Gearing Up For Writersblockapalooza 2006
Things I Will Miss, Part 1

Mommy Dichotomy

This morning, I finally got up the nerve to tell Noah's daycare teachers that next Wednesday will be his last day. It was fun. FUN. Tomorrow, I think I'll just have someone lob bricks directly at my chest instead.

They CRIED, people. IN FRONT OF ME. They handed me a camera so I could take their pictures with Noah. They asked if I would bring him back to visit. Then one of them had to leave the room. Then the other one told me how happy she was for me while her voice cracked and shook, and then she went off to sit in a rocking chair with Noah, holding him tightly to her chest while she tried to compose herself.

As I silently restocked Noah's cubby, I heard her whisper, "I love you, I love you."

And just like that very first dark day in December, I made it all the way back to my car before I started crying.


Baby Photos: They're like real-life emoticons for your blog.

I hated the rushing, the hassle, the colds, the room full of infants on amoxicillin and the endless forms for Pedialyte and diaper rash creams, but from the hours of 9:30 am and 6 pm, I knew Noah was safe. And happy. Every morning his face lit up at the sight of his teachers. Every morning he reached out his arms for hugs and kisses. Every morning he would smile and laugh as his teacher held his hand and blew me kisses goodbye on his behalf.

You know, I've gotten nothing but praise and support for my decision. So much praise, in fact, that I've read posts on other blogs about it because DAMN. Guess it's pretty obvious what choice is really seen as the right choice, the best choice, the universally loved and praised and petted choice.

While a lot of readers are genuinely happy for ME, because they know this is the right decision for ME, for RIGHT NOW, there were plenty of comments that bordered on (or flat-out trampled over) the idea that while some women can't stay home, if it is an option, it's the choice you MUST make. The choice you SHOULD make. The subtext is clear: if you can afford to stay home but choose to work anyway, you sir, are worse than Hitler. Which is why, back in January, the trolls chose to hurl that particular accusation at me. You can totally afford to stay home! You just don't want to!

Ooh, snap! Damn these uppity women with their "choices" and "options" and "personal fulfillment."

People -- coworkers, neighbors, family members -- who were totally, "Good for you!" when I went back to work are now sighing with visible relief because thank God I came to my senses and am getting that poor baby out of that awful, awful daycare.

Last week I told his teachers to start giving Noah an afternoon snack of Cheerios, and they clapped their hands in excitement. Cheerios? Noah eats Cheerios? Our big boy! Our big smart boy! When I picked him up that night I got a detailed and joyous description of just how well Noah can pick up a Cheerio and get it into his mouth.  He takes such good naps! He's almost crawling! He offered a toy to a crying baby! He laughs when they sing! He gives the best kisses!


I asked these women to care for Noah. They did. I asked them to love him. They did. They really, really did.

And now I'm asking them to be okay with never seeing him again.


The Guilt, it gets you coming and going some days.



DIAPER RASH? What kind of mother lets her baby get diaper rash?! That's it, I can't fucking read here anymore.


I don't imagine you'll get this far down on the comment list. I was just thinking that maybe the reason people seem so much more supportive of this decision than the one to work away from home is that it is every mother's dream.

Believe me, any reasonable person understands that tug of war between wanting to do everything possible for your children and financial reality, and all of the sacrifices involved.

My heart ached for you when you left Noah at daycare that first day because I understood the dilemma.

But now, you have that happy(er) ending, and I think people are just happy for you, and maybe even enjoying your decision vicariously.

There's gonna be people who criticize this decision too. Ignore them. You've done what's right for YOU and that's all that matters.


Oh my God. SO CUTE. I want to have another baby RIGHT NOW. And Mommy Guilt totally sucks. If it isn't one thing it's another...The Guilt will always find you. It knows where you live. :)


Hee. I heart you, Sadie.


And I heart you, Amy, now that you can finally realize "every mother's dream."



Maybe the guilt would lessen if you left Noah at daycare just a couple of hours once a week... think of all the writing you could accomplish, and all the socializing Noah would gain. Happiness all the way around. But then again, I think the day we give birth, GUILT embeds itself into our brain... nothing changes, where ever you go, you take yourself with you. :0


You really CAN'T afford to stay home, so stop acting like it. You're going to have to make huge sacrifices that will stress you out even MORE than when you were dropping your kid off at daycare. Tell the truth: you got fired and now you are pretending to freelance when all the while you're shitting yourself because you can't live off of one salary.
Good luck.


Screw you, Noneya. You must be mighty miserable to write something like that. I hope you do not have any children because, as I stated above, they will probably turn out unhappy, having to be around the likes of you.

Amy may succeed wonderfully. And we should all wish her well. Unless, as I said, we are unhappy ourselves. Unhappy people do love company.


Is it wrong that so many of your posts make me want to cry, then run and hug my mom?

I think you've made the right decision.


um...Noneya? Psycho much?


You know, I am excited for you for taking the leap to write for yourself instead of for others, and I saw working from home as a huge fringe benefit, not the Reason You Must Do It. My babies are on four legs and I'd love to be a WAHM-writer. I agree with another commenter - if they take drop-ins from their "alumni," you might find it helpful to leave Noah with those lovely teachers a few hours a week so you have some quiet working time. And that picture is exquisite.


I felt the same way this past January. My daughter had been going to the same day care since she was 2.5, but at 4, she needed to switch day cares -- essentially to make my life easier, but also so she could get the speech therapy that she NEEDS. I cried, her teacher cried, the director of the center cried. I was pulled both ways, because that is what I wanted: a center that would care enough about my Katie Bug so that they would be upset when she no longer went there...


Good Gawd, Amalah gets all the Crazies...*looks pointedly at Noneya*

Noneya, I warn you, Amalah lovers can be viciously protective. You just stepped into a big ol' minefield. Better run away while you still can...


What a great job you have done to make Noah such a wonderful kid that the daycare takes such pride in him. We moved our daughter out of her first daycare with much the same reaction. We take her to "visit" her first "teachers" every so often and even have had them babysit every once in awhile. Good luck.


Kick that guilt to the curb, you know it's going to feel so much better to watch him pick up a Cheerio than hear a report about it.


Up here in Minnesota we have a word for big reactions:

UFDAH! better duck and run for cover because unless you have a big old are going to find yourself in the middle of a major shit storm.

Amalah Darling?
When I posted CONGRATULATIONS about your career choice, it was my way of saying...Good for YOU!! It's not about being a SAHM or a working mom or the pros and cons of day care...or any of that stuff. It's person having the freedom to chose a life path that is unexpected and hopefully rich with rewards....

As a 44 year old professional..with NO kids...I can look at you and say...KNOCK YOUR SOCKS OFF...have the time of your life. Tie a knot and hang on. There are NO do-overs. This is it. Make the absolute most of whatever you choose to do it...just make sure you enjoy the ride.

More power to you. And poo poo on the jealous
nay sayers who are unhappy looking at puppies and fluffy clouds.



I think you're name really isn't amalah and that little boy you're always taking pictures of isn't really yours, but the kid next door that you sometimes babysit and you're just using him to try to be famous on the internet and that you never really had a job because you are really a 12 year old with acne who just started her period last week and is all ceraazy inside because you want a BEEFLOG and can't drive to THE BEEFLOG STORE to get one because you are only 12 and can't drive and you can't ask your parents because you're on restriction for racking up their phone bill with all of your calls to 1-900-INVENTOROFWEINERS


Wacky Mommy

OK I'm filled with love and joy today and am staying the fuck out of the Mommy Wars because, being a blessed and "Oh. My. God. You get to stay at home! Lucky!" mom, I "got" to go on a field trip with my first grader. This meant I had the joy of watching the lil ones discover the world around them. ie -- point out piles of dog crap, dare each other to lick things (the bus shelter, the sidewalk, a lump of crud), and then one pulled and bit on his finger to make it bleed. Then another one (at recess, later) started crying and couldn't stop. So staying at home is a joy -- and a nightmare. Work is a vacation -- and total sheer hell. Either way, a job is a frickin' job, and you're working, either at home or out. Only love here, okay? I'm trying. No snarkyness. Unless it's a new... Snarkywood???


Haven't read the other comments, so forgive me for repeating if I am, but is there any chance you can drop Noah off there every once in awhile, like if you need to meet a free-lance deadline or get things done around the house? That way, they'd still get to hang out with him, and it would give you a chance to catch up on your stuff, even if that stuff is a little "me time." My one sister and a couple friends do that, and it works out nicely.


Sweet Amy,

I worked during the summer as a daycare assistant with infants and I was amazed at how much I grew to love them, and how much I appreciated the mommies and daddies who understood the bond I had with their children, despite the fact that they weren't mine. Your words honor this beautiful bond. Thank you for writing them and reminding me of the days I spent in room 15 with my eight wonderbabies.


1. Mad's first daycare was ok, but not great. After two months, we got into the "good" daycare. I was so guilty that I lied and told them that my sister was going to stay home with the baby.

2. Then I had to break up with the "good" daycare to get her into a "great" preschool. That was hard, too. But fortunately one of the caregivers really sucked and had pissed me off for some boring reason, not worth going into here, and the director understood my decision. It still made it hard.

3. Be prepared for this; when you take them back for a visit, as we did with the "good" daycare, they didn't seem very interested in the that I mean they said "oh how nice ot see you" and then turned back to their work, and the girls had totally forgotten them.


Sweet Amy,

I worked during the summer as a daycare assistant with infants and I was amazed at how much I grew to love them, and how much I appreciated the mommies and daddies who understood the bond I had with their children, despite the fact that they weren't mine. Your words honor this beautiful bond. Thank you for writing them and reminding me of the days I spent in room 15 with my eight wonderbabies.


And Y? You freakin' kill me. ;)


Well, it does sound sad. These women love Noah, no doubt, how could they not but they have to understand and i'm sure they do that as daycare providers, children are gonna come and go. He's your baby and i'm so happy that youve found yourself in a situation that you can be his allday mommie again. Yeah!! That last little picture was almost too much for my ovaries to handle.


But he's yours! And if you can AND you want to, you can have him all to yourself and dispense his cuteness at your leisure. Enjoy your little man. He really will only be little for not so long.


Wow that made me bawl. Maybe because I am 8 months pregnant, but mostly because I wish the woman watching my two year old loved him that much.

Just Linda

Hi, Amy. I'm HITLER. Nice to meet you. Blah. I'm tired of the mommy wars (and I posted so much last week! double BLAH).

I'm happy for you getting to pursue your dream - the secret one you can't talk about yet but the one I imagine to be huge and glamorous and wonderful. 'Cause we all want to do that.

I did post about you quitting because WOW - I want to follow you. But I still maintain there is no right answer that is applied universally. While some of those icky judgmental women might think it would be 'right' for me to quit, the truth is it would impact my college daughters ability to continue to focus on her education like she does (Dean's List and smart and awfully beautiful too - I don't need her flipping burgers now, I need her to finish her schooling! And *I'M* working ot pay for it! So there!)

Anyway, follow your heart... unless it is ALWAYS leading you to Coldstone Creamery and in that case, maybe ignore it 'cause who can afford all those ice-creamalicious calories???


Actually 98% of these comments are posted by "amalah" under different names to make herself look good. Gah! How low can you sink? I'm glad Y had the guts to expose what is really going on here.


I just read the entry where you said you quit - awww, that was so touching. I love how you said that Noah makes you achieve more - I should show that to my boyfriend who seems to think life ends when you have a kid. Gah.

I love your writing so much...I'm so excited to hear you'll be doing it full time! :)


sometime amalah, i just come back to read the comments... BEEFLOG!


Thanks for reminding folks that moms who work aren't cold-hearted villains. Your remarks about daycare really resonated with me. That's exactly how I feel about the wonderful women and man (!)who take care of my boys while I am at work.


That is the best daycare story I've ever heard. It's so reassuring to hear that.
Good luck on your new venture!


Y is sick.

Y is twisted.

I heart Y.

reluctant housewife

Wow! Those sound like some spectacular day care providers. I can see why it's hard to leave them, but you know, maybe you won't have to. I have babysitters come in twice a week - and some of my SAHM mom friends have their babies go to "school" (daycare) twice a week. It works for us. All mothers need help, whether they work outside the home or not.

jenny lee

i read that and started tearing up. really. i've been a day care provider for 8 years. the past 2 1/2 years of my life i've been a nanny to 2 of the most wonderful kids! friday was my last day there ...and like you...i waited until i got to my car to start crying. i lost it. i held my own while i was there...but in my car....bawled.
it's amazing the love you can feel for someone else's kids. you KNOW they are someone else's kids, but you protect them and love them and nurture them and help them grow...just like they are your own. i'm tearing up again just writing this. it's hard to give your full heart to kids sometimes because, in the end, you know they are going to leave....but you love them and accept them unconditionally, because that's what they do to you.


Congratulations on making the right decision for you and your family. Because at the end of the day that is all you need to worry about : )

Mama C-ta

That's awesome you were able to find such a great daycare that truely cared for Noah. There are many moms who stay home "because that's what we should do" that are miserable. I know a miserable mom who mopes around can't provide as much for a baby than someone who is caring for them day after day because they WANT to. So anyone who says you should stay home if you can afford to can fluff off.

I hope you come to peace with all of your decisions just as Noah is but with parenting, you are damned if you do and damned if you don't. Love the naked bum. I want to pinch it!


The way you write about motherhood? You make me know that it is real and that it is wonderful and that sometimes it hurts. Your writing is full of truth and for that, I thank you.
I feel I'm going to be better prepared for when I am finally able to have a baby because of people like you who write so eloquently and honestly about your experiences.
I'm sorry things are painful as they shake themselves out. Hug Noah a little tighter and think about next Monday when you will be home with him instead of at work.


Oh, you captured that awful feeling so, so, well.

We had a wonderful, loving, home daycare provider. My older child flourished under her care, my younger was doing so well -- when, due to very unforseen events, she had to close suddenly.

It was so awful to have that relationship suddenly ended. My toddler asked every day, "I go (sitters)? today? Where (sitter?)??"

The people we choose to help care for our kids become so important, yet that bond is so rarely acknowledged. You've done that so wonderfully (and sadly) here. Thank you.


Heh. After months of getting called a selfish rich bitch it's actually kind of refreshing to be called a lying poor person. Or...something.

Sigh. It's hard to snark when the trolls can't even be bothered to make a blessed lick of sense.

And Y thinks she invented beeflogs.


Where else but on
-baby tushy
-"I'm HITLER. Nice to meet you. Blah."
-dozens of crying adults

You know a winning combination, girl. Despite the road you're taking, you're going in the right direction! (anything with inventor of weiners is a good jump start - I heart Y)


I'm so happy for you guys...but I do know exactly what you're going through with saying goodbye to his teachers too. I worked in a BIG daycare for 10 years, and then quit because they took my free daycare away from me, and I would have been paying a full paycheck to daycare, when my son was IN MY CLASS. Essentially paying for me to take care of my own kid! Anyway, even with all of the bad blood between me and my boss and some of my co-workers (they were mad because I took 4 kids with me and started my own daycare at home) I STILL cried when we left. It's hard to leave people who have taken such good care of your child, because they are like part of the family. Good luck to you and hugs to Noah and his teachers too.


I love his little tummy!


We moved when my son was 6 months old and his daycare provider (JuJu) bawled like a baby when I told her we were leaving. He was in a class with 5 others and I swear that woman loved each of them like her own.

I am so happy for you that you have the chance to be home and spend more time with Noah, they just grow up too fast.... I wish so much that I could have more time with my little guy, but, as a single mom, it's just not an option. But he's happy at daycare. He LOVES his teachers and his classmates and I know he is safe and happy.... There is no right answer or perfect situation for all of us. Don't feel bad that you have a chance to do what many of us would like to, be happy that you've been given the chance. And enjoy every moment with the little guy.

Miss S

Darling Amy-
Your posting really touched me. Guilt is a nasty motherfucker that just ... sucks. Right decision, wrong decision, whatever. So many things in life come with this double-edged sword. Enjoy the brighter moments when they come along ... and by the looks of Noah, you probably have a lot of them coming your way!


aww that lump, that damn lump was in my throat reading this whole entry! Noah is a lucky lucky little man to have all that love.

(((hugs))) for you.


Oh my God Sadie. You completely misunderstood my intentions, and apparently missed my first sentence about it being so great that the teachers love him so much. If you're happy working, and your kid is happy, than great! All I was saying is that I'm happy with my decision; and I wish Amalah the same happiness with the decision she made. Geez. And if knowing and/or saying that no one loves a child like his/her mother is offensive, well it shouldn't be because that's not opinion for most people, but a fact and has NOTHING to do with staying at home or day care. I didn't intend it to be a MommyWar provoking statement. I could care less what other people do.

Whew, breathe. I'm done now. Except for "Y". Why can't "haters" ever put together a single thought that makes an inkling of sense? But to continue on her path for some fun. . . Jason must be made up too, along with his blog. It's probaby actually written by the person who calls herself "amalah" or something. . . that is one talented 12 year old!


This is the best possible ad for daycare I've ever heard. It's also the best possible ad for being a stay at home mom I've ever heard. You love him enough that this hurts you.

He will always have people who love him--he is lovable. But you will always love him best and most of all.


Now I feel bad, I wasn't congratulating you on the "Right Choice". I was saying good luck for what I felt you wanted to do. I never wanted to go back to work and I got the feeling you didn't either. I should have said Congrats on figuring out a way to do what you really wanted. Life is hard, and it is never fair. Noah is beautiful and I don't blame you for wanting to be at home with him. I am just happy you can do that. I love your posts and read as often as I can. I agree with everyone, We want you to be happy!

Mrs X

It just shows that Noah was well cared for and loved in his daycare. How could anyone ask for more than that?
The world would be a whole lot nicer of a place to live if everyone would stop worrying about what everyone else was doing and worry about themselves instead.


Uh, okay, commenter drama aside, I just wanted to share something I've learned as a recovering Catholic (guilt comes with the territory).

My first therapist (I've had six) used to say that guilt was a difficult emotion to grapple with because it's a passive emotion. It kind of bogs you down with its cyclical nature, and a lot of the time, people describe feelings of "guilt" when in actuality they're feeling sad or angry.

It's a useful distinction to make, (quoth she), because sadness and anger are active emotions that you can deal with more directly- have a good cry, talk it out, take a kickboxing class, cut the crotch out of your ex-boyfriend's boxers, make a memory book or email photos of Noah once a week to his primary caregiver. You know, whatever.

Clarifying the underlying emotions that might be fueling the feelings of "guilt" kind of takes the oompf out of it. At least for me anyway.

You know, I definitely had a "village" who raised me. My mom's best friend is like another mother to me, but I also had a lot of strong women role models who came and went with the natural flow of life- teachers, mostly, and a mentor/microbiologist who oversaw my Junior High Grand Champion Science Fair Project- all of whom my mom was grateful to for helping me learn and grow.

You love Noah because he's yours. The women at daycare love him because they made him theirs. You can all be sad and work with the sadness.

Guilt schmuilt. Life is too short.

QUICK ASIDE TO Y: That's the second time this month that one of your comments on other people's blogs have cracked me up (though I do enjoy Joy Unexpected, too). The story you posted on Dooce about your dad yelling at Mormons had me laughing so hard I couldn't breathe. :)

Blog Antagonist

Hi there, never been here before, came here from a comment on another blog. I made a somewhat incoherent post on the Mommy Wars myself today. They suck. I'm a stay at Home Mom, and of course, that means I am a much better/more devoted/unselfish parent than you ((rolling eyes)).

I don't even know what to say except screw those people who are criticizing you and may they be blessed with a houseful of spirited children.

I found your post very moving and representative of the internal struggles all of us face, and that's not a SAHM thing or a WOHM thing, that's a mother thing.

Good luck with staying home. If you're happy and he's happy, you did the right thing.


Wow. People can really get this weird and possessive and strident and VOCAL over whether or not a mom stays home? Huh. Who knew?

>>scratches "have kid" off to do list<<

Vaguely Urban

The mommy dichotomy is just the old freedom/responsibility tradeoff in new clothing. Women used to not be able to choose between home and work; now, when we can, it feels like there's no right choice.

That makes it even more wonderful that you've found a situation that makes your family happy.


I've chewed on this all day, and felt compelled to comment. Unlike the majority of people who have commented here... this post did not make me cry.

In fact, as a mother of two who chooses to work, I was really hurt by the part of your post that reads:

"You know, I've gotten nothing but praise and support for my decision. So much praise, in fact, that I've read posts on other blogs about it because DAMN. Guess it's pretty obvious what choice is really seen as the right choice, the best choice, the universally loved and praised and petted choice...

Damn these uppity women with their "choices" and "options" and "personal fulfillment.""

I try to remind myself that this is your blog, and thus all about you. But assuming that every Mother really wants to stay home with their kids, and that society secretly wishes for it and applauds it is rather naive, especially for a first time Mother of a 6 month old.

Or maybe I'm reading you wrong. Still, this is your choice, and I wish you best.


wow.. it's been rough week.

The problem with people who say "It's your choice" usually mean "it's your choice if you think what I think and believe what I believe." Here's the thing.. what's right for me is not necessarily right for you or for anyone else.
I'm a nanny and I love my job, but I know that if I have my own children, I want to be the one looking after them, I don't want to leave them with someone else. That may or may not work out for me, but time will tell. There are others (like the people for whom I work) who'd rather go back to work, or have to for financial reasons.
In closing, 'tis truly said, 'If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy'

the kim half of glamorouse

I'm so bored with women beating other women up about the choices they make. But then, I'm just tired, period.
Amalah - all the power to you.
Y - I think you rock
Can we all move on now?


It was right for you then, and this is right for you now. I grew up watching my parents try to balance work, school, and me. In the end, I think the most important thing to your child is to realize you care-- if that is caring by working or caring by staying home or caring by doing either all of the above or none of the above!!

But none of us are omnipotent or omniscient, and none of us can say what will be the best or could have been.

Good job on picking a good daycare. Of course they love Noah. but in the end he is your child, and they can let him go, even if it hurts for a while. You cannot. ever. let. him. go.

He will always be yours and always be with you, no matter what happens to you or him. You are his mother.

I wish you the best of luck. And I say you sit Noah down and tell him what my husband told me: No one can go back and make a happy beginning, but we can start now and try to make a happy ending. Life is an adventure. Please take this road with me for as long as you can.

So in the past you may have had your agon izing moments.. and sure you will never forget them.. but you can start now and just work on this new chapter of your family's story.


That made me cry into my yummy chocolate cupcake.


Sweetheart, I can't say it any better than the other 150 or so commenters who support you. Just remember to send the daycare ladies pics, and never forget how poignant this experience was. It should be proof to you that you make good decisions, even when they are hard ones! I'm rooting for you! Hug the precious boy, and forge ahead.


Kelly, I think you missed some sarcasm there. :-)


Are you trying to get me fired for crying at work, Amalah? Because it is working.
Also, have you considered cloning Noah? Because one Noah is cute, but two Noahs could rule the world with the power of their paralyzing adorableness.


The turtle, he is cute; how could they not love him? I'm glad to hear about these women at daycare though. So often you hear horror stories about mistreated children and neglectful staff. As much as it sucks, at least you're dealing with a bunch of women genuinely missing the little guy, rather than just nodding and dismissing you.

Of course, you staying at home means more pictures, you know this, right?

Stay strong, Amy. Noah has a family that loves him more than anything else in the world.

Everyone can, quite frankly, suck it.


Funny, I didn't even see it coming. I was impressed with your decision to leave your job because you were making a leap so that you could do something that you really wanted to do. What you wanted to do could have been working from home just to be working independently on something you really wanted to work on. I didn't even see the WAHM vs. daycare thing coming. I guess since I don't have kids yet it's just not my focus. Anyway, your decision still inspires me to hopefully be able to make the leap and do what I really want to do in life (career wise). Good luck.


Thanks for making me laugh, cry and smile everytime I read you. I adore you for it no matter what your decisions in life are. Like. Seriously, you could kill a dog tomorrow and I'd still keep reading. I call that dedication.


It is NOT okay to have me cry at my desk at work before 10. Maybe after noon, but totally not before 10.

Moreover, assvice is for suckers. Suckers who need to keep their assvice to themselves.


Some tough love for you, Amalah.

You are a smart woman, maybe you can't find the right place in your head part says stay home, the other says you have a right not to in any circumstance, another says I should feel guilty, while another says don't you even try to make me feel guilty, you judgemental snobs!

We, as Moms, have all been there in some way. You just have to learn in life that for every decision you make, there will be someone willing to lay down their life to preach about how bad that decision truly is...people can be whcaked that way.

My assvice would be, do what feels right for you in this moment, realize that it can and will change often and that as a mom you will second guess everything you do. Closed minded,one way thinkers are not worth your anger or your time. Don't let 'em get to ya!


Thank you. Again. Have I told you lately that I love you?

Donna P

Amy, you have got to stop making us cry.


Now, go update Snarkywood.


As a working mom of a six month old, I just wanted to say thank you for writing this post...if it says anything about all the mixed up emotions new moms get caught up in, I feel somewhat at peace with 'my choice' (though, financially, not so much a choice) but at the same time I am incredibly jealous of you getting to be a WAHM. Bah! ANYway, from one amalah to another (also an amy--my jewish roomate in college called me amalah all the time), best wishes! :)


I can totally identify with the women who are saying goodbye to Noah. I worked in a daycare for almost two years over ten years ago. I *still* dream about the kids sometimes! I keep an eye out for familiar-looking parents whenever I'm in the town where the daycare was - I'd never recognize the kids, who were three and four last I saw them! I still squee and gush over the pictures I took of them and tell the story of coming back to work after a five-day vacation to be tackled by a group of three-year-olds shouting "Miss Teri!"

Maybe it's because I've never had kids of my own. I have other children in my life that I adore, but I will always think of those kids I cared for as "my" kids and hope they are well and happy.


wow, you got noah to sit still long enough to take a picture? what the hell is your secret. i am so miserabley tired from chasing my little man around, and he's not even crawling yet, just scooting.

and also thank you for sharing your new mommyhood experiences. to someone who had no friends with children at the time of birth of my own, it's nice to read that somebody else is going through the same kind of emotional roller coaster. not that i'm happy that you're on it, but i'm sure you understand what i mean.

also, i've been a sahm since about two months before the birth of my son, and while we can (just barely) afford it, i constantly fantasize about leaving my prison cell and becoming part of the working world once again -- does this make me a bad person?


"Now, go update Snarkywood."



Kelly - Whoa, yes, I was totally going for a different point entirely there. It was dripping in sarcasm.

I actually wrote that part on behalf of mothers who choose to work, because I've read some blogs and comments by working mothers expressing a little hurt about just how much support I'm getting ("Staying home is the best! thing! you will ever do! The best! choice!"), because honestly -- where's their cheering section?

I went back to work mostly because I had to, partly because I wanted to. Judging from the trolls and hatemail, it was sort of okay that I HAD to (although they thought I was lying), but it was NOT OKAY that I wanted to. Which is total fucking horseshit.

So yes, it seems that the nasty people view mothers who CHOOSE to work, for whatever reason in the world, as the lowest on the good mommy totem pole. And that's definitely not okay with me.

I appreciate every damn email and comment I've gotten, and I'm probably overanalyzing the small handful that saw my decision to quit as "correcting a mistake" (as Kate put it so well way up there).

I wish every mother knew her decisions were the right ones and never had to defend herself. I wish every mother got the support and praise she needed. Which is why I'm still talking (and talking and talking) about this.


damn, i've been out of the loop, and didn't know the latest news. good for you! your post made me bawl... you're such a great writer. the guilt will lessen eventually. playing and having fun with your cutie-pie everyday will make you forget all about it. oh, and if you ever need a playdate i don't live far from you. :)


This is your mommy time that you will never get back. I am happy for you and Noah. His teachers will miss him but he can come by to visit and make their day. :)

kerri anne

That does indeed sound like one rad daycare, and you are surely one rad momma. Hang in there babe. :)


Oh! That is so sweet. He was smothered in love there!

I take my daughter to MDO once a week to an elderly lady who also smothers her in love. We feel so blessd to have "Nannie" in our lives.


Guilt schmilt ... you do what's right for you and the babalah.

Lisa L.

Our family has gone through many incarnations of SAHM, WAHM, student mom, WOHM and the kids have been in daycare, preschool, at home, with a sitter, with a live-in au pair, and it's all worked out fine. My kids are 6, 8 and 10 and who knows how many more changes are ahead? At this point it's more likely to be before and after care at school. Maybe a college student for afterschool? Who knows. I am confident that I can make the right choices for MY family and I am confident that YOU can make the right choices for YOUR family.

Lisa L.


Amy, thanks for posting this. It's a shame we feel the need to defend our positions and decisions, no matter what they are. Also -- one truism of parenthood is nothing is forever, everything is a phase. For your kid(s) and for you. WAHM now, WOHM later, who knows. It's a grand cycle. So very nice that we have choices.


I just cried a little bit when I read that post. I can so relate. I have two in daycare now and everytime I think of pulling them out because it would be cheaper to have a babysitter at home, my heart breaks because I know how much they love it. And how much they are loved. Luckily they adjust much easier than we do.


This mommy thing is tough! No matter what you can't please everyone. That Noah has charmed the pants off of not only his daycare providers, but the internet as well. I don't know how you expect to get anything done with all that cuteness hanging around.:)


Huzzah to you and your comment about women having choices. I have a kiddo a week younger than yours. My husband is a stay at home dad, and I often get the subtle and not so subtle message that, "that's just weird." Well, if a woman having a career and liking it and a man who genuinely wants to care for his child full time is weird, it's my kind of weird. Bring it. I really do wish more of the activities for kids were set up for working moms. Like swim classes schedule in evening or weekend times. That would rock.

marian Lansky

First time commenter. That last photo of Noah was absolutely exquisite. You really captured something there. Anyway, enjoyed your post. Good luck with your decision. I haven't read enough to have any opinion, but boy oh boy you had some damn good daycare providers. I wish they were all like that!


How do you get plastic toy key shards out of the dog?


I'm happy for you always - no matter what choice you make because only YOU know what's appropriate for your family and situations do change.

The last picture of Noah is simply stunning - truly the most beautiful one you've posted of him.


Others may of already said so (forgive me for not reading all MILLION comments :P) but you may find that 2 or 3 hours a couple mornings a week is nice for both of you for him to go to daycare. You will be able to catch up and focus on deadlines, and he will get the social interaction he obviously loves. And.. um.. the teachers won't cry, which is a bonus.

Lizzie P

You can always go back and visit every now and then. That's all I got.


Amy - thank you for replying to me as reassuring me of your sarcasm. Like I said, I really thought and hesitated about whether or not to comment ... I re-read the post more than once to make sure I wasn't reading into things, but my feelings of hurt were so impossible to ignore I felt it best to risk it and say something.

In reading your reply, I think you pinpoint the cause of my hurt by saying "because I've read some blogs and comments by working mothers expressing a little hurt about just how much support I'm getting" That must be where the feeling comes from. Thanks for clarifying that - I usually am very sarcastic myself, but something just bothered me all day yesterday about this post.

I do wish you the best, and do enjoy reading you. And I so very much appreciate your response.


This is the first time I've ever read the comments and had to comment myself, because, please.

Your decision isn't bad or good or right or wrong, it is what it is. It's what you and your husband struggled over and decided to do. Maybe your decision will work out perfectly, maybe it won't, who knows? But the important thing is that (as a loyal and long time reader) I know you're a thoughtful, loving mother and wife, so any decision you make is the "right" one for you and your fmaily. Any decision sincerely made out of love and respect for your child can't be wrong.

Selfishly, I wish you'd kept working because in about a year I'll likely be in that position - a new mom, working full-time, with a newborn in day care. I wanted to keep reading your stories because they were like a glimpse into my future. Then again, you're making me realize the future's not always so predictable!

Real Girl

Noalah sounds like one special, sweet-hearted little fella. Congrats on being able to leave your job, yes, but more on having such a great little guy to be around.

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