Motherwell’s most popular posts of 2019

In 2019, Motherwell published some of our most favorite essays to date. They are a great combination of powerful and poignant, witty and light, touching on a full spectrum of the joys and challenges of the parenting experience.

Here are our most-read original essays of 2019:

It’s possible to stay too long at the fair, by Elizabeth Newdom
These words by Joan Didion summed up my twenties, but they also capture the predicament of my current midlife crisis.



Our family took a stand on our school’s dress code, by Jennie Burke
“No skinny pants” was a rule we could not and did not obey. Instead, we pulled our children out of the school.



On being a mother who still doesn’t know who she is, by Fiona Leary Boucher
I am a woman who sometimes needs a glass of wine or two in the evening, because even though her boys are no longer babies, five to six o’clock is still the witching hour.



What happens when my son is with me in the ladies restroom, by Jennifer Jones
Why in the world had I even brought the kids to the store? I just wanted to go home, have a good cry and forget about autism for a while.

Mom smile while holding arm of adult autistic son in backyard of home


Accepting my friend’s son when she can’t, by Ann Wainwright
“Ryan,” I say. “If you ever want to play with the girl dolls, we have them. In this house, you can play with whatever you want.”

Little boy wearing stripped shirt hugging doll wearing colorful sweater


On the anniversary of my friend’s son’s death, by Brianne DeRosa
I sent you a bowl of black stones because of the hardness of loving a child for exactly who he is.

Close up on shiny black stones with a green leafy sprout coming from the ground beneath


How to give love as a mother when you are an unloved daughter, by Elizabeth Maria Naranjo
“Why is she like that?” my son asks. I hesitate. There’s no denying my mother’s passive aggressive disdain towards me.



What does it mean to be a “real” mother? by Tanya Friedman
My daughter collapses after an endless tantrum and says, I wish I wasn’t adopted.

Black and white image of baby deer looking at straight on


The importance of tending to friendships, by Anne Helena
As parents of older kids, socializing with other moms was apparently no longer part of the job description.

little girl watering small tree with a watering can


Deciding what to do with our one frozen embryo, by Angela Kidd
This year is different. Maybe it’s because I’ve had the miscarriages. Maybe it’s because we both recently turned 42.



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