Minimal Monday

A lot has been happening since the release of my new book

I read a few excerpts of my book at the International Conference on Shared Parenting. Afterwards, both at the conference and then upon returning home, I was interviewed for podcasts, including the new I’m Her Mother: An Exploration of Parental Alienation (available on Spotify).

My presentation from the conference was translated into Greek to be shared on I cannot say for sure if it is already up on their site or not, because it’s all Greek to me.

I found out my book will be featured in an upcoming issue of Contemporary Family Magazine.

In other creative news, I am beginning to take notes on my next book idea. It is too soon to share the details though.

I am reading Someday Is Today: 22 Simple, Actionable Ways to Propel Your Creative Life by Matthew Dicks, and I love it. I met Matthew once at a MOTH live storytelling event in Boston. He is a teacher, storyteller, writer and productivity expert. His level of creative productivity is ridiculous, but I can almost guarantee that reading his book will make any creative person want to strive to waste less precious time, myself included.

Happy Monday!

Minimal Monday

A belated Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms!

I have the great privilege of being the mother to three wonderful adult daughters. I share a little bit about those years in my first book, The Uncluttered Mother Motherhood has been my greatest joy and endeavor in life. No matter what else I may fail or succeed at, it will pale in comparison to the value I have put on raising and loving human beings.

Two of my daughters are (fabulous!) mothers themselves now, while they simultaneously juggle artistic and career endeavors. Having more little children to love and watch grow fills my heart to overflowing. They are each precious, unique individuals who have come here to fulfill their own destinies, to follow their curiosities, to hopefully become more and more of themselves.

Caregivers are crucial in this whole process of unfolding a human being, this metamorphosis. And treating children like complete human beings, validating their feelings and experiences, shaping their habits (because habits make up a life), guiding and loving them, is no small task. It’s huge.

So my wish is that rather than just giving lip service to mothers on Mother’s Day about how much we value that role, society supports mothers with action.

What would that look like?

It would look like less pressure on young woman to treat motherhood like some little side gig while they are fulfilling their other roles, especially in the workplace.

It would look like longer maternity leave, and better and more affordable childcare.

It would look like more extensive follow-up for the physical and mental well-being of the moms- not just the infants- postpartum.

And it would look like longer paternity leave and more support for dads who are trying to be involved fathers, or equal participants in the massive job of child-rearing.

It would look like treating early childhood like the crucial and sacred stage of life that it is instead of some stage to pass through to get the “important ones”.

It would look like protecting children from trauma.


Before I go, I want to give a special shout-out to alienated moms, the mothers who were unjustifiably cut out of their child’s life after divorce. Because of my own experience of being alienated from my loving mother when I was four years old, I have come to know many alienated parents, and have heard too many heart wrenching stories. For any of you reading this, I see you, I honor you, and my greatest hope for you is that your children make their way back home to you.

Minimal Monday

I have been thinking a bit about how good it is to develop a mostly internal locus of control, and also about what a challenge that is to human beings. From a very young age, as soon as we are affected by the responses of the adults in our lives, we are being trained to focus outward. We gain or lose approval, validation, and receive rewards or punishment, based on how others react to us.

If we are fortunate, our caregivers taught us to pay attention to our own sensibilities, curiosities, and feelings, while simultaneously guiding and socializing us to grow into decent, productive, adults. I think it so easy to focus too heavily on the latter job, as it has a much clearer set of “rules”.  Be polite, get good grades, join the team, do the things that get you accolades or acceptance or a better resume. And that is all good! But nothing trumps an inner drive, and personal satisfaction, and no one can tell us exactly what that looks like; it is different for everyone.  

One day, way back in high school, our teacher assigned us an essay to write in class. I forget what the topic was but he collected them well before the class ended. I actually opted to take a lower grade by keeping my paper a little longer to finish it. In that moment, an incomplete story felt all wrong to me. I really wanted to finish the essay, so I accepted the lowered grade. Foolish? Perhaps. But in that instance, my own satisfaction meant more to me than a grade, and I accepted the consequence.  

We want kids to do what is expected of them by their parents, school, society. In many ways, it will serve them well. But hopefully we want them to follow their internal compass even more. Often the two-external and internal focus-are at odds.

What does this look like? Maybe a teen decides that getting an A on an assignment is less important than getting a full night’s rest, or taking some time to work on his own project. So, he accepts the B- and is able to feel confident about his choice. He is figuring out that life is about much more than external accolades. And yet who do we praise? We praise the kid who came to school sick, stayed up late to go above and beyond, resisted his own interests, and got the A. Hard work is admirable. But so is self-care, independence, and creativity. We each choose our own values.

Life is a series of choices, and each one has some consequence, however small. We can’t tell another human being which outcome has the best payoff, the most desirable results for them in each circumstance. But we can remind them that they know, if they will take a moment, a lifetime, to turn inward and trust themselves.

Happy Monday!