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…


HUMOR

It was nice knowing you, they said

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A local mom-to-be reported that she got a little emotional while at brunch with her childless friends last Sunday.

Only days from her due date, and suddenly grappling with the enormity of her impending life change, the teary-eyed mom-to-be insisted, “I’m fine. Really.”

“Spoken like a true mom,” said her childless friends before proceeding to order another round of mimosas. Meanwhile, the mom-to-be sipped her orange juice and eyed the delicate stemmed glasses full of frothy gold liquid with a mixture of longing and deep regret.

“I can’t wait for you to meet the baby!” she said a little too…


Those long, lonely nights with my baby were my first clue

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There is something about 3 a.m. It’s the loneliest hour of the night — after last call but before even the earliest risers stumble out of bed. The streets are empty and quiet, the sky thick and black.

Nine years ago, after having my first baby, I became intimately acquainted with every hour of the night. In fact, I developed an utterly useless new skill: upon being roused from sleep, I was able to predict, with stunning accuracy, exactly what time it was. I knew by the weight of the air.

At 3 a.m., the air was at its heaviest…


HUMOR

Since my daughter’s birth, things have never been the same

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The drama began after the birth of my first baby. Seemingly overnight, my breasts developed an attitude. Like a colleague who has recently been given a promotion and now thinks he’s hot shit, they became busy and distant. They had their own schedule, and they expected me to work around it.

We’d been through some drama before. All throughout high school, my breasts had remained stubbornly flat. I used to stand in front of the mirror and give them the evil eye, hoping I could make them swell through intimidation.

But when they finally did decide to perk up, I…


To connect with my 16-year-old stepson, I tried to put myself in his shoes

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When I dropped off my stepson at high school, I felt eminently grateful that I was no longer 16 years old. Just the sight of all those moody teenagers, hunched under the weight of their backpacks, made my blood pressure rise.

It was the first day of my stepson’s junior year, and his first day at this particular high school. He knew no one. He had grown up over 3,000 miles away. At the comfortable age of 35, I simply could not imagine having to navigate the strange new hallways, having to meet all those strange new people. …


SATIRE

Do you love spreadsheets and scheduling? Read on!

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Are you a go-getter who can independently make task lists, set priorities, and execute projects without being micromanaged? Do you love solving daily logistical puzzles? Does the prospect of managing multiple schedules excite you? If you answered yes to all of the above, we encourage you to apply.

The position will include extensive research on a broad variety of topics, including but not limited to: childcare providers, date night options, freezer meals, vacation destinations, children’s shoes, and fourth wave feminism. Husbands Who Get It will be expected to regularly engage in both secondary and primary research, leveraging online resources as…


PANDEMIC REFLECTIONS

My “normal life” wasn’t sustainable, and it wasn’t that much fun

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A little over a year ago, I found myself lying face down on our backyard lawn. I was having, for lack of a better word, a tantrum.

My husband and I were in the thick of our quarterly fight. At work, I had quarterly planning meetings; at home, I had quarterly fights. We weren’t a couple that did much daily bickering. Sure, tense words were exchanged from time to time, and temptations to slam doors were resisted, but the agitation generally dissolved without too much collateral damage.

Then, about every three months or so, it didn’t. Of course, the bickering…


I was more interested in casseroles than I was in God

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My father and I were always the early risers. On Saturday morning at 7 a.m., I was usually sitting on a kitchen stool eating a bowl of Shredded Wheat. My father was a few feet away from me, sitting “lotus-style” on the window seat. He donned robes that used to be black, but after multiple decades had resigned themselves to a milky gray.

Amidst snaking pillars of incense, my father closed his eyes and for 20 minutes he simply sat there and breathed. Then he started chanting — deep, throaty chants — while kneeling on the floor and bowing repeatedly.


Remember what it was like to be less than four feet tall?

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It’s easy, as an adult, to romanticize childhood. So many hours of unfettered time, so few to-dos fluttering around the brain. No meals to plan, no customer service calls to make, no water bills to pay, no dentist appointments to schedule, no insurance claims to file. So much possibility. Worlds to imagine, foods to taste, questions to ask.

You should enjoy it while it lasts, my parents always said. Someday the world won’t revolve around you. Someday you’ll understand.

Maybe they were right, but at the time I remember rolling my eyes. Even as a happy child, I felt grossly…


I doubt a dating app would have found us compatible

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In 2005, two people met in an unlikely place under unlikely circumstances. They chatted for a bit, and then parted ways to return to their respective significant others.

One of those people was me. The other was the man who would become my husband.

At the time, I was bartending at Captain Seaweed’s, an establishment in Providence, Rhode Island where mostly working-class, middle-aged men, converged almost nightly to drink Coors Lights and shots of blackberry brandy.

The first time I set eyes on the man I’ll call Rory — the man who would become my husband — the bar was…

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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