Busy Single Mother: Black Leather and Oxygen


By Barbara Matousek     I spent much of this past weekend in the black leather rocker that was my nearly constant companion before I had kids. I used to spend hours in that chair, rocking and reading, losing myself for days in a Toni Morrison novel or the latest issue of Best American Short […]

Halloween in the St. Mary’s Parking Lot


By Barbara Matousek   The cold, fall rain comes down fast as we pull forward in the St. Mary’s parking lot, and Sam points to the small white statue on the west side of the building. “There’s Jesus’s mom,” he says. “Yep,” I say. “That’s Mary.” Anyone who knows me will tell you that I […]

Girls Can Drive Dumptrucks and Boys Can Dance


By Barbara Matousek “I wish our family had two moms,” Sam says, and I am caught by surprise. I am loading the dishes into the dishwasher while Sam puts the head on his new Lego alien minifigure and Eva pulls at my pants leg begging for her bedtime cup of milk. “Why is that?” I […]

“When We’re All Dead And Not Here, Who Will Be Here?”


By Barbara Matousek “What sports did Grandpa Jim like?” my son asks. We are standing in the kitchen and he is pulling the scissors out from the drawer, cutting the plastic wrap off a frozen raspberry fruit bar. “He liked all sports,” I say. Sam hands me the wrapper and I place it in the […]

Single Mom Examining Her Dating Options


By: Barbara Matousek We are sitting on the wooden deck on the east side of the aquatic center watching our four-year-old boys float on their backs and “do big scoops” and play a game called Mr. Fox What Time Is It, when an older father leads his daughter past us and back towards Sam’s pre-school […]

Is This Single Mother of Two Having a Midlife Crisis?


By: Barbara Matousek I’m not sure what I was thinking. Maybe I wasn’t actually thinking. Mostly now I think “midlife crisis.” Why else would a 45-year-old single mother of two children under five commit to something as time consuming and crazy as a Ragnar relay? For anyone who doesn’t know what these are, they are running […]

The Question of China


By: Barbara Matousek “Mom, what does C-H-I-N-A spell?” He asks from the backseat. This is his latest used-to-be-cute-but-is-now-really-annoying obsession.  This morning as I was making pancakes and his baby sister screamed for bananas and milk and uppie-uppie-uppie, Sam read me the titles of all 50 of his Pokemon cards, frequently mixing up the T’s and […]