The transition from full-time, working (outside the home) mom to stay-at-home mom has not been a seamless one for this girl. As I’ve written before, I knew staying home would be a world away from going to work each day, but nothing could have prepared me for just how different it would be. Over the last three months, I’ve made some observations about my new position (Operations Manager, I like to call it), and life. Here’s what: My hands are always wet. Between chopping fruits and veggies, wiping up spills, and washing the 8000 parts that comprise my toddler’s sippy cups, you can … [more...]

While my husband and I were dating, I kept my apartment tidy and well decorated. I was keeping up a well put together facade. Then one day he opened the door to my hall closet, and his head barely missed the avalanche of items not so neatly stored away. Despite his discovery, he married me anyway. I’d like to say that since we both work, the household chores are divided fifty-fifty, but that is simply not true. He does all of the things that I’m too lazy to do, and he thinks of a million others that wouldn’t even occur to me. He even planted a vegetable garden. I don’t think I’ve … [more...]

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about fear. In the past, and even today, I let it hold me back. When I’m not sure I’ll be able to do something perfectly, or I fear things won’t work out the way I’d like, I avoid whatever that thing is. Most recently, I’ve been avoiding an exam I need to take in order to become certified in my field (in the state my family and I just moved to). The exam, a secondary mathematics exam, has nothing to do with my work as a school psychologist, but rules are rules, and I have to take it. Linear and nonlinear functions, exponents, equations (shudder)- just typing … [more...]

By Liz McGrory You should make more time for yourself. You should wake up at 5am to exercise. You should have a memory box for each child which includes every detail of their life starting with the hospital identification wrist band they wore as a new born. Sigh. We are not perfect. Why is it that we attempt to fulfill all the "shoulds" that the world throws at us? Byron Katie said it best in her book, Loving What Is: In reality, there is no such thing as a "should" or a "shouldn't." These are only thoughts that we impose onto reality. Where reality is concerned, there is no … [more...]

My daughter turned 10 yesterday, and our gift to her was a smartphone. This was a big decision, and it's one that a lot of families find tricky. We know people with children younger than ours who have phones. I also know that many of my daughters' friends will not be allowed to have phones until they are much older. Our decision was based on a lot of factors, not the least of which was that she has already been using a hand-me-down iTouch, which does everything a smartphone does, except for make phone calls. The iTouch is so outdated, though, that it won't support a lot of her newer games. … [more...]

This post is going to be about not taking your spouse for granted. However, I’d like to start by bringing up my mother. Weird, right?   A few years ago, my daughter received a beautiful bed for her room. My friend’s daughter no longer needed it, as at the age of twelve, having a pink and purple castle bed that reached the ceiling was not cool. We measured the dimensions of the room, rather inaccurately, before receiving the bed to make sure it would fit. My mother’s advice, after seeing picture of this thing, was to make sure the ceiling was tall enough.   “Mom! I am … [more...]

Do you have a mentor? Or have you ever mentored someone else? Chances are, the answer is no. That's according to this recent research conducted by Development Dimensions International (DDI), which shows many mid- to senior-level businesswomen have never had a formal mentor—even though mentoring is widely considered a critical component to career success.  Why mentoring matters Since women often have difficulty building social capital at work, mentoring is even more critical to their success, DDI's research shows. Mentoring is essential to practical experience sharing, to passing … [more...]

I know a lot of stay-at-home moms and for the most part, I find that we have a mutual respect for the other's daily challenges. The "mommy wars" have been well documented throughout the years and many moms, including myself, don't really care for that term. Since the day I became a mom, it has astounded me that women throw daggers at each other for choosing different paths in life. I can't say that I have been immune to ever feeling "justified" or "superior" for criticizing someone's choice of mothering, and let's be honest we all do it at some point. What I have discovered about myself is … [more...]

With published research stating that clutter causes anxiety, confusion, and depression, it’s no wonder that participants in a recent survey conducted by the green cleaning leader, Maid Brigade, say that an organized and clutter-free home is the #2 factor influencing their overall well-being. For me, just knowing the clutter is there bothers me. And seeing it up close and personal? Let's just say I have fantasies about grabbing my family, running out the door and leaving it all behind for a brand-new empty house where we can just start over. Clutter is hard to deal with, especially once it … [more...]

I was having a conversation with my 16 year old daughter the other day about parenting.  She definitely had some thoughts of her own on parenting 101 and I want to share them here: 1) We don't say how much we love and appreciate you guys till someone or something blatantly points it out or sheds light on the fact that you are amazing and deserve our praise. 2) We love you! 3) When you tell us NOT to do something ... that becomes all we want to then do with a burning passion - (how ironic and true this really is). 4) The older we get, the more freedom you should allow us.  Don't … [more...]