I Almost Became A Squirrel Murder Today

I almost became a squirrel murderer today.

Almost. Which is good because I just can’t handle having “squirrel murderer” on my conscience right now.

I dunno if these two squirrels were fighting over nuts, territory, or maybe one was a boy squirrel who is really into big bushy tails. Either way, I swerved and they ran back into a neighbor’s yard.

Disaster averted.

I also drove around my neighborhood like a crazed lunatic because Baby C fell asleep in the car. I know there are probably a million moms out there that have done this, but this was after I stopped at a cafe to grab a coffee and sat in their parking lot for 20 minutes thinking Baby C would wake up any minute.

The minutes passed, and the baby snored.

I can only imagine how pissed those small business owners were looking out their window and seeing me wasting time on my phone. If only they knew the struggle of a sleeping baby in the car.

So this post is random. Did I mention that already? *scrolls up*

Ah, nope I didn’t. Okay, so this post is going to be random – consider yourself warned. My mind is a jumbled mess between parenting, SAHMing, and flat out adulting. I’m convinced now there’s really an aliment called “SAHM Crazies”. And ya’ll I’m sufferin’ something fierce.

I want to be creative. Think, plan, solve….I don’t even know what I want. I do know I have got to get out of this house some more. And I do know I am not ready to face corporate world yet. But ya’ll oh how I miss managing projects. All the moving pieces – making order out of chaos.

Now if only I can make order out of the chaos that is my (recently turned) 5 year old. Seriously, being a mom is the hardest job I have ever had.

Okay, I’m getting a little off track here (see the crazies I tell ya!). So being creative, that I can do with this here blog. Oh, but what a can of worms this blog is.

See, I had a niche to write about. A corporate mom who had it all! I worked full time, raised kids, and LOVED it. And now the struggle bus has picked me up and plopped me in a big ol’ heapin’ pile of multiple identities. And now I don’t know what this blog is anymore. What do I write about? How can I inspire other working moms, and SAHM moms, and just MOMS?

You know the women in yoga pants, with unwashed hair, and the crazed look in their eyes? Ha…kidding.

Sorta.

So, here I am pretty much avoiding this little space of the internet because I dunno where to go with it. One day I’m on the right side of the proverbial fence and I’m all “Yes! Lets do this! I can write about whatever the heck I wanna write about!” And the other days, I’m on the left side of the fence, in the fetal position rocking back and forth, saying “Make it go away. Make it go away!”

And that’s where you come in.

What do you want me to write about?

What do you want to read? What do you like about this blog?

Also, why your at it, when you’re done fixing my “blog content direction” problem, will you also let me know what I should call this blog? M’kay thanks.

I’m a once-was pant suit wearing working mom, I’m a now-wearing yoga pants SAHM. I’m a boy mom, a firewife, a runner, a chemist, a project manager. I’m a sister, daughter, friend. I’m an introvert living in an extroverts world. I’m a sarcastic coffee lover and wine drinker. I’m an essential oil user, naturalist, and fitness enthusiast. I’m a neighbor, I’m a homeowner, I’m a down to earth southerner. I’m me. A hot mess me.

Just plain ol’ me. 


  1. What content would you like to see here?
  2. Help a gal out… if you were to rename this blog, what would it be?
  3. Answer questions 1 and 2 in the comments!
  4. 4. Seriously, please answer questions 1 and 2.
  5. Okay, ya’ll for real now, I expect a lot of comments with your ideas!

 

 

 

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We are a family of 4.

Baby C is our last child.

We took permanent measures to ensure this.

My uterus will never support a growing life again.

My cycle will return (please not any time soon!) and it will be a reminder that I am fertile, but not growing a life.

And I’m happy about all of the above.

And sad.

And content.

Confused?

Yeah, me too.

The best way to put it – it’s bittersweet.

I’m content though.

I’m at peace with our decision.

And I 100% stand by our decision to keep our family as a family of 4.

But I’m also savoring every single moment with Baby C right now, knowing I will never hold another baby that FirefighterDad and I created together.

It’s a mix of emotions.

It’s complicated.

It’s messy.

But it’s right for us.

 

Persepctive. It’s a crazy thing. It can instantly make you see clearly. It can make you change your mind, or reaffirm your decision.

And as I laid in my hospital bed at 23 weeks and 5 days and 2 cm dialated, I got all the perspective I needed.

My body doesn’t do pregnancy.

My baby was measuring 1lb 8oz….a weight the neonatalogist was ecstatic about.

It moved our odds a bit closer to 50%.

Odds that aren’t terrible.

People make bets on 50% odds.

50% odds are good odds.

Unless thoughs odds mean the difference between life and death.

Now 50% is a terrible percentage.

These were our odds with Baby C.

He could live, or he could die.

And we prepared for both outcomes.

We talked about an extended NICU stay with life sustaining measures.

And we talked about comfort care. Keeping our baby comfortable until he was called Home.

Two very different conversations, but when you have barely 50% odds, you have both conversations.

And in those moments I knew he would be our last baby.

Regardless of the outcome, he would be our last.

In those moments I tried to remove myself emotionally from the life I was carrying. I actually, at one point, convinced myself I didn’t love this child. I mean how could I? I never met him, saw him, or held him. I didn’t know him, so if the coin landed on death, I would be fine.

Then a split second later, I would cry.

Whole body shaking sobs.

Because I knew better than that. My heart was already so in love with the life I was carrying. And I knew if the odds weren’t in our favor, it would be the worst pain I had ever felt in my life.

So as nurses and doctors worked to stop my labor and keep Baby C cooking, I cried and I prayed.

And I knew I would do whatever it took to never get pregnant again.

Because when it comes to your child, no one wants 50% odds.

When it comes to your child’s viability, 50% odds are terrible.

Fortunately, our story has a happy ending.

With both of our boys.

With Brother I, I got 28 more days of pregnancy and delivered at 33 weeks and 5 days to a 5lb 8oz baby.

We weathered two NICU stays, but we have a healthy, happy, and vibrant 4 year old.

And with Baby C I got 12 more weeks of pregnancy and delivered at 35 weeks and 4 days to a 6lb 10oz baby.

We are weathering reflux, but we have a healthy, happy, and vibrant 2 month old.

We.Are.Lucky.

Our story could have been different so easily.

So I’m content.

I’m at peace.

Perspective is a gift I will always be grateful for.

So every day I savor.

I savor the snuggles, baby wearing, newborn floppies, sweet baby milk breath, baths, nursing, smiles, coos, and even the ache I feel when I hear the distinct sound of my newborn cry.

I savor the soft newborn hair, the smooth baby skin against mine, the diaper changes, the spit up, and the sleepless nights.

I savor the vulnerable newborn period – the time I feel the most like a mother. Able to provide food, comfort, and love in the most raw and uninhibited way possible.

I savor the moments, good and bad, committing them to memory.

Beacuse our family is complete.

We are a family of 4.

A family of 4 with a happy ending.

 

I Brought My Baby Home

*I’ve slowly realized I am still processing a lot of emotions surrounding Mr. I and Baby C’s birth and my experiences with each. I wrote this one night trying to capture the sweet essence of the peace in my heart.*

 

Perfect creation.

Every line, curve, and feature known – memorized.

Every movement, wiggle and squirm felt – cherished.

Every noise, squeak, and cry captured – answered.

Small squishy body pressed against mine warm and calm.

Love and joy are intertwined.

Smooth skin and silky soft hair is treasured and caressed.

Peace and happiness are intertwined.

Days are filled with motherly instincts and your weight in my arms.

Days are filled with the sweet suckle of life and your weight in my arms.

Days are filled with the quiet solace of peace and your weight in my arms.

Every longing, every ache, every prayer answered in one moment.

One life-defining, soul-healing moment.

Every dream, every wish, every prayer answered in one moment.

One life-defining, soul-healing moment.

The journey is complete. From brokenness and fear to joy and peace.

I brought my baby home.

 

After the NICU

When I read this Babble article my mind and heart kept screaming yes, yes, yes. 

This momma, like me has experienced the NICU and even though her twins are healthy and thriving, her 7 points are spot.freaking.on.

I’ve never been able to explain or communicate what it’s like after the NICU and this article does that so perfectly.

1. You never forget. You really don’t. You get to a point where you just stop dwelling and you accept that the NICU is part of your life story and your child’s. You stop grieving and you accept. You accept that your child’s first photos are ones that also include wires and tubes. You accept that this is your story. But even through the acceptance you never forget. Yes it hurts way less, but you never forget.

2. After Mr. I was born, I vowed I would never have another child. This was for many reasons but ultimately taking the plunge to have another child is wrought with mixed emotions with fear topping that list. I and C have a smidge over 4 years between them. It’s because I needed to heal from the PTSD I was experiencing post NICU, and I needed closure. And I needed a doctor who worked with me to get me as close to full term as possible. In the end we took the jump and had Baby C, but it was an emotionally challenging pregnancy even if all turned out well!

3. Everyone has opinions, but no one truely understands. They all mean well. They all want to help and be supportive but navigating the NICU and early post-NICU days is isolating and stressful even with the most supportive family and friends. I was fortunate that I never got any pressure or opinions on if FirefighterDad and I should have another child.

4. Shortly after Big Bro I got home, dear friends of ours had their first child – a sweet baby girl. I saw pictures and chatted to mom and dad and 3 of them were great. And in that moment my heart broke. I remember holding FirefighterDad and crying. Crying for what we missed out on. Crying for what we went through and crying because we would never get that. That perfect delivery. That perfect pregnancy. Oh and baby showers. I remember the first I attended after having Mr. I and I was the only mama who went through the NICU. We all gave advice to the soon mom-to-be and I froze. What advice do I give to a mom who will bring her baby home?

5. Oh a pregnancy do-over. I can totally relate. I think I’m the only woman hoping for stretch marks! In the end I got just about the most perfect pregnancy but I never did get those stretch marks of being full term and pregnant with a full rounded belly!

6. It still hurts to think about. Although much much less, it’s still there. As the Babble article says the sadness and the joy must coexist. A great example of this is when my baby niece was born. Seconds after being born, I heard her screaming her little head off. My mom was on the phone and my sweet niece in the background was crying. As an Auntie I was SO happy!! I was overjoyed, but at the same time I was sad. I was crying and letting all the feelings – good, bad, sad, happy pour out. Mixed feelings always coexist when you’ve been through the NICU.

7. You never stop worrying. With Mr. I doctors appointments always had me stressing days before it. The “what ifs” would play out in my mind. With Baby C it’s been SO different. I don’t feel stressed, I don’t get butterflies. I enjoy seeing his growth curve has it moves forward. It’s been, dare I say, fun to take Baby C to his appointments. Even today, 4 years later, I still feel apprehension taking Brother I to the doctor.

I was recently talking to mom on the phone and updating her on Baby C and myself and I was explaining some of this to her especially about taking C to the doctor and how different it was. And my mom simply said “honey that’s called joy.” And I teared up a bit because she’s exactly right. I experienced joy with Baby C. With Brother I the joy eventually came years later, but initially there was stress, guilt, and isolation. Love was always there, but joy took a while.

I’m not sure why I’m writing this, but if there are other NICU parents out there, please know I get it. And it does, eventually, get better. And until that time comes, take it a day at a time and know you aren’t as alone as you feel. And many many prayers to you and your child(ren).

Identity Crisis

I’m feeling like a fraud. I’m no longer a working mom in the corporate world and I don’t have a hectic schedule. So I’ve been toying with the idea of giving my blog a new name, but I’m pretty sure that’s a HUGE no-no in the blogging world. That coupled with changing domain name, branding/image, etc I just.dont.know.

I have a good idea of what I would rename my blog as, and it’s much more general and I could then wrote about anything including corporate America and my career should that time come, BUT then I’m just another mommy blogger. Which I don’t have anything against, but ya know, internet traffic. What sets my blog apart from the other mommy blogs?

I’m not really looking at making money off of my blog because let’s be honest I’d have to blog more than once a month, BUT if the opportunity arises, I wouldn’t say no. On that same line, I have been seriously considering doing some freelance writing. I love writing, I have varied interests, experiences, perspectives, and qualifications and would love to bring in some additional income while I’m navigating this high risk pregnancy. However, depending upon the freelance opportunity, I would need a greater social media/blogging presence which I’m 100% on board with, but if I work on creating this, I would need ONE consistent name between blog, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. So, dilemma. I have a great blog name idea, but I’m not sure it would translate to other social media accounts. Of course I dunno because I’m no expert.

Ugh. Decisions, decisions.

Also, how would I address the anonymity of my current blog with potentially doing freelance writing under a social media handle? I’m okay with being less anonymous in theory, but protecting my kids will be priority. But, like you all, I love seeing daily pictures on blogs including kids, dogs, food, homes, etc. so I know that helps with generating followers. And let’s be real, Instagram is nothing.but.pictures.

So.

Many.

Thoughts.

So, fellow readers what are your thoughts? Should I rename and rebrand my blog? Should I use my new blog name as my social media handle? Should I just let it be for a while and see what happens?

p.s. I washed my hair today so basically…I’m winning at life right now!

 

The “L” Word

2 years ago, when my grandmother passed away, I remember the plane landing and ushering myself and my son off looking forward to getting home and finally taking a breathe. As I was driving through our neighborhood, hard reality slapped me in my face – life goes on. Regardless of what events have occurred, regardless of your mental or emotional state, cars were driving past me as I entered our neighborhood, blissfully ignorant of my life, and their life continued on – moving forward without a second thought. In that moment I so desperately wanted to push Life’s Pause Button. I wanted the world around me to slow the F down and I wanted life to pause just for a second. I needed to breathe, to process, to grieve. And when life is zooming past you at what seems like the speed of sound, it’s overwhelming. It’s sad. It’s disconcerting. So in the peace of my home I figured out how to take a breath and grieve, while also getting back in the game of life. It was survival – I had to do it even if I didn’t want to. Because life can be brutal. It can be beautiful and joyous, but sometimes it can be a butthead. I share this with you because once again I wish I could press Life’s Pause Button.

I’ve been wanting to write this post and be authenticate and honest with ya’ll.  After all,  my poop stinks too, I have marital challenges at times, I have child-rearing challenges at times, and I fall apart like a crazy person sometimes. Because I am not perfect regardless of what this blog may say otherwise. So today I am sharing with you some raw honesty. And although its not on par with losing a loved one, its been a life-rocker none the less.

The “L” Word

At the beginning of this month I got a call and was told by the VP of my business that due to cost saving measures my position was being eliminated.

Ya’ll I was laid off.

And at first I was like this….

Then I was like this because I was home sick. Can anyone say bad timing?

And then I was like this….

But then I remembered there is this sweet precious boy…

Baby#2

So I did this.

 

And then I took my planned trip to Florida and took a week off. Because when your world comes crashing down, you run to your parents like any other almost-thirty-year-old with a mortgage. Just kidding. Kinda.

 

They say losing a job is like losing a loved one. At least the steps of grief are. First you’re in denial, then angry, then you barter, then you’re bitter, then you finally accept. Or something like that. I think right now I am at the YOLO stage. Can we add that in there? I have come to a healthy place where I am not so stressed and looking forward to some time. Just some gosh darn time.  And in case you are curious as how I did it, or you find yourself in a similar position, here’s what I did.

  1. Take some time. I Googled “just got laid off” and every search came back with some form or another of “take some time off”. And although I am a planner and an action person, I could see the benefit with this. Even with being almost 5 months pregnant. I needed to get my bearings. And process what just happened. In my case I got a severance package and my official termination date was a week later so I had a little breathing room. Don’t make any drastic decisions within those first couple of days when you are reeling from what you have just been told. Instead cry, eat ice cream, and wallow. Wallowing is healthy, promise.
  2. Know your People. This is one thing that really surprised me. When I went to pack up my office, I had people reaching out and rallying with me. I had my people. Hug them. Cry with them. Confide in them. Through this whole process I have recognized who my true friends are – the people who are willingly inconveniencing themselves to help me. Those people who want to help me. Take their help and lean on their support. Connect with them and keep in touch with them. Two of my friends either connected me to a job or recommended me for a job. You never know who knows who. And then, feel all the love. I know I do.
  3. Severance Package, Outplacement resources, HR, oh my. If you got a severance package you are going to have to be proactive to figure it out. My (previous) company’s HR was no help in that regard. They basically handed me a packet and told me to call the numbers provided. Not very helpful. Get a direct HR contact at the company in case you need to follow up or have questions later. And be prepared to make lots of phone calls and figure this out.
  4. Financial Assessment. Like anyone, I was worried about our finances. Going from x amount a month to $0 a month is shocking. and stressful. And you will feel all the feels. But in my opinion this is the time to get serious about your budget and spending and figure out what things can go immediately and what other things you will need to work on to cut costs. This doesn’t need to be really detailed yet, but you should have a general idea of what you can cut. For example, for us it was cutting Diapers pre-school attendance from full time to 3 days a week. This is a savings of $40 per week which is $160 a month. It may not seem like a lot now, but that could be gas, groceries for a week or two, or even pay off a credit card. Also, groceries is another area where I am back to couponing, swagbucking, and using all of my rebate apps. I could write a whole post on just this, so if you want some more details on this let me know and I’d be happy to share my method and experience.
  5. Resume. Now is the time to network and get a kick-ass resume put together. Hopefully after 1-4 you have had some time to do some soul searching and figure out what you want to do. Maybe a career change makes sense. Maybe you want to follow your passion. Maybe you want to stay home with your kiddos. Whatever is resonating with you, figure out how to pull out key competencies and results from previous roles to highlight what you can bring to another company. For me, I am looking for an industry change. And nautrally this means limited experience, but only limited industry experience. I still have great work experience and have high impact business results that I can speak to.
  6. Network. I finally broke down and have a LinkedIn profile. And I am networking. It really is powerful and any and all resources you get makes it even more powerful. Consider local job fairs, friends, college alumi, recruiters, head hunters, etc. Step outside your comfort zone a little and find some routine to mange these and get into a routine where you are putting yourself and your talents out there. I have found LinkedIn to be very good and I am also using Glassdoor.com to check out companies, jobs, salaries, benefits and other info.
  7. Unemployment. Chances are if you’ve been laid off, you will qualify for state unemployment. Since this is a program our taxes help support, you have been paying into this program, so now is your chance to take full advantage of it. It won’t be a lot, as most states have a weekly cap regardless of your previous income level, but its still something. My state requires job searches and attending an orientation. It is annoying for me to manage all of this, but I also recognize its a small sacrifice of  my time to get some income into my household immediately. And its of course another way to network by attending the events your state hosts for job searches. In line with this, also consider other government programs such as WIC, SNAP (food stamps), Child care assistance, etc. Again, we contribute to these with our taxes so don’t be ashamed to reach out and see if you qualify.
  8. Job Searches and Applying. I was given the advice of spending a good 25 hours per week searching and applying jobs. Anymore than that and you will get burned out and frustrated. This can be 3, 8 hour days or 5, 5 hour days. Structure it with what works for you but be prepared to invest some time and energy. Job titles are not a one size fits all and in my experience, I always have to tweak a resume some before applying.
  9. Get Creative. This applies to everything from your new found time, to your finances, to your resume and job searching. Be unconventional. Think outside the box. Put some spice and personality into your resume to set you apart. Think of unique childcare options, or creative ways to significantly lower your budget whether its with student loans, car payments, or credit card payments. There is no one-size-fits-all approach here. Now is the time to figure out what is going to work best for you. And nothing says you can’t do something (unless its illegal of course) so step outside your comfort zone and have fun with this part! A great example I can share is with our finances. I have a lot of student loans. Our monthly student loan payment is on the order of an apartment rent amount. Its a lot, and its choking our budget. So we tossed around ideas like using my severance to pay off the higher interest ones, restructuring our payments, and looking into other income based repayment options, but none of them were ideal because interest is still accrued. Our best option is to pay them off. And we found a way to do that which results in us freeing up about $600 a month in our budget. And that is significant. For personal reasons/security,  I haven’t shared the details, but if you are curious or want to know some more specifics just shoot me an email and I’ll be happy to share!
  10. Quality and Quantity Time. As a (previously) working mom, my time with Diapers was limited to an hour or so in the morning, a few hours in the evening, and the weekends. Although the days are short, the months seem long so I am taking this opportunity to invest more into my son. We are going to the library, feeding the ducks our old stale bread. Watching movies. Cuddling. Building forts, playing with side walk chalk and even redoing my flower bed (read: weeding, raking, pruning, and replanting). I’m also doing some DIY projects for Baby Boy’s room (maybe good fodder for a blog post!). I am occupying my time and mind with activities that are filling me up to lighten the stress and burden of constant job searching. Its important to take care of yourself. So don’t forget your hobbies! Invest in yourself too – I remind myself of this daily.
  11. Remember Life Goes On. At the beginning of this rather lengthy post, I said I wanted to push the Pause Button. And some days I still do. But life goes on. Dishes need to get done, kids need to be fed, laundry needs to be done, and for me the key is a new routine. I’m still not in one yet, but what I am doing is NOT hermitting myself in the house. I am an introvert and I would be perfectly content staying home applying to job after job. But I have friends calling, texting, making plans. I have good people ya’ll. I am loved. My phone is constantly blowing up – and I really like that. I have friends who want to keep in touch and its been a kind reminder to me that life does in fact, still go on and move ahead. So this past weekend Diapers went to a birthday party (ask how I did this on a budget!), last Wednesday I went out to lunch with a friend. Then on Friday another friend came over and spent her lunch hour at my house catching up. And on Sunday another friend stopped by to catch up and help with my DIY projects. Life goes on, and I have found that if I step outside my introverted tendencies, I am enjoying this time. I am still working on a good routine and a mangeable balance, but it feels good to live and not be stuck on pause.

This post is long enough so I will end this here. If you’ve managed to make it this far then thanks and go eat a cookie because you totally deserve it. Actually eat 5.


  1. Have you ever been laid off from a job?
  2. Do you wish there was a Life Pause Button like me?
  3. How was your weekend?
  4. Any good DIY-ers out there?

 

 

 

 

Beauty in Contrast

It startles me. It catches me off guard, and stills me. Sometimes my breath catches, and my heart is stilled by the comfort while my mind catches up. It always happens when I least expect it among mundane daily life, but when the beauty of the juxtaposition is processed, I am calmed. I never expected this. I never dreamed of it. I never planned for this. I was never opposed to it. I never fought it. It just happened – naturally, organically.

Sometimes these moments happen hand in hand.

Other times they happen when I view a picture gaining an outsider’s perspective.

And sometimes it doesn’t happen at all. It’s my normal – surrounded by contrast. Beautifully intertwined in a sea of difference.
What’s ironic is I see this from the outside and always think – oh how surprising. How beautiful. Then I am snapped into reality and recognize, oh that’s me too. Its startling. Its startling in a beautiful and raw way. It’s beauty in difference; in opposites.

And some where in the spectrum of opposites is a middle; a composite. A beautiful masterpiece of a blend. And the beautiful part about a blend is that it doesn’t see each end of the spectrum for what it is, but rather it just sees beauty at both points.

Diapers is that blend. A magnificent combination of his parents. The mixture of black and white. But rather than seeing black or white, Diapers sees “mommy” and “daddy”. He sees equality in difference. He sees love in difference. He sees beauty at both points.

 

image

 

If we approached the world with such understanding, such acceptance and joy among differences, what a better place we would all live.

I’m Not a Babysitter

This is a mini-series sharing my perspective on men, women, and working roles in today’s society. You can read Part One here.

 

I’m the bread winner in my family. Working in a technology based field has blessed me with a decent salary, and while FirefighterDad has served his country and now works in Public Service, his salary isn’t near mine. This isn’t a badge we wear though. We view our income has our Family’s Income – we both contribute, therefore we both make decisions on how we choose to spend it. So at the end of the day, it’s really a moot point. We earn it together, and we spend it together. What’s interesting about it though, is FirefighterDad and I don’t hold traditional roles by society’s standards.

Another interesting point – I have never been the stay at home parent; again another traditionally women-held role by society.  After Diapers was born, it was advised that he not attend daycare for his first year since he was a preemie, and daycares are germ factories. Therefore, FirefighterDad stayed home for 2 years with Diapers and created an incredible foundation of love, learning, and fun for our little boy. Not to mention, Diapers stayed healthy with only a few tiny bumps in the road along the way.

So this brings me to my point of the second instalment of my mini-series.

Fathers are not babysitters.

Fathers are parents. They are part of a team that is fully capable of taking care of their child(ren). And the wonderful part about this is they want to (speaking for FirefighterDad of course here). There are still many times that my controlling-obsessive-nurturing-mommy-tendencies kick in and I comb over every detail and need Diapers might have to FirefighterDad before I leave for a run, or have a girls’ night out, or head to the grocery store.  And FirefighterDad calmly looks at me (sometimes with that all too familiar shit-eating grin) and says “This isn’t my first rodeo.” Or something to that effect. And he’s right. This is the man that kept our family afloat while I was in the hospital for 28 days trying to stay pregnant. This is the man that stood by my side during labor and weeks of NICU visits. This is the man that knew how to operate a breast pump (shit you not). This is the man that quickly became all too familiar with the intrinsic pull of wanting to be with his wife, but also needing to be with his son as they worked on him minutes after being born. This is a man that held his 5 pound son and became a Dad. This isn’t his first rodeo. He has instincts and powerful emotions of love, protection, and providing. And although his methods might differ from my and his love may look different than mine, he’s no less of a father, and his ways aren’t wrong. His ways are beautiful, powerful, and create an amazing balance. A balance so profound that Diapers is flourishing!

So Dads are Dads not babysitters. This article says it well too. I know Derrick’s choice in words didn’t match his intent, or the point he was trying to get across, but both men and women need to recognize that although men don’t dominate the role of the primary care giver, they are still parents who provide, love, and nurture their children in their own ways.

Again we are seeing a change in cultural norms and the rise of SAHDs is increasing, and this is powerful. This is re-shaping our culture and our attitudes about parenting, and creating a balance between men and women. Whether it’s working and being the sole income provider, or being the stay at home parent, we are all tipping the scales in favor of teamwork, support, and understanding. For all the Dads, keep up the great work because we know you are all very capable of loving your children!

I hope you enjoyed this mini-series! Please share your thoughts below!

I’m Not a Feminist

This is Part One of a mini-series discussing and sharing my perspective on men, women, and working roles.  

I hear many comments from my female coworkers and friends about how men seem to advance quicker, make more money, get more and/or better raises, seem to be given more responsibility, and how leadership roles are typically held by men. Usually these comments are met with sisterhood solidarity and often times we vent our frustrations and unfairness’s. These comments, some I have said and continue to say frequently, are hinged on a sense of injustice and a knowing awareness that it’s tougher for us women to get a head and to see our careers advance the way we like, while it almost appears effortless to our male counterparts.

And you know what? A lot, if not all of this, is true. Women do have to work harder. I see men get promoted often and easily. Men don’t have to be vocal about their pay or their efforts. It all seems to just fall in their laps.

But there is one thing that needs to be said: I am not a feminist. Sure I partake in these conversations laminating about how a male counterpart has been promoted 3 times in his 3 year career in the company and I have only been promoted once in my 3 year career with the company. But one thing I won’t do is wave my pink flag of Girl Power. I won’t stand up and say that the corporate world is being unfair to women or that men are suppressing women. I won’t protest and I won’t wave that flag.

I’m not a feminist, but I am a huge advocate for equal opportunities and working hard. I’m also a huge fan of breaking cycles. And although this isn’t easy, it’s the way to see lasting change.

At the start of World War II – men were at war and this left our nation’s labor force at a HUGE shortage of workers. Without these factories and businesses, our men couldn’t get the necessary items they needed to fight the war and live. Items like guns, ammunition, blankets, food, shoes, clothes, etc. were all needed. Yet, these manufacturers didn’t have any warm bodies. Not to mention tons of new jobs were created because of the war, but no one to fill them. Enter women – this allowed women the opportunity to fill this working gap. Many women entered the work force as a sense of duty, patriotism, and as a sense of giving back to our men fighting. It also gave women a taste of freedom and community while they earned wages. Women entering the work force paved the way for proving that women, just as easily as men, could be trained to do the same work. During this time, the number of working women rose from 14.6 million in 1941 to 19.4 million in 1944.

Now jumping ahead to the 1960s, there was a strong women’s movement that worked to break down work inequality, lower wages, and denial of access of better jobs. Here’s an interesting link from CNN with some things that women were not allowed to do in the 1960s. Needless to say there was a lot for the women of this feminist movement to fight for! And I’m glad these women were around and spoke up and fought back.

In 1970 there were 30.3 million women in the workforce compared to 72.7 million women between 2006-2010. And from data collected by the Census Bureau this is where it gets interesting; from 1970 to today, very little has changed in terms of our nation’s corporate culture. The above hyperlink goes into lots of good details but I summarize to say that back in 1970 women were majority employed in roles such as administrative assistants, elementary school teachers, and nurses. Today, women still out rank men in these roles. And men back in 1970 had roles in management, as lawyers, doctors, and as police officers. Women have made great gains in some career fields the most notable being accounting. However, cultural norms have facilitated men and women working in the same career fields for going on 40 years now. Is this bad? Not necessarily, but one thing I think worth noting is that we must keep in mind what our nation’s corporate culture is, and that is, as a nation we expect more women to be teachers, nurses, administrative assistants, and more men to be lawyers, judges, and managers.

The article goes on to say that in the 1990s more women were working or entering the work force because our nation’s economy was experiencing a boom and wages were better. However in 2008 when a news-worthy decline in our economy hit, women in the workforce declined. Speculations were that since women were earning less than men, it made since for typical middle class families to have the women stop working. It also became less favorable for women to enter the working force because salaries were lower. However, if more women were in the roles of teachers, assistants, etc., then it seems to make sense that women were making less money – women didn’t populate the higher wage earning professions like men did.

And here in lies the issue – our nation’s expectations on working roles has been founded for 50 plus years in our country’s corporate culture. I’m not saying this is right or wrong. I’m not saying this is ideal or even balanced and fair. I’m not saying that women should or should not maintain jobs as teachers, secretaries, or personal assistants (do what you LOVE!). I’m saying it is what it is.

But as women, we don’t need to wave our pink flag or even our white flag. Instead we have a perfect opportunity to empower our colleagues, men and women alike, and educate and demonstrate, that women are capable of SO much more. We have a lot of work ahead of us, but we are already tipping the scales.

As the Millennials have entered the working world, we see this culture being tested. We see scales tipping more to a balance; more women are going to college, more women are entering into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) careers, more women have graduate degrees, and more women are in management. Heck we even have women CEOs.

So I’ll say it again, I’m not a feminist. I don’t have it out for men. I don’t think men alone have created our corporate culture, and I think for the vast majority of male leaders and managers their intentions are good. I do think men have grown with the times some and see that women are strong and capable and can add a lot of value to a company. I am a woman who is all about embracing our opportunities, working hard, and continuing to tip the scales to break the cycle of predominately men held roles and adjusting our corporate culture. Ladies, continue tipping those scales with me and be proud of your successes!

I hope you enjoyed Part One of this mini-series. Stay tuned for Part Two coming soon!


  1. Do you have a job in a predominately male dominated field? If so, what perceptions or expectations have you had to tip?
  2. Do you work in a role that is not considered “typical” by today’s society?