shanley-3Samantha’s essays on parenting and relationships have appeared in a number of publications.
She blends anecdotes with humor and insight, drawing on her own experiences to create a kind of thinking art, reflecting this often ridiculous and ever joyful life.

Years ago, Samantha focused on writing short stories. After reading her emails recounting real-life tales of living abroad with children, her siblings bid her to start writing a regular blog. It was a good idea—what better way to practice writing than to start from where she was, enmeshed in the daily grind of parenthood.

Eventually, her blogging transformed her into an essayist, and her work is linked below.

The Washington Post:

I’m A Mother. But My Emotional Labor Is Not Free for the Taking / How Do You Keep A Family Together Through Divorce? / Here’s How I Helped My Tween Cope with FearI’m a Mom, But Sometimes My Mother Still Knows What’s Best / This Summer, My Kids Are Going to Mom Camp / The Search for Post-Baby Identity / Becoming Me, Through Heartache / When the Youngest Child Becomes the Middle Child / When One Parent Travels / Bringing on the Babysitters / I’m a Mom, the PTA President, and Pro Legalization / The Transgender Quandary That Wasn’t / My Husband and I Had No Time for Each Other, So We Created It / Letting Imagination Win / When Sisters Become Mothers

The Village Life Series for the Washington Post:

The New York Times:

The Truck That Sparked Our Marriage Back to Life

Huffington Post:

Saying Yes to Animals, as Long as They’re Not Ours

Motherwell Magazine:


Finding My Creative Work-Life Balance in A Taco / After Divorce, When A Fish Is Not Just A Fish / Learning How to Parent Together, After the Marriage is Over / At the End of A Family’s Difficult Year: Gratitude

Quail Bell Magazine:

For Something of Summer

Teaching Children to Carry On, Through Grief / In An Age of Mean Girls, These Girls Started Heart Company Instead / In the Midst of Your Own Struggles, Charitable Giving Can Help / When Number Three Becomes the Only One, for Now / When A Game of Catch Becomes A Conversation Between Mother and Son


When the Escape You Long for Leads You Back Home