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.


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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.

A #NYFW Photo Diary


It’s never more apparent that you’re NOT at Fashion Week than when you’re scrolling through Instagram in a leaky nursing bra and men’s underwear, sitting on a maxi pad bleeding like it’s your middle school period. Having a new baby while other Fashion People are at Fashion Week is a great way to feel like a shell of your former self, and I know this because I’ve had a new baby during two Fashion Weeks and felt compelled to write about it in the Notes section of two iPhones. (Excerpt from when Kai was straight from the womb, in February 2014: I’m laying perfectly still in a small apartment that rattles because of its proximity to the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and I’m wearing a milk-soaked plus-size top by Jessica Simpson and elastic waist leopard-print pants that are bunched up around my knees. Twelve years ago I interned at Vogue with sparkly, interesting people, some of whom have become television celebrities, internationally known editors, wardrobe department icons and acclaimed novelists. And so on, you get the gist.) Continue reading

The Literal ONLY Thing No One Told Me About Being A Parent


Being a parent, I’ve realized, is basically a series of one cliché after another eventually ringing true – the very same clichés, mind you, I found so annoying to hear throughout my pregnancy, dispensed by friends and strangers alike, and disguised as advice. But guess what, guys? IT IS ALL SO TRUE. Just true in a way that isn’t obvious or interesting or useful until you are In It. “Enjoy that sleep now.” (DEAR GOD. NO COMMENT.) “You’ll never feel such love.” (I MEAN.) “They grow so fast.” (HOW IS BAILEY ALMOST SIX MONTHS OLD.) (NO, REALLY, HOW.) I now see that the longstanding tradition of speaking those clichés to every preggo stranger on the street is actually part of a greater effort to ensure that soon-to-be mama that she is not, actually, alone in the universe when she finds herself changing a screaming baby’s diaper at 4am on a Saturday night, unshowered and unloved and about to give up. These clichés are a support system in disguise: We’ve all been there, love. It will be ok.  Continue reading