About The Mother Lode 

Hi I’m Cindy. Thank you for joining The Mother Lode.

The Mother Lode started as an exploration of the challenges inherent in motherhood. I hoped to help mothers feel seen while doing the invisible yet necessary work of caretaking. It examined why it was so easy to lose ourselves in motherhood, the patriarchal structures that limit our ability to make space for ourselves and our needs, and invited reflection about how we might break free from performing motherhood and marriage in a way that is no longer serving us.

About a year into writing this newsletter, I separated from my husband. I then began to realize that a lot of the “motherhood” confines were actually marriage confines. I began to write posts like: Is Marriage Bad for Mothers?, On Monogamy, the Marriage Plot, and Why We Worship Never-Ending Love, and Marriage Is Never 50/50. To unpack how much marriage serves men, and not mothers, and what it is like once you’ve escaped the thing you’ve been primed to desire above all else.

This is a feminist newsletter. I talk openly about sex, desire, the patriarchy, and divorce.

I interview other women in a series called Women Talking. I also have a series called The Math of Motherhood, including our unpaid labor at home, as well as the toll pregnancy and childbirth takes on us. I’m very interested in interrogating what Angela Chen calls “compulsory sexuality,” especially in marriage. A new series, just for paid subscribers, is called The Divorce Diaries and women walk us through the dissolutions of their marriages, tackling taboo subjects such as child and spousal support, how much their divorces cost, and what they regret about how they handled the entire process.

Paid subscribers also get access to special posts including Behind the Scenes, which provides more personal glances into my life behind the writing of this newsletter, as well as Cultural Cliff Notes, which collate the most urgent reading/viewing/listening on motherhood and marriage in our culture today.

I live in Palo Alto with my two daughters. My previous careers include working as an editor for nine years at HarperOne, and as the ghostwriter of eleven books. I’m the former publisher of Literary Mama, and my published writing can be found on Scary Mommy, The Lily, Isele Magazine, Mutha Magazine, The Brevity Blog, and The Voices Project. I had an essay included in the

anthology Labor of Love. I was born in Chicago, spent most of my childhood in St. Louis, Missouri, went to college at Wake Forest University, and then moved to California, where I truly feel at home. I’m an identical twin, an exvangelical, and an avid reader of books. These identities will inevitably appear in the writing, as they all influence who I am as a mother.

P.S. I have an affiliate bookshop on Bookshop.org where I have curated lists of my favorite books including Best Books on Mother (Fiction), Best Books on Motherhood (Non-fiction), Grief Reads, Divorce Reads, and more. Every purchase that you make using my shop (which means my Mother Lode logo is in the upper left hand corner) not only raises money for independent bookstores but helps me fund my work as well.

To find out more about the company that provides the tech for this newsletter, visit Substack.com.

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A feminist exploration of motherhood, marriage, and divorce


Writer of The Mother Lode, former ghostwriter and editor