Meet Norman

About 9 years ago, when Aden was just over a year old, I had a very rare health issue pop up. I had a pregnancy in my ovary. They are so rare, they get lumped in with ectopic pregnancies- they don’t have an “official” name for them.  I don’t know exact stats, but something like 3% of pregnancies are ectopic and less than 1% of those are in the ovary (certainly correct my stats- I’m simply recalling from when it happened). The pregnancy was not viable since it was outside of the uterus and, honestly, I didn’t even know I was pregnant until I was at the ER with intense abdominal pain. The pregnancy had ruptured my ovary and I was bleeding internally- almost 2 liters of blood to be exact. I was rushed into surgery, the rupture was corrected, bleeding stopped, and pregnancy removed. There was no way to save the pregnancy and given my current state, the focus was to make sure I made it through surgery.

It took a while, but I recovered and worked through the psychological side of coming that close to not making it through. I didn’t even deal with the pregnancy side of it and didn’t realize it was an issue until we got pregnant with Asher. We were thrilled at the prospect of expanding our family and when we found out it was another boy, we joked that the baby we lost was probably a girl. That’s when I had to work through the idea of this lost child. I knew that in no way would that pregnancy have survived- it ruptured before they even operated. But it was weird thinking that there was a baby in there that we never met.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago. As I was putting Asher to bed and we were chatting about his day, he told me about his friend Norman. To my knowledge, we do not know any Norman’s in our day to day life, so this was a new name to me. We talk through a few things about Norman (mostly me checking to see if this might be a real person). I began thinking this was his new imaginary friend. So, I learn he likes dinosaurs and wants to be like his mom and dad when he grows up- “they stick together” was Asher’s comment of what they do. I then ask him when I can meet Norman and he tells me that I can’t meet him. When I asked why, he said because Norman is his little brother. I tell him he has a little sister, not a little brother. He replied, “last time he came out of your belly when you weren’t there”.  I ask him when did Norman come out of my belly- he said before Ariah. I asked it was before him and he said yes, after Aden. He said Norman is a happy boy who visits him while he is sleeping. Now, I know this is probably just the ramblings of a toddler, but it did bring a sense of peace to that whole situation. Although it’s unlikely we would have named him Norman (it doesn’t fit the vowel pattern of naming we have), I guess it was a boy? So, what do you think- imaginary friend or a special visit?

Counting Down!

The countdown is on. Only 4 weeks (or likely less) until we welcome baby #4 into the family. This has by far been my toughest pregnancy. I’m not sure if it’s because of my “advanced maternal age” or because it’s a girl this time. Either way, it’s not been pretty. Aside from the physical challenges I’ve had this time (I feel like I’m perpetually riddled with arthritis, a bum hip, a bad back and the list goes on), my emotions are all over the board. Laughing one minute, crying the next, irritable after that. Hubs is supportive, but at a loss. The boys I’m sure are sick of it. I am proud to say that I’ve at least managed to keep the tears to a minimum at work- or been able to shut my office door! My apologies to all caught in my emotional crossfire.

This time around it’s been different, perhaps due to my roller coaster of emotions, but the engagement by others is just not the same. I’m guessing that it’s probably my less than cordial, don’t touch my belly unless I know you well or you’re invited, demeanor? Who knows? But sometimes it’s a little sad because I feel like maybe I’m just not as welcoming about receiving questions. I was really feeling bummed about this. I mean, we’re having our first girl and I can only shoot daggers at anyone inquiring? That doesn’t seem celebratory on my part.

Apparently that only applies to adults. I was recently at Target (sans kids!) picking some items up, one of which was diapers. I’m browsing the diaper aisle, befuddled as usual at the fact that they have every single size of the diaper brand/style I want, except the size I need. I’m digging around the shelf looking in case some got buried. There was a mom also nosing around looking for diapers as well. She had a little baby boy and a pre-school age girl with her. The girl I notice keeps looking at me. I smile at her and go about digging around for diapers. What happened next melted my heart, and I believe horrified her mother.

Girl: “That’s my baby brother”, she states his name and points to the little boy in the cart.

Me: “Wow, that’s great! I bet you like being a big sister?”

Girl: “Yes, and I have a bigger sister too.” She gives her name too.

Me: “That’s great. You’re lucky to have a sister and a brother.” I’m amused at this point but also don’t want to get too personal because that would be weird and you never know how people will react. I notice she keeps looking at my belly. “I have 3 big boys at home and now there is a baby girl in my belly!”

Girl: “I bet she makes noise. Mom I can hear her baby making noise.” At that moment, she skips over to me and places her ear on my belly. “Mom, I hear her baby moving!” Her mom is beyond horrified, apologizes, and tells her she needs to always ask permission.

Me: “Not even an issue. In fact, that made my day.” I couldn’t stop smiling. I really wanted to be able to reassure the mom as much as possible that it really was okay. But, I get it because I know some people that would not be okay with that. But for me, I loved the innocent enthusiasm. It was a welcome change. So, when I have my ridiculous instants of emotions, I go back to that moment and the joy she had to “hear the baby” and am happy I was able to be part of that moment, and that my baby girl could be as well.

Grandpa Green

This may not be a normal “working mom” post, but we all have loved ones we lose, working moms or not. I really don’t know another way to honor my grandpa- besides making choices that wouldn’t have him hollering “Judas Priest”!

People that knew grandpa before grandma died knew he was a goofball. Not one ounce of him cared what people thought. He was always in the moment, enjoying life. He retired from the post office when I was 4, so I really only knew the “retired” grandpa. I can’t speak to how grandma and grandpa were as parents. I assume they were fine- my mom and her siblings turned out to be successful, productive people. But, I can tell you, he loved being grandpa.

He was very passionate about taking care of his home and yard. You knew better than to touch the walls going up and down the stairs at their house. I laugh because my parents wouldn’t say boo about the boys touching the walls. If they did that at grandpa’s house, they would for sure get one booming warning before getting a good ol’ fashioned lickin’. You didn’t mess with his grass either- that was his summer hobby. He liked woodworking too. He even built custom Barbie furniture for his granddaughters. Of course he painted them bright green- that may have been the only paint color he had now that I think of it…

As much as he loved us, you didn’t mess around with him. When he said something, he meant business. I, being the oldest, of course had to test the waters with him. My most vivid memory was when he and grandma were over watching me and my brother. My mom had explicitly told me to not go to my friend’s house a block over. I, thinking grandpa was too old to catch me, decided to run over there. I mean, what was he really going to do?? Well, he chased me all the way to their porch (he ran way faster than I thought possible!). He carried me home, dangling me by one arm, swatting my butt the whole way. In today’s society, someone for sure would have called CPS. I’m pretty sure people in our neighborhood just looked and said “good for him”. Seriously though, I thought that he was going to beat me senseless.


Christmas was always a very special time with him. I think he loved getting the grandkids riled up on Christmas Eve telling us Santa was on the roof. We would plaster our noses on the window trying to look. Now that I think of it, that was actually one of the few times he didn’t yell at us about getting our fingers or faces on the window. Of course, he would usually do that after he had had a few adult beverages with the parents and neighbors. I remember Grandpa and his neighbor Tony having a great time together on Christmas Eve. The party didn’t start until Tony and Virginia came over. Even as a kid, I knew that was when things would get fun. Those memories of Christmas Eve are so nostalgic for me. I even told Hubs that this Christmas didn’t feel the same because that whole dynamic is different. But I suppose that is part of growing up.

Grandpa was always active too. He kept walking regularly even after retiring and managed to stay in pretty good shape (see above comments about him chasing me). He would often play Trac Ball with us in the backyard or ride around the yard on my brothers moped (that usually happened after a few adult beverages as well).

I remember when I told him I was dating hubs. He was not happy. Like many in his generation, plus from a smaller town, he didn’t quite understand the idea of an interracial relationship. I asked him to at least meet him and then to form his own opinion. So, when they met, I mentioned that hubs was a history major (this was well before med school) and that he was also in the Marine Corps (Grandpa was in the Navy and Army and very proud of his service time). Grandpa did manage to put him through the ringer a bit, he asked a lot of questions, but by the end of the day, they were swapping war stories and hubs was relentlessly picking his brain about all of his experiences. And of course them both being named “Robert” didn’t hurt! I joke with him that I think grandpa liked him more than me! I can remember going over there and they would sit for hours sifting through old documents while grandma and I would sit there and smile.


The other thing he loved a lot was grandma. As an outsider you may not know it- they bickered ALL THE TIME. Grandpa yelling “Judas Priest June!” and she retorting “Oh shut up Bob!”. It often served as our entertainment growing up. Probably the most memorable moment was the Christmas before grandma died. We were all playing cards- all the grandkids, spouses, grandma, and grandpa. They started arguing about which way you deal the cards- do you deal to the right or to the left? I mean really arguing. Like we were laughing and peeing our pants because these two were so serious about which way to deal the cards. The best part is that we all still laugh about it. In fact, I don’t think we can all play cards without mentioning it.

When she died, honestly, he died with her. He really wasn’t the same again. He didn’t know how to function. So, for the last 9 years, we’ve had a different version of grandpa. Sometimes, he was hard to love. Sometimes, he was just plain annoying. Most of the time, he was just not the same. So, when he passed away earlier this month, I was surprised. Mostly because it’s what he’s been saying he wanted since grandma died and no matter how much he smoked and his health failed, he just seemed to be hanging on. So, I believe grandpa got what he wanted for Christmas, to be with grandma again. We just hope she was ready for him!

Maternity/Paternity Leave

Today marks my 2 year “blogiversary”. I thought I would “celebrate” by posting something a little different- but still related to being a working mom. I started this post over a year ago, long before my current pregnancy. I’m interested to hear feedback and/or discussion regarding this topic, although I know it can be sensitive, especially in our current political climate. So, for those that partake- enjoy, it’s my opinion and only supported by articles and blogs I’ve read online. Don’t expect it to be a thesis….

I don’t typically post controversial stuff on my blog. Well, unless you consider me working and having kids controversial, but then why read a working mom blog in the first place? Either way, I’ve noticed a topic that has popped up in the news on several occasions. No, I’m not talking about political candidate rhetoric. I’m referring to paid time off for the birth or adoption of a child. Now, I cannot speak about adoption because I’ve never gone through that process. However, aside from the fact that the baby comes from someone else’s uterus, you still have the emotional roller coaster, extreme lifestyle change and the “getting to know you” phase of a new person to take care of. So, it still applies. But, I’ll save that topic for people that have the experience to speak from that perspective. And for my male readers- I’ll cover my thoughts on paternity leave, just be patient, I’ll get to it.

If you look at the recent companies that have changed their policies regarding leave, the bulk of them are tech or “trendy” companies. They are looking to attract and keep, good talent. When talking with people, especially those that live outside of the US, most are appalled by our current leave policy- or lack of policy- in most cases. I’ve heard conversations on both sides of this- and have read the many comments on some of these articles which include valid arguments on both sides, along with ignorant, troll-like responses. So, because I can only speak about what I know, here are my thoughts on paid leave for parents.

I was fortunate enough to work for companies where I qualified for FMLA (12 weeks of leave with job protection) and that paid me for 6 weeks at 66% of my salary. Now, don’t get me wrong, I say that I was fortunate because a lot of people I’ve read about worked places where they had far less time, were not under FMLA, and did not receive any pay. That is unfortunate. I often think about the idea that when you have an employee who gets the flu, you send them home. You don’t risk them spreading the virus to others which can cause a huge decrease in productivity when you have several people out. I get it, getting pregnant is not contagious. But, attitude and morale are- and maybe more so. If your employee comes back to work depressed, stressed, and tired, that does not help anyone. If the employee is worth keeping, it’s worth offering perks that keep them there.

I do consider myself lucky. I could have not gotten paid, and I don’t know about you, but coming out of college with student loans does not lend a lot of flexibility to “saving up”. Not to mention all of the new “grown up” things that were then added. Plus, how in the world do you know how much to save? I mean, you can save enough for your medical costs (assuming you have a perfect, no issue birth) and then several months of money to cover living expenses (again, assuming that nothing goes wrong while you’re off). But even then, it would have taken hubs and I, on our meager salaries starting out, years to save the amount of money to cover the medical costs (roughly $5-8K for Elijah which was the most normal birth we had) and the household expenses for 3-6 months. Yes I know, it’s our fault we took out student loans, had a car payment, mortgage, utilities, food, etc. We could not have afforded to have any more time off unpaid. I only took the paid 6 weeks off to not affect our budget any more than it already had been. I was also lucky enough to not have any lingering health issues so returning at 6 weeks, although still too early in my opinion, was more doable than having to go back any earlier.

So, there is the financial side of this argument. Sure I suppose you can prepare for that technically. But what you cannot prepare for is the physical side of the process. Forget about the pregnancy itself, morning sickness, fatigue, and any other ailments pregnant women often experience. Let’s talk about the actual delivery. A good delivery would allow a woman to go into the hospital, labor for a short period of time and then pop out the baby. No IV needed, no drugs, no stitches and minimal bleeding. But, let’s be real. How often does that happen? Going by the number of women that I’ve known who have had babies, deliveries seldom go that way. Think about it, you are pushing a baby- typically the size of a small watermelon (if you’re lucky), through a part of the body that is substantially smaller than that. There is bound to be some scrambling of things happening there. The body goes through extreme pain and contortion (it feels like that anyway) in order to get the baby out. If not naturally, you end up with an incision in your lower abdomen. So, stitches in your abdomen or in your lady parts, either way, not fun.

Hearing all of that fun, messy stuff, can we talk about the fact that it is really only a woman who can have the baby? I’ve heard the argument that it’s not a company’s responsibility to provide paid leave for their employees, it’s a privilege. That’s correct, it is a privilege. However, why wouldn’t a business offer paid time off for employees. Let’s think about this. We have to assume that the employee having the baby is a good employee- otherwise why are they still employed there? Not to mention, the only employee that can physically give birth, is a woman. So for those that argue that if you can’t afford the time off, then don’t have a baby: that would limit a LOT of women to having babies when they’re young before entering the workforce (again assuming there are no financial challenges- see my remark about student loans), waiting until they retire (hello biological clock) or heck, why not just stay home and not work? It seems a little sexist considering women are the only ones that can actually perform the process of birthing. Again- adoption aside for this particular argument. I even heard comments along the lines of “that’s why women shouldn’t work”, but I’ll save those for another forum. I’m not interested in entertaining thoughts from the 1950’s at this moment in time.

Having said all of this, I’m not saying it only applies to women. It should be the same for men as well. What better support system than to have your other half there to help you when you’re exhausted, sore, emotional, etc.? Besides, it really wouldn’t be fair to say that only women can get this benefit. Yes, they go through the bulk of the process (remember my watermelon example) but men should be allowed to also have that bonding time with the newest family member. There is value in having full participation from all parents involved.

What could the down sides be? Your worker, who again I assume is a good worker as they are still employed, will come back re-energized and ready to contribute? The partner of that worker comes back knowing they were able to be there for some irreplaceable moments with their newest family member? This has been a very hot topic with a LOT of opinions, I get that. But I do also recognize our society is changing in a big way. People are yearning for more of a balance in their life. They want a rewarding career but also are seeing the value of having a family and not waiting until they are in their 40’s. I also understand that there are some businesses that cannot afford to provide this type of benefit. Maybe it’s time to look at other examples across the globe to see what works or doesn’t work. I’m writing about this not because I’ve been through this 3 times, and am about to go through this again. But because I hurt for those that are having children without any resources, or want children, and cannot because we as the leading country in the world, cannot put ourselves in others shoes and show understanding or empathy for people in situations different than ours. We can do better than that, if even making an effort to discuss in a civilized manner. It has to start somewhere.



Big News!

I’ve been holding off on writing until we had everything confirmed and okay. We are excited to announce…our Baby Girl will be here in February!

The boys are thrilled and hubs and I are both in shock. I really thought our baby factory only made boys, so I was mentally preparing to be the only girl from here on out. We had always wanted 4 kiddos and knew that this was it. Boy or girl, it didn’t matter. Imagine my surprise when we found out it was a girl! Speaking of which, did you know that if you’re 35 or older, that’s considered to be of “advanced maternal age”? Well, because I have a dusty uterus, I was able to do the blood test at 10 weeks and find out what we were having. I really had a hard time believing it until we saw her lady parts on the ultrasound today (thus the delayed post). So, now I’m convinced (mostly) and preparing to better understand what this whole dynamic will be.

One of the most interesting things that I’ve encountered so far in my pregnancy- aside from the wicked hormonal changes- are all of the comments people have. Here are a few we’ve heard- but I would love to hear what others may have been told!

When someone hears that we’re having baby #4, these are responses we’ve heard:

  • “Are you Catholic?” Because apparently only Catholic people have more than 2.5 children?
  • “Wow, was that planned?” I’m not sure when that is ever a good question for anyone. I’m sure it’s not your business either way.
  • “How in the world do you do it?” You mean make the baby or manage the household? Those are 2 very different answers. I refer you to your parents or some knowledgeable adult for the first, and for the managing of the household, LOTS of communication is best.
  • “What in the world will you do if it’s a boy?” Geez, I don’t know. Maybe send him off to be raised by wolves? I mean seriously!? At this point, what is one more boy in this household?? I just would have needed more socks and Band-Aids.
  • “Don’t you hope it’s a girl?” I can’t lie, sure I was hoping it was a girl, but was preparing for a boy (see above comments). But most of all, I wanted a healthy baby. Honestly, I was a little freaked out the first week or two after finding out it’s a girl. It’s sounds so different from boys, but I’m sure I’ll figure it out.
  • “Why would you want another one? Four is a lot.” Well, why do you want 2, or 1, or none? How about we refer to the earlier comment about it not being your business.
  • “How will you afford 4 kids?” Again, I refer you to the “not your business” comment. But if you just must know, we don’t say yes to everything and we try our best to live below our means. Which, while in medical school, means we don’t get to do super fun stuff all the time. It’s OKAY to say no!

There have been more, these are just a few of the common questions I’ve had. Apparently 4 kids is a tipping point in today’s society. Either way, we’re not letting anyone rain on our parade- I can just write about it and move on. Fingers are crossed and we’re praying that when the time comes for her to arrive, hubs will be at least able to get away from his rotation to be there in time. That just may be a fun blog post too!


When Will It End?

I don’t typically write controversial stuff. I woke up last night and checked my phone to see what time it was. I saw a bunch of news updates about the shootings in Dallas. Coupled with the recent shootings of civilians, my heart was heavy. I tried going back to sleep and couldn’t. So, I started typing.

I’m not sure if living in Minnesota makes it different. We’re closer to what has happened. If we lived in Maine or Montana, maybe it would be easier to say how unfortunate it was and what a crazy world we live in. But we live so close. So close that hubs was actually pulled over twice in a month in that same jurisdiction for minimal reasons. It hits very close to home. Proximity to the events shouldn’t matter, but I feel often it’s easier to just change a channel or turn off social media and pretend nothing terrible has happened. We have a problem. We as a country. Is it the culture of the police forces, the frustration of the black citizens? Where does it stop? How and when can we “start over”? I get that some were “justified” (rightly or not- I’m strictly speaking based on the findings of the legal system). But how, even when you do what you’re told, you still get shot. How can that help? How can we move past that? Are police trigger happy because they’re expecting the worst? Are black citizens on edge because they’re assuming they’re going to get shot and ultimately the energy becomes fatal?

It is not just about being confronted by police and getting shot. It starts before that. It’s about being singled out because of the pigment of your skin. About having a higher chance of getting pulled over because you aren’t as pasty white as me. Hubs was on his way to an ambulance ride along for school. He was dressed in business casual (not that it should even matter). It was early in the morning, still dark out. As he was nearing the hospital, he got pulled over for burnt out taillight. After a few preliminary questions, he was given a warning and left. A few weeks later, in that same jurisdiction, he was pulled over because a small part of the tag on the license plate was behind the license plate holder (apparently that’s a thing we weren’t aware of in MN). Why wasn’t it addressed in the first stop? Thank GOD the incidents were eventless. He was covered, lucky, blessed, whatever you want to call it- but he walked away.

I fear for him, my 3 boys and our countless friends and family. I have family and friends who are police officers, both black and white. I fear for them. I fear because I don’t assume the police will always shoot. I fear because nowadays a simple misunderstanding can take a life. Has it become a shoot now, ask questions later society? I’m not saying that all police are trigger happy. People are angry. Angry at a system that that we’ve been taught is supposed to serve and protect, yet people are being killed with little cause in some cases. But how can you generalize a whole population of police based on the actions of some ill trained or bad apples? Isn’t that the same as generalizing the whole black population as thugs? The cycle has to stop- but where?

I know not everyone agrees. If you don’t see a problem with what has been happening, please take a moment and walk through this with me. Imagine you are minding your own business, driving home from a long day of work, and are pulled over. Imagine, instead of the officer simply asking for your ID, you’re asked to put your hands in the air. Of course you’re puzzled. This is just a routine traffic stop and you certainly have nothing to hide or to harm right? The police officer approaches the vehicle with caution and you can see that there is tension. You are asked to step out of the car. Seriously! For a traffic stop? You don’t understand and you begin to ask. “Officer, what is the problem? Is there something I should be aware of?” The officer, feeling that you’re asking too many questions, asks you to put your hands behind your head and to stop talking. Because you’re puzzled and wondering what the heck is going on, you ask again. This time, the officer, feeling that you’re resisting the instructions, escorts you to the ground roughly. Your arm hurts, it’s pinned behind your back and you are still in shock as to why this is even happening. You should be sitting at home right this minute with your spouse, children, pets, whatever. You should not be on the ground, outside of your car, pinned by a police officer that is now shouting at you to sit still and quit resisting. Still not understanding how it has even escalated to this point, you ask again what is happening. Now you feel a weapon on your back. You are getting verbal warnings to stop talking. A simple misunderstanding, confusion, and it could end very badly. This was a routine traffic stop. Imagine now, that the person in this scenario is your child, your sibling. Can you begin to understand how terrifying this is for parents? For spouses? Families?

As a country, we need prayer, lots of it. We need to come together, ALL of us, and have a grown up discussion. Instead of talking about the symptoms, we need to talk about the actual disease that is plaguing our nation. We need to have a civilized discussion where all opinions can be heard and respected. Where people can talk openly without repercussions and criticism. We need people to step outside of their comfortable zones and see what is really happening. It’s easy to turn away and pretend this chaos does not exist. When you don’t feel it or know someone who could be a target, it’s easy to just nod politely and go about your business.

Also, do not misunderstand me. I am in NO WAY saying that one person’s life is more important than another. Historically black Americans were seen as “less than”. That perception, that has been dragged into modern day, in a nonchalant kind of way, needs to end. Black, white, police, civilian- we are all equal.

We cannot correct this issue until ALL people start to understand it and have sympathy of what is going on. I’ve had so many people tell me that racism doesn’t exist, racial profiling is fake. That is the ignorance that fuels this fire! I will be praying for our leaders, current and incoming. I’m praying that this might be addressed as passionately as the economy and terrorism. If we as a community, a state, a nation, do not push to make a change, when will it end?

Bottling Up Moments

I was recently putting Asher to bed thinking about how wonderful it felt to have him melt into me while sleeping. I mean, we were basically glued together by snot and spit, and it was wonderful. It also made me think about how much I missed and probably took those moments for granted with the bigger boys. It feels like a decade ago. Well, it has been a decade! I was thinking about how awesome it would be to bottle up each of those precious moments we have. Capture everything from the smells, sounds, feels and emotions. The feeling of the chubby legs folded over my lap while his warm drooling cheek lays on my shoulder. The smell of baby wipes, Shea butter soap and bag balm (the best alternative for butt cream EVER- seriously, I had someone hug me after a suggestion to try it). All of those senses molded into one bottle that can be opened at a moment’s notice. Maybe when he goes to kindergarten, or graduates high school. Or, gulp, gets married. You know, like in the BFG by Roald Dahl. The BFG had the ability to capture everyone’s dreams and can then use them as needed. How awesome would it be to capture those moments in life that we want to cherish forever? And then when you need a reminder or are feeling emotional, you can open it up and live it all over again. Not just visually or by hearing it, but by feeling it.

As a mom, it’s hard to always remember to embrace every moment. Outside of working away from home, there are so many things that are consuming time when I get home. Dinner, homework, baths, school clothes, laundry, just to name a few. Notice I didn’t even mention cleaning. I suppose that falls in there as well. Everyone always says to embrace the moment, time passes so fast, <insert Hallmark line here>. But, on the flip side, there is this underlying expectation that standards need to be met in order to be a successful mom and feel like you’ve accomplished something. People can see your clean house, taste your good food and evaluate the completed homework. No one may see that you rocked the baby for an extra 20 minutes just to smell their recently washed hair, or told the kiddos a crazy, homemade bed time story before bed. We count everything in minutes of a day. It’s 30 minute to make dinner, 1 hour for homework, 8 hours of work, etc. We don’t necessarily count moments of the day. It’s easy to say that the kids have to go to bed now because I have an hour worth of laundry to fold. But really, what’s an extra 20 minutes to cuddle? You can’t bottle that up, but you sure can the laundry! And I don’t know about you, but I would love to bottle up that laundry and send it away! While I’m not saying live in squalor, I do believe instead of doing things we feel pressured to do, adjust the schedule with things we know will have a greater impact on how we feel about time and those moments that often pass us by.

The point of my bottled up soapbox is that until we can feel less pressure (real or not) about how we’re conducting ourselves as moms, we will not change. I’m so guilty of that. I see magazines that show me how a perfect house looks. How to “really clean” in only 30 minutes a week. Or how to make a healthy meal in only 10 minutes a day. There is a fix for everything, but limited time or resources to implement it. So, instead of saying “oh well” and not stressing over what I had planned on making for dinner, I’m making my 30 minute meal feeling guilty for the extra 20 minutes I could be using elsewhere. I’m sure not everyone feels the pressure from those types of articles. Heck, maybe I’m a glutton for punishment? I too get sucked into the depths of Pinterest on occasion looking for a better solution to dinner ideas, cleaning, school and whatever the stress of the moment is. I’m working on caring less about how things are structured and what others may think about how my house looks or what we’re having for dinner. But, it’s not easy when, based on conversations I’ve had with folks who like to “keep it real”, it appears most people are masquerading about the home front because it’s too embarrassing or too disappointing to admit they had cereal for dinner or had to rewash the items in the washer 3 times before remembering to put it in the dryer. When I hear that, I feel better knowing I’m not the only one. But then wonder too, how many other moms feel that pressure and we’re all too ashamed to say anything? So, while you ponder that, I am going to cuddle my baby!