To the socially awkward new mom

This post originally appeared on Babble.com, titled “When you’re socially awkward, mom groups are your worst nightmare” on June 15, 2016.

It’s Tuesday night and you are filled with dread. Tomorrow is mother’s group day, when 20 or more strangers with babies will gather at a suburban park or hospital rec room.

And as much as you crave the company of adults — particularly other new mothers to share your joys and frustrations — you can’t help but feel … well, awkward. On top of being hyper-conscious of your gargantuan t-shirt and the ponytail thrown together during your baby’s 6.5 minute-long nap, you’ve seen how unpredictable these gatherings can be. One could make a friend or witness a face-off between two exhausted moms over whose baby sleeps the longest or who’s hosted a larger play date – and why.

Continue reading “To the socially awkward new mom”

How to write a speech that doesn’t suck if you are a wife (or a husband) of a presumptive presidential nominee

Melania Trump gives a speech at the RNC convention in Cleveland on July 18, 2016 (CNN photo)

Okay, let’s get a few things straight. Party affiliations aside, it’s neat that a wife of a presumptive presidential nominee was born outside of the U.S. and in Communist nation, no less. Gives her a global perspective (baby carrots don’t grow this way, most of the world doesn’t have paper towels, kids walk to school alone and survive). Also, don’t hate her for being beautiful. And the accent? Big deal, I got one too, even though we both spent most of our lives in the U.S. as citizens, some with better purses and a personal chef.

“Hey comrade, join our farming collective!” (From The Huffington Post)

Continue reading “How to write a speech that doesn’t suck if you are a wife (or a husband) of a presumptive presidential nominee”

Terry Gross on not having kids and a civil chat on parenting

Back in grad school, I had an opportunity to interview Terry Gross, the host of NPR’s Fresh Air radio show on WHYY.

She finally agreed to an interview for the school paper after I stalked her for a couple of weeks and eventually told her in a voicemail of how Fresh Air has impacted me as an immigrant.

Continue reading “Terry Gross on not having kids and a civil chat on parenting”

Daycare: What it costs and where to find one. No, really.

My daughter’s daycare is closing. To a nonparent, this isn’t a big deal, but it’s reducing me to a puddle of tears because not only is breaking up with a daycare hard to do, but because finding a good one is even harder.

It shouldn’t be. I don’t need my kid to play with sustainably-produced wooden toys in primary colors. I don’t ban food that’s fried, breaded or out of a can or say things like “Now, honey, remember we eat alfalfa sprouts before enjoying this chia seed crisp for dinner.” Nothing like this note to the babysitter.

Continue reading “Daycare: What it costs and where to find one. No, really.”

Community-Supported Agriculture: Fresh Boost for Organic Food (Journalism Clip)

I started out working in journalism at a time of print newspapers, before content migrated online (and it was pretty recently!). So I decided to pick some of the more poignant and interesting “non-web” stories to occasionally share here. The story below was written for Dow Jones Newswires during the boom of the organic food movement in the U.S. Continue reading “Community-Supported Agriculture: Fresh Boost for Organic Food (Journalism Clip)”

So I got no sleep and overdosed on Internet. Plus, podcasts.

I’ve been wracking my brain about why motherhood in the U.S. is ridden with anxiety.

There’s obviously the pregnancy and postpartum stress plus sleep deprivation, which is linked to impaired judgment and a higher likelihood of anxiety and depression. (Not to mention a hormonal, financial and body image mayhem.)

But there’s another stressor: The Internet.

Continue reading “So I got no sleep and overdosed on Internet. Plus, podcasts.”

Creativity for the Overwhelmed

People without kids often ask,”How come you don’t do that thing you used to do?” or “What do you do for fun?” Other than folding the top of the laundry pile as a feat of domestic accomplishment or the 3.5 minutes of a book before passing out, then, well, not much.

Yeah, I get it. Once upon a time, I’d get tanked up on coffee at some neighborhood cafe and read, write or edit without interruption – except to get more coffee or move away from the rowdy dudes over at the chess table.

Continue reading “Creativity for the Overwhelmed”