Hey society, I could use a little help here

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“Why do moms make all the plans and dads just follow directions?”

My six-year-old daughter asked me this astute question during a time in my life when I was very much wondering the same thing. I don’t recall my answer; clearly, it was not profound.

On that particular morning, we were packing for a camping trip. I had made a massive list and had been working steadily since 7 a.m. gathering various items into various piles, pausing now and then to ask myself why in the world I continued to operate under the stubborn illusion that camping was “fun.”

My…


Five years later, I’m ready to reclaim my life

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When the contractions started in earnest, my mother and daughter were absorbed by worms.

It was an unnaturally hot day in Portland, Oregon — in fact, it had been an unnaturally hot month, reaching tropical temperatures that our lone window air conditioner was ill-equipped to battle. We were walking on Mt. Tabor, a shady urban oasis of trails and evergreens, killing time as I sweated and waited to give birth. My son was in no hurry. He was already 12 days late, and I was getting impatient.

My mother found a worm along the trail, and she picked it up…


SATIRE

I’m just wondering when it will be ok to take it down

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I saw the news about George Floyd on Twitter last May, and I just couldn’t believe it. I thought: Something has to be done! A few days later, I got emails from Lyft and AirBnb condemning systemic racism, and I realized that I couldn’t stay silent any longer.

Right away, I let all my Twitter followers know, in no uncertain terms: Silence is VIOLENCE!! My tweet got 43 likes! Then I blacked out my social media profile photos and showed my Facebook friends that I was “Interested” in attending a nearby vigil.

I also searched for “Black Lives Matter yard…


Who was I to help her navigate love and heartbreak?

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In first grade, my daughter fell in love. I didn’t know much about the object of her affection except that, as my daughter told us with a faraway look in her eyes, “He just looks… I don’t know…. He just looks really nice.”

I appreciated that she deemed her parents worthy enough to be recipients of this news. Growing up, I never talked about boys or crushes with my parents. When I was 11, my father caught me kissing Joey from New Kids on the Block. Not the real Joey, tragically, but the poster of him that I had ripped…


There will always be something to remind us that we are traversing into White People Country, into a space that white people have claimed for themselves — my ancestors included

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A Trump supporter, a Russian, and a Black man were sitting around a campfire. It sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, but there they were, 20 feet from my tent.

I was acutely aware that the Trump supporter and the Russian were rather inebriated — the latter on my boxed wine, which he had mocked before proceeding to drain most of the box.

I was also acutely aware that there was a hatchet next to the campfire. Needless to say, I was having some trouble getting to sleep.

The Black man was my husband, and the Trump supporter…


I need to spend more time away from my family.

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Listen. I’ve put in a good nine years. I know I signed an 18-year contract, but I think we can agree that morale has hit a record low. Maybe it’s just time for me to explore a new direction, preferably one with more earning potential.

I must point out that the job posting was fairly misleading on several counts. It gave me the impression that the position involved more fort-making and less project management.

One thing I’ve learned about myself over the last nine years is that I really don’t care for project management. …


And especially not to be a working mom.

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In seventh grade, I got an A- on a test. I came home and cried. My parents asked me what was wrong, and with my adolescent eye roll and you’re-so-stupid voice, I said, “What do you think? I got an A minus!” I was used to plus symbols adorning the ends of my As.

My teacher that year commented on my report card: “Sometimes I feel that Kerala is out to conquer the material, not just learn it.” I don’t think she meant the comment as a compliment, but I took it as such. For me, school was a conquest…


I broke every rule in every parenting book

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It was 11:30 a.m. My three-year-old daughter was losing her mind. In the background, a group of nuns stared at us. I’m quite sure that at least one of them was feeling smug about her decision to remain chaste.

We were at The Grotto, a Catholic church nestled in the serenity of a sprawling garden, lush with grass, trees, and flowering bushes. Our reasons for being there had nothing to do with religion and everything to do with the fact that mom needed to get out of the house. …


My family nearly died in a car wreck. The cop on the scene couldn’t have cared less.

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When my daughter was 10 months old, I nearly killed her. It was kind of her fault. Cracker Barrel is also to blame.

Our family had taken a “seven-hour” road trip from Washington DC to Rhode Island to see my stepson play football. I put “seven-hour” in quotes because one must always use quotes when discussing how much time it takes to get from point A to point B on the East Coast, particularly when your destination is on the other side of New York City. I grew up on the West Coast, where one might break down in the…


I assumed I’d give birth to a Mini Me. I was dead wrong.

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I had my first fight with my daughter when she was 36 weeks in the womb. It was then that she first defied me. I was sitting on our balcony one night and felt her squirming, and all of a sudden I felt something large and round lodged under my ribcage. It felt like a head — which is exactly what it turned out to be.

I was pissed. I tried in vain to turn her back around. I let an acupuncturist burn my toes. I suffered through an external version, which was painful and violent and accomplished nothing. I…

Kerala Taylor

I write from the intersection of gender, race, and motherhood. Aiming to make you laugh, cry, and want to punch something all at once. Top writer in Parenting.

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