Gifts for Mom, Grandparents, Besties and YOU🎄 ➔

I am a full-time middle school teacher, as is my husband. Having an almost five-month-old at home, and returning to work after only 6 (yes, six) weeks of maternity leave, there were a few things I did NOT want to hear. Now, I am not dogging on stay at home homs or anything like that! I think y’all have the hardest job in the world, I really do! I wanted to tell you what it’s like from my perspective and shed some light on what I go through as a working mom. And, yes, I have heard ALL of these things said to me:

1. Oh, don’t you just miss your daughter when you’re at work?

No, I’m heartless. HA. I miss my daughter like CRAZY. I honestly cry at least twice a week going to work or while at work because I miss her so much.

2. Do you ever even get to see your kiddo?

Absolutely! She may go to bed early and get up early, but I make sure those few moments are treasured. And we LOVE our weekends together. Also, because we’re both teachers, Micah and I will get all of our breaks with her.

3. Do you sleep?

The only time I don’t is when my husband and I decide to stay up later than usual. But she starts bedtime at 5;45, is down by 6;15 and sleeps until I wake her up at 5:30 the next morning. On the weekends she will do 6:15-6:15. So yes, I sleep.

4. Do you have time to do ANYTHING?

Sure! I cook, have date night once a week with my husband, go to church, am finishing up grad school, LOVE to read with a nice glass of wine, etc. I MAKE time.

5. I bet your husband hates that you’re working.

Mmmmm no. He loves that we’re both contributing to our family’s lives, that we get to share teaching ideas constantly, and that Charlotte will grow up seeing two hard-working, highly-educated parents.

6. Do you have a maid? I mean honestly who has time to clean and cook.

NOPE, but I have myself and I have my husband. Also…. the Roomba is my bestie (we have the vacuum one and the mop one- thanks Mom!). But really, Micah and I split up everything in the house and divide and conquer, and it’s great! You can read more about my husband in this article here.

7. I don’t know how you do it, I couldn’t go back to work like that.

Well, I didn’t have a choice. And it works! It’s hard, but it works. It doesn’t work for everyone, and that’s okay! Everyone is different and I don’t judge one mom from the next, but please realize this is what works for my family.

8. So someone else takes care of your kid? That has to hurt, I wouldn’t want someone else taking care of mine.

Yes, and she has raised three wonderful daughters and loves Charlotte like she is her own! And Charlotte absolutely adores her. I couldn’t imagine having anyone else keeping her during the day- Andrea, you rock!

9. Did you even try to make it work so you could stay at home?

Sure, I have my own blog ( – check it out for some awesome recipes) and am trying to monetize that, but Micah and I both love teaching and don’t want to give it up. The conversation we had about me staying home on a one teacher salary was pretty short. And although I would love to hang out with my daughter everyday, there’s just no way right now, and that’s okay.

10. Oh, is that why you stopped breastfeeding?

Fed is best people! Breast or bottle or both! Charlotte is growing and healthy. And not that it concerns anyone but Micah, myself, and Charlotte, but I actually ran out of milk after three weeks of breastfeeding. It’s a genetic thing and I’m lucky I was even able to feed that long. I DO know that the pressure to come back to work after 6 weeks definitely didn’t help my milk supply, though.

11. Oh you poor thing, I’m so sorry, no one should ever have to go through that!

You may be surprised to find out, but according to the Women’s Bureau, 62% of women that gave birth in the last 12 months are in the labor force, and 70% of women with children under the age of 18 are in the labor force. You can read more about it here and here. So, there’s more of us going through it than you think!

12. What about me time? I bet you never get any of that!

My husband built me a bath board so I can enjoy my wine, cheese board, and a good book (or sneak an episode in of a show). So, yeah! I get my nails done once a month as well, and man is it relaxing!

13. Childcare is SO expensive, wouldn’t it just be cheaper to stay home?

I’m not going to give out our budget and how everything works, but no! We need my income regardless of me staying at home or working! Even if I stayed at home, I would need to bring in at least 75% of my income so we could keep up the lifestyle we love!

14. Well, I guess you’ll only be having one kid, then!

Negative, folks. We want one more, and God-willing he or she will be born sometime in 2018!

15. Don’t you wish you could be at home with her?

Well, yeah! I’m her Mom! But I also wish I could hang out with my husband all day, or take my dogs to the park daily, but hey we don’t always get what we wish for!

I love my job. Teaching is hard but oh-so-fun. And while it is a nice ‘break’ from home life, I miss my daughter dearly, and love receiving pictures throughout the day to get me through to the next. I get donuts on Monday mornings just to cheer me up and make the start of my week a little better. I’m SO thankful for coffee, Jesus, grace, my wonderful husband, and everything in-between.

To all the working Mama’s out there- you got this. To all the SAHM, you’ve got this, too!

Photo copyright Andrea Foster Photography

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available for pre-order now!

Pre-Order Now

Elisabeth Brown

Elisabeth Brown hails from Tennessee but resides just outside of Austin, Texas. She likes to balance work and play, though doesn't mind when that line gets blurred. Her favorite things all live under the same roof where the residents may have two or four legs. Teamwork is the name of the game in her marriage and the kitchen is where she thrives, whether it's making a bottle or cooking for friends. Her heart and home always seems full.

Simple Moments Shape Childhood

In: Kids, Motherhood
Little boy in shallow water of beach

Sometimes it’s the little things that can turn out to be the biggest things. Motherhood has made me appreciate the everyday moments, the simple moments, differently.  Being outdoors with my boys can be simple in theory, but I absolutely love the adventures we take. Whether we are hiking, biking, swimming, exploring, or checking out a new park, this momma knows it is time well spent.  RELATED: I’m Watching You Grow Up in the Little Moments Because whether they realize it or not, these memories being made are the special ones. The ones my boys will carry with them in their...

Keep Reading

I Promise to Show Up for You

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and daughter in garden

My child, I hope you know you can count on this: I will show up for you. I will show up when you wake in the middle of the night, when you get up too early or stay up too late. I will be there to make your meals, read you a story, and tuck you into bed. I will show up when you are sick—taking time off work, bringing you to the doctor, cleaning up your throw-up, and sitting up with you. I will show up at every game, sitting in the stands or a camp chair, freezing or...

Keep Reading

Sometimes Growth Is Tangible, and When It Is You Hold On Tight

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mom putting bike helmet on child

I never expected my sign to come in the form of a plastic bag. As a parent, you’re told over and over how fast it all goes, to cherish these times because they’re gone in a blink. You see the gradual changes in your kids as they move through milestones. One day, they can hold their own spoon. They begin stringing words into sentences. Their ages are counted in years and no longer months. You watch these things happen every day, but I didn’t realize some transitions would come in tangible ways, like a grocery bag filled with wet swim...

Keep Reading

Some Nights They Need You a Little More

In: Kids, Motherhood
Little boy sleeping, color photo

Some nights they need you a little more, mama. Because of the bad dreams or the bogeyman they are adamant is under the bed. Because firefighter daddy’s schedule leaves him missing goodnight tuck-ins and bedtime stories several times a week, sometimes leaving them a little needier and more emotional. Some nights they need you a little more, mama. RELATED: I’ll Lay With You As Long As You Need, My Child Because they are sick. Because they feel safe in your presence. Some nights they need you a little more, mama. It’s not always easy. It’s not always (okay, hardly ever)...

Keep Reading

Sweet Babies, I’ll Be There

In: Kids, Motherhood
Two children lying in bed, color photo

When your world is calm and peaceful, I’ll be there. When your world is chaotic like an ice cream shop on the hottest day of summer, I’ll be there. When you need a Band-Aid applied and a boo-boo kissed, I’ll be there. When you want to perform in your Frozen microphone like you’re performing for a crowd of 20,000 people, I’ll be there. When you feel lost and alone, I’ll be there. When you feel you have nowhere to go, I’ll be there. RELATED: I Will Always Be There When You Need Me, My Son When you need a pep...

Keep Reading

I’m in the Big Little Years

In: Kids, Motherhood
black and white photo of little boy and little girl standing in a window together

I’m in the big little years. It’s when you’re no longer in the tender season of babies and toddlers—those sweet, smothering, exhausting years of being constantly touched and needed . . . . . . but you’re not yet in the big kid years—navigating boyfriends and driver’s licenses and bracing your heart for the impending ache of an empty nest. I’m somewhere in between. I’m in the years of having littles that aren’t so little anymore, but still need you for so much. They have big feelings. Big ideas. Big dreams. But they have mostly little problems (even though they...

Keep Reading

1-Year-Olds Are Wonderful

In: Baby, Kids, Motherhood, Toddler
1 year old baby smiling

Newborns—who doesn’t love them?  The captivating scent of a brand new baby, their fragile little bodies laying so delicately on your chest. Everything that comes with a newborn baby is just absolute magic. But have you ever had a 1-year-old? I used to think the newborn phase was my favorite, nothing could ever be better than having such a tiny helpless little human rely on you for absolutely everything. I could hold my newborn for hours, soaking in every tiny little detail before it became nothing but a beautifully distant memory. But I’ve realized it’s 1-year-olds who have a special...

Keep Reading

My Kids Are All in School Now and It’s a Little Lonely

In: Kids, Motherhood
Woman looking out window alone

I had just dropped my children off at school. All of them. My youngest has just started full-time. It was my first full day on my own since she began, and I had really been looking forward to it, so I took myself into town to do a bit of shopping and grab a coffee. Just me. The kind of days dreams are made of, right? I could suddenly breathe again.  I only had myself to answer to.  I got my latte and something to eat. And then I cried.  My eyes filled with tears as I sat in the...

Keep Reading

I Love You Even When I Say I Don’t

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and daughter touch foreheads

“I love you even when I say I don’t.” These words came out of nowhere from my 5-year-old. I was standing in the bathroom with her (we still don’t like to go potty without mommy standing right there), and she wouldn’t look at me while talking to me. You see, my 5-year-old and I have been in more spouts than ever before. She’s found this new attitude in her first couple months of kindergarten, coming home with new phrases including, “No, I don’t want to–you do it.” It hurts my heart, makes me frustrated, and leaves me asking myself where...

Keep Reading

Big Questions at Bedtime Don’t Require Perfect Answers

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and child at bedtime

Last night at bedtime, my son asked why everyone has to die one day. The thought of my sweet 7-year-old grappling with the weight of such a question hurt my heart. He looked so small tucked under a fleece blanket, clutching his favorite stuffed panda. How could the same little boy who just started second grade wearing a space backpack stuffed with bright, wide-ruled notebooks ask such a thing?  Perhaps my children are more aware of the inevitability of death than other kids their age due to the passing of various family pets over the past few years, or perhaps...

Keep Reading