I feel like I should write in here if only because I have a minute to myself without my kid saying MAMA, MAMA, MAMA, MOMMY, MOMMY, MOMMEEEEE, MOMMEEEEEEEE.

Seriously, that’s what she says about 500,000 times a day. Give or take a few thousand.

I’m complaining, but I’m not.

This is hard, man. This stay-at-home-mom gig isn’t for sissies.

It’s easier in some ways than what I was doing before, though. Now I’m not torn. I’m solely focused on what’s happening under the roof of my house. My life is dedicated laundry, cooking, cleaning, Charlotte, Murphy, Allan and errand running. Before, I had to be focused on all of that, PLUS a demanding job.

While I’m trying my damnedest to do right by Charlotte, I’m also trying not to lose myself. It took me an awful long time to be comfortable in my own skin, and I don’t want to lose it. Everything has changed – so, so much has changed – in the past six months, and I have to figure out how to hold onto who I am and who I was before I had a baby.

Allan is supportive. He bought me a Kindle (more fantastic than I could have imagined) and once a week I disappear to a cozy coffee shop in the evening (tonight, in fact!) where I enjoy peace and quiet and caffeine and beautifully-written words.

When friends ask me out to dinner or drinks or coffee, I say YESSSSSSSS.

Allan and I still try to ditch the kid whenever we can (you want her for a few hours/days?).

One morning a week, I drop Charlotte off at a play center and I have a few hours to myself to do housework or go to Target or go to Target or go to Target.

So, I’m trying to still be me. To be the best possible mother to Charlotte, I have to try.

My dad gave me some unsolicited words of wisdom when I was in Pittsburgh – snowy, freezing, spectacular Pittsburgh – the other week. He said that from now forward, Allan and I were a team whose goal was to give our child(ren) the best start in life as possible. That we are now unified in that charge.

So I need to be good and he needs to be good because we need Charlotte to be good.

And she’s so good, you guys. Watching her learn and grow and blossom is such a damn privilege. She strings words together. She’s a real chatterbox. She tells me she wants a snack or milk. If I put on my socks, she’ll go get my shoes. She pretends to leave the house by grabbing a purse-like-object (lunch boxes, gym bags, etc…), kissing everyone in the room goodbye, and getting into her pink push car.

She dances like a maniac. It’s her very favorite thing. She wears my necklaces and shoes, and she pretends to put on makeup. She plays in mud and climbs playground equipment and goes down slides head first.

I get to be here for all of it. For the new developments and the magic and the meltdowns. What a gift. What an absolute gift.

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