Our Attempt at a $20-a-Day Budget

I am a 29-year-old woman, married for four years. I am a playwright, actor, blogger, screenwriter, tutor, and babysitter. My husband is a software engineer. My money-making schedule is varied and inconsistent and sometimes I will just freak out about it—especially now, because I’m pregnant.

Yakkin’ About Baby Showers

Mike: You will probably getting a package from Target from me today.

The Cost of Date Night (And the Morning After)

I had this date with a guy I was really excited about (he was a social justice law student!).

Motherhood, In Brief

Do you enjoy crying? Or reading really strong women reflect on the most painful moments of their lives? Here are some things to read: Ariel Levy on miscarrying in Mongolia in the New Yorker; Kate Suddes on grieving her stillborn baby at Cup of Jo; women on the stories of their abortions in New York—some women regret it; some women are thankful for it; some women were unfazed by it; many women faced incredible obstacles and incredible costs. ("The public university where we teach offers insurance affiliated with a Catholic hospital. We had to submit our case before an ethics committee of priests who would decide if insurance would pay. Otherwise, the procedure would cost us $25,000. The priests decided I had to deliver the baby. I was so upset I couldn’t talk. Later it turned out the state would cover it.")

WWYD: Judging Friends for Being Broke and Wanting to Have a Baby

A friend and co-worker of mine is on a mission to have a baby. She's always wanted to be a mom and finally at 34, she's in a fantastic, stable relationship with another co-worker who equally wants to be a dad. They're going to make fantastic parents. The problem is, they're broke. The bigger problem is that it isn't a problem for THEM and that strangely feels like a problem for ME.

How Long Should Paternity Leave Be?

When Theodore Ross's son was born, he received two weeks of paternity leave. Was it enough? In an editorial for Al Jazeera America, Ross says no.

My Last Hundred Bucks: There Is a Baby In My Apartment Edition

Audrey Ference lives in New York.

The Best Places to Raise a Family (Or Not)

If you have only yourself to consider, choosing where to live can be a walk in the park, or down the shore, or under an arch, or through some tar pits – whatever suits your fancy. If you shackle yourself, lovingly of course, to another human being, and the two of you with clear eyes and full hearts bring forth new life into the world, well, choosing where to live becomes more fraught. Values shift. Priorities adjust. Apartments that seemed cozy start to feel like “the hole” in The Shawshank Redemption.

Parents Are Unhappy? It’s the Economy, Stupid

Ross Douthat ("When I became a father, I expected to change in all the predictable ways ... What I didn’t expect is that parenthood would make me such a whiner") or Slate's Ruth Graham ("My Facebook feed is an endless stream of blog posts and status updates depicting the messy, tedious, nightmarishly life-destroying aspects of parenting"). Raising kids in our contemporary world is, as Jennifer Senior's new book puts it, All Joy and No Fun -- and, as Lori Gottleib recently told us, no sex.

The Year I Left My Job

2013 was the year I had to decide how much it meant to me to be a writer. When the year began, I had a steady office job, a stressed-out husband, an apartment, and a baby, which meant that 26 hours out of every day were accounted for. How was I supposed to work on the novel that had been pacing back and forth inside my head, knocking occasionally on the floorboards, for years?