Risa Green
Tales from the Mommy Track is a weekly column about the daily life of a part-time working mom. Risa Green is a critically acclaimed author who lives in Los Angeles. Her previous adult novels, Notes from the Underbelly and Tales from the Crib were made into a television series. Her latest novel, The Secret Society of the Pink Crystal Ball, is a Young Adult book that will be released in September, 2010.

The Compromise

I threw a massive tantrum last week about how I CAN NOT WORK FROM HOME ANY MORE, and as a result my husband and I have struck a deal that, I feel, is legendary enough to deserve its own name, like the way the Missouri Compromise of 1820 did. I’m calling it the They’re Half Yours, Too Compromise of 2007. At times, it was a tense negotiation. I started out asking for three days a week, working from an empty cubicle in my husband’s office.

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Paying for the Pill

If Planned Parenthood continues to come under attack from the right and loses it’s funding, then it’s not just an organization that’s at risk. The issue at stake is about access to birth control - and the fundamental right of women to be able to make their own decisions about whether and when to get pregnant. more

Once Upon A Time

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, there was a beautiful princess who lived in a magnificent castle high upon a hill. Ever since she was a little girl, the princess had dreamed of becoming a rocket scientist in the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. At night, after everyone else in the castle had gone to bed, her little mouse friends would bring her physics books and scale drawings of unmanned spacecraft that they had stolen from NASA, along with some tea and cookies for her to eat.

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Kindergarten Blues.

It’s a big weekend for me, coming up. There’s Mother’s Day, of course. And I should hear this weekend about whether the show is being picked up for a second season. But the biggest thing is that my daughter – my oldest – is turning five. Five. As in, going to kindergarten, learning to read, tying her own shoes, five. I’m not having a hard time with it at all. I mean, unless you consider sitting next to her bed at night while she sleeps and sobbing my eyes out to be a hard time. Okay, so maybe I’m having a hard time.

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Like, Wow

Suddenly, here we are. All those years of sleep deprivation and hard work have finally paid off, and our kids are capable and confident. But it's a bittersweet realization because it also means our babies are growing up. more

Notes from the Underbelly: And So It Airs

A funny thing happens to you when you write a novel: your life doesn’t change one single bit. I thought it would – when I first sold Notes From the Underbelly, I thought that there would be book signings, and multi-city book tours. I imagined seeing my book on the front table of every Borders and Barnes and Noble. I pictured myself strolling the beach and seeing the lavender cover staring back at me from dozens of beach chairs. I even thought that maybe someone might recognize my name when I made a reservation, or when I signed a credit card receipt.

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What In The World Is A Mondegreen?

I learned a new word today, which, I realize, doesn’t sound that exciting, as you would think that, as a writer, I would probably learn new words all the time, but this one in particular is kind of a big deal to me. You see, I’ve been searching for this word for years. I knew it had to exist, I just didn’t know what it was called, and while it’s quite easy to flip open a dictionary and look up the meaning of a word you’ve heard but don’t quite know how to use, it’s actually quite a challenge to look up a word when all you know is the definition of it.

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The Pumpkin Patch

As any child development expert will tell you, rituals are an important part of life for young children. Not that we need child development experts to tell us this – watching your three year-old melt down if you try to skip one (or five) of the six songs you always sing before bedtime is pretty much a dead give away. In our house, we have lots of rituals. Bedtime is a big one, of course, as are holiday dinners, when my daughter colors paper place mats for everyone and then helps me set the table with them.

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Freedom of Choice

As you may have heard, Elizabeth Vargas recently announced that she was going to be stepping down from her co-anchor position at ABC news because she is about to have another baby. When she returns from her maternity leave, she’ll go back to her less stressful and less dangerous (read: not requiring frequent travel to a war zone) job as co-host of 20/20. Of course, analysts and feminists everywhere have taken this as an opportunity to comment on the State of Working Motherhood in America, and so I figured that I’d join in on the fun, too.

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Starting Over.

So I mentioned last week that things with my new book were Not Going Well. I think I also may have mentioned that I haven’t worked on it since the beginning of April. What I didn’t mention, however, is that I’ve decided not to finish it, and to start over with something new. From scratch. It’s a huge bummer, actually. I started working on this book – really writing it – back in January. I had an interesting idea, I had some great characters, I had done quite a bit of research.

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