September 14th, 2016

In the Dough

(This is an old column of mine that originally appeared at Inside Catholic)

I was going through some old pictures online the other day. Organizing family photos is a project I assign myself on occasion in order to avoid doing real work. Nothing makes sorting through decades’ worth of jumbled digital images seem like quite so enticing a task as having real work with a real deadline looming on

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May 11th, 2016

Mommy Wars, Schmommy Wars

In an article at Salon a few years back, writer Katy Read admitted something that raised some maternal eyebrows: She regrets having left a respectable job and steady paycheck to be an at-home mom to her two sons for ten years.

It’s not the quality time with her children she regrets, but the financial toll she’s now paying for it.

“The swing set moments when I would realize, watching

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March 8th, 2016

My Oasis

I really should stop reading magazines. That might be an odd thing for a magazine editor to say, but it’s true that certain kinds of periodicals are bad for my self esteem.

Take that popular homemaking magazine, for example. What’s it called? Better Homes Than Yours, I think.

I browse through its slick pages, squint at the glossy photos, and search in vain for a sign of peanut butter fingerprints

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February 9th, 2016

Sleep Is For Wimps

Tiny hands cupped my face.

“Mama, Mama,” I heard a voice whisper. “I need you.”

“Gah!” I responded.

To explain my somewhat inelegant response, I should tell you that it was about 2 a.m. when the tiny hands cupped my face and the small voice awakened me from a sound sleep.

The little person needed a change of sheets. And a drink of water. And a re-arranging of stuffed animal

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January 26th, 2016

[podcast] Yell Less, Love More #004

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Are you a yelling mom? In this week’s episode, we talk about how to handle negative emotions. We all get angry and we all get frustrated sometimes, but the ways in which we express these feelings can have a lasting impact on our families and relationships. Instead of yelling, complaining, whining, and crying, lets

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January 25th, 2016

Do You Make Your Wife a Better Mother?

When I wrote “Do You Make Your Husband a Better Father?” I heard from more than a few moms demanding equal time. Far be it for me to shortchange the ladies! Today we’ll consider some ways men can encourage their wives in motherhood.

1. Lend a Hand

Even a strong mom has physical and emotional limitations. Pay attention to how your wife spends her time. While you relax at

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January 17th, 2016

Do You Make Your Husband a Better Father?

Do you make your husband a better father? Here are some practical ways to encourage your husband in his fatherhood.

1. Take Notice

It’s very likely that your husband performs loving acts for your children all the time, whether it’s giving them hugs, making them lunch, driving them to soccer practice, or paying the tuition and dental bills. Taking notice and verbalizing your gratitude for these things will not

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November 23rd, 2015

You’re the mom and everyone knows it

My two furry babies. Number Nine (RIP) and Apollo.


When we first got a family dog 14 years ago, I was deep in the throes of mothering many small children, so bonding with our new pet was not high on my list of priorities. Dan handled most of the puppy training, and kids were in charge of cleaning up after him, letting him out, and feeding him.

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