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

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

7 must-dos for a kid-free business trip

7 must-dos for a kid-free business trip
Original photo by Jeremy Sternberg, creative commons

You’re on a kid-free business trip, so you’re probably feeling equal parts guilty and giddy. Chances are, you haven’t been away from home and kids in so long that the prospect of dealing with traffic and the TSA, crossing time zones, working long hours and eating what passes for a continental breakfast sounds positively like a vacation.

It’s also likely that you might not know what to do with yourself. I’ve been there, though, so I’ve done you the solid of making a little list of all the things you must do on your next kid-free business trip.

While you’re gone, drop me a line and tell me all about your kid-free extravagances like eating in a restaurant with no play place and sleeping on an un-jumped-on bed. Read more

Feeling my Pulse

Love Conquers Hate Pulse shooting
image from Human Rights Campaign

I’ve hesitated to write this post. It feels as if all the heartbreak, anger and confusion about the recent mass shooting of the Pulse night club in Orlando has already been better expressed than I could attempt. But I can’t get the Pulse shooting out of my mind. Read more

Guest post: Proud to be you

I am insanely excited to share with you the voice of my blogosphere friend Deborah Bryan. Deb and I e-met through a mutual friend a few years ago, and ever since I have felt a deep connection to her that belies the fact we’ve met in person only once before. 

Peeper and Littler J were much more interested in each other than Prince Puckler's ice cream!
Peeper and Littler J were much more interested in each other than Prince Puckler’s ice cream!

If you don’t already follow her, do yourself a solid and zip over to The Monster in Your Closet stat. Well, right after reading this.


Today you’re wearing a dress with a broken zipper.

That’s just like you.

Wait, that didn’t sound as nice as I meant it.

Let me start over.

Today you wore a lovely dress you haven’t been able to wear for a few months. You were delighted to see how pretty you look in it, but not so delighted when the zipper in back burst all the way to your waist while you leaned over to put on your toddler’s shoes two hours later.

“+%÷@#!” you thought, before deciding—a split second later—that the best immediate solution was to be thankful for your long sweater. You’ve used binder clips to deal with cleavage issues, but they’re harder to use for back wardrobe mishaps without a girlfriend close at hand. There were other options, of course, but this was the one you quickly determined best in light of the circumstances.

Thank goodness for long sweaters! Courtesy yours, you made it to work on time and looking fine.

Do you see the compliment yet? No?

Okay, I’m getting there! Read more

Don’t ask. Just help.

don't ask just helpWhen Kiwi was a few months old, a friend texted me.

“I’m coming over. Be there in 15.”

I was a little surprised—we’d met a month or two earlier in moms’ group, and our babies were mere weeks apart, so we didn’t know each other terribly well. I didn’t really know what to expect.

When she arrived, I welcomed her into my home, trying not to think of the dog hair tumbleweeds and last night’s dinner-coated dishes still on the counter.

“I’m here to guerrilla help,” she said, stepping inside. “You never take me up on my offers to help. But here I am.”

She set down her baby, who was sleeping in her car seat, and asked if I’d rather she do a load of laundry or scrub my shower.

Seriously.

She ended up bouncing Kiwi, who woke up from a two-minute nap and refused to go back to sleep. But that was a bigger help than battling shower scum to a harried, exhausted, desperate mother who spent nearly every minute of the day trying to get a baby to sleep.

My friend did something special that day. She rescued me from one more attempt to bounce my baby to sleep—the time that may have pushed me over the edge. She let me know I wasn’t alone. She showed up when even I didn’t know I needed her. She lived what should be the international mother’s motto: Don’t ask. Just help.  Read more