Cheryl Dumesnil discovered her passion for writing three decades ago, and she hasn’t stopped since. She’s the author of a memoir, Love Song for Baby X: How I Stayed (Almost) Sane on the Rocky Road to Parenthood and an award-winning collection of poems, In Praise of Falling. She has edited two anthologies, Dorothy Parker’s Elbow: Tattoos on Writers, Writers on Tattoos and Hitched! Wedding Stories form San Francisco City Hall. She’s a regular contributor to Huffington Post, VillageQ, and ESME, covering politics, parenting, family, divorce and mindful living.
Cheryl’s path toward parenthood included five donor-assisted pregnancies, three miscarriages, months of infertility treatments and two births, one in a hospital and one at home (yes, on purpose). Her memoir, Love Song for Baby X, charts the pregnancy journey, revealing the mindfulness practices that helped her maintain at least some semblance of emotional balance along the way. Cheryl continues offering sage — and sometimes hilarious — advice to pregnant and want-to-be pregnant women everywhere.
Babies, Kids, Family
Cheryl has enthusiastically engaged in childcare since she was a child herself. (Seriously, who lets a ten-year-old babysit?) As parent of two tween boys, a therapist for children on the autism spectrum, a camp counselor, a preschool teacher, a creative writing instructor, a tutor, an English professor and a parenting advice columnist, she has worked with children of all ages (and their parents) and lived to tell the tales, which have appeared in Hip Mama, Literary Mama and MamaZine, among other publications. She's particularly well versed in helping high-anxiety parents cool their nerves and stay present with their kids. (Because guess what she used to be?)
Cheryl has navigated separation, divorce and co-parenting, with a blend of mindfulness (most of the time) and in-depth research (because that’s what a former English major does when she’s pitched into uncharted emotional territory: research). She knows what it’s like to stand on that rickety rope bridge above Divorce Canyon, with two kids holding her hands. She shares what she knows—from compiling the best break-up playlist to talking to children about divorce—to help others make their way across. (Cue “Lean on Me.”)
A vegetarian for 25 years, Cheryl’s interest in cooking began in graduate school, when she got sick of eating generic corn flakes and started developing low-budget recipes that blew her classmates’ minds. To this day she gets a charge out of developing 'problem-solving' recipes. Need a gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free chocolate cupcake? She can make one that everyone — not just the allergy kids — will love.
Cheryl is a solo parent managing her career while raising two boys in the high-energy San Francisco Bay Area, where the traffic alone is enough to frazzle the steeliest set of nerves. For nearly twenty years she has counter-balanced life’s stressors through mindfulness meditation, yoga, ongoing Buddhist studies and wicked sarcasm (yes, she notes the contradiction). She shares her stress management techniques at speaking engagements, at conferences and in print.
For over twenty years Cheryl has taught Creative Writing at universities and conferences across the country. An award-winning poet, memoirist, essayist, blogger and editor, she is a sought-after coach for writers working in poetry and creative non-fiction. Alongside her literary pursuits, she has developed a thriving freelance writing business, working with a diverse range of clients, from major marketing firms to non-profit agencies, entrepreneurs and artists. So, parents of college students, in case you've been wondering, that’s what you do with Creative Writing degree.
Most Recent Contributions by Cheryl Dumesnil
It's That Time of Year Again You're dusting off grandma's old recipe cards (or if you're under 40, you're now Googling "recipe cards"). ... Read More