I’ve always preferred not knowing when it is my last time doing something. I tend to overthink things and if I know, for example, that it is the last time I’ll be going into my office, it loses its purity, and rather than experiencing the moment in its pure form, I’m busy assigning meaning to it.

A year ago tomorrow was my last day in my office.

A year ago today, was the last time I ate inside a restaurant. There was definitely a weird vibe in the air. An undercurrent of fear and unknown. I vividly remember our waitress…


When my daughter was about two, I developed an allergy to shellfish. I was sitting at a restaurant happily chomping down shrimp fajitas, while my neck was slowly turning red. Thankfully, my husband noticed and we went home where I downed some Benadryl. Luckily, I didn’t end up going into anaphylaxis. While I was on the phone with the nurse advisor, I remember thinking only one thing. “I don’t have time for this”.

I wasn’t worried about my health, I was worried about squeezing in an appointment with an allergy doctor. I couldn’t handle one more responsibility. I struggled with…


I had exactly eight minutes before my next zoom call started. I still had to put my makeup on, and make sure my hair was kind of ok, and use the bathroom. My cat chose that moment to knock my full cup of coffee off the counter. The coffee had been sitting there for at least a half hour unattended. She waited until I was back in the kitchen. She wanted me to know it was her. It wasn’t even close to the edge, so she had been plotting this for some time. She somehow angled it for maximum splashage…


Somewhere in between worrying about rioters taking over capitals, my family’s health in the middle of a global pandemic, helping my daughter with school in the middle of the work day, and working on my day job to prevent childhood trauma, I accidentally threw away some of my good silverware. Throughout the week I kept noticing that even though the dishwasher was empty, there seemed to be fewer forks than there should be. Then one night as I was absent mindedly throwing something away, I happened to look in the trash and saw one of my forks in there all…


I have gone through a phase of obsessively sampling as many luxury beauty products as I can. Ok, I guess if it is something you just continuously do you can’t call it a phase. It’s part of my personality, my life’s quest. I am determined to try as many luxury beauty items for as little money as possible in my lifetime. If this sounds shallow, I’m also determined to prevent childhood trauma, but that’s my day job (see bottom of article for links to my books).

I am here to tell you that there are some products that are absolutely…


The book “All I Really Need to know I learned in Kindergarten” by Robert Fulghum came out shortly after I finished Kindergarten. I remember people talking about it and seeing it in stores and being confused. I had finished Kindergarten, and I was sure that there were many things I still needed to know. How to drive, for example.

Maybe my generation didn’t learn everything we need to know in Kindergarten, but there has been an increased focus on early childhood education in the last few decades, and I’m happy to report that there are lessons being taught now in…


My first few holiday seasons as a mom almost broke me. I wanted so badly to be a perfect social media mom, with a picture perfect Christmas tree, perfectly wrapped presents and food network worthy treats. Instead of successfully accomplishing any of those things, I managed to become a raving lunatic who no one in my family wanted to be around. Things that I thought would be fun, like baking cookies, turned both me and my kitchen into a nightmare of messiness and disappointment.

The first year my kid had rehearsal for the Nutcracker in a theater downtown, I thought…


Before I became a mom, I was one of those obnoxious childless ladies that advocated for kid-free sections in restaurants. I didn’t get it. Why do these little screaming, food-throwing creatures with sticky fingers get to ruin my fancy meals? I didn’t like kids, and I didn’t want to be around them unless it was by choice. Now that I am a mom, I still think kid-free sections are a great idea for restaurants, but for different reasons (sanity for parents). That may be the only thing the pre-mom me had in common with the current me. They say becoming…


Next week, I will talk about how sick leave policies can make life difficult for many working moms. The moms I’m talking about, and the moms most likely to read this blog, are the lucky ones. We’re dealing with jobs that at least have sick leave policies, and yes they aren’t great, but at least we likely won’t lose our jobs if we miss a few days of work. But there are parents in dire situations right now, and it is directly related to the uncontrollable pandemic we are dealing with. Let me tell you a story.

A young mom…


I realize that so far I have complained a lot about various aspects of life in 2020, but the truth is there are a lot of things I really truly love about this situation. First of all despite my complaining, it really does feel like a gift to get to spend so much time with family and focus on what is really important in life. There are many times I have felt like we are truly living this year, more than any other time in my life. When this is all over, I hope we don’t go back to the…

Katherine Ortega Courtney

Mom, activist, wife, PhD, daughter, university staff, hater of laundry, and co-author of Anna, Age Eight; 100% Community; and Attack of the Three-Headed Hydras

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