A Silent Pause

  I sat in the middle of a mountain of clean laundry tonight.  Small, soft hills of little boy tees mixed with my husband's gym shorts and a few of my nursing bras.  A baby onesie stained with a faded orange trail of ibuprofen.  The thin fabric of my favorite yoga pants, smooth under my fingers as I folded them and put them away.  But as I turned the wrinkled corners of Max's astronaut t-shirt into a crisp fold, I realized that I didn't know when he had worn it last. It must've been the day that we were in the hospital with Bennie. The day that Sean and I woke up at dawn and slipped our sleepy-eyed baby boy into his carseat.  The day that we kissed Max goodbye as the babysitter

Paternity Leave: Play Ball!

Dear Mike Francesca, Boomer Esiason, and Craig Carton, I have no idea who you are. Really, I don't.  Sorry.  I had to look up how to spell your names for this article. But I heard what you said the other day about New York Mets player Daniel Murphy, and my husband knows who you are, so I thought it might be important to share a few things with you.  Since Daniel Murphy's wife is still recovering from using all of her energy, courage, strength, and sheer determination to deliver an actual human being onto this earth, I figured I'd help a sister out.  In case you were wondering, here are 8 reasons why it's actually helpful for women to have their partners present when they birth a

Doula Week: A Thank You

I brought my baby home from the hospital when he was five days old. Even though it was only ten months ago, I can't quite remember what day of the week it was.  In my heart, it was a Monday. Mondays are for new beginnings.  Mondays are for starting over.  Mondays are for reinvention, and renewal.  Mondays are about redemption. We took a family photo as we walked through the front door that day.  The newly minted big brother, the proud but exhausted Daddy, and me.  Me, with a relieved half-smile.  Me, with a still bulging belly.  Me, with one hand on my sweet, almost four year old, and one hand gripping the car seat that Ben was tucked into.  This wasn't our first dance.  No one

Nursing on Airplanes

 Super amazing comic by my friend Eliza Kinkz I wasn't going to get involved in the debate about nursing on airplanes. I don't even fly Delta. My baby is 9 months old now, and it's pretty rare that I can convince him to nurse under a cover. I've flown other airlines and breastfed Ben discreetly in my seat.  I pull my blouse up and my tank top down, and my baby eats.  Because he gets hungry.  Just like you and I do. So when the brouhaha started over Delta's response to a nursing mother on Twitter, I was a little surprised.  Not because they told her that she had to cover her breasts and her baby as she fed, but because she even asked in the first place.  Do you ask if you can

Bullies and Bad Words

There's a game that we play, my boys and I, when the sun goes down and we're getting a little stir-crazy.  Max balances an overturned stacking block on his hand, or on his head, or at the edge of the couch, and I try to throw a ball in.  At nearly five years old, he is mostly amused when I miss.  And of course the baby just thinks that everything is funny.  We laugh together when I narrowly miss hitting Daddy's favorite painting.  Max pretends to fall over when the ball hits his belly by mistake.  I talk endlessly about how I really should improve my aim. Tonight, Max started counting to see how many balls I could get in the box before he got to ten.  It wasn't many.  He giggled when my

How We Feed: Tubies

Sometimes when I am nursing Ben to sleep, the light of the neighboring houses shines through his window and dances across his cheeks.  I imagine that behind each light, there are other mothers who are cuddling their babies.  Rocking their toddlers.  Reading "Llama Llama Red Pajama" to their preschoolers.  And I feel a little less alone.  We all strain under the weight of the bedtime dance.  We all say a silent prayer that we will not be up soothing a crying baby before the sun wakes us.  Many of us are struggling with how we feed our little ones, and this becomes particularly difficult when night falls.  As our babies drift off to sleep, we wonder if there is anyone else out there who feels

There’s Always A First Time

Do you remember your first time? Not that first time.  That's part of what got you in to this mothering mess to begin with. The other first times.  The ones that define your grand entrance into parenthood.  The messy ones.  The ones that aren't always marked on a calendar.  The firsts that no one ever thought to prepare you for.  And trust me, there isn't a blank spot in the baby book for these.  There's always a first time, my friend.  Consider yourself warned. 1.  The first time you catch someone else's puke in your hand, on purpose.  When I was in college, my BFF and I lived with a guy who once got so drunk that he threw up in our washing machine.  Don't ask.  The point is, that