Posts Tagged ‘busy mom’

In praise of the five-minute mommy nap

December 4, 2011

Tis the season of trying to cram too much living into too little time and space. Some years, we here at the Mommy Prayers candy-cane crunching headquarters cook and shop and decorate and entertain like mad fools. Other years, we declare ourselves to be having a soulful/non-consumerist/relaxed holiday, and wind up exactly as frantic and exhausted (soulfulness, we’ve discovered, takes energy. Who knew?)

All this, of course, is a cue for the youngest among us to immediately begin fighting every bedtime and, inexplicably, waking up before dawn on some of the darkest mornings of the year. Over at the lovely Standing in the Shadows blog, Sarah Buttenwieser’s preschooler arose at 4:45 one recent morn, leaving her in a state she oh-so-accurately described as being groggily wide awake — too tired to think straight, too wired to go back to sleep. A dangerous fugue, especially this time of year, as you could easily emerge from the fog to find you’ve inadvertently purchased some toxic toy or another.

The solution, of course, is one of the most blessed gifts every bestowed upon humanity — the afternoon nap. No, not for your kids, for you, exhausted parent. True, between cookie-baking and tree-decorating and Charlie Brown-watching and catalog-ordering, your chances of getting that nap are low. But it’s a magical season. A mom can dream, can’t she? Or, perhaps, pray:

Prayer for My Five-Minute Nap

Dear God, I cannot go on. It is four in the afternoon, my morning caffeine high is long gone, and I have hours and hours to go before I manage to get to bed. I am quite certain I could crash to the floor this instant and sleep like a rock for a week. I cannot read one more syllable of Owl Babies to my little  monkey chattering here beside me. I cannot even lift my hand to turn the page. Five minutes, God, and I’ll be a new woman. Please and amen. 

Mother’s Day, Cancelled

May 7, 2011

When the phone rang the other day at Mommy Prayers world headquarters, we picked it right up — something that happens less and less frequently with that tired old land-line. But caller ID was telling us it was mom, our matriarch, the glue that holds us all together (mostly with stuffed shells and too much dessert) — still working at 74, always ready to show up to a grandchild’s saxophone recital, forever gifting us with dish towels and tote bags.

Ma. How we love her.

She said, “Let’s not get together on Mother’s Day.”


“Don’t send me anything either.”



Prayer for December 26, the real mother’s day

December 26, 2010

It’s Boxing day, friends! December 26, the Day After the Big Day (if you celebrate Christmas, of course), the very most favorite day of the year here at the Mommy Prayers packaging warehouse and leftover sweets hut.

I’d write something witty, but I’m headed to the couch with a box of bonbons and a pile of books and lady mags. The house looks like a small tornado swept through, but I will be doing no cleaning, cooking or parenting today beyond the minimum necessary to comply with local and state regulations. Other than to offer up Prayer for December 26:

Dear God, Do these religious holidays exhaust you as much as they exhaust us? Are you a mess after Ramadan or in need of a day in bed after Rosh Hashanah? Because it’s December 26, I am utterly beat, and our house looks like a bomb went off in every room.

I’m not complaining, Lord — the Christmas season is just so much magical with children. Playing Santa…singing the old, beautiful Christmas carols with them…watching their eyes widen when we talk about how a baby saved the whole world…

And yet, there is endless cooking and cleaning and shopping and wrapping and mailing and making sure everyone we’ve ever met receives our family photo card, which took me four hours at the computer to get perfect. And there are family dynamics to navigate, already tricky but made far trickier with grandkids in the mix.

Now it’s over, God, for this year at least. I’m feeling deeply grateful, and deeply spent. Thank you for the Christmas season, and thank you that it only comes once a year. Amen.



Hot mamas, cool talk, fried cole slaw

May 27, 2010

The Mommy Prayers welcome wagon is finally putting itself into park and turning off the key, which is a tortured way of saying my house, which was temporarily clean both upstairs and down to receive guests, is back to its usual state (that is, a mess, upstairs and down).

The guests were Stephanie Wilkinson and Jennifer Niesslein, co-founders of Brain,Child Magazine, BFFs and business partners, and my friends, even though I hadn’t before met Jennifer in the flesh, and that’s after +/- ten years of working together.

We dined sublime (at the staggeringly delicious Via Matta) and otherwise (at the iconic North Shore tourist joint Woodman’s, where the fried clam was invented and everything, including the cole slaw, comes from the Fry-o-lator); we chatted it up with the neo-nerd-God Fake Steve Jobs (the ex-B.F. of one of us, ain’t saying who) and his lovely wife, who is not in any way fake; and we tore about like chickens with our heads off getting ready for our big Sunday shindig.

Which was amazing. Vital. Vigorous. Boiling hot. Fifty people – including two guy people (thanks, men!) – packed into the steamy yet pleasing fourth-floor digs at Grub Street writing center to hear a red-hot roster of mamas talk about writing and parenthood.

Thank you thank you thank you Nell Beram, Sarah Buttenwieser, Karen Dempsey, Catherine Newman, Katherine Ozment, Norah Piehl, Robin Schoenthaler, Audrey Schulman and Patricia Stacey.

Just as I do when I write/edit/proof or just curl up and read any issue of Brain,Child, I laughed (Catherine), I cried (Katherine), and I ate too many brownies.

At least they weren’t fried.

Working from home: The good, the bad and the chubby

April 13, 2010

Today is book publication day – whee! You’ll be relieved to know Mommy Prayers is now officially available from your favorite book vendors, physical or virtual.  

To mark the moment, Mr. Mommy Prayers had flowers sent – always a brilliant plan, darling – and I brought them right upstairs and wedged them on a postcard-sized space on my desk that was mysteriously clutter-free, so my “office” is now a (spare bed)Room with a View.

This seems like as good a time as any to salute the virtues (and pitfalls) of working from home, something I’ve been doing since just before my older son was born, back in another century.

Pluses: No need for Spanx, pencil skirts or an “accessories wardrobe”; flexible schedule permits attendance at midday elementary school recorder concerts; folding laundry while on speakerphone conference calls; always-there availability for kids & dog. 

Minuses: No way to justify Nordstrom purchases, not even off the sale rack; always-open kitchen; too-chatty neighbors; lack of centralized IT support for crappy, dying laptop; always-there availability for kids & dog.  (more…)

Birth order + happy heinies

March 29, 2010

It was crazy busy at Mommy Prayers headquarters this week – to honor those frantic feelings, a short discourse on Prayer for the Diaper Left on Too Long

Dear Lord, please forgive me, for I have been a bad mother. Or at the very least a mother who has literally not had three minutes in her day to tend to the bottom of her youngest child. 

Does this phenomenon happen to firstborns? Rarely, if ever, would be my guess. My own firstborn had the double blessing of being not just our first baby, but the first baby on my entire family’s side, which means he received more attention that any infant since Mary gave birth in the barn. His perfect little bottom was eco-clad in cloth diapers — and cloth diapers, though kind(er) on the earth, need to be changed every, oh, hour or so. 

No matter, we did it – we spent day and night doing absolutely nothing but taking care of firstborn’s every need, so keeping his backside perfectly clean and dry was just one more of our endless tasks. Flash forward four years and three months and oh, how the world had changed.  (more…)