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  • Introducing the Contributors to MY OTHER EX!

    MYOTHEREX1Writing about failure in relationships — whether in romance or in friendship — takes an enormous amount of guts. It’s brave to admit ways in which our own actions and personalities may have contributed to the loss of a person from our lives who was once dear to us. It’s brave to put these raw truths — from one woman’s perspective — out into the world in the form of a compelling, honest story.

    In my view, the women who wrote the essays that make up My Other Ex: Women’s True Stories of Leaving and Losing Friends are indeed brave writers.

    They’re also talented, unique, and generous individuals, each with their own writing pasts and interests. Many are bloggers that you already love, others are new and emerging voices in fiction and poetry, and others have long and rich backgrounds in many different writing fields. We urge you to visit our brand new Contributors page and learn about these remarkable women.

    We’re also thrilled to announce that Nicole Knepper of the famous (infamous?) blog Moms Who Drink and Swear will be writing the foreword to our book. You may know Nicole as a blogger, as a social media force, as an author of the book Moms Who Drink and Swear: True Tales of Loving My Kids While Losing My Mind. In addition, she’s also a licensed mental health counselor, and she has years of experience and expertise in understanding human relationships. You won’t want to miss what Nicole has to say about female friendships.

    Can’t wait until September 15th, the book’s release date on Amazon and Nook? We’re excited to let you know that you can pre-order the book from us until August 1st. You’ll get the book early (we’ll send out autographed copies on September 2nd), and you’ll also be more directly supporting our Project and our mission of sharing women’s stories and finding unique voices.

    We’ll have lots more to say — and you’ll be learning more about  and from our contributors — as the summer goes on. We hope you’re enjoying the start of your summer!

    All the best, Jessica and Stephanie


    Interested in improving your writing in a supportive online community? The HerStories Project is now offering writing classes. Learn more!


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  • Have You Seen the Cover of Our New Book, My Other Ex?

    We are thrilled to reveal the cover of our next book, My Other Ex: Women’s True Stories of Leaving and Losing Friendship!



    This cover was a collaboration with our fantastic designer, Stacey Aaronson. We also redesigned our HerStories Project website. After searching far and wide, we fortuitously discovered the perfect photo that conveyed the main theme of so many of the essays in this book: Women’s friendships so often come to a crossroads at which time two women can try to hold on to the friendship, staying connected, or the friends can take two completely separate paths without each other.

    So many of the essays are about this moment in time, when both rupture and new beginnings are possible. The conflict — in fact, the feeling of suspense — in these stories pulled us in, causing us to wonder what we would do in these women’s shoes, faced with the unique circumstances of their lives.

    There are so many ways that friendships can end, and our book describes 35 of them, from each of our 35 contributors. At the heart of each essay is the recognition from each writer that she has lost something very real and very personal, a connection that will never be forgotten.

    Here’s an excerpt from our introduction:

    “There is so much good, so much power, so much love, in female friendships. But there is also a dark side of pain and loss. And surrounding that dark side, there is often silence. Women feel that there is no language to talk about their feelings. There is also shame, the haunting feeling that the loss of a friendship is a reflection of our own worth or capacity to be loved.

    This book, we hope, is part of breaking that silence. We as women need to recognize the scars of lost friendships and make it okay to talk about them. And we must also teach our daughters how to manage conflict and emotion without resorting to these forms of indirect aggression that cause deep pain with no visible wounds.

    The life cycle is long, and many friendships will not last, nor should they endure forever. Yet the end of something once powerful and important will bring sadness and grief.

    We are thankful to the brave women who shared their stories about complicated relationships that were forged not through blood or romance but through companionship and connection. Their stories haunted them, they haunted us, and we know that they will move you too.”

    The book will be published this September. To receive previews and updates about book bonuses and special early bird deals, make sure to subscribe to our newsletter! We would love for you to become a part of our HerStories Project community!

    We’d love to hear your thoughts about the cover and our new website….

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  • BFFs, Girl Crushes, and a Giveaway: My Interview with Rachel Bertsche

    Do you have a girl crush?

    rachel-headshotI’m going to introduce you to one of mine, Rachel Bertsche, who wrote the national bestseller, MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend. And read on to the end of this post to find out how you could win a copy of the book! It’s the story of her year-long quest (through a series of 52 friend-dates, one per week) to find a new BFF after she moves to Chicago to be with her boyfriend (now husband).

    First, here’s the Urban Dictionary definition of a girl crush:

    a) feelings of admiration and adoration which a girl has for another girl, without wanting to shag said girl b) a nonsexual attraction, usually based on veneration at some level

    And here is a small sample of my previous girl crushes:

    • Everything (Alanis Morissette song)Alanis Morissette: She and I were born exactly two months apart, in the same year. I like to think of us as potential (inevitable?) spiritual friend/soulmates. We went through tragic breakups at similar times. We (finally) got married in the same year and both had a son a year or so later. I love her for being a more artistic and spiritual (yet also angrier, in sometimes kind of a scary way) version of myself — if I had started out as a Nickelodeon actress, former Canadian child star who later became an opening act for Vanilla Ice. (Details, details…)
    • Chelsea Clinton in PhiladelphiaChelsea Clinton: She’s smart, she’s composed, she’s classy, and she’s going to change the world. If her mom’s not going to be the first female president, I have hopes for her.  And she’s the only one of my celebrity/semi-celebrity girl crushes that I actually met IRL. (At a mutual friend’s engagement party in Cambridge, where I stepped on her little dog’s urine in the host’s bathroom. She was mortified. I was delighted… and loved her even more for her embarrassment.)

    Now for Rachel… Her book had me at its clever, bright, and bold cover. (Seriously, isn’t it genius and gorgeous?) When I started reading the book, I realized that she was a writer who can accomplish the most difficult balance of writerly tasks: winning over her reader with a combination of warmth, humor, honesty, empathy, poignancy, and charm. And she makes it — all the writing craft and attention to detail that goes into this level of writing — look so easy. You get to feel like you actually know — and, more importantly, like her — through this book.

    If you don’t take my word for it, check out HerStories Project contributor, Nina Badzin’s review of the book, as well as her own story of looking for BFFs. (When I first started blogging, Nina easily could have become one of my girl crushes because of her stellar blog and insightful knowledge about blogging, her clever book reviews, and her generous ability to connect with and help others…. Then we became online friends and now she’s more like my favorite blogging mentor.)

    Then I saw the book’s trailer, starring a funny (maybe even a little goofy?) Rachel. And I was sold. We could definitely be BFFs. Or maybe I could be an older sister-type sidekick.

    This was when The HerStories Project blog had just launched. I e-mailed Rachel about our project. We kept in touch. (A little bit, sort of. Okay, maybe I e-mailed her several times, and, yes, okay, she still probably has no idea who I am.)

    So I was thrilled last week when Rachel agreed to answer a few questions about the topic of our next project: friendship breakups, as well as her next book. (The title of our next book: “My Other Ex: Women’s Stories of Friendship Burnouts, Betrayals, and Breakups.” Rachel even e-mailed that she loved the title!)

    Rachel’s next book is called Jennifer, Gwyneth & Me: The Pursuit of Happiness, One Celebrity at a Time and will be released June 3, 2014. This one’s about Rachel’s attempts to remake herself in the image of her favorite celebrities.

    Jessica: You wrote in your most popular blog post about friendship breakups that you think that “dumping a friend is undoubtedly harder than dumping a boyfriend.” Why do you think this is so?
    Rachel: Romantic relationships come with the understanding that it might (probably will?) end at some point. Breakups are part of the romance story. You can only date one person at a time, after all. Friendships, on the other hand, aren’t supposed to end. You can have a zillion friends at once, and no one will accuse you of cheating. That’s great, but it makes it much trickier to end the relationship if it’s not working. You can’t say “I’m seeing someone else” or “I don’t think you’re the one for me,” because there is no “one.” To end a friendship, you really have to be willing to say that, for whatever reason, there is no room in your life for that person. That you would be better off without them, which is a really hard thing to say out loud. And it’s emotional! We feel a sense of loyalty to our close friends, so to cut out the relationship–even when it is for the best–is fraught with anxiety, guilt, sadness, fear… There’s a study that says we feel more guilt when breaking up with a friend than a romantic partner (and keep in mind there is no script for friend-breakups like there is for a romantic one), and that doesn’t surprise me at all. That’s likely why most people choose the “slink away” method of just slowing not returning phone calls, canceling plans, etc rather than having an upfront conversation about why the friendship isn’t working out.
    Jessica: You also said that you haven’t had any BFF breakups in your past. Why is that? What stops you?
    Rachel: Hmmm…. while it’s true that a number of my closest friends from my youth are still my closest friends, it’s also the case that some are not. I’m not in touch with my best friend from elementary in middle school anymore, for example (unless you count Facebook friendship). But I guess I don’t count that as a friendship “breakup” because it was more of a slow fade on both sides. We ended up going to different high schools and both just moved on. There was no big emotional blow up and no conscious decision to stop being friends. So I would say there’s a different between that and a friend-breakup, the kind that brings up floods of emotion and was very obviously and deliberately (at least from one side) a breakup. I don’t know why… Luck? Just this weekend I was talking with a woman about a friend she broke up with, because that friend didn’t reach out at all when the woman went through a bad health scare. Maybe I’m just lucky to have BFFs who continue to be there for me (and I them, I hope). Or maybe I’m just super non-confrontational and the idea of breaking up with a friend terrifies me. In the past, when I’ve wanted to separate myself from someone, I usually take some space–maybe talk on the phone less, for example–and I eventually move on and want that person still in my life. On the flip side, if I get the sense that I’ve done something to upset a friend, I am not too proud to ask what’s up and to apologize. My friends are so important to me, I do what I can to keep them around. But again, I think I’ve been lucky. (This probably all means that there’s a horribly emotional BFF breakup in my future…)
    Jessica: Have you ever been dumped by a friend? 
    Rachel: The summer before eighth grade a very close friend of mine from middle school wrote me a letter at camp in which she basically told me she couldn’t stand me, didn’t want to be friends with me anymore, and that no one else did either. I cried for days. I mean, I was a legit wreck. Luckily, the whole “no one else wants to be friends with you either” part wasn’t totally accurate. But I can still recall the devastation and fear of returning to school. I called my parents and asked them if I could switch schools! I can still recite some of that letter, that’s how many times I read it over, completely distraught. She and I were never really friends again, but I survived and was probably better off for it. Still, it was nearly 20 years ago and I’m talking about it like it was yesterday, so maybe I’m not totally over it after all…
    Jessica: In planning your new project, what did you think you would learn by emulating your favorite celebrities?

    Rachel: How to be perfect! And happy! And glamorous! I’m kidding, but not really. I was at a place in my life where everything felt scattered, and messy, and not exactly what I wanted it to be. I was in a seemingly great place — had the career I’d always hoped for — but I still felt totally not together. Every time I flipped through Us Weekly and saw pictures of Jennifer Aniston or Gwyneth Paltrow or Sarah Jessica Parker looking so cool and confident while shopping at Whole Foods or brunching with a friend, I’d get pangs of “why can’t I be like that? What are they doing right?” So I set out to find out. I hoped that by using them as my role models, I might be able to get my own life to a place where I felt as ‘conquer-the-world’ as they seemed to.

    Thank you, Rachel!

    We’re thrilled to give away a copy of MWF Seeking BFF! We’re sure that it will resonate with you, whether you’re looking for a BFF or not.

    To enter the giveaway, either subscribe to The HerStories Project below or take our quick and easy friendship breakup survey. We’ll choose a winner randomly from the e-mail addresses.

    Do you have a “girl crush”? Have you ever been in search of a BFF?


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  • Finding The Right Style of Mom Friendships

    My toddler and I recently had a playdate with one of my friends and her daughter. Our girls are several months apart, but they are still at an age where parallel play rules, and their own enjoyment of one another is somewhat moot. We are in that perfect stage where we can control and direct their friendships with children whose parents we enjoy. As we entered our friends’ home that morning, it was clear that neither of us had showered or dressed to impress, and within minutes both girls were running around pants-less. There were no mumbled apologies about a mess, or disclaimers about our children’s teething-related temperaments. We were comfortable.

    The two of us sat chatting over iced coffees from Starbucks and split a few pastries in half to share while our children happily ignored one another in pursuit of their own activities. We talked about marriage, our discomfort with the extra pounds we were toting, our embarrassment about our children’s newest public behaviors, and our worries about the future. No time was spent idly remarking on the weather, or the sale at Gymboree, or trading cloaked brags about our children’s burgeoning vocabularies. This playdate was for us. We were here to get real.

    One of the girls shouted angrily, “That’s MINE!” and we found ourselves navigating that tricky territory of playdate intervention. I had recently asked my childcare guru how best to handle my daughter’s new trait of hollering “No! That’s mine!” and other negative-sounding demands. She reminded me that when possible, it is best to ignore these statements; any attention given to a less than desirable outburst is rewarding the behavior. It reminded me of my good friend Carisa Miller’s article on Hoverparenting, in which she shared her own experience trying to back off when her children were butting heads with friends. She mentioned that it is often a concern that other parents will judge you for not jumping in quickly enough. My friend and I agreed that this made us uncomfortable; we both liked the idea of backing off when our girls were working through possessiveness and interaction struggles, but we worried that we might look like jerks if we didn’t intervene with some sort of reprimand like, “Sophie, those aren’t nice words. We share.”

    Socializing with turbulent toddlers can be downright humiliating.
    Socializing with turbulent toddlers can be downright humiliating.

    While it is true that I often worry about being publicly judged, at a park or play area, for not verbally intervening and expressing my awareness that my child is being impolite, I think the best friends are ones with whom you can ditch this hang-up. As we listened to our girls bicker for a moment, we agreed that from here on out, we would ignore the “That’s my toy!” whines and let them fend for themselves. Short of overtly harmful behavior, we would step back and make a pact not to think less of one another for our lack of hovering. It felt good. Making that agreement with a friend–we are not here to judge and we are in this together– can deepen a friendship and multiply the benefits of spending time together.

    I realized that for me, the mom friendships that I find the most rewarding are the ones in which I can be myself. The understanding is, “Come as you are. You are safe here.” Because of my own personality and needs, I find that it is important for me to disclose what I am going through–even the hard, ugly stuff– and get support from my friends. I am not a big fan of sugarcoating motherhood; if I am having a hard time with something, I prefer to admit it, and I feel even better when my friends can confirm that they have been through it, and they understand.

    I think there are two different types of moms: the moms who like to talk about the challenges that lie in the parenting trenches, and the moms that don’t feel comfortable discussing that stuff. Of the latter category, I think there is one more distinction. Some moms may be truly at ease with this parenthood gig, and they may have little need to complain or vent about rough moments. Or perhaps they are genuinely positive thinkers who do not gain anything by sharing their hardships. However, I think many moms experience dark moments and feel guilty about their negative feelings. I believe there are a lot of women that feel ashamed to admit the struggles they are having personally or as a mother; some may prefer to keep these feelings to themselves, and some may battle against them, trying to hide all their unpleasantness and appear to be the perfect moms.

    For me, I clearly fall into the first category- let’s talk about this sh*t. I am almost magnetically drawn to other women who share this trait, and I have developed some enriching friendships with women who embrace the full disclosure policy. This works for us, and it’s one of the reasons why my recent playdate was so invigorating to me. I didn’t have to pretend, and I knew that during our two hours together, we would vent, brainstorm, and emerge with renewed confidence and maybe even some ideas to try. But I accept that not all mothers are comfortable with that dynamic; perhaps they value their privacy too much or perceive this sharing as unproductive complaining.

    No subject is off-limits for us.
    No subject is off-limits for us.

    Which is why I think it is important to identify what exactly you are looking for in a mom friend. Is it a confidante who will listen to you when you are struggling? Is it someone with whom you can share the beautiful, enriching moments of parenting? Is it another mom who may quietly struggle but doesn’t expect you to emote or analyze with her?

    When you discover what your comfort level is and what you are looking for, you may increase your odds of making meaningful connections with other moms, and you may be more likely to find the style of mom friendships that works best for you.

    What do you look for in a mom friend? Do you value closeness and honesty, or would you rather keep your distance? 

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  • Childhood Friendships and the Turning of the Tide

    Last week my daughter found out her best friend was moving away. My husband and I stood at the bus stop waiting for her to come home from school, and as the neighborhood children spilled off the bus, one of them announced, “We’re moving to Wyoming in two weeks!” It was the older sister of Izzy’s best friend, and I felt like I had been kicked in the stomach. I held tightly to my daughter’s hand as we walked home, and she whispered, “I almost cried today at school.” “Did Sarah tell you on the bus ride to school?” I asked gently.”Oh, honey, I’m so sorry.”

    I spent the rest of the evening fighting tears, sometimes unsuccessfully, as I imagined how this move would change our lives. Sarah and her siblings lived just a few doors down on our cul-de-sac, and they were a staple in our daily lives. When we moved to the neighborhood two years ago, I felt somewhat trepidatious about the idea of the children bouncing back in forth to each other’s homes. On our old block, there were no other children, and we had no experience with the casual coming and going of nearby friends. It was just so “1980s,” in that it evoked memories of the freedom I experienced as a child; to be honest, I didn’t think it would ever be possible for my own children to enjoy similar friendships marked by the freedom that comes from close-by playmates.

    Earlier this summer, Izzy and Sarah solidified their blossoming friendship by playing together nearly every day. When my daughter returned home from a day at camp, she would dash into the house, grab a snack, and then call, “I’m going to Sarah’s house!” I had long ago overcome my discomfort with this independence, and I often barely looked up from whatever I was doing to acknowledge she was leaving.

    Similarly, Sarah and her sister were often at our doorstep first thing on a weekend morning, and the kids often spent hours playing together- sometimes the better part of an entire day. They would flit back and forth between the two homes; sometimes we fed them lunch, and sometimes Izzy ate at Sarah’s house. They shared the milestone of the first sleepover together, and quickly became “best friends.”

    The requisite sleepover pillow fight
    The requisite sleepover pillow fight

    I was devastated by Izzy’s reaction to the news; she sobbed inconsolably, lamenting, “I thought we had found the perfect house! I thought this was finally the perfect neighborhood.” All I could do was hold her tight and cry along with her, trying to soothe her without dismissing her very real, raw feelings. There were several other families on our street, but their children were just far enough apart in age from my daughter to make regular playtime not appealing.

    I knew there was no denying the fact that this family’s move would irrevocably impact the dynamic of our block. The likelihood of another family with girls my daughter’s age moving in was not comforting.

    It seemed grandiose, but I wondered if Sarah’s move would signal a clear turning point in our lives; what if there was never another family with built-in playmates to live on this street? What if these two years would be the only time in my children’s lives that they had friends to play with in the free, independent way I enjoyed as a child? These semi-omniscient musings seemed a bit theatrical, but I was worried that it was the truth. It felt like we would be sad about it forever.

    I moved frequently as a child, and well into adulthood I have been sensitive about my friendship history and lack of lifelong comrades. I have always been envious of my friends who remain close with the pals they grew up with. Every time I moved, I stayed in contact with a few special friends, but as the tide continued to turn, we always lost touch. Sometimes it took two separate moves before the transition was complete–my move at age 13 and then leaving for college, or even my out of state internship followed by my move to Colorado– but I always seemed to shed my friends as I outgrew my old skin. It made me feel sad, and somehow self-conscious. What was wrong with me? Why couldn’t I hang onto friends? I have finally managed to maintain a close bond with three of my college friends. After a few post-adolescent years while we fumbled into our adult lives, we have worked hard to stay in contact.

    Me with my childhood best friend; we stayed close despite multiple moves.

    I wanted my daughters to have the history of closeness with the friends they grew up with. I never had neighborhood friends move away when I was a child, because I was always the one moving. I know it is a reality that many children experience, but I wanted to spare my girls that sense of loss. The hours I spent with the neighborhood children when I was in elementary school, the memories we shared of various wild adventures, shaped me in unmistakeable ways. But I am very aware of the transient nature of childhood friendships, and the fragility of these first social bonds.

    When I moved out of state just before 6th grade, I managed to find nearby friends my own age in my new neighborhood, and once again basked in the childhood high of freedom, walking back and forth between our houses in the twilight hours. Our final family move, weeks before my 13th birthday, landed us in a neighborhood filled primarily with families who had babies and toddlers. This didn’t faze me, and I instead focused my efforts on cornering the market on baby-sitting services. I was old enough to walk farther to friends’ homes, and I didn’t feel that I was missing out. But for seven sweet years, I belonged to a pack of kids who roamed the streets comfortably, never lacking for playmates and dodging the daily boredom that I worry my children may succumb to.

    It is my hope that, in spite of our neighbors moving away, we will put down roots in this community, and my girls will still find friends with whom to share their formative years. But I still find myself questioning, “Will Sarah’s leaving scar my daughter for life? Will things ever be the same?”

    Did your family move away when you were a child? Did you lose a best friend, or has your child lost a best friend to a move? How did you cope? 

    **We took a brief end-of-summer hiatus from our friendship essays; we are now accepting submissions! If you have a friendship story to share, please email a 500-1000 word essay along with a 2-3 sentence bio and photos to herstoriesfriendshiptales@gmail.com. We would love to hear your story about how a friendship impacted your life! **

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  • Juggling Without a To-Do List: Reflections From a Work At Home Mom

    DSC_0046It’s a realization familiar to any work-at-home mother of small children: that moment in the day when you realize that your kid is not going to nap and you need to readjust your expectations for your day accordingly.

    It’s become the most dreaded moment in my quest for work/family balance.  For me it symbolizes every thing that’s missing from the simplistic “lean in”/”opt out” public conversation about women’s lives.

    It’s early afternoon, and I have a checklist of tasks — articles to write, e-mails to send, phone calls to make — that still need to be done.  That list, that uncompromising and guilt-inducing list, sits next to me at my dining room table, my work station.  Usually my son naps for two hours, but sometimes he won’t nap at all, despite my best efforts. As my son screams from his crib, “Mommy! Mommy!” I scratch off items from my daily list, assigning them reluctantly to tomorrow’s list. My work day is over.  Now I’m Mommy, not education writer with a doctorate. Not aspiring freelance writer. Not parenting blogger.  Just Mommy.  And I feel an uncomfortable mixture of pleasure, gratitude about being able to spend a whole lovely summer afternoon with my son, frustration, and failure.

    I’ve had this “daily list” since my boarding school years of high school, pinned to my bulletin board in my dorm room.  I was a master at checking off every item each day on the List.  I had separate columns for short-term goals (finish French homework) and long-term ones (learn 10 new SAT words).  Later, my List would sit at my desk at every job that I had through my twenties and thirties.  I never missed a deadline, never missed a meeting, never passed over any professional opportunity offered to me. I just added it to the list.  In graduate school, I thrived. I finished my research papers ahead of schedule. I juggled research assistant positions, research fellow opportunities, teaching assistant jobs with my class schedule and other priorities.  But I had my trusty List.

    When my son was born, I was thrown into uncharted territory. Was I a stay at home mom?  How would I ever finish my dissertation?  Since I wasn’t making any money, how could I justify child care for the large blocks of time that I needed to analyze my data and write my dissertation?

    I had to learn to something new to me, how to seize small moments:  a few seconds to jot down ideas in notebooks at the side of my bed while I tried to rock my son to sleep, quiet walks in the fading afternoon light to think about my research conclusions while walking my son to the grocery store in his stroller.

    During these two years, I’m not sure if  I’ve been “leaning in” — making conscious choices to pursue both professional and personal success — or  if I’m beginning the slow process of “opting out.”

    Last week writer one of my favorite writers, Galit Breen, wrote a beautiful piece about the “gifts and pressures” of working from home. I can’t get some of her sentences out of my head. In all the talk about “opting back in” for women who gave up their careers, Galit’s words resonate with me more powerfully than any media headlines.

    According to Galit,

    Being a work at home mom is a beautiful gift, wrapped in a juggling act that can be hard to maintain.

    And in the New York Times Magazine piece from Judith Warner, “The Opt-Out Generation Wants Back In,” I could relate to the mothers’ voices, their compromises, and their joys.  What is lost in the public conversation (mostly) about these women is that they are not looking to become — and do not regret that they are not — Sheryl Sandberg.

    According to Judith Warner,

     And not a single woman I spoke with said she wished that she could return to her old, pre-opting-out job — no matter what price she paid for her decision to stop working. What I heard instead were some regrets for what, in an ideal world, might have been — more time with their children combined with some sort of intellectually stimulating, respectably paying, advancement-permitting part-time work — but none for the high-powered professional lives that these women had led.


    Working from home, for so many mothers that I know, is this sort of compromise. Yes, there is the awareness that we will not be the next Supreme Court justice or CEO. We will not be running a Fortune 500 company or a large magazine.  You can become discouraged by the goals, the accomplishments that will not be within reach. You miss the companionship and professional support of the workplace. And sometimes I do.

    Or, as most women do, you can celebrate the uncertainty, the complexity, the juggling and the possibility, while also acknowledging what has been lost.

    My to do list will stay on my dining room table. Every day. I will sometimes check off all of the  items on that list. But most days I won’t. But these days, these days of missed naps, playground adventures, and the exhilarating newness and possibility of reinventing myself as a writer, will not last forever.  My To-Do List will wait.



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