Christina-Marie Wright is the manic mother of seven, wife to a real estate professional and political activist (the same guy—Mr. Wright) and author of the hilarious “Everything I Need to Know About Motherhood I Learned from Animal House,” available on Amazon. After giving birth to one child—just to see if her body worked—she picked up four full-time stepchildren and two adopted children along her zigzagging path to (near) self-actualization. Her family isn’t “blended.” It’s “pureed.” That frothy blend of maternal mayhem includes: Princess (stepdaughter, b. 1990, Veterinary Medicine student), The Dude (stepson, b. 1993, employed, living on his own), Pockets (bio son, b. 1994, attending college), Pepper (stepdaughter, b. 1996, high school diva), GirlWonder (stepdaughter, b. 1997, middle school over-achiever), Curlytop (adopted daughter, b. 2005, special needs child allergic to Red Dye 40) and Snugglebug (adopted daughter, b. 2006, diagnosed Sensory Processing Dysfunction, also allergic to Red Dye 40). A vegan for over 15 years, and a Washington state native, Christina-Marie makes her home along the Columbia River, and the view from her living room is better than yours. She’s also a sexual health consultant, and absolutely capable of teaching you how to find your G-spot. You can find Christina-Marie hanging out with a snifter of Southern Comfort at TheGonzoMama.com and SexyVeganMama.com.
Erin is a transplant Wisconsinite living with four people and a dog who strive daily to test her perfectionist traits. She and her husband, D., are learning to breathe normally again after outnumbering themselves in rapid succession with three girls — A. (b. 2008), V. (b. 2010) and L. (b. 2012). She’s constantly worried she’s not doing it right (no matter what “it” is), but she’s learning to act as if she has it all together by smiling and nodding a lot. She plans on taking her three kids out in public without another adult’s assistance just as soon as never, and maybe not even then. She’s an editor by profession, a writer by choice, and a new runner out of a need for an hour without someone pulling on her pant leg. She thinks few things can’t be solved with some chocolate and peanut butter. Come to think of it, that makes running an appropriate hobby.
Linda spent thirteen years functioning as a working mom (where “functioning” grossly overstates her mental condition and “working” means “income-contributing”). Recently, she joined the ranks of stay-at-home moms (where “stay-at-home” means “working-for-free”), managing her household of six: herself, hubby “BigG,” daughter “Jay” (b.1994), identical tweens “Clyde” and “Tanner” (b.1998), and rescue dog “Lola” (b.1996?). Without diapers or refrigerator letters to explain her new status, Linda spends too much time justifying—to herself—her zero-earnings existence, which leads her to occasionally go where few moms bother to tread, like the end of a 20-foot ladder installing remote-control blinds. Having bluffed her way through toddler- and childhood, Linda only hopes that she and her kids can survive the angst and drama (and jacked-up auto insurance premiums) that precede adulthood. So far so good: C&T are kind, smart, happy guys who are easily entertained. And aside from periodically exuding PMS-induced tension, Jay is an atypical teen who is not really into fashion or boys and actually likes her mom and dad.
Sarah is obviously in love with chaos, as she has actively sought it since her daughter “Princess” was born in 2006. A cross-country move when Princess was four months old landed her back in the Silicon Valley, where her computer geek husband, Hubby 1.0, could dwell with his kind. In 2007, she decided to go to graduate school, which she’s completing as slowly as possible. When her son, “Caveman,” arrived in the fall of 2008, life just got more entertaining. An aspiring librarian, Sarah is often found at story time bribing Caveman to pay attention with granola bars and goldfish. She’s also on a quest to find a haircut that requires absolutely no styling and still looks good on those days when a shower just doesn’t happen. In her spare time, she picks up toys, does laundry, cooks, checks facebook obsessively, submits photos to “$*%# my Kids Ruined,” and organizes play dates with a great group of moms who keep her sane.
Tina lives in Phoenix, the Valley of the Sun(burn). She is mother to daughter “Sun-Bun”, b.2007 and son “Pookie”, b.2009 and Blue, the saddest bulldog in the world. She is married to a quirky man from Trinidad, which Tina is pretty sure is Spanish for “land of sexy dancers.” During the day Tina works in wireless telecommunications, spreading cell phone signals to all corners of the country – including your car (but please don’t text and drive). Tina suffers from parenting esteem issues which she attempts to mask with sarcasm and wine. She strongly believes that if Virginia Woolf had been a mother she would have penned, “A Bathroom of One’s Own.” She is also convinced that Nature may well be a mother, but the destructive forces of gravity could only have come from a man. When she is not aimlessly wandering the grocery store aisles, digging BPA-free sippy cups out of the back of her minivan or patrolling her home for scorpions, Tina can be also be found at Three In the Bed
Angie (latte constantly in hand) raises her son, “Milo” (b. 2003), and her daughter, “Belle” (b. 2006), in Seattle with her lawyer husband. She is a writer, blogger and graphic designer who is egregiously tall and loves cookies with beer. She alternately struggles with existential angst and the fit of her jeans. Though she wearies easily of answering her son’s constant questions and of negotiating with her daughter, she loves being present during their wonder years. One of her biggest parenting challenges is navigating Milo’s severe food allergies. If she’s not baking 50 cupcakes from scratch, she is reading ingredient labels and tutoring Milo, ad nauseum, to say, “No milk, eggs, tree nuts or peanuts please.” Angie can also be found at: www.halfassedkitchen.com
Karrie is proud to hail from the heart of the Midwest, where she and her family live in a small town that is so friendly it almost makes you sick. Here, where every grocery store aisle brings a new conversation and locals are on a first name basis with city officials, Karrie and her family have shared potato salad with just about everyone. This lack of anonymity has given her super special powers to yell at her kids through looks and small hand motions alone—and yet, all three of her children continue to prosper. “Eleanor” (b. 2001), “Tony” (b. 2003), and “Ally” (b. 2007) eat mostly noodles, constantly have dirty fingernails, and don’t practice the piano as much as their mother wants them to. Other than that, they bring great joy to Karrie, who drinks her own weight in coffee every day just to keep from falling over. Karrie once realized she had 4 seconds of free time and so she teaches preschool and toddler music classes, outdoor nature education, and writes a weekly column in the local paper (just to keep her honest). With the remaining .3 seconds, she blogs at www.karriemcallister.com.
If you had told Laura that she would become a first time mom at 41, say back in her “spirited 20s”, she would have said “That sounds about right. I’ve got too much to do until then.” Well, she didn’t really, and it wasn’t exactly by choice. Seven years of fertility treatments later, it all seemed to make sense. And with the words, “let’s adopt,” the adventure really began. When her daughter (“Spicy Girl” b.2007) was placed in her arms at 11 months old, in a city half-way around the world, the idea of motherhood became the reality of “what the hell am I doing?” All at once, life at home became a constant sociological experiment of nature vs. nurture. ”Honestly, honey, I didn’t teach her how to do a forward roll at 20 months … I couldn’t do one when I was 20 years old. It must be her hard-wiring.” In her daytime away from mom-hood, she works as a higher education administrator where she does her best not to parent 18 to 22 year-olds.
Lisa, who hails from Rhode Island, is what has come to be known as a “Beta Mom”, exploring what is “good enough” when it comes to parenting. She, along with Beta Dad, is shooting for happy, well-adjusted children, but there are days when they’ll settle for children who haven’t committed a felony. Most days her son “the Monkey” (b.1998) and her daughter “the Ladybug” (b.2001), fit that bill. In the Beta house matching socks are not a requirement as much as a pleasant surprise and Super Nanny is educational television. There are days when Lisa dreams about being that super mom striding through the grocery story with her perfectly groomed children, carefully selecting her soy-based, gluten-free, organic, farm-raised groceries. That’s usually right before she rips into the bag of oreos straight from the grocery cart, looks at her happy kids and knows she’s doing just fine.