Mommy A to Z

Motherhood, Alphabetized.

September 6, 2017
by Mommy A to Z

Dear Class Moms, Thank You for Doing What I Can’t

Class Mom

“Interested in being a class parent?” The question was boldly printed on one of the many sheets in my daughter’s school packet, mailed to our home before she started second grade last year. We had just moved to the district, and being a class mom seemed like a great way to get to know my daughter’s new teachers and some of the other parents. As a work-from-home mom who lived near the school, it was a great fit. I enthusiastically volunteered. And I discovered a few things along the way.

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August 30, 2017
by Mommy A to Z

5 Things I Don’t Want My Child to Learn in Kindergarten

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I can’t believe it. My son, my last baby, is about to head off to kindergarten in a matter of days. While I’m excited for him, I’m a bit heartbroken to say goodbye to the preschool years, and nervous about this new journey he’s beginning, into the world of academia and tying his shoes. In honor of this big milestone, here’s a second look at a post I wrote when my daughter entered elementary school. This one is for all you kindergarten mamas out there. Stay strong!

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August 1, 2017
by Mommy A to Z

On the Washington Post: I’m Not Your Kid’s Friend

kids and respect

I’m on the Washington Post today, talking about kids, respect for grownups, and boundaries. As in, do they exist anymore? Here’s a sneak peak:

This wasn’t the first time that one of my daughter’s friends had treated me like a fellow 8-year-old instead of a grown woman on the mature side of 40. A couple of weeks earlier, another little girl had smacked my butt. Another time I was repeatedly whacked with a pillow during some sort of couch-cushion battle scene.

Had I behaved like this with my friends’ parents? I tried hard to remember being a kid in the ’80s. Decades later, I’m still too terrified to even imagine such a scenario.

Read more here!

So tell me: Do your kids call grownups by their first names or Mr. and Mrs.? Do you think kids today respect grownups the way you did as a kid? Is your house flooded in Shopkins? I want to know!

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July 19, 2017
by Mommy A to Z

Forget You, Crazy Hat Day

kids camp

The other day, I awoke to a naked 4-year-old standing next to my bed. It isn’t unusual for my son to wake up and come running to our room in the morning. But usually, he’s dressed, excited to show me his Mickey T-shirt or his cool new sneakers with laces he’s (somewhat) tied himself. My kindergartner in his full naked glory is not a sight I’m used to seeing at 6 in the morning.

Once I emerged from my sleepy haze, I realized why my son was naked. It was Dress Like a Superhero Day at camp, and he didn’t want to play along. Continue Reading →

June 20, 2017
by Mommy A to Z

My Baby Is Graduating Preschool, and I’m a Mess


I didn’t cry at my daughter’s preschool graduation. When my little girl walked across that stage in her miniature cap and gown, I felt many things. Amazement at how much she’d grown in just a few short years. Pride in the girl she was becoming, who cared about others and was curious about the world around her. Anxiety that my camera might fail, and I’d forever miss my chance to memorialize this fleeting rite of passage.

And yet, in the midst of all those emotions, I didn’t cry. Which is rather surprising, as it doesn’t take much to get the waterworks going here. Yesterday I cried at the end of Disney’s Descendants. Looking back at my daughter’s graduation, I think it had to do with the baby I was holding in my arms. I could accept my daughter moving on from preschool as the beginning of an exciting new journey. Nothing was really ending, because my son had his preschool years ahead of him.

But this week it’s my son’s turn to graduate. This week, I’ll watch my little boy, my last baby, proudly walk across that preschool stage in his cap and gown, the great unknown of kindergarten looming ahead of him. And I’m kind of falling apart.

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June 14, 2017
by Mommy A to Z

Why I Hate Summer Camp

summer camp

It’s that time of year. The reading logs have stopped coming home. Parents are frantically collecting money for end-of-year teacher gifts. And my kids have begun the grand countdown to the Last Day of School. Even my preschooler, whose main classroom activities involve building forts with Legos and then pummeling them with toy dinosaurs, is bouncing around the house in anticipation of the sweet taste of freedom.

Everyone is excited. Except me, that is. Because the end of school inevitably means one thing. Camp. And while I love that my kids spend more time in the fresh air, instead of half-listening to their teachers while sneaking swirls on their fidget spinners, there are a few things about camp that drive me crazy. Continue Reading →

February 6, 2017
by Mommy A to Z

To My Daughter, as I Return to Work


My Dearest Daughter,

It was almost eight years ago I left my full-time job to be by your side. I cheered on every milestone, from your first bath to your first word to your first time tasting solid food. I was blessed to be able to work as a freelancer, typing away in an office down the hall from your crib as you slumbered. I had no long-term plan as I lifted you in the air at Musical Munchkins, chased you around playgrounds on summer afternoons, gave out cards at your preschool Valentine’s party. Perhaps I imagined life would always be that way, racing from one sunlit playground to the next, one freelance gig at a time. The two of us against the world. Continue Reading →

December 31, 2016
by Mommy A to Z

Eight Ways I’m Rockin’ Hanukkah This Year

Hanukkah with Kids

In honor of the last night of Hanukkah, here’s a look back at an old post that really captured the spirit of the holiday. This year Hanukkah coincided with Christmas, which led to some fun conversations in our house, most notably my preschooler thanking Santa each night for his Hanukkah presents. Oy vey…

I admit it. Hanukkah isn’t the most glamorous of holidays. Especially when compared to that other holiday we celebrate in our house — you know, the one with the shiny tree and some guy named Santa. Apparently, oil burning in a temple thousands of years ago isn’t as exciting as a man with a giant sleigh and flying reindeer.

That said, I’m determined that this year is going to be different. This year I’m going to make Hanukkah a holiday they’ll remember, even when we’re baking cookies for Santa and hanging stockings with care. Here are eight ways I’m going to rock Hanukkah this year. Continue Reading →

December 22, 2016
by Mommy A to Z

5 Things My Kids Don’t Give a Crap About This Holiday

Holiday kids presents

It’s beginning to… not look a lot like Christmas.

I was at CVS this morning when I realized it. The candy was suddenly buy one, get one half-off. Gold tinsel sprawled limply on the floor. The Christmas toys looked about as fed up with 2016 as I am. And frankly, I’m shopped out. For the past few weeks, like the rest of America, I’ve been in a consumption whirlwind, trying to find more stuff that will make the people I love happy. Even though I know that, after about five minutes, my kids will start fighting over who stole the gold ribbon, break the new train set, and move on to asking what they’re doing for New Year’s. It’s not that they’re not grateful. It’s just that, despite my eating up the marketing like a 2-for-1 special on candy canes, my kids don’t care all that much about having the biggest, best stuff. Continue Reading →

December 19, 2016
by Mommy A to Z

Mindful Mondays: The Gift of Peace

holiday stress

Sleigh bells ring, are you listening? This time of year, I want to experience every moment of fleeting holiday bliss. Baking oddly shaped cookies with my kids. Watching their excitement as they write letters to Santa. Breathing in the fresh smell of pine in my own indoor wonderland. And yet, instead of hearing sleigh bells and laughter, I hear my inner voice. Not enough is done. I’m not ready. It’s moving too fast and I’m missing it. Continue Reading →