Perils of Divorced Pauline

The Names Have Been Changed, But the Story Is True


April 05
World-class gnarly divorce survivor. Custody Battle blogger with a sense of humor. Mom. Wife. Cat-Lover. Visit me at or on Twitter @divorcedpauline.


OCTOBER 31, 2012 1:03AM

Nannies from Hell, and Heaven

Reading about the Krim tragedy -- two children were brutally murdered by their unhinged nanny -- spiked my blood pressure. First, from descriptions of the gruesome scene Marina Krim stumbled upon when she entered her bathroom and found her son and daughter dead in the tub, her nanny ne/Read full post »

OCTOBER 23, 2012 12:46PM

Life on the Margins at Private School

Over the weekend, The New York Times ran a poignant story about minority kids attending elite private schools in New York. Their experience of being socially excluded stayed with them the entire time they were there. One African-American child balked at his white schoolmates' inquiry if he would… Read full post »

OCTOBER 15, 2012 12:44PM

I Am an Incorrigible Book Slut

I'm a bad, bad, book slut.

When it comes to reading material, I'm promiscuous and fickle. I get a few pages into one book, then callously abandon it when another, more intriguing title catches my eye.

Sometimes I take on two, even three at a time.

I feel no shame.

I blame… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 21, 2012 12:37PM

My Day with the 47 Percent

The day Mitt Romney's infamous 47 percent comment -- the comment in which he accused almost half the country of being parasites who are so wildly entitled that they have the audacity to expect food and shelter -- went viral, I had the day off from work. So I took my/

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AUGUST 24, 2012 12:13PM

Brittany: Portrait of a Cutter

Read here for Part I.

"I hear you want a new therapist," I say to 15-year-old Brittany, who sits at the round table in front of me. I sit in my desk chair, swiveling.

"No," she says, smiling.

"So you haven't been telling Staff you hate me?"


That's a lie. She's beenRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 30, 2012 11:45AM

I'm Just Not That Into the Olympics

 Perhaps the Queen's Just Not That Into the Olympics Either?

One summer when I was a teenager, I sat on the living room couch reading a book, irritated by the cheers of my parents, who were downstairs in the basement, where the TV was, watching the Olympics.

My parents told me the Olympics brought the country together, made usRead full post »

Mental illness. Is it something that resides within people? Or is it a dark beast that takes up residence on the shoulders of those who are labeled mentally ill? Is it strictly a faulty neurobiological mix? Or is it partly a reasonable response to feeling marginalized, elbowed into… Read full post »

MAY 29, 2012 10:09AM

The Patient I Fell in Love With

I met with J every Tuesday at 2 p.m. This was several years ago when I was a Marriage and Family Therapy intern and he was a junkie a few months into recovery. Recently separated from my husband of nine years, I had shed my former glittery existence -- globe-trotting, thrice-weeklyRead full post »

Yesterday I wrote this post about Mary Kennedy's death. I wrote about how I empathized with her experience of divorcing a rich and powerful family and that, if I had had the severe depression and substance abuse that she apparently suffered from, I might have felt that ending… Read full post »

MAY 23, 2012 10:58AM

I Could Have Been Mary Kennedy

The first time around, I married into a Camelot family.

There were family compounds and yacht trips and sit-down dinners for two hundred. There were limos and private jets and helicoptered rides to remote locales. There were Staff and entourages, TV appearances  and red carpets, box sea… Read full post »

MAY 16, 2012 12:14PM

Sometimes, a Miracle

Luca came for a home visit last weekend. He flew in from boarding school and spent Mother's Day weekend with Franny and me.

He arrived in time for Franny's school performance. Prince and his wife Sarah were there and I remembered what it was like two years ago,… Read full post »

MAY 9, 2012 9:02AM

How I Learned to Love My Mother

I used to hate my mother.

I hated her because she didn't give birth to me, so I didn't felt that she was truly my mother.

I hated her because she gave birth to my sister, who could rightfully claim her as her mother. The two of them were… Read full post »

In real life, I have a job that requires showing my face, instead of hiding behind a damsel-in-distress gravatar. It also requires a bit of marketing, so I recently decided to build a web site to promote my business. To go along with my new web site, I needed new pictures,Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
APRIL 30, 2012 9:32AM

Does Being Rich Protect Women from Post-Partum Depression?


I was rich when I gave birth to both my children. Twice I arrived home from the hospital, infant in tow, welcomed by baby nurses and doulas and full-time nannies.

In case you were not the mommy dilettante that I was, you may not know what some of these… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
APRIL 23, 2012 9:39AM

Is Positive Thinking the Opiate of the People?

positive thinking


When Hilary Rosen uttered The Remark and the politics-fueled Mommy Wars absurdity ensued, I got mired in a comment thread on a popular blog site. The blogger was of the opinion that Rosen was biased against SAHMs and wrote a post calling for the end… Read full post »


Note: This piece was fueled by exasperation and inspired by two excellent blogs posts -- by Grace Hwang Lynch and Pamela Kripke -- that urge those who "got privilege" to name it.

I used to have Ann Romney's life. The first time around I married into a… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 21, 2012 11:50AM

Raising My Daughter Not to Make the Same Dumb Mistake I Made

My daughter Franny, who turns ten this month, has just started working as a Mother's Helper one afternoon a week after school. She works for a SAHM who needs a couple hours of sanity. She folds laundry and sweeps. She plays with two-year-old Juniper, pushing her on the swing, dressing dollRead full post »

FEBRUARY 21, 2012 12:02AM

A Different Kind of Mommy Group

The main thing I noticed during the Parent Workshop at Luca's boarding school last weekend was how respectable the parents appeared. For instance, Julia from Seattle, with her chic bob and hand-knit poncho, you just would not have expected her to utter with a resigned shrug, "Dylan held a knife toRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 7, 2012 12:57AM

Mother Blame, and the Special Needs Child


One afternoon several years ago my normally happy-camper daughter had a meltdown of epic proportions at preschool. One minute she was fine, and the next minute she was possessed by the devil. Shrieking till she was red in the face at an unholy decible level. Shaking, flailing,… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 30, 2012 10:56AM

Turning 50 with Demi Moore, and Figuring Out What Matters

I first "met" her when my boyfriend showed me a copy of Oui Magazine. She was a virtually unknown pin-up girl and she graced the cover, her first ever. My boyfriend had picked up the magazine because the brown-haired, olive-skinned teenager on the front reminded him of me.

Earlier this week Huffington Post announced what had been rumored for days: that Heidi Klum and Seal, the celeb couple touted as having perhaps the storybookiest marriage of them all, are splitting.

When I scanned the "Heidi Klum and Seal" trending results on Twitter, I was struck by the… Read full post »

JANUARY 19, 2012 10:03AM

Dooce Divorce

Heather Armstrong aka Dooce

"Dooce Divorce" was the search engine referral that began to appear on my site stats page a couple weeks ago. This was my first glimmer that the power-blogging husband and wife team Heather and Jon Armstrong, aka Dooce and Blurb, might be breaking

Read full post »

I belong to a group of mom bloggers and it is not uncommon for one of us to Facebook the rest of us and ask for "nice comments" on a post to offset the vitriol being vomited upon the comment section by trolls.

Not sure what trolls are? They're those shadowy… Read full post »

JANUARY 8, 2012 12:23PM

Jennifer Prestholdt's Blogger Space

Jennifer Prestholdt is a human rights lawyer and fellow Open Salon blogger. I first became aware of her when her funny, whip-smart  "Raising Boys Not to Be Total Jerks" post went viral and garnered the wrath of commenters who accused her of actually damaging her sons for teaching them/

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Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 4, 2012 12:09AM

Why I Gave My 9-Year-Old a Cell Phone

I swore I wouldn't give my daughter Franny a cell phone until she was thirteen. And whenever my nine-year-old asked, as she had been doing more frequently, "Mom, when can I have a cell phone?" this is what I told her.

There were a few reasons why I thought 13 was the magicRead full post »