Motherhood & Words

Spring has been slow in coming to Minnesota this year, but finally, it’s here. The plants in the garden have begun to fill out, the grass is green, and even our spindly Maple in the front yard has sprouted leaves.

All of this means that it is time, yet again, for the annual Mother Words haiku contest. Whoop! Whoop!

For those of you who are new to Mother Words, I launched the annual contest in 2008 when Zoë was just a couple of months old and I developed a raging case of mastitis. D was traveling, so I was on my own, juggling an infant and a four-year-old. It wasn’t pretty, people. You can read more about that here.

But from my experience with mastitis, the annual Mother Words haiku contest was born. And now, I’d like to introduce the topic of the 4th Annual Mother Mother Words haiku contest. (Drum roll please.)

Topic: Surprise. What is the thing that has surprised you most about motherhood? About being a parent? About parenting your specific child/children? (Anything along these lines…)

I am happy to announce that Caroline Grant, editor-in-chief of Literary Mama and co-editor of the wonderful anthology Mama, PhD, will be the judge this year. And in addition to the $10 Amazon gift card that I provide to the winner, Caroline has offered to donate a copy of Mama PhD. So get your haiku pants on and start writing.

I love funny haiku, but anything goes. Just remember, it has to be 5 – 7 – 5. Post your haiku as a comment below by Monday, May 23rd. 

Haiku! Haiku! Haiku! Come on and haiku today! (Clearly I’ve been spending a little too much time alone in my office…) 

Posted in


I have been teaching creative writing for almost twenty years. Reading about other women’s lives and experiences has expanded my world. To be able to walk in someone else’s shoes, whether it’s for a moment or an hour or a few days, is an incredible gift, providing me with insight into the human experience. It takes courage to write your truths, especially if it doesn’t seem as though anyone cares, as though anyone is listening. Let me tell you: your stories matter, I’m listening, and I’m here to help you find the heart of those truths, to get them down on the page, to craft them, and to send them out into the world. Together, we will change the world, one story at a time.


  1. Meghan on May 14, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    Kate, I've never haiku'd before, but I'm trying all sorts of new things in class so here goes:

    cherry blossoms hold
    surprise to find righteous birth
    inward compass trued


  2. LutherLiz on May 16, 2011 at 10:16 am

    Ok here goes:

    through a haze of pain
    a wrinkled brow emerging
    joy unexpected

  3. kate hopper on May 18, 2011 at 8:46 am

    I'm loving these! Keep them coming, friends!

  4. Patty on May 21, 2011 at 10:12 pm

    Words snap from my mouth:
    "Because I said so, that's why!"
    who have I become?

  5. Andrea on May 23, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    Yea, haiku!

    Total silence from
    Ultrasound technician, then,
    "Did they suspect twins?"

    One day, a baby;
    The next, pitches baseball, plays
    Electric guitar

  6. stace-c on May 23, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    Oh, I almost missed it this year!! Ok, here goes:

    Six months without luck
    Doc suggests a little help
    Bonus baby time!

    Safety gates be damned!
    Twins can open anything
    Teamwork starts at birth.

    Johnson's baby ads
    Never cared before baby
    Now I'm sniveling.

    Treasured baby wear,
    After blowout, your new home
    Is in garbage can.

    Ok, that's all I have in me this year. I could probably have done better if I'd been paying attention and realized it was already time!

  7. stace-c on May 23, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    Hahahaha, I love Andrea's about the twins 🙂