Author: Jessica Hendrickson

The Value of Time

I met a woman at a dinner party this summer and the topic of our children inevitably came up. She has two sons in college. I have two sons not yet in pre-school. As the wine flowed more freely, our trivial small talk took on a more somber tone. She admitted to me she just experienced one of the saddest moments of her life: dropping her son off at college.   That drive home – alone – symbolized the end of a phase in her life.   She wasn’t ready. Eighteen years wasn’t long enough. I am in a very different...

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Learning to Juggle

Remember those days when an alarm clock woke you up and you had that delicious option of pressing “snooze”? Yeah, I don’t remember either. Today, my day started at 3:26am (is that even considered morning?) with a crying infant who lost his pacifier. After plugging him back up I went back to bed and as soon as I drifted off……”MOMMY!!!! I want to sleep in YOUR bed! There are no monsters in YOUR bed!” My bed is invaded by a 3 year old little person, who, by the way, sleeps perpendicular to me, with his feet in my rib cage. Edging over to the very last 6 inches of bed space, I try and catch a few more precious minutes of sleep when I suddenly remember I have to bring formula to Daycare (how could I forget that?!) It’s ok, I’ll just pick it up on the way there, which means I have to leave about 7 minutes earlier. I can do that. Oh but wait! I need to get gas too….ok, add another 6 minutes….zzzz…   What feels like 4 seconds later, the baby’s crying again. It’s 6:00. Time to get up. I bring the baby in bed with us and the boys do their morning cuddle routine as I throw on clothes (do you think anyone will notice this shirt has a spit-up stain on it? Is...

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A Letter To My Friend: What I Wish I Knew Before Becoming A Mom

My Dear Friend,  In a few short months, you’ll meet that little person growing inside you and your life as you know it will be gone.  There will forever be two yous: Before and After.  You’re no stranger to change – you picked up and moved to Spain to teach English, you relocated to Chicago with only a couple of bucks and your clothes. You’re a brave, strong woman.  But this change is….different. Although nothing can really prepare you for it, here are a few things that I wish I knew before becoming a mom:   It is harder than you can imagine. When I was pregnant with my first son I thought: I’m in my thirties (i.e. not a kid), have a career (i.e. no major financial issues), a good marriage (i.e. no relationship drama), a house (i.e. enough room for a family), I got this. I’m ready. Ha-ha. Little did I know. It doesn’t matter how secure you are and how much support you have.  And despite what people tell you, you will NOT love every second.  It is harder than you can imagine.       You may not have an instant connection with him. You’ve heard about that “magical moment” when you first hold your baby in your arms, but it doesn’t always happen that way. With my first son, I didn’t experience an instant bond – he...

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Reasons Our Kids Cry

About a year ago, my son (2 years old at the time) had a full blown tantrum because he had applesauce on his fingers. I thought this was so absurd that I had to take a picture of it, and to this day, it still makes me chuckle. Apparently I was not alone in finding this type of situation comical. There are multiple websites (and even a book) featuring devastated-looking children freaking out for ridiculous reasons.  Don’t get me wrong, I do not find it funny when my children are sad; I do not stick a camera in their face when they get hurt. HOWEVER, when my 3 year old throws a fit because I told him that no, he cannot put chocolate chips in my salad, I can’t help but find it amusing. And I think we’ve all had that moment in the grocery store when our child is screaming for Sponge Bob fruit snacks and we feel like yelling “Hey!  Fellow shoppers!  My kid is not really a spoiled brat, I swear!” Listen Mommas, it’s tough to manage the “tantrum-throwing” phase, so why not try and find some humor in it? In preparing this post, I’ve realized one thing in particular: ALL little kids are crazy, not just mine (which I found oddly comforting). So next time your kid freaks out when you tell her she cannot wear snow boots in...

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World Problems Solved By My Three Year Old

Race Relations  As a working mom of two young kids, admittedly I don’t have much time to keep up with world events. My daily news intake consists mostly of the local weather forecast and traffic updates. So when I saw the headline flash across my TV that the Governor of Missouri had declared a state of emergency, I was curious. What happened in Missouri? Some kind of weather disaster? Nope. A teenager was killed by a police officer. No – let me rephrase that – a black teenager was killed by a white police officer. Wait – what the heck does skin color have to do with that story? Apparently a lot. Enough to cause violent riots throughout the state.   Hey World, let me tell you a story about how my three year old feels about skin color. My husband’s best friend came to visit and stay with us for a week. My son Jack, can be very shy around people he doesn’t know (and people he does know for that matter – he was terrified of my father for about 6 months of his life) so I was a little apprehensive about how he would react to a stranger staying with us (not to mention a stranger who happens to be a 6 foot 3 black man named Big John).  Well, John walked in our house, scooped...

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