Stay at home mom

It’s finally time to give up my rock n roll hair salon.

As much as I love my stylist, how he spends two hours expertly trimming and thinning my unruly locks, and working in quirky, edgy little touches, I just can’t do it anymore.

Even though my stylist will never let me look like the suburban mom I am, sitting in the electric chair-inspired chair staring at a stained glass painting of a man slave performing fellatio sure makes me feel like one.

(My mom once asked if she could go to my salon. Um, no. Never.)

As my twin pregnancy progresses, I can only imagine dragging my supersized self way downtown in the freezing cold and trying to hoist myself in and out of the S&M-themed hair washing station.

And after the twins come? I’ve already had the unpleasant experience of pumping in their CBGB’s-inspired bathroom (measuring approximately 1 foot by 1 foot), with walls plastered with Toilet Boys, Television, and The Clash concert posters, no sink (but feel free to sanitize with the warehouse club alcohol sanitizer, which is ALWAYS empty), and a door that almost closes all the way.

Don’t get me wrong — the tattoo-covered staff is unfailing sweet. On their breaks they read things like Dante’s Inferno while smoking cigarettes and sipping tea. And they pretended not to be horrified that time I hogged their only bathroom to pump (“I’m sure weirder things have happened in there,” one of them said.)

But alas, its time for a grown up salon. A place I can get to via the comfort of my own car. A place where they offer coffee and cold water in glasses, mints in their spacious bathroom, and refill your parking meter in the off chance you stay longer than an hour.

I’ll miss the amazing haircuts, the rock scene gossip, and that long lost urge I get to hang out all day in smoky bars when vintage Stones start blasting over the speakers.

But it’s time, folks. For better or worse, it’s time.



Year of the Book


I super excited to announce that I’ve launched a new company: Year of the Book. You can read all about it on my lovely new website.

But what I want to talk about here is passion.

As I’ve written about here, here, and here, last November I took my kids out of daycare and took a three month sabbatical from the company I run with my husband.

One thing I realized during my sabbatical was that I need a work project. I wish I could be one of those moms who puts all her energy into her children. I wish I could say I’ve done half the projects I’ve collected/hoarded on Pinterest. But I’ve finally accepted that I’m a better mom when I have a project I’m working on.

When the idea for my new business started emerging, it was like sucking on a delightful piece of candy throughout the day—a little treat in the back of my head I could daydream about or sketch out on park benches while the kids play.

When I don’t have that, I get itchy. Unsettled. Impatient. Ungrounded.

I created space, and something new emerged…

I am well aware of how blessed I am, how indulgent it was, to be able to take three months off to clear my head. That space is what allowed me to begin dreaming again. It was the best time I ever had not shopping! (Since I felt like spending unnecessarily really wasn’t in our family’s best interest while I wasn’t working.)

And I knew I was on to something when I started listening to podcasts in the kitchen while I was making dinner.

That’s the kind of passion I’m used to having in my work life, and that frankly I’ve lost touch with since I became a mom.

…And slowly came into focus

Earlier this year, I started doing some serious passion hunting.

I worked in small virtual groups of women online through Hannah Marcotti’s wonderful programs.

I joined the Mamacoach circle, which is an online group for holistic coaches. I still remember my introduction, which went something like, “I’m not sure why I’m here since I’m not a health professional or a coach. But I finally signed up because I’m dying to hear all these recorded calls you guys are doing.”

I focused all of  my reading and online time in the words and company of people who are pursuing their passions. (Links to come.)

And I participated in an amazingly powerful exercise by Visionary Mom Lisa Work. Really — I can’t tell you how powerful this recording was for me. By the end of her teleconference, I knew exactly what my business would be. In fact, I listened to the call twice — the first time trying to fit what I thought my passion “should” be into my answers. And the second time with my true passion. It’s amazing how my answers flowed out of me the second time around. **I’ve contacted Lisa to see if I can share access to that recorded call–stay tuned**

UPDATE: Here’s the link:

Create Your Visionary Business — Free Training Call. 

Thanks Lisa for sharing it with us!

So how about you?

I wanted to share all of this with you because doing this passion seeking has changed my life. And if I can help you in any way, by recommending resources or just listening to your dreams and encouraging you, then please comment or send me an email.

I’ve been through the ringer the past few years. I’ve struggled like hell with postpartum depression and anxiety, and trying to figure out how to balance it all, and trying to figure out who I am and what my purpose is besides being a mother to two beautiful boys.

The color is back in my face. And that’s what I wish for you, too.



P.S. If you or someone you know are interested in how working with a book coach helps you reach your goals with clarity, focus, and meaning,  please visit my website.

P.P.S. If you have found amazing resources that helped you find your path, tell us about them in the comments!

Just over three months ago, I took my children out of daycare and took a “sabbatical” from the company I run with my husband.

When we first started this experiment, we were coming off a two-year-long crash and burn of getting two sleepy children dressed and out the door in the mornings, and racing cranky children home for the dinner/bath/bed routine in the evenings.

So I guess it makes sense why, for the past 3 months, Isaiah has wanted nothing more than to live in his pajamas.

We all needed to calm down. We needed space and quiet and big huge buckets of unscheduled time. We needed to adjust to our new routine and find our rhythm.

Our 3-month retreat

The past three months we have been a little pocket of a family. A retreated family. Two sons and a mother alone at the park on Monday mornings. A threesome at the village diner. Regulars at the library play room. And more hours at home than any of us have ever spent.

Over the past three months, I’ve watched two brothers become best friends–so attached that when the little one goes up for his nap, the older one cries. So attached that the small handful of playdates we did have were mostly ignored, the comfort of a brother’s company easier. The hierarchy and boundaries clearly established.

Over the past three months, my 3-year-old has has shown affection to me that I only caught glimpses of before.I’ve woken up my sweaty-headed 2-year-old from his nap and seen his smile spread across his face before his eyes even open. I’ve tumbled in leaves and collected rocks on our walks to the pond. I’ve grown comfortable taking two children to grocery stores and museums, and even done a couple daytrips to the city–just the three of us.

I’ve been there to see the heart-melting moments like my 2-year-old’s pride in learning how to use the potty–his proud little trot out of the bathroom, his naked little legs and bum. And I’ve had the time and patience to let me 3-year-old water the plants, and help me bake muffins, and to stop doing whatever I’m busy doing during those moments when he says in that little voice, “Mommy, will you sit with me?”

I’ve experienced the off-ramping bliss of not knowing what day it is. The luxury of wondering what we’ll do to fill the pockets of time. The beauty of a blank calendar. The space to find our own rhythm.

And with our new duties more clearly defined, my husband and I are no longer aiming for the unspoken (and unachievable) 50/50 split on everything: work, house, kids, selves. Somehow by “reverting” to more traditional roles, I feel like our days run smoother. He can focus on running the business with the peace of mind that the homefront is stable. And I’m sure having a calmer wife has its benefits.

How it has changed me

My first couple of weeks at home, I tackled big organization projects like the entryway closet (shudder) and the pantry. I made sure dinner was on the table when my husband got home. I started reading those mom bloggers who write all about how to save money. I had all these self-made rules about what I needed to accomplish at home in order to justify the extra stress my not working might put on our family.

I had grand visions of the daily routine we’d follow, and felt antsy when that routine didn’t work out. Then I remembered my big learning from last year: let it go.

So I started leaving the breakfast dishes and joined the boys in the playroom. That’s been a big adjustment for me — to be comfortable “just” sitting and playing Legos without the nervous itch that I should be doing something “productive.”  The amazing thing I learned is that once you “fill the meter”–that is, give your children some undivided, no-iPhone-in-sight, attention—you can actually slip off to do some closet cleaning or, as I eventually discovered, Google Reader reading.

Even though we don’t have a consistent routine, one thing we stick to every day is nap time/quiet time. Every single day I take an hour to read, write, or rest if I was up with a child the night before. During this time at home, I’ve started drinking green smoothies and tea. I’ve gone off the medication that pulled me out of postpartum depression/anxiety, but didn’t serve me anymore.

During this pocket of time, I’ve experienced profound personal growth that comes with an act of humility—not being part of the full-time working world. But most of all, I’ve gained an internal sense of peace knowing I’m giving my boys my best, even on the tough days.

Having this time at home has been a gift of magnificent proportions. And I know it won’t last forever.

In some ways, it already seems gone.

This month, I’ve taken on two client projects that have me working a couple days a week (the boys stay home with our long-time babysitter) and logging in at night.

This week, Isaiah will start going to Montessori school 3 afternoons a week. (More on that decision later.)

But even as we slowly add activities and work projects and preschool into our lives, I want to be able to tap into this bubble we created.  I want to not let myself get sucked back into busyness and always feeling like I need to be wherever I’m not (i.e. work or home).

So I guess I’m not really a SAHM

For some reason it bothers me that I don’t really fit into a bucket of “stay at home moms” or “working moms” or even “work at home moms” (most of the work I do happens in an office alongside other grownups).

But nevertheless, my new hypothesis is that taking on carefully-selected work projects with clear ending dates will be a good way for me to stay active in my industry, contribute a bit to our family income (Montessori school is not cheap…) and keep my skills polished. Like other freelancer moms, sometimes I’ll have projects going on, and sometimes I won’t.

I don’t think my SAHM experiment failed. I think when we started this journey we were all maxed out so we stripped everything out. After a few months of that, we had the luxury of getting a little bored/understimulated, and now we’re letting things back in, slowly.

And so even though I had wanted to check off that big box labeled “To work or not to work,” it turns out I’m still experimenting to find the right balance. I guess like most things, it’s not a destination, but a journey.

Here’s to all you other moms who are walking the same path.


Interested in reading the whole story behind my decision to stay home in the first place?

Here’s an interview with me on In Good Company: Inspiration from the brightest minds in the ad industry.


Lovely image by ashleyg on Etsy