Guilty Mommy

The thing about being a part-time working mom with part-time daycare is that sometimes I have to work when I’m home with the kiddo. This means I try to schedule calls during nap time and check emails secretly from my phone when we pull into the garage so she can’t see me and yell “phone, phone, phone,” one million times in a row. It also means I feel a lot of guilt during the time I am home with her.

The thing about being a mom in that there is so much pressure to do it right. Choose the right parenting style, teach them the right manners, figure out how to make sure they aren’t little jerks. And with Pinterest and blogs and Twitter and Facebook I’m constantly wondering how all of these women are making time to decorate insanely adorable Easter eggs with their children rather than running from one errand to the next and constantly wiping snotty noses and doing laundry and everything else it takes just to keep the ship moving.

When I’m home with Evie I want to do things like take her to the Children’s Museum, and do crafts, and run around and play outside and just generally be an awesome exemplary mom. But it turns out the Children’s Museum drives me crazy because it’s actually filled with screaming children that aren’t mine, and I suck at crafts, and it’s freezing outside. So we go to the grocery store and maybe the Starbucks drive through because mommy is addicted to cappuccinos and then make some lunch and eat it and clean it up and play with the stacking cups for ten minutes before a tantrum hits and thank god it’s naptime. And then I do my client call and she wakes up and we start all over again.

I know what I have is truly the best of both worlds and I am lucky lucky to be able to spend this time with her and have my career, and really it’s only a few days a week anyway, but it’s hard not to feel the guilt set in some days. I know if I went to a full-time job I’d have guilt too, and I know that staying home full-time isn’t right for me either. So I’m somewhere in between, trying to be okay with that. Now I have to go look up how to decorate Easter eggs before my client call.

Home Again

Protip: Don’t move while pregnant. Have I mentioned I’m pregnant? No? Because I haven’t been here in 4 months? Well I am. Due June 1 with little girl #2.

We are finally out of my parent’s house and into our new place. To say the move has been stressful would be an understatement. Everything took longer than it was supposed to and it seems like one problem after another keeps popping up, but at least we are here now. Moving is just so hard, and then add the hormonal craziness that is pregnancy and I am struggling. Oh and it doesn’t help that Evie and I both got the flu. So yeah pregnant, sick, moving, toddler with the flu, perfect storm.

The boxes are not unpacked. The closets are not organized. The spare bedroom (read: baby 2’s room) is stacked full of junk. The clutter is killing me right now. Everyone says don’t put too much pressure on yourself, it’ll get done, blah blah, but it just doesn’t feel that way right now. It feels like it’s never going to be done and it’s always just going to be a huge mess.

At this point during my pregnancy with Evie I was obsessing over crib sheets and dressers and chandeliers. At this point I barely have time to think about this poor baby. I really want to give her the time she needs. Focus on her and sing her songs and do everything I did with Evie. But it just feels impossible right now. I need to get back to prenatal yoga. I need to exercise more and eat better and just take better of myself in general but I feel like I am way too busy taking care of everything else right now. And the flu. My god this is the sickest I’ve been in a long time. It hurts.

I’m trying to get back to healthy by eating lots of green smoothies and giving myself the opportunity to rest when I need to, and I’m slowly getting there. But I have to say the stress of this month has knocked me on my ass.

The good news is we’re here, and we’re not going anywhere. Our little family is growing and we’ve got a new home to build a life in.

I want to write here more. As usual I really do. And I’m going to try to. I miss getting it all out into the wide world for anyone and no one to read. Say hi if you’re here.

Suburban Life

Well we’re at my parents now. It’s okay so far. Some days are better than others. Really it’s nice that my mom is around to help with Evie all of the time, she’s been great. And I feel like I never have to clean or do dishes, because she’s kind of a neatnick. I feel bad about it but it’s like it’s just always done. So that’s nice I guess.

But you know, I guess I just feel a little displaced. Like I’m just waiting and can’t live my life until the next step happens. The house is moving slowly. We had problems with the structural and the framing and now it might not even be finished until January. The day we found that out I was pretty upset. I just wanted to be in my new house for Christmas. Of course we’d be with the family for Christmas regardless, but I just wanted Evie to wake up and have Santa and all of that in her new house. I don’t know. I guess I’m being sentimental. But still it’s just a bummer.

Life in the suburbs is pretty different from our little neighborhood. We used to walk everywhere, and now we pretty much never walk anywhere. With the exception of the dogs, but yeah. I joined a music class for Evie down here, and it’s just such a different vibe. I don’t know how to put my finger on it, it’s just different. Maybe the moms are older? Or younger? I have no idea. Maybe it’s just the teacher and I’m projecting my feelings about being down here on the other moms.

It’s not that I hate the suburbs. Really there are a lot of amazing things and I can totally see living here some day. We are a short walk away from an amazing trail. It’s five seconds to Whole Foods, a great shopping center, and pretty much anything we could ever need. The restaurant scene does leave a little something to be desired, but you know with a 15 month old we’re not exactly having leisurely fancy dinners anyway.

I just want my own house. My kitchen knives and my room and my things. Two more months. Or three.

Single For a Week

I’m having one of those moments I have every two months or so where I think I should be writing here and start some kind of weird little plan where I’ll write every day about what’s going on with my life. (So, see you in two months, right?)

Anyway, John is out of town and I’m doing the single mama thing for the week. It is freaking hard. I never realize how lucky I am to have such a great, helpful baby daddy until he’s gone. Having a partner is such an essential part of parenthood. I seriously don’t know how single parents do it. Props to you guys. Evie is back in daycare two days a week so I can focus on the contract work I have, so I’m getting those days as a mini break, but being on duty all night every night is starting to wear me out. Cooking, dinner time, clean up, bath time, bedtime, and then any wake ups in the middle of the night mean I am one tired mama.

Evie is obviously awesome and I’m not complaining about her per se, (do I get to stop doing these qualifiers yet? Of course there is no question I love her times a million more than anyone could ever love anyone) it’s just that it’s everything that comes along with her. Suffice it to say that tonight we had a poop issue of epic proportions and I just can’t seem to get clean enough. You know it’s those things. GROSS. Sorry I just became one of those people who wrote about my child’s poop. I said I would never do that. But I did. Deal with it.

Evie is finally crawling, which is a relief in a sense but also proving quite difficult because I have to follow her around the house and make sure she doesn’t break the XBox or eat the dog food or slam her fingers in the door. She’s still a little timid and won’t go too far unless I’m close by, but I have a feeling she’s going to be off and running in no time. I can’t believe it’s almost her first birthday. This year has flown by. Way WAY faster than the year I was pregnant.

I just keep reminding myself to live in the moment, enjoy every part of this, even the parts that seem so unbelievable hard, because it’s over in an instant.



Nine Months

Dear Evelyn,

You are nine months old. Nine months of awesome. I love this age. I love how you babble and talk and think riding in the car is the most hilarious thing ever. I love how big your smiles are. The past three months have seen tons of huge changes, way too many for me to enumerate here. BUT I guess I could list a few.

You’re in the big girl car seat and you love it. I love it too because I don’t have to lug that giant bucket around anymore.

You finally started moving, rolling over and attempting to get your butt in the air to get on all fours, but mostly  you don’t really feel like it. You still aren’t really too close to full-on crawling and lots of other babies your age are, but our pediatrician assures us that some babies just don’t care that much. And that some babies are just lazy. Or a number of comments that could be taken as offensive by your parents, but really I think that’s just her doctor-y way of telling us to chill out, that you’ll get to it when you get to it. I do like your doctor actually, I like how she just tells it like it is. But you know, moms will worry. And be offended.

Anyway, you’re doing lots of other things that all those other babies aren’t doing, and obviously we are still convinced you are a genius. You figure out new toys so quickly, and unfortunately you get bored pretty easily too. This means I am constantly trying to find ways to keep you entertained. I think once you start crawling you’ll be so happy that you get to explore more of your world, but for now you are very demanding. You really enjoy nesting toys and things that stack, mostly so you can knock them down and spread them all over the place. You like to bang things and make a TON of noise, which is of course only adorable at home and not so much when we’re trying to grocery shop with the masses. Your favorite toy right now is this drum/hammer set that affords us entire MINUTES of pure entertainment.

You got your tubes in your ears in February, and that has been fantastic for everyone. You can finally hear yourself, and mom and dad aren’t constantly worrying about ear infections. Sleeping: meh. You were doing great, then not so great, and well I’ve decided to try not to worry about that so much. Of course I can say that now because you are napping peacefully.

Speaking of, I’ve been home with you now for two and a half months. I should probably write a whole post just on that, and what it’s been like, how life is at home and working from home when I’m doing the mom thing, but let’s just say it’s awesome. I love it so much. And also some days it’s the hardest thing in the world.

Mostly, I just can’t believe how old you are already and how fast this time thing goes. If I slack off on writing posts like I have been you’ll be a year old next time I have anything to say. And there is just so much to say about you. You’re becoming this incredible little person, with such a happy personality, and I feel like the luckiest person in the world. Parenthood is good for me. You’re good for me. I love you baby girl.




I talked to a friend today. She told me some things I didn’t know. Things I was sorry to hear, but things I was almost relieved to hear at the same time. She told me how she’s been struggling with a little bit of postpartum depression, and how damn hard it is to be a mom. And as she was talking, I found myself nodding. Nodding and saying yes and mmm hmm and I get that and I SO get that. And I realized this sense of relief flooding over me.

No, I don’t think I have postpartum. But I think I have a case of damn this is hard and I don’t know what I’m doing. I definitely have a case of that.

Every day. And it’s nice to know someone else feels that way. No I don’t want her to struggle. I want her to get better and for things to get easier and every day I’m going to be thinking about her hoping that happens for her and doing whatever I can do to support her. But I want her to know that it’s okay that it’s hard, and I’m so glad she said it out loud. Someone needs to say it out loud.

I’m new at this. The mom thing. I’ve got nothing to go on except books and message boards and millions of strangers on the Internets and nosy women at the local sandwich shop telling me what to do. Who do I listen to?

I might never know.

In fact I’m sure I’ll never know. I’ll never know until one day, I’m looking back at all this, or I see some woman in the grocery store struggling to keep her baby from crying and get the damn frozen meals in the cart because she sure as hell doesn’t have time to cook a real meal and maybe I’ll be a little judgy. But hopefully, I’ll be like this lady, and I’ll pay for her groceries and tell her to keep on keeping on and do the best she can.


I’ve been struggling with work. Going back was rough. Nearly impossible some days. There’s the obvious difficulty of being away from Evie for such a large part of the day. Then there’s pumping, which is pretty much the WORST. Side note – if you know a pumping lady, you need to go give her a cookie. She’s probably hungry. Then there’s trying to fit in exercising to lose the baby weight, and cooking healthy dinners, and getting your child on some kind of perfect sleeping schedule, oh and not to mention maintain some sort of a social life or at least pretend you still have friends, and it’s all just so stressful.

But other moms do it. Tons of them do. They do it every day and practically every single one I know makes it look so good.

But I’ve been struggling, and definitely not making it look good. I feel like I’ve pretty much been failing at both.  I’m a bad employee because I’m so sleep deprived and I just can’t focus on anything except my baby. But I’m a bad mom because I’m not home and she can’t even roll over yet and she’s getting all of these ear infections because of daycare and it’s ALL MY FAULT.

So I’ve been thinking about all of this, thinking about my life and how it’s happening NOW and I can’t just sit back and let it happen to me, and I’ve come to a decision.

I’m leaving my full-time job so I can spend more time at home.

Coming to this decision was also one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. For as long as I can remember, I have been a go-getter. A climb the ladder kind of gal, always on the move. And I have (had) a great job. I liked it and was about to get another promotion and things were going swimmingly. But Evie has changed everything, and my priorities are just different now.

I want to be with her. I want to see her more and I don’t want to race out the door to show up on time for an 8 a.m. meeting that 6 other people are LATE to. I just don’t have the patience anymore.

I still want to work, and I’ve been struggling with the thought of leaving my job, so I think we’ve come to a happy medium and I’m going to do some contract work. I’ll still get to be home with Evie more, but I can keep doing the things I’m good at and hopefully all of these things I’ve worked so hard for won’t take a nosedive.

I know I’m lucky because I GET to choose. Not a lot of people get to do that. And there is a small part of me that still feels like a little bit of a failure, like I couldn’t hack being a full-time working mama. But there’s another part that says screw it.

This is the right decision for me, and the right decision for our family.

So as of February 3, life’s going to be changing a little bit. Or a lot bit. And I still reserve the right to complain as much as I want about how hard motherhood is. But that’s okay, because I get this.

And that makes it all worth it.

Six Months

Dear Evelyn,

You are six months old. I can hardly believe it. Half a year has flown by. And you are so awesome right now. You are babbling and chatting and let’s face it SCREAMING (in delight most of the time) and it is so hilarious. You are so clearly an opinionated baby and I just love it. You always have something to say about what is going on.

You are starting to move quite a bit more now, but still no rolling over. I have to admit it’s made me a bit nervous because apparently that is a big six-month milestone, but I know you’ll do it at your own pace. You have however, mastered sucking on your own toes, which is pretty adorable. After a couple of visits to the baby physical therapist you’re doing great on your tummy and lifting your head up a ton. I’m simultaneously excited and terrified for the day when you start crawling, so I don’t mind you sticking to the lump stage for now. I know it won’t last much longer.

The past month has had its ups and downs, and after your fourth round of ear infections we are officially taking you to an ear nose and throat doctor. You’ve been a trooper through all of this, always happy even through three days in a row of pretty heinous antibiotic shots right before Christmas. I think tubes might be in your future, and that scares the hell out of me, but I want you to be well and I want you to be able to hear me clearly WHEN I’M TALKING TO YOU YOUNG LADY!

We went to Hawaii a couple of weeks ago and it was a pretty incredible trip. Something happened there, some kind of sleep miracle, and you actually started putting yourself to sleep for naps. We are still unclear as to whether or not this trend will continue now that we are home, but for now I am absolutely thrilled. Now if we could only get you sleeping through the night (really sleeping through the night, not this five-hour stuff).

Hawaii was all-around amazing for you I think. You loved the sun and the climate was wonderful for everyone. You didn’t enjoy the ocean too much and were kind of indifferent about the pool even though we were all pretty gung ho about your little float. You did rock some sunglasses though. And you had a great time just hanging out on the towel we put down for you in the living room of our condo. We rented a bunch of baby gear and I have to say that is such a fantastic business idea for a tourist spot like Maui. It was great to have a crib and an exersaucer and all of the other junk we need for you. Even though it’s all pretty tiny, you sure do need a lot of STUFF.

Oh and lest I forget, we started solids this month. Well not really, we actually just started a mashed up banana with some milk, but you seem to like it okay. We are going to start some cereal, avocado and other veggies pretty soon here. It’s kind of fun to see you eat but honestly I could wait on this one. I know it means lots of messes to clean up and it makes me kind of sad – it’s like the end of an era. Also, I am terrified of giving you any food issues. But I am going to try my best to set a good example and just have fun with it. Even if that means gooey smashed bananas all over the floor. I’m sure Saucer will love it.

I’m looking forward to spending some more time with you over the next couple of months. You’re going to say mama any day now. I just know it. You’re a total prodigy. I can’t find one picture of us together where you look happy though. Am I stressing you out? I’ll quit pressuring you. Just say it and I promise I’ll stop.

Love you baby girl,



Four Months

Dear Evelyn,

Well you did it, we all did it, made it to that three month mark. The so-called fourth trimester is finally over. Oh and while I was writing this somehow another month passed and we are now at four  months. It’s crazy, but already I can hardly remember those early days and nights, when you were such a tiny peanut and we were so nervous about your every move, checking to see if you were breathing all snuggled up in that little bassinet.

Today you are a chunk. You are a big, healthy, chubby baby and I love it. You are smiling and even laughing in delight at the most random things, usually the wall. You are talking, cooing and goo goo gagaing all over the place. I’m pretty sure your dad and I have an unspoken competition to see whether or not your first word will be mama or dada. Oh I know not to expect that for a while, but still. I can try. This is one battle I plan to win.

This month you started teething, which hasn’t been so bad yet, although I’m sure we haven’t gotten to the worst of it yet. Mostly it means your hands and toys are constantly in your mouth, oh and you are drooling everywhere. I myself am over trying to keep you looking clean and neat, but your dad and your aunt are constantly wiping you down so I really don’t have to worry about it. I’m the messy mom.

You also got your first cold this month, and it has been a doozie. We are two weeks in and finally getting better. We found out you actually had a double ear infection as part of this sucker, and that was a pretty sad moment for your parents. We felt pretty bad about not catching that. But you never had a fever, and you’ve been pretty dang happy despite not feeling good. You’re finally on antibiotics now and we are hoping you get better before we have to go back to Texas for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Speaking of Texas, you went on your first and second plane rides this past two months. One for a happy occasion, and one for a sad occasion. I will just say that I am so glad you got to meet your Bibba. She loved you very much.

We celebrated our first Halloween by dressing you up in a ridiculous outfit that you pretty much hated, but we thought was adorable.

Oh and you scratched the crap out of mom’s face. Ouch. Cutting your fingernails is your aunt’s job though. I’m not in charge of that.

You’ve got pretty much the best dad in the world. This was cemented when he went out of town for four days this past month, and I pretty much lost my damn mind. It was hard. Really hard. I have an entirely new respect for single parents now. We had a couple of really hard nights, I barely slept and neither did you, and then he came home and it was all better. I must say that parenting is definitely a team sport.

You are my world baby girl.



Goodbye Maternity Leave

My maternity leave is ending. I am so sad. I can hardly even talk about it. But I know it’s coming and I have to figure out real life, life with job and baby. How do you people do it? Mamas, I’m talking to you. How the heck is this possible? To leave my sweet baby girl and go worry about website hits and sales numbers? Argh.

Part of me is excited really, to get back to work. I like my job and I miss the thrill of success and the agony of defeat. Okay that’s a little dramatic, but you get what I’m saying. I miss the work. I miss the people. The adults, that actually talk back to me during the day. I miss having something to think about other than nap schedules and whether we have enough diapers and did I run the dishwasher.

I have to be honest though, I am having a seriously primal reaction to leaving my baby. Like, the hormones are going crazy I might have to fight off a lion I will kill anyone that looks at her reaction. And I know it’s normal and natural and mothers are programmed to react like this, but it’s really hard to reconcile my head and my heart. This is the plight of the working mother I guess, that thing that everyone goes through. We want to work, but we want to be with baby too. And we don’t get to do both.

You don’t get to do both.

And it sucks.

So yeah, Monday is the day. I go back and leave my little girl for the whole day. And I’m supposed to act like a grown up. Guessing that’s not going to happen. So any advice on how to handle it? Aside from bringing lots of tissues?


Two Months

Dear Evelyn,

Two months old already. I wanted to do a letter like this for your first month. I even started it when you were three weeks old. But here you are at two months already and that letter has one opening sentence. So I don’t have a letter for month one, but here I am at month two. I want to document your growth and have a spot to spew my special brand of mommy love. It is incredible how quickly the time passes. Days and nights, and suddenly we’re here and I don’t have a newborn anymore, I have a baby. A real baby girl. And you are everything. The only thing.

The past two months have been the most amazing time in my life. Every day you grow and change so much.  You started smiling around week six, just like those books said you might, and it has absolutely melted our hearts. Your dad and I can hardly stand it when we see that grin break out on your face. Oh you make us work for it, but we do. We tickle and squeak and giggle at you like there’s no tomorrow, just to see that smile. I’m sure we look absolutely ridiculous, but we don’t care.

You’ve also started talking more in the last week or so. Not real talking, just some coos and random noises here and there. But you’re starting to interact with us, to tell us what you want and what you need. You also do this adorable half sneeze half sigh thing that your dad just loves. It’s like you just missed a sneeze and have given in with a little sigh of resignation. You get the hiccups all the time still, and mostly it doesn’t seem to bother you, but sometimes you get angry about the whole thing. You do have your moments.

You’re sleeping a little bit more now, which is absolutely fantastic. You’ve even had a few six hour stretches, which is just luxurious after so many weeks of two and three hours at a time. We’re working on starting a bedtime routine and getting you to sleep a little earlier, but it is definitely a work in progress. Sleep is not yet your forte. You’re actually quite the diva when you wake up – all big stretches and yawns. I joke that you are just like your dad in that respect. A little on the dramatic side.

You also found your hand this week, which is kind of awesome and hilarious because you go crossed eyed just staring at it. I think you want to get it in your mouth, but you aren’t quite there yet. I hope you will, because despite our best efforts, you will not take a pacifier. Your dad has purchased approximately 8,000 different types of pacifiers, but to no avail. So maybe you’ll suck on the hand or the thumb someday soon.

You went to your 2 month doctor’s appointment last week and you did great, despite a few tears from me during your shots. It just hurts so much to see you in pain. You were a whopping 12 lbs and 8.5 ounces, and 22.5 inches long, putting you in the 93rd percentile for weight and the 70th percentile for height. We are thrilled you are growing so well – it means we’re doing something right at least. Everything else looked great and we probably asked a few stupid questions, but no one can blame us for having a bit of new parent neuroses. We just want you to be perfect. And of course you are.

I’ve got one more month left of maternity leave, and I think it’s going to be our best month yet. You’re starting to be so much more aware of your surroundings, so heading out of the house is a little more fun, but it can also be a little more scary. No more taking the tiny sleeping baby anywhere we want. Now we run the risk of having a crazy screaming little person at the dinner table. We’re still trying though.You quite enjoyed your dinner at Patzcuaro’s the other night.


It’s like you’ve finally woken up to the world, and you can’t wait to see what’s out there. And I can’t wait to show you. Love you baby.