Working Mom In All Things

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Working Mom In All Things | Twin Cities Mom CollectiveI’ve always worked outside of the home and I’ve never really thought of doing anything else. My husband is self-employed and has always wanted to be a stay at home dad so when we talked about family, we knew that was the best solution for us. I’ll tell you though, even with the roles reversed in that aspect, it doesn’t always mean the expectations change. I still take care of the majority of the finances, the grocery shopping, the appointments I coordinate and schedule. Let’s be honest, I am still more organized than my hubby. Working mom guilt doesn’t go away either.

There are days when I am needed at work for a late meeting or I’m traveling and I get home in time for bedtime or I’m gone for a night or two. Those days can be rough. I felt like I had my routine down, and then the boys got older and more involved with school and activities, and then add in a new baby. I felt like my life was falling apart. I felt like I was failing at everything. I was sleep deprived from waking up in the night with the baby, I forgot about things happening at school, birthday parties to RSVP for, plans made with friends, and I felt like I was procrastinating at life. I kept thinking to myself: This isn’t me, what’s wrong with me??? Get it together. My forgetfulness was getting noticed by my family and I swear they thought I was losing my marbles.

Working Mom In All Things | Twin Cities Mom Collective

{Photo Credit: Whims and Joy Photography}

Then after one stressful day at work, all I wanted was to go home and hold and kiss my kiddos. To remember how good it was to see them, even if it was only for a moment before bedtime. But when I got home, the baby was asleep and the older boys were doing their own thing, and all I got was a quick “hi” as they went on with their evening routines. I was so upset inside. I couldn’t even make it home to put my baby to bed! I felt like I was about to break down and I sat there in bed blaming myself for not being there. I worried that my baby, my last baby, would start to do what the other boys did: get used to me not being around all the time and become more attached to the family that was there with them every day when I was at work or traveling for work.

Let’s be honest, this was of my own doing, I knew that. No colleague or client at work was making me work later. This was my choice. My mind was running a thousand miles a minute and I felt like I couldn’t rest until I finished what I was doing at work. I wanted to get ahead and make sure I wasn’t behind, thinking that if I did that, I would get home earlier to spend more time with my family. Yet this was not working. I admitted to myself that night that I needed to make a change. As much as I wanted to make sure my clients were having the best experience, I wasn’t doing anyone any favors by stressing out about work/life balance day in and day out and letting my family life suffer. Routines needed to change, what I did to make it work 5 years ago wasn’t going to work now. With three boys in school and activities and a new baby, I knew I needed to adjust again. Make it work for me.

Since then, I’ve been able to have a more flexible schedule, making the choice to work from home on Mondays and Fridays. This helps tremendously with being able to get up to help with the baby and get the other kids to school since my meetings tend to start later in the morning. On days I go into the office, I make an effort to come home earlier and after the kids go to bed is when I will catch up on emails (and then only if it’s something that cannot wait); leaving plenty of downtime to spend time with my hubby, or just to decompress by catching up on a show or reading before bed.

I also put all our appointments and schedules on my work calendar, our shared calendar, and on a whiteboard at home. Having things in three different places forces me to think more about the week and helps me organize and figure out when I can stop by the store, get in some time with friends and scheduling appointments for the kiddos.

Most important of all, I’ve been open about how I’m struggling with my close friends and family. I’m trying to not keep it in and share, so that I can get support when I feel like I am failing. I’m for sure a “yes” person and I am still working daily to remember that it is okay to look at my plate and say “no” to things I know will make it overflow. I’m still working on not letting the guilt build up and let it consume me.

I know this is my choice to work outside of the home and I love it, I really do. But I also need to take it easy on myself and remember I don’t need to do everything. If we need items from the store, I’m getting really good at ordering online and having things delivered so I’m not spending another hour on my way home from work shopping. If something at work is stressing me out, I need to remember to step away, take a break and come back to it with a fresh mind. I’ve noticed that when I do that, I come back with a better idea or solution to present to the client. Not only does that apply to work, but it applies at home too. If I need a break, then I need to take it. I can’t let guilt make me feel like just a minute away will be the end of everything.

I love my kiddos so much and I want to show them my work ethic and how important it is to do a good job in the workplace. I think they see that, I think they know that, but I need to remember that it’s not all I want to teach them. I want to teach them how to find that work/life balance. This takes effort and work every single day. No matter what they choose to do with their lives, they need to be able to find a balance that will make them happy.

It’s hard and it’s okay to say that. It’s okay to show that. I know the mom guilt will never go away, but I can at least try and figure out how to manage it better by the actions I take every day.

Social Distancing: The Extrovert Stay at Home Mom

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Social Distancing: The Extrovert Stay at Home Mom | Twin Cities Mom CollectiveIt’s been well over a week since we’ve been asked to self quarantine, and like the rest of you it’s been a struggle in our household. My 4-year old keeps asking me, “How much longer will everything be boring?” and I really don’t have a good answer for her. Her complaints and woes are legitimate, I’m frustrated and bored too. As much as I’d love to sit and binge watch some Netflix or take on a new hobby, I have small children who are stuck in this with me who need me to be attentive and take care of them. So we struggle on while my 4-year old laments about how she misses her school, her friends, and the library. 

We do have some fun in this house, I try my best to create some clever activities and games. We try new puzzles, cook new recipes, we tackle a few fun home workout videos. If you need help coming up with ideas for things to do inside check out this helpful resource. It’s not all bad, but these are things we are doing to get by–they aren’t our family’s first choice for how we’d like to spend a beautiful spring day. 

The obvious thing we are lacking right now is our friends. She knows it and I know it as we try to find ways to stay entertained. But the struggle to get through the day without seeing any of our friends is really hard on our household. 

I am a raging extrovert. If you’ve had the privilege of meeting me in person you know that I can carry on a conversation longer than you planned for. I love to be with people, I love to meet new people, and I’m really good at putting myself out there in social situations. As an extroverted stay-at-home mom, I’m all about getting together for play dates or meeting at the park. I’ll come to your house or have you over at mine. I work really hard to keep my social life active. 

But suddenly everything has come to stop. Our daily rhythm is thrown off. My oldest isn’t at school, she can’t see her friends. Play dates are postponed indefinitely, we can’t have anyone over to play with. Dad is here “at home” but not available, he needs to work by himself downstairs. We don’t go to the library, to swim class, to church, or out for coffee anymore. These are strange times.

The first few days of the quarantine I thought I would be okay. I have activities galore, I’m a pro at coming up with games and things to do. But with each passing day the weight of having lost social contact from my friends has become increasingly heavy. Everything is heavy. My head is fogged up and I need to clear my thoughts and unload which, as an extrovert, is something I do by going out and seeing friends and talking to people. Socializing is how I get my breath of fresh air so I can take the weight off my shoulders a bit and clear my head. Without that the load keeps getting heavier, my thoughts keep getting increasingly clouded as I try to make sense of how to handle each day as it comes. I’m exhausted all the time.

Moving forward it’s becoming more and more clear that we will be in this for longer than we had initially planned on. No one is sure how long this will last for. We make each day happen one day at a time as an overwhelming amount of “breaking news” is being thrown at us. It’s difficult to plan for the future when everything is so unclear. 

I don’t know where I will find the energy to keep this up in the long run, but I know those of you who are struggling with loneliness during this time are going through this with me and we will get through this. It’s okay that this is hard. This isn’t normal and it makes sense to feel caught off guard and unprepared because we didn’t plan for this. 

So what now? Finding connection right now is challenging but technology has been a really great way for me to keep up relationships. What can we do to help each other feel connected when we are farther apart than ever? 

  • Text someone every day you haven’t seen in a while and ask how things are going. 
  • Respond to your friend’s story on Instagram so they feel seen. 
  • Video chat a loved one.
  • Comment on Facebook posts.
  • Share memes. 
  • Send Snapchats with silly filters.
  • Mail letters.
  • Be available and reach out. 

I know it’s not the same as spending time with friends in person, but it’s what we have to work with so we may as well work with it.

Social Distancing: The Extrovert Stay at Home Mom | Twin Cities Mom CollectiveI am also comforted knowing that every single one of us is in this together. All of us are doing the same thing right now in our homes waiting this out. We are all doing this because something bigger than any individual is happening and we need to come together and do our part to help flatten the curve and keep this virus from spreading. This needs to happen. And while we are doing this quarantine thing together we need to make an effort to stay connected and check in on each other. 

We are going to get through all of this, and we are going to get through it all together.

Finding Comfort

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Finding Comfort | Twin Cities Mom CollectiveA little over a week ago, I went into my restaurant to get things set up for the day. While the weekend hadn’t started off great (thanks COVID-19), Saturday was pretty solid. A group celebrated a birthday in the afternoon and a lot of people were out supporting small business because, as we now know, the future is very uncertain.

On Monday, the news came that bars, restaurants and other businesses with large crowds and close interaction with customers would temporarily close. While I completely understand the rationale and how this tactic supports the messaging about staying home, that does not mean it wasn’t devastating. I own a wine bar so our business is dependent on dine-in service to be able to serve the product customers associate most with us. This meant takeout was not a viable option, nor did we have the luxury of time or cash flow to promote takeout and wait for the customers to come.

There is nothing easy about this situation, especially given we have no idea when it will end. The bills continue to be due, food that needs to be paid for will go to waste (or in our case, was donated to a worthy cause in this time of need) and unfortunately, there is little in the way of support or recourse. So, like the rest of the state, country and world… we wait.

And this is where I take comfort. Because we are all in this together. For better or worse, it is rare that across a region and across the world, humanity is united in its fight. That no matter where you are or who you are, you are likely affected in a meaningful way with no idea when this nightmare will come to an end. Perhaps you or a loved one is now unemployed. Or you know someone fighting COVID-19, as a patient or front-line medical professional. Or you might be one of the thousands, probably millions, of parents now caring for your children and their education throughout the day. And even working from home while you’re at it.

During this time, there is little benefit to dwelling on poor circumstances. Because there is not an ideal solution and so much (if not all) of what is happening today is outside of our control. For now, I’m trying to focus on the opportunity – quality time with family with no where to go. A time to get creative about how we spend our time and make/build connections.

I am choosing to remain hopeful and optimistic. While this is not easy and loosing the freedom to come and go as we please is a challenge for all, necessity often brings about innovation. I find comfort in the fact that not only are we all in this together, but this will be a period of great change and opportunity. While it might be hard to see now, good will come.

How we work and educate will be forever changed.

The number of businesses that have found a way to deliver value virtually.

Our ability to communicate and connect will continue to evolve because we need and crave connection. Today, that looks different but it doesn’t mean it isn’t possible.

During this challenging time for all, whether child, parent, service worker, small business owner or something in between, we must find faith in the power of the human spirit. Because when everything feels outside of our control, this is our time to find comfort in the fact that we are all in this together and while it might be hard to see, good and much innovation will come from this time of togetherness and reflection.

Peculiar Blessings During this Time

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Peculiar Blessings During this Time | Twin Cities Mom Collective

I’m on the lookout for peculiar blessings during this time. I choose to be this way; I have to be this way. Our world feels dystopian, the news stories come in too quickly to keep up with or digest, and it seems as if normal life had done an about face. Truthfully, for my family and I, not too much has changed. My husband is self-employed, and has worked from home before during big, magnificent snowstorms that only Minnesota can bring. He’s been home for a while now, taking over my photo editing and writing space. I joked that I was going to start charging him a rental fee for my monitor. We chat while he works on spreadsheets and I turn over the laundry.

I’ve spent the majority of my adult life working from home, and as a stay-at-home mom, my routine feels mostly intact. I am fortunate in many ways, and mostly because we have what we need, and not for a moment do I forget what a blessing that is. We are all in this together, as a community, as a world, and as a family. I recognize that these are scary and frightening times for many, and not everyone has the same life or skills that I do. Quite honestly, I love being home, and I feel like this can be an opportunity to grow and deepen skills or complete projects I’ve had on my to-do list. I lament about our culture’s go go go lifestyle often, and I do believe that one silver lining in this is the forced closeness. The blessing of togetherness isn’t lost on me.

All three of us love being home together. This time has, at least for now, been a gift. We couldn’t swing a honeymoon when we got married in October. We’d planned a beautiful one, a tropical location I can’t remember anymore, and I was truthfully a little let down that it didn’t happen. This virus has given us hours of undivided attention, granted we have a toddler running around, but our nights are ours, and nap time, too. Being at home with my baby hasn’t ever made me feel lonely but having another adult around is a huge benefit. Instead of business as usual, it feels like we’ve taken a staycation in our home as a family. This togetherness and Cilla having attention from both parents during the day is truly a beautiful thing. Being home with my daughter and mothering her isn’t a burden, seeing my husband during the day and getting to eat every meal together is a gift.

I miss my friends, I miss taking Cilla to swimming lessons, I miss date nights in our quaint downtown, I miss our babysitter, I miss my parents, and my in-laws. I miss many things. I do know, that someday that life will return. I am resting in and embracing the today. I refuse to allow panic or huge waves of fear to overcome me. I woke early one night from a bad dream. I spent the next day limiting the news I consumed. I continue to grow this baby, invest in my spirituality, and journal when I have the energy and time. Someday, I know, my grandchildren, God willing, will want to know my experience.

I am so thankful for the technology that we do have. I’ve spoken to friends and family almost daily. Cilla loves to FaceTime with her grandparents, showing off her toddler vocabulary that is exploding by the day. A college friend who I had grown apart from, and I have spoken multiple times each day. I have vivid memories of getting ready for class with her, and these days as wives and moms now, feel like a return to those simpler times. We’ve both remarked over and over how grateful we are for this time to just connect.

These days have left me with the energy to do more fun activities with Cilla and to cook and bake. Seth wore me down with a request for cake and so I made a carrot one with the decadent cream cheese frosting. The other night we prepared a pork pasta sauce with pantry ingredients and meat that was in our freezer. I have a feeling we’ll be thinking about the meals we cooked together during this time for years. I long to create lasting memories, even among what is clearly a scary and intense time. I want to remember that we made the most of it, had joy, and connected.

During the deepest, most pit of despair season of my life, I remember finding joy in many of the same hobbies and pastimes I am now. They are with me like old friends. The art supplies I had crammed into a tiny apartment now delight my daughter, the frames I spray painted the summer before I met Seth have found a new home in our baby’s nursery, and the recipes that have been my mom’s staples are now texted to me so I can write them down. These are uncharted days, but goodness still and will persist.

All Moms Work

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All Moms Work | Twin Cities Mom CollectiveThis month’s topic of “You can do hard things” has never been more on point. Is there anyone who knows this more than a mom? We do hard things all of the time and we encourage our littles to be courageous and attempt hard things too. We understand the importance of setting an example for our kids and working hard to overcome hard things and accomplish magnificent goals in every area of our lives.

Whether you are a stay-at-home mom, go-to-work mom, or work-from-home mom, you do hard things on a daily basis while working towards really challenging long-term goals too. I always love being reminded about how differently we each navigate the world, and hearing about the ways people go about their day-to-day lives. So, in case you feel the same way and find reassurance in hearing about people facing similar struggles, or inspiration in finding new ways to approach things, I’m here to share a glimpse into my work-from-home, #mompreneur (I hate that term) life. See some of my greatest work-from-home challenges below and how I approach them.

The decision to stay home

For me, it wasn’t a hard decision. I knew I would have no patience for my own children if I stuck with my career as a middle school teacher. The challenge was in deciding what to do part-time that might allow me to stay relevant should I decide to rejoin the workforce full-time down the road. My husband’s stable career allowed the flexibility for me to start my own graphic design/brand management business and take a big risk, so I went for it. The way I see it, our kids are only little once (and at first they’re drastically changing on a weekly, or even daily basis), so I didn’t want to miss any of it if we could afford to make it work.

Balancing work & play

As I mentioned, I’m firmly in the camp of “they grow too fast, so try to enjoy the moments and put time with your littles first.” This attitude obviously isn’t conducive to growing a business, but that’s where the hard work comes in. I choose the snuggles, the meals, the play-time. But I also choose the early morning and late night work sessions. I plan client calls and projects around my kid’s naps and activities, and I bring on subcontractors to help tackle certain projects that would be too large to take on by myself. I make it a point to not let my daughter see me buried in a computer or on my phone all day, and elect to go on adventures with her instead. The most important part in finding this balance has been my relationship with my husband. If it weren’t for his endless support of me, our kid, and the housework, I would never be able to feel like I have a grasp on the work/mom-life balance.

The other thing that’s been a game-changer is getting my daughter into preschool a couple mornings per week. This has allowed me to keep up with an increase in work and still get some sleep, while also providing her some much needed socialization with kids her own age and adults outside of the family. To be continued post social distancing…

Prioritizing adult time

This is one of the most challenging things for me because my aim to choose my daughter/family first is so deeply rooted, but SAHM/WAHM life can get oh so lonely. Like any mom, I would choose my kid over and over again but I also know that time with other adults fills my cup, and a couple of hours where I don’t need to be focused on the immediate needs of a two year old is great for recharging. I make it a point to schedule in-person client meetings when I can, get girls’ nights on the books, and volunteer in my community. The balance of all of these things shifts throughout the year as work ebbs and flows, but all are deliberately planned. The one thing that never changes though, is the fact that way more often than not, I will choose good old family fun.

Finding what’s right for your family

My daughter has been a stage-five clinger from the get-go. She took over a year to warm up to our closest (and absolutely wonderful) family, who she saw often. She didn’t take a bottle consistently well and it was simply just unimaginable for me to consider putting her in full time daycare. Between that and the overwhelming fact that I didn’t want to miss a second of her earliest moments and the chance to love on her 24/7, my decision was a no brainer.

Your little might be way more outgoing and receptive to the care of others. You may have a career you are passionate about that may not be so accommodating to traditional motherhood. You may highly value the social aspect of daycare for your kid, or simply just need consistent time with rational adults. There are a million factors that us moms and dads consider when making this huge decision for our families.

Whatever side you land on, let’s face it, it’s hard. The good news is though, you know your family and what’s right for them, and you don’t have to justify it to anyone. And THE BEST news is, you will work hard to make it work, overcome hard things, and meet magnificent goals…and your kids will take note. Just remember, you can do hard things.

I Learned Everything From “Sex and the City” & Motherhood

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I Learned Everything From "Sex and the City" & Motherhood | Twin Cities Mom CollectiveAs a person who has moved frequently in adulthood, I collect friends like I curate my wardrobe. I have mom friends and work friends, church friends and childhood friends. Friends I meet for coffee, and friends I only meet on my Instagram feed.  Then there are what I think of as my Samantha, Charlotte, Miranda, and Carrie—my Sex and the City girlfriends. 

Our friendship began over the all-you-can-eat pasta bar at the student union our first year of college, and it only grew and strengthened in our twenties when we followed each other to the big city, chasing dreams as high as Carrie Bradshaw’s heels. Just like every other 20 something in the early aughts, Sex and the City was our church. Our sanctuary was in our three bedroom walk up apartment, around the dented coffee table and the microsuede slipcover couches, a menagerie of castoff furniture handed down by our parents when they upgraded to the good furniture. We communed over wine, the cheap kind of course, and take out sushi. And then we collectively absorbed the wisdom preached to us by the show’s four leading ladies on how to be fabulous.

Through every struggle that came our way, from bad breakups to uncertain career shifts, we walked through it together. And just like Samantha and Miranda, Charlotte and Carrie, we discussed it in detail over cosmopolitans at happy hour or hangover relieving coffee at the cafe around the corner. Beyond sex and love, that show taught us that our friends are the ones who will sit with us through crisis. To our carefree and optimistic minds, it would be like this forever.

But that was all before children, of course.

***

“It’s a girl!” The text came across the phone on a Thursday night while I rushed to make dinner for my own two children.

I puddled in instant tears. After a long awaited pregnancy, my dear friend just delivered her first baby. The relief, the joy, all of it wrapped into that simple text to our girlfriend group.

As I stared at the phone willing the new parents to tame this anxious audience with a picture of the new baby, I felt a wave of different tears. These tears felt less like joy and more like sadness. Suddenly the miles between me and the new mom were too many.

I was of the first of us to have a baby. My girlfriends rallied around me like the adopted aunts that they were. They brought meals, held babies, distracted me from the fears of new motherhood with their normal, childless lives. Now it was my turn to care for my friend as a new mom.

I wanted to show up at the hospital with a bottle of champagne and a tiny baby hat.

Because that is what my friends did for me.

I wanted to come over with a bag of Thai takeout and hold the new baby while the parents scarfed down a meal as fast as they could.

Because that is what my friends did for me.

I wanted to meet her for brunch and talk to her about Real Housewives of Wherever, or my job, or her wedding, or that crazy blind date, or anything and everything that had nothing to do with spit up and nipple shields and nap schedules.

Because that is what my friends did for me.

When I first became a mother, my girlfriends physically surrounded me with love and kindness and helping hands because that is what we always did for each other in need. We gathered around a table and talked about everything or nothing, just like Samantha and Carrie, Miranda and Charlotte.

But it’s no secret that life isn’t always as it appears on screen. We “grew up.” We got married, moved away, settled down in four different plane rides away from the life we thought we would live together. The coffee shop around the corner was not as available as we thought it would be. Not when we lived states away. Not while I had my own little mouths to feed and babies to hold. It felt like the greatest irony—in a moment when new motherhood had us needing our friendships the most, mothering was the very thing that kept us from each other. In this moment, I felt a million miles and a million stages away.

But then she reached out. We chatted on the phone about all of the exhaustion that surround that first day/week/month of new life. A group text flew around as the seasoned mothers shared our own stories of postpartum life, the good, the bad, the honest, and the ridiculous.

It occurred to me then that there was more to supporting a friend than I once knew.

I may not be able to show up at her door with a casserole, but I could send her the link to my favorite sound machine app. I may not be able to hold her baby, but I could respond to a text message at 3 AM because she is up feeding and I am up worrying, as all moms do. I may not be able to distract her with a conversation over brunch but I could distract her with a funny meme or opinions on the efficacy of night cream, and she can get to that conversation in her own time, probably at 3 AM.

Even when we couldn’t be together, I could be there for my friends.

I had no idea how much I would need this wisdom one day.

***

I sit at the breakfast table, hot coffee in hand, and chat with my girlfriends. There is a crisis in our world today and we address it with the same attention we bring to toddler meltdowns and celebrity gossip.

Ok here we go. I put a bra on and I am headed downstairs to work! Wish me luck!

Help, how am I going to give him a haircut?

You have to read this post, y’all; I needed this laugh today. 

Their words, affirmations, cheers, and prayers land on my weary heart. Tears flood my face but so does a smile. I feel their love and support wrapping me in comfort, as steady as it ever was.

Only the chairs at my table are empty. There is a global pandemic outside our walls, with no access to community but through the technology in our hands. We are feeling terrified and isolated. 

And yet, with their words in my ears, or my hands as the case may be, I don’t feel alone. It is almost as if my dearest friends are right here at this table, talking over coffee about our fears and uncertainties, like we have always done.

Because this IS as we have always done. They are the friends that gather around me in spirit, drop off pep talks instead of casseroles, wrap me in words instead of hugs, and guide me through every crisis, big or small. Perhaps we have prepared for this moment of social isolation all along. We know how to care for our friends from far away because it is what we first learned to do, when all we had was a phone and a text message chain.

I think back to those early days when I longed to sit with my friend and her new baby. As new mothers, we need the meals and the extra hands and the distractions. We need the friends that can be there in person and help us through the everyday. But we also need the support, the cheers, and the hysterical gifs that remind us to smile again. Honest friendships show up in a variety of ways. There was wisdom to collect from the preachings of Sex and the City, about sex and love and most importantly how to be there for my friends through crisis. But it is motherhood that taught me the most important lesson of all—how to do this from afar.

Today, when it feels like the whole world is a million miles away, I am grateful I can still gather with my friends, one text message at a time.

Finding the Normal

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Finding the Normal | Twin Cities Mom Collective

The most normal thing I’ve done today is clean the kitchen. Usually, I begrudgingly tackle the things that really can’t wait for tomorrow – put away the food, wipe the counters, and at least rinse the dishes. But not today. I cleaned it. And not only did I love doing it, I NEEDED to have something normal. Something easy. Something mundane. Something not tainted with that end-of-the-world feeling. Something normal.

Today I collected distance learning packets from my kids’ hauntingly vacant schools. Today I drove by empty parks where people would usually be celebrating the warmer weather. Today I drove by local businesses with no cars in their parking lots. Today I worked from home – more than my allotted hours – and still have an endless to-do list. Today I ignored my kids and put work before my family. Today was not a normal day.

Yes, today I have fought tears, prayed for my friends and family, said a blessing on those who are suddenly unemployed, and felt the sorrowful weight of a world in turmoil – not just our state or our country, but the world. And in a weird way, it helped me feel closer to humanity. Shared struggle has a way of unifying people, if you let it.

So, today I needed some “normal.” And who would have thought that a sink full of dishes could bring me such comfort? It’s almost laughable. But it’s these everyday tasks that remind me that there is hope. That one day, in the hopefully not-too-distant future, scraping the dried yogurt from the un-rinsed bowls will once again be an annoyance. And wiping crusty countertops will be a chore.

But today, I am thankful.

For kids whose biggest concern is what movie to watch next.
For a job that still needs me to “work” so I can have a paycheck.
For food to prepare and dirty my kitchen.
For loved ones to be concerned about.
For decision-makers who seek my best interest and work to protect me and others.
For prayer which helps me turn worry into faith, and fear into hope.

So I am looking for the beauty that those once-mundane things now bring. I am relishing the moments that feel “normal” and I’m pausing there – just for a moment – to take a deep breath in and let it out. And I believe that one day, I will once again find that I really hate doing the dishes.

Date Nights During a Pandemic

Date Nights During a Pandemic | Twin Cities Mom Collective

During the current climate of this global pandemic, many of us find ourselves anxious, scared, angry or sad. And that’s okay. Here at TCMC we want to walk along beside you as we traverse these uncertain waters together. In our continued pursuit to resource you as a mom, we’ve compiled some tools for you to use at your leisure.


In need of a date night, but then you remember we are still in the thick of social distancing? We’ve got you covered… Because social distancing or not, the need for Second Evening is a real thing. So make a plan, put the kids to bed, and enjoy an at-home date night.

  1. Enjoy a night at the opera using The MET Opera’s nightly streaming services.
  2. Sweat it out together with an online workout class.
  3. Enjoy a cooking session together. Or better yet, challenge each other to a cook off using random ingredients you find in your kitchen.
  4. Order in.
  5. Create a new cocktail. Look up some recipe ideas and learn a new tasty trick for your next party.
  6. Learn something new: Foreign language? Drawing? Painting? Take an online Master Class together.
  7. Google Arts & Culture for a virtual museum visit. Some of our favorites include the Louvre, the Sistine Chapel, the Guggenheim, or the Van Gogh Museum.
  8. Visit a national park, such as Yosemite National Park or Yellowstone National Park.
  9. Walk along The Great Wall of China.
  10. Pamper yourselves with an at home spa experience. Put on your robes, use that face mask you’ve been saving, give each other a mani/pedi or even a back massage.
  11. Picnic: make dinner, spread out a blanket, light some candles and enjoy a meal together on the floor while watching a great movie. Picnics can feel basic, but it’s about the energy you bring to it.
  12. Build a fort. You can enjoy it as adults, and then give your kids a thrill the next morning when they find it in the living room!
  13. Board game tournament.
  14. Tick off your movie or television series bucket list.
  15. Digitally walk through Main Street at Disney World.
  16. Visit the Eiffel Tower.
  17. Visit an aquarium or other nature experiences using live streaming services. 
  18. Talk about your dreams and goals… vacation, career, house. Talk in depth about your future, make plans and dream together.
  19. Schedule a virtual double date with friends.
  20. Finish a home project you’ve been putting off. Play good music, open a bottle of wine (as long as power tools aren’t playing a part) and enjoy the process together.
  21. Dance. Put the lights low, light some candles, turn on some music and dance.
  22. Listen to music playlists that are outside of your normal styles. 
  23. Have a family reunion over FaceTime with your parents and/or in-laws.
  24. Watch home videos.
  25. Cuddle on the couch and read side by side, or listen to classical music. Enjoy the quiet together.
  26. Make funny videos for the kids to watch at breakfast the next morning.
  27. Talk about what kind of old couple you want to be.
  28. Rearrange the furniture to freshen up your quarantined space!
  29. Embrace the unexpected excuse to simply stay put, be still and enjoy one another’s company.

At Home Activities: Teens, Tweens and Everything In-betweens

At Home Activities: Teens, Tweens and Everything In-betweens | Twin Cities Mom Collective

During the current climate of this global pandemic, many of us find ourselves anxious, scared, angry or sad. And that’s okay. Here at TCMC we want to walk along beside you as we traverse these uncertain waters together. In our continued pursuit to resource you as a mom, we’ve compiled some tools for you to use at your leisure.


  1. Organize virtual coffee dates with friends (use FaceTime, Zoon, Skype… whatever platform you have available!).
  2. Learn a new skill using web based learning: a foreign language, cooking, the piano, macrame…
  3. Yoga or Pilates (while Cosmic Kids Yoga is incredible, you might try Corepower Yoga, YogaWorks or Downward Dog online services for a more mature experience).
  4. Dance (Dancing Alone Together and CLI Studios are just several of many online options).
  5. Host a family painting contest using the Bob Ross YouTube Channel.
  6. Host their own {fill in the blank} show to share with friends. Cooking? Makeup tutorial? Lego building project?
  7. Host a virtual piano recital with friends.
  8. Create a movie using Stop Motion Studio app, or something similar. 
  9. Send them to the garage with basic (and age appropriate) tools to make something.
  10. Set up a whole house obstacle course and have race trials.
  11. Have them redesign their bedroom using only what they find around the house.
  12. Spring cleaning! Have them declutter and deep clean their bedroom.
  13. Journal – free form or give them prompts.
  14. Read – something of their choosing, or encourage them to try a new genre. 
  15. Write a letter (via email) to a good friend.
  16. Start a text thread with their friends and challenge them to tell a story. Everyone can write one line in the story at a time. See where it goes.
  17. Start a virtual band with friends.
  18. Invite them to make one of the meals for the day.
  19. Create a scavenger hunt with a prize at the end (candy, quarters, etc). Give them the responsibility to read the clues for younger siblings.
  20. Produce a puppet show or skit for younger siblings.
  21. Find your swimming goggles (you’ll want protection!) and have that Nerf battle they’ve been begging you to play for months.
  22. Play a family game after dinner.
  23. Take them on a run, walk or bike ride with you.
  24. Family basketball game outside.
  25. Try new hairstyles with them.
  26. Family Lego contests. Pinterest has so many cool ideas to challenge even your most experienced builder!
  27. Encourage your community: have them paint a banner for the front of your house, create pictures to hang in your windows or use sidewalk chalk to write happy messages to your neighbors on the driveway and sidewalks.
  28. Write a funny poem contest. The winner can choose what’s for desert.
  29. Give them a list of ten words they don’t know and challenge them to look them up in the dictionary and then use them to write a story.
  30. Netflix, Netflix, Netflix… But don’t just let them plop down alone in front of the television. Instead, get into a movie, show (or book series!) with them – such as Star Wars, Narnia, Harry Pottery, etc. You can watch with them, and then take it in new directions by researching characters, themes, story lines, crafts and other activities. In other words, nerd out with them. Without their peers telling them what’s cool right now, you can be the one to influence a new obsession interest – right?

How to Talk To Your Children About Coronavirus

With the evolving news on the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic, we know young children are seeing things on TV and/or overhearing conversations which might be frightening or confusing to them. Our partners at Kinderberry Hill are here to share some tips on how to best navigate this time with our kids.

How to Talk To Your Children About Coronavirus | Twin Cities Mom CollectiveWith the evolving news on the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic, we know young children are seeing things on TV and/or overhearing conversations which might be frightening or confusing to them. Here are some ideas about responding to children’s questions and concerns around COVID-19 as well as a few ideas to help relieve some of the stress that children might be feeling right now.

  • Assure your child that you and all the adults in their life (teachers, other family members, other community members) are working extra hard to keep your family healthy. Let them know that doctors and nurses are ready to take good care of anybody who may become sick.
  • Ask your children what they know about what is going on with the world. Don’t share with them more than is developmentally appropriate.
  • Read books that can teach your child more about germs: Germs Are Not for SharingA Germs Journey, etc.
  • Add kid friendly (scent and color) soaps to your shopping list to make washing more fun.
  • Encourage children to come to you with their questions. Let them know that if you don’t have the answer right then, you will share an answer when you have one.
  • Children might be confused as to why events are cancelled. Simply explain we are staying home because if we have germs, we don’t want to spread to those people who could get really sick.
  • It may be comforting for children to schedule (put on a physical calendar) calls/FaceTime/Skype to connect with grandparents, neighbors, etc. who are missing from their daily routine right now.
  • Now that schools will be closing and more people will be self-quarantining, avoid using words that sound big and scary such as self-quarantine, emergency, or lockdown. You could use phrases like “family days” or “extra stay-home days”. Make certain that your children know that you are excited about this extra time together.
  • Practice some mindfulness activities to calm worried minds. Kira Willey, a children’s music artist, has an album called Mindful Moments for Kids that has 30 breathing and mindfulness activities.
  • Ask your children how they can be helpers! Keeping other people safe by covering coughs and sneezes or making cards for neighbors or grandparents that they might not have seen for a while.

Most importantly, reassure your children that it is okay to have feelings, about this situation or otherwise, and that you are their safe space. They can share their feelings with you no matter what.  

When Your Partner Works From Home

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When Your Partner Works From Home | Twin Cities Mom CollectiveIn my household, working from home is the norm. My husband has worked from home our entire married life and I, in recent years, have balanced my writing commitments with being a stay at home mom. We’re old pros at this; our children have never known anything different. 

Maybe it’s new to you, though, in these strange, uncertain times. While we have office spaces set up and our routines in order, I imagine this isn’t the case for many of you as we all attempt to navigate a new normal.

We’re several years into this routine and have learned—often through trial-and-error—how to balance work and home when they’re both under the same roof. As many of you experience having a partner work from home for the first time, or work from home for the first time yourselves, here are some things that have helped keep our household sane over the years.

Keep a Schedule

Working from home should be no different than a job you commute to. My husband works from about 7:00 am – 4:00 pm each day. He gets up with the kids around 6:30 and gets them started on breakfast while I get ready in the morning. While we both often work in the evenings, it’s after the kids are in bed. Even though his office (and phone!) are so very accessible, they are off-limits for work-related things between the hours of 4:00-7:30 pm.

Setting a schedule is important for my own life, too. I try to get the bulk of my own work done the three mornings a week my youngest attends preschool. The other two mornings we try to get out of the house for errands and playdates. Our afternoons follow a routine of lunch, quiet time, screen time, snack, and outside play and/or indoor creative play.

Dedicate a Work Space

We have a bedroom upstairs that serves as my husband’s office space with—and this is important—a door that locks. If you don’t have an extra room, especially if working from home is a temporary situation, consider converting a corner of your bedroom or infrequently-used room in your basement as an office area. It helps mentally to have an area dedicated to work and could also help your kids understand that when a parent is in that space, they need to focus.

Communicate

We learned, after a couple of years, that communication is essential. My husband needs to tell me if he has an important meeting that absolutely cannot be interrupted. And, while it’s wonderful to have no commute, it’s still respectful for him to tell me if he has a meeting that’s run long at the end of the day, so I’m not fuming when he comes downstairs 35 minutes later than usual. Likewise, I need to tell him if I have pressing deadlines so we can come up with a plan together on how best to accommodate each of our work needs.

It’s also important for my husband to communicate with his co-workers. By now they all know he has kids at home and that’s just a part of his daily life. Giving everyone a heads up that “Hey, I have kids at home and you might hear them” is especially important to communicate now – and to know that many of your or your partner’s co-workers may be in the same boat!

Set Expectations

If someone else is home, it’s only fair they shoulder part of the household responsibilities. My husband does laundry as needed, loads the dishwasher if there are dishes on the counter, and when our kids were smaller he was able to keep an eye on a napping baby (or three!) while I ran an errand during the day. While I don’t expect him to tidy an entire playroom over his lunch break, there are ways he can pitch in so the burden doesn’t fall so heavily on either one of us.

It’s possible you’ll need to work in shifts, especially if both your partner and yourself are working from home with children. When I have several deadlines at once, my husband often takes a half-day, with one of us working in the morning and the other in the afternoon.

Children Live Here

All that said, it’s not my job to keep our children quiet all day every day. It’s their home, too, and it’s an unfair expectation that our house would be as quiet as a library. They’re loud, they scream, they fight, they cry. Of course, if my husband has an important meeting, we either leave the house or do something to keep them quiet (hello, screen time)—that’s basic respect. But a family lives in this house; it’s not only my husband’s workspace. He and his employer have to be okay with background noise and the occasional interruption from a child who wants to ask their daddy a question or show them a picture they drew at school.

When they were younger, before any of my kids were in school, I made a point of leaving the house every morning. It worked well: my husband was guaranteed at least a few quiet hours each day and it was good for all of our mental health. Of course, in these unpredictable times, that won’t be happening. We’ll at least head outside as much as we can each day where the fresh air and sunshine will do us all some good.

My youngest now knows many of my husband’s co-workers by name. He likes to go into my husband’s office if the door is open to say hello while they’re video chatting. He asks to see Joe’s puppy and tell Nick what LEGO set he’s been working on that day. My husband’s co-workers have been very accommodating, and our interactions with them have normalized his work-from-home life. We can all extend grace to each other in these weird times by acknowledging that we’re all in new situations, talk through how to make things work for our own families, and shake our heads in solidarity at the absurdity of it all.

Pregnant During a Pandemic

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Pregnant During a Pandemic | Twin Cities Mom CollectivePregnant!

I admit that in the couple of weeks between finding out that I was pregnant and the first case of COVID-19 in my state, I would actually forget that I was pregnant. Not because we weren’t over the moon excited. Our first took three years to grace us with her presence, so finding out after only two months I was pregnant felt like winning the lottery for a second time. With my first pregnancy there was so much to think about. Every decision had to be made which meant a constant gathering of information and pondering, deciding, acting, and hoping it was a good decision. From who my providers would be and where I’d deliver, to which changing pad and diaper pail we’d get and from where. The guest room had to be revamped, bassinet assembled, and every blanket and onesie pre-washed.

I was happy with most every decision made the first time around and if I wasn’t, I had already decided on an alternative before getting to this point. Like starting out with more supportive shoes before the pregnancy foot pain takes hold. Knowing we would be trying for a second child, I had either kept or temporarily loaned out everything we used for our first.

This time I was finding an almost unsettling few decisions to make or tasks to complete, and therefore things to keep my mind on the pregnancy. In fact, all I feel like I need to get is tiny diapers and I even already know what brand I’ll use when the hospital stash runs out. Not to mention having a two-year-old that requires my brain to be on high alert to notice the second before she tries to climb up on the kitchen table.

So with all the decisions made, a toddler to keep track of, and despite being absolutely over the moon excited and grateful for this second pregnancy, I might have eaten a couple turkey sandwiches in that first week because at lunch time I forgot that I was pregnant and was supposed to stop eating deli meat…

…during a pandemic.

Cut to this last week when the global pandemic came to my town. Being healthy and otherwise not predisposed to complications, my first worries are of course for those who are already ill or at higher risk. With COVID-19 being all anyone can talk about or think about, my pregnancy is also now constantly on my mind. Instead of just the excitement for the new baby, watching my daughter become a big sister, and a little dread for having SO many weeks to go (I’m not someone who loves being pregnant), there’s another huge element of how this virus could affect me and my unborn baby. Cancelling trips to visit family is disappointing. Missing prenatal appointments or actually getting this sickness is terrifying when I don’t know what that means for a pregnant woman.

But we only fear what we don’t understand. So I aim to understand what I can about being pregnant during this pandemic that will answer my questions, but stop there. There is a lot we don’t know, but information is coming in fast. That’s why it’s important to me to have my trusted sources and not worry myself with the speculative noise that surrounds uncertain times. I’m grateful that there are a lot of people who are working on answers to my questions as I think of them. And that even before this, my medical providers were already keeping themselves current on the best information to give me the healthiest pregnancy and baby possible.

Looking for answers

The CDC has a page specifically for pregnancy and breastfeeding under their COVID-19 information that is updated almost daily.

While it can be easy to worry about what we don’t know, as many of the paragraphs start (as of March 16, 2020) it’s also good that we don’t yet have evidence of pregnancy complications due to the virus in women who tested positive.

Your best resource is your own medical provider. You know when you talk to your physician/midwife/nurse practitioner and they tell you to call them with questions and beg you not to turn to forums and the internet where anyone can say whatever they want in a nice font? That still applies. Not only is it your provider’s full time job to stay on top of new information that they’ll have access to well before it hits the web, but they’re also experienced and trained in deciphering that information. Then they can apply it to your specific medical history and needs. They come to work everyday, risking their own health to safeguard yours. Call them. You’re not bothering them, you’re making their efforts worth it.

A lot of providers already have answers to common questions on their webpage. If you’re a Facebook person, they may have a page there too you can follow where they’ll post recent updates. They may even offer telemedicine appointments when coming in isn’t an option or required.

If you do not yet have a provider that you trust, I urge you to spend your time on the internet and use those messages to your previously pregnant friends looking for one instead of trying to give yourself a crash course in prenatal medicine and novel virus practices.

Caring for mental health as much as physical health

Even without our current situation, depression and anxiety are normal in prenatal and postpartum. Just because we’re all going through this doesn’t mean you don’t deserve to talk to someone about it. If you don’t have a mental health provider, this would be a great time to connect with one or find someone you would want to contact if you start to feel overwhelmed, depressed, or anxious. If you can’t or don’t feel comfortable going in person, there are lots of providers setting up video sessions.

While my postpartum depression has subsided, I’m still keeping my bimonthly therapist appointments. It’s relieving just knowing I’ll have that time to talk to someone who understands the myriad of emotions that come along with this crazy time compounded with pregnancy and accompanying hormones. While chemicals in your body might be heightening your emotions (like crying during Cars 2 in front of your toddler heightened), your feelings are still valid and talking to someone can help you sort through them.

Taking a breath. Then some more.

Right now, all of the same instructions to the general public apply the same to pregnant women, besides of course all of the dozens of things we already can’t eat or drink or ride on at the fair. Even without a global pandemic, a pregnant woman can easily get herself into panic mode by considering every possible outcome in pregnancy and birth. But we know that’s a waste of what little energy you might have right now. You could avoid it before, so you can still do it now.

The night before my first ultrasound I had myself pretty worked up when someone who works at our favorite neighborhood cafe just a few blocks away tested positive for COVID-19. I thought there would be no way I could get the excitement back to see our new family member for the first time. But as soon as that peanut popped onto the screen and my daughter whispered, “Wow, baby!” I couldn’t be anything other than overjoyed. If my midwife hadn’t brought up the virus at the end of our appointment, I would have completely forgotten.

Remember what hasn’t changed

Stick to your short list of resources for updates, then get back to thinking about that first family vacation. Or which blanket you’ll wrap your baby in for the first time. A lot may look different now when our lives are turned upside down for the time being, but so much of it will go on the same. It’s understandable to be concerned for the future, but you can be concerned AND excited. Having done the pregnancy and infant thing not too long ago, I can tell you that virus or not, you’ll go into this with a lot of uncertainty, but come out of it more than fine.

Maybe you had your heart set on prenatal yoga and the studio has closed, but there are countless videos online and some studios are doing live video classes. Maybe you won’t have as many or any visitors those first couple of weeks, but that was already recommended for the baby’s health before and also gives the new family time to get settled together.

This uncertain time understandingly adds another layer of concern for a pregnant mom and her family. However, it’s something that can be addressed and then set down. In our home we’ve adopted a “no virus talks zone” after a certain time in the evening. It’s been a relief to end the day either talking about what we’re excited for or complaining about something else. If you’re finding that your excitement has been replaced with worry, it might be something to adopt.

What won’t change in the slightest is that feeling the first time you see them. Or getting to watch them sleep. Or pouring over their every feature and assigning it to you or a family member. Studying their tiny fingernails and wrinkly feet. Everything you have to look forward to is still there. The love, the cuddles, the diapers, the exhaustion daze, all of it.

If anyone has got this, it’s Mom

We are the descendants of women who gave birth during plagues, times of war, before heart rate monitors, and when people who delivered babies didn’t know to wash their hands. That’s not to say we’re not dealing with something very serious in a very different way, but motherhood has never been about control or certainty. It’s about strength, reaching out for help, and adapting. And no one knows that more than a pregnant mama.

Be Patient, Life’s in the Details

Be Patient, Life's in the Details | Twin Cities Mom CollectiveWhen I paused for a moment to consider this month’s Twin Cities Mom Collective theme – Mama, you can do hard things – my mental list of “hard things” was long, but there was one word that stood out: patience. Patience is the ability to wait, but to also keep a good attitude while waiting. Practicing patience, especially as a mom, is something I struggle with every day.

Life is busy. Life with kids is immeasurably busier; school, practice, rehearsal, class. I realized I was notoriously in a rush, calculating the precise amount of time it would take us to get where we needed to go. My kids, however, were notoriously dragging their heels as I’d ask them for the tenth time to get their boots on. Once out the door, our daily routine unfolded. As we walked to the car, the kids kicked the snowbanks along the walkway as I’d hiss, “Let’s go!” in my ‘the only reason I’m not yelling is because the neighbors might hear’ tone. They’d slightly pick up the pace to climb into the car, slamming the doors. Finally inside, they did everything and anything except buckle themselves into their carseats. I’d take a deep breath and sing a song about buckling up (to the tune of House of Pain’s “Jump Around”), put the car in drive and start idling forward. They’d protest, “I’m not buckled in yet!” and I’d snap, “it should always be the very first thing you do when you get into the car.” Once everyone was buckled in, I would drive it like I stole it to ensure an on time arrival. This was every single time we left our house. Yes, it was miserable, but I thought it was just parenthood.

Several weeks ago I looked at my kids and wondered, “When did they get so big?” I was brought to tears as I realized it was during my impatience, my resistance to slow down and kick the snowbanks. In our daily routine, as I rushed us out of the house and through our day, I was also rushing us through life and their childhood. In the words of the fake Sausage King of Chicago, Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” I didn’t want to miss it. I needed to slow down our routine, I needed to be more patient with my kids, after all, love is patient.

I started managing my time differently and gave priority to our morning routine. With more time to get out the door, it made the start of our day less chaotic. I worked in time to wait, time to let my kids “do it themselves” and kick the snowbanks (and soon to be splashing in puddles and then counting the ants on the peonies). In giving us more time to enjoy the little things along the way, I too am enjoying the time I have with my kids even more.

In recognizing my need to slow down I realized how fast we were truly moving through the whole day, not just our morning. I selfishly rushed through bath time and bedtime, really any time I was actually spending with my children. I also realized my parenting vernacular was full of impatient words, “come on, let’s go, hurry up, move it and NOWs.”

Patience is a practice and every day I’ll keep working at it. Of course there will still be days when we’re running behind and I need to hiss, but I want those days to be the exception, not the rule. It’s difficult to not get wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of parenthood and it’s hard to slow down. It’s hard to be patient. I want to be my best self for my kids and I know I can do hard things. I can wait and keep a good attitude, perhaps every now and then, even encourage the hold up. Our kids are only little for such a short time. There will come a day when they are too cool to kick snowbanks, so today I’ll let them kick away.

It’s said that life is lived in the details. These are the details I want my kids to reflect on as they grow up, not memories of their foot tapping, hissing mother. I used to take pride in running a tight ship, but in becoming more patient, it’s nice to say that tight ship has sailed.

Managing Sickness as a Working Mom

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Managing Sickness as a Working Mom | Twin Cities Mom CollectiveLife as a working mom is simultaneously rewarding and challenging. It’s about supporting your family and, hopefully, doing something you enjoy at the same time. But it’s also another thing to manage amidst the mental load of motherhood. This means that life as a working mom is rarely easy.

It’s also cold and flu (and COVID-19!) season in Minnesota. And the goal for every family and household is staying healthy until spring. But exposure to people at work and school and daycare makes this difficult. Managing work and motherhood when sick is virtually impossible. I recently experienced this first hand. Not only was I under the weather, but sickness passed from child to child, which meant a lot of unproductive time at home with all the pressures to keep up and keep going.

At the end of February, my entire family came down with Influenza B and it was awful. Literally, the worst of every sickness I’ve yet to experience. Given the current environment, there was no question that we should stay home until feeling better. This meant that I missed an entire week of work and my girls missed anywhere from three to five days of school. Despite behind home, it was impossible to catch up or be the least bit productive. At the end of the week, I was behind on laundry and dishes, had no groceries on hand, was surrounded by clutter and every member of the family had watched too much television.

As the stress about sickness and spread continues this season, I’m reminded that I did exactly what I needed to and was exactly where I needed to be. There is so much pressure to do and be it all that we forget to pause, rest, recover and reset. It takes time and it can’t be rushed.

I felt lucky that I was able to take time to rest and recover. I was able to stay home with my girls when they needed to rest and recover. And I was able to work remotely when I finally felt up to it. This meant that I could get work done, contribute to my team and still be the mom I needed to be.

Working from home with small children around is rarely easy but provides an opportunity to prioritize. Parenting when sick is about giving yourself a bit of a break. I hate that my house was a cluttered mess and I lacked the ability to be as productive as I would have liked. But allowing my children to rest and watch more television than normal meant I got the work time I needed to not feel incredibly behind.

My message to moms is this: Take care of yourself. Take care of others. But also, give yourself a break. Know that you are doing the best you can in the moment. Being a working mom requires compassion for yourself. It may not be easy but it is temporary. Do what you can do and know that is all you can do.

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Working Mom In All Things

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I’ve always worked outside of the home and I’ve never really thought of doing anything else. My husband is self-employed and has always wanted...

Finding Comfort

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