Dressing a post-baby body

I don’t have to dress for an office every day, so usually the style I’m going for is comfy-cute. But I realized I was looking more like bedraggled-new-mom lately. I had this uniform of skinny jeans, a stretchy tank top and a curvy fitted cardigan that I thought was flattering. But the way the sweater curved out at the bottom was actually just highlighting my stomach, which is the part I least want to highlight. 

So I tried to find some affordable and truly flattering pieces that would take my style up a notch, but still be practical for my lifestyle. I have to carry a toddler, bend over constantly and play in the dirt. So anything I wear has to work with that, plus be nursing friendly for a little while longer. So that’s pretty limiting, but I’m finding some basics that are working really well, and I just wanted to share. 

1. Merona sweater dress, on sale for $16.08 at Target
I grabbed this on clearance without even trying it on, and it has become one of my favorite pieces to wear. After I washed the dress, it got shorter, so it’s more of a tunic now. Throw on a belt if you want to define the waist a little more. The zipper detail on the shoulder is key!

2. Old Navy linen shirt, on sale for $20.
Button-up shirts don’t usually work for me, but these are softer and more comfortable than most. They’re super cute layered over a tank top, and they have shape without being too tight over a less-than-flat belly.

3. Toms cordones, $69 (get their emails for coupon codes)
I love these shoes because they’re just a little bit more stylish than your average slip-on. I don’t have time for laces anymore, so I leave mine out. Best part about Toms — you can throw them in the washer anytime they get dirty. I got these in a grey color, but I probably should have gone with black.

4. J.Crew Jackie cardigan, $65
I bought 3 J.Crew sweaters when they were ridiculously cheap on clearance, and this one is by far the best. It’s short and fitted and really comfortable. I should probably get rid of 2/3 of my cardigans and just have a couple of these. 

5. Denizen modern skinny jeans, $27.99 at Target
Over the holidays my pants were getting too tight so I went to Target and bought another pair out of desperation. I normally would not pay nearly $30 for Target jeans, but these fit so perfectly, I had to. And I’m so glad I did because they’ve become my absolute favorite pants.  They’re fitted enough to be flattering, but stretchy like a jegging. And $27.99 is really not a lot to pay for good jeans.

6. PACT cropped leggings, $29.99 (I got them during one of their 30% off sales)
I’m wearing a lot more dresses lately, so tights have become essential for chilly nights. I love pretty much everything from PACT — they’re a great eco-friendly company. Next chance I get, I’m ordering more of these.

7. Old Navy bermuda shorts, $24.94
I bought two pairs of these last season when they were on sale for $10. They are so perfect for when you need something casual to wear on a warm day. I have short legs, so I roll up the cuffs a little higher. 

8. Old Navy jersey tamis, $10
As I’ve said before, I live in these. They’re nice and long, which is an absolute must for me. Plus they’re stretchy and they come in lots of cute colors. If they ever stop making these, I will be totally screwed.

9. Old Navy terry sweatshirt, $17.94
There’s a lot of Old Navy here because I think they make the best variety of inexpensive basics. That store has saved me! (Though I am starting to explore our new UNIQLO store.) Anyway, I included this sweatshirt, because it is the least frumpy looking sweatshirt I’ve ever seen. It’s another great layering piece that I’m finding I can’t live without.

What are you wearing these days?

12 months!

A few days ago, Harper turned 1. We survived the first year! And that is something. 

Here she was as a teeny newborn. 

And here she is now.

It’s incredible how someone could change so much so quickly. Here she is, month-by-month.

In honor of her birthday I thought I would give you 12 things about Harper at 12 months:

1. She loves yogurt.

This girl cannot get enough yogurt. She can eat more at one sitting than I can! In fact, she eats way more than you would ever think such a tiny person could eat. But that’s because she’s going at full speed all day. 

2. Her hair finally lays flat.

Harper has had some epic hair fluff throughout her life. We always said she took after her dad that way, he of the spiky hair. But now it’s finally long enough and heavy enough to lay (mostly) flat. The only exception — post-nap hair.

3. She can walk. She just won’t.

Evidence here.

She cruises around all day. Either that or her funky crab crawl with one leg out. But I still have to convince her to walk by herself. As with so many things, you can’t make Harper do something if she doesn’t want to.

4. She’s a strawberry blond. For now. 

She’s gone from brown hair to red hair to blond with a reddish tint. I can’t imagine it will stay that way forever, but it seems to be sticking around for now.

5. She gives great hugs.

One of the many reasons I like this age is the hugs. She cuddles and gives you a full-on squeeze now. It’s so sweet. I might be in the minority but I don’t have a lot of nostalgia for the newborn days. This age is a blast in comparison.

6. She’s starting to form her own language.

I think she’s on the cusp of syllables turning into words. She repeats things rather than saying them totally randomly. I think mama, dada, and dog are in there somewhere. You know, the important stuff.

7. She pretty much always has a cold.

This picture really sums up what our January was like. First she had a stomach virus (and her first real throw up, ugh), then a cold, then another cold. Mike and I got them too, so we’ve been a bunch of phlegm wads all month. I didn’t realize there were so many things kids could get sick from, but I’m learning fast! Thank goodness for boogie wipes. 

8. She’s nothing like me.

I joke, but she really is so much like Mike. Both in appearance and in personality. She looks a lot like he did in baby pictures with the blond hair. And especially the way she scrunches up her nose when she laughs. She’s mischievous and expressive and social. But there is one thing we all have in common — we want things done our way!

9. The dishwasher might be her favorite toy.

I don’t know what it is about the dishwasher, but she could stand there for hours. We are going to have to start eating with only spoons so she doesn’t poke herself. 

10. She still loves to be outside.

Fresh air goes a long way with this kid. Now that we’re all well we need to plan some more adventures.

11. She is a little too fearless sometimes.

Harper got her first fat lip this month when she tripped and fell while cruising around. I’m sure it was more traumatic for us. Her mouth was bleeding and I couldn’t tell what from. Turns out it was just a cut lip. But ooh, it makes you scared for the future!

12. She’s going through rapid-fire development.

It’s amazing to watch the wheels turning as she figures things out. You can’t trick her anymore. If she wants to go somewhere or play with something, she points or shakes her head no.

It has to be incredibly frustrating to want to do so many things and not be able to communicate those desires. So I’m sure that’s the origin of a lot of her crankiness.

She cracks us up with her dancing and her peek-a-boo games and her fascination with small dogs. (Her favorite is Mike’s office dog, Juan Carlos.) She’s big on handing you things, but not necessarily giving them to you. 

We had this birthday picnic planned at a park in Berkeley, but of course the long-awaited deluge of rain happened last week. We moved the party indoors and it ended up being really fun.

Happy birthday to my baby girl!

11 months

I feel like this month someone took my baby and streeetched her out. Though she still has plenty of baby chub, she is starting to grow more up than out.

She is all energy and curiosity lately. December was so busy with craft sales and travel that I really needed her to be on her best behavior. And by some miracle, she was.

Of course most of the time she was crab-crawling or cruising around the house getting into trouble. But at least she was in a good mood!

Early in the month her Denver grandparents came to visit and took on the back-breaking job of walking her all over the place.

We had early Christmas with them, which featured these adorable Babiators.

She’s always looking around for someone to engage with. She’s big on clapping and waving when she feels like it.

She learned to shake her head no. But I think it only means no about half the time.

Our house looks like it has been hit by a toy tornado. But most of the time she can be found playing with anything but toys. It’s messy, but I like that she’s trying to learn more about the world around her.


The hair refuses to be tamed.

She still eats pretty much anything we give her, but I don’t think it will be long before she starts getting picky. We’ve also discovered the magic of Cheerios as both a toy and food.

For Christmas we traveled to Minnesota and Wisconsin, where she got to experience a number of firsts:

First bone-chilling cold. It was -13 the morning we left.

First time seeing snow.

And eating it.


She got to hang out with her buddy, Aldo, in Minneapolis.

First sledding with daddy.

We even had a sleigh ride, which was pretty cool.

First pom-pom hat.

First Packer jersey.

And of course, first Christmas.

She and her cousin Grace were pretty darn cute in their matching Christmas pjs.

I know her Wisconsin grandparents really enjoyed the time with her. And Mike and I enjoyed our first overnight trip to Duluth, just the two of us.

We were pretty grateful for a baby who traveled so well.

The plane ride home was full of babies, including maybe 18-month-old twins who screamed most of the flight. Instead of being annoyed, I just felt terrible for the mom. Harper can be a handful, but lately a pretty happy one.

I almost forgot to say that she took a few steps on her own during our trip. She’s not walking yet, but as soon as she decides she’s ready, she’ll just do it. Then we’ll really be in trouble.

10 months

I’m a little bit behind with this post, but this month is cra-zy, so I’m just happy to get it done at all. 

Maybe it’s the double digits or something, but this is the first month I’ve really thought, “there’s no way she can be 10 months old!”

This month has been such a blur. I just looked back at my calendar and realized all that has happened since she turned 9 months.

We took our trip to Kansas and Iowa.

Then there was a death in the family, and Harper and I spent our week together.

Harper was sick with her first fever, which turned out to be roseola. Man, if holding a sick baby doesn’t break your heart, I don’t know what will.

Then Thanksgiving.

Then a super busy week filled with orders and craft show prep. A little Christmas decorating thrown in there too.

And here we are with a 10-month-old baby. Whew!

This has also been a huge month for Harper’s mobility and communication. She finally figured out how to half crawl/scoot across the room and get into all kinds of trouble.

I also realized that if I let go of her hands she could stand on her own for a few seconds. So walking doesn’t seem so far off.

She seems a little hesitant to actually go for it, though. Even though she has the ability to get around, she still prefers to stay close a lot of the time.

She learned the sign for “more”, so it has been fun to see her use it at mealtimes.

She still eats anything and everything if she is hungry. The only problem is she also eats anything she can find off the floor.

I am constantly reaching into her mouth to fish out some piece of detritus from the floor. Tufts of dog hair, crumpled paper, bits of cork, leaves, yarn fuzzies, tiny pebbles — I’ve found them all in her mouth. No matter how much I vaccuum and sweep, she manages to find something else.

She remains as expressive as ever. I think what she does when she’s upset can officially be called a tantrum. But she’s full of giggles and waves, too.

And oh my gosh, how hilarious is it when kids this age make the “poop face”? There is no mistaking what she’s doing when she gets frowny and turns bright red.

What’s going on with her hair can only be described as new wave. It is truly awesome.

We’re getting excited for my biggest show of the year, baby’s first Christmas with her grandparents, more travel and getting closer to her first birthday. My little Harps is going from baby to toddler!

Alone with Harper

Last week was a pretty big week for us. Mike had a business trip to DC, so I was planning to be alone with Harper for a whole 3 days. That may not seem like much, but it was the longest we’d ever be without dad, and it sounded really scary. Then Mike’s grandma passed away, and 3 days turned into a week. 

My first inclination was to panic. But it was the only situation that made sense at the time, so I accepted it. And it was so fascinating what changed during that week. It was like all the fears and doubts I had about my ability to take care of Harper slowly melted away. Even though I care for her every day there’s still a part of me deep down that thinks I either can’t do this or am not good at it. I don’t think I realized before that I was harboring all that. But as the week went on and I realized that I was doing just fine on my own, I relaxed. It was honestly one of the least stressful weeks since she was born. 

I had a pretty big load of orders to make, too. But since I had no one to help me out — in the evenings, especially — I sort of switched into a different mode where I knew I could only get tiny bits of work done here and there. I just didn’t stress about that. And the crazy thing is that I got all my orders done and with much less fretting than usual. So I’m trying to move forward with that new philosophy. I won’t push it when I’m just not able to get something finished.

I also don’t think I realized how much I had been needing some completely alone time. That was something I always had in bits and pieces before, but haven’t really had since Harper was born. I really enjoyed having a few evenings to myself after she went to sleep. I could read what I wanted, watch what I wanted, eat what I wanted. Of course I missed Mike, but think about how much alone time he got! We all need that, and it’s OK.

I know this post has become kind of a brain dump, but I just wanted to mention one other thing that became clear after last week. I think something that has been holding me back from truly being able to enjoy parenting is this constant feeling that we just need to get through this next challenge, weather the fill-in-the-blank (teething, growth spurt, cold) storm, and then everything will be better. But that’s not how it works. There will always be a next thing. And if you spend all your time looking ahead to some perfect time, you’ll never truly be present in your child’s life.

I know that once I accepted that concept, I felt so much closer to Harper and happier in this role. It’s like that wonderful roller coaster metaphor in the movie “Parenthood” (one of my faves). This is a roller coaster and it’s truly nuts sometimes. But you have to get on board to enjoy the ride. You have to tilt your head back and take in all the gut-dropping slides. The last couple days with a feverish baby have brought that home, for sure. But I think I appreciate her in ways I never have before. Seeing her finally master mobility last week made me so proud. I instantly had these visions of her wobbling across a stage in a tutu or kicking a soccer ball into a net someday. I finally get what that feels like. It feels pretty amazing.

9 months

This month’s post is a little late due to our Midwest trip (more about that later). But this month has been so busy I hardly remember what happened anyway. I know Harper went through a lot of developmental changes.

At the beginning of the month she was a cheerful, easygoing baby. I had one blissful week where it seemed like I could put her down and she would entertain herself while I got my work done. I had more work than usual, so it came in handy.

But as the month progressed she became more fussy and clingy, always wanting my attention and to be carried around. That is so hard when I’m staring down a huge to-do list! But I think I realized it was important to give her the extra attention while she was having a tough time. Her two top teeth started to show underneath her gums and although they haven’t popped through, I think they have contributed to her moods.


Her hair has thickened and grown into a delightful little swoop.

She’s also made some rapid changes in her mobility and communication. She went from barely being able to pick up her legs while we practiced walking to racing down the hallways while one of us barely supports her. Our poor backs are killing us, but it’s a lot of fun. 

She can also stand up for several minutes while balancing on something, sometimes with just one hand. I don’t think it will be long before she starts trying to stand up all on her own.


Who needs a walker when you have a pouf?

Still no crawling, but maybe it just won’t happen. She’s certainly improved her reach. One time we were at the grocery store and she reached out her arm and knocked a whole bunch of boxes off a shelf. Needless to say we’ve amped up our babyproofing. 

She had started to attempt waving last month, but this month she figured it out. Now all you have to do is say “hi” and she waves. She also figured out clapping (so adorable) and high-fiving. She looooves to bang on things, so anything that makes a clapping sound is fun for her. 

We had a lot of fun dressing her up as Princess Leia for Halloween.

We took her to a moms group gathering where we got to put her together with about 15 other babies. That was total cute overload. 

Speaking of cute overload, her new bathtub is super adorable. How could I resist that?

Oh, I almost forgot another development this month. She has become cuddly again.

Although she is pretty squirmy most of the time, she will cuddle up to you when she’s sleepy. She’s started falling asleep in our arms for naps or before bedtime. 

That could be part of the reason she’s also started protesting her naps like crazy. I think she doesn’t want to be alone in her crib, so she often cries even when I know she’s tired. That has been rough. Do I give comfort or discipline?

I still struggle with that, but this past week has been better. As I now know very well, having a baby is a total roller coaster and sometimes you just don’t know the answers. 

Harper is just as social as ever. She is constantly looking around for people to communicate with. I’m glad she is such a smiley outgoing baby. Though it’s definitely different from my personality, I love to see her developing into her own little self. 

Another change this month: girlfriend is hungry! She not only eats bits of what we eat, she can suck down whole packages of baby food, plus several milk feedings a day. I think she is moving so much that she is constantly burning energy.

And since she shows no signs of slowing down I think she will just eat more and more. I’ve figured out how to make my own baby food, so that’s been fun. Pretty much all of her 9-month outfits are smudged with food stains, but oh well. 

I am also relieved to say that Harper is a really good traveler. We took her on two 3+ hour flights to Kansas, plus two 3.5 hour drives to Iowa and she was a champ through all of it. Plus we added 2 more time changes right after daylight savings. We have another trip coming up in December, so I hope she’s good then too.

One day, hour by hour

I really liked Erin’s idea of documenting a day, hour by hour, so I thought I would try it. When you’re home with a baby there is no average day, but I think this day (Monday) turned out to be a pretty good picture of our daily life. 

7:30 a.m.

Because of daylight savings time, Harper woke up extra early and Mike got up with her about 6:45. He usually lets me sleep a little longer since that’s their time together before he goes to work. When I got up, he was feeding her some baby food I’d made over the weekend.

8:30 a.m.

I tried putting her in her jumper to play, but she didn’t want to.

She used to love that thing, but not anymore. She seems to be making a developmental leap — mimicking, clapping, trying to stand/walk — that is making life chaotic lately. Note to self: get some next-stage toys!

9:30 a.m.

Mike left for work, so now I am trying to check some things off my to-do list. One of them was to try to get a replacement wheel for our stroller. After a few minutes with a grumpy customer service rep, I am told a replacement is on the way.

10:30 a.m.

I’m working on some pom-pom projects for an upcoming blog post. 

Harper is starting to get cranky, so I give her a cold teether. Her two top teeth are starting to come in, so that always makes days more challenging.

11:30 a.m.

Harper is an epic nap warrior. She has always taken short naps, and after getting into a routine of 4 30-minute naps a day, she is now down to two. And she fights hard to go down for them. After another major battle I finally get her to go down. I had to sneak in her room to get this photo of her.

After she woke up, a mere 20 minutes later, I realized that her leg was actually stuck in the bars of her crib. Now I feel terrible!

12:30 p.m.

After lunch (leftover pot pie, which I shared with her), I got some dishes washed.

Harper decided to play with a whisk on the floor. She is very into anything that is not an actual toy.

1:30 p.m.

Harper plays with some toys on my lap. I can tell she is still tired from only having one short nap, especially when she starts slumping over. 

I feel like I have to be consistent with her napping in the crib, so we battle again for her to go to sleep in there.

2:30 p.m.

The nap thing didn’t really work. I was so nervous about her sleeping position that I kept interrupting her sleep. When I finally gave up and took her out of the crib, she was not too happy.

3:30 p.m.

I realized that maybe I was being too strict about the naps and that maybe with the teething, the developmental changes, and the cold she has, she probably needs some extra comfort. So I cuddled up to her in our bed and she fell asleep. For an hour!

Poor thing was exhausted. I eventually got up and worked on the computer while she slept.

4:30 p.m.

Post-nap, Harper is in a much better mood. I assemble some cloth diapers while she plays. Usually we get some kind of outing in the afternoon, but we ran out of time today.

5:30 p.m.

I have one order to finish from a big group of orders I got last week. So I get to knitting. 

6:30 p.m.

I make dinner.

Harper feeds herself one of those baby food packets. She used to only eat a few bites of baby food here and there, but now she has a huge appetite. 

7:30 p.m.

Dinner is ready (veggie chili) and Mike is home.

I live for this part of the day when I get a little break! 

8:30 p.m.

Harper’s bed time. She ends up falling asleep on me without her bedtime feeding.

She hasn’t been this cuddly since she was a month old, and I have to admit I love it!

9:30 p.m.

Now that we don’t have cable, we are totally hooked on “Dancing with the Stars.” Tonight Cher is a guest judge. She’s still rockin’ it. 

I use my baby-free time to get a little more work done. This time of year I’m usually stockpiling accessories for the Renegade Craft Fair in December. 

10:30 p.m. 

Bedtime. Sometimes I get some reading done before I go to sleep, but not tonight. It’s been a long day. 

Harper’s first pumpkin patch + trip to Google

Two Fridays ago it was a beautiful day and Mike was off work, so we decided to take Harper to a pumpkin patch in the south bay.

There were pre-picked pumpkins as far as the eye could see. Most of them were in good shape, so it was kind of hard to decide which ones to get.

We ended up with two orange pumpkins and one white one. If it were up to me I probably would have taken home two giant wagonloads. I just love pumpkins. 🙂

Harper got to sit on the big tractor, just like Mike did as a kid.

And we had to sit her on a giant pumpkin just because.

In addition to carving pumpkins, they had all kinds of squashes, gourds, and even popcorn.

We took home one hubbard to cook. When she’s a little older I think Harper will enjoy some of the other stuff they had, like a hay bale pyramid and wagon rides. There’s also a whole park with farm animals there.

Since we were so far from home already and we had some time to kill before dinner, we decided to drive around Silicon Valley. I had never been to Stanford or seen any of the social media headquarters, so it was fun to check them out.

The Google campus is huge, and full of surprises like these sculptures.

I didn’t realize employees could borrow these multi-colored bikes to ride around anytime.

I couldn’t believe how many people were actually using them!

Mike showed me the parking lot dedicated to electric vehicles.


I love how someone has carefully swept around the sign on the ground.


Tesla spotted in the wild!

After that we spent some time in downtown Palo Alto, which has a really nice shopping area. They even have the only Plan Toys retail store, which was fun to check out.

I loved our day of exploration, but man is it expensive down there! We were pretty happy to go back to our little bubble (with one new toy, of course).

8 months

Harper is 8 months old now, and that means one thing — she’s 2/3 of the way to being a year old! I know I shouldn’t be thinking about that already, but I can’t help it. She’s changing so fast now, and the months are flying by. 

There was one week this month when it seemed like she changed more than she ever had. All the sudden she had her third tooth, she was saying “ma-ma-ma” and getting halfway to crawling. She had never shown any interest in crawling and then all the sudden she was not where I put her! 

She’s now figured out how to get up on all fours, but hasn’t quite gotten the moving forward part. Half of me is urging her on. The other half is hoping she takes her sweet time figuring it out. 

This month it finally felt like some kind of weight had lifted. There was just an ease that had never been there before.

We had some hard days when she was teething and some nights when our good sleeping schedule got completely out of whack. But we know how to recover now. And I think I’ve been able to realize when to give myself a break so I can be a better mom. 

This month my stress was about work. The orders picked up and I had to get ready for a craft show. It wasn’t always easy to fit in that much work, but I managed to do it, and it felt good. 

Harper is still full of smiles for strangers. She is pretty good at entertaining herself for short amounts of time. One week she was cracking me up staring at her hands.

I love that we are able to play games now. We can interact with her in new ways and get a response. Her giggles are so infectious. 

She is starting to scare me a little bit with her newfound mobility. We had to lower the crib and start putting her on the floor instead of on furniture. 

Our biggest battle is over items to chew on. She wants absolutely anything that is not a toy. She loves cell phones and remotes and cords and yarns. 

It seems like whatever is most dangerous is what she wants to play with or put in her mouth. 

Foodwise, I think she has eaten pretty much everything we eat now with no ill effects. But she takes a few bites and then loses interest.

I guess we are just following her lead and when she’s ready she’ll eat more. She is able to feed herself things that she can hold in her hand, which is pretty cool (especially for the dogs). 

Her baby chub is so freakin’ cute. She just has a cascade of rolls on her arms and legs. 

For all those rolls she is still really strong. She can jump for days in her jumperoo. I love how happy it makes her. 

And if we help her she can start picking up her legs to walk. 

The next month will only get busier with work, so it will be a challenge to watch her as she gets more mobile. But I cherish this time, especially now that I realize it is sailing by. 

On being a work-at-home mom

I think I knew going in that being a work-at-home mom was going to be more “mom” than “work.” But seven months in, I can totally confirm that it is a really tough thing to combine the two and feel good about both of them. 

Initially I was in survival mode, just trying to get through each day’s parenting challenges with a few orders thrown in here and there. After three months I had added most of my products back to my shop and had started contributing occasional posts to Goodsmiths, and it felt good to work again. Now Harper is able to occupy herself more during the day, so I’m able to squeeze in more orders and more writing while watching her, in addition to those night and weekend hours (and Fridays when Mike’s home too). 

Now work feels vital. And it’s getting harder to view the days as mom first, work second. Eventually she will need more socialization, and hopefully I’ll have enough demand for my work that I can justify sending her to some daycare/preschool for a few hours a week. Having totally uninterrupted work time seems absolutely blissful at this point. She is a sweet and happy baby most of the time, but her naps never last more than 1/2 an hour, and she can pitch one heck of a fit during teething days. So it is hard to find a good balance when you never know what each day will bring.

I’m finding certain routines to be really helpful in this lifestyle. Morning is the best time for me to work out — Mike’s around to watch Harper and then I get that off my list for the day. Harper is usually awake for 2 hours at a time, then takes a nap. That gives me some idea when I’ll have a little free time throughout the day. She gets jammies at 8, her last meal at 8:30 and then down for bed at 9. That consistency really seems to help her sleep routine. 

Though it seems like a baby’s life is pretty simple, they do get bored pretty easily. So I find the best days are when Harper gets out of the house for some stimulation. Even just a trip to Target is better than nothing. I’m getting more relaxed about taking her various places. It’s so nice to have her able to sit up in a cart without dragging in all these contraptions!

It’s funny, I think I used to have some unfair judgment about people who went straight back to full-time work after having a baby. Sort of a – why have kids if you are just going to have someone else raise them? type of attitude. But now that I’m here, I can totally see why staying home isn’t for everyone. There’s no one else in my life that I would spend that much time with without it affecting our relationship. It’s intense sometimes. Especially since this little person is also whining, crying, peeing, pooping, and spitting up on you with regularity. I’ve never had a job this hard. It challenges me at every level. I think that’s part of why I want to do it. I live for challenges. Like say, starting a handmade business with no actual business experience…

What I love about this arrangement is that even on the hardest days I get to do what I love AND watch my baby grow up. She sees that her mom got to live her passion and be there for her at the same time. It certainly saves us money on childcare. In the bay area childcare is so expensive it would almost not be worth it for me to work a 9-5 job. I have the freedom to take trips and spend time with people who come to visit. I can take advantage of business opportunities in this area that I definitely didn’t have before. 

As with any job, you get better over time. I’m still new at this. I’m not always good at it and I don’t always enjoy it. But I think it was the right choice for our family. As our family grows I may want to make some changes, but for now we’re in a good place. We’ll see how it goes once the holiday shopping season heats up!

I’ve read so many articles lately about women struggling to find work/life balance with a family, and it seems like SO many people are grappling with this issue. There just aren’t a lot of easy answers. I think families need more support generally — more paid leave, more affordable daycare, more vacation days, better healthcare — so that both moms and dads wouldn’t have to feel like they had to make such hard choices. I also read a ton of articles kind of making light of parenthood, basically saying “hey, let yourself off the hook for feeling this way.” It seems we are carrying around a lot of guilt and we need to give ourselves a break sometimes. You can’t try every idea on Pinterest and make dinner and clean the house and stay sane. Sometimes you just have to put your feet up and laugh at how the day went.