Letter from a Stranger

By Rachel Pieh Jones I have a letter in my purse written by a stranger, to her sister, also a stranger. It is written in blue ink on lined notebook paper, folded over several times and crinkling around the edges. It is written in broken English with a line of Arabic, a few hashtags, and a scribbled -

I Know I Should Boast About Battle Scars

By Rachel Pieh Jones I know I’m supposed to boast about my scars, stretch marks, and shape. I’m supposed to be empowered by naked selfies. I don’t boast and I’m not empowered or posting those naked selfies (I’m not even taking them). I have a stomach that looks like a s -

Traveler, Writer, or Mother?

  By Rachel Pieh Jones This is so weird. I’m at the airport and I have my purse and my carry-on. I don’t have a stroller. I’m holding one passport and one ticket. I don’t have a diaper bag or breast milk stains on my shirt. I don’t have to make multiple trips to the ba -

Get a Real Job

By Rachel Pieh Jones Minnesota winters are brutal on stay-at-home mothers with young children. It is so hard to get outside. Slippery sidewalks, slushy roads, kids who take twenty minutes to get bundled up and only then announce, “I have to pee!” The winter my twins were infants, I felt -

So Sentimental

By Rachel Pieh Jones Throwing away the little-girl toys doesn’t make me sad this time around. My oldest daughter is fifteen and my youngest daughter is ten. We recently moved and I’m not a very sentimental mother. I would rather have space on shelves than boxes crammed full of old memora -

Dear Teachers

By Rachel Pieh Jones We are an American family living in Djibouti and my kids attend a French school. Their first days of preschool were the first days they spent entirely and only surrounded by the French language. I am not a teacher. I think I might explode, or implode, if I were a teacher. I don& -

Can Kids Make Us Happy?

By Rachel Pieh Jones Some parents I talk to seem rather disillusioned. They thought having kids would make them happy. They thought having kids would satisfy a longing or fill a hole or bring a sense of hope and purpose to their lives. Turns out though, for a lot of us, having kids reveals our selfi -

Revenge and Privilege

By Rachel Pieh Jones My Somali language lesson one day ended with my tutor telling me a story about her twelve-year old daughter, Kadra, at school. The previous week another student stole Kadra’s red pen and wouldn’t give it back. Kadra got angry about it and after class they got into a -

Things No One Told Me About Grief

By Rachel Pieh Jones C.S. Lewis wrote, “No one ever told me grief felt so like fear.”   No one ever told me grief was so physical. I feel it in my bones, they ache. I feel it in my muscles, they are sore, as though I’ve run a marathon. The few times I have tried to run, I stru -

How to Wake Up a Teenager on Vacation, in 16 Easy Steps

By Rachel Pieh Jones When the twins were young, I thought they would never sleep. Or never at the same time and never at the time I also wanted to sleep. Now our trouble is the exact opposite. My twin teenagers go to school for three months and then have a month break. By the time that break comes, -

Editors’ Picks: Some of Our Favorite Blog Posts from 2015

Part-Time Mother By Lauren Apfel It’s not enough anymore to fill my days only with theirs. I am half of one thing and half of another.       What is a Teenage Boy By Rachel Pieh Jones A teenage boy is an almost-man’s body with an almost-but-not-quite man’s voice. &nb -

Post-Thanksgiving Reflections of an Expatriate Mother

By Rachel Pieh Jones Celebrations of holidays sting because the celebration ends, the families go home, we can’t hold onto it forever. We can’t keep our children in our arms and under our roofs forever.   I’m planning Thanksgiving dinner. It’s just me. Some people are br -

When Your Son is Stronger, Taller and Faster Than You

By Rachel Pieh Jones Short men make better husbands, and make up in wisdom what they lack in stature, says self-confessed small man, Adam Gopnik. My son is fifteen years old. He is still shorter than me but for the first time since birth he has passed his twin sister and I suspect I will be next. He -