Friday, August 31, 2018

Selling Pieces of Her Childhood

I shelter her from screens, but the whole world can watch our home movies.

I have friends who’ve hidden all photos of their children from social media. Meanwhile, my kid’s eaten dog food in an online Orajel ad*, and she has her own Public Figure Facebook page. Not that she’s ever seen it.

Read the rest on Medium


Monday, August 27, 2018

Veganism Makes Parenting Easier Part 2 - On Medium

I just got home from 3 days in Larrabee State Park near Bellingham, WA. My kid and I made the drive for the Seattle Vegan Families Group’s annual camping trip. The hazardous smoke cleared just in time, and we donned our rain gear and celebrated at a group campsite with 10 or so other vegan families.

It was a seriously awesome time: epic views, vegan s’mores, kids and dogs (and grownups) running wild in a car-less wonderland.

What surprised me though, was that my kid, being her usual awesome self, seemed to be the worst at sharing and the quickest to fuss. It’s not that she was on hard mode, but that we were surrounded by the sweetest, most generous group of kids we’ve ever had to pleasure to be around.

Read the rest on Medium! Remember, you can applaud up to 50 times!

Tzivia asleep in tent
Tzivia, sleeping through train noise, in our tent at the Vegan Families Camping Trip

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

A Goodbye to Babywearing? - On Medium

One of the things I love about Medium is that you can post things there that you've already posted elsewhere (as long as you own the copyright). So I just posted a reworked version of an old post from this Vegans in Love blog, a photo-heavy one about our family and babywearing.

Here it is on Medium (and please remember that you can clap for it FIFTY TIMES, so please gimme a round of applause, dear friends).

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

A mother is a mother is a mother

I fully admit that more poignant essays have been written about Tahlequah, the grieving orca mother who carried her dead newborn for 17 days and 1000 miles.
But I felt like this perspective needed to be heard, so I wrote it for Raise Vegan.

Living Vicariously Through Your Children

New piece on Medium
"How much of our parenting impulses are just a response to our own childhoods, to finally fulfilling our unrequited wishes?"
pink hair Tzivia

Monday, August 6, 2018

35 is the New 15.

Getting older isn’t what I expected. I’m still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.

Happy Birthday to me. I’m Turning 35 this week.

hella vegan ice cream from Fiddlehead Creamery
I’m married, to someone in his 40s. We’ve got a kid. And a dog. We own a home. That all checks out. That’s exactly what the fortune teller at my elementary school’s Halloween Carnival told me my life would be like when I grew up.

But then there are other things:
I still eat food off the floor. I still like playing on the playground. I still take baths.

And most unexpected:
I’m still figuring out what I want to be when I grow up.

When I grow up, maybe I'll be the queen of the ocean.

Some of the current frontrunners are writer, children’s librarian, children’s book author, homemaker, vegan pastry chef , and restaurateur, although those are definitely not the only jobs I’m considering.

My husband, meanwhile, is considering (depending on which day you ask) fantasy artist, professional Dungeon Master, science fiction novelist, vegan “meat” magnate, restaurateur, homemaker… and then there are the really random schemes: Should he be a scuba-diving boat cleaner?
No one told us life would be like this. Maybe because no one knew.
My dad worked at the same company since before I was born til when I was in college.

Sometimes it’s hard to know how much of this gig economy is something I chose (I certainly didn’t want me or my husband to have to work outside the home full-time when we had a little baby to care for) and how much is something thrust upon us by late-stage capitalism.

The work I’ve done since my 4-year-old was born feels more like it’s maybe, hopefully leading somewhere, rather than it being anything I’ve worked towards.

I’m doing a lot of unpaid writing, hoping it will lead to more paid writing.

I’m working a couple hours a week, leading a children’s program at the library, hoping….?

I’m running a small Etsy shop.

I’ve done Mechanical Turk, and for 6 months, I worked from home as a rater, which, I’d love to say more, but I had to sign an NDA.

There are more things. More gigs. Lots of them.

This is 35?

Every week or so, I have the same conversation in my head:
When it comes to work, what is freedom?
Is freedom owning your own business? Or does the business then own part of you?

Is freedom getting a “regular job,” so you can go home when your shift’s over and leave it all behind?
Is this freedom? What I’m doing now? Piecing it all together?

And what is my kiddo learning from all this? By the time she grows up, will these questions seem outdated?

What’s your life like now? And what did you think it would be like when you were a kid?

Read this whole thing on Medium and give me a round of applause here!

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Sixty-Seven Hours of Homebirth

I've been writing and rewriting this birth story for years.

After an inspiring talk with my mama/writer friend Kai I started writing again this year, and the first thing I worked on was editing my birth story down to submit to the Pacific Northwest Writers' Association contest. I didn't win (or even expect to), but it got me back into writing, and now I've got 20-something new published pieces to show for it, and more slated to come out in print in Raise Vegan!

PNWA submissions receive two professional critiques, and I got my critiques in the mail this week.

There were some useful criticisms, which informed my editing today, some great compliments, and some criticisms I'm just going to have to disagree with:

"Additionally, some details are simply too personal for strangers to absorb, and do not need to be shared outside of one's loving family."

homebirth birth story Darcy Reeder

Both critiques mentioned that my pacing was spot-on, following the rhythm of my contractions. That was something that came naturally when I was writing it, and I loved that they both noticed it!

One thing I've struggled with was where to publish this, who exactly is my audience. When writing it, I didn't want to hold back on the "TMI" details (that's the problem with most depictions of birth--not enough reality), but who exactly is going to publish this sort of thing? I decided on Medium. Now it's out there, and it probably won't make any money, but hopefully pregnant people will read it (I was so hungry for birth stories when I was pregnant!), and if it gets some claps, even better!

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Vegan Baby Clothes: Etsy Helped Me Find "Me" Again

For my lastest piece for Raise Vegan, Vegan Baby Clothes: Etsy Helped Me Find "Me" Again, I wrote about my experience starting my Etsy shop, ItsyPunx

I know, I know, self promotion--*cringe*--but my editor actually encouraged me to promote my stuff. Making the clothes and starting the shop actually was a turning point in my post-partum recovery, so it was cool to be able to write honestly about that. I didn't used to think of myself as being ambitious. Before having a kid, I looked forward to motherhood as the most important thing. Well, I was right in a way--it is the most important thing to me, but I also found how important it is to me to keep the parts of myself that I like that aren't about mothering. It's all compatible with my being a mama, but it's separate. Anyway, it's a constant conversation with myself and with my other parent friends, how to balance these parts. I'm definitely still figuring it out, and it was a trial even to get the time to write this this week.
 This is a photo of me selling my upcycled baby clothes at one of Seattle's Punk Rock Flea Markets. It was the first time I did an overnight by myself (no kiddo or husband) since Tzivia was born, which for the childless might seem like a "So what?" but it was a huge deal for me. My independence was especially tested when (oops) I ran out of gas on my way home, in the middle of I-5. But I survived!
Oh, how she's grown. Tzivia in her ItsyPunx studded vests, at 1yo and 3yo.