Author: Shawna Gamache

Writer

How early parenthood prepared me for quarantine

I’ve never lived through a pandemic before. But like all parents, I know what it’s like to have my world shrink. My world used to be much tinier than this, those first weeks after I had each baby when I barely left my bedroom, and the months afterward when even a walk down the street sometimes seemed impossible.

The quarantine’s tight intimacy has been strangely familiar, so sweet and so suffocating at the same time. Thanks to those early baby years, I know what it’s like to have my world close in on me and my children, and how to re-craft my expectations around those new boundaries. Luckily, this time around, I have that past experience to guide me.

Child wearing mask

Stitching Community, One Mask at a Time

In this way, a quarter of quilting fabric and bobbins of leftover thread became something much bigger: a project to unite our family in an uncertain time. We pored over pictures of loved ones wearing the masks we made, our scraps and stitches forming an amulet for them to wear into this new world.

The Power of Focusing on Your Own Wellness

When I was pregnant with my first daughter, family and friends who’d been there all had the same piece of advice: Sleep when the baby sleeps. It seemed so simple, and so obvious. Of course I would do that. When I was tired. Which wouldn’t be all the time. Then my daughter was born, and, like a lot of babies,…

Planning a better playdate

We all know we need playdates. They give our little ones a chance to socialize with a peer and for us — actually, the benefit is exactly the same for us. But we’ve all had playdates that fizzle or leave us with more stress than we started with. What went wrong? This handy little primer will help you iron out…

Beyond Baby Steps: How I learned to stop powering through

I couldn’t stop turning the words over in my head. “It’s your life, too,” my friend had said to me. It was an off-hand, supportive reply to me cataloging my overwhelming 24-hour-a-day job as mother to three young daughters. But why couldn’t I let the words go? Was it really my life too? There was so much I enjoyed about…

Beyond Baby Steps: Helping others helped me feel like myself again

by Shawna Gamache Like a lot of moms, I found that surviving pregnancy and early motherhood meant that I put my own needs off as long as I could. And then I just couldn’t anymore. At a certain point, after eight years immersed in raising three young daughters, I could no longer ignore the reality that I was not my…

Beyond Baby Steps: How mama got her voice back

So how does a completely immersed mom claw herself out of the abyss of early motherhood? For me, it started with writing a book and ended with raising a hammer. Let’s start with the Book… Last November I told my family that I would be writing a novel that month. You see, every November there’s a month-long writers marathon called…

How do you know you’re done?

According to family lore, my parents always just knew they were done after two babies. It was crystal clear from the moment my little sister was born: family complete. End of story. Throughout my own parenting journey, I’ve heard a similar refrain from other parents, usually uttered in a tone of outright certainty: I’m one and done. I’m two and through. Three…