Motherhood Multiplies.

By: Jen Shoop

Around my feet curl a pile of tiny bed clothes,

detritus from the morning mayhem, dotted with cereal milk and purple ink.

I kick them out of the way, making a mental note to gently remind my children, again, to deposit their pajamas into their ample-sized laundry bins,

and to hang their coats and put their shoes away when they come in the door besides.

But the halls of my home are deafeningly quiet,

as though the held-breath of the symphony audience after the orchestral caesura,

and what sometimes comes out too-strident in the cacophony of raising two spirited and squabbling children who need more of me than I sometimes have to give —

stalls mute, an effete earful.

I am gripped by a kind of Wednesday weepiness,

suddenly shocked that I have two children who are no longer babies,

and I think:

in a year, these 4T pajamas with the hearts on them will be worn by a stranger,

having found them in the community donations bin,

and my daughter’s front teeth will have grown all the way in,

replacing the charming gappy grin I love so much today.

In short, nothing will be the same in a year.

And I pick up the pile of clothes, and put them in the bin, and I cry a little bit because motherhood can feel like a slow and painful form of long division,

even though I know it is doleful and distorted to put it that way —

after all,

didn’t motherhood multiply, rather than split, my heart?


+More on the pinch of watching your children grow up. (But don’t worry: we carry all the ages of our children inside.)

+On maintaining wonder as a parent. (This post, and the Magpie reader who wrote me about the death of her son that I mention in it, are often on my mind, and bring me close to tears each time.)

+On the tender and tough days of early motherhood.

Shopping Break.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through the links below, I may receive compensation.

+In photo at top of today’s musing, you can see my children’s Lake jammies (I was wearing my matching ones beneath my Weezie robe) and mini’s bunny slippers. A few days later, we were using these conversation cards at the breakfast table, and the question was: “If you could dress your mother in anything, what would you choose?” Mini suggested I wear a tuxedo (!), and micro said: “Your Valentine’s pajamas that match mine.” I just ordered this larger set of the cards because my children LOVE them and it’s a great way to prompt and model conversation. Plus, the kids have such funny answers.

+J. Crew just released a Gucci-inspired cardigan — chic, chic!

+OMG I love these new dresses Julia Amory just released. Definitely buying one — which pattern should I get?!

+Somehow missed these $20 Hermes-inspired sandals in my Target run earlier this week! Love the raffia ones!

+We use an open-front salt pig from Emile Henry for kosher salt (easy to reach in and grab a pinch — we keep it right next to the stovetop) but didn’t have a good solution for stowing Maldon salt and this fancy Japanese seaweed salt Mr. Magpie loves that we heard about from Samin Nosrat, so I bought two of these in different woods (one acacia, one bamboo). Perfect solution. (Note that the Japanese seaweed salt links to a two-pack. Buy one for you and one for a food lover! Great for seasoning rice.)

+Daydreaming of adding one of these letter pendants to my daily jewelry stack

+These boots look a lot like the Khaite ones that cost $1000 more!

+This cute and unexpected caftan is in my cart.

+Adorable sneaker for a little lady. Have heard such good things about these shoes from fellow mamas.

+So is this anti-fatigue standing mat for the kitchen!

+This cropped jacket just launched a few days ago and is nearly sold out. So cute in the neutral.

+A great belted fleece coat. I’ve not seen anything like this — so unusual and chic.

+My friend Grace has been raving about this solid moisturizer bar from Kate McLeod — I think she even gave them to her mom/sister for Christmas! Intrigued.

+Love this quilted blockprint jacket!

+This hot pink dress is on my mind for warmer weather. It reminds me of a style from Hunter Bell, but less expensive. (PS – you can find a solid little cache of Hunter Bell styles on The Real Real.)

+A perfect glider for a nursery.

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6 thoughts on “Motherhood Multiplies.

  1. I love your necklace stack! It’s something I’ve been working on – I seem to pick out pretty things but struggle to put it all together! (I got the Dorsey Clemence necklace for Christmas – LOVE!) So, it was great to see yours all together.
    Here’s my question . . .I find that at the end of the day my necklaces are all tangled up on my neck, and then I spend time separating them when I take them off. Is this normal, or is there a solution?

    1. Hi Amy! So glad you love the Clemence! SO pretty.

      In my experience, the tangling is par for the course if you like to layer necklaces! Part of my nightly ritual, too. Maybe someone else has a good solution?!


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