I am a Cooker Man


For some reason when my son refers to himself by using this sentence, I can’t help but think of the Beatles, “I am the Walrus”.

It has taken me becoming a mom to actually become a somewhat decent cook.   The kitchen was never my favorite place to be, the work was just too overwhelming, one slight screw up with a recipe and the meal was a loss, the pressure was just too much.   My husband; however, loves the kitchen.  He’s a mechanical engineer, but would love to be a chef in his own restaurant.

Davey cooking 8

On our second date, he cooked for me.   It was wonderful and he’d used no recipe.   He’s the type to open a fridge, throw a bunch of stuff together and then make the most magnificent meal you’ve ever tasted.   A few weeks later, with my room mate out of town, I decided to make a romantic dinner at home for my boyfriend (soon to be husband).  I went easy…spaghetti, but decided to make my mother’s homemade sauce which required an all day cooking.

Davey cooking 11

My husband ate the entire dinner.  It wasn’t until after, as I was cleaning the kitchen, when he asked me about the sauce.   I walked him through the entire recipe, and then he asked about the grease from the meat.   What did I do with it?   I stared at him a bit dumbfounded.   Grease?  The recipe never mentioned grease.   What was he talking about?   Basically those are the exact words I used with him.  It was then that he grabbed the pot of sauce and showed me the film over the top of it.   Oops.   From that point forward in our relationship, I stayed out of the kitchen.

DAvey cooking 6

Flash forward a few years.  I’ve left my corporate America job to stay home with our son, Davey.   Whether it be out of necessity, guilt, or a desire to be better mom and wife, I learned how to cook.   I’m no Rachel Ray or Bobby Flay.   I can’t just whip things up.  I do have to follow a recipe, but I’ve actually become somewhat decent at cooking, actually I’m probably a step above decent.

Davey cooking 10

The great thing about me learning to cook is that Davey has always been very hands on with me in the kitchen.   This year for Christmas, he received his own personal set of cooking utensils, and he knew exactly what each was to be used for.  He doesn’t like the term chef, but instead prefers to call himself Cooker Man.

Davey cooking 4

Over our past couple of years in the kitchen, I’ve observed a few things with Davey.   This is probably the one activity he focuses on the most.   It’s the one activity where he awaits instructions, doesn’t trudge ahead.   It’s the one activity where he’s very intent on the task at hand.   He follows the rules and order of the ingredients.   He’s cautious, walking through his checklist when operating the stove.   He doesn’t try to touch a knife, instead just leaving it alone.  And he has such pride in his work.   At 4 years old, he’s attempting to beautifully plate the food.   “It’s in the presentation, mom,” he once said to me.   I didn’t know that he knew what the sentence meant.

DAvey cooking 5

He questions different ingredients, asking about their tastes and then determining if they would go well together.   I literally watch as he looks off into space and contemplates the combinations of different ingredients.  I can see the wheels turning inside his brain.   Days when he becomes so inquisitive and contemplative, I find myself forgetting that he’s only 4 years old.

Davey cooking 12

A few days ago, I commented to him that I didn’t know how to make my own eggs until I was in college.   He’s already learning how to properly make an omelet, which is good because it means I’m also learning how to properly make one as well.   Our time in the kitchen has been invaluable.   We learn together, we encourage each other, and at times he manages to show me a thing or two.   I learn more about him when we’re in the kitchen.   He loves to tell stories of the day, what he did at school, who is friends are, and so forth.

Davey cooking 9

My little Cooker Man is becoming quite the pro and I’m proud of him.   Who knows?   He may be the Doser to open his own restaurant and be the head chef.


10 Things This Stay at Mom No Longer Wants to Hear

Every. Single. Day.  I am bombarded by questions, comments, advice, and judgment from other people because I am a stay at home mom.  Every. Single. Day.   It never ceases, it’s like a constant barrage of words pelting my entire body.  And of course there are blogs and articles about being a working mom vs. a stay at home mom, which is better and which is worse.   This morning, I read a blog on Scary Mommy that had the 12 things a working mother never wants to hear.  First off, let me give props to you working moms out there.  It’s tough work.  I’ve been there and done that.   Secondly, let me also just give props to ALL the moms in the world, whether they be working moms or stay at home moms.   You, WE, are all rock stars!

Back to this blog I read.   Working moms get a lot of grief.  I know this.  On occasion, I’ve thought negatively about my fellow working moms whether it be because I’m jealous of their adult interactions, having a life OUTSIDE of their kids, or because I just think their being selfish (yes, I have thought this.  Shame on me, I know!)  After reading this blog, it got me to thinking about the things I, a stay at home mom, don’t want to ever hear.

1.  Oh, I’m sorry.  You must have lost your job.  First off, don’t just automatically assume that since I’m staying home with my kids, it means I lost my job.   Some of us actually chose to leave our Corporate America jobs.   I went back to work when my maternity leave with Davey was up.  He was six weeks old.  I turned in my notice when he was four months old.  I saw nothing productive out of my day while I was working.   Instead all I could think about was what I was missing out on with my son.  I would rise at 5 to shower and get ready, feed Davey at 6 and while my husband dressed him and fixed our breakfast, I would finish getting ready, pack Davey’s diaper bag and drop him off at daycare no later than 7:10, go to work, leave work at 5, pick Davey up at 5:30 and then would have maybe 2 hours with him before he had to go to bed.  2 hours!  That wasn’t acceptable for me.   I can always go back to work, maybe not in my chosen profession, but I can’t go back and make memories.   So, no I CHOSE to leave my job.

2.  You must have a degree in Home Ec.  Yes, I do hear this.  Do they even offer Home Economics anymore?  I never took it in high school.   And just for your information I have an Associates Degree in English, a Bachelors Degree in Speech and Communication Studies & Political Science (I double majored) and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration.

3.  I bet you have time to get caught up on all your soap operas.  Yes, I do hear this one as well.  Who watches these anymore?  I don’t even have time to sit down and watch the news in the mornings, much less watch a soap opera.   When the boys are napping, I’m usually doing some sort of housework or maybe squeezing in some writing time.

4.  I bet you get to workout all the time.  Yes, I do go to the Y, so I do get in some sort of an exercise routine.   I don’t do it just for me, as the Y offers all sorts of programs for children.   Davey flips out if we don’t go on a Wednesday, since that is his exercise day, but I don’t work out all the time.  Anyone who’s seen me knows that I don’t, but I am active with both of my boys, playing soccer or tee ball in the backyard, going on bike rides, and hiking, but my boys are with me 90% of the time I’m getting in any sort of exercise.

5.  Your children will be socially awkward.  My children will NOT and are NOT socially awkward.   That is because I have chosen from the start to constantly have them at various events, from the library, to the children’s museum, to play dates.  I give up my comforts of wanting to just stay at home, so that they can have the interaction they need.  Being a stay at home mom doesn’t mean we stay home 24/7.  I’m very conscientious about keeping my boys active socially.

6.  Studies have shown that children thrive in an atmosphere when both parents are working.  I went to daycare and look how I turned out.    Studies are coming out EVERY day.  There’s always a new one.  This one touts exercising while pregnant will increase your child’s IQ when he’s 5.  Another says that smelling a person’s farts will increase your life span by 6 years.  Studies are gibberish in most cases, a waste of time and money.  The studies focusing on curing cancers and AIDS and other medical impediments, those are worth the energy to be concerned about  Studies are subjective and can NOT be used in every situation.   I went to daycare, too, and I turned out just fine, but I want something more for my kids.

7.  Your husband must make a LOT of money.  Yes, my husband has a wonderful job and it is his job that allows me to be a stay at home mom, but we’ve made sacrifices.  We don’t drive luxury cars, I don’t own luxury clothing, we don’t go out to eat at fancy restaurants.   We had to change our lifestyle in order to accommodate us living off of one salary.  It was hard at first, but we’ve made it work and my kids don’t want for anything.   Stop assuming we’re rich just because I don’t work by my own choice.

8.  I could never stay at home with my kids.  You could, if your circumstances allowed for it.   Some moms must work in order to help keep food on the table and the kids clothed.  Others do it because they just don’t think they could stay home with the kids.   Look, it’s not easy.   I lose my patience a LOT, I mean A LOT!  Some days I feel like I’m spinning my wheels and getting nowhere.   Some days I feel there has been no sense of accomplishment.  I lay my head down some nights and think, “what did I accomplish today?”  Being at home is hard work.  It’s not easy, but if your situation allowed for it, you COULD do it.  I have faith in you.

9.  I bet you have all the time in the world to write that novel you’ve been working on.  As most of you who read my blog know, I sometimes go for days, even weeks without writing a blog because I just don’t have the time for it.  I do most of my writing either early in the morning before everyone is up or during that 30 minutes of time in the evenings when my husband is having his one on one time with the boys.   After that, my husband and I spend a couple of quiet hours together.  Writing isn’t my priority right now.

10.  Must be nice to get to sleep in every morning.  You know, you don’t have to get up and go to work.  No, you’re right, I don’t have to leave the house to go to work, but I still treat my role as a stay at home mom as a job, a career choice.   I get up every morning by 6 (I do have the occasional morning when I get to sleep to maybe 7), do my writing, have some coffee, get dressed and get breakfast ready.   I find if I don’t keep a routine to my day, including rising in the morning, then I’m setting myself and my boys up for failure.   I don’t let my boys sleep past 7:30 most mornings because I want them already on the routine of needing to get up Monday through Friday.   They’ll be going to school soon, after all.

I could add more to this list, but really I don’t have the time, nor do I think many of you have the time to read more.   Look, we all have this chip in our head, a little switch that turns our filters on and off, but for some reason it seems to malfunction when talking to mothers.   I don’t know if we’re just trying to make small talk, but if this is how it turns out, then just don’t do it.   Stop passing judgment on me and my life just because you either a.) don’t understand it or b.) just think it’s the wrong route to take.

My boys are both very smart, testing above their age groups.   They love each other and other kids.   They’re well mannered and two of the sweetest boys you could ever meet.   Could they be this way if I were a working mom?  Sure, but I don’t think our relationships would be this great.

Henry the Toy

I gave up a long time ago at trying to understand the thinking of a three year old’s brain. It was more exhausting than trying to understand why Kanye West chooses to be such a racist! Actually, Kanye is more frustrating to me than my three year old, but they seem to think alike. Hmmm…does that mean my three year old is an extremely intelligent individual, or that Kanye West has the brain of a three year old. I don’t know that I want to give Kanye a bigger head nor insult my own child’s intelligence. Anyways, I’ve diverged from the original reason for this post…Henry the Toy!

That’s correct, you did read that. I often wonder if Davey truly sees his brother as a human being, another living, breathing gift from God, or if he just sees him as a toy placed here for Davey’s entertainment or at times, misery.

Not a day goes by when I’m not saying one of the following phrases:
“Don’t pull your brother by his shirt.”
“Don’t put your brother in a choke hold.”
“Don’t head butt your brother.”
“Don’t push him over.”
“Get off of him.”
“That’s an illegal move…there is no horse collaring in this household.”
“Stop treating your brother like he’s a rag doll.”

Well, actually there doesn’t seem to be five minutes which go by in this house when one of those phrases isn’t said. The only true peace my husband and I get is when one or both of the boys are down for naps. I didn’t do this much refeering between “children” when I was negotiating huge advertising or distribution contracts in the corporate world, and trust me some grown men can behave worse than children. People who tell you or seem to think that being a SAHM is a walk in the park, clearly have been sniffing the glue much too long.

What I’m seeing more and more of lately, in addition to above said phrases, is that Davey truly thinks that Henry’s sole purpose on this earth is to do exactly what Davey says when Davey says. It’s becoming more and more clear every day, but really didn’t hit me like a ton of bricks until today. My three year old thinks that his one year old brother should do nothing more than serve him.

OK, Ok, for all of us out there who had siblings, we all have done this to our younger siblings or were subjected to it by being the younger children. Perhaps it’s a rite of passage, but truthfully I’ve had enough! I’m sick of Davey forcing, yes forcing, his brother to stop what he’s doing in order to play with him. I’m annoyed with hearing, “mommy, make Henry play with me. It’s his job. He must do what I say. I didn’t say he could play dinosaurs. I didn’t give him permission to leave. I am the boss.”

Excuse me? You’re just a little peon in the kingdom of mommy and daddy, who are the supreme rulers. This is not a democracy, this is a dictatorship where you have no rights, least of which is the ability to boss around your brother! These usually start out as my thoughts, but seem to quickly become part of my verbal lexicon, forever thrusted out into the sayings from mommy, never to be removed. Only, I get to boss anyone around, including daddy! Just kidding, honey! You know you’re my equal. 🙂

Seriously, I watched today as Henry picked his brother up out of his chair, and carried his 22 pounds across the room because it was imperative for Henry to play with Davey, only Davey. I know my child is smart, both of my children are, but it’s tearing at the foundation of my patience (what little of it I have) when Davey treats his brother this way. I’m told he’ll grow out of this, but when? Until then, I suppose I must resign myself to the fact that I’ll be spending the better portions of my day protecting Henry at least until he’s old enough to pay it back to Davey. By the way, I’m hoping Henry does end up bigger than Davey and I genuinely hope he dishes it back out to Davey twofold. At that point, I’m just going to toss them both out into the backyard and let them duke it out.

I Do Want To Love Myself

I don’t enjoy feeling this way. I really loathe it. I want to be happy and I know I can be, I’m just not really sure how to get there. You see, I’m my own worst critic. I have probably the world’s greatest self-deprecating personality. I am NEVER good enough for myself, and I really want to move past this. I just don’t know how.

Perhaps I put too much into my physical appearance, but it’s been almost a year since Henry’s birth and I can’t seem to get my body back into shape. I have a gut, hips, and thighs that are larger than they’ve ever been. I have a butt! When I was younger (high school) and was 120 pounds (70 pounds lighter than I am now), I would have killed for some curves. At 6 feet tall, I was the butt (pun intended) of every joke around for being such a stick. Now? I would just love to lose 20 pounds.

I’ve never had an issue with losing weight or being thin, so I suppose this is why I’m angered so much. I envy my younger self. I envy those on television and in magazines who are older than me, are not stick thin, but can own it and be the most beautiful women in the world. I envy their abilities to let it go and embrace themselves. I’m 8 months shy of hitting that 40 year old mark and I don’t want to go into my 40s being sad and depressed.

Tuesday night, I had a Christmas party to attend. I spent an hour trying on clothes, before finally settling on what I felt to be the frumpiest outfit ever created. I started crying and of course my husband tells me I’m not fat and that I’m beautiful. He’s suppose to say that so how can I really trust him? “Who are you?” I thought as I looked at myself in the mirror. I was once the envy of so many others, and now? Well, now, I’m just average, and my personality has never allowed me to settle with average.

I told my husband it was great that I didn’t work because it would cost us too much money for me to go back to work. All of my old clothing from my Corporate America days no longer fit! I would need to buy a whole new wardrobe and that would pretty much negate the reasons for returning to work…needing more money.

I genuinely wish that I could happily look at myself in the mirror and be proud of how I look. These curves and stretch marks are thanks to two of the greatest gifts in this world…my sons. If I had my old body, then it’s likely I wouldn’t have them. They are totally worth it and I’m grateful that at least they’re the reason for my body metamorphosis. I work hard to try to relieve myself of some of this added weight, but nothing is working.

I trained for two triathlons and a half marathon over the past year! I can do more than I did before having kids, but I can’t seem to get rid of the weight. I actually shaved 20 minutes off my overall time on my last half marathon, and yet I’m still 20 pounds heavier than I was from the first one. It’s not muscle, folks, so don’t start down that path.

I know what my issue is, at least within the weight loss arena, and it’s my inability to get rid of the sugar and flour in my diet. I wrote a post a few weeks back about the harmful effects of sugar, and no matter how hard I try, I cannot expunge it from my life. I want to have my cups of coffee. I want to have the occasional treat. I don’t buy any sort of candies or cookies because I don’t want to deal with that temptation, but I can’t give up my coffee. I just can’t.

Five years ago, when I was at my thinnest and healthiest since high school, I was working at a corporation that provided lunches and snacks on a daily basis. These snacks consisted of ice cream, chips and dip, and even some of the yummiest cupcakes I’ve ever had. I only ran 3 miles a day back then (way less than I do now) and I was a size 10! Perfect for my 6 foot frame. I was even drinking a Starbucks venti mocha TWICE a day. These days? I treat myself once a week to a mocha and I ask for it to be skinny, and my coffee no longer has sugar, but instead splenda and I drink way less of it now than I did back then. I don’t drink sodas (which I did then) and I drink more water. So what gives? Really, what gives?

I would love to be one of those women who is able to name her stretch marks and rolls of fat. I’d love to be able to say, “Regina Roll,” while pointing at my belly, “you’re here because of Davey and for that I love you.” It’s just not going to happen and I don’t know what to do.

Part of me says it’s a losing battle especially around the holidays, but I can’t give in. I can’t let all the yummy and unhealthy foods readily available right now push me over the edge.

Maybe one of these days, I’ll be happy with how I look. Maybe one of these days I won’t “believe” I’m feeling the stares of other people around me for being fat. Maybe one of these days I’ll just accept that this is a part of life. Maybe one of these days, I’ll just destroy every mirror in my house. Or maybe one of these days, I’ll learn to love myself the way God does.

Ain’t Nobody Got Time to Poopy

I gotta tell ya, one of the hardest parts of being a parent is potty training your child. I loathe this part of my life. I’m eager to fast forward to the next stage and be done!

For the most part Davey is potty trained. He pee pees in the potty quite regularly, can make it through nap time and even bedtime without an accident, and actually seems to enjoy the peeing part. The pooping part? Well, that’s a whole other demon and when I’m neck deep in trying to help him poop all I can think is, “I gave up a paying job for this?” At least in the corporate world, when I was neck deep in crap I was getting compensated for it. Here? This doesn’t even help with a down payment on a nice new pair of shoes.

Davey hates, with a capital H, pooping in the potty. I’ve tried begging him, bribing him, guilt tripping him, and even scaring the poop right out of him. Nothing works! This kid will hold it in for days until he just can’t hold it anymore and then we just pray he makes it to the bathroom in time. It’s madness!

Monday, a week after his last poop, I became determined to make sure that one way or another he got out a poop so I called the doctor. It can’t possibly be healthy having all of that backed up inside of you. I was nervous the doctor would want me to bring him in, would tell me horror stories, or berate me for being a mother incapable of getting a poop out of her kid. After all, what sort of mother am I?

I was told it was still a bit too early to panic, but that action needed to be taken immediately. I’m to limit his dairy intake to 2-3 servings per day, increase the fiber in his diet (almost impossible with the world’s pickiest eater), and to give him a capful of Miralax. Fortunately, I didn’t have to do any of that as he literally hit his pooping point and almost didn’t make it to the potty in time.

I sat down with my mother and told her of my problems. As usual, I asked what sort of advice she could give me. She sat back and chuckled quietly before mumbling something along the lines of, “what goes around, comes around.”

Apparently, Davey has inherited his “not pooping” stance from me. When I ask him why he doesn’t want to poop in the potty he says he doesn’t have time. Doesn’t have time? Are you kidding me? What could possibly be more important? Oh! Perhaps it’s terrorizing the dog or his little brother, or maybe it’s demolishing my house. I get it! (not really) And when he finally does poopy,it hurts leaving him with that horrible feeling that encourages him not to poop again.

My mother reminds me of the fact that I once used those same words with her around this age. For years, she gave me prune juice (barf), castor oil, and Metamucil. She claims I didn’t start pooping again until she was graphic about what the doctor would need to do to me. YIKES! I’m not sharing that on this blog.

So, I’m a bit behind the eight ball here. I’m finding myself wondering how I’m going to win the battle with a mini-me, hard-headed, stubborn, independent, and strong-willed. Someone, somehow, is going to have to find time to poop. To aid in this effort, as usual, I’ve bought Davey a book, entitled “It Hurts When I Poop”. Usually, books are the key in this house.

Pooping book


A lot of people ask me why I blog. What is my purpose? What do I get out of it? I’ve thought about it a lot over the 5 + years I’ve been a blogger. I’ve blogged about anything and everything. I’ve blogged for Skirt! a women’s only publication. I’ve blogged for Portrait, an online entertainment magazine. I’ve blogged for myself in two forms…first for a television show known as Vampire Diaries, which I was once addicted to, and then finally for Dreaming of Mommyhood, what you’re reading now.

The one central thing I’ve come up with is that I blog because I like it. No, scratch that. I blog because I love it. I blog because I love the written word. I blog because it’s the only way I can fulfill my dream of being a writer. I suppose I could put myself out there and try to get one of the five partial and completed novels I’ve written published, but I’m terrified of being laughed at or worse, people thinking I’m unintelligent. So, I blog instead because writing is one of my passions.

The reason I bring this up and have entitled today’s post “Passion” is because I’m reading a book co-written by a fellow mom blogger. It’s called “The Digital Mom Handbook”. It’s written by two moms, who like myself were immersed in Corporate America, fulfilling dreams of big careers, illustrious travels, and money. These two moms, after having babies, decided that Corporate America wasn’t all it was cracked up to be, at least not for them. Sacrificing their children’s first moments and memories wasn’t worth the money they would make. Of course, like me, they found themselves starved for anything of intelligent substance, anything that was to keep their brain cells active and fully functioning, so they began blogging. As most of us stay at home moms know, while life may never be mundane it can at times zap you of your intelligence.

I’ve just started reading the book and the first thing these two moms discuss is finding your passion, as clichéd as that may sound. Why do you blog? For them it was because one loved fashion and the other loved writing product reviews. I suppose my passion may be a bit too broad…writing, but it is a passion all the same. I don’t care what I’m writing about, as long as I’m writing. Have I turned that into some extra benjamins in my back pocket? Nope. Would I like to? Sure.

As I started mulling over my passion, I pulled out the five different manuscripts I’ve written, one of which is 640 pages (yes I sat down and wrote a 640 page novel). I’ve had them hibernating away in an old cedar chest that keeps all things valuable to my heart. I don’t know what I’m going to do with them, other than just look at them occasionally and think, “why don’t I submit these to someone?” I have them sitting on the floor alongside my desk in the office right now as I write this. There’s my passion, or part of it.

So, I know why I blog and I know my passion for it, but what I’d really like to know is, why do you all read my blog?

I’ll leave you with this picture, which shows a sampling of my writing, all 2000+ pages of it.

These are my works.
These are my works.

Sew Interesting

If you follow me on Pinterest, you’ll see I have a board entitled, “Sew Interesting”. It’s little pins with helpful hints and tips, along with patterns for the beginning to intermediate to advanced sewer or seamstress. Last Christmas, at the age of 38, I got my very first sewing machine. You would think I’d have won the lottery. It was my greatest gift. Here’s the problem…while I’ve practiced on it some, I have yet to really use it until last night.

First off, let me preface this by saying that I purposely NEVER took Home Economics in high school. I didn’t want to learn how to cook or sew or be a good parent. When I saw my future, it was corporate America with business suits and high heels, board meetings and Starbucks lunches, last minute flights overseas and big deals being closed. I was to be nothing more than a career woman, and I hung true to that until my mid thirties when something happened and that dreaded maternal clock started ticking.

I became a first time parent at 36, as many of you know, and that completely changed my outlook and priorities in life. No longer was it important to be that more likable version of Hillary Clinton (better dressed as well), but it was important for me to be a mother, to raise the next generation of brilliant people. With all of that also came a desire to learn so many domesticated things that I had run screaming from for practically my entire life.

My mother made my clothes growing up. She made curtains and pillows, cushions and blankets. I’d love going with her to pick out a new pattern for a dress and shopping for the fabric from which it would be made. That was some of the greatest times of my life. And the things I once saw as great accomplishments…being the number one sales rep, having three degrees, and making tons of money, are no longer as cool as being able to sew.

Last night, I decided to sit down with my sewing machine after the boys went to bed. I took an old t-shirt of my husband’s, an XXL, and decided to do some alterations to make it into a shirt I could wear. I actually have a stack of old long sleeve and short sleeve t-shirts from my husband, along with dress shirts, he no longer wears, items originally to be donated. Why shouldn’t I just repurpose them into something I can wear?

It took me no time at all. I took a t-shirt of mine, did the measurements, cut the sides of my husband’s old shirt, measured and pinned it and then did a few quick stitches all the way up to the arm. I was shocked at how surprisingly easy this was. Here’s the finished product:

My new t-shirt for game days.
My new t-shirt for game days.

And like with most new things, this has become an addiction. I’ve even found ways to alter jeans to fit my “mommy” curves that I can’t seem to get rid of.

Corporate America Welcoming Me Back

I rose much later this morning than I originally intended. My plan was to rise at 5, go to the Y, come home, shower, get dressed, feed my boys (including my husband), and then make my way back into the corporate world. There are always flaws in the best laid plans. I actually rose at 6:30, sleepily stumbled into the shower, cranked it to hot and rubbed the last little remnants of my restless night from my eyes. Why is it that television makes this look so easy? Oh! That’s right, they live in a bubble with Gwyneth Paltrow as their Queen.

Henry’s fighting a nasty cold, one that has him crying any time he coughs. He’s been running an off and on fever for the past 24 hours and really only wants to sleep cuddled in my arms. While I would love that, I desperately need some sleep as well in order to function. Last night he woke me at 1:30 and I ended up attempting to catch some sleep on his floor with his hand gripped tightly to my finger through the bars of his bed. When I finally made it back to my bed around 3, I had already scratched the early rising to get to the Y off of my list. I just needed sleep so I could make it through my day.

After two cups of coffee, I dusted off the old black business suit. I held it up in front of me and took in a deep breath. Time to see if all of this exercising was going to pay off. It’s been three years since I last wore this suit. Would it fit again? Thankfully, there was no sucking in or holding of the breath. I didn’t need to lie down on the bed with a set of pliers hooked to the zipper as I tried to compress all of that baby fat from the past three years. It fit me just like the good ole days.

So, I waited for my aunt to arrive to watch the boys before hopping in my car and checking my hair and make up in the rearview mirror. I stopped at Starbucks along the way and got my old staple of a Venti non fat no whip mocha and I was off. Man, did it feel like the old days of being a working mom or even just a career gal. With my briefcase in hand, I sashayed into Michelin’s headquarters and set up my booth for the employee health fair, all the while unsure if I was going to be able to do this. The only thing crossing my mind was Henry and whether he was alright.

Thankfully I made it through my first day back into the corporate world. These days will be few and far between as the majority of my work can be done comfortably within my home. Truthfully I was torn. I enjoyed having the excuse to not wear yoga pants and t-shirts. I was all giddy about putting on make up and fixing my hair. For the first time in a long while, I actually felt pretty, attractive, and even intelligent. It was nice to converse with adults and not talk about Handy Manny or Dusty Crophopper. It was even better to go use a bathroom and not have incessant knocking on the door, but in the end I really missed my boys.

As I drove home, I was gratefully to have the opportunity to dip my toes back into the corporate waters, but I’m glad I don’t have to do it every day. It’s a lot harder to focus when you feel torn in so many directions. Corporate America can survive without me and I’m ok with that. My boys can’t, and with that I’m not okay. So, I’ve had my fill for now, enough to quench my thirst for a little while longer. See you in another year or so, Corporate America.

Welcome Back to Corporate America

I know I’m not the only stay at home mom who’s had days like this. They’re the kind of days when you daydream about your old life. The days when you think about the money you used to make. The days when work was left at work and once you walked into the door of your home it was a whole new world. The days when you were paid to put up with sh*t instead of being literally covered in it for free. Please tell me I’m not the only one to actually consider going back to work just to escape my 24/7 life as a stay at home mom. Please?!?!?!

I attribute part of it to the fact that I’ve suffered through round 2 of the dreaded stomach flu in less than 2 weeks. I attribute it to the fact, that not only was I unable to eat, but I was spending every 15-20 minutes in the bathroom for myself and then another 15-20 minutes with my toddler while potty training him (or attempting to). I blame it on the lack of sleep which has affected my lack of patience. I point a finger at my husband’s job which seems to have him working 20 hour days and traveling overnight. I basically blame it on my ability to get too easily overwhelmed.

I spent Wednesday night crying, not just crying, but sobbing. I found myself asking, “is this really the life you want, Amy?” I started perusing online for jobs that I was qualified for and began worrying about whether I would even get a job after taking a 2 year hiatus. I started thinking about the military wives who have husbands away on tour for months on end. These moms have to raise their children on their own and yet I’m complaining about having a bad day. How pathetic am I to gripe about my life? Yeah, I went down that path too.

When I started looking for jobs, I started feeling conflicted. Do I really want to go back to work? Do I really want to miss out on my boys growing up, their adventures, their firsts? I’d be taking the easy way out and what would all of those other stay at home moms think about me when they saw I couldn’t cut it? Yep, I started thinking about that stuff too.

My patience had entered a whole new realm with Davey, one that I’d never tried to navigate before and one I’d hope I’d never have to go down. I yelled at him on Wednesday, not once, not twice, but three times for stupid petty little things. Maybe I should go back to work!

Henry refused to be anywhere except in my arms. Davey refused to have Henry anywhere except AWAY from my arms and the darn dog nearly caused me to break my neck multiple times because she needed her share of attention too and was constantly under my feet. Why must everyone be so needy all at the same time????? Is this really the life I chose for myself?

Well, yes, it is. Wednesday was only two short days ago, but I’ve managed to FINALLY move past the stomach flu, although I’ve entered the allergy continuum. I’ve managed to get some sleep, not spend nights hugging a toilet. I’ve managed to actually develop some level of energy which means no more putting Davey in front of the t.v. because I feel too terrible to do anything with him. And putting him in front of the t.v. has only made me feel worse about my parenting duties.

So, I’ve since tabled my grand plan to walk back into Corporate America like the less scarier version of Joan Rivers. I’ve since taken a breath and looked at both of my boys and sat in awe of who they are. I’ve since reminded myself that my life is blessed not cursed and I’m on a path that was destined for me, chosen for me, and one that I can and will endure and love even during the bad times, at least until the next time Murphy’s Law decides to knock on my door and knock me off my feet.

But you want to really know what has gotten me through? My Bible and the stories of Joseph who was sold into slavery by his brothers and the entire book of Job. And in the words of Gloria Gaynor, “I will survive.”


14 years ago, I sat in a Modern Political Theory class at Clemson University. I had just two more semesters left to go before graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech and Communication Studies and Political Science. I was already studying hard for the GRE (Graduate Record Exam) and had eager aspirations of attending the University of Maryland in order to get a Master’s Degree in Political Communications. From them on, I was going to attain a job at the State Department and possibly get myself a job somewhere overseas. Then and only then would I consider my life to have been a success. Needless to say, my life didn’t go down that path, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been a success.

14 years ago, the thought of a husband and children was not a part of my life’s dream. It didn’t seem to fit into the equation of the goals I’d set for myself. Plus, at that point in my life, being a wife and mother was just ho hum. It was average and there really wasn’t anything spectacular about it. I needed more than just average. There would be no success story found anywhere there, or so I’d told myself.

The past few years of my life have helped me to change my view of what success really is and I’d like to share it with you all, especially for you other mothers out there who are perhaps not doing what you thought you would be doing with your life years ago. I do have my Bachelors Degree from Clemson University and I did manage to go to grad school, albeit not at Maryland, but through Webster University and it wasn’t in Communications, but instead Business Administration. I’m not exactly using any of my degrees at this point, but that doesn’t mean I’m not a success.

I’ve met quite a few mothers who feel that they need to find a way to balance it all in order to be successful. Many of my friends still feel that having that illustrious career is what makes them successful. They feel that the world judges them because they are women who have children and a career. But, here’s an idea…maybe your children could be your career and you could be just as successful at it or more so than at some corporate America job.

The past couple of weeks I’ve found myself reflecting upon my life and the choices I’ve made…where they’ve led me and how I feel about the end result. And here’s what I’ve found, my life is more successful now than I could have ever imagined stationed at some Embassy or political post overseas. How have I come to that you ask? Well, here are a few examples of how I measure success, especially as a stay at home mom to a 2 & 1/2 year old and a 2 & 1/2 month old.

Last week, Davey met one of my former colleagues from my days in Corporate America. He reached out his hand, shook her hand and said, “Nice to meet you.” Success! I have a very well mannered son.

Davey saw another child crying over the weekend at a rugby game. He walks over to the child and says, “It will be alright, would you like to play with Davey?” Success! He’s empathetic and concerned.

Davey walked over to his friend at church on Sunday and began singing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star with her and even held her hand. Success! He’s learned the words to the song and is such a happy little boy to sing along with his friend.

Every Tuesday morning that I take Davey to school, he immediately walks over to his teachers and hugs them both. Success! I have a loving child.

Every Tuesday that I pick him up from school, he tells all of his friends goodbye, taking the time to hug each one of them. Success! He’s a friend to all.

At every meal, he doesn’t eat until he’s said the blessing and thanked the Lord for what we have. Success! He’s learning the importance of thanking God.

And at least once a day, I’m asked to read Jesus to him, which means Davey would like a Bible story. Success! He’s learning about God!

These are only just a few small examples of what makes me feel successful not only as a mom, but as a woman and as a person in general. I don’t make tens of thousands of dollars and there are days when I feel like my job as a mother is just a complete failure, but when I see my son, outgoing, loving, smart, and well-mannered, I know I’ve been a success. When I see his smile every morning (and Henry’s too), I know that I’ve been the most successful person I could ever be. I’ve birthed two beautiful boys, both inside and out, and I’ve managed to mold them into children who will become successful adults as well. And again, their success won’t necessarily be measured by awards and dollar figures, but more about the character and integrity they have as young men.

I am a success.