Not the fun parent

Confession: I am not a fun parent. I like to plan fun things for my kids to do while I watch from the sidelines. I just don't engage well in imaginary play. In fact, the last time my daughter and I played with her dolls, I dressed my doll in a conservative tunic, leggings, and hipster glasses readying her for a day perusing the aisles of used bookstores. K's doll was decked out in tulle and glitter and big sunglasses and was headed to the ball for an evening of dancing.

"You're dressing your doll in that?" K inquired as I held up my doll.

Playing with my kids just doesn't come naturally for me.

Conversely, you will often find my husband playing with our kids--jumping on the trampoline, playing catch, wrestling in the living room, playing tag in the yard--he has earned the fun parent award.
My husband playing catch with our kids while I watch from our hammock
There is one thing, though, that I love to do with my kids: Music.


Death has no eyes

Is there an idea or thought that hangs over you like a perpetually cloudy day? When I became a mother three years ago, I suddenly realized the weight of my life. I suddenly had REAL responsibilities (not that my responsibilities were fake or insignificant before I became a mother) that would impact my children. Consequently, I became filled with anxiety about so many things--the job I had, the house we lived in, the food we ate, the places we took our kids to, the relationships we built around our family. When I became a mother, life felt REAL. It felt heavy and consequential. But there's one idea/thought/fear that has won out as being the biggest, most scary...

life without my husband.


To The Husband Whose Wife is Struggling With Anxiety

Note: This piece was published on Her View From Home last week. It's a more serious piece that stemmed from my experiences working with my husband to help get my anxiety under control.

My husband and I have had some tough conversations about how he can help during bouts of my anxiety. It hasn't been a comfortable experience, and it's not something we thought we'd face when we got married ten years ago. I think anxiety or other mental health issues can catch couples off guard. I don't think I ever exhibited symptoms of anxiety as a kid; rather, my anxiety has developed in my adult years in response to several life stressors crammed into a short period of time (infertility, a failed adoption, two big moves, new jobs, a career change, foster parenting, and adopting two kiddos with prior trauma...all within 5 years). I struggled quietly for at least two years (though, looking back, I feel like the anxiety developed two years prior to that) before I finally let my husband in on my struggles. I'm hoping this piece will be an encouragement to wives who may be struggling alone with their anxiety and a support for husbands who find themselves in uncharted waters.

Here's a teaser of the letter....
This is not something you signed up for when you married your wife. Likewise, anxiety is not something she signed up for.  Anxiety is not a choice for anyone. The choice you do have, though, is how to deal. You and your wife could allow anxiety to define or destroy your relationship, or you could write a new story for your marriage–one where anxiety is not the main character; one where the bond of two people becomes something worth fighting for even among the tumult of anxiety.
Click here to read the full letter.


Mother Runs Essential Oil Diffuser in Living Room, Everyone is Cured

Note: THIS IS SATIRE, so calm down. I actually own an essential oil diffuser...and did you know that spell check isn't even cool enough to know that the word 'diffuser' is actually a word?!? I am WAY ahead of the curve here. Anyway--I had a piece published on MockMom, a section of Sammiches & Psych Meds. This proves that I really am funny, so you can all quit rolling your eyes at my jokes. I digress. I love the MockMom section; the satire pieces on it have given me some much needed laugther. I'm feeling really freaking excited to be a part of that community. Here's a teaser to my post, "Mother Runs Essential Oil Diffuser in Living Room, Everyone is Cured." 

"I put a few drops of orange oil in my diffuser, and suddently my toddler, who was just recently screaming for the blue sippy cup instead of the green one we gave him, calmed down. It was magic. He sniffed at the air, gave us a toothy grin, and then blithely drank out of the green sippy cup. Pure magic."

To read more of this post, click here!


5 Things I Hate

Note: Most of this post should be read with an air of sarcasm, so snap on your snarky pants before reading on....

I know, you're probably thinking that I am a HUGE pessimist right now for making a list of the things I strongly dislike. And maybe I am, or maybe I'm smart because the simple act of identifying these will help you to be a better friend to me because, it's all about me...I'm a millennial, you know. Plus, I've written a few posts on things I love, so....it's only natural to anchor those with a list of things that disgust me. Thus, a list of five things I currently hate:


Laundry: Honoring the Women Who Came Before Me

My mother reserved laundry for the weekends. My brother and I would have to haul our dirty laundry from our bedrooms on the third floor of our old, old Victorian-Farm style home to the unfinished basement. Our staircase leading from the main floor to the upstairs was curved and enclosed by walls that seemed to be holding their breath, so sometimes we'd just throw the piles down the staircase and collect the stragglers as we walked to avoid carrying the piles down the narrow staircase. The trek from our bedrooms to the basement seemed like a never-ending journey.


Vulnerability, inferiority, and a cute dog

I'm reading Jenny Lawson's newest book, Furiously Happy. I'm only 50 pages in, but you guys--it's so good. It's funny and insightful while simultaneously giving a different perspective to mental illness. (Word of caution: It is wildly inappropriate and has lots of strong language, so if you're sensitive to that kind of thing, I wouldn't recommend this book.)

Last month I finished Dr. Brene Brown's book Daring Greatly. It was a transformative read for me and made me think of vulnerability not as a weakness but as a necessary strength. I've always sort of chided myself for being too vulnerable because sometimes it seems like the people around me simply shrink away at my displays of vulnerability. 

I feel like these books work hand in hand. Lawson is dripping with vulnerability (if that can even be a thing) throughout Furiously Happy, and it's endearing and makes me come face to face with times when I've shied away from vulnerability. (Side note: Brown presents fantastic research on when and why we should be vulnerable; she cautions against blind vulnerability.)

Memes not ME-MES

True statement: For a long time I thought meme was pronounced Me-Me---as in Mimi--the lady with all the eye shadow from The Drew Carey Show. I've learned a lot in four weeks....I'm kidding. I learned this so long ago...like seven months ago....apparently the word is one syllable: Meme. Say it fast. Meme.

Memes are all the rage in the blogging world right now. So are video chats. I like to think that I am fairly witty, and I like dabbling in small graphic design-ish things. So, I'm momentarily making memes (alliteration y'all...BOOM). Here's a few that I made:

Based on a true story...

I drink margaritas outta coffee mugs
Feel free to share my memes (NOT me-mes) if you're feeling crazy. Next project to do: video chats. Just kidding I'm so awkward at talking and camera-ing. PAINFUL.

If you're looking to create your own memes, there's lots of sites to help you with this. I like Canva. It's pretty and mostly easy to use.


5 Things I Won't Freaking Do For My Kids

When I was newly married, childless, and in my early 20s, I had lots of time to come up with glittery ideas about what parenting would be like. I imagined frolicking through farmers markets every Saturday morning with my children munching on turnips happily zipping from vendor to vendor searching for the perfect head of broccoli.

But then I became a parent.

The first time we took our son to a farmers market, he stole some broccoli from a vendor, popped it in his mouth, promptly spat it out right in front of the vendor, and yelled, "NASTY!" My glittery parenting ideas were crushed by reality. And now, instead of dreaming of how things will be, I find myself making a list of things that I will absolutely not freaking do for my kids: