In Which I Say What Bears Repeating



There are hundreds, if not thousands of blog posts about the end of the day as a mommy.

They come from women in all walks of life, in all stages of motherhood, sharing with the rest of us a little hope and motivation to keep on pushing through what can at times be the most difficult journey any of us have ever known. Each provides a different perspective and voice that carries the same positive message:

Even on your worst day, you can do this.

It bears repeating. I wish I could force myself to remember those few words in every low moment where I feel I’m not good enough or not cut out for the massive job I signed up for in mothering. I wish I could remember them when I feel tears in my eyes at the end of a day that felt everlasting, when I didn’t accomplish all the things I woke up in hopes of crossing off my list, when I didn’t get dinner on the table or didn’t get around to washing my husband’s socks.

I wish we could all remember how much we give of ourselves everyday, and remember forgiveness when what we have to give didn’t stretch all the way across the board.

The moments when remembering how good at this I really am, how good at this you really are, are beautiful. They are also too often fleeting, dissipating at the first, second, or third small setback that derails your idea of what a good mother does, what a good wife does, or – even worse, in my opinion – how you’re supposed to feel while doing all that you are required to do.

I’m able to see this clearly today only because I drank way more espresso than I ought to have yesterday and managed to get all the things done while still having an abundance of time to spend with my son, had dinner waiting for my husband when he arrived home, and even had the leftover gumption to make cupcakes.

That is not usual. Not usual at all.

I end most days smelling like I haven’t had a shower (because I haven’t), covered in either baby food, spit up, or milk (usually some combination of all three), exhausted, and wondering if I did enough.

But I also end every day with a child I did my best for, a husband I love, and a chance to do all of those things I didn’t quite get around to tomorrow.

And so do you. 



In Which We Tackle Parenting Advice


Every single parent among us knows the feeling of unsolicited advice.

It’s not always avoidable, especially when it’s Grandma telling you exactly how she parented some sixty years ago when your parents were young. There is no nice way to tell her that rubbing whiskey on your babe’s gums is not so perfectly acceptable anymore, so you’ll have to field those wacky tidbits of golden wisdom yourself.

Today, let’s talk about another kind of unsolicited advice, the kind evokes a response of teeth gritting, tongue biting, and general angst…

Unsolicited advice from absolute and total strangers.

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In Which I Let Go of the Blame

ImageBaby S, 4 1/2 months, waking up with Anachrodad.

Today, I’ve woken up with a renewed sense of determination.

I’ve hit a bit of a slump with my depression in the past week or so, triggered by everyday life and made no better by my own outlook. I’ve suffered with the beast for many, many years, but somehow, the telltale signs never fail to sneak up on me; I become irritable, exhausted, lose my appetite, and boom, everything starts to feel like a ten pound bag of suck.

Of course, I tend to be a bit on the critical side when it comes to seeing these things in myself. My sneaky, cold inner critic has an answer for absolutely everything.

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In Which I am a Hypocrite

I’m simply not the type of person who makes New Year’s resolutions.

I don’t see the appeal in promising to do something simply because it’s time to turn the calendar, though I know some people wholeheartedly disagree. I won’t quote any disheartening statistics on the rate of failure resolutions so frequently carry with them or any other disparaging facts; if it gives you motivation and drives you to be the best you can be, who am I to knock that?

A hypocrite, that’s who.

Why am I a hypocrite? Because I may have accidentally stumbled into making a resolution of my own.

I’ve always been a very appearance conscious individual, and someone who has the most amazing fun playing with new cosmetics. My eyebrows are fastidiously groomed, my makeup painstakingly and carefully applied, my outfits considered in advance. It sounds lovely when you put it that way, as though it’s some merit badge of my simply having it together.

That pithy description leaves out the fact that I feel horrid should one of those key components of ‘togetherness’ fall to the wayside. I am guilty of having serious anxiety about leaving my house without makeup, feeling as though I need it in order to say to the world, “yes, I am okay. Yes, things are fine. No, I am not sad, tired, angry, hungry, frustrated, human. I am fine.”

Somewhere along the line, my rouge and eyeliner turned into armor and just stopped being any fun.

When you’re nervous to go barefaced the man you love, the man you’ve promised to spend your life with, the man who watched all the gory details of you birthing his son into the world…

When you realize you’re brandishing perfectly arched brows and contoured foundation as a weapon of self defense…

It hits you that it’s really not fun anymore. 

So, no more. I’ve realized my pitfall, and I’m going to dig my way out of it. Perhaps this, like all other resolutions and self improvement plans, will be much more difficult to put into action than to sit around musing about, and no one’s saying I’m chucking my makeup collection out with the trash, either.

What I am saying, what I am promising, is that I’m done feeling like I need to wear it when I know logically that it just isn’t true.

I was put here to be a mother to by son, a wife, a sister, an aunt, a writer, a blogger, an artist… So many things. I wasn’t put here to be a beautiful beacon of post-maternal allure sponsored by Cover Girl.

And that’s okay.