to the perfect parents

HebrewDawn: to the perfect parents

Dear Perfect Parent,

I have a few things I’d like to share with you today. I want to commend your efforts at being the perfect parent, because it’s not somethings we all aspire to be in life. You believe in the depths of your being that you are doing everything exactly right, and that you have a thing or two you can teach the rest of us.

You are decidedly the best example about breastfeeding or formula feeding, when to start your child on solid food, when to send your child to preschool and kinergarten. Oh! Let’s not forget about extra activities like soccer, dance, music lessons, and swimming. You most assuredly make time for your child to do it all. God forbid a parent choose themselves over their child wants.

Do you sense my sarcasm yet? I hope so, and I hope you’ll join me in doing the following…

No more shaming.

No more blaming.

No more judging.

START supporting others.

Let’s get our views of perfection straight and get them in check. They are ruining amazing mom/dad friend opportunities. Let’s not assume that someone is shaming, blaming, or judging us. Instead, let us assume that the perfect parents are all of us and that we all want to support one another.

Let’s do this parenting thing y’all!


done is enough

How often do you fret over going the extra mile on the project that’s been assigned to you at work? How many times have you worried about finding the perfect vendor to complete an update or correction to something in your home? How often have you said no to a volunteer opportunity because you didn’t think you were knowledgeable enough? Have you ever considered that done is enough?

Over the years I’ve learned to let go on having that work email typed out and articulated “just” right. Once I learned to let go, I’ve been the editor for coworkers stressing about sending out the “perfect” email. More times than not, the final product is not all that different from the orignal version that was being fretted over for not being quite right.

Over the years my husband and I have spent hours looking into every possible lawn care company that could solve all of our problems. We’ve reached out to neighbors to find out what works for them and their yard. We’ve then worried if it’s worth the month, if there are too many chemicals, and what if we made the wrong decision. We spent so much time researching and worrying that it delayed having a beautiful yard we can enjoy.

Over the years I’ve recruited countless volunteers who doubted their ability to serve. They though that they couldn’t be a Girl Scout leader because they were never a Girl Scout, but they turned out to be the most dedicated to learning EVERYTHING about the program, it’s history, and how to lead their girls. These leaders were more than capable and simply needed to say yes and get through their orientation. 

I’m not convinced that the driving factor in all of this is perfectionism. I am inclined to believe that it’s our own fear of judgement from others that we aren’t completing the job to perfection, choosing the best vendor for the job, or being the best person for a volunteer position. If we can let go of this fear of criticism or ridicule, we might we see that we did the best we could, we did find the right person for the job, and that we are a good fit for the opportunity.

Perhaps, if we can accept that done is enough, we will learn…

  • that anything we complete is done exceptionally well
  • we cannot spend all of our time researching, because we are missing out on other things in our life 
  • that we are capable and called to serve for ne volunteer opportunities

Don’t be afraid to say yes and know that done is enough.
HebrewDawn: done is enough

mommy brain is real

Whether you have kids or not, I’m certain you have heard about Mommy Brain. My dearest Erica (aka happedancing) always wondered if it was real, and then a few of her close friends had children. One of the first things she said to me was, “DUDE, mommy brain is real!” Of course I responded, “oh yes, mommy brain is definitely real! Thanks to it, I feel half-stupid all the time.”

Since having kids I have moments of feeling functionally crazy or off my rocker. Frequently my husband questions the half done projects, things left on the tables/counter, and tasks left undone around the house. I attribute all of this to mommy brain. But none of these compare to the Chicken Incident.

I was just a couple months postpartum from having our second when I invited my friend Steph and her daughter over for dinner. I warned her it wouldn’t be anything super fancy as we were running errands that day. We both agreed that time spent together was of greater importance than a fancy meal together.

The incident…

That afternoon I took a trip to Costco with the girls, to keep the oldest entertained (she LOVES their samples). I also went to get some needed groceries, and I picked up a rotisserie chicken. I almost always get a rotisserie chicken if it’s anywhere close to dinner, because I know I’ll get at least two meals out of it. Work smarter not harder right?

HebrewDawn: mommy brain is real

Once we got home I put the chicken in the oven to keep it warm until dinner time. Next I put on a pot of brown rice to cook, because I figured I might as well make the sides healthy if I was bailing out of cooking the main dish. Right about that time Stephanie arrived. The weather was so gorgeous we decided we had to go enjoy some time at the playground with our girls. After awhile we came back to the house thinking the rice would be almost done so we could get a vegetable made to go along with our easy but healthy dinner.

In the midst of doing this I remember that I needed to warm up the chicken since it had been a little while since we got home and turned the oven on (mind you our oven defaults to 350 degrees). I started preparing some broccoli to sautée on the stove, turned on the stove to get the cast iron skillet hot, and then I noticed something about the rice cooker. The remaining cook time on the rice was 75 minutes and we need to feed the girls in about 20 Minutes as it was close to meltdown time for two hungry three year olds.

Suddenly something smelt a little burny (I don’t think that’s really a word, but I’m going with it). Then I remembered that I had put the chicken in there earlier to keep it warm. The chicken now had it’s plastic container melted all around it. *face palm*

HebrewDawn: mommy brain is real

Mommy brain struck again and I had ruined dinner. I waited too long to start the brown rice, and most importantly the chicken was inedible with melted plastic all around it. This was moment that I could have chosen to cry, but all I could do was laugh and give thanks that I had a good friend with me.

HebrewDawn: mommy brain is real

We turned off dinner, loaded the kids in the car and went to Chick-fil-A. I may have had hopes of providing a healthy dinner of chicken, brown rice, and broccoli for dinner, but fed was definitely best that night. Not to mention the two almost hungry three year olds were tickled to have dinner together at one of their favorite places. I guess mommy brain isn’t always so bad for everyone?

Sick Baby 

HebrewDawn: Motherhood Monday - Sick Baby
I had high hopes of getting a new post up today, but I’ve spent the weekend taking care of a sick baby since Friday. Luckily I had the day off as we had plans as a family to go down to Matthews, Virginia to spend the day with friends. Rather than spending the day in, on, or beside the water I spent Friday worrying about a pitiful baby who had a fever. 

Luckily our pediatrician wasn’t worried and gave me a few care instructions:

  • Keep my sweet baby resting, nursing,and eating  as much as we could. 
  • Alternate doses of Tylenol and Motrin to get the fever down. 
  • Call if anything changed in how frequently she was eating, wetting her diapers, or if the fever wasn’t down by Monday. 

We followed instructions and it all seems to have worked. Thank you for understanding the lack of a more substantial post. See you back later this week. 

Going to Work When Your Kids are Sick

HebrewDawn: Going to Work When Your Kids are Sick

As a parent there are many tough moments mixed into all the beautiful ones. Many of us have experience those difficult ones; like the first time they cry from getting shots, the first time they get seriously injured, and the first time they get sick. But I believe what makes that last moment even more challenging is going to work when your kids are sick.
I keep waiting for the moment that it’s easier to walk out the door leaving my daughter in the care of someone else who loves her while I go to work. To date, that moment never gets easier, and I even dread the moment when it comes. When my little girl is feeling ill, there’s nothing more that I want than for her to feel better. If I can’t make her feel better, then I can snuggle with her until she does.

HebrewDawn: Going to Work When Your Kids are Sick
VHP sleeping off her fever


Unfortunately for me, today is another one of those days that I have to go to work while my little girl is sick. Fortunately my husband has sick AND vacation time through his employer, whereas I only have PTO (paid time off) to be used for both sick and vacation time. Since my husband has more time off, this means he usually stay home with a sick kiddo, and for that I am thankful.

On a day like today, I am most thankful that my daughter is left in the care of her daddy who loves her enormously, is chef extraordinaire, and is one of the most caring people I’ve ever met. I know that without a doubt that my little girl will get nursed back to health with all the cuddles and care she requires.

I know that on a day like today, that not everyone is so fortunate to leave their child in the hands of their spouse, significant other, or another trusted family member. And for this my heart breaks. I can remember the days of my own mother being a single mom, and our neighbors who were single parents as well. They were were stuck with the choice of between going to work to be able to put food on the table and being there with their sick child.

Leaving your child in the care of someone other than yourself and balancing out the responsibilities of work and parenting is never easy. I’m certain leaving for work when your child is sick is not the hardest thing in parenting, but it most certainly can feel like it in the moment. For each person the struggle is different in varying degrees, but it’s a struggle none the less.

I hope the next time we have to wrestle with this situation, we will remember that we are not alone in the guilt and worry. I encourage you to let those that care about you know that you’re having a tough day being apart from your sick child. Most of all, I hope for a day when we don’t have to be stuck choosing between being with our sick child and going to work.



A Day in the Life: Working Woman

As a working woman the days of the work week can get a little crazy and feel like a lot to juggle. I’ve learned that a good routine helps things go a lot smoother from the wee hours of the day and onward. Since adding a kid into the mix, I’ve found that my mornings might be a little busier, but I’m actually more efficient than I was before having my daughter. Each day isn’t perfect in the Parker household, but I figured I’d share a little glimpse into a day in the life of this working woman.

Rather than start with a weekday morning, I’m beginning with a Sunday evening. I’ve learned after many chaotic mornings, that my evening prep is crucial for a successful morning and rest of my day.

HebrewDawn: A Day in the Life - Working Woman

7:30 PM: Start for my daughter’s bedtime routine – bath, lotion, allergy medicine, brush teeth, read a story, say prayers, sing a song.
8:00 PM: Say goodnight and turn out the lights.

8:01 PM: Pick out my daughter’s clothes for the next day, then pack her bags for preschool. Double check she has all she needs for naptime, spare clothes for accidents, diapers, and wet bag for diapers and dirty clothes.

8:10 PM: Switch over any in process laundry.

8:15 PM: Finish cleaning up the kitchen from dinner. Then get my lunch packed, which is normally some vegetables, hummus, crackers, fruit, and water on Mondays. Mondays, Wedesndays and Friday are usually a day of running all over for work, so a healthy and easy to eat meal is crucial.

8:45 PM: Sit down to finish edits or writing my blog post for Monday. Work on images for upcoming blog posts and review content schedule.

9:45 PM: Relax with my husband by watching a show or reading on the couch.

10:30 PM: Call it a night and head to bed.

6:20 AM: Alarm goes off. If I’m being really good, I’ll jump right up out of bed.

6:30 AM: Who am I kidding, I hit the snooze button! Time to dash out of bed, silence the alarm clock and jump in the shower before my husband glares about the alarm going off. AGAIN.

6:45 AM: Finished in the shower and now it’s time to do my hair and make-up. I try to keep my beauty routine simple and without too much fuss. Typically for my skin, I only using moisturizer, BB cream (for SPF coverage and evening out my complexion), concealer (to cover the dark circles), face powered (not always), eye liner (most of the time), mascara (always if I want my eyelashes to be visible), and blush (always, as I need a little color to my cheeks). My hair is either allowed to dry curly, put up in a bun, or I’ll dry it straight if time permits. Since I hit the snooze button, there’s not time for straightening the hair today.

7:10 AM: Rushing to get my daughter up while my husband gets ready. Like usual, she just wants to snuggle, and it’s hard to resist.

7:15 AM: My daughter is semi-convinced to get up, go potty, and start the day.

7:20 AM: Finally done convincing the two year old to use the potty and get dressed.

7:25 AM: At last, the allergy medicine is consumed AND the teeth are brushed. For some reason the two year old doesn’t believe that these  tasks should be done without protest, despite the fact that we do this every morning and evening.

7:30 AM: We have all made it downstairs for breakfast. I rush to make my tea or coffee, scramble around the kitchen with my husband to get breakfast on the table.

7:45 AM: Realize it’s time for me to hit the road and wonder where the last 15 minutes have gone. Scoop up my breakfast, lunch, and coffee/tea. Kiss everyone good-bye and sprint out the door.

Rest of the morning: It’s now up to my husband to persuade the shortest member of the house to eat breakfast as quickly as possible and get out the door for school. Some days this goes off without a hitch, but sometimes it ends as expected with a two year old, which includes a refusal to go potty, put on shoes, or wear jackets.

8:00 AM – 5:00ish PM: Work my tail off so I can get back to my family as soon as I can. Most days it’s not uncommon to work through my lunch break so that I can get home sooner rather than later.

5:15ish PM: Arrive to pick up my daughter from school.

5:30 PM: Finally make it to the car to head home.

5:45 PM: Take a deep breath and savor being home.

5:50 PM: Getting everything put away from school and work so dinner preparations can be made.

6:00 PM: Tag team dinner and toddler wrangling with the husband. Thankfully he takes the lead on most dinner preparations.

6:30/6:45 PM: Dinner time!

7:30 PM: start the whole routine over again.


I hope you’ve enjoyed this little snapshot into how a typical day goes for me and my family. This is a mix of the ideal and the reality of things not being exactly as I’d hope. This plan helps each day go better than it would without some structure.

Do you have any tips on how to make your days run smoothly? Any questions about how we do things in my house?


This post is part of a Blog Hop from Blogs and Business: Moms Who Do it All Facebook Group.

Check out some of the other awesome blog posts below:

Daily MomtivityBlue Eyed BabiesThe Triplet FarmTot Tot GooseSweet DiscordSouthern Mommas ReviewsOrganized Home SchoolA Cotton Kandi LifeNovice MommyMisty ShaheenTid Bits of ExperienceFrom Engineer to SAHMBe Fed Again


Faithful readers, I’m sorry to say that my regularly scheduled post is not up today. Time I would have spent making my final edits for publishing were spent on doing our taxes. Oh adulting! I hope to publish today’s post on Thursday, but if not Thursday it will be Friday. In the mean time I share these little delights with you…

Thanks to Design Mom I discovered this children’s book concierge. It’s AMAZING for searching and finding the best children’s books in recent years. 

If you’re like me and looking for smart ways to blog or organize your content, it’s definitely worth checking out this post on A Cotton Kandi Life. Definitely gives me ideas for planning and organization for work and the blog!

You may have read my letter on Monday to working moms, and I enjoyed The Mommy My Way’s post confessing her working mom thoughts. We as moms question and doubt ourselves a lot, but I hope we’ll surrender the guilt and rest assured that we are doing a good job. 

 Please note I have been a part of the Blog & Business: Moms Who Do It All February blog hop.  

Working Mama

Dear Working Mama,

You are doing a great job!  I know that it doesn’t always feel that way, especially when the guilt kicks in.  Our list of worries, laments, and feelings can vary for each of us (in no particular order):

  • You wonder if you should be a stay-at-home mom, because it’s better for your child(re).
  • You lament that you’re missing out on things during the day/evening (depending on your work schedule) when someone else is with your child.
  • You forget to send in the needed things to daycare/preschool/the babysitter, because your mind is torn in fifty billion directions.
  • You feel guilty that you enjoy the break from your child(ren) while you’re at work.
  • You feel guilty that you’re distracted at work thinking about your little ones, making you not the top notch employee you once were.
  • You plot ways to be able to stay at home, but realize you can’t afford to do it. Now you wish you would have planned and saved better.
  •  You feel overworked, underpaid, and unable to finish your to-do lists.

This list could keep running on, just as the depth of our guilt, insecurities, and fears.  The judgment from other moms and women don’t help these feelings either. I’m here to tell you that you are awesome. No matter what the internal or external dialogue is telling you, you are doing a great job.

Your list of accomplishments are also great:

  • You are fierce at slashing things off a to-do list (whether or not all fifty billion things come off).
  • You can juggle a purse, work bag, diaper bag, and baby up one flight of stairs and down another.
  • The depth of your love for yourself, child(ren), and your work is impressive.
  • You are a great role model for your child(ren).
  • You are a strong woman.
  • You know how to plan for what you and your family needs.

This list could keep running on, because you are great at what you do.
 Mama look yourself in the mirror and tell yourself you’re beautiful and GREAT at what you do. When you see a working mama, tell her she’s doing a good job. She needs to hear from her village that she is enough and that she is accomplishing more than she knows. Trust me, she really needs to hear this from you, as you may be the only person telling her.