Welcome to ChildWild

I’m Sierra. I live in the Boston area with my family.

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My Work

Writing at my desk while nursing Serena

As a freelance writer and journalist, I primarily write about parenting, polyamory and social justice. Here are some of my articles, essays and interviews.

In all of my work, I strive to use the stories I tell as vehicles to guide people towards richer lives and a vision of a more just world.

 

Slate

Double X Podcast – July 2013 – I participated in this podcast discussion about polyamory and open relationships. Hanna Rosin and her colleagues asked insightful, interesting questions. The segment starts at 18:30 of the podcast.

Huffington Post

I write a semi-regular column for the Huffington Post about open relationships and sexual freedom. Here are some of my favorite pieces:

The 5 Worst Things About Open Relationships – An honest take on the unique challenges of pursuing multiple romantic partnerships.

Challenging Poly Stereotypes in Media and at Home – A look at the stereotypes emerging in media coverage of polyamorous families, and ideas about how to challenge those assumptions and highlight the diversity of the poly community.

ABC 20/20

Strange Arrangements: The New Sex - April, 2012 – My loved ones and I were profiled in a 20/20 special about open marriages. The piece shows the rhythm of our family lives and the strong relationships between this group of friends and partners.

Salon

Our Successful Open Marriage – January 2012 – This widely read essay focuses on my relationship with my girlfriend, Molly, and the ways our families intertwine. Published shortly after the revelation that Newt Gingrich may have asked his ex-wife for an open marriage, it introduced many people to a view of healthy polyamorous relationships.

The New York Times

Having The Talk With Your Child – Motherlode – April, 2010. What do you do when your child asks you about the sex lives of Barbies? Have a hilarious and hopefully insightful conversation. Like this one.  

Babble

Best iPhone Apps For KidsBabble – January 2010 – We gave you a list of apps for parents — now how about for your children? We’ve compiled 25 of the best kid-friendly apps to help them learn to read, do arithmetic, sing in the car, or just entertain themselves while you enjoy some quiet time. The best part? None of them cost more than $2.99

The Pudding LieBabble – December 2009 – Have you ever made pudding at home? From scratch? Growing up, my family sometimes had pudding for dessert. We’d shake the pudding powder out of the box…At some point I found out that real pudding — the kind you could get in fancy restaurants — did not come from bright little boxes of pudding powder.

9 Things Not To Be Afraid of This HalloweenBabble – October 2009 – Back when I was a reporter for a daily newspaper, I’d be called on to do a Halloween safety story every November. You know the one: the article that shows up in your local newspaper between the costume contest photos and the fundraising drive, reminding you not to take candy from strangers and to dress your kids as flashing red stoplights before setting foot outdoors after dark.

Farm Share Survival GuideBabble – October 2009 – Last fall, the flier for your local CSA looked so delicious, you were tempted to eat it. Those richly colored photos of plump melons and juicy tomatoes practically jumped off the page. Visions of sugar snap peas danced in your head as you filled out the form and handed over a large check.

23 Things to Know About Biking With KidsBabble – September 2009 – Biking with kids can be a blast. For a lot of families, it’s also their main form of transportation to do everything from commuting to grocery shopping. A green alternative to cars, bikes are gaining in popularity.

Kindergarten Cop-Out - Babble – September 2009 – Next month, I will drop my firstborn child off at the door of a kindergarten classroom for the first time. After I wave goodbye and bike home alone, we’ll each begin secret lives: I’ll spend my mornings writing stuff for grown-ups, while she makes friends, solves puzzles and gets in trouble in ways I’ll never know.

Get Rich Slowly

The High Cost of ClutterGet Rich Slowly – March 2010 – Do you have piles of papers lurking on your desk? Mountains of laundry looming beside your bed? Shelves double-stacked with knick-knacks? I have a bit of a clutter problem myself. The other day, I spent an hour looking for the vacuum cleaner, which eventually turned up buried under a pile of laundry almost as tall as I am.

From Whole Foods to Food StampsGet Rich Slowly – February 2010 – The recession has hit families where they live. For many, it’s forced a change of address. Think about all those foreclosed homes and urban deserts: One in every 400 homes received a foreclosure notice last year. Unemployment is approaching 10%. Some families no longer have a place to call home at all.

Building On What You Already KnowGet Rich Slowly – February 2010 – The most important trick to managing your finances — and maybe the hardest — is just getting started. My household finances were like an impenetrable jungle of budget formulas and investment accounts and bank policies and tax codes; not knowing where to start kept me broke and confused for years.

How to Talk With Your Spouse About MoneyGet Rich Slowly – January 2010  Talking about money is one of the great taboos of our culture. I know more about my friends’ sex lives than I do about their bank statements. Many of us find it hard to discuss finances under the best circumstances. When we’re stressed about money, we tend to clam up even more. If you’re married (or living with a partner), you don’t have that luxury. Financial success is not a private affair.

Give Your Wealth AwayGet Rich Slowly -December 2009 – This was my guest post on Get Rich Slowly. It seems to have caused a little ruckus on the comments. Oops. Apparently saying the word “liberal” or “conservative” in a blog post is like shouting “fire” in a crowded theater. Whatever. I stand by my basic thesis: charitable giving is a good idea, and secular liberals like myself could learn a thing or two from our conservative religious relatives about how to do it.

The Pitfalls of Buying in BulkGet Rich Slowly – October 2009 – Because I hate shopping and love discounts, I buy most everything in bulk: toilet paper, frozen foods, light bulbs, even toys. But bulk buying has its risks too, and after years of practicing it, I’m learning to see them.

Sweating the Big Stuff - Get Rich Slowly – September 2009 – When my husband and I first got married, we bought a house in the suburbs and promptly had a baby. Buying that house meant buying a piece of the American Dream — but we both figured out pretty quickly that it wasn’t our dream.

The Non-Consumer Advocate

Grateful for Public LibrariesThe Non-Consumer Advocate – September 2009 – Yesterday we were biking home from somewhere, and she said “Mommy! You and Daddy have a lot of books for you, and for Daddy and for other people, but you have not bought enough books for me and Serena.”

Flashlight Worthy Books

Best Books for Talking To Kids About SexFlashlight Worthy Books – December 2009 – Do you like talking with kids about sex? Neither do I. It’s an awkward topic, but one that every parent has to take on at some point in their child’s life. I’m a big fan of starting these talks early. I feel that as soon as my kids can ask questions, they deserve answers. Because everyone in my house loves to read, books play a central role in getting that information across.

Great Memoirs for New MomsFlashlight Worthy Books – July 2009 – These are the books I’d give a woman at her first child’s baby shower. They’re the ones I passed on to my sister and best friend when they got pregnant. These are the books that most helped me transition from fabulous single gal to Mommy.