Real Talk

Real Talk

How To Reimagine Your Engagement Ring After The Marriage Is Over

Today's reader question comes from S, who is in the process of divorcing her husband. S, like so many divorcing women, is conflicted about what to do with her engagement ring: Part of her wants to hold on to it for her children,'s complicated. I get it, and you probably do, too.

So S wanted to know if I had any ideas for what to do with her engagement ring. I'm going to give my 100% honest answer, with the understanding that this is a touchy subject, and also that symbols of marriage (and the institution itself) are topics I have ever-evolving views on. Let's back it up for a moment.

For the years that I was married, if you had asked me what my most prized possession was, I would have said "my engagement ring" - the $350 pawn-shop band with which Kendrick proposed to me in a Las Vegas parking lot - without a moment's hesitation. Cut to nine years later, when a trio of events related to that ring took place:


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.


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.


Atomic Moms Interview: Anxiety, Divorce, and Falling On Our Faces

A couple of years ago, when The Big Fat Activity Book for Pregnant People came out, I had one of the best interview experiences of my life with Ellie Knaus of Atomic Moms - and so obviously I had to come back while doing press for the new book. In this episode we talk perfectionistic tendencies, anxiety attacks, massive life transitions, and single mom life. Oh, and we swap tales of hitting our absolute most humiliating rock bottoms before we became “recovering actors” (Ellie's term, which I have now adopted as my own).

Oh AND I have real-time, major Life Realizations in this one. Like, on the air, while talking to Ellie. You can hear them. I also get weepy. It's a good time.

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