unexpected public health crisis and its effects.

Because sooner than later they’re going to read about this in a text book.

It will be our children who will be responsible for fixing the world that we leave them, just as the one we inherited still evolves.

So, she pulled up a chair and she listened, asked questions and we talked. I hope that one day she remembers this, like I remember September 11th.

And that she remembers being safe at home with her mommy, learning about the world, her share in humanity and doing her part to save it.

He Takes Out The Trash.

He takes the trash out – I don’t even have to ask.

He just does it.

The dishes, the laundry, that man does it all.

He’ll do it until he’s 100, I bet.

He is my sidekick.

My protector.
A full-time bodyguard.

The maker of big belly laughs.

He is logical – rational.

The keeper of my peace.

He’s that “feels just right” type of feeling – that “keep you safe” and “treat you right” kind of dreaming.

The keeper of my baggage – the holder of my dirt.

He is my best friend.

My secret keeper – the vault.

The sweetest years that I have known.

The best of the times, the worst of them.

He is the compass on my map.

The best man.  An even better Dad.

He picks up my pieces, and he picks up after me.

I am lucky.

He is the first call, the last call – and each one between.

The one call for me.

He is humble, he is kind.

The love of my life.

And without ever asking him to do it at all, that man never forgets to take the trash out.

Dear Mankind: A Letter From The Virus (COVID)

As Seen on The Elephant Journal“.

Dear Mankind,

Thank you for hosting me. 

From country to country, you’ve helped my blooming personality flourish and thrive.

I’m here to teach you vital lessons you couldn’t learn for yourself, to challenge you to change.

To let your polluted air and waterways have a break, to let the fish return to play in your bays.

I’m here to tell you who’s who – the hoarders from the helpers.

To remind you of the ripple effect, and just how far one ripple may extend.

I’m here to make you rethink policy, and the infrastructure you rely on.

To aggressively challenge you to check on your parents and grandparents more often than you have been.

I’m here to remind you that so many people fight battles you cannot, for yourself, see.

To teach you that there is still much uncertainty out there, yet to be unveiled. 

I represent, in full, all of the challenges bound for this existence.

To remind you of the adaptable, advanced lifestyle and pace that each of you were afforded.

I came to make you think about the people whose lives you touched and whose lives they’ve touched because of you, and so on. 

To remind you of your past – of plagues, disease and wars that came before you – that will come again.

I’m only forcing you apart, to teach you that the vitality of working together benefits the progress of mankind.

To tell you that the same connectedness that got us into this mess – is exactly what it’s going to take to get us out of it.

I’ve infiltrated lungs across the globe, to show you that you all breathe and function – the same human way.

I’m here, but not for long. I know, because hope is a human trait.

I’m sorry for the pain I’ve caused, I pray for lessons learned. 

Thank you all for hosting me. 
I hope that you can hear me.

– Covid 19

This piece has also been published on Elephant Journal

by Kailyn McMahon