For one boob nap, a second child becomes an only child

As I tap this one-handed on my phone, I’m nap trapped. My toddler has fallen asleep breastfeeding, leaving me unable to put away all the kids’ new toys, go through unopened mail, unpack our suitcases or do any of the other things on my list. But I am not complaining. Today, I’m happy for this boob nap.

Kiwi rarely falls asleep on me these days. And on the occasions she does, I can’t let her snooze on me. I don’t have that flexibility; I have a preschooler.

But Peeper went down to Eugene with her dad to pick up our dog, so for today I am mom of only one kid. And that “only child” has a doozy of a cold. So it’s really not that shocking she fell asleep at the breast—and why I let her keep sleeping on me, boob nap style.

When my toddler fell asleep in a boob nap, I stayed put. She and I both got exactly what we needed. Ten Thousand Hour Mama Read more

My end of 2016 Gratitude List

At the beginning of this year, I wrote a gratitude list of 50 things I’m grateful for. I remembered that post recently when I thought ahead to the New Year. I feel a lot of fear when I think about what is to come next year and beyond, but fear doesn’t do a lot of good unless it motivates some sort of positive action. I have been working to incorporate doing good every day (more on that later), but positive action can also include acknowledging all the things that are right with the world. After all, a perfect antidote to anxiety and uncertainty is reflecting on the many reasons to be thankful.

If you’re like me and you’re feeling anxious—whether that’s from the incoming president or post-Christmas bills—I invite you to make a gratitude list, too. It may just help you feel better about the end of 2016 and look forward to the New Year.

This New Year, instead of making resolutions, I'm writing a gratitude list. What are YOU thankful for? Ten Thousand Hour Mama Read more

Holiday gift guide: Best WAHM gifts

Chances are, you know a work at home mom: Almost a third of moms in the US do not work outside the home, and if the number of mom friends selling leggings, face wash and children’s books is any indication, a good chunk of these work at home (including me!). And I can guarantee these mamas could use a thoughtful present this holiday—that’s why I pulled together a list of the best WAHM gifts to spoil the working moms on your Christmas list.

Shopping for a work at home mom? This gift guide with the 10 best WAHM gifts has working mother-tested ideas and products. Ten Thousand Hour Mama Read more

On my first pump and dump (and crying in a public bathroom)

I was holding back tears in the airport restroom so, yeah, I suppose I looked as if I needed a friend.

The lady at the sink next to me smiled. “That’s liquid gold,” she said, nodding to the still-warm bottles of milk I had just pumped. “Don’t lose it!”

I tried to smile back as I tipped the bottles and watched the milk swirl down the drain. She looked aghast—and I felt like I was going to throw up. It was the first time I had to pump and dump in my almost three years of breastfeeding my two kids, and it felt awful.

I hadn’t been drinking in the airport (though on second thought, maybe I should have been.) I explained to the woman next to me that I’m traveling for work, and I decided not to save the milk I pump.

Deciding to pump and dump brought an avalanche of mommy guilt. Then I decided to forgive myself. Ten Thousand Hour Mama Read more

Fill the internet with happy

Well, folks, we’ve made it. Election Day is here. After today, we won’t have to endure attack ads and mailboxes full of political flyers and canvassers knocking on our doors and waking the baby who *just* went to sleep for the love of all things holy.

It’s not a stretch to say that most of the country is feeling a tad anxious today. That’s why I want to fill the internet with happy.

Read on for a smile. Then please—please please—do your own small part to spread happiness and fill the internet with happy!

The world is full of too much sadness. So fill the internet with happy and spread happiness wherever you go! Ten Thousand Hour Mama Read more

Finding peace the day before the election

Here we are, the day before the election in perhaps the most contentious campaign season in our history. I already voted. I have outlined the reasons I am supporting Hillary Clinton for president in surprisingly civil conversations with Donald Trump supporters, and I have listened to their reasons for voting for Trump. And now I’m looking ahead to tomorrow—and beyond—wondering what direction our country’s voters will take us.

It's hard to find peace anytime, but especially the day before the election. It's time to let go of fear and find compassion. Ten Thousand Hour Mama

Also today, I’m traveling for work. I’ll be taking three planes to get me to rural Minnesota, where I’m visiting a Native American reservation and a renewable energy nonprofit. I’ll be sitting next to strangers—our elbows awkwardly bumping each other in the too-small seats, our eyes meeting in commiseration as the airline announces a delay. For a few hours, I’ll share space with strangers who believe we’re stronger together or want to make America great again, with those who are still feeing the Bern or are sitting this election out completely.

Sometimes it feels like we’re all so different.

But beyond trolls’ hateful comments and tweets, beyond the violence that erupts at rallies, beyond people unfriending each other over political posts, we are much the same. Read more

I voted for my daughters

Today I voted. I voted for president. I voted for down-ballot candidates. I voted for proposals on corporate taxes and veterans’ funding and road repairs. But ultimately, I voted for my daughters.

My daughters, ages 3 and 1, are too young to be aware of the 2016 election, and I’m glad for that. I don’t want the anger, violence and bigotry surrounding this race to harm my kids. I’m not alone: Officials are planning to close some schools that are polling places for fear of the fallout come November 8.

Although Peeper and Kiwi don’t watch the debates or see attack ads, they will still be directly impacted by whatever happens after November 8. That’s one big reason why I voted, I voted early (like President Obama urges us to do) and I voted to make a difference.

In the 2016 election, I voted for my daughters—and for the future. Ten Thousand Hour Mama Read more