In 2018, Motherwell published some of our most favorite essays to date—a combination of powerful and poignant, witty and light. All in all, we featured close to one hundred new pieces on the site, touching on a full spectrum of the joys and challenges of the parenting experience.
Here are our most-read original essays of 2018:
Fighting the patriarchy one grandpa at a time, by Lisa Norgren
“Oh, relax,” he says, ruffling my daughter’s wispy blonde hair. “We’re just playing.”
What can I do about my tween’s snotty tone?, by Catherine Newman
I want to be someone who says It’s okay to have negative feelings and actually means it. I would never tell Fourteen to smile—but what if she gets that message from me anyway?
What to expect when you are unexpecting, by Maggie Downs
Nobody will send flowers. You don’t even have a face to conjure when you think of this child.
What is the argument in favor of teaching cursive, by Michelle Riddell
Using script forces a child’s brain to slow down. It allows for deeper thoughts, more expansive word choices, and increased imagination.
How to survive the camp mom group chat, by Wendy Siegel
What if your daughter shows up at the bunk without enough stationery or hair ties? You’d never forgive yourself.
When your child’s birthday is complicated, by Shauna Actis
Eighteen years later, nothing has changed. All the firsts I had been praying for never came.
Why mothers need to stop calling themselves #blessed, by Liz Becker
When we use #blessed, we are saying that we have been chosen for joy. The problem is what this word suggests in the context of suffering.
My tangled relationship with my daughter’s hair, by Leslie Kendall Dye
We are forever snarled in each other’s hair, my daughter and I, invested in the consistency of the people we know best and need most.
The little moments when we are hit by grief, by Brianne DeRosa
You will be in your slippers, making waffles, and suddenly remember that your mother is dead.
After 18 years of parenting, what does it mean to be a good mother?, by Randi Olin
When it was time to walk away—leaving my son there and a part of my life behind—I didn’t have any regrets.
The last pause of motherhood, by Jennifer Niesslein
It’ll only occur to me months later, in the flurry of taking you to college, that this was the quiet part before the big crescendo.
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