mom guilt

One of the things I promised myself upon turning 29 was dropping the guilt I feel when I take some time to myself. Is “mom guilt” a thing? Do you other moms feel it? Am I just batshit crazy?

I never want to leave Mark with both kids running rampant, so I always try to leave during one of their nap times and stress over making it back before they wake up. Like hauling ass through the grocery store picking things off shelves before I know Cora will be up. I have no idea why. Mark is fully capable of taking care of both kids and I trust him 100%, but I feel immensely guilty the entire time I’m gone. I leave to go to Starbucks to write up blog posts and literally can’t focus on writing because I’m terrified the shit will hit the fan while I’m away.

In grand retrospect, I think I worry this because it’s happened to me enough times. Mark would be at work or having lunch with a friend or something and everything in our house would go to hell. A few months ago there was a whole diarrhea / vomiting / fit-throwing escapade for a couple of hours that involved me and both kids and I still haven’t fully recovered from it. I did so many stressful bedtime routines while Mark was away for a job that I’m terrified to let him do the whole routine. (Even though now the kids are a breeze to put down for the night…at one point both kids screamed bloody murder during baths, Dexter had to be rocked to sleep while Cora screamed bloody murder some more in the hall, then she’d scream bloody murder after I put her in bed, and then Dexter would wake up screaming bloody murder riiiiight after Cora chilled out. Wouldn’t go back to those days for anything. Went on a tangent there, sorry not sorry.) Again, not because I don’t trust him. I just literally hate to put him through it.. Wait, is this what having a heart feels like?


I know myself well enough to know that time away from the house and away from the kids is good for me. It sounds nuts, but I literally need it. After too long of being with anyone I legitimately go insane and I have to get away. My brain literally just replays the phrase “I need to leave, I need to leave, I need to leave..” I get short with the kids, I find stupid things to get mad at Mark about, I take everything personally, and I find myself missing the days when I lived alone. And even then…even when I know I have nothing left to give…I stay home and “mom”. Because I feel like there’s some part of me that has to, for whatever reason. Like it’s my job as a mom to be at everyone’s beck and call.

The times I do leave, for just a few hours, I come home a completely different person. I genuinely start to miss my kids after an hour. I’m ready to tackle chores without feeling salty about it, I’m ready to play with the kids, I’m ready to laugh with Mark, and I just mentally feel better. So why don’t I do it more often? “Mom guilt” remains the biggest mystery in motherhood for me.

– amanda

the year i disappeared.

I always had a small amount of anxiety over going places when we just had Cora, but I was typically able to overcome it since she was a fairly easy baby. After Dexter was born, that anxiety has built up slower and slower, grander and grander.

Something about getting two small kids out the door wears me thin. I’m telling myself it’ll get easier as they get older, but right now it fucking sucks. There’s packing the diaper bag, which is a feat in itself…diapers, wipes, snacks, formula, bottles, sippy cups, toys, “How long will we be gone?”, “How much/many of (insert random baby item) will we need?”. And then there’s the actual act of getting everyone out the door. Dex goes in his carseat, “Does he have a fresh diaper?”, don’t forget his blanket. Cora needs her blanket too but she’s also going to want to take every. single. stuffed. animal. she. owns. There will be a battle of wills. (Mom wins 8 out of 10 times.) She’ll take her precious time shuffling out the door as I stand there holding her brother in his carseat, which very likely weighs half as much as me. Load everyone up, buckle everyone in, pray you don’t hit too many red lights because Dexter hates when the car stops. Play lots of “Can’t Stop the Feelin’” by JT because that’s Cora’s jam.

And then there’s the unloading and releasing my minions out into the world, praying no one cries, no one poops, and nothing breaks.


I’ve missed so many things this year outside the walls of our home. Family gatherings where I stressed too much about taking the kids out of town, so my mom took them and I stayed home and did some random task I had been putting off until I was kid-free. Birthday parties for friends and their kids because they’ve collided with nap times. Baby showers for people who attended OUR baby showers because again, nap times. My life revolves around not missing naps because I fear cranky babies. It’s absurd.

I’ve also noticed when we leave the house I come home feeling scatterbrained because there’s always SOMETHING in our house that needs to be done, so I walk in and think “I totally could have been cleaning up the kitchen the whole time we were gone.” Or something equally as ridiculous. As if the house would just crumble to shambles if I were to leave it for three hours.

And while we’re on the topic of “disappearing”, best of luck trying to contact me. You can call me, but I’m not going to call you back unless it’s REALLY important and even then you’re going to have to wait until both kids are napping, which is like…a solid half hour out of the entire day. You can text me and I’ll read it while doing dishes/laundry/insert chore here, but I’ll eventually forget about it and possibly respond a day or two later. When I get a moment to sit, to truly rest.. I mindlessly scroll Facebook. Occasionally I’ll post a photo on Instagram that I had taken hours before (almost everything I post is a #latergram). Basically anything that doesn’t require any significant thinking.

So for now, I’m MIA a lot of the time. I’m working on it. I’m haven’t touched anti-anxiety meds in yeeeaaaars but I’m feeling like I’m at the point where it’s time. I’m toying with the idea of seeing a therapist. (If any OKC friends have someone they love, please email me!) I’m a big advocate of normalizing mental health issues and feeling comfortable with getting help when it’s needed, and my gut is telling me I’m there. And that’s okay, because it’s not just about me anymore.

(Well if that isn’t the tagline for my walk through motherhood.)

– amanda

“my mom has knuckle tattoos”

There’s some kind of weird stigma that comes along with being a mom that tells us spending time on ourselves is either impossible or selfish. We know what image we’ve created for mothers: messy buns, two day old makeup, yoga pants, and husband’s t-shirt (inevitably splattered with spit up).

When I got pregnant with Cora I specifically remember someone telling me, after I had dyed my hair pink, to “enjoy it” because “moms don’t need pink hair”. I laughed and thought “Yeah okay.” I had several pastel hair colors throughout Cora’s first year, and then..

Before Dex was born I kept telling myself I needed to dye my hair to something low maintenance and eventually go back to my natural hair color. I had white hair that I LOVED for years. And I willingly gave it up because I had convinced myself that I didn’t have time to visit the salon for 3 hours every 6 weeks or so. I put off getting tattoos I really wanted for over two years. I told myself that fun things like wild colored lipstick were for the type of people who don’t have to cart kids through Target.

Looking back now I realize I got sucked into that stigma.

“I’m a mom now, I don’t have time for all that.”

“I have CHILDREN, I can’t wear that.”

Seven months into being a mom of two I’ve finally learned.. Making time is important. I’m important. The way I feel is important. Nothing about me has changed other than I’ve popped out a couple of kids. (Okay, they were essentially pried out.)

So yesterday I bleached my hair back (my sister-in-law is fantastic and puts up with my indecisiveness beautifully…let me know if you’re looking for an amazing hair stylist) and I got the knuckle tattoos I’ve wanted for six years. Yes, knuckle tattoos. (Ashley at No Regrets Tattoo in the Plaza District is the tits.) And today I’m wearing teal lipstick because TEAL LIPSTICK IS COOL NOW GUYS, WHAT IS THIS HEAVEN?! I won’t touch yoga pants with a 10 foot pole unless I’m off to the gym, because it’s just as easy to throw on my favorite jeans. And I will take 15 minutes a day for myself to do my makeup because I deserve those 15 minutes. *snap snap snap*

I can be me and still be Mom. I can give my best when I feel my best.


Here’s to going to my first PTA meeting someday with a full sleeve and purple hair. Cheers.

– amanda


Twenty-nine today.

Let me just go on the record and say that 28 probably wasn’t my favorite year. It wasn’t the worst (I wouldn’t go back to 17 if you paid me a million dollars) but I certainly don’t think it brought out the best in me. Sleep deprivation and some postpartum depression made me a monster while figuring out how to balance two kids under two. It’ll go down as the year I bitched about my kids too much. The year I had a baby that was unnaturally large, then I gained weight and was suddenly and rudely introduced to this weird body I was told I needed to learn to love. It’ll be the year I laid in bed every single night with a rapid heartbeat while I imagined my kids being kidnapped, the dogs getting hit by cars, or some other horrid thing. The year I overcooked, undercooked, or just royally fucked up more dinners than I got right because I got distracted by everything. The year I told myself half a million times that I was a shitty mom and I had no business being responsible for two tiny humans.

As I’m typing this I’m realizing that 28 was the year my brain and I went back into battle.

See, we’ve been to war a lot, my brain and I. Over a decade of it. We chilled there for awhile after I got pregnant with Cora and throughout her first year, but once Dexter was born and I got bit by the ol’ baby blues we’re back to all out warfare. Every now and then this think tank of mine pops out some good stuff, but more often than not I’m telling it to chill the fuck out and just. be. quiet. (It doesn’t listen.)


28 felt a lot like barely keeping my head above water.

I think for my last year in my 20s I just want to be kind to myself. I think it’s hard to be kind to others when you’re not kind to yourself first. I want to take care of my body because it’s done some pretty kick ass stuff the last few years. I would like to lose about 15-20lbs, but more than anything I just want to eat good foods and get to the gym more often to blow off steam…if I lose the weight, great. If not, I guess I’m meant to be flabby. I want to take better care of my mind, and let go of the guilt I feel when I allow myself some downtime. I want to give myself grace, because I’m horrible at that. I stress if every little thing isn’t checked off my list for the day. I need myself to remember that we’re seriously doing fine. We’re doing better than fine, really.

I’m positive that 29 will hold some fantastic things for our family. My hope is to be present. To chill the hell out. And to be kind.

Here’s to 29 and being kind.

And not voting for Donald Trump.

*runs away before someone uses the term “libtard” again”*

– amanda

pumpkin patch

We attempted to hit up Orr Family Farm about two weeks ago, only to arrive at noon and realize we forgot the stroller and there were approximately 14,000 people there (slight exaggeration). So we turned our asses around, went home, and vowed to try again the next week.

We went on a Monday and arrived right when they opened (and remembered the stroller!) and considering the fit she threw when we left, Cora had so. much. fun. Y’all she cried so hard she almost threw up. It was also nap time and we were a leeeeeettle bit batshit, but there were some significant tears.

We went on the hayride, picked out pumpkins for both kids, went down some huge ass slides (I was not a fan, but Cora loved them), hung out with some goats, bought some fudge, and rode the carousel. I can’t wait to bring the kids back next year when Dex is a little older.

(That was the best photo of both kids. I expected nothing less.)
– amanda

dexter at 7 months

This last month Dex learned how to go from laying to sitting, and we’re now crawling! 🙌🏻 We also started baby led weaning and this kid loves food, if that shocks anyone.


Height :: 30in
Weight :: 22lbs 1oz
Wearing :: 12-18 month in everything, a few 18-24 month shirts. Size 4 diapers.
Sleeping :: Beautifully. We rarely have to get up with him anymore and he sleeps anywhere from 10-13 hours a night. MVP. 🙌🏻
Loves :: Beans of any form (pinto beans, green beans, black beans..), playing with sis, watching dad play guitar, eating, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, his blankie, playing with Jane, and drinking 14oz of milk in less than an hour.

for all the moms who don’t fit in a box

Not too long ago there was a BuzzFeed video going around about the different types of moms. You know.. crunchy moms, helicopter moms, hot mess moms, etc. I remember watching it and thinking, “Where do I fit?”

One of the hardest things about motherhood for me has been figuring out what kind of mom I am. I love home births and believe in the benefits of natural birth (GIRL POWER BITCHES, WE WERE BORN FOR THIS SHIT!), but I also hated the birthing process (I’m sure an 11lb baby didn’t help). I’m pro-breastfeeding but I stopped breastfeeding both my kids at 6 months because it was difficult as hell and I selfishly wanted my body back. I rarely watch Cora when she’s running wild in the backyard (I’d make a horrible helicopter mom), but I’ll be damned if my kids don’t have basic manners and can play well with others. We eat a shit ton of fruit but we also can’t live without bacon and mac & cheese. We vaccinate, but we don’t circumcise. I cuss in front of my kids, but we don’t spank. I swore we wouldn’t sleep train and our babies would “sleep when they’re ready” but fuck that, I was exhausted. And guess what? My kids are happy…probably because we’re all sleeping like champs.

(Here’s a picture of a Wookiee in a cage, just because.)

Basically, I have crunchy tendencies but I also know the value of my own sanity. I know my limits. This season of my life I like to call The Season of Pick-Your-Battles.

It wasn’t until recently that I finally stopped reading things and comparing my parenting techniques to others. Every kid is different. Every parent is different. My children are fed, healthy, happy, and they laugh daily. They’re socialized enough to not be weirdos (well, they’re still weirdos, look at their parents) but not so much that we’re never home. I go with my gut more these days and I’ve stopped stressing about what other moms will think.

There is no box I fit in. I just flit around all the boxes like a hummingbird on speed. I. Just. Don’t. Care. Anymore.

(Psst, you shouldn’t either. Do the damn thing, momma.)

– amanda