a Mother’s Day not-to-do list

You know that scene in I Don’t Know How She Does It, where Sarah Jessica Parker is lying in bed running through The List . . . to-dos, to-buys, to-calls, to-check-ons, to-look-ups, to-remembers? Yup. That’s my life. Being a working mom means being a master of lists. When I’m organized and things are running smoothly, it’s always easier to find the time, energy and frame of mind for all the much more fun and more spontaneous parts of #momlife like snuggles, movie nights, bike rides, cooking experiments and pillow talk with my sweet 7 year-old Miss Girl.

But for all my lists of things I need to remember to do, I is also have a list of things I need to remember not to do. That one also makes life a lot easier, and it looks something like this:

Don’t Chase Perfection

I wish my life looked like Pinterest. I do. But it doesn’t. And it never will. And the moment I accepted that I’m not the kind of mom who makes adorable bento boxes for lunch, that a store-bought cake for the birthday party is fine and that kid clutter will never be contained in her bedroom or playroom, I gained the clarity to focus on the stuff that really matters.

Don’t Stress

As long as everyone is healthy and alive, everything else can be worked out. Couldn’t deal with the grocery store? Gas station milk works just fine. Laundry isn’t done? Nobody cares if she doesn’t wear a school uniform one random Tuesday. When you stop striving for perfection and apply some creative problem solving to daily tasks, you gain the confidence to handle the chaos in stride.

Don’t Compare

Nobody has their shit together. I promise. I know because I have actually been accused of it on a couple rare occasions. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. That mom you see at pick-up who’s always impeccably dressed and arrives on time in a car that doesn’t have smileys drawn in the dust on the back window or an explosion of toys and trash when she opens the door is probably grabbing take-out (again) on her way home to catch up on work while her kids watch Nick until way past their bedtime. Again.

Don’t Judge

And the flip side of making comparisons, which usually only make you feel bad about yourself, is to have an opinion about moms you think aren’t doing it as well as you (which can feel good in a totally superficial, not-your-best-self kind of way). Maybe Always Late Mom, whose kids are always disheveled is working extra hours because her husband was laid off and she has even less time for all the stuff that has to get done than you do. You never know.

So, Happy Mother’s Day to all the other working moms out there — you’re all killin’ it in your unique way!

(this was originally set to be part of a collection of Mother’s Day perspectives on being a working mom for my work blog, but only 2 of us contributed, so we decided to scrap the whole thing. lucky for me and this much-neglected blog!)

drivetime discussions: Miss Girl meets Queen Bey

mkay. so that thing i was writing about Melania last night? yeah, i’m completely done talking about that for right now. let’s talk about Beyoncé!

see the uncanny resemblance in the photos above? yeah, me neither. so you can imagine my utter surprise and amusement driving home from camp last night when this happened.

MG: (singing some mash-up of Run the World (Girls) and Formation)

me: what’s that?

MG: our song for our Friday performance.

me: Formation? you’re singing Formation? (obvs, a little mortified, my mind raced to whether i was gonna need to have a stern discussion with the Y.) you got hot sauce in your bag, girl?

MG: huh?

me: nevermind. so you know Beyoncé sings that.

MG: Beyoncé? who’s that?

me: (did we not just go through this during BET Awards?) really? i know you know who she is! look. (over the course of a few stoplights managed to pull up a Google image search on my phone and throw my arm in the backseat so she could see what turned up on my screen.)

MG: oh yeah. you know, that’s probably what i’m going to look like when i grow up. except with different eyes.

me: (eyes?? or EVERYTHING?? let’s see what she really meant . . .) different eyes? like how?

MG: well, you know. she has brown eyes and i have blue eyes. so that’s the only difference.

and with all the focus on tension caused by skin color lately, and all the divisiveness and highlighting of differences between people, i was once again completely amazed at, amused by and proud of my little girl who just honestly doesn’t see any difference between her and anyone else, no matter what color skin they have. so she identifies more with Beyoncé than blonde-haired, blue-eyed Dakota Fanning, whom she’s been told she favors? whatevs. i can tell you this for sure though, her white-girl dance moves got a long way to go.

kindergarten: where content of character is everything

humanaeproject(photos: Angélica Dass)

in the world of my 5 year old, people aren’t black or white. people have beige skin or brown skin . . . or sometimes pink. they are not defined by the color of their skin — nor are they judged by it.

my blonde-haired, blue-eyed, beige-skinned daughter was born into a world where the only president she knows is African American. she lives in a city that is 54% African American. she attends a public school here where 74% of the student body is African American and Hispanic. that there are kind and unkind people, geniuses and morons, leaders and losers with skin tones running the gamut and that their skin tone is utterly inconsequential to what they all have to offer is beyond obvious to her. it’s beautiful to see it in action.

last week, her class studied Martin Luther King, Jr. as a lead up to today’s day off in celebration of his life and accomplishments. on the way home in the car on Friday, she told me all about it. she described the Civil Rights icon as smart, good, nice and charming. but it was difficult to gather what she actually knew about what he did and what he stood for. as we pulled into our garage, she arrived a the part of the story where “this one police officer really didn’t like Martin.” she paused a moment and asked “Mommy, why didn’t some people like Martin Luther King?” and i wondered how i was going to explain this one in a way that she would understand that wouldn’t also completely freak her out.

“well, sweetie, not everyone believed in the same things he did,” i began.

“like what?” of course.

“well, he believed that all people should be treated the same — they should have the same rights and opportunities — no matter what color their skin is.” i think i did okay, i think i did okay . . .

“uh, duh, Mom.”

“i know, right? but a long time ago not everybody believed that people with beige skin and people with brown skin should be treated the same. and people with brown skin didn’t get to do all the same things people with beige skin did.”

“well, that’s just crazy, girl! CRAZY!

“i know, girl. totally crazy.” i got this. hit me with somethin’ else . . .

“Mommy, can i have dinner?”

and with the exception of one weird question about whether we were supposed to pray to Dr. King in the sky on his birthday (yeah, really.), that was pretty much our discussion about why we have today off of work and school.

in general, my feeling is that if everyone acted like 5 year olds, the world would be an absolutely unbearable place. but in this one respect, i sure wish people would channel their kindergarten selves way more often.

p.s. the unique photos above are part of the Humanæ Project, a series of images created by Brazilian photographer Angélica Dass, “who intends to deploy a chromatic range of the different human skin colors.” each subject’s skin tone is matched to a corresponding Pantone color, to create a metaphor about how much more complex we all are than simply black or white. it’s really beautiful, meaningful and thought-provoking work that i hope comes to Atlanta. go check it out.

how to talk about tragedy with a 5-year old

love locks on Pont des Arts, Paris

what happened in Paris last night is shocking. it is terrifying from the standpoint of living in any major city and thinking about whether it’s possible this could happen in your city on an average Friday night out. could that have been me at that restaurant?

i grew up in DC in the ’80s. yeah, there was definitely a sense among us then that there could be a nuclear bomb that took us all out at any time. after 16 days of rain in Atlanta when Morrissey came on the Sirius this morning crooning about  the bomb bringing us together . . . i kind of wished for it. but also thought how weird it was for us, back then, to all literally have dreams about mushroom clouds and how things would go down when the Soviets attacked. i mean, obviously we were at the epicenter of any bomb dropping that might occur, so that was pretty much definitely how we all were going to die die.

i haven’t checked the stats lately, but i believe the danger of actually dying from a nuclear bomb is probably about a million percent less likely than dying at the hands of a redneck with a vendetta and a semi-automatic he picked up at the gunshow without a background check. we now live in a world where people seem to just shoot shit up indiscriminately. walking into a shopping mall and worrying you might get killed was literally not a thing in the 80s. like omigod Heather, that so totally would have killed mall culture. nuclear bomb? yes. random mall shooting. NO. what. the. fuck?

i’m a horrible news junkie and would be perfectly content to let the constant reports about Paris or Umpqua or Lafayette or Charleston or . . . play in the background for hours straight. but with a 5 year old in the house, that’s no longer an option. the “what happened mommy? why are all those police cars there?” sets up a really challenging dilemma:  i have to tell her that there are bad people in the world who do bad things, but in a way that she can understand and also that doesn’t scare the living shit out of her.

last weekend, out of the blue, she started asking about 9-11. she had talked about it with her babysitter that day, so i asked her to explain to me what happened. she got the basics right, but didn’t understand why those bad guys would want to hurt those people. i found myself trying to talk to her about it in a way that wouldn’t make her never want to get on a plane again. it was really uncomfortable for many reasons, but mostly because when you describe such terrible events in such a simplistic way to make it make sense to a 5 year old, it becomes clear that none of it — not any of those incidents and all the too many others like them — makes any sense.

so at any rate, i kept the news off last night until after she had gone to bed. she loved Paris so much and i knew the news would upset her. but i know that i can’t shelter her from everything forever. at some point, the news, bad people, a broken heart, bad fashion and all the other things that don’t make sense in life will happen. and we’ll have to talk about it. i found this great article at PBS Parents that gives some tips on how to help kids get through tragic and scary events like last night’s. i’d urge anyone with kids to take a read. i think there’s even some good advice in there for adults (i’m lookin’ at you #1!):

  1. Take a news break.
  2. Answer kids’ questions – without giving them unnecessary details.
  3. Maintain a regular schedule.
  4. Model confidence and assurance.
  5. Find solace or take action.

i’d love to live in a world where i don’t need these kinds of skills on a regular basis. but i’m glad someone smarter than i am is out there giving tips for when i do. check it out and give your loved ones a big hug.

#prayforparis #jesuisparis

my first crush

oh, how did you guess this is one of The Daily Post’s prompts?

the first real-person crush i remember must have been in maybe 5th grade? i remember hanging out with my friend Jodie a lot that summer, because she lived across the street from Ricky Whats-His-Name (5th grade was a long time ago, y’all). we all had a crush on him and i’m not entirely sure he ever spoke to any of us. he was a year or 2 older, as i recall. and like many families in Northern Virginia, his didn’t stay more than i think i a year before moving to their next post or . . . whatever.

anyhoo, that was a blip on the radar. between the years of 1977 and 1984, there were other, way more significant crushes on famous hotties.

from Saturday Night Fever to Rio, these were the posters and album covers that made me swoon. the seventies/eightiesness of it all kind of makes me cringe, but i do stand by all these guys as solid good lookers (in their day).

we’ve already had a One Direction moment in our house. i dread to think what Miss Girl will be plastering her walls with. we may have to institute a No Spy Zone for a few years while she works through it. oh, but i guess he will be stationed on the front porch with a shotgun at that point, so paper crushes will be the least of our worries . . .

5 things i will not be packing for school lunch


i have extremely little to offer for today’s NaBloPoMo prompt, “What is/was your favourite thing to pack for school lunch?”

as a child, i mostly ate school lunches. until i got to high school, when i mostly bought a Diet Coke, chewed some gum and saved my lunch money for cigarettes and Chanel lipsticks. it was the 80s when you could still buy a Diet Coke in a school vending machine, y’all.

as a mom, i see a homemade lunch as a treat. once or twice a week, Miss Girl gets a completely unfancy ham and swiss sandwich on a multi-grain Sandwich Thin and some combination of yogurt, grapes, strawberries, applesauce, fruit snacks, ice water in her Minions thermos (partly because she should drink more water and partly because i don’t trust the ice packs to keep everything cold) and maybe a cookie. it is not cute, y’all. it is all in Ziplocks and random Tupperware. the best thing i do for my daughter’s lunch is draw on her napkin. today, just  for the snack she carries, i drew Beethoven in Sharpie and i’m totally pissed i didn’t think to take a picture because it actually kind of rocked!

anyway, all that said, there was a brief moment in time when i had a fantasy that i could be that mom who made precious bento boxes for school lunches. i would have multiple sets of nesting, divided BPA-free containers. i would have themes and characters. i would Instagram every adorable creation. and then i remembered who i am: the mom that can barely get up and get her out the door in the morning with a non-gourmet, non-grass-fed ham (do they even grass feed pigs? that’s how much i don’t even know!) sandwich in a Ziplock bag. i’ve read several articles about the pressure to perform in this area over the past couple years. and while i’m glad i’m not alone, i’m also so over caring. and guess what. Miss Girl certainly doesn’t.

so instead of my favorite, boring thing to pack for lunch, may i present a selection of ridiculous items i will never be packing for lunch. (and obvs, “ridiculous” is code for “omg, i am so totally jealous and have the utmost respect for anybody who actually makes these things!”) see the full collection here and even more here. what is your favorite school lunch?

1. Winnie the Pooh Bento
see image above. really? if you link through to the Mothering Corner post, you’ll see words like “Kuromi” and “15 minutes preparation time”. it’s all Japanese to me . . .

2. Little Olympians Bento
i mean. 10 for effort and 10 for execution! also probably like 10 hours of my life i would never get back if i even attempted something this elaborate. sigh.

3. Hello Kitty Bento
oh, it’s only a pizzawich disguised as a perfect Hello Kitty. with flowers and fruit atop broccolini bushes. pure evil. clearly.

4. Circus Animal Bento
aka “6 elephants in my box” or, um . . . anyway, this one actually includes pre-bought elephant toothpicks. i totally always have those on hand. not.

5. Old McDonald Bento
sheep and chickens and pigs, oh my! so many accoutrements here, y’all. maaaaaayyybe if i had stuff left over from a party, but come on.


NaBloPoMo September 2015

girls don’t sit on the bench

i know. as usual, i’m a little late. but today at the gym, i was lucky, um, to be at the gym at lunch time for the first time in a long time. but also to hear CNN coverage of this story. i can’t find the Ashleigh Banfield clip, but found this much better one, instead. so proud of this little girl, her family and her team — 10-year-old boys wearing pink shorts, y’all! — for supporting her. love that WNBA took it on, too. just so cool it brought tears to my eyes on the elliptical and again just now, watching this clip. and i wanted to share for those who hadn’t seen it.

the story hits pretty close to home, because Friday night, as Miss Girl and i drove home from school both wearing our Falcons shirts and looking forward to the second pre-season game, she asked “Mommy, can girls play football?” um. “of course, they can!” i answered confidently, while inwardly scratching my head to figure out what to do with this. we proceeded to have a conversation about it. she wanted to know if she could play like Matty Ice. she does wear the number 2 jersey, after all. i told her yes, but that maybe football was more like a first grade thing — and hoped that when it really became a thing, if that’s still what she wants to do, it would be so.

she loves her soccer. she’ll keep playing this year, albeit in the afterschool program. if she decides she wants to try football or basketball or anything else, as far as i’m concerned, she will. and i will do everything i can to help her be awesome at whatever she loves. and i hope that she is lucky enough to play on teams that are as open and nurturing to talent — no matter who it belongs to — as this awesome team was. and now i just wanna know where i can get one of the “girls don’t sit on the bench” shirts in my size!

a Monday night horror story: the 4 stages of homework

this is not pretty, y’all. those who are faint of heart, still deciding whether to have children or rearing precious little newborns that sleep like 18 hours a day, y’all just avert your eyes. there’s nothing good in here for you. there are, however, some new fun cat memes out there you should try instead. proceed at your own risk. all i’m sayin’.

so on her 4th day of Kindergarten, Miss Girl arrived home with (finally), the much-hyped agenda. this is the $10 yearly planner, where each day, her teacher will let us know her behavior color code for the day (blue=awesome!, green=aight, yellow=meh, red=straighten-the-f-up!) any notes and any homework. last week’s homework was basically “put 5 things you like in this bag for show and share on friday.” um. we can so do this.

and then i flipped to page 14, today’s calendar page. on the left, the teacher had written the date. i assume my daughter was just supposed to copy what was written. ha. this is a girl who can’t just write “happy birthday!” in a card. she dictates a Tolstoy-esque greeting that i have to help her spell. instead of just “August 10, 2015,” she’d (in her own writing language) written “Good morning! Today is Monday, August 10, 2015.” (can i just go ahead and call that over-achieving?)

let’s be clear, though: she does sound out all the words and write what she hears. she is getting really good at that and has had “sight words” for the past year. so her homework assignment on the next page should have been a piece of cake: “write each sight word 5 times each.” there were 5 sight words: can, girl, boy, read, a. she has written these like a thousand times each over the past year. so after dinner, i said let’s turn off the iPad and do this, thinking it would be a quick thing. y’all thought Real Housewives brought the drama? those bitches got nothin’ on a 5 year old with homework.

4 Stages of Homework: Stage 1

after 20 minutes of straight-up bawling about having to do it (her, not me), i poured a glass of wine (duh) and started texting other parents about whether their kids had done it. basically, maybe a little push-back, but it was done. i had tried everything i could think of. was my little perfectionist worried about doing it wrong? did she need help? did she want to trace my letters to get started? i generally have no clue what i’m doing as a mom, but seemed like this kind of covered the bases. she deflected every attempt with disdain. she seemed busy coming up with her own plan. then she started scratching and complaining about certain flare ups. i’m beginning to be convinced her eczema is at least 40% physiological and it starts bothering her more when she is upset. this little minx had spent 20 minutes figuring out a distraction. so fine. let’s go have a bath.


after the quickest bath anyone has ever had in their entire life, and a lot of discussion over whether we were going straight to bed or doing homework, Miss Girl came downstairs to get her potions on and try again. at that point, her hands hurt. not my skin, Mommy, the BOOOONES! wow. who ever had growth spurts in their hands?? there was a lot of crying. some more Rx rubbing and then she just put her head down. Mommy, now i’m just too sad to do it. true. it had been a really dramatic half hour. i was sad, too. but really??

4 Stages of Homework: Stage 3

i tried some hand rubs. some hugs. some suggestions about alternative ways to go about this whole thing. was she freaked out about having to write on lined paper? why, of all the 3,000 school supplies they told us to buy, didn’t they tell us to buy lined paper and pencils for homework?? sure, girl. let’s do this with markers on white paper like you usually write prolifically! i talked to her about the fact that homework is just practice and it’s okay if it’s not perfect — it’s just a time to try out things you’re learning and get better at them. no dice. complete melt down.

4 Stages of Homework: Stage 4

and then she walked away. by that time, i had a huge conversation going on Facebook about the whole situation. i got distracted for a second and next thing i knew, she was curled up on the sofa and totally passed out. AT 8:30! easily 30 minutes before she has been going down in the now what we consider to be earlier bedtime routine. score!

i can’t really get too much flack for not returning the very first homework assignment, right? i think Miss Girl learned a lesson (or that she can totally play us with absolutely no consequence. sigh.) i learned the lesson that she is to be instructed to do homework with her friends in aftercare. no exceptions!

and at the end of it all, i am a little psyched/scared by the whole thing. she has never had a real “assignment” before. she is used to doing her thing — writing, drawing, creating without parameters. she is so naturally smart and creative, and she completely excels at all that. i kind of think the pressure of doing things she can do, but in the way someone else wants her to do (very prescriptively) made her feel uncomfortable and self-conscious. again, there was the worry about doing it “right,” which she’s never really had before. it feels very, very familiar and similar to how i operate. and it is amazing to see that showing up at this early age.

most of the other moms on Facebook assured me that this too will pass. it was kind of horrific for an hour or so, there. but in the end, i feel like i got some insight into how my little girl thinks, feels and processes the world. way more valuable than 1 measley homework assignment for us both, for sure. besides. when she’s an Oscar-winning actress, will she really need to know how to write can, girl, boy, read and a?

summer sunset: week 3

wow, a lot has happened in the past 2 weeks. that’s all immo say to intro this edition of my summer recap series! read on. hope y’all are having a wonderful summer so far!

the past 2 weeks’ top lessons

  1. camp is exhausting. for everyone. by the end of the first 2 weeks, Miss Girl was beyond tired. not just sleepy “i can’t wake up in the morning” tired, but ultra-bitchy “i will cut you if you even think about asking me to get dressed any faster” tired. after 3 straight mornings of 45 minute drama sessions just to get her in a bathing suit and shorts, i couldn’t take it anymore. i made the executive decision to pull her out for a week to give all of us a break.
  2. a week without camp is chaotic, but worth it. let me be clear. my morning situation improved dramatically last week. no racing around to pack snacks and towels and water bottles. no tears or screaming just to get out of the house. it was pretty wonderful to just get up and go to work like a normal person. or, on the days i had mommy duty in the morning, sit around drinking coffee and doing work in my nightgown, while she buzzed around doing her thing. that said, all the who’s gotta be where when drama that comes with trying to work and juggle child care was kind of nutty. that said, it feels like all of us are caught up on sleep and now have strength to hit it again next week.
  3. weekday evenings at the pool are blissful. with our more flexible schedule this past week, we were able to enjoy some of these mysterious times reserved for people who don’t keep ad agency hours. i did notice one evening when we went around 4:30 that it was all women (who i presume don’t work/work at home) and kids. hrmmm. it was less crowded, more relaxed and such a nice way to wind down the day before dinner. i have to figure out how these people do it!
  4. your world can change in a split second. the past 24 hours have been kind of crazy. without going into a lot of detail, Miss Girl had an accident that landed her in the emergency room on Friday night. she is fine. she has a mild head injury and needs to take it easy for the next few weeks. knock on wood, we seem to have some lucky stars over our heads, and everything always seems to work out okay. but sitting there last night, watching my sweet girl resting, hooked up to the monitors, i couldn’t help but think about what if it didn’t? it was a big wake-up call to slow down and appreciate what really matters.
  5. it’s hard to say goodbye to old friends. and as if a night in the ER weren’t hard enough, we had to put down our dear, sweet Mr. P this morning. i will probably write more about it later, but suffice to say, he was my best friend for 15 years. he was there through every single thing that happened in my life. he knew how to make me smile and where the bodies are buried. and it just hurts my heart that he won’t be part of my life anymore, as well as to know that this is in many ways the end of an era.

between these last 2 list items, i have ugly-cried and tribal-woman wailed so much today that i kind of feel like a complete maniac! but whatevs. it was mostly in the privacy of my own car. and the Passat rocks some tinted windows. week 4 of summer is another week, right? here’s hoping the kinks are worked out, the bad stuff is behind us and there are more pool evenings in our future!

motherhood: a no wuss zone

Woodward Family 2012 (11 of 42)(photo: Sarah Esther Witherington)

i desperately wanted to do a mushy post about what i love about being a mom. everybody loves a list! especially for a holiday like Mother’s Day! it would be super positive. it would be sweet and touching, with a cute anecdote here or there thrown in. y’all would feel all warm and fuzzy when you read it.  Motherhood as an institution would positively glow. . . . and then i sat down to write. and it felt fake. i mean, like Bruce Jenner league not being true to myself fake. ugh.

don’t get me wrong. i love being a mom. i wouldn’t give it up for the world. but it’s damn hard, y’all. like every minute of every day, whether you’re even thinking you’re in a mommy moment or not. no matter how much wine or coffee you throw at it, you’ve gotta be strong to survive.

no judgement if you’re one of those women who sails through it with spotless white pants and no roots, making organic bento boxes for lunch every day while your 6 adorable children always say please and thank you and always put their things away in their perfect Pottery Barn Kids rooms. i’m just saying that is not my reality. for me, the truth is something more like this:

motherhood ruins your body.
puh-leeease. nobody cares about your post-baby stretch marks or lumps and bumps. that is the least of your worries. i’m talking about real shit that actually hurts. a lot. like DeQuervain’s tendonitis and sciatica. because holding and carrying your child (and all their crap) makes you crooked. period.

i’m talking about deep bone exhaustion and brain fog that lasts for years after your precious baby starts sleeping all the way through the night. sleep deprivation is a way of life. because even when she’s 5 or older, you’ll stay up too late after she’s down trying to get done the 16,000 things that you’ve put off all evening, while feeding, playing an hearing about her day, bathing and putting her to sleep is your priority in the brief window you have with her between getting home from work and bedtime. because school starts way too early. and because there’s soccer early on Saturday. because she’ll stop napping long before you’re ready for it. and because then she’ll be a teenager and you will pretty much never sleep again worrying about what on earth is going on with her.

an orthopedist and a sleep aid will be your BFFs. and don’t even get me started on how long it takes to find time to get your hair or nails done.

motherhood destroys your mind.
this is your mind. this is your mind on motherhood.

so you’ve got complete sleep deprivation working against you. now add in the 34,000 things you have to remember and do on a daily basis, not to mention thinking 3 steps ahead of what might happen next. some of it is just about keeping another human being alive. some of it is just all the other associated tasks: which babysitter is coming which night? is her gymnastics outfit clean? get a birthday present for Saturday’s party. remember to sign the field trip permission slip. remember to pay after school care. crap, who’s picking her up? where is the soccer game this morning and which jersey? please let the soccer game this morning be rained out so i can sleep another hour. some of it is actually interacting with your child, keeping all her friends and latest interests straight. since when is Elijah your boyfriend? and why are you on your third boyfriend at 5 years old? this is not going to be pretty at 15. gaaahhh. and WTF is Sweet Crush Road/Lightening Crush Road?

is it any wonder you have no idea what day of the month it is or what you were supposed to pick up at the store? girl, you’re lucky you made it into work wearing all appropriate items of clothing and might actually match.

motherhood saps your spirit.
now, you’re sleep deprived and in physical pain. your mind is shot because it will no longer hold the 87,000 things you’re trying to stuff in it, you don’t understand half of what is happening around you or remember what you were thinking 6 seconds ago. you don’t have the energy to say hell no to one more birthday party or can i just have ice cream for dinner? and you pretty much feel at least 30% crazy at least 90% of the time.

roll with it. whoever that sane, strong, organized woman you were before you had kids was, she is long gone now, girl. you are no longer in charge. it’s easier to accept it than to fight it. and accepting may truly be the only path to self preservation. perhaps after she goes off to college, you will find the time, energy and focus to really feel your own spark again for more than like 4 hours at a time.

but here’s what motherhood also does.

  1. it makes the little things less important. you realize what really matters when you have something so massively consequential as someone else’s health, happiness and learning to shape and oversee.
  2. it shows you the world through eyes that aren’t judgemental or jaded.
  3. it lets you step into the world of some amazing little people who aren’t afraid to be wrong, sing off key or make up anything they damn well please — and actually believe it.
  4. it shows you what it’s like to never know a stranger and give without expecting anything in return.
  5. it helps you remember what it was like when no possibility was impossible.
  6. it makes you fall in love again and again every single day until you actually think your heart might explode.

and these are the things that make it all worth it, a thousand times over. those and also, the snuggles.

i have had an amazing day so far, complete with sweet gifts and cards, Spy-made Bloody Marys, a massage, a great workout and being left alone to write this. i hope all the other moms out there are getting whatever makes them happy and relaxed today. we all work so hard and should be proud — even on the days when it feels like everything’s falling apart. Happy Mother’s Day, y’all!