Margaret Dilloway

I'm mom to three kids, and a writer. My debut novel, HOW TO BE AN AMERICAN... read more

Would You Give a Friend a Kidney?

After Gal learns to open up and well, stop being such a grump, she finds herself being befriended by people in ways that she had not imagined. When Gal opened herself up to not only friendship, but to accepting help, she discovered that her friends truly cared about her....more
This is a tough one. I wasn't  in the exact same situation, but my husband needed bone marrow to ...more

Does Your Family Have Gift Giving Traditions?

Gal's family in Margaret Dilloway's The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns is not really your typical happy family. They aren't unhappy but there are divisions and strife. The two sisters do not get along and hardly know each other any more, yet there are moments where they are connected....more
When my mother was alive we had a box that was pre-wrapped. You could lift the top off and ...more

The Importance of Letting People Know You Care

One of the most important things that Gal learns in Margaret Dilloway's The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns is how to show people that she cares about them. Gal is a prickly character and being a giving person doesn't come easily to her. She tends to give the impression that she thinks everyone else has it easier than she does and that she shouldn't have to try as hard....more
 @Roscommon Acres That is hard. Many of my friends live far away as well and it often sucks. more

Why I Was Scared of Red Roses

Once upon a time, I was young girl who believed the best thing ever was receiving red roses. They were just soooooooo romantic. Who wouldn't want a bouquet of beautiful red roses? I certainly did. Galilee "Gal" Garner, the main character in Margaret Dilloway's The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns, also has faith in roses but for a different reason -- Gal believes roses will change her life. ...more
Im a seventeen year old girl, so I doubt anyone will read this, but whatever. I always loved red ...more

I Prefer Real Moms to the Ones Who Write Parenting Advice Books

I’m not nearly the mother I dreamed I would be. I’m too frazzled to be a room mom. I detest cooking. And since I have anger management issues, I yell at the umpires in middle school softball. But I’ve recently discovered a mecca for brilliant parenting advice. It’s a place where you’ll find tips from more obsessive supermoms crammed into one space than in the dressing room on Toddlers & Tiaras -- the self-help shelves at Barnes and Noble. This magic aisle boasts hundreds of titles written by successful “real” moms instructing us slacker moms on the secrets of how to do everything from organize and delegate to go green and get rid of stubborn belly fat....more
I loved this post! Before becoming a mom, I thought I knew it all and I thought I would know ...more

Why I Was Scared of Red Roses

Once upon a time, I was young girl who believed the best thing ever was receiving red roses. They were just soooooooo romantic. Who wouldn't want a bouquet of beautiful red roses? I certainly did. Galilee "Gal" Garner, the main character in Margaret Dilloway's The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns, also has faith in roses but for a different reason -- Gal believes roses will change her life. ...more
Im a seventeen year old girl, so I doubt anyone will read this, but whatever. I always loved red ...more

Learning to Think About Other People

Margaret Dilloway is a long time BlogHer community member, and I loved her first book, How to Be an American Housewife, but I let her new novel The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns languish on my to-be-read pile. Sometimes, when I've really loved a debut novel, I am scared to read the author's second book. I will get excited about it, buy it, and then leave it on my nightstand for days worried I won't like it. After picking up The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns, I promptly kicked myself in the backside for not picking it up sooner. I absolutely adored the main character, Gal Garner. ...more
I thought when Gal learned to care for Walters she was accepting the uglier parts of her ...more

On My Hardest Day, I Was Strong Enough

This past week, I was in court for a custody hearing. I gave my testimony, and was cross-examined. My witness testified and was cross-examined. What followed was four straight hours of listening to my ex and the witnesses he called to the stand go over every bad day, every poor decision, every instance they could think of where I did not bring my A-game as a mom. I was forced to listen over and over how I have failed and how my ex has succeeded. It was very easily the hardest day of my life....more
So delighted to see you syndicated! Congratulations on that. The conclusion of this piece ...more

CPS Showed Up at My Door: An On-Going Lesson in Consequences

I received a knock on my door this afternoon, and when I answered it I was met by a small, blonde woman who announced that she was from child protective services and she needed to talk to me. If you've never had that experience (and I hope you never have), let me try to describe how it feels. Your heart starts racing. Your mind starts spinning, frantically trying to recall something -- anything -- that could warrant a visit from CPS. I was in full panic mode, but trying my very best to hold it together. Or to at least not pass out....more
Wow. What a horrifically sad use of resources. I wonder how many children were injured, ...more

Why I'm Not A Soccer Mom

Fall has both officially and seasonally arrived here in the North East, marked by crisp but sunny days and sweater-worthy nights. In my house fall also means outdoor weekend adventures, the occasional homemade soup and pajamas before 7 pm. For other parents in my town, however, fall is soccer season, a period of several months where their kids are bending it like Beckham three times a week, rain or shine....more
I tried t-ball with my daughter when she was about 5. She was great all through practice but ...more