Saturday, May 08, 2010

I'm Over Here!

A RELUCTANT MOM FOLLOWERS: I've started a new blog! Please visit me at Stuff My Kids Tell Me. See you there!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Be A Contributor!

Come on. Admit it. You have something to tell me, don't you? It could have happened to you today, or maybe it was last year. Either way, I want to hear about it. If you have a tale you want to tell, write me at or All topics are welcome and will be published (either anonymously or with a byline) on Talk To Me.

Go on - tell me a story.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

The End

I think Neil Young said it best when he coined the phrase "It's better to burn out than to fade away." Therefore, I have decided to put A Reluctant Mom to bed for good. I thank you, kind readers, for keeping me company, offering advice and providing some comfort these past four years. I have enjoyed the journey and learned a great deal. I hope you have, too.

If you want to get in touch, please write to me at (And feel free to tell me how much you miss my blog and wish I never left.)


Monday, March 01, 2010

Farewell, Fish

We said a few kind words, but to her they sounded like drivel.

We hugged her tightly, but our gestures felt empty.

We held her hand, but to do so appeared insulting.

We held a funeral, but she wanted it back. Alive.

Her pet fish had died and nothing we did or said could make her forget her loss.

“We could always share a fish,” her big sister suggested, meaning the remaining of the two fish we had as pets. “I don’t mind at all if we do.”

The tears continued to fall.

She was too young to remember when our dog died, and I honestly thought she wouldn’t bat an eye at her fish’s passing. After all, she barely looked at the creature, let alone fed it (I wrote this post about how I took care of those fish, begrudgingly, and continued to earn the moniker given to me by my dear husband years ago: Dr. Petvorkian.)

This death, however, was devastating to her. She cried for a solid hour and insisted on sitting on my lap the entire time while she wailed. I stroked her hair, kissed her cheeks, and just let her mourn. I don’t know if she was milking the attention or not; I only know she was hurting and I wanted to help her through it.

It's really hard to talk to young kids about death, but thankfully I had written this post about it and was able to use what I had learned to help her through her grieving. If this is a timely subject for you, too, click here to learn more.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Best Of A Reluctant Mom

This post, entitled, The Need For Speed, originally ran on March 20, 2007:

At 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, my husband started making dinner. We have a deal; he makes dinner on the weekends and I make dinner during the week. I think this arrangement is fair and he does, too. Part of the agreement is that he doesn’t have to actually make dinner; he just has to plan it. Meaning, he can order in, we can go out, or he can make it. I just don’t want to be involved. I make three meals a day for our kids and I think he can handle two meals on Saturday and Sunday.

Back to Sunday afternoon. I glanced at my watch and saw he was preparing something involving sweet potatoes. Our kids usually eat between 5:30 p.m. and 6 p.m., so I assumed he allowed enough time to fix the meal. At 5:30 I walked through the kitchen and saw him whipping something up; his laptop computer was perched on the counter and open to some kind of recipe he had found online. The kids started to ask when dinner would be ready. Dear Husband grunted, and we left him alone.

At 6:30 p.m. – two hours after he began – he announced dinner was ready. We were all starving by then and I couldn’t wait to see what gourmet meal would be set before us on the table.

Wait for it…

I looked at our plates: we each had a breast of chicken (prep time: 10 minutes), some peas (5 minutes) and sweet potato fritters.

“Wait,” I asked. “Where’s the rest?” With all that time spent mixing, whipping and frying, I was expecting something mirroring a Thanksgiving feast.

“What do you mean?” he asked.

I took a deep breath and paused for a moment because I didn’t want to appear to be ungrateful. I am very happy with our pact and I didn’t want my husband to think I was criticizing him. But it took him two fricking hours to make this dinner? He had to be kidding.

“You realize you’ve been cooking for two hours, right?” I said, sitting down.

Thankfully, he laughed. “Yeah, I know. The fritters took forever.” (Um, an hour and forty-five minutes, to be exact). What’s worse, the fritters were greasy and unappetizing. So I stuffed myself with a pound of peas and as much chicken as I could stomach and just kept my mouth shut.

Seriously, what the hell is wrong with men? Why does it sometimes (read: most times) take a man 10 times longer than women to complete most tasks? Ask any married woman you know and she will quickly nod in agreement with what I just said. Men - there is, simply put, a need for speed.

Part of me used to think my husband’s slowness was passive aggression. Then I discovered he was in a very, very large club of husbands who did things at exactly the same tempo – glacial speed. How many times, ladie, have you said to your husband, “Could you please just give the kids a snack?” only to look at the clock 15 minutes later and find your children climbing the walls because they are so hungry? Then you look for your husband and discover he thought he should re-caulk around the bathtub before he fed them something. The male thought process (or lack thereof) is a complete mystery to me.

Most days I just ignore my turtle-paced spouse and repeat my favorite mantra: “My kids will be fine.” Other days, I do what needs to be done myself. And some days, I lose my temper and beg him (okay, yell at him) to get moving. Those are the worst days because, as if to taunt me, he goes even slower.