Author Archives: Rachael Brownell


Rachael Brownell

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A Supposedly Slim Person I’ll Never Be Again

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It’s not as though one day I put away the high heels, threw down the cute panties and bras and embraced the muu muus and late-night candy, but it feels that way. The time-warping devolution from slim pretty thing to puffy 40-something started with having kids (doesn’t it always) and ended with getting sober and […]

F*ck Staycations! Bring on the real thing!

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These are hard times: unemployment, foreclosures, food and gas prices, and children gnawing on lead-laced toys. Add to that kids home for the summer, cranky need-to-get-laid-spouses, the treadmill that sits gathering dust under a laundry pile, and skinny jeans that won’t even fit your right thigh after a week-long celery fast, and our collective tension […]

Threesome: Why Mommy and Daddy Need a Special Helper

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The concept of threesomes has been employed by unhappy spouses (or marriage partners with superior imaginations, depending on your view) since time immemorial.  As an antidote to the occasional doldrums of monogamy, it seems perfectly wise and preferable to adultery. Why then can’t we imagine a similar relief from the monotonous isolation of modern-day nuclear […]

Home for Wayward Mothers

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Some signs that you might be becoming a wayward mother: You laugh in derision at everything your partner suggests about childcare, politics, or anything. The thought of running away somewhere with a young Italian manny begins to seem highly likely Your kids are somewhat less rewarding than you’d hoped they’d be. When you wake up […]

Spring is in Their Hair: The Joys of Making Them Play Outside

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In my neck of the woods weather is relatively mild, but even so, the rain and mist and gory grey makes a person (no matter how tall) want to curl up with a good Diego episode and eat a cookie. With all the evidence that our kids are the fattest, least active, most addicted to […]

Now We Are Six: Why Older Children Rule

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When it comes to babies, parents are given a predictable list of things they should attempt in order to keep healthy and well-rested: sleep when baby does, go to bed early, sleep late, get enough exercise and fresh air, sufficient time alone and time as a couple. But let’s face it, very young children (those […]

It Takes a City and a State

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We are grandparent rich in my house. What with the remarriages and divorces and remarriages and reconfigurations, we’re a regular people soup of a family. While I occasionally still feel guilty that I wasn’t able to keep everything all nuclear and white picket fence-ish for my daughters, I’m increasingly impressed and grateful for the many […]

How to Enjoy Your Holidays without Going to a Home

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Nothing says “dream on about having any time ‘off’, sucker” like the holidays. The perfect storm of in-laws, family, food preparation, alcohol, simmering resentment and lead-filled statuary, Thanksgiving and Christmas (or Xmas, if you prefer) test even the most zen well-prescriptioned amongst us. At least the Canadians are smart enough to take care of Thanksgiving […]

The Ultimate Rugrat Reprieve

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For parents with younger than school-age children, the concept of school readiness can evoke nervous hand wringing in even the most laid-back, no-toys-in-the-living-room among us. Measuring how our kids do or don’t jive with expectations of various structured environments is a tough business and quickly puts us in mind of our efficacy as parents. Have […]

Fantasy Vacations

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Is it possible to take a truly restful vacation with children under 10 years old (and more than one of them)? Perhaps, though I think it involves 10 nannies, a hotel suite with separate bedrooms for each child, and vats of whine wine. Sometimes I like to watch all the well-rested empty nesters with their […]