This Is How It Always Is

emotional labor and divorce

If we're being honest, I don't think it was my marriage that broke me. It was all the marriages.

I just finished reading this book, Fleishman Is In Trouble. It's about divorce - and specifically about a woman who, one day, simply disappears - abandons her marriage and her job and her children while her husband holds up the fort, so to speak. It involves major twists that I won't spoil for you because you really should read it - but I don't think it's a spoiler to tell you what I took away from it. Which is that this book explained my own story to me in a way I hadn't fully comprehended before.

At the crux of the issue is the plight of the working mother. I shy away from this topic because in our present culture there is such (completely valid) sensitivity to the different ways women approach parenting. There is a danger, when you identify yourself as a "working mother," of creating distance between yourself and the other kind of mother - the one who "doesn't work." But who does! Of course she does! She does the hardest job

Just A Little Encouragement

Helping Children Cope With Loss

Sleep consultant Mahaley Patel offers a plan to help parents navigate an experience that nobody wants to have - but many do.

A few months ago, I had a family reach out to me to help their three-year-old son. His grandmother, who took care of him several days a week, had passed away. He went from consistently sleeping through the night to waking up multiple times at night and refusing his naps.

I've dealt with a vast array of toddler sleep issues, but this one really gave me pause. I wanted to do my job and get this child’s sleep back on track, but I also wanted to be sensitive to the fact that he was trying to understand the fundamental reality that someone he loved was not coming back.

Related Read: The Things We Dread (Jordan's first conversation with her son about death).

Explaining death to a young child is something that no parent wants to go through, but the reality is that many of us will. If you are reading this because you are grieving a loved one, I am so very sorry. I hope these tips help you navigate changes that may occur in your child’s sleep following the loss of a loved one.

Before & After Renovations

Play Place

Home contributor Audrey Scheck reveals a playroom before-and-after so spectacular you'll want to move into that tent immediately.

When we found our new house, we knew immediately that we would make one of the downstairs rooms into a play space for the kids. Our first house didn’t have a dedicated playroom, which meant that our living room essentially functioned as their play area. 

In other words, the toys were everrrrywhere.

Quick backstory here, because I always think it's nice to know a little about the history of a house: The previous owners were both scholars, and they each had their own office in the main house. Her office (which is now our playroom) was downstairs, with an exterior door leading out to the backyard, and his office was upstairs. They also had a library downstairs and a guest room, which became Huxley and Tilly's rooms, respectively. Despite being 100 years old, the house was in great shape - it just needed a little rethinking to make it work for our growing family.

Crafts for the Uncrafty

8 Unique DIY Costume Ideas For Kids


For the full duration of my trick-or-treating years - we're talking 3-13 - my mother crafted my costumes entirely by hand. They ranged from the truly extraordinary (a hand-stitched cancan dancer costume with multicolored ruffles that required multiple trips to visit a sewing-machine-having family friend in New Jersey) to the slightly phoned-in (a Cher costume that was basically a piece of sparkly fabric and a fright wig), but I cherished them. I cherish them still; many of those old costumes are now parked in my kids' costume box, and are just as serviceable as they were back in the day.

Things made by hand have a tendency to do that: they last.


Five Things Becoming A Mother Taught Me About My Body

I've been writing Ramshackle Glam for nearly ten whole years - which means that there's a lot of good stuff hanging out in my archives. So each Friday, we'll be doing a little throwback to one of my personal favorites. This week, I got sick - like, really sick, with a kidney infection (treat those UTIs, kids) that left me more or less unable to get out of my bed for a couple of days. And whenever I get shut down by some physical malady or another - something that thankfully doesn't happen too often - I start thinking about how I treat my body. Which, if we're being honest, isn't especially well. And never has been.

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