Kristen Bruno McClusky

www.motherloadblog.com

I've spent years in the world of web design, overseeing project management teams and working with clients like Pottery Barn, Sony, Safeway, Apple, Disney, and Microsoft. In a past life I was a journalist, producing news for CNN and as an editor at Parenting magazine.

My greatest accomplishment is ridding myself of a Rhode Island accent, and my super power is parallel parking. I hate mushrooms.

My two daughters, cute geek husband and I live in Oakland, California.

Back to School Breakdown

I’m here to bust some myths, people. Now that school is back in session mothers aren’t worrying about whether they bought the right Toughskins and Trapper Keepers for their kids. They aren’t fretting over whether Jasper will be okay on the bus, or if the lunches they packed reflect the new food pyramid. (There IS a new food pyramid, you know. But I figure it’s like the metric system and won’t ever really catch on.)...more

Stocking Up

I must’ve forgotten to lock my car the other night.Living in Oakland this results in one of three outcomes:1) Someone steals the car. This is not a risk for me as I drive a 1999 Subaru Outback with a dent along the right side that extends from the front door to the rear bumper. The interior is covered in pretzels and dessicated mini carrots, and at least one sippy cup of sour milk is lodged under a seat. If anything, car thieves leave Post-It Notes on my windshield suggesting I look into some of the new leasing deals....more

My Kid Can't Spit

I don’t know about you, but I’ve just about had it with all the sickeningly proud parents in my suburban enclave. The next minivan I see with a “My son made the honor roll at John Muir High” sticker, I’m going to aim at, accelerate, and ram into. You know, go all Fried Green Tomatoes on their ass....more

What's in Your Mama Purse?

When I was a kid my mother’s purse was a no-touch zone. If I ever needed anything from it, I’d bring it to her and she’d dig it out for me.I doubt there was anything I wasn’t supposed to see in there. And I don’t think it was that Mom didn’t trust me with her stuff (though in my pilfering teen years she probably should’ve had this concern). I’d guess my mother made her purse off limits simply to set some personal boundaries. Staking out a bit of space that my three sisters and I couldn’t climb on, paw through, or otherwise disrupt. A small spot of sanity and control....more
I'm a grandma now. I do have a grandma bag that I sometimes remember to carry when we meet them ...more

My Jewish Mother

Did I ever tell you how I stalked a woman once?It was back when Mark and I were looking for schools for Kate. And a school we applied to was hosting a conference where authors, experts, and teachers were lecturing and running workshops. It was all about parenting....more

Tears of a Non-Football Fan

About a month ago I cried about the New England Patriots. This took place the night before the Superbowl, mind you. And it had nothing to do with the team, their ensuing game, or giving a rat’s ass about football whatsoever. It had to do with the last time they won the Super Bowl. Or at least, what was happening in my life at that time.For some reason I thought about this as I was brushing my teeth to go to bed. As I thought of our next day’s plans—going to a friend’s house to watch the game—a distinct image popped into my mind, and started me bawling....more
Aw, thanks so much, AlmostSupermom!more

I Can Walk Under Ladders

My college roommate tortured me. Not by bringing home an endless stream of guys. Not by being a huge slob, or selling drugs from our cinder-block dorm room Shangri-La. It was a CD. A Joan Armatrading CD that she listened to NON STOP.Which is to say, when she was happy. When she was depressed. When she had a paper to write, or to celebrate having just handed one in. And when she didn’t know what else to listen to....more
Ha! Love that we're sisters in sock-pairing, avflox.more

My Peter Pan Complex

I used to spend Christmases at home. And by “home” I mean at the house I grew up in—my mom’s—in Rhode Island.Then a number of things happened to change that, not the least of which was that she died. But aside from that even, I got married and became a mother myself. And a few years ago, despite my inclination to still do my winter migration to Little Rhody (now to Dad’s), Mark started lobbying for us to stay at our own house for Christmas.Imagine!...more

The Buzz Around Here

Paige has developed a bizarre and extreme fear of bees.I have no idea what brought this on. Every time I ask her about it I get a different answer. “Luke at school likes bees.” Or, “No reason.” Or, “Because bees go buzz.” Or, “Can I watch Sesame Street?”When you want to get to the bottom of something with an almost-four-year-old, they are often the worst people to ask about it. Mark and I refer to this as the “bad witness” syndrome. What your preschooler reports ain’t always what happened....more

Ho Ho Hanukkah

On Friday when I picked up Paigey from preschool her teacher handed me her lunchbox and said, “I didn’t know you guys celebrate Christmas and Hanukkah.”To which I answered, “We don’t actually celebrate Hanukkah. Whoever might have given you that idea?”She and I smiled down at Paige, who practically started whistling and kicking the dirt to look all innocent....more