Tell A Mom Tuesdays: Working from Home

We all know this photo is bullshit, right? That baby would be all over the keyboard and/or spitting up on it.

We all know this photo is bullshit, right? That baby would be all over the keyboard and/or spitting up on it.

Many women dream of working from home. It seems like the perfect world–you get to keep your career but have more time with your kids. Sometimes, working from home might turn into that equation. However, I think it’s an extremely difficult balance. The lines between work and home are blurred. You never quite leave, but you’re never all the way there. I imagine working from home isn’t the relaxing, pajama-clad dream that most of us think about.

I got to witness one mother working from home when I helped take care of Mollie Doll’s two boys. She was wearing both of her hats (working and mothering) almost all the time. At the time, her office was her bedroom. She worked while I played with her boys, but she could hear them. They knew she was there, so of course, they interrupted her constantly.

I listened to her navigate important business calls with a three year old banging around Hot Wheels at her ankles.

And the thing is, almost always, Mollie handled her boys with love and patience. She switched roles just about seamlessly. She didn’t make it look easy, but I knew she was thankful for her two different roles. She made it look possible. One reason she was able to do this was Mollie gave up some control. She trusted me. I think her trust in others and her boys really helped her to work from home. It was wonderful to watch.

I salute you mamas who work from home!

I thank you, Mollie Doll, for showing me a wonderful example of motherhood.

#tellamom today!

 

Shit Gets Real: too real to take a photo

“Ok. Do I need a picture of shit gets real? Because I had to deal with the shit when it happened and couldn’t get a picture. But Evelyn decided she wanted to glue beads together and got out crazy glue (industrial strength) and as she was opening it and it burst and spilled all over her entire thigh. And she literally had a chemical reaction and I had to pour pure acetone on her to stop it. It was insanity. Shit. Got. Real.”

Everyone survived…send me your stories too because often shit is too real to take a photo.

Blindsided by a Bathtub

baby tub

It’s funny the moments that actually make me sad or pause about Mae growing up and getting bigger. It’s never the ones that are meant to. She turned six months old on Friday, August 15th, and I felt celebratory about it. She learned to roll over both ways last week, and she is inch-worming around this week. None of these milestones hit me. But then, she outgrew her baby bathtub. She’s been in the same reclining, lay-down tub since she was born. Last week, my sister gave me a little seat for the bathtub. I thought surely Mae couldn’t sit up in it yet, so I just tried it for kicks. Oh, she could sit in it, and she loved it. And just like that, no more baby bathtub.

new chair

Jimmy and I were both blindsided by how sad we felt about retiring her first bathtub. I think it’s for a few reasons. For one thing, babies grow out of clothes every few weeks, at least ours has, and they are always changing. But she has had this same bathtub for six months. It’s been a constant. The main reason I think it’s hard to let go of, though, is the bath was one place, even during the terrible colicky months, that Mae was happy. Some days, bath time was our only happy time with Mae. So that little tub holds some of our greatest memories during her early months.

 

The old, little tub meant she had to look up at us. She couldn’t play with toys, really. Now she is facing out and sitting up. She immediately started splashing and playing. I love to see her thrilled by the world, but I also want to keep her as just mine.

Mysteries of Mae and the Witching Hour

Every parent knows that between 5ish and bedtime is all-hands-on-deck time. We usually just stay outside whenever possible after 5 PM, and that can often ward off the Witching Hour.

This evening, we tried all the usual suspects:

Her favorite dog...didn't work.

Her favorite dog…didn’t work.

 

Her second favorite dog...she gave him a big "F$&% You!"

Her second favorite dog…she gave him a big “F$&% You!”

 

Milk?

Milk?

Milk in a sippy cup? Hell to the no.

Milk in a sippy cup? Hell to the no.

 

This coooooool new toy?! She hit it a few times and was back to the fussies.

This coooooool new toy?! She hit it a few times and was back to the fussies.

 

This random blade of grass?  Mae quietly and happily inspects it for 20 minutes.  I'm keeping this blade of grass for later.

This random blade of grass?
Mae quietly and happily inspects it for 20 minutes.
I’m keeping this blade of grass for later.

Tell A Mom Tuesdays: Shout Outs!

So I asked some of my friends to help me out with the #tellamom post this week. It’s my first week back at work, so I needed to call in my reserves. I called, and they answered, immediately. It really brightened my day to hear how much praise and positivity they had to share and so quickly. You all just rock. Keep passing on the shout outs and #tellamom, be it on Facebook or in line at the bank.

Kristen S.:
I give a big shout out to my mom for showing my bro, my kids, and I how to have fun in all things, for a great vacation this summer, and for the time she spends with her grandkids.

I give a big shout out to my mom-in-law for raising three boisterous boys with their own unique personalities. I’ll bet she’s had some lonely times as the only female in a male-dominated family, but she has the most positive outlook on life. I also really love the closeness we’ve developed over the years…it’s like I gained another mom.

I give a big shout out to you, my sis-in-law, for pushing through a painstaking, long labor followed by a hard baby and now through your first weeks back at work. You’re wearing the scars of motherhood like a real champion, and you’ve got one amazingly cute, sweet, spunky daughter to boot.

Finally, I want to give a shout out to all the moms of kids going back to school…let the homework, sports, and bedtime fights begin!

Dani A.:
Go you! to the mom rocking those high heels while grocery shopping with a toddler and an infant!

Shout out to Michelle from the gym that has taught her son how to ‘reset’ with her and think of the gym as a fun place.

Heck yes to our friend Megan who is pushing through the uncomfortable change of going back to work after months of being with her sweet baby girl non-stop! Yes, it totally blows, but you will both learn a ton from this experience.

Shout out to the mom who’s face turned bright red in the store when her daughter, asked about the ‘brown’ man next to them in line.

THANK YOU to the mom who assured me that this was a normal stage as I pushed my shopping cart through the store with a bucking and screaming toddler. And then double thank you to the two other mom’s in that same store who came to tell me I was doing good and that the deli offered free cheese or cookies to help calm him down.

Amanda L.:
I want to thank Nel Roberts for being an amazing TuTu and helping me Mother Anabelle and Evan when I am working. It makes my heart happy to see the love between them!

Jennifer B.:

Shout out to my mama, Lynnette Mills, for being such a loving grandma to my girls. She keeps the girls 9-10 hours a day. I know she’s tired yet every morning she is so excited to see them arrive at Camp Grandma. I never have to worry if the girls are in good hands which makes going to work a little easier. I couldn’t ask for a better grandma for Kate & Claire.

5 Lessons from the End of Maternity Leave

Today is the first day of my first full week of work. Maternity leave is really, really ending.

5 Lessons from Maternity Leave:
1. Taking a baby to the grocery store is way more difficult than teaching a classroom of 20+ students.
2. You won’t regret all the time you spent playing on the floor with your baby, and you won’t remember or care how messy your house was, and still is.
3. You’ll miss your slow mornings the most.
4. You need the support of other moms as you return to work because no one else fully understands how unnatural it feels to leave your baby every day.
5. As much as you prepare for maternity leave to end, it will feel sudden and too soon.

I’ll miss just the regular, everyday moments with her:

Our slow mornings...

Our slow mornings…

Afternoons on a blanket outside.

Afternoons on a blanket outside.