No Mom, You Are Not Enough

No Mom, You Are Not Enough

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This one is for the wipers of runny noses…

For the sculptors of Play-Doh creatures,

the clippers of teeny tiny fingernails.

For the chefs of vegetables that go uneaten, the makers of countless PBJs,

the T-ball cheerers and team snack preppers.

For the answerers of questions mundane and philosophical,

the dramatic readers of dinosaur stories and princess tales.

For the dryers of tears and the kissers Read more

In Defense of Half-a**ed Birthday Parties

In Defense of Half-a**ed Birthday Parties

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My daughter’s first birthday party was 2 weeks ago.

I did not bake 7 cakes, cut them into pieces and stick them back together to form the shape of a unicorn.

I did not spend $100 on custom invitations from Etsy.

I did not spend hours of my life creating fondant eyes & marshmallow beaks to create cupcakes in the likeness of Sesame Street characters.

I did not carve a watermelon into the shape of a sea turtle.

I did not string together 200 balloons and shape them into Cinderella’s carriage.

There was no DIY photo booth.

There were no coordinating tablescapes, centerpieces and favors.

Lest you think I’m a total scrooge, I *did* print out pictures of my daughter from over the last year and string them across the mantle, and hang up some decorations I had left over from Read more

Sometimes I Can’t Cherish the Moment

Sometimes I Can’t Cherish the Moment

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My kids are cute (I’m talking legitimate Gerber-baby level cuteness).   They are smart and curious and they crack me up.  But they are the *actual worst* at sleeping.  My 3 year-old didn’t consistently sleep through the night until he was 1 ½ years old.  For months, the only way to get him to nap was by taking him for walks – I can’t even tell you how many miles were clocked on his stroller in attempts to get this child to sleep.  My 7-month-old is the queen of the 20-minute nap.  That in itself is an improvement; for months she would only nap on my body.  Working from home meant standing with my laptop on the kitchen counter while my daughter slept in the baby carrier on my chest.  Allegedly, after 6 months there is no nutritional need for babies to eat during the night, but my little one definitely did not get that memo.  It’s basically an all-night buffet around here.

Getting my sleep in 1-3 hour increments for months now has completely melted my brain.  I was trying to pay for my haircut last weekend, Read more

Why I’m Not Apologizing for the Crumbs on My Floor

Why I’m Not Apologizing for the Crumbs on My Floor

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Ever since my daughter was born, my status as a sort of stay-at-home/sort of working mom (part-time from home) has been leaning way more toward SAHM territory. It’s a struggle to work even half the number of hours I did when we only had one kid. My rational mind knows that taking care of two kids under four is plenty of work in and of itself, but part of me feels vaguely guilty that my financial contributions to the family are so minimal at this point. If I’m not doing a whole lot of working, it feels like I need to step it up in the homemaker department.  Trust me, I never aspired to be the cliché 50’s housewife vacuuming the house in pearls, ready with my husband’s robe, slippers and a stiff drink the moment he walks in the door. But somehow I do find myself feeling inadequate Read more

A Letter to my Unborn Daughter

A Letter to my Unborn Daughter

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The moment the ultrasound tech announced that you were a girl, I burst into tears. She confirmed what my maternal instincts were already telling me.   I had already been mentally designing the nursery, and trying to figure out how many of your brother’s baby clothes we could get away with dressing you in (I mean, who cares if we put you in blue PJ’s?)   I am overflowing with joy.  At the same time, there are worries that creep in when I look into the future. When my thoughts turn to your teenage years, I can’t help but remember my own struggles at that age and worry about how you will navigate your way through.

I hope that you will manage, against the odds, to see how beautiful you are. Of course I don’t want you to base your self-worth on your physical appearance.  But neither do I want you to walk through life feeling perpetually self-conscious about how you look.  This will be an uphill battle; you will be confronted non-stop with airbrushed images of women that will create impossible standards to compare yourself against.  I hope you will be able to see that these women are illusions, and that real women have freckles, scars, and blemishes, thighs that touch and body parts that jiggle.  Our skin will always seem pasty next to the artificially bronzed women Read more

The Universal Mom Conundrum: on daycare, stay-at-home-moms, leaning in, and stepping back

The Universal Mom Conundrum: on daycare, stay-at-home-moms, leaning in, and stepping back

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My son started daycare about 4 months ago. Every time I mention this fact, I feel compelled to immediately clarify that he’s only there part-time, for 3 half-days a week.  Can someone please tell me why this makes me so defensive?  I think subconsciously I’m convinced that the stay-at-home-moms of the world will see enrollment in daycare as a major mom-fail – abandoning my little guy and turning him over to the care of strangers.

But as much as some people might look down on the decision to put children in daycare, there is just as much derision thrown at SAHMs. In casual conversations with someone you’ve just met, one of the very first questions is “What do you do?”  When the answer is “I’m a homemaker,” the response tends to be “Oh!”, stated in an awkward high-pitch as if to overcompensate with forced enthusiasm for the initial reaction of “oh, so you don’t really have a job.”  Even many well-intentioned people  Read more

“Parenthood is worse than divorce, unemployment – even the death of a partner.” REALLY?

“Parenthood is worse than divorce, unemployment – even the death of a partner.” REALLY?

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A couple of months ago, the Washington Post published an article with the not-at-all-click-baiting-title “It turns out parenthood is worse than divorce, unemployment – even the death of a partner.”   This is only one of many pieces I’ve read recently indicating, basically, that parenting makes you miserable.

But here’s the thing about the study on which the article was based. Aside from the fact that it was conducted in Germany (no comment), the measurement of happiness was based on participants’ numerical rating of their overall happiness/satisfaction on a scale of 0-10, from the period of time prior to having a baby through at least 2 years after having one.  Can a single question about happiness really tell the story of what it means to become a parent?  When you just got peed on during a diaper change, are you going to rate your happiness at that moment as a 10?  Probably not.  When your toddler starts Read more