Workplace Equality for Moms and Dads

Before I returned to work after I had our second child, my husband and I had to figure out a schedule that works best for us when it comes to dropping off and picking up the kids at daycare. We decided that I would go to work early (I’m usually at the office at 7/7:30am), while he gets up, gets ready, gets the kids up and ready, and takes them to daycare before heading off to work. I will leave the office around 4 and pick up the kids from daycare. My husband will get off work and be home between 6 and 7pm. This works for us …. most days.

But our schedule is not what I want to talk about. I want to bring up an epidemic that is sweeping the nation! Since I have returned to work, I have had MULTIPLE people inquire about how I get the kids ready and out the door so early in order for me to get to work so early. My response is that I don’t. My husband does.

Apparently, my husband having any responsibilities when is comes to raising our children is unfathomable to some people.

My husband and I both work full time jobs. My husband and I both financially contribute to the household. My husband and I both contribute to the household chores. My husband and I both have a part in raising our children. So why is society dictating that, as the mother, I am the one who needs to make the sacrifices at work for my family? Why does it seem that working mothers are never good enough? We’re not good enough if we’re not at the office enough. We’re not good enough if we’re not at home enough. We’re not good enough if we leave work for our kids doctor appointments and sick days. We’re not good enough if we DO leave work for our kids doctor appointments and sick days.

It’s like, once you become a mom, people immediately lower their expectations of your performance as a mom and any other role you may have. That may sound nice; to have sort of a break from the demands. But, dammit, I worked hard to get to where I am! I work hard to be a good mom. And I work hard to be good at my job. And I am very proud of both of these roles.

My questions is this …. how come working dads don’t get the same grief for being dads?

Do you have any experience with how you are treated differently by colleagues and/or peers since you became a mom?

A Letter to My Little Sister; 18 Years After You Died

Dear Laura,

I cannot believe it has been 18 years since I last saw you. Some things feel like just yesterday, others fade into my memory.

I thought of you so much last week. Lily hasn’t been sleeping well. She’s been getting up during the night so often. And usually I’m not opposed to giving her the few extra snuggles it takes to get her back to sleep. But one night on particular, I was just exhausted. Exhausted and irritable and cranky. She came running into my room and wanted to lay with me. And before I could catch myself, I yelled at her. Which, of course, led to her crying. I immediately regretted what I had done and scooped her into my arms and held her until she slept. I thought of you because of when we were kids and shared a room, you would occasionally have trouble sleeping. You would wake me up for one reason or another. Sometimes I would yell at you, which would lead to you crying, which would make me feel guilty, and then I’d let you lay in bed with me and we’d talk until you fell asleep. Then I’d carry you back to your bed.
I wish I knew at the time that these moments would be the ones I remember most. Had I known that then, I would have embraced them more. I would have practiced patience sooner.
I look back on these moments with an obscure sense of pride. These moments of frustration and difficulties from dealing with an annoying little sister (no offense, all little sisters are), led to love and bonding, acceptance and patience. These moments have helped mold me into the mom I am now. I am by no means a perfect mom. But I do what I can to be the best I can.

It’s officially summer now! Which means a lot of time spent in the water. To this day, we still call bathing suits “baby soups.” And I still can picture you saying it like that… followed by all of us teasing you. That’s what big brothers and sisters do!

Speaking of big brothers and sisters, Lily is going to be a big sister soon! I am just amazed at the little person she has become. I hope you aren’t mad, but she’s got dad wrapped around her finger. I absolutely love it! Remember how when Austin was born, we’d call mom and dad “busia and grandpa?” We still do that. But Lily took it to the next level and talks about them like they are one being. She calls them “Boo-Pa.” It’s fantastic.

Since I last wrote to you, a few more nephews of yours have been born. (I know, its hard for me to imagine Adam and Aaron as dads, but I was pleasantly surprised with how easy they took to the role). You would just LOVE Colton and Killian! They’re both one now. And they’re both going to be big brothers too! (Lots of babies, I know). Killian has these big blue eyes that you could just stare into forever. You had eyes like that. And Colton just has the cheesiest smile. He’s got his 2 front teeth (and more in the back) and there is a small gap between them. Everytime I see him smile, I am reminded of your smile. You had that same gap between your teeth. Only yours was a little bit bigger. I remember you trying to tell me before that another tooth was supposed to grow in between them!

I miss you so much. I said it before, but I can’t believe it’s been 18 years. It’s hard for me to imagine you as a 24 year old woman, when all I picture is a 6 year old girl.

I love you, pretty pretty princess.

Quit Stealing My Husband!!

**If you have ever hired a photographer, videographer, caterer, event planner, makeup artist, hairstylist, or any other vendor for a wedding, bar/bat mitzvah, corporate event, birthday party, funeral, or any other important event, or, if you know someone who has or is going to, please take the time to read my lengthy soapbox post**

Once every few weeks, the stars align and my husband and I get to spend a couple of hours actually hanging out with each other. Brian is a professional videographer. He works from 9-6/6:30ish Monday through Friday. He is working events (weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs, corporate events, etc.) most every Saturday and the occasional Sunday. The very second Brian gets home from work, he is the star of Lily’s world. She wants to spend every moment with him (understandably). We eat dinner, play, get ready for bed, and then Lily goes to bed. Once she’s in bed, Brian will work on the computer for hours finishing up video projects, only to start new ones. It really is never-ending. But, he LOVES what he does, and he’s REALLY good at it. So, we make it work with only having, every so often, a night with no immediate video demands, and we actually spend time together (usually watching Arrow or Agents of Shield or something else that proves how not lame we are).

These wonderful moments are getting fewer and further apart because 90% of his clients are a bunch of jerk wads who act like they run the world!! So, if you are thinking of hiring a vendor for an event, here are some things to keep in mind:
1) Obey the deadlines given!! If you want a photo montage done and you need to provide 200 photos by a week before the event, don’t drop off 300 the day before and say you couldn’t decide. Who do you think now has to take the time to decide??
2) If you are provided a rough draft of a video that will be shown on a Saturday, and you are requested to have all editing requests made by Wednesday, do not call on Friday and demand that something someone is wearing throughout the whole video needs to be photoshopped out. Photoshop is not a quick and easy fix. It takes precision and is time consuming.
3) If you expect a vendor to spend the entire day with you for an event; feed them and make sure they have something to drink. These people are making sure your day is perfect; the least you could do is make sure they don’t collapse from exhaustion because they spent 12 hours on a sunny golf course watching your party eat, drink, and be merry.

These are just a few suggestions. But what it all boils down to, is you are not the only person in the world. If you want to make ridiculous demands, pay your vendor more money (we’ll call it bitchiness hush money). All these last minute changes and demands you have, who do you think is going to stay up all night working on them?? Who do you think is going to miss out on a family birthday party, or date with the wife, or dinner at home with his child to make sure that you are happy??
If you have questions or concerns for your vendor, or you want clarification about the service you are paying for, send an email. You’ll get a response during business hours the next day. Because, although you may think you are the queen/king of the world … to Lily and I, you’re a piece of crap who is stealing our time with Brian.

preparing.for.potty training

Preparing for Potty Training


We have decided to begin the next chapter of this fantastical parenting journey …


We have decided to begin potty training!! :::DunDunDuuuunnn:::


The most deterring part about potty training is how every “expert” tells you that you need to be consistent all day, every day until it sticks. Well, the problem we have with that so-called solution is that we live wonderfully inconsistent lives! Brian and I both work full-time (and demanding) jobs. Lily goes to daycare 3 days a week, and my parents babysit her the other 2 days. Our weekends are always jam-packed because we never have time to do anything during the week. Needless to say, this little girl needs to be potty trained soon. I’m calling Mommy Law on it!

I anticipate the task to be daunting, time-consuming, frustrating, repetitive, exhausting, and discouraging. We will probably want to give up many times. But I am determined! I will win this battle!

That being said …. please, please, please help!! I am open to any advice, suggestions, encouragement, (sympathy), or helpful hints. I welcome it all!

I will keep you all posted on how it goes, and what “method” works for us!

Why Being a Mom (or Dad) during the Holidays is the Best!


The holiday season is magical. There is no doubt about that. Everything about it just glows with a light of amazement. The lights on the trees twinkle as if showing off just for you. The songs are the radio are the soundtrack to your life. The cold air brings you closer to the ones you love. And the warmth of cozying up inside is the epitome of love. It’s magic.

We feel that magic as adults, and we’ve had thirty years (give or take a few) to experience it! Imagine that magic seen through the eyes of a child.

Seeing Santa Claus wave to you in the mall when there are hundred of other kids around. Turning the house lights off to turn the Christmas tree lights on for the first time (and every time after that). Being held close because of the cold weather. Everywhere you go there are decorations celebrating the season. And it always seems like everyone knows all the same songs, and sings them together!

This. This is the time when parents are rewarded for all the challenges they handle throughout the year. And no, we aren’t rewarded by some trinket our kids bought at the school’s Santa Shop (although those are wonderful as well). I mean the moments a memory is made in our kids lives. When they come home from the Santa Shop and they have this look of pride and accomplishment on their face because they just know that they picked out the best present for you. When they push a chair up to the counter to help bake cookies and cakes and pies; and when they concentrate so hard in decorating the goodies. When they are next in line to see Santa and they have this look of fear, admiration, and wonderment in their eyes, and they squeeze your hand a little tighter when they see him look their way. When they are surprised EVERY SINGLE TIME to turn the twinkling lights on the tree or house, and just stare. Or when they come downstairs on Christmas morning and are AMAZED at the presents under the tree. Whether they are two or twenty, there is an innocence in their eyes as they take it all in. And it makes all the stress and handwork you’ve dealt with over the last month or two in preparation totally worth. After all, this is why we work so hard.

And this is why being a mom (or dad) during the holidays is the best!

The Busy Mom’s Guide to Holiday Decorating: Easy Holiday Lantern


After I posted a picture of my holiday decor on Instagram,

A photo posted by Katie Ward (@katbeth14) on Dec 12, 2014 at 3:43am PST

I had a quick brainstorm sesh with a fun Instagrammer I follow (and love!), @awesamsauce . I am now beginning ..

The Busy Mom’s Guide to Holiday Decorating!!

I will be showcasing some of my easy and inexpensive holiday decorating tips that are vital to any busy mom who wants to look like she put forth a lot of effort for absolutely not a lot at all!

Up first … the Easy Holiday Lantern.

So, over the last few years, lanterns have been BIG in home decor! They’ve been everywhere! I was lucky enough to have been gifted one following my brother’s wedding. His bride chose to use them as centerpieces in the rustic wedding.

I usually keep the lantern by the fireplace. But to class it up for the holidays, here’s what you do:

Step 1 – Open lantern

Step 2 – Shove a strand (or 2) of lights inside lantern

Step 3 – Leave male end plug out as your close the lantern

Step 4 – Plug in lights

Step 5 – TA-DA!!!!