Thoughts From A Work-From-Home Mom

August 30, 2013

As Mazen nears one, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my career, motherhood and how I’ve balanced it all over the past year. I am lucky to be able to make a living and take care of Mazen from my home. When I think of the thousands of you who pop in to say hello and share this space with me, I am truly thankful.

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Sometimes I get sad when I tell people about my blog and say “I journaled every meal I ate for 5 years. But not anymore.” I miss my old style of blogging, as intense as it was at times. It’s so neat to be able to say I have those 5 years documented. Writing about topics is way harder than writing about daily food and life. People used to ask me “Is it hard to post 3 times a day?,” and I always told them no because my content was auto-generated. My Lately and Weekend posts do self generate in some ways, but I often get overwhelmed thinking about all the topics I want to write and the time and concentration I need to research and craft them.

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A few months ago I stumbled upon some sample schedules of 9 and 10 month olds at Baby Center. I was shocked to read that the work-from-home moms said their kids played while they worked! Mazen sometimes plays independently, but never for long periods. And if I am on the computer, the dazzle of electronics captures all of his attention. Since turning 11 months, he has gotten a lot clingier, which I secretly love, but it makes it harder to work while he’s awake. Generally for most of the day, I have my attention on him.

Thus, I do most of my blog post writing, freelance work, emailing, phone calls, site maintenance and bakery duties during Mazen’s naps. If I’m lucky, that can be up to 3 hours a day. Of course that time has to include things like showering, so I’m not always working the entire time. But my philosophy has been “Spend naptimes doing things I can’t do when he’s awake” so I try to save naptimes for showering and computer work and do other household chores like laundry or food prep while Mazen is awake. Often I am scrambling to finish a post when I hear him start to wake up.

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I also “work” a lot from my phone. Without it, emails and comments would pile up, and I would spend most of naptime catching up instead of creating. I often use the voice text feature on my phone to answer comments when I’m out walking or watching Mazen play. For that I apologize for the typos and lack of punctuation and if I ever seem short in my responses. I sort emails with a star/labeling system in Gmail and do all the blog fluff work like participating in social media from my phone : )

Some weeks I get way ahead and have time to spend naptimes doing things like reorganizing a closet, but other weeks, posts take a lot longer to write or a little crisis arises and I lose my momentum. It’s a constant battle between feeling ahead of the curve and feeling behind. Another post always needs to be written!

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To help create the balance of work and personal time and the ongoing urge to work ahead, I started a new effort to take evenings off. After 5 years of blogging when dinner is over (and sometimes sitting down to edit photos and write a post at midnight after a wedding or event), I no longer have to be timely with my posts. The evenings are now mine to unplug. Sometimes I still find myself responding to emails, tweaking my blog’s design or looking at reports after dark, but usually it’s a night when Matt has gone to bed in preparation for an early morning at the bakery.

I am thinking about hiring a babysitter one afternoon a week so I can consolidate my work efficiently. Especially when Mazen drops to one nap, my opportunity to schedule calls and overall time to work will go down. I hesitate to hire help because it feels like a “want” more than a “need,” but when I talk to my mom and husband about this they both insist it’s a great idea.

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This past year has been the most stressful of my life. Writing KERF, BERF and Real Health with baby Mazen was a lot to juggle, but….. it has also been the most rewarding and enjoyable year to date. I have never felt such a sense of purpose before, and I credit that feeling to having a good balance between family and a career I am proud of. Thank you all for making it possible!

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{ 98 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Alison @ Daily Moves and Grooves August 30, 2013 at 9:18 am

You just keep plugging away, Kath! Your blog posts are still as interesting and fun as ever. It seems like you’ve got a good system with getting work done while still playing with Mazen, which is awesome. All the best!

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2 HeatherFromKC August 30, 2013 at 9:22 am

Thank you for writing this post. It is tough to find the balance between, work, family, friends, etc. Sounds like you are doing a great job. Love your blogs.

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3 Francie August 30, 2013 at 9:25 am

If you had an office job, you wouldn’t bring your child to work. You have an at home job, but it still requires your attention and focus. No shame in having help.

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4 Racheal @ Running with Racheal August 30, 2013 at 9:28 am

It is amazing what you can accomplish during nap time! Ha! I work from home two days a week for eight hours a day, but I have a nanny to help me out. Even then, it is really hard to stay in my office when I hear my daughter laughing or crying downstairs!

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5 Katie August 30, 2013 at 9:31 am

I totally think you should look into getting some kind of help! Plus, if Mazen is getting clingy, it may be a good way for him to socialize a little more.

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6 Avodah August 30, 2013 at 10:29 am

I think she already has a cleaning lady. That is probably a huge help!

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7 Celeste August 30, 2013 at 1:03 pm

I work part time, have a cleaning service once every two weeks, and my son goes to a day program while I’m at work. If you are generating an income, you (and the blog) deserve the time to devote yourself to this job. Mommy’s Day Outs are a great way for kids to socialize and learn different kinds of play while you get to work.

And even the day the cleaning service comes, I’m still sweeping the kitchen floor after meals and wiping muddy paw prints off the tile and doing 8 loads of laundry because its always that day that someone (toddler or canine) has an accident. It’s a privilege and a help but not the be all end all of freeing up loads of time.

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8 Katie August 30, 2013 at 9:31 am

BTW, keep up the good work! I think you’re doing amazing!

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9 Jackie August 30, 2013 at 9:35 am

Good luck with all the changes Kath, evrrything will play out as it is meant to!

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10 Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries August 30, 2013 at 9:46 am

Love this. :) I’m so glad you’ve been able to balance at all because I can imagine how difficult it is! You’re a great mom, wife, blogger, writer, and cook! Keep it up!

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11 jacqulyn August 30, 2013 at 10:05 am

Kath I have been a long time reader but have never commented. Your blog is by far my favourite! I was sad when I found out you were going to be posting less. But I can honestly say I am shocked about how much you DO still post! I am always so excited when I check in and see another new post! Thanks so much for all your inspiration and dedicated blogging – it truly is amazing and I am so happy you share what you do! Ill always be a KERF reader :) xo

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12 KathEats August 30, 2013 at 10:08 am

: ) Thanks!

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13 Amy W August 31, 2013 at 9:32 am

Ditto to this!!!! Love the blog and love reading about everything you write. If you felt stressed out this past year, we, readers, never could tell. You do an amazing job of pulling it all together and finding a great balance of what to write about. Love it. Good Job, Mama Kath!!!!

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14 Stacy August 30, 2013 at 10:12 am

Getting help once a week is a brilliant idea. I’m a nanny, and my family tells me how grateful they are all the time. I help them stay sane as busy parents, it’s definitely not something to be ashamed about. Especially since you said once a week! You will feel so much more relaxed and happy with the help.

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15 Alisha @ Alisha's Appetite August 30, 2013 at 10:23 am

I don’t think there is ANY shame in hiring help once a week! You are doing a great job with work/family balance. Keep up the great work.

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16 Amanda M. August 30, 2013 at 3:33 pm

100% agree. Hiring a babysitter once or twice a week so you can balance the demands of a work-from-home job is an absolute need; it’s nothing to feel guilty about. You aren’t superhuman and no one should expect you to be. When my daughter turned one I hired a sitter 3 afternoons a week so I could work from my home office and have the occasional rare afternoon to myself. It helped keep me sane.

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17 Amy W August 31, 2013 at 9:35 am

Oops..have to agree with this too. As a mom of 4, I have almost always, until recently when all 4 kids were in some “form” of school, had a sitter one or two mornings a week. It helped me stay sane…do not think twice about this decision. Go for it!!! I think it worked out to be about 6 hours a week…no big deal, really;)

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18 Ella P August 31, 2013 at 10:19 am

I agree.
Both my kids started kinder garden at an early age (about 18 months). They had fun time playing with other kids while learning to socialize and I could WORK (from home, later office). Balance was restored. Everybody was content.

You do a great job, Kath, your blog is lovely and we see you put much effort in it and want to thank you for that and say a loud ‘bravo’!

Having a babysitter around is a good way to have your Sweet Pea “within reach” and time to yourself.

Ella

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19 Madison August 30, 2013 at 10:32 am

I love this post–so informative and give us a glimpse inside your everyday world. Mazen is so lucky to have a mom like you!

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20 Lauren @ The Highlands Life August 30, 2013 at 10:37 am

I like your new style of writing. I can totally relate since we have a babe too. Nap times are my “go time”. What am I going to do when he drops down to one nap? Yikes.

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21 Becca August 30, 2013 at 10:57 am

Kath,

I do miss your daily blogging x3 (I’ve been reading since 2009) BUT I wanted to pop in and say that I have been loving your posts lately. The “Weekend” and “Lately” posts are great and remind me of your old blogging ways, though the more content-heavy posts as of late (the weight loss one, the veggie spices one, the new home products ones, the wine rack one, for example) have been AWESOME too. I just love the variety that I find here at KERF.

I know you’ve thanked us readers but I must stop to say THANK YOU for all of the content that you’ve published over this past year. It’s been a great one.

~ Becca

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22 KathEats August 30, 2013 at 11:14 am

Thanks for the feedback!

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23 eliza August 30, 2013 at 10:57 am

I think hiring a baby sitter is a great idea!! Ive been reading since your blog post and appreciate your blog much more now, although I loved it before it seems your posts are more meaningful

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24 Stacey August 30, 2013 at 10:58 am

Who are we to judge? Do what feels right to you! Go with your instinct; if it’s the babysitter one day a week, try it out and see if everything falls into place. If not, go back to your previous routine. Best of luck to you!

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25 jen August 30, 2013 at 11:20 am

I’.m right there with you on the one step ahead two steps behind deal. I stay home with my two year old and 7 week old and am amazed when I hear people say their kids just play happily while they do other things. My daughter has always wanted lots of attention and does only a little independent play so nap time in my primary time to get things done too. However she is a great helper and I have found there are lots of things like housework that I can do with her help.

Good for you for finding that balance. I think it’s one of the hardest things as a mother, and I am constantly adjusting. I hate to miss any of this time (even more so now that my daughter is too and it’s just so much fun), but there’s also stuff that has to get done. I’ve considered doing some work from home and decided it would just stretch me too thin.

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26 Kim August 30, 2013 at 11:38 am

That last photo is adorable!

I can imagine finding work-life balance to be difficult as a work-at-home mom, but as an avid reader, you appear to be pulling it off well!

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27 Janet William August 30, 2013 at 11:48 am

Working at home really has its benefits!! i have found great ideas for work at home moms here:
http://www.theworkathomewoman.com/99-work-at-home-ideas-women/#comment-119379

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28 Kori August 30, 2013 at 12:05 pm

A very well-written post, and as always, I love your honesty. I think you have done a tremendous job of balancing all of life’s demands, so you deserve a big pat on the back! I believe hiring a baby sitter is a great idea. You deserve it, and even though you work from home, you are still working! I say go for it and see how well it fits your lifestyle. Best wishes!

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29 sarah @ williamsburgbaby.com August 30, 2013 at 12:14 pm

I struggle a lot with this. My most recent projects have mostly had be in an office, and so we have a full time nanny. But in a month or two, I will be back to working from home, with the odd meeting thrown in there. I definitely will still need 40-50 hrs a week of childcare in order to meet my deadlines, especially with another one on the way, and especially because I want Axel to be able to continue to go to reading time at the library, music classes, and swimming. But I also feel this unspoken taboo when people ask “You’re going to stay at home AND have full time help?” Even when people don’t ask, I feel defensive about it. On the web especially, I read a lot of vitriol directed towards moms who are able to be at home and have help. And yet while my work doesn’t always look like traditional work, it’s work nonetheless. I honestly don’t know how I’d do it without the help — and think you should definitely get at least part time care, if you can. It’s one thing to try to maintain what you are already doing, which is a lot, but it’s pretty tough to confine everything to naptime. Plus I think when children get older, they need more and more from us, so those waking hours are going to get more demanding.

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30 Emily August 30, 2013 at 12:35 pm

Mazen is such a little sweetie – I’m so glad you’ve kept up with the blog!

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31 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats August 30, 2013 at 12:38 pm

I agree that blogging about topics is a lot harder – I think it consumes your thoughts more because you have to think up topics rather than just writing about what you’re already doing. I think that’s why I like my thursday thoughts posts, they’re usually just random things happening in my life!

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32 Tracy August 30, 2013 at 12:38 pm

You’re doing a great job, Kath!!

I want to add that hiring a sitter can be good for Mazen, too. He’ll get used to being with another adult (prep for preschool which is not that far away) and probably help ease the clinginess a bit. Good luck!

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33 Alicia in Indy August 30, 2013 at 12:50 pm

If you decide to get a sitter, don’t feel guilty about it. My son started going to a Mom’s Day Out program at about a year old, and it was good for both of us. As an only child, he loved being around other kids, and I enjoyed the 4 hours to focus on whatever it was I needed to get done. From that time on he never had any attachment issues either. Now potty training…that was a whole other thing! ;)

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34 Karen August 30, 2013 at 1:14 pm

How refreshing to hear you speak in your authentic friend-to-friend voice! You are so lucky to be able to spend your days with your little sidekick, and know that we understand that he is always your greatest priority. Don’t sweat the blogging schedule so much…you are doing just terrifically with the whole balancing act, Kath. Hugs to you!

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35 Beth August 30, 2013 at 1:20 pm

M is absolutely adorable! Can’t believe how big he’s getting!

I have a 2 (and a few months) year old and totally support finding some help, whether it be in the form of a baby sitter/pre-school, house cleaner, or yard maintenance company. There are even meal delivery companies out there that cater to families! Have you thought of other means of help besides just a babysitter? Are your mom or Karen able to help at all?

Also, you seem to be home a lot when it’s just you and Mazen. Do you get out to do any great baby friendly activities during the week? I’m always looking for new ideas!

Have a great day Kath! Can’t wait till my new babies are here and cocktail hour returns to our house :)

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36 Katherine August 30, 2013 at 1:34 pm
37 Julia August 30, 2013 at 1:38 pm

I started reading your blog just over a year ago and would like to agree with other readers- the content and format of your blog is working very well. While I enjoy reading shorter posts about what others eat and how they exercise, I find it much more insightful to read longer “articles” on special topics. Keep up the excellent work, and if you need any other ideas on topics I’d love to hear your thoughts on nutrition for those that follow special diets (I am a vegan).

Best

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38 Lauren Paradis August 30, 2013 at 1:51 pm

I feel like as much as you love the work you do… your child is only young once and the attention you give to him now… is crucial… and you will never get that time back! Enjoy it while you can, your work will always be there when he grows up!! :-D

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39 Katie August 30, 2013 at 1:52 pm

I work from home too and I know exactly how you feel with the work/mothering balance! I constantly feel the pull of “house” stuff versus work during naptime/evenings. I would prefer to have a more set schedule of when I work but my work often ebbs and flows (I work for an outside company, not myself) and when it flows, I want to take advantage of the extra $$. However, despite it’s difficulties I really think it’s the best of both worlds! As my daughter gets older (14 months on Sunday), I too, have thought about hiring a sitter once a week to get a good chunk of work done. It sounds like you’re doing a great job balancing both! Cheers!

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40 S August 30, 2013 at 1:54 pm

You are amazing! Parenting is so time and energy consuming. I am a full-time nanny for a stay at home mom!! Do not feel bad or guilty about hiring someone to come over for such a small amount of time. You will be able to be more fully present with Mazen knowing that you have finished some of your more daunting work tasks. Keep it up!

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41 Shel@PeachyPalate August 30, 2013 at 2:10 pm

You are seriously amazing! Love that you respond to comments with the voice text feature!!! Are you pretty tech savvy when it comes to blog design? I’ve just hired wordpress site care to help me out with a redesign but would love to feel more confident making tweaks. Maybe I should do a course!

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42 KathEats August 30, 2013 at 2:34 pm

Not really – I just fiddle with things and Google my heart out :)

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43 Chelsea @ Designs on Dinner August 30, 2013 at 2:22 pm

I was a little sad when I read you weren’t going to be posting as much, but I actually love it, because it’s more exciting when I do see a post up. Your posts are so well-written and thought out, they are a pleasure to read.

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44 Sarah August 30, 2013 at 2:23 pm

I think it’s amazing how much thought and time you manage to put into each of your (very REGULAR) posts while still being a really great mom to Mazen. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with getting a little help to make your life a little easier!

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45 Marissa@ohhhsolovely August 30, 2013 at 2:33 pm

i really enjoyed this post! interesting how you said you really miss your old blogging style even though it required more of you. i just dropped down from full-time teaching to part-time & i am already feeling like i miss full time teaching (even though it was much harder on me). i did this in preparation for kids, so we’ll see once they come along. i really would like to be home at least part-time with our children once they come along! i think this is one of the hardest things ever for moms to deal with.

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46 Megan August 30, 2013 at 2:53 pm

I really enjoy this post – the first year is really hard and to manage a blog of this size, with other projects, is a huge accomplishment. I did a lot of volunteer work my daughter’s first year and it was tough to do anything unless she was napping, so I would think hiring a sitter, even for a little bit of time, would help you out a lot.

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47 Maureen August 30, 2013 at 3:10 pm

I have LOVED reading your blog for over 2 years now. Even though you have changed formats I feel that even the sponsored posts are realistic and come from the heart. I NEVER feel like you’re trying to sell us on a product.
Regarding hiring help once a week, go for it! In college I was a nanny for a family twice a week for 4 hours {along with my regular job} and it really helped me out and gave the mom some space and sanity.

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48 mary @ minutes per mile August 30, 2013 at 3:10 pm

i love your blog! and don’t care when you post. i’ll read it whenever! also, i say go for the sitter! sounds like you have a lot to juggle.

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49 Meika August 30, 2013 at 3:22 pm

A friend of mine is a photographer, and she runs her (very successful) business from home. She has two little boys who are now past taking consistent or long naps, and she has someone come in for several hours three times a week. Don’t feel guilty that you *need* to, many moms do!

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50 Theresa August 30, 2013 at 3:29 pm

You’re doing an amazing job! I have been reading for four years and I’ve loved being a part of all the transition and change. You are an inspiration! It’s wonderful Mazen can have his mom at home, and that you find a way to be present with him when he’s awake and utilize that time when he naps. I don’t have kids, and always wonder how you moms do it all. I need to reevaluate my use of time and be more productive!

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51 Errign August 30, 2013 at 3:54 pm

I was hired in college in to babysit a few hours a week for a 1.5 year old, so her mom could go grocery shopping, run errands, go on training runs and things like that. Now, that 1.5 year old is nearly 3 and her sister will be a year in October and I still do 3-6 hours a week for them. She is a stay at home mom, but that job never ends and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with taking a few hours a week for yourself, whether you use it to work or you use it to get a haircut.

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52 Amy W August 31, 2013 at 9:39 am

Love this!! Errign is right on!!!!!!!!

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53 Melanie August 30, 2013 at 4:30 pm

Hi, I am a new reader who has been enjoying your blog! I am a stay at home mom, not work at home…but that doesn’t mean I haven’t learned ways to keep my son (now 2) independently occupied sometimes so I can get some stuff done! Some tips…although I much prefer a shower with no baby to worry about, a pack n play in or near the bathroom can be really useful. At first my son wasn’t always so happy, but he gradually got used to it and now plays happily or looks at books while safety contained when I shower. Also, I didn’t use tv at all until he was about 18 months, but now he gets one thirty minute show a day, always at the same time. It is part of his routine so he doesn’t beg for it other times. Finally, have hope…when my son dropped to 1 nap, once he settled into the new routine his afternoon nap lengthened to 3 hours! Every mom and baby is different, but I do want to encourage you that you will find the things that work for you as your son gets older! With plenty of time left for cuddles and play too :)

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54 Anna @ On Anna's Plate August 30, 2013 at 4:33 pm

Have you ever read the book Bringing Up Bebe? It talks about the differences between the ways French women (Parisian women, really) and American women raise their children. I read it a while back, but one of the things that I remember is the author realizing that French women spend more time away from their babies, more readily– putting them in daycare or hiring a nanny to come a few times a week, even if the mom doesn’t work at all. If the mother doesn’t work, she takes time to walk, go to the park, go out to a nice lunch, or shop– and has no guilt in that.

There’s so much guilt that comes along with motherhood. We have a full-time nanny, and sometimes I feel guilty about that– even though both my husband and I work full time! It’s like– what else would we do?!? But somehow, the guilt is still there.

Anyway, long comment, but I guess I’m trying to say– don’t feel guilty about hiring a sitter. And, don’t even feel like you HAVE to use that time to “work.” The other afternoon, our nanny came, and because our semester just started, I didn’t really have much work to do. So I went to see “Blue Jasmine” by myself. And you know what? It was awesome. :-)

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55 Catherine September 1, 2013 at 11:27 am

I totally agree!! My son is 14 years old, and for the first 4 years of his life I had the fortune of working at home. When he was a baby, I was able to get a lot of work done during the day while he napped and then finished most of my work in the evenings. But as he got older, his needs changed and I gradually got babysitting help and also put him in preschool a couple of mornings a week. This helped to meet both his needs (exercise, socialization, etc) as well as mine (space and time to do my work). If you are fortunate enough to have the resources to obtain this kind of help, there is absolutely no shame in using them. We need to get out of this mindset that if you’re not in parenting mode 100% of your time, your kids will suffer. Simply not true!

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56 Alex @ Kenzie Life August 30, 2013 at 5:14 pm

It’s been a year since I started reading your blog and I wish I had started reading sooner! Thanks for showing us that it’s possible to have that kind of career and raise a family. Definitely something I aspire to!

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57 Lisa C. August 30, 2013 at 5:25 pm

I think a babysitter is a great idea! He will just get more and more active as he grows so it makes sense.

Keep up the great work- I have been a faithful reader for about a year and a half now!

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58 Cortney August 30, 2013 at 5:27 pm

I too am a WAM mom with no hired help, at this point. My son just turned two yesterday. He is at an age where he is independent at times, yet I also have time together where we are reading, painting or music. Juggling it all can be challenging at times, but so worth it. I try to fit all the work, cleaning and planing in during the day, since I teach fitness classes really early am and at night. I have to save the yard work for weekends and we try to get outdoor family time in, too. I don’t do much else (other than run races, since that is my “me” time) but since he is our one and only, I know this time is fleeting so I am enjoying while I can.

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59 Ray August 30, 2013 at 6:07 pm

Good reflective post, Kath. I enjoyed this one. What sort of bakery duties do you do during Mazen’s naps? Obviously things you can do from home – pr I’m guessing?

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60 KathEats August 30, 2013 at 6:11 pm

Marketing/print /online ones

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61 A August 30, 2013 at 6:17 pm

I LOVE posts like this, a glimpse into how you handle things (same reason I love stuff like the laundry video and any tips/lifestyle posts)! The amount you post is just fine with me :)

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62 Averie @ Averie Cooks August 30, 2013 at 6:23 pm

Kath what you’re doing is so hard. I feel like I’ve been there, too, in many ways. I started my blog when my daughter was just barely 2, and can’t imagine starting it when she was under 2. The constant attention she needed, my lack of sleep, for us and just our flow and her personality and habits, it would have never worked for me to try to put out any meaningful content – be it research-based things or food or whatever. I could hardly find time to even shower back then, let alone think straight to write! My hat is off to you for balancing it all.

And I personally love your new flow to your blog rather than your documented every meal. That was great then, but this is great now :)

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63 robin August 30, 2013 at 6:35 pm

Good for you, if you worked outside the home you wouldn’t give it a second thought about getting a sitter. I think it will be entertaining for Mazen.

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64 Cristal August 30, 2013 at 8:31 pm

Hi Kath,
I can really relate to your post. My daughter is 2 1/2 now and I work full-time as a teacher. I feel very lucky because I do get more time off to spend with her than most working moms. I also feel very sad at times because she goes to daycare and I only get to spend about 3 hours with her in the evenings when we get home.
I am also working on my Masters degree and try as hard as I can to only do homework when she is napping or goes down at night.
It sounds like you feel the same way as a lot of mothers, that the time they are awake is too precious to not be engaged with them. They are only little for a little while and we need to savor every moment we can with them.
Keep your head up and give yourself more credit! :)

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65 Ivy August 30, 2013 at 8:56 pm

i bring my son to work, i have done it since he was born. it is definitely a challenge, different with each stage of his development, but i have never considered a babysitter, because i want him to be with me, even if it limits my productivity or i have to work a couple hours on the weekend when my husband is home, i have cherished the closeness we share day in and day out. he is 3 now and the most friendly, helpful boy and wants to “help” me with my work and that is yet another element of life where we can connect and share. my son also took long naps and i took advantage of every second and learned to work so much more efficiently. i never knew i could cram 7 hours of work into 4, but it has turned out that way.

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66 Debbie @ Deb Runs August 30, 2013 at 9:40 pm

When I have a chance, I plan to visit some of your original posts when you were blogging three times a day! That sounds so overwhelming. It sounds like you’re finding a really good balance now with your little boy.

I really enjoy your blog!

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67 Ella August 30, 2013 at 11:48 pm

Kath, you’re awesome. I don’t know how you and Emily over at Daily Garnish do it. I use nap times for me time and nothing else (after feeling burned out trying to do too much during naps and finally deciding to chill out). This has been healthy for my type A personality – I’ve learned to listen to myself and note my stress level. When I’m stressed I tend to take it out on my husband, and then no one is happy. With our second baby due next month, I am planning to have help 3x/week for 5-6 hours per day and that’s WHILE I’m on maternity leave! (I’m a part time clinical dietitian.) For centuries SAH moms, not even WAH moms, have had help, and not just “wealthy” moms. Raising children is nothing like working an 8-5 position. The days I go in to work are a significant break – hello, I eat lunch slowly with two hands, go to the bathroom by myself with no audience, and can make important phone calls without being interrupted. Girl, get yourself some help!

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68 Katie @ Talk Less, Say More August 31, 2013 at 6:56 am

So well written and honest, I love it! I wish I could find a way to work from home doing a job that I love but right now I haven’t figured out what that looks like. I don’t have little ones to stay home with but I’d love the flexibility to move/change scenery as needed to be my most productive. :)

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69 Lyn August 31, 2013 at 9:21 am

Ah, but it gets SO much easier when you have a second baby! Well, it gets easier when they are 3 or 4. Then they have each other to play with instead of needing mama’s attention all the time :)

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70 Amy W August 31, 2013 at 9:48 am

Hi Kath,
This is a really cute post. I have to say “cute” b/c I am older than you and have been where you are with the age of Mazen and trying to fit it all in. Don’t be so hard on yourself. You are a great mom and a very talented blogger…you juggle it all so well and I can say you haven’t even missed a beat since having Mazen. I love your posts. I think as a mom we are constantly second guessing everything we do. If you want to try the sitter route, do it. See how it goes….nothing is set in stone. I can’t tell you how many times as a mom, I have tried one way and then backed up and done something different when my first attempt didn’t feel quite right. If you can find the *right* person to help you, I think it would be a great benefit.

Also, know how quickly these days fly by and soon enough Mazen will be headed off to kindergarten. The days are slow but the years fly. It is obvious how much you love being a mom…and thats one of the very special things about your blog.

You are doing a fabulous job!!!!

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71 Mary Ann August 31, 2013 at 11:07 am

Amy, this is an encouraging comment but must you resort to calling Kath’s post “cute”? That is so patronizing. She is a grown ass woman, for goodness sake, and even though I understand that what you are trying to say is that this, too, shall pass and not seem as difficult as it does in the moment, I hate how women with older children “chuckle” at the “cuteness” that is new mom stress.

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72 Amy W September 2, 2013 at 5:32 pm

Get a grip, Mary Ann….I meant it in the kindest way possible. You seem crabby…go take a nap!

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73 Amy W September 2, 2013 at 8:49 pm

And one more thing, Mary Ann…it’s pretty hard to tell one someone is “patronizing” someone else in words over a blog. I was not patronizing Kath in the least bit. Reading her blog pulls at my heart strings b/c my kids are just a little bit older and I have a perspective that I truly enjoyed hearing from other moms when I was a first time mom. I cherished every single thing a mom with older kids had to say to me…and took it all to heart. I don’t get why we, as women, try to beat one another up via a blog, or in real life, for that matter. Isn’t easier to understand that we are all in this together? And each stage of new life brings new challenges. Geesh!!!

There is absolutely no “chuckle” in my words whatsoever. It was a heartfelt statement that I left with the best intentions. I love reading about mom’s who clearly LOVE what they are doing, like Kath clearly does. It’s very refreshing…there are too many people out there like YOU.

Blech.
Vent over. (Sorry Kath but I felt the need to defend myself….)

Cheers!

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74 KathEats August 31, 2013 at 10:00 am

Thank you for all of your encouraging words!

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75 Tami @Nutmeg Notebook August 31, 2013 at 11:12 am

Congratulations on a busy but rewarding year Kath! Your blessings are many and I appreciate that you take the time to share them as well as your struggles on your blog.

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76 Hannah August 31, 2013 at 11:27 am

Hi Kath, I’ve been reading your blog for a few months, so I apologize in advance if this is a really daft question, but reading this post I realized I don’t actually know what you do for a living! I mean, I know you’re a registered dietician, but what is your actual job, what do you do? (must admit I thought you were a stay at home mom at the moment, and I’m obviously not suggesting that looking after your child isn’t work, but in this post it sounds like you’re talking about a different job)

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77 KathEats August 31, 2013 at 3:09 pm

I write this blog!! It might seem like it writes itself, but I can assure you it doesn’t :) I’ve been managing 3 blogs over the past year plus some freelance projects as well.

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78 Grace August 31, 2013 at 11:07 pm

I think the commenter might not realize, this blog generates income for your family and hence it is a job (or I’m assuming so anyway). (I’ve actually never been clear on how bloggers who are making a living off their blogs generate income, but I think it has something to do with the advertisers?)

And since I am commenting anyhow, I totally agree with everyone who has encouraged you not to feel guilty about hiring a nanny a couple times a week—and agree with the folks who said don’t feel bad if you don’t always work during those times either! Sometimes I use my lunch hour in my full-time job to get our week’s grocery shopping done. As I’m sure you know, grocery shopping solo is like a Caribbean vacation.

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79 kris September 1, 2013 at 8:35 pm

This is meant in a strictly objective, factual sense, no judgment. I just think the reader and others recognize that a LOT of bloggers blog daily with recipes-multiple posts, etc in addition to freelance work and full time 8-10 hour jobs , but do not call blogging a job or a business…just different people approach it differently I assume. Cheers!

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80 Heather August 31, 2013 at 4:44 pm

I read your blog very regularly. And I’m glad that you have been able to continue. I get loads of information here and as a mom of teenagers and adults I just love your posts about Mazen…. I was actually checking your blog today to research rice cookers since I will be purchasing one shortly. I always feel like your product reviews are spot on. Keep up the great work, I think you are balancing things wonderfully.

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81 Katie August 31, 2013 at 10:21 pm

Kath, Great post thank you! I also work at home as a health and wellness coach so I love hearing how other moms do it. I didn’t realize until you posted how great it is to have a phone that you can quickly catch up on work while they are playing. I am on the phone a lot so I have learned to get a headset to chat while I clean- helps a lot. Also I do a lot of walking while talking as I get to exercise and get some work in. Sometimes I find it hard when I work during the entire nap and not refreshed during her nap so sometimes I allow myself a 30 minute breather after she goes down or even just a quick 10 minute nap helps me. Going down to one nap was hard as I used to use the 1st nap for shower and work, and second nap as rest. But now its down to doing it all in 1 nap. I try to shower in the morning with her playing by me to avoid taking up some nap time !:) Being a mom is a full time job and you are doing a great job!! We are always trying to figure out how to balance it all and I love hearing how other moms do it! I have hired sitters here and there and I get way more work done so I can focus just on her on those days. Its worth it! Keep up the great work I love your blog!

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82 Kate August 31, 2013 at 11:28 pm

You rock!

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83 Lisa @bitesforbabies September 1, 2013 at 12:55 pm

I am SO lucky that when I started my Blog (and was a work-at-home mom) that my son was VERY independent. Had he not been I don’t think I would have been able to dedicate the time I did to the Blog. He would sit and watch me cook, quite happily, might I add ;-)

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84 Ellie@Fit for the soul September 1, 2013 at 8:00 pm

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this! I was actually wondering how you and other moms work when baby is always by your side. :D You’re doing great as a mother it seems, and I think it’s awesome that you’re devoting more time to family and “unplugging” at a certain time. Also, hiring a sitter is a great idea! Remember–sometimes we need to ask for help for the benefit of everyone around us, as ironic as it may sound. :) Ps: I have to admit though~asking for help in any form is pretty hard sometimes!

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85 Fran@BCDC September 2, 2013 at 6:44 am

It’s amazing all that you accomplish and have accomplished. You keep doing what you do and fit the baby and your other obligations seamlessly into the mix. I’ll bet it doesn’t feel seamless at times, but it certainly appears that way. Keep up the good work!

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86 Erin Motz September 2, 2013 at 8:26 am

all through college i was a nanny for SAHM’s who used that time to hit the gym, run to the store, clean the house, or get a pedicure! don’t feel guilty at all – that time is SO important. plus, i loved playing with the babies, so everybody won ;)

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87 char eats greens September 2, 2013 at 8:29 am

Great post, Kath!! I definitely think the afternoon sitter would be an awesome breakaway for you! I’m going back to school full-time this week and my girl’s 9 months, so I’m interested to see how much of that work I can get done this semester. There’s always something!!

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88 Tara September 2, 2013 at 8:31 am

My 11-month old doesn’t play by herself for long, either, so any photo-editing, blogging (and even showering) for me also happens at nap time. I really do like spending time with her and saving all those other tasks for later though! Love reading your blog.

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89 Sara @ sarasmiles September 2, 2013 at 9:31 am

I am sure it is SUCH hard work, but you would never know from this end. Your posts are still so polished and well thought out. Keep it up! You’re amazing

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90 Marcia @Frugal Healthy Simple September 2, 2013 at 11:17 am

What a cutie pie!! Yes, the first year is always a challenge. My little guy is 2 months older than Mazen. It does get better, but it’s very slowly…then one day, you realize you feel almost normal!

With my older son, I remember 18 months…that was how old he was when he was able to play by himself for 20 minutes at a time. With me working outside the home, this was critical for me to be able to start dinner! It’s a tad easier the second time around – I can always bribe my 7 year old to play with his brother for 10 minutes.

I have to admit I have let my own blog slide. I really got it started when my older son was 21 months old. The reality of two kids, full time job, homework with the 2nd grader…there isn’t any time to blog. I have competition with the kid for the computer and the Ipad, and by the time the kids are in bed, dishes done, lunches packed, and dinner prepped, it’s 8:45 pm (I go to bed at 9 or 9:30 and wake up at 5 am).

This is a phase. You’ll find as time goes on that you’ll find time for more (or less) – whatever you choose.

Oh, and a tip on the shower…I used to put my son in the crib when I showered. I take quick showers, he can play for 10 min.

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91 IrisMES September 2, 2013 at 11:19 am

Hey Kath! Loved this post, since I’m currently pregnant and have a very demanding job and work schedule, I’ve been kind of nervous about leaving the office for my maternity leave. In this country we are lucky enough to get 12 weeks of paid maternity leave, since I’m the type of workaholic that doesn’t even take her paid vacation time (I have 9 weeks of pending vacation and I know how horrible it sounds).
But what I’m getting to is, here it’s not common for people to work from home, so it’s fairly common for us moms to hire a full time nanny. Since your job requires you to tend to more than one thing at a time, and you started to feel the need to separate work / baby/ play time and you have full support from your spouse, then do what you feel is right for you and your family.
Your blog is as good as ever, you are such a great inspiration, Keep up the good work :)

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92 Spice Chicken September 2, 2013 at 7:23 pm

As always, I love the honesty here and the light it sheds on juggling work and motherhood.

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93 amanda cowan September 3, 2013 at 11:11 am

My 3 year old has been going to a daycare/preschool sort of set up one day a week for a couple years now. This serves several purposes. She gets a lot out of her relationship with those other adults. She is more apt to say please and thank you. She learns to share with other children. She learns that while I leave her, I always come back. That last one was the biggest reason I did it. She got to this point, shortly after her first birthday, where I couldn’t even leave her with her dad to go grocery shopping or run errands. I wanted to show her that my being away from her didn’t have to be a scary thing. A babysitter will give you most of this. So its not just a plus for you to get some work done. Good luck, I know this is a juggle that all moms face, not just working or work from home moms.

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94 Anna @ Fitness à la Anna September 3, 2013 at 2:12 pm

I have been following your blog for over a year now, and I just have to say that I think you have been able to juggle all of these things within such a small timeframe so well!! I love reading your blog and the adventures that you and your family have, and find your food photos so inspiring. Thanks again for sharing with us :)

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95 Liz September 5, 2013 at 6:38 pm

So I have a 6 month old. And she now goes to a nanny 3 days a week so I can work. It has been so much better than I ever expected! She LOVES her nanny, who only speaks Russian by the way. And the extra time has made me such a happier Mama! Mazen is adorable and he would love an extra person to “love” in his life! You’re doing so good!

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96 Cyndi September 6, 2013 at 10:25 pm

Look at that little baby face – he NEEDS your attention.

Take a break from all of this and just enjoy your baby. You won’t regret it!!!!!!!

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97 Andrea (@FrSeed2Stomach) September 9, 2013 at 10:21 am

Kath – Thank you SO much for adapting and sharing at every step of your journey with food, life, work, family, and baby. I love reading and really appreciate the example you set for the rest of us striving to achieve happiness and balance in all we do.
PS: Are you on spotify? I’d love to see what you listen to while you write and live. :-)

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98 KathEats September 9, 2013 at 10:33 am

I’m not on spotify, but perhaps I should join!

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