The Weekend Mommy 2.12.2018 An introduction…

My name is Danielle and I am a behavior analyst by day. I am also the mom to a beautiful, vivacious, and smart 20-month-old girl named Riley. Before having Riley, I considered myself a career driven person, and I'd always imagined that when I had kids, this wouldn't change. I was sure that I could balance a demanding career and motherhood, without a hitch. It was in me. I'm a go getter and hard worker, and I give everything in my life 110 percent. I also believed that I would be the perfect parent. I'd never make the "mistakes" that my parents made, and with my background in child development, psychology, and applied behavior analysis, I was literally trained for this. Hell, I have a master's degree in the field, surely I can raise the perfect child.

Fast forward to a hot June day in 2016, when my screaming little bundle of joy made her epic debut (after 36 glorious hours of labor). I quickly realized how freaking hard this whole motherhood thing was. It didn't help that Riley was colicky and fussy and cried ALL THE TIME. Whatsmore was that I had very little help. My husband had just landed a new job and could only take a week off after I gave birth, my mom and dad were selflessly raising my 3-month-old nephew (more on that later), and my father-in-law was so uncomfortable around newborns that it would take him almost a year before he really began to interact and spend any alone time with her. This left my mother-in-law as pretty much the only person available to help, and let's be honest, you can't put that pressure all on one person. She and the rest of the grandparents helped as much as they each could, but needless to say, toward the last few weeks of my maternity leave, my spirit was wearing thin. I was so exhausted from the 24/7 caring of this human being, and I was eating my words about what a piece of cake this parenting gig was going to be. Bottom line, it was HARD. And yet, I loved every minute of it. If you're a parent you can relate to this self-deprecating, glutton for punishment we all become.

When It was time to return to work, I had a very hard time. For one, I only took 10 weeks off (you get 12 in the state of California, but I wanted to save some to use over the holidays, and due to the nature of my job, it made sense to return the week the school districts were back in session). I was also finally starting to enjoy spending time with Riley, and not just in the “I love you so freaking much and want to stare at you for the rest of my life" kind of way. We were in the process of figuring out her digestive issues so the endless days of colicky screams were much less frequent, and she was starting to do stuff, like smile and giggle, and make those adorable cooing noises. It almost felt like the bonding was just beginning, and now I was going to up and leave her with someone else for 40+ hours a week. It was devastating for me. I seriously began trying to figure out how I could be a stay-at-home mom (spoiler alert: I absolutely couldn't. We were not even remotely financially prepared for that).

I'm not going to bore you with the details of going back to work. If you're a working mom, you know how mentally, emotionally, and even physically difficult it can be. You likely also know that I cried my first day back, probably because you did too (if not, kudos to you for being able to keep your shit together with all those hormones and whatnot that are still out of whack at the time that most women return from maternity leave). I didn't just cry on my first day. There were many days like that, for various reasons, which I'll get into at another time.

This is why I wanted to start this blog. Besides the fact that I love to write and needed an outlet, I feel like I can share my experiences being a working mom. I can offer advice for things that have worked for me (along with things that haven't - #momfail!), and I also believe it will give me the opportunity to learn and grow as a person. I'm going to get out of my comfort zone, but I think it will be really fun and I'm excited to see where this takes me.

Besides my day job and my mom gig, I also have hobbies. I love to cook, and enjoy sharing recipes, as well as providing tips to make cooking easier and less stressful. I'm pretty crafty, and I have a few DIY tricks up my sleeve, plus any new things I might come up with along the way. Shopping on a budget is my game. I will often share where you can get great deals on clothes, beauty supplies, and home goods - I can't keep these secrets to myself, it wouldn't be fair! Lastly, I'm pretty savvy in the beauty  department, as I was a freelance make-up artist in my early 20’s (like a gazillion years ago!), so I'll show you some of my favorite tips and tricks to look fab and still have time to do the mom thing and work thing.

All in all, the backbone of this blog is driven by the desire of working moms to “do it all", but realizing that no matter what, you are a freaking rockstar and if I can make someone's life even a tiny bit easier through a post that they read, then I can say it was worth it. Even if you're not working, there will be a lot to take away from these posts because let's be honest, SAHM’s are doing it 24/7, so props to you, and I think what we all want is some balance! (okay and maybe a nap, a bubble bath, and a cocktail)

You've likely have noticed by now that the tone of this post is a bit cheeky. I may discuss some serious issues on here from time to time, but for the most part, I don't like to take life too seriously. Humor has always been my coping mechanism and I'd like to keep with a lighthearted tone throughout this blog. Even the name, The Weekend Mommy, can't be taken too literally. Obviously we are momming day in and day out, even when we're at work, but the real nitty gritty mom stuff tends to happen on the weekends, which is how I came up with the name.

I hope you join me on this journey and I look forward to connecting with you through a common ground: we are women, we are moms, and we are awesome. Let's do this!



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