Two Parenting Epiphanies I Wish I’d Realized Sooner

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I've had a couple of valuable epiphanies since Baby Gwen (our third) arrived. After an easy-going season for four-year-old Benjamin, the addition of a new baby seemed to throw him for a loop. His frustration wasn't ever directed at her, his "sweetheart", but at me. We just weren't clicking. It felt like he was a black hole of needs and I was in the throws of postpartum sleep deprivation with … [Read more...]

Stop Doing, Start Being

From the day he was born, Benjamin, my four-year-old, has fought sleep. No season of my life has been as difficult as the newborn days of exhaustion we faced as we attempted to care for an infant who never slept. He had to be sleeping on one of us or sleep simply wouldn’t happen. When he was awake, he was crying , because he was just so tired. After reading a great piece by Auntie Leila over at … [Read more...]

I’m a Mother, Not the CEO of My Household

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The other day I was taking a walk with my almost 2-year-old, Lucy while wearing a sleeping Baby Gwen. The September sky was deep blue through the pines and the wind was blowing away the corners of the oppressive blanket of Florida heat. Lucy was carefully choosing spots to sit down on the nature trail and let the sand run through her fingers. She found leaves, flowers, and butterflies and asked me … [Read more...]

7 Books for New Moms

A Note from Haley: While we're enjoying vacation with no internet connection in the NC mountains with our extended family, my favorite librarian mama and dear friend, Katherine of shouting hallelujah, is sharing some of her favorite books for mamas. I may have a not-so-secret hope that Baby Gwen and Katherine's young Pip (see below) decide someday that it would be a fine idea to marry. Ahem. Enjoy … [Read more...]

I’m Trying Not to Be the “Just Wait” Mom

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I am the mother of a newborn, a toddler, and a preschooler. When my friends who are first time moms tell me about their parenting challenges, two words try to creep to the tip of my tongue: “Just wait.” When a friend says, “I just can’t take the baby to the grocery store, it’s too stressful!” What I want to say is, “Just wait. Try taking THREE kids to the grocery store! Taking just the baby to … [Read more...]

Praying with Your Feet

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Sometimes I make the mistake of separating my spiritual life from my vocation as a wife and mother. I see my children as distractions from prayer and spirituality, rather than an opportunity to love God. On a particularly trying morning with a very fussy infant at church, I spent almost all of Mass outside holding my crying baby and watching Mass through the door. Afterwards, I lamented to a … [Read more...]

8 Reasons Molly Weasley Is a Great Literary Mama

Since becoming a mother, I read my favorite children’s books with different eyes. I find myself more interested in Marmee than Jo March and more fascinated by Caroline Ingalls than by Laura. One of my favorite mamas from literature is Molly Weasley. But what exactly makes this stay-at-home mom of seven so admirable? I’m sharing why I think she's so great in honor of Mother's Day coming up this … [Read more...]

A Letter to My Former Self On the Day I Became a Mother

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On the eve of my firstborn's fourth birthday... Dear Former Self, You think today is memorable because you’re recovering from the Great Gatsby-themed college graduation party you threw last night and looking forward to a trip to see Radiohead. But that’s not why you’ll remember this day in May for the rest of your life. The funny thing is, the reason today is memorable won’t even occur to … [Read more...]

Birth Plan Advice

Today I'm over at MamaAndBabyLove talking about envisioning your dream birth plan. If you're expecting, a good birth plan is a must! Here's a snippet of my post, I hope you, or a friend, can find it helpful: "When we wrote our birth plan for our first baby, my husband and I were surprised to realize how many things we hadn’t thought about before. Who was going to cut the cord? Did we want our … [Read more...]

The Adventure of Motherhood

You can find me today over at Mama and Baby Love talking about The Adventure of Motherhood: We recently got the wonderful news that we’re expecting Baby #3. (Yay!) I thought by the third time around, discovering we were pregnant would feel old hat. It didn’t. I was just as shocked and in awe at this news as the first time we found out we were expecting. Truly. I literally screamed “I’M … [Read more...]