Hip Mama + Oh Mama Mamas

Hip Mama Cover
Hip Mama Cover, October 2010

I wanted to call all of your attention to the GREAT news that Hip Mama Magazine, where yours truly has had many a mamahood piece published, and a photo credit or two is relaunching back under the helm of it’s fearless and talented originator Ariel Gore (How to Become a Famous Writer Before You’re Dead, Atlas of the Human Heart). There is a fantastic kick starter project underway to make sure that “PRINT LIVES” (the mag was going to turn digital apparently which is in part why she decided to save it, and reclaim it). I contributed what I could and would love to encourage you to do so as well, if even a dollar is something you could hand over. There are several great incentives, (Dad there is one that involves all the pie you can eat on September 1sr in Santa Fe) so please consider. They have reached more than 50% of goal already which is super encouraging. Parenting on the fringe, and writers who may not make the mainstream cut, have always found a home in this high quality zine.


I’ve been dangling along the eye wall of a mothering hurricane of sorts this week. What I can share is that I’m uncomfortable.  Uncomfortable because this mothering thing is so damn hard and this is my kid, and don’t you all see that we just have to dig in deeper and believe in a different outcome?

I can say that sending a Mother’s Day card to your first mom who you haven’t heard from in two years does not fall under the “no sweat” column of Sam’s heart. Although, with Sam it may sometimes appears that way. And then when his amazing 2nd grade teacher leaves school for the rest of the year on a maternity leave the chances are pretty good as we predicted that he would not transition smoothly to the new teacher no matter what rewards or consequences were in place. Leaving is leaving. Left is left. Period.

Combine race, adoption, single parenting, coupled parenting with all that is my dynamic, intelligent, loving, eager, curious, super social, and wildly movement oriented Sam and you have several high pressure systems, cold fronts and warm fronts converging at once both at school and at home. When I was asked to consider if Sam’s aftercare arrangement was indeed the best fit for him, my internal storm tracker went into a category five. Suddenly we are all asking ourselves a million questions again. Is it this? Is it that? What if this, and maybe not that. Would this work better? Would that? What if we all just joined the circus?

Then Marcel saunters in, with a poem about what a great mom I am, to put next to the letter about all the ways I could be a better mom from Sam. Oh, hi Marcel. I remember you.

Shrek has been an incredible support, after we both survived our own fault line dance last week. My mantra during that time was simply, “I am OK. He is OK. The kids are OK.” Over and over I just kept reminding myself of those three statements. At the end, we were more than OK, we were stronger, closer, and further in, instead of heading in opposite directions. His steadfastness, courage, and “I’m IN” mentality was nothing short of heroic to me. We were and are amazing really. He took several calls this week from distraught me. He has been such a rock.

When I indulged a little and posted something to that degree on my Facebook page, my friend Glenn replied;

We are all broken; it’s harder to try again than it was to begin. Courage.

Love to all of our broken bits, and courage in finding the pieces we know can go back together with a little patience, and trust. A special shout out to all the women and men in our lives who not only support and bolster this mothering (or semblance there of this week) but who in many cases are not themselves recognized as mothers/fathers, even though that is EXACTLY what they are to me and my family and many others I am sure. So to Debbie, Sage, Tia, Weezie, Eddie, Alex, Esther and Paul a very Hip Mama and Papa shout out to you too. You deserve all the praise, breakfast in beds, and cards we all do and then some. Thank you again.


  1. Hang in there. This too shall pass or evolve or do something but it won’t stay the same. Good for you guys for “making it work, which, as we know … takes a little longer…” Ok. I’ll stop. Love the photo of Marcel up there.

  2. Good morning, Catherine, on this year’s Mother’s Day. I love this bit of your piece: “Love to all of our broken bits, and courage in finding the pieces we know can go back together with a little patience, and trust.” How true! What is also true – and thank you for pointing it out, or, rather shouting it out – is how much we each need and get from our friends who aren’t mothers and fathers themselves, but play those roles in our lives.

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