As a new mom and freelance journalist and editor, I had to cobble together my maternity leave with California’s paid family leave program and by working on projects during my pregnancy. The United States currently has no federal paid family leave. I recently wrote a piece for The Atlantic’s CityLab about corporations who are offering generous paid family leave (up to 26 weeks fully paid), on-site childcare, and additional parental support.
Recently, I wrote a Brit + Co article about 9 Ways to Stay *Super* Calm During Pregnancy. It’s hard to stay zen when everything about your body is changing every single moment. One day, you feel like everything’s making you want to vomit and the next day, you could eat your way through an entire grocery store. Hormones!
A fellow writer I met through UPOD Academy — a must for any freelance writer — started her Meditations for Mamas site to help moms and pregnant women get through the rigors of pregnancy and motherhood. She interviewed me about what it’s like being the mom of twins (exhausting/wonderful) and my life after writing so openly about my miscarriage for BuzzFeed. I love her approach to 2-minute, 5-minute, and 10-minute meditations that she offers on her YouTube channel that are geared toward busy parents who need some stress-free moments in their day.
My friend David Licata posted this link to a helpful breathing GIF that I wanted to share. As someone who is running on little sleep and trying to be creative, I thought this image was a perfect reminder to take a deep breath during those hectic times.
As a new mom of twin girls (yup, two babies), the hardest thing — besides the sleep deprivation — is keeping up with my paid and passion writing projects. I’m still learning the ropes of how to do this, but I found that finding another writer mom has been super helpful. I asked my friend Melissa Sarno to be my writing partner. This is how it works: Every time we finish a chunk of writing time, even if it’s just 15 minutes, we text each other, “DONE!” The other writes back, “Way to go!” or something along those lines. During the month of May, we challenged each other to write for at least 20 minutes a day (with 3 freebie days), and we both stuck to it.
This exercise came out of an important lesson from a writing teacher I admire (Psst … look up UPOD Academy and take classes with David Hochman). When I told him that I wanted to finish revising my YA novel but was terrified that being a new mom would zap all my time, he said, “Carve out 15 minutes a day. You can find 15 minutes. You’ll be amazed at what you can do.” And he’s right. I’m slowly but surely churning out these revisions. I look at it this way. Fifteen minutes a day is better than 0 minutes a day.
If you’re a mama who writes, please share your tips for carving out that creative time while managing your kiddos!
I’m SUPER excited to share that in the July 2016 issue of O: The Oprah Magazine, you’ll see a picture of me in the contributors section of the magazine. Woo hoo! I wrote a story about Patrice Banks, the wonderful female auto mechanic who is opening her own auto body shop in Philadelphia called Girls Auto Clinic.
O is one of my fave magazines and it’s so thrilling to be featured in the magazine, alongside Elizabeth Gilbert! A dream come true for me.
Paid family leave in the US is a hot topic, and deservedly so. As a new mom, I wish the US was more progressive and offered what some other countries give new families.
Back in February 2016, a fellow freelance writer interviewed me for a Fast Company article on How Freelancers Can Plan for Parental Leave.
Recently, a radio producer at SoCal Public Radio KPCC’s Take Two contacted me to talk about paid family leave based on my comments in that article. Here’s a link to the full interview.
Hopefully, this ongoing conversation will lead to bigger changes for new mothers and fathers and anyone caring for a family member!
I’m excited to share that my first published piece for one of my favorite magazines, Real Simple, is out on newsstands now. I interviewed workplace expert and author of Work Simply Carson Tate about how to use your productivity personality to figure out exactly how you best work.
Real Simple is one of the magazines on my bucket list and I’m thrilled to have a byline in the April 2016 issue. After five years of pitching (yes, five years), I FINALLY wrote for Real Simple. Woo hoo!
One of the very first pieces I ever wrote was for Bust magazine back in 2007 about young women who wanted to become nuns. It’s one of my favorite independent magazines and I always enjoy writing for them. In the Feb/March 2016 issue with The Daily Show’s Jessica Williams on the cover, I wrote a short piece about CatLadyBox, a subscription service geared toward cat ladies. If you’re crazy about cats or have a friend who is, check out CatLadyBox. It’s super cute!
His music is iconic and timeless, but as a kid, I’ll always remember when my friend Meg and I watched Labyrinth a million times and LOVED when Bowie said, “Forget about the baby, Sarah.” That movie was magical, strange, and unforgettable. Artists will never die as long as we have their art.
On Wednesday, I got some writing news that was good but meant I’d have to challenge myself to face a major revision of a project-in-progress. While facing impending motherhood. And working on paid projects. Fear definitely set in. That night, I watched an older episode of the Daily Show and Trevor Noah said some kind words about David Bowie with a video clip of Bowie saying this:
“The other thing I would say is that if you feel safe in the area you’re working in, you’re not working in the right area. Always go a little further into the water than you feel you’re capable of being in. Go a little bit out of your depth, and when you don’t feel that your feet are quite touching the bottom, you’re just about in the right place to do something exciting.”
It was the perfect piece of artistic advice I needed. Thank you to the Goblin King. I hope it helps you too.