Being a parent isn't easy. When you combine working and parenting, it's downright difficult. After working a full day, you have to come home, cook, clean and spend quality time with the kids, all while hoping to get some sleep that night.

My blog will provide encouragement, information, and hopefully a few laughs to support working parents (myself included). Sign up with your email address if you'd like to get that encouragement and information directly in your inbox!

**This blog is very new so check back often (or subscribe by email) as I add more information.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

We're addressing the mommy wars but what about the daddy bashing?

Am I the only one who finds the portrayal of dads on television and in the media to be completely ridiculous?

Everywhere I turn, I see daddy bashing happening. Even when shopping for baby clothes, it is prevalent. I snapped this picture when I was picking up a few items for my son. I understand that this is meant to be a joke but what does it say about a mother if she chooses a man who cannot even figure out how to dress a baby as the father of her child. Are those genes we want to carry on?

If I even hinted to my husband that I did not think he was able to do some of the care for our children, he would use that as an out and I would forever be completing that task on my own. I am too tired to give him that option!

Dads are not idiots. My husband had never held a baby before he met me but he is intelligent and figured it out without doing any harm to our children. He had to learn everything as he went.

Parenting is a time when we need to help and empower each other, not make dads feel stupid. There are enough opportunities to feel like you have no idea what to do when parenting. Even seasoned parents have difficulty at times.

Someone recently asked if we planned to have a third child. I was quick to tell them that we are not! It is not because my husband is an incompetent parent, he is an excellent dad. Personally, I cannot imagine letting our children outnumber us. That, to me, is just asking for trouble.

Let's stop worrying about whether a mom (or dad) stays home to care for their child or works outside of the home full time. Let's empower dads to be an equal parenting partner. Let's support each other in this wonderful, difficult adventure of parenting!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Saying No

I am the type of person who likes to be involved in many activities. I often volunteer (or get volunteered) to do different tasks for committees or groups that I participate in.

Recently, I gave in to guilt (and probably a little peer pressure) and accepted a board position to a newly developed foundation. Initially the time commitment seemed small so I was sure I could handle it.

With two small children at home and a full time job, I stay very busy so I am not sure why I think it is a good idea to take on so many new things. After a few missed emails and meetings I could not attend due to scheduling, I realized I needed to walk away from the board position to let someone else do it right.

This was not an easy decision for me. I do not like to quit things after making a commitment. I do, however, make an effort to give 100% so when that was not possible it made it easier to walk away. Spending time with my family (and sleeping) are much more important to me at this point in my life.

I have decided to be okay with saying "no" from now on. I am confident that small word will help me be a better mom and relax a little more.

Where do you draw the line to find balance in your life?

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Dreading Daylight Savings

When we bought our house almost three years ago, the old owners did not leave us the instruction booklets for the security system. I tried to locate some but then got distracted and, to this day, we have never had them. Because of this, for part of the year the clock on our alarm display is wrong.

This type of thing normally bothers me. I tend to struggle with things being out of place like that. It actually gives me some comfort, though, when I get up in the middle of the night to feed the baby and come back in our bedroom to see the time glowing and realizing it is an hour ahead. Obviously the time doesn't actually change when I see it, but in that tired moment it makes me feel better about my exhaustion.

Unfortunately, someone recently pointed out that we will soon have a time change due to daylight savings time. As a human, I hate daylight savings time but as a mother, I am not sure I will survive it. I understand the idea behind daylight savings time, but I still despise it. It seems like such a great thing in the fall when we "fall back" but in the spring that "springing ahead" is torture.

As a human, I hate daylight savings time. As a mother, I am not sure I will survive it.

My 4-year-old already acts like a teenager when it comes to sleep. He does not want to go to bed at night but he is too exhausted to get up in the morning. Now I will have to try to get him to do both an hour earlier. I do not see either going well.

The other part I find terribly unsettling is that we actually lose an hour. I, like most people, do not feel like I have an hour to lose. I already feel like there are not enough hours in the day and now I am losing one. The rational side of me knows that it is one hour of one day and we will eventually get it back when the time changes again in the fall, but the tired mother of an infant side of me knows that hour will come from my precious time for sleep, which is already pretty limited. That part of me wants to scream.

I know I will spend the first two weeks after the time change thinking things like, "My alarm is saying it is 6:00 am but I know it is actually 5:00 am" because that is what I always do. As if it isn't bad enough that the time changed, I have to rub it in... to myself. I am already exhausted just thinking about it. I would much rather they eliminate the occasional Monday if they must play with time. Okay, I know that does not make any sense but wouldn't it be nice?

As with all uncomfortable things, I know we will survive. But for now, I am going to wallow in my exhaustion.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

I should have said...

I had a really difficult time with child care for our infant. The issues I had are resolved now, but the situation had caused me a great deal of stress for awhile.

Recently, a colleague asked how things were going with child care. I briefly shared my frustrations and she said to me, "Well, you know how I feel about babies being away from their parents." I was shocked. Part of this person's job is to help families find child care. I did not expect her to have such strong feelings against it. I'm not usually at a loss for words but at that moment I could not think of anything to say. She had caught me off guard and I blanked.

I have thought about that conversation many times since then. I do not judge parents for leaving their careers and staying home with their children, why is it okay for others to judge me for working? The person who said that does not even have children. How can she have such a strong opinion when she has never been in this position?

I decided I would never get caught off guard like that again. I thought for awhile to come up with a witty statement in case I ever had a similar conversation in the future. 

After thinking about it for a bit decided that I did not need to offer anyone an explanation or any information about why we choose to send our children to child care. 

My kids are happy, smart and well-adjusted and my husband and I are doing what we feel is best for our children and our family as a whole. I do not need to defend our decision to anyone. Maybe that is what I'll say next time.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Do you have a child care back up plan?

It has been over a year since I ditched the commute and set up my home office. It's very rare that I come across any downfalls to being a remote employee. In the midst of the winter storm last week, my work from home status created a problem, though. When everyone else, including our child care, had a snow day, I still had to work.

The problem was, I had never bothered to come up with a child care back up plan. I know better, but because it's rare that a child care center closes, I had never taken the time to put a plan in place.

The first day was not too bad. My husband was able to take time off to keep our boys entertained. He had one call scheduled for the afternoon but we made it work by turning on the TV for the 3 year old (not my proudest parenting moment but what option did we have?) and I held our baby while listening to a conference call. Then we got the news that the child care center was going to be closed a second day. My husband had to work, although he would also be working from home that day. I planned to take time off but that did not work out how I planned. As soon as I logged onto my computer, I was bombarded with emails and meeting requests.

We survived but it certainly was not an ideal arrangement. We will be better prepared in the future.
Whether you use center-based child care, home-based care, a nanny or friends and family, you should have a plan in case they experience illness, a natural disaster or any other reason for not being available.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

In the kitchen with kids


I love cooking with children. It's always an adventure. They are learning so much but they don't even realize it. It's also a great way to multitask by spending time with your children while making dinner.

I have compiled all of my recipes into a binder with plastic protector pages. I have one for each of my sons. As they grow, I will add pictures of them cooking. I know they won't know the value of the cookbook until they're adults, but I am confident it will be a great gift some day.

Below is a chart with some of the things children are learning in the process, along with ways to encourage more opportunities for growth.

Even if you're not a great cook, you can have fun with your children in the kitchen. Your child will enjoy the one-on-one time and will treasure the memories forever.