Why I Wear A “Mama” Necklace

22448331_10110095328083459_5703114115594272875_n.jpgYears ago when I was a styling assistant, the job would take us to small towns around the country.  My boss would laugh every time I walked off a dusty set at the end of the day, take a deep breath and declare, “I could live here!” In my East Village miniskirts and gold jewelry, I didn’t look the part. No one thought I was maternal. I told everyone I didn’t want kids but in reality I was lonely and I didn’t think that starting a family was a possibility. Moreover, I liked the reaction I got when I said it wasn’t for me. Once, back in the production office, I rolled my eyes when a mother of twin girls left at five to have dinner with her family. “I guess all you need to do to leave early is have a couple of kids,” I snarked at someone. Are you cringing? Do you think they knew how hard I was pretending?

Five years later I met the love of my life in a bar. He had a son who wasn’t even two. I was twenty six. We went from zero to sixty in six weeks. Marriage, stepmom, a move to Brooklyn.  A few years after that, my grandmother referred to me as a “real country woman” after spending a week together upon the birth of my second son. This was a mothering compliment, and a good one. It meant I rolled up my sleeves and got dirty. It pinpointed why I love being a parent. This work is primal and filled with heart. Raising people feels ancestral, of the earth. It is grounding, fulfilling, satisfying, quenching in a way that nothing else was before, for me.

There is a pride in seeing my children in the world that is unparalleled and relatively unmatched by anything I’ve accomplished so far at work, and that’s okay! There is physical proof of my work, there is the ability to make or break a person’s entire spirit.

This year, for my birthday, my husband gave me the gold “Mama” nameplate necklace I emailed him with exact specifications (we’ve all been there). Now, even when I’m away from my kids, strangers see it and know I am a mother. I wear it like a scar, like a badge of honor, like a crown.


Screen Shot 2017-10-11 at 9.01.29 PM

Cross-posting this from my Instagram account because LET IT BE SAID HENCEFORTH AND FOREVERMORE: If I have given the impression that my life is not filled with babies eating paint, kids having unfortunate accidents during nap time, breaking up physical fights and emotional fights, babies crying and pulling at the leg of my pants while I cook dinner that at least one person will declare disgusting before tasting it, battling about screen time, hearing someone beg for mommy while I am on the toilet so infrequently it’s a wonder I don’t have a UTI and checking to see if anyone is watching me unstick a scrap of quesadilla from a high chair before eating it its because compared to the hellfire that is our current world reality I find my grievances distasteful to air. Everything is temporary, is a parenting mantra I have found to be most true and effective; the bad moments will pass but so too will the good ones, and too quickly or maybe we won’t even be lucky enough to get to live to see them all. Going to work, staying home, doing both somehow: these things can all be temporary in the course of a life. But I guess if I use my space on Earth to only share the good, I am leading some people to believe that I don’t have days where I am sad, anxious, confused about my identity or generally lonely and it’s not truthful. FYI.