I like to take photos of things that may be a bit out of the ordinary: My kids eating, a random trip to Goodwill, the horrid bed head my middle child wakes up with every morning.
"I work from home" provides no information. "Nothing," while tempting, belies the truth. "I work for my husband," makes me feel like I've set the feminist movement back 60 years and I'm riding shotgun with Betty Draper.
In 67 blocks, that man had picked up the shattered pieces of my awful day and pieced them together in a way that made my life feel manageable again.
When you start life as an at-home parent your infant, silence is inevitable and expected. Sure, there's crying and cooing, but unless you're caring for other kids at the talking age, you have no one to actually converse with when at home.
During this day, I realized how much the Internet is a crutch for my to-do list. My calendar is on my laptop, emails are the language of business, Facebook is central to my social life and Pinterest is my hub for dinner recipes. It felt rewarding to find ways around that dependence.
Here's a glimpse into what it's really like to be home with a newborn. I warn you, it's a long post, but then again, anyone who's ever done this parenting shtick will understand why.
The next time I find myself about to label or judge, I will take a step back and remember this woman's answer. I will remember the kind of world I want my daughter to grow up in and I will play my part in creating that world.
The little squirmy baby that easily fit in our hands is now a bigger, stronger, squirmy baby we need to firmly hold with both arms!
Here is the thing about me (and I bet it is about you as well): In the area of taking care of and loving myself, I am an all-or-nothing kind of girl.
Harrison is now is school, so here I am, once again considering employment. I'm a 35-year-old mom with an 11-year gap on my resume. It doesn't scream "hire me." Shouldn't it, though?
I'm thickheaded sometimes, but I finally get it. It's clear as day. All of the faceless Internet trolls, who have never met my family, are making sense now. They have been trying to speak wisdom into my life for the last two years, and I haven't been willing to listen.
The last thing I wanted to do was play trains. I wanted to make a fresh pot of coffee and find my wallet. But that nagging voice said, "When you look back on this time, you'll wish you played trains with her while you had the chance." So, I sat down. "Build it, b*tch!" she said excitedly.
I happen to be a great negotiator. I can convince a toddler to eat broccoli, go potty in the toilet and wear shoes outside because I am dedicated to what I want. I'm also great at compromise.
Here's the ugly truth: We suck at doing it all. The moment the doctor handed me my crying newborn, it all stopped. I was not just Janie. I was Janie, the Mother of Sullivan. I became a mom, and for a time, I didn't care about anything else but my kid.
7:31 a.m. -- Prepare whole wheat, whole grain toast. Oldest child prefers bagels. Prepare whole wheat, whole grain bagels with homemade jam. Oldest child prefers honey. Prepare whole wheat, whole grain bagels with local wildflower honey. Oldest child takes one bite and spills on shirt.
Your tummy, the one you told Daddy is "fat," is actually perfect. It's the place I lay my head when I want to feel secure, at peace and taken care of. It has the perfect amount of warm padding I need to feel safe when I'm scared, calmed when I'm upset or relaxed when I'm tired.