Julia hails from the great Northeast, where she grew up in a picture postcard New Hampshire town complete with a giant community Christmas tree. (Think Rockefeller Center without the lights, cameras or action.) She exchanged snow for rain and has happily waded through the puddles of Portland for the past thirty years. Daughters are Julia’s favorite animals. Hers, aged 20 (Grey) and 23 (Archer), have theoretically left the nest but return regularly, either to live or just do their laundry. Despite a desire to downsize, Julia is secretly thrilled whenever a kid moves home for ‘a while’. They all laughed when she majored in English, but throughout a varied career (artist, volunteer coordinator, middle manager, decluttering maven) the written word has been the key to her success and the balm for every setback. Find her at unburdenedlife.com where she’ll give you tips on how to live a less stressful more peaceful life.
girl opening gifts

Let’s Stop Buying Our Kids So Many THINGS

The gifting holidays are nearly upon us, so it’s the season for me to beg everyone to give their children experiences rather than possessions. Or at least to buy things that aren’t going to turn...
Never Empty Nester - Empty bedroom

The Never-Empty Nest: A Parent’s Survival Guide

Hoping your kids will move out someday? Yeah, me too. A month ago my youngest moved to another state and I thought, for the third time, that I’d have an empty nest. But no. Honestly,...
smiling girl

Is It Okay to Quit?

When I was a kid, I tried a lot of activities. I was an enthusiastic child! Skiing, skating, tennis, gymnastics, community theater, Brownies, trumpet, French horn… I stuck with some of them. But a...
worried kid

Don’t Sweat the Big Stuff

OK, you can stress about the HUGE stuff. Like your kid has been diagnosed with a dreadful disease or profound learning disability. Trauma, heartbreak – you’re allowed to be devastated by those. But there’s an...
two girls in a hammock

Divorce Sucks, But Here Are 5 Ways It Made My Kids Resilient

My husband and I split up when our daughters were three and six, relegating them to years of splitting time between our two homes. This was not ideal. I’ve suffered agonizing hours of guilt...
mom kids beach

You’re a Better Parent Than You Think You Are

My daughters were three and six when their dad and I parted ways. I was plunged into single parenthood with all of its confusion and angst, but mostly that kind of everything and nothing...
teenage girls

Teenage Girls Are Better Than You Think

I’m walking down the street with my daughters, aged six and nine. They’re laughing and singing and giggling and generally enjoying the heck out of life. “Your daughters are darling!” says a 50-ish woman...
Sad girl in graduates robe and cap

My Kids Dropped Out of College and I’m Okay With It

Both of my children are college dropouts. While this would have been devastating to me 10 years ago, I’ve not only made peace with it, I’ve also actively encouraged them to make the choices...
A box of kids toys held out by child's hands.

Ready, Set, Let Go

Picture this: my daughter's room is so crammed with stuff that I have to unearth her every morning, determining which lump is child and which a pile of clean clothing masquerading as another small...