The Most Over-Due Blog In The World

So, I suppose I could say, it’s 8pm and the baby is asleep (okay she’s not a baby anymore she’s a “toddler” now- whatever she’s our baby)…

I could say, that I have loved her all day and now I am done. I could say I loved my husband all day and now I am done.

The words themselves would be true but I’m not done.

I’m never done.

I haven’t written a blog in ages and it’s not because I don’t want to or haven’t had SO many things to write about. It’s because I haven’t had time. It’s also because I haven’t made time. It’s also because I haven’t asked for time.

Tonight is a good example of why for me, being a stay at home mom is so challenging and also so wonderful at the same time. I should start by saying that I chose to stay at home with our daughter and hope to also have another child in our future to stay at home with (until they are both in school and then things will likely change).

Our sweet little pumpkin pie is 16 months old now and has had “Hand Foot Mouth Disease” which she got at a birthday party, for almost 8 days. The first few days were horrible- she couldn’t eat or drink, she had a fever and was so uncomfortable and broken out in spots and a rash. She’s turned the corner now but still the spots on the bottoms of her feet hurt and walking and standing are painful things. The ones in her nose and on her face get so irritated when she eats and has to have her face wiped off. We haven’t left the apartment as she’s been contagious (and so scary looking poor thing).

She’s needed crazy snuggles and love and often holding her all day long (she weighs 22 lbs now and is very active). There was one day where I did all the cooking, cleaning, making of meals, cleaning up of meals, changing of diapers, reading of books, feedings, etc with her in my arms. I am not complaining this is my ultimate pleasure. I am honored to be the one holding her. She’s amazing. I am constantly so in awe and proud of her. She’s a sweet little girl who is very loving and gentle. She’s also very silly and has a really fun and funny sense of humor.

So today my husband went to work as usual and then tonight he went to a company holiday dinner. I couldn’t go of course. I haven’t been able to go for a while to things. We were sleep training her so we couldn’t leave her with anyone when he had a conference out of town, work events, etc. I can’t go because I choose to be home with our daughter.

While my husband is gone all day and when he’s gone in the evening (which he sometimes is anyway because he’s a surgeon and is on call often) I do the following:

  • Wake up with the baby and change diaper/get her breakfast
  • Attempt to empty the dishwasher while she’s eating breakfast
  • Get laundry out and/or put it in (make myself coffee)
  • Entertain her/make sure she eats a good breakfast
  • Clean up from her breakfast (did I brush my teeth yet?)
  • Play with her, read to her, try to teach her things
  • Attempt to have coffee 4-17 times before 11:30am
  • Decide it’s gross to re-heat said coffee anymore and make fresh cup of coffee
  • Make her lunch and try to feed her enough before her nap (forget about that coffee I just made)
  • Go “potty” with her in the bathroom while she tells me she wants me to hold her and sit on my lap, clean up the bathroom now covered in toilet paper which she was ripping and pretending to blow her nose with while I attempted to pee with out her on my lap
  • Feed myself something fast while cleaning up from her lunch and try to get milk in her before her nap (which she often fights even though she’s exhausted)
  • Put all the clothes, bows, shoes, socks, blankets, diapers back into the drawer, folded, that she took out while playing the “in and out” game
  • Attempt to get her down for nap which can be: reading to her then putting her in crib, taking her on walk until she falls asleep, putting her in car and once she falls asleep doing a grocery shop as fast as humanly possible with her asleep in the stroller using stroller as grocery cart, praying nothing wakes her up
  • Once she’s asleep and in her crib (or asleep in her stroller if it’s one of those days) I go to town! I’m a woman on a mission do not mess with me: laundry, clean the entire house up, dishes, cook for us, cook for her, cook for my husband’s gluten-free lunches to take to work (because he doesn’t have options and rarely gets a lunch break to find an option)
  • Try to respond to emails and/or make phone calls that need to be made for me or us (neither of which are easy to do when she’s awake)
  • Think seriously about taking a shower- maybe I won’t wash my hair- I can now shower in under two minutes and just get it done…walk into shower just as baby monitor goes off and she’s up and crying for me. Okay shower later.
  • Change diaper while she protests it with her entire body and then poop comes out of her diaper onto the changing table and everything involved: me and my clothes included must now be washed/give her water and a snack, maybe go run errands while wearing her on foot or putting her in the stroller until 4:45 when she starts getting hungry for dinner and I make it then feed it to her.
  • Clean up from dinner and then milk and playtime.
  • Dishes/laundry, clean up the house.
  • My husband usually gets home and most often will be the one to give her a bath- this is their special time. It’s very sweet and I love it when that happens. He usually says something like “you go take a break” (sweet) but what I end up doing is dishes/clean up/laundry/some emails I never got to before, catch up on texts or calls
  • Then we hang out as a family and play with her until it’s time to go to bed (7-8 depending on the day’s schedule). This is if he’s home and if he’s not away on business in which case I do everything for a few days straight.
  • One of us puts her to bed and then my husband always has work to do and I always still have cleaning up of some sort to do and/or cooking to finish.
  • I make his lunches. I make sure our daughter is set with food. I put water and coffee beans in the coffee maker, water in the Britta. I make sure all our daughter’s toys are put away and wash the ones she’s been drooling on all day. I clean the floor of her playroom.
  • I research whatever recent thing is going on with her that I’m not sure how to handle
  • I finally take a shower. I do not enjoy it. I am spent. It’s not luxurious at all.
  • At this point sometimes it’s almost 10pm or later. Granted there are days I shower while she’s napping and that’s awesome but it’s not the usual. Sometimes I get it in before she wakes up- rare. Once in a while I have to do it while she’s up and she cries the entire time no matter what contraption I put her in, toys or food I distract her with.

So then it’s time to what- write a blog? I have been thinking about my blog idea or several all day (okay for months) but then ALL I want to do is put my PJ’s on, curl up in a ball, watch a show, turn off my brain, have a glass of wine and chill out.

So, tonight my husband went from work to the party and I stayed home as I have been for days, with our sick babe. All I could think about is that I’m the woman behind that man and who’s ever going to even meet me? I don’t even know these new people he’s working with yet and I’d really like to! I’d love to meet their families and connect. All I could think about is how much I love to get dressed up and go to parties. How much I love to talk to and meet people. I love it. I used to live for it. It used to be a huge part of my life.

That said I used to pray for the life I have now. THIS is the life I wanted then. Now I have it. I wouldn’t change it for the world! However, I think it’s important to be REAL and HONEST as a stay at home mom and put it out there that you’re not just all the things listed above. No, I am a woman who has a lot to talk about, who has traveled the world, had interesting and exciting jobs, who is well educated and loves art, music and fashion. I’m into cooking and into entertaining. I am a political person who’s passionate about issues and stands up for those issues. I am not just this person in yoga pants at 10pm stressed and exhausted (possibly covered in puke- depends on the day) almost too tired to even take the damn shower she’s been thinking about all day.

I don’t have any answers. I am figuring it all out as I go. My husband is leaving tomorrow for a job he has monthly where he operates in another city for a few days. My daughter and I ride solo then. So tonight I am making sure he’s got a bag of snacks packed. I made him cheddar cheese-jalapeño gluten-free corn bread to take with him (gluten-free is tough where he’s going). I run the dishes so all our babies’ sippy cups, utensils and teething toys get clean for the morning. Normally I just keep going and thinking about what I need to do tomorrow until I fall asleep but tonight I decided to sit down and write.

So here I am. The most over-due blog ever.

Now that I’ve written I really want to get my other blog ideas out there. I realize I need to ask my partner to help me carve out the time by doing more and really I will have to leave the house to do this unless she’s asleep. So what! Okay! I can’t usually go to the party or go on the trip but I need to be able to do this one thing for myself in which I hope to also help other moms out there feeling the same way. I won’t be able to get this done unless I ASK FOR HELP. I need to make the time AND ask for it.

I have loved my daughter and my husband all day. I am not done. But right now, I am loving me.

Sweet dreams to all the hard working stay at home moms out there! It’s hard but it’s LOVE WORK!

Nine Months as a Stay At Home Mom

First and foremost…happy 9 month birthday Aviva Zelda! Since the day you came into my life I have never been happier, more full of love or more proud. You are amazing and everyday I thank my lucky stars that you are my daughter and that I am so blessed to be your mommy. Also Happy Mother’s Day to all the hard working, deeply loving and exceptional moms out there! I wish you all a happy day filled with lots of snuggles, love and appreciation from the family you take such good care of!

11188292_10153027580939086_7751599704895587127_nSo today it’s been 9 months! 9 months that I’ve had the pleasure of caring for precious baby girl. I’ve been reflecting a lot lately about what I do all day, how I do it and what it really takes to do this stay at home mommy thing. As per usual, I will share  my own experience in this blog in the hopes that perhaps it will be helpful to some of you and/or make you feel like you’re not alone. It’s also my goal to put on display a little bit of the raw deal of what goes on to keep this baby taken care of and my family life/home happy and well cared for everyday.

Before I start I just want to say something I feel is REALLY important and that is this:

I believe every mother should do whatever is best for them: work full time, work part time, stay at home with the kids or any version of any of that. The reason being (and I stand by this)…happy mom=happy child. They sense our energy and they are tied to us whether we are with them all day or not so we best be the best version of ourselves FOR THEM- whatever that means. I believe it means something different for each mother.

For me- this means choosing to be a stay at home mother. I have always known I wanted to (if I could) raise my children myself while they’re little. Lucky for me I married a man who also wanted what I want and so we decided together to make certain sacrifices and certain choices to make this happen.

The three main ingredients to my stay at home mom success are:

1. Unconditional love

2. Patience

3. Organization

I wake up every morning and immediately start to organize in my head what I need to do first to set up the day so it’ll be successful for Aviva and me. A lot of this I often handle before I go to sleep and that helps: make a batch of formula so it’s ready to grab as needed, have baby food made and labeled in the fridge for the next 3 days (if it’s running low- make more food so there’s never a shortage. Baby food prep takes some time and it’s not the kind of thing you can just do quickly as needed- too much pealing, chopping, steaming and pureeing going on). I usually make her food first thing in the morning while she’s asleep or after she’s in bed at night. This may sound weird but I often make us dinner in the morning. Yep! If she’s still asleep, I do not waste one moment. I am running around this house like a bat outa hell trying to get as much done as humanly possible prior to her waking up (usually between 7-8:30am depending on how our night went). So I start making us dinner and I get that dinner ready so all we have to do at night is re-heat it. I start the laundry, empty the dishwasher, put the dirty dishes in the now empty dishwasher, check email, try to make a phone call I’ve been trying to make for 3 days, grab some coffee, make her a bottle and then…”waaaaaaaaa!” She’s up and it’s time to rock!

After she’s up it’s pretty much: feeding her, reading to her, playing with her, diaper changes, helping her with her developmental skills, feeding her, putting her down for a nap or going for a walk so she’ll nap or a drive so she’ll nap, feeding her, reading to her, diaper changes, playing with her, going for a walk, playing, bathing her, feeding her, putting her to bed. In the midst of this we go to appointments, go grocery shopping, clean the house, do laundry, make food, meet people, etc. Every day is a very full day. After she’s asleep she may stay asleep (love it when that happens) or she may wake up at night and then I’m back on for feeding her, rocking her, putting her back to sleep, etc.

Caring for Aviva is my ultimate joy. Even on days where she’s insanely fussy, needs to be held constantly, is having separation anxiety if I walk away from her for a minute and screamingly cries if she can’t see me, has had her shots and is feeling lousy, is teething badly and totally unhappy. It’s all good. I LOVE IT. I LOVE IT ALL. I LOVE HER- ALL OF THESE DAYS. That said- the aforementioned days-those are tough ones. Those are the days I’m unable to shower until after my husband gets home or after she’s gone to bed. Those are the days it’s almost 1pm and I haven’t eaten, had coffee, peed or done anything that resembles taking care of myself. That’s okay because I chose this and I would choose it again. She needs me and I want to be there for her.

This is my job. I take it VERY seriously. I’m in charge of shaping this little person into the person she will become. I am in charge of helping her learn how to eat, speak, roll, crawl, walk, to dance. I am in charge of trying to make her smile and laugh, to teach her to have calmness and also confidence. I’m in charge of her feeling safe and LOVED.

I find it so funny when sometimes people say things like “so what do you do all day?” or we were at a friend’s home and the husband commented on my being a stay at home mom and said…

“So when you get bored of hanging out drinking chardonnay all day, do you think you’ll go back to work?”

Really? Haha! I almost fell off my chair. Don’t get me wrong- a day of sipping wine (I prefer pinot noir thanks) and hanging out sounds freaking ah-mazing to me but that’s about as far from what I do all day as the eye can see.

This whole concept of being a “working mom” vs. a “stay at home mom” is kind of ridiculous to me. Essentially either way you’re a working mom. I work hard all day (and often all night) to care for Aviva. Is what I do not work? I’m a cook, housekeeper, full time baby-sitter, house manager, speech coach, therapist, physical trainer, to name a few. Let me tell you, I have had several awesome jobs and even ran my own successful business. I have done a lot of things but nothing I have ever done has challenged me on as many levels as this job. My job doesn’t have a start/stop time. It’s 24-7. I am on call for my daughter. My husband who is an eye plastic surgeon often says that my job is harder than his. I always laugh at this. He reminds me that my job requires even more focus, patience and especially love than he has to bring to work everyday. I think it’s something to think about: why do we not talk about the stay at home mom life as being a job? Sometimes I feel like society is a bit judgmental about those of us who CHOOSE this.

The way I see it is I’m the most qualified for this job. I have a bottomless pit of love for my child, I have patience as deep as the sea and I’m hella organized. Also, as a bonus- I LOVE to cook and take joy and pride in feeding my family healthy food that I prepare for us. I mean, I’d hire me to be Aviva’s 24/7 person! Heck yes.

So on that note. Here are some highlights from the hardest most emotionally challenging job I’ve ever had that is also the most rewarding, meaningful and joyful experience of my entire life…

This is me at 10pm sooooo excited to have finally showered, only to put pj’s back on. As it turned out this night was a rough one so any sleep I got was necessary. See how pumped I am to be showered?! Tada!


Teaching Aviva how to snuggle… FullSizeRenderand when she only wants to sleep on me for nap-time (where I then loose 1-2.5 hours of being able to get anything done and I don’t care because it’s worth it)

IMG_3237 Playing with her and helping her learn (with so many laughs)…

IMG_3255 Reading with her. We read at least 2x a day- she’s a huge fan of books although lately she also tries to eat them. Teething!!

IMG_3168 Feeding her is such a joy. I LOVE to cook for my family. I take pride in it and also it feeds my soul. Here she is with a spinach/greenbean/pea/lentil puree that’s one of her recent favorites. Yum!

IMG_3184 Oh and just having fun with her! She’s my dream come true! She’s my heart…


Here’s too all the mamas who are working hard inside or outside of the home or BOTH! Happy Mother’s Day!

With Love- Happy Mom of one 9 month old Aviva Zelda !!!!!