Author: Emily Gonzalez

Weekly meal prep saves my sanity

I am writing a post about cooking.  That’s right – I, Emily Gonzalez, am writing a post about cooking.  Stop laughing, dry your eyes, and read this because it’s important.  I started doing weekly meal prep two months ago, and it is literally one of the best things I have ever done for myself and my family.  I have SO much to say about it that I’m going to do a little series on it. Some background: I am not a terrible cook.  When I make food, it generally tastes pretty good, but the amount of time and effort...

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Toddler underwear is bullshit

“What a cute little boy!” says an unfamiliar voice behind me in the cereal isle.  I turn to see an older woman peering into my baby carriage. “Thank you!” I beam, “She’s actually a girl.  Not that it matters.”  The woman looks confused and gestures toward the baby, who is wearing striped pajamas. “Oh, I’m sorry, it’s the green.  Well, she’s lovely!”  We part. It seems like I have interactions just like this almost every time I leave the house with my baby.  I think we all have, right?  I’m not a person who gets particularly annoyed or offended by this sort of thing, but it does make me think about the strange ways in which our society imposes and enforces gender roles from the moment our biological sex is known. One thing that has been on my mind lately is underwear.  We potty trained our oldest daughter about three months ago, and it was then when I first became aware of the weird and infuriating world of toddler undies.  I’m just going to say it: Toddler undies are bullshit.  Bull.  Shit. So first of all, undies are apparently completely character driven.  If you are in a store like Target, there are no stripes or polka dots to be found.  Solid colors – ha!  My daughter wanted Mickey Mouse, which was fine by me.  I felt a little silly...

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Lemonade (the mom remix)

On Saturday, my husband and I made the epic parenting mistake of thinking we could do something fun and different with the kids.  Our destination was to be a BBQ at a friend’s apartment in New York.  It was one of those events that I would have attended without hesitation a few years ago.  Back then, I would have arrived in heels, had too much to drink, and hit up a couple bars before taking the last train back to CT.  Two kids later, I feel like I’ve aged 1000 years, and the thought of having to look decent, take a long car ride with my kids, and mingle with a crowd of strangers while worrying about which child is going to poop all over herself makes me want to stick blunt toddler forks in my eyeballs. But we should do something fun and different with the kids, we said.  It will be fun, we said.  You can tell where this is going. We dressed ourselves to the nines.  And by “the nines,” I mean the kids looked adorable, my husband wore cologne, and my clothes were clean.  We loaded ourselves in the car: me, my husband, my two kids, Curious George, Gorilla, Crayon, Blankie, and a play doctor’s kit syringe.  We all used the bathroom.  We all had snacks.  We hit an ATM and a gas station.  Feeling ready,...

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Good news, sleep-deprived parents: It’s not you, IT’S THEM

Every evening when I’m ready for bed, I turn off the hall light and push my bedroom door open with just the right amount of pressure so it doesn’t rattle.  I know that the floorboard just inside the door creaks, so I slide my weight to the left while gently shutting the door behind me.  As I climb into bed, I know that it will creak exactly once under my weight, which often elicits a rustle and a sigh from the crib across the room.  If I can make it past that point, I’m usually golden – at least for an hour or two. It’s my nightly dance.  A-push and a-step and a-slide, 2, 3, 4…  A-creak and a-rustle and a-cry, 2, 3, 4… At eight months, baby is a certified SHITTY sleeper.  I am among the ranks of the hopelessly sleep-deprived, and I’m never sure whether to wear this as a badge honor or a mark of shame.  I always say that I’ve earned my stripes with this baby.  But I would also gladly return said stripes, all my medals, AND my collection of mommy merit badges for a few more hours of uninterrupted sleep. I have tried it all: swaddling, swinging, white noise, co-sleeping, solo sleeping, belly sleeping, sleep training, begging, pleading, bribery… I could go on.  I will go on, in fact, because as all of...

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Why I always feel sad during National Breastfeeding Month

Two years ago this month, I was a first-time mom of a nine-month-old.  Some of my guilt about failing at breastfeeding was just starting to fade when suddenly my social media accounts exploded with posts for National Breastfeeding Month.  I read and “liked” them each in support for this cause that I so believe in, but I’m sorry to admit that each time I did so with a slight eye roll and more than a twinge of jealousy.  I so badly wanted to be celebrating nine months of breastfeeding, and on the other hand I needed it to be ok that I wasn’t.  But you don’t get that kind of support when you give up on breastfeeding.  There is no National “hey, I tried” Month.  Two years ago I felt like a failure, and even worse, I felt completely alienated and alone. There is nothing all that special or unusual about our story.  Despite my utter certainty pre-kids that I would breastfeed, things did not turn out as I had expected.  What really does once you have a baby?  But of all the things that could go completely down the toilet during those early weeks of motherhood, breastfeeding is a big one.  It was so unexpectedly painful, complicated, and emotionally charged.  Weak and selfish, I was no match for the challenge – at least, that’s what I told myself....

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