Parallel Parenting

When I was young(er) and ignorant, I had the typical American fantasy. I’m going to grow up, get married, buy a house, have a family, and live happily every after. After Lydia was born, I kept telling myself roommates were part of college history. Then again, maybe not. While the four of us dance around the living room in circles, our tiaras bouncing, skirts flying and bracelets jangling, the neighbor downstairs knocking on the ceiling and screaming for us to please stop stomping, I think to myself: we are recreating family. We are developing a support network. There are conflicts. There are compromises. There is little personal space, overfilled refrigerators, and definitely no parking…


Parallel Parenting, an essay about two single moms raising their daughters side by side in a millennial version of “Kate-and-Ally,” appeared in the anthology Breeder: Real Life Stories from the New Generation of Mothers, edited by Ariel Gore and Bee Lavender. Seal Press. 2001. ISBN 1-58005-051-4

Book Description:

In this ground-breaking anthology, Ariel Gore and Bee Lavender ask real moms — from Web site designers to tattoo-clad waitresses — to laugh, cry, scream, and shout about motherhood. For every young mom, Breeder offers inspiration, strength, wisdom, and humor. The editors write, “We don’t accept that there is one perfect way to be a family. We know that families have a multitude of perspectives and values, and that people need fewer prescriptions and rules and more support. When we read these essays the first time, we were looking for things that made the hair on the back of our necks stand up– perspectives or stories that were so raw and real we felt an immediate connection with the author, even if their story was beyond the scope of our own life experience. In doing this book, we were looking for the most honest and compelling voices to tell all kinds of stories, because the more truth is told, the more we are inclined to do the hard work of building community.”  Other contributors include Allison Crews, Beth Lucht, Ayun Halliday, Katie Granju, Peri Escarda, Allison Abner, and Kimberly Bright.

Editorial Reviews:
-From Library Journal
Gore (The Mother Trip, LJ 5/15/00) and Lavender, founding editor of HipMama ‘zine and managing director of, respectively, have collected 36 short parenting tales from Gen-X moms. Rich/poor, lesbian/straight, single/married dozens of different lifestyles are represented here with the common theme of choosing motherhood young while pursuing other goals. These are not 35-and-clock-ticking, overly educated, late-in-life moms but the daughters of the baby boomers, who sought motherhood as students, employees, and single girls. Some chapters are poignant (Beth Kohl Feinerman’s lament about not being able to conceive after taking birth control pills for years), while others are very funny (Kimberly Bright’s comparisons of a toddler to a psychotic boyfriend). The writers are self-satisfied but honestly so; here are women who chose to follow their dreams without trading on others. A worthy acquisition that includes a foreword by nationally syndicated sex columnist Dan Savage. Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

—Stella Marrs, self publisher of artistic postcards
“ In Breeder,women learn to trust themselves in the work of motherhood—God’s work.”

—Melissa Ludtke, author of On Our Own: Unmarried Motherhood
“Breeder is a tasty smorgasbord of what women’s lives with children are really like.”

—Nanci Olesen, producer and host of
This is a pulsing, moving collection of essays. Read them now.”