Welcome! I’m so glad you found Mommy, for Real. If you are a parent in need of a little humor in the face of the constant absurdity of raising children, or you’re a mom searching for some validation and comfort, or you’ve come seeking reassurance that you are not alone in your feelings of ambivalence about the imperfect, beautiful, baffling, push-you-to-your-breaking-point world of motherhood—you have come to the right place. If you’re looking for inspiring craft ideas, healthy recipes, or a sugar-coated view of life with young kids, you should probably go back to the drawing board. We keep it real around here, whether that’s sharing the hilarity of life with children, commiserating about the tough moments, or taking a minute to absorb the plethora of emotions we have about motherhood for which we have no words.
So, hi there. I’m Stephanie. I am a writer, music therapist, and mother of two not-so-little girls. I live in Colorado with my daughters, ages 10 and 15, my beloved little shadow of a rescue dog, Winnie, and my incredibly cool (yet total opposite of me) husband.
I write mainly about parenting and motherhood, obviously. I gotta be honest–my hard-core blogging days are waaaay behind me as I’ve leaned in another directions, but in my heyday, my most popular posts are I’m Glad They Warned Me, What I’d Like to Tell My Childless Friends, But Won’t, Dear Stay-At-Home-Moms: Go Ahead and Complain, What We Choose Over Homework, and Thanks For Nothing, American Girls (Why I Dislike American Girl Dolls). I write about maternal guilt, my struggle to find balance as a writer and part-time working mom, feminism and motherhood, and why I feel like a failure as an adult. Sometimes I told funny stories about my kids, or vent about my dislike for homework, or explain why the 1980s was the best decade to be a kid, and sometimes I write about why three-year-olds kind of suck.
I have been writing in some form or another for my entire life. I spent much of my childhood writing short stories and poems, and was frequently occupied by mentally composing stories when I should have been doing other things, like paying attention in class. I continued to write throughout adolescence, contributing to my high school’s annual creative writing publication and winning several literary awards. Upon entering college, I relegated my writing skills to academic pursuits only (oh, and some really terrible angst-ridden poetry), and began writing again when my youngest child was born, mainly for my own pleasure and sanity. As a control freak living amongst chaos, blogging became a satisfying outlet for my parental malaise, combining my passions of writing and helping mothers connect. Since I started Mommy, for Real, in August 2012, in addition to my attempts to elevate self-deprecation to artistic levels, I have also amplified my efforts to make writing part of my day job.
This is about what I looked like when I started this blog. And also why I started this blog- because I spent a lot of time holding my baby and scarfing chocolate on the couch.
My work has been featured in Washington Post’s On Parenting, O Magazine, the Chicken Soup for the Soul Series, Brain, Child Magazine, Huffington Post, Mutha Magazine, Cosmopolitan.com, Redbook.com, Mamalode, and Scary Mommy, among other places. You can check out my Featured Writing Page to see a full list, and see samples from my writing portfolio here. I was honored to be chosen as one of the BlogHer 2014 Voices of the Year and I am co-producer of the Listen To Your Mother Boulder show. My viral social media campaign, #SoGladTheyToldMe has received local, national, and international coverage. You can read all about that movement here.
Along with Jessica Smock, I am the co-founder of The HerStories Project, an online community of women writers. Together, and with the help of some amazingly gifted contributors, we have published five books: The Pandemic Midlife Crisis: Gen X Women on the Brink, is the most recent one, and Mothering Through the Darkness: Women Open Up About the Postpartum Experience was published in November 2015 by She Writes Press. Our first two anthologies were about women’s friendship: The HerStories Project: Women Explore the Joy, Pain, and Power of Female Friendship and My Other Ex: Women’s True Stories of Leaving and Losing Friends. We also offer a variety of writing classes to all levels Gen X Women Writers at Midlife. (Chances are, if you found this website, you might qualify!)
I recently began co-hosting a podcast with the fabulous Stacey Hutson: The Mother Plus Podcast. You guys, I adore it. I am hooked. It fulfills a creative need I didn’t know I had, and I truly love everything about it. If you struggle with feelings of guilt or not being fulfilled by motherhood, or you’re trying to rediscover your creative spark, get unstuck, or remember who the hell you were before you had kids, this might be the show for you. You can listen to the podcast here and find us online here.
In my other life, I’m a classically trained vocalist and music therapist.
As a board certified music therapist for over twenty (sob) years, I have worked with children with a variety of special needs in my private practice, and I currently work part time teaching early childhood music classes. My classes incorporate specific developmental skills for infants through preschoolers while providing an essential socialization opportunity for both children and parents. I also teach voice lessons for tween and teenage girls, which I adore. You can read more about my “Day Job” at my business website, Music With Miss Stephanie. I enjoy the benefits of working part time in the mornings and spending afternoons at home writing, mommy-ing, and finding excuses not to clean my house.
Hmmm, what else do you need to know about me? I am a deep thinker, daydreamer, child of the 80s, former spelling bee champ, over-sharer, nostalgia junkie, and unsuccessful neuroses-tamer. I juggle my roles of mother, music therapist, writer, blogger, and editor with flustered enthusiasm and a distinct lack of grace. I am a lover of coffee, bourbon, yoga, the em dash, the Oxford comma, and books. I consider myself a warrior for “mommy rights,” believing that every mother deserves guilt-free time to herself: to enjoy a hot shower in peace, read a novel, have a date with her partner, and occasionally savor a meal. My life goals include publishing a handful of books, raising well-adjusted, (hopefully slightly less neurotic than their mother) feminist children, and crafting the perfect witty bio.
Keep up with all my latest posts right here!