By Carolyn Barnes As busy working moms, it’s hard enough remembering to buy toilet paper, let alone finding the time to shave our legs. We’re often meeting everyone else’s needs but our own. As a result, we feel overwhelmed, overstressed, overtired, and overloaded. We are over functioning! I’m a very busy mom and a former expert in excuse making. That said, I came up with a solution that’s excuse-proof: the cLEAN Momma Lifestyle Program and TASKERCISE™. It's all about maximizing your time by combining exercise with your daily tasks. My thought is, hell, if we are already sitting at our … [more...]

Tomorrow morning I am returning to work after maternity leave—again. Actually, since this post will publish in the morning, by the time you read this it will be Monday and I will be fighting to get myself and two kids dressed and out the door, fighting the traffic on my commute, and fighting the tears that are inevitable. Say a kind thought for me friends, this week is going to be a doozy. I've written about returning to work after maternity leave before. Several people have made comments that this time should be easier, since I've done it before. But here's the thing: having experienced … [more...]

As Halloween draws near, our family loves to watch both classic and new family friendly TV shows and Halloween movies on Netflix (streaming only—we don't do the DVDs by mail anymore). Looking for some new recommendations to add to your queue? Netflix doesn't make it super easy to find Halloween-oriented shows, so I did the homework for you and unearthed some real gems. Here are 27 spooky (but not too scary) Halloween favorites currently available to stream on Netflix. Click on any of the titles for a direct link to watch instantly (if you have a subscription, of course). Halloween … [more...]

Life is hard. Not just for working moms, but for everybody. Being a parent is hard, too. But God bless those kids of ours. As challenging, annoying and needy as children are, they just ooze love. Don't they? Sometimes, when life gets hard and I feel like I'm sucking at just about everything, I realize how much love I get from my kids each day. And damn if I'm not the luckiest person in the world. I urge you to stop beating yourself up right now for your messy house. Your expanding waistline. Your bills piling up. Recognize that love staring you right in the face, and rejoice in … [more...]

Motherhood is a trip where you never quite feel you’re in the clear. As soon as you get through one crazy curve, you’re careening into the next one. And the tools that once helped you navigate often don’t work anymore. Or they do, but you have to MacGyver them into something almost completely new—to the point where you sometimes feel grateful you’re still on the road at all. The moms with pre-teens on this blog were chatting about how we feel we’ve outgrown the kind of mom guilt that our name seems to imply. We don’t agonize over things like daycare as much as we once did. We feel more … [more...]

I love it when a family creates something cool together. My family doesn't do nearly enough of this, because we're all too "busy" doing "things" so much of the time. Once in a while, we make something, like this fused glass workshop Cassie and I did together earlier this year. When I saw this video promoting a new mobile app, I was totally inspired to get cracking on my family's creativity front. I think you will, too: Back in the day, Jon Alexander (the dad featured in this video) and I worked together at an ad agency. I didn't know him well, but I knew he was uber creative, a … [more...]

The Enterovirus 68 is making headlines as it’s the culprit behind many seriously ill children in the Midwest and potentially beyond. Hospitals, including the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, report admitting record numbers of patients over the past week, many stricken with the uncommon and nasty virus. Most at-risk to be affected by Enterovirus D68 are those with a history of asthma or other weakened systems. So, how can a busy working mom help to prevent your children from becoming ill? According to Dr. Derek Wheeler, associate chief of staff at the Cincinnati Children’s … [more...]

A few weeks ago, I was invited to join a small lunch-and-learn event at the local YWCA. Along with a group of Cincinnati-based bloggers, I learned about the organization's mission ("Eliminating racism, empowering women") and how they help women and children dealing with domestic violence. Really valuable and important stuff. I meant to write about it, but after the luncheon, I got distracted by work, family, the usual, and it fell off my radar. After reading, hearing and seeing what Baltimore Ravens player Ray Rice did to his then fiancee (now wife) Janay, intimate partner violence … [more...]

Is it just me, or has the whole "back to school" season become one more competition to show just how awesome of a mom you are? From the uber-specific school supply lists we're supposed to source (reference this "artisanal" list of school supplies on The Science of Parenthood if you need a laugh on this subject) to back-to-school teacher gifts and parties(!) people are planning on Pinterest, I feel like the mompetition is getting a little out of control. I'm volunteering to be the voice of sanity and reason for all us working moms (and SAHMs, for that matter) who will be settling for … [more...]

After 41 grueling weeks of pregnancy and a long multi-day induction, my husband and I recently welcomed a new baby girl, Kendall, into our family. From there it was inevitable, I was going to have to leave the hospital filled with helpful and caring nurses and delicious meals on-demand to head home and face life as a mother of two young children. Kendall is a month old today, so I'm still new to life with two kids. That said, here are my thoughts so far on bringing home baby number two. Foreigner lied: It doesn't feel like the first time. When I gave birth to my first child it was the … [more...]