Dear Parents Who Travel For Work

On behalf of Spouses Who Stay Home With the Kids, I ask you to please refrain from doing the following:

Acting tired from staying out late drinking
Posting pictures of yourself with celebrities on social media
Calling us from water taxis
Calling us from harbor cruises
Calling us from lazy rivers
Calling us from dim, quiet hotel rooms
Calling us from expensive dinners
Calling us drunk
Mentioning golf, receptions, cocktail hours, weather warmer or nicer than it is back home, or long airplane rides that require you to turn off your phone and read something
Acting like any of the above is a chore
Arriving home with presents for the person who just spit on someone in a fit of rage rather than the person that just got spit on
Sleeping in the day after you get home because YOU’RE tired

In return, we will not taunt you with mentions of Caillou, poop explosions, grocery shopping, laundry, chicken nuggets or Barefoot Moscato. We will not serenade you with the theme song from Paw Patrol in an attempt to get it out of our head. We will not post pictures of ourselves posing with Miss Sarah from story time or Miss Samantha from gymnastics. We will not call you at 2 am and 4 am so the whole family can be awake together. We will make sure you get to keep the 6 identical brown leaves we found on our walk today and had to bring in the house. We will insist you sleep in the day after you get home because you work hard to provide for our family.


August 5, 2013

Marge: Am I cool, kids?
Bart and Lisa: No.
Marge: Good. I’m glad. And that’s what makes me cool—not caring, right?
Bart and Lisa: No.
Marge: Well, how the hell do you be cool? I feel like we’ve tried everything here.
Homer: Wait, Marge. Maybe if you’re truly cool, you don’t need to be told you’re cool.
Bart: Well, sure you do.
Lisa: How else would you know?


This weekend, my brother got married. A lot, lot, lot of things happened that were so heartwarming and wonderful and full of love they would make you want to throw up a little bit. I’ll spare you most of the details.

One thing happened that has really kept me thinking and was so unexpected and awesome at the same time. I’ve really been in a funk lately, for a lot of reasons, and my self-esteem is in a really crappy place like it hasn’t been since high school/college (my first couple years of college were kind of a dark time). I had an amazing but extremely challenging first year as a mom and am finally getting back on my feet, but my new-mom lifestyle has left me careerless, frazzled, and with a completely changed body and a few extra pounds. In May, we were overjoyed to discover that my daughter was going to be a big sister, until our first ultrasound showed radio silence where we should have seen the frantic pattering of a 7-week old heart. I was realistic about the miscarriage, and rather than throwing me into a dark spiral, I simply felt rather deflated and worn out. To add insult to injury, my weight, which had already started plumping with happy baby bloat, kept right on climbing – apparently often your body takes awhile to get the memo that it doesn’t have an extra mouth to feed anymore, because hormones are awesome and why wouldn’t a sad, tired woman want to get fatter? Plus, finding a dress for your brother’s wedding that doesn’t make you look like a blimp in pictures is so boring when you’re thin. Continue reading “August 5, 2013”


For the past year or so, I’ve been an avid listener of the NPR program This American Life, available as a podcast through iTunes. A new episode is released each Sunday. If you’re not familiar with the program, it is hosted by Ira Glass and basically presents stories, both fiction and non-fiction, based around a theme. This week’s theme was “Tribes,” and when I plugged my iPhone in to make the 45-minute drive to meet Klara’s friends for story-hour, I expected to be entertained and fascinated as usual; what I didn’t expect that I would find my “tribe” represented.

The second story of this week’s program (#491) is titled “A Tribe Called Rest” and is told by a woman named Andrea Seigel. In recapping, I’m working from the transcript found here.

Andrea began by describing a phenomenon she’d first noticed as a child, a sensation she’d get she describes as “…this tingling throughout my skull…Starbursts that open on the crown and then sparkle down at the nape like this warm, glittering water rushing under your scalp.” I was pretty sure I knew what she was talking about, especially when she said she’d find this feeling listening to whispering friends, pages being turned in a quiet library, the soft voice of a librarian. This was definitely familiar territory. Continue reading “ASMR”

Wednesday February 27, 2013

As of yesterday, I am officially a stay-at-home mom.

I made this decision several months ago, so there wasn’t much drama associated with it, but finally made the phone calls I’d been putting off and told my superintendant and department head that I would not be returning to teaching next year.

This was probably one of the most agonizing decisions of my life, which is funny because it’s what I’ve wanted all my life. For as long as I’ve wanted kids – which is as long as I can remember – I’ve wanted to do what my mom did and stay home to raise them. As I got older, I became more aware of what that entailed – essentially, asking a man to support me while I did this, and then, later, asking a man to support me and make the payments on the student loans I took out for a degree I’m no longer using. Continue reading “Wednesday February 27, 2013”

Monday February 25, 2013

Today the skies parted and a miracle occurred.

Klara has been a terrible napper since the day she was born. Part of the problem is that her naps are so unpredictable, but in general, you can rely on them lasting precisely 45 minutes. Now and then I’ll get lucky and get an hour and a half out of her, especially if we’re in the car. But if by some stroke of luck she does have one great nap, the other is her usual 45 minutes. Today however, for what I’m pretty sure was the first time in her (admittedly short) life, Klara had not one but two substantial naps in her crib. Continue reading “Monday February 25, 2013”

Friday February 22, 2013

Sometimes, there are no sweeter words than your husband saying, “Let’s go out for dinner tonight.”

Today, Klara and I finished watching, “The Bachelor: Sean Tells All.”  Then we watched a bit of 7 Plus 7 and a bit of “American Idol.” After a nap and lunch, we headed to the Plymouth Public Library. I pulled into the parking lot, after which Klara proceeded to nap for an hour and a half. Knowing her propensity to nap in the car, I was prepared with my iPad (currently reading: The Wheel of Time 1: The Eye of the World. After many years of hearing about them I’ve finally dived into the “Wheel of Time” series). Even that got old after awhile, so I was glad when she finally woke up and we could go inside. I checked out Girlchild by Tupelo Hassman, Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan and Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt…and then 1-2-3 Magic by Thomas W. Pehlan, Ph. D., mostly because Carolyn Hax recommends it. Then a trip to Wal-Mart – I usually avoid it but it was the closest store, and we needed milk – and a call to Eric with those magic words. We ended up going to Sushi Joy. I just love how many people bring their kids there. I feel like when you bring a kid there you are exposing them to a different culture and cuisine. Klara was her usual adorable self, and delighted me by enjoying some seaweed salad and gyoza. She delighted the people all around her by waving, and thoroughly enjoyed playing with the waitress as well. Mommy had two Mai Tais when one would have been plenty. All in all, it was a lovely day.