8 Things I Miss About Working Outside The Home

When my daughter was born, I bowed out of an exciting and lucrative career in television production because I wasn’t ready to leave her. I couldn’t figure out a way to do TV part time, so I settled into being a stay-at-home mom who sometimes writes (while wearing a nightgown).

Now, four years later, I’m still incredibly grateful to have such a flexible schedule that affords me plenty of mommy time, but I find myself occasionally missing the perks that come with having a proper job in an office. As every mama knows, ain’t no such thing as “having it all.” Here’s what I’m craving:

1. Adult interaction

Facebook is great and all, but nothing takes the place of actual faces, in front of you, talking about last night’s “Homeland,” today’s Ebola scare or tomorrow’s holiday party. Really, anything but sticker charts and nap schedules would be downright scintillating.

2. Alone time in the car

When I’m chauffeuring my daughter, there are a lot of requests for Katy Perry, Taylor Swift and “No, Mommy, don’t sing.” If I were commuting to work, I’d be cranking up the Beastie Boys with a bag of pretzels on my lap that I don’t have to share.

3. Free coffee

I never appreciated the break room when I had one, but what’s not to love about fresh brewed coffee that somebody else made and 10 different kinds of granola bars? At home, I have to fend for myself.

4. Fewer distractions

In the mornings, I sit down around 9:30 a.m. to start writing. By 9:40 a.m. I’ve noticed that there’s a light bulb that needs changing, some dishes in the sink and an episode of “Scandal” on the DVR that isn’t going to watch itself. Home is not the most efficient workspace for me.

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My Shockingly Big First Trimester Baby Bump

For the past few weeks, I’ve been making like a pregnant sitcom star—hiding behind huge handbags and ensuring I’m only photographed from the waist up.  That’s because I started showing WAY before I was ready to share my pregnancy news.

I’d heard that bellies pop out a lot sooner with second pregnancies, but I had no idea I’d be smuggling a soccer ball at 10 weeks.  Apparently, early bumps are also more common in older moms (me) and in women with weak abdominal muscles (also me, but really insulting!).

amy bump

The upside of showing early is that there’s been almost no awkward period of looking puffy but not pregnant.  I am so clearly with child.  However, this proved problematic when an acquaintance ran up to me in the supermarket yelling, “Congratulations on the baby!” in front of my 3-year-old daughter, whom I had not yet told.  Luckily, she was very engrossed in a box of cheddar bunnies and didn’t catch on.

When I was pregnant with my first kid, I didn’t spill the beans until 17 weeks because I was waiting for the amnio results. This time around, I was able to take that new MaterniT21 blood test and be reasonably confident at 12 weeks that it was okay to share our good news. That’s when I had about a dozen conversations that went like this:

“Friend”: Congratulations! How far along are you?

Me: 12 weeks.

“Friend”: Really? I would have guessed about 6 months. Are you sure you’re not having twins?

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I Found 17 Things To Love About Being Pregnant

It’s 3am and I’m waddling to the refrigerator for a snack (aka fifth meal). Hunger pangs, heartburn and round ligament pain have been wreaking havoc with my sleep, and I’m starting to wonder why I thought it was such a good idea to get knocked up again. “The baby!” I have to remind myself. “You wanted another baby.”

Since it will be five more months until I meet said baby, and I’m just getting bigger and more uncomfortable by the day, I’ve forced myself to come up with some other reasons to love being pregnant:

AmyonthePatio

1. I never have to suck in my gut. The curve of my belly actually seems beautiful, and I enjoy flaunting it in fitted clothes and even bikinis. I wish I felt this way all the time.

2. I get a free pass on a lot of annoying tasks like carrying luggage, cleaning with bleach and polishing silver. It makes me want to get a cat just so I wouldn’t have to change the litter box.

3. I’m never at a loss for small talk. Someone will always ask about the belly.

4. Forget about that whole, “Eat half of what’s on your plate and pack up the rest” business. I’m eating for two now and I will have all the pasta, thank you.

5. My cups runneth over. That bra-stuffing teen girl I used to be never dreamed she’d have such impressive knockers. Seriously, they’re real, and they’re spectacular.

Continue the list at Lifetime Moms…

 

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I’m So Happy (& Miserable) Now That I’m Pregnant

I have a fun new job chronicling my pregnancy at Momtastic.  Here’s my first installment.  There will be a new post up on Momtastic each Thursday. 

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For two and a half years, I wished on every star, eyelash, and birthday candle that I would get pregnant. I had almost lost hope of giving my daughter a sibling when boom: two pink lines. I was blissed out on baby dust for a solid week. Then, the symptoms kicked in and my gratitude was replaced by round-the clock complaining.

“Kill me now,” I moaned to my husband recently, after bowing to the porcelain throne. “Didn’t you, um, want to be pregnant?” He reminded me. “Desperately?” I did. I do! But I was under the mistaken notion that the second pregnancy would be somehow easier. Muscle memory would be on my side.

Instead, I have all the symptoms from round one plus a whole new batch of so-weird-I-have-to-Google-it ailments. For instance, cotton mouth, the likes of which I have not experienced since college, when my roommate had a bong. I’ve created a tropical eco system on my side of the bed with a humidifier and a case of electrolyte-enhanced bottled water, and I’m still waking up parched.

Below the waist, it’s the opposite. I’m borderline incontinent, and really wondering if I should just keep a stash of Depends next to the Pampers Swaddlers. I’ve also got a rash, from – get this — my thighs rubbing together. It’s very attractive, and probably here to stay thanks to the freakish fall heat waves we’ve been having in Los Angeles.

Story continues at Momtastic…

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What I Just Learned About Blogging, Controversy and Respecting My Readers

In case you missed it, I wrote a piece last week about Amal Alamuddin taking George Clooney’s last name when they married. In the article, I said I was disappointed that such a professionally accomplished woman would choose to follow what I consider to be an outdated tradition.

My Carriage Before Marriage Facebook community in turn let me HAVE IT, calling me anti-feminist for judging another woman’s choice.

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Image via Daily Revolution

It truly never occurred to me that when I called out Amal Alamuddin, I was insulting the many, many women out there who happily chose to take their husbands’ names. The last thing I meant to do was disrespect my own readers, whom I value so much. (Without readers, a blog is just that falling tree in the forest that makes no sound.)

What a whole bunch of you pointed out to me is that you wanted to change your names. You like sharing a name with your husbands and children. It announces your unity and commitment to the world. The name change itself doesn’t have to be a big deal. Accomplishments don’t disappear when you change your name. Plus, a new name can offer a fresh start, particularly if you never liked your maiden name.

Personally, I would feel more comfortable with name changing if it was a 50/50 proposition, with an equal likelihood that a man would take his wife’s name.  (Props to Jay-Z for changing his legal name to Shawn Knowles-Carter.)  Yet even if the world worked that way, I’d probably still keep my name.  I’m not famous, but I identify with those female actors, musicians and authors who believe their names are too essential to change.  (And we know I have non-traditional views anyway, what with me waiting 3+ years to marry my baby daddy.)

Going forward, I will think twice before I stomp on other women’s choices. I certainly would never attack another mom for formula or breastfeeding, sleep training or attachment parenting, working full time or staying at home, or any of the many “controversial” choices we all make all the time that are really nobody’s business.  I am glad that changing names is a choice women have.  Choice is power.

Thanks for being honest with me.

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