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...]

You may have heard of the "summer slide," or the loss of learning that naturally occurs between the last day of one school year and the first day of the next. It's a normal occurrence, given that humans generally can't remember everything they've been taught, but too much of it is not so good. Working moms don't always have a lot of time to spend considering how much learning their children are retaining, and, often, their children are just fine anyway. But with summer starting to wind down, some WMAGs might be looking for a few (relatively) painless ways to clear the dust and debris from … [more...]

Is your daughter safe, or vulnerable? That’s a scary question. It’s also somewhat broad, intentionally. People share articles on Facebook all the time about parents who need to ‘back off’ and let their children have more freedom. I completely disagree. And I'm prepared to tell you why. Growing Up in the Good Old Days Back in the 80s, I could ride my bike, alone, around the neighborhood. At night. Or with my neighbors, two boys. We rode bicycles to the Convenience Store and bought baseball cards. I really liked hanging out with my neighbors. They were my age. They were nice. They were … [more...]

  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...]