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Because I Needed Both Hands to Type & Was Tired of Picking Up the Damn Plastic Keys

Because I needed both hands to type and was sick and tired of picking up those stupid plastic keys

First and foremost, Internet People, I really owe you an apology. The stuff I've been posting the past week has been shameful. Horrible. It's the kind of stuff I get tempted to sneakily delete from the archives after a couple months go by and I think no one is looking. It's the kind of stuff that makes me deeply embarrassed by the number of comments I get, because eeesh. There is hella better stuff out there.

I had all these grand plans for once I became a real-live "writer" (or writeur, to be said in a snooty accent while pinching a monocle), and instead I've been like, "Durrrrr...Flickr?"

The truth is I'm having some trouble adjusting to this new life.

Which: duh. You just can't go from merrily trotting off to work, to a career, to a place that was like a familar little groove in your sofa, year after year, to suddenly trying to get just as much work done at home where there is no accountability other than NOT GETTING PAID, while trying to keep a suddenly ridiculously mobile and demanding child (a child! a child who ate my baby!) entertained and non-injured, without having a few moments of OH MY GOD, I CANNOT DO THIS. REWIND. REWIND.

But I've been hesistant to tell you this, because I can already FEEL the force of the big collective eyeroll. Good Christ, doesn't she ever stop complaining?

And I don't want to complain. Because I am grateful.  Because I am happy.

I guess I just need a little more time to get used to being this happy.



Transitions are just freaking difficult. Also, the more complaining you do, the more normal I feel about the complaining I do, and there is a LOT of it being done these days.


That adjustment thing has to happen with each new stage your baby gets to: rolling, sitting, crawling, walking. . . It's endless and exhausting. And that's just from the kid, not the job! You'll adjust. Just give yourself some time to get in some kind of routine. And, just when you do. . . he'll change it all up for you. It keeps things fresh.


Hey Amalah-
delurking...Take your time, you have had a pretty big change here. Just give yourself time.


You are funny even when you complain so never say you are sorry. I am sure it will take a while to ajust, changes take time to sink it. Jesus they changed the items in my office vending machine last week and I am still ajusting. Congrats again on your new found juggling act, not all of us could do it! And thank you for being public about Noah's love for your toes, I thought my child was the only one with a foot fetish!


Okay, first of all, HAH! to the jar of prunes and the poor purse dog. there is your punishment for being able to stay home...i mean, really. How much dont you love your dog right now? Secondly, careful that adorable small mobile object doesnt decide to bite your toes like he did your nose, your knee-jerk reaction would be to kick poor bebe upside the head. Third, relax. We are all prepared to watch as you settle in and take it easy with the ridicule until you are a seasoned professional with this WAHM business.

It's ALL good. Cheers!


Oh, and uhm...let's pretend that my comment was all properly punctuated and such, shall we??


Don't worry,,,you'll get adjusted. Soon, Noah will be able to keep himself amused, coloring, playing playdoh (I have a awesome recipe,,btw,,if you need it i'll hook yah up!), cars,,blocks, sandboxes etc..One step at a time!


As someone whose only job is to keep her 9 month old entertained and non-injured, I have loads of respect for you for working at home. I can barely keep my child happy and content long enough to check my email so I have no idea how you get any work done. I hope it gets easier on you. And the foot picture is adorable.


So you're saying you found a suitable new set of 99 cent plastic keys?


Hang in there. It gets way harder.
Oh. Whoops, not that encouraging, huh?
As my mom says, "Life only gets harder. Better and harder."


OMG, I can't wait to go to work and call the next small dog I see "your average pursedog." Only maybe not in front of the owner. But all the rest of the staff would find it funny.


Mmmm...toes. Favored delicacy of babies and puppies.


Mmmm.... tasty, tasty toes....


People assume that those of us who work at home with our babies here and NO ONE ELSE WATCHING THEM must just have it easy, easy, easy. You can play with your baby all day. You can work whenever you want. You can even throw some laundry in just to keep up.


It's more like, you MUST play with your baby all day long because if not, said child who is really happy and well-adjusted around every other human being suddenly becomes this needy pile of drool who will not let you accomplish anything. And your work? People who are expecting the work product you are supposed to be sending them will call and calmly say, "oh, did I forget to tell you the deadline has been moved up by 2 wks, making it due tomorrow? That's not a problem, right? I mean, you can work when the baby takes a nap." is the best of times (baby), it is the worst of times (work). But people should just be thankful that a bunch of us WAHMs don't start whipping out the Uzis and takin some vengeance for the stupid remarks.

Not that I have a strong feeling about this one way or the other. Just trying to feel your pain. (again? HA!)


The child isn't so bad - just really keep your eyes peeled for that teenager that will show up in a few years (trust me it happens faster than you think). That teenager will eat your child and the teenager has pms. GAH!


In order to supplement her income, Amalah has drafted the adorable Noah to pose for her latest freelance gig: The US Health Department's brochure on Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease.


I want to be one of those judge-y posters and be all "OMG, you're feeding him toes?!?" But I just can't do it - he's too cute!


Don't worry, Amalah. Take your time. As evidenced by your stats, we'll be here. :)


Complain all you want! You can! And any change takes adjustment and staying home with Noah is a full time job inself. It makes sense that you are still working on the kinks on fitting in your writting! Enjoy your happiness- take your time! We will still be here and happy with ya! Hugs!


Changes -- any changes -- take some adjustment. Give it time, pretty soon you'll have a new routine. And until then, we'll read posts about Flickr and it'll all be cool.


OMG, totally huge change. Just try not to stress out too much. And be lucky that it's not the dog who's going through the change because he'd likely chew your shoes and also barf all over the house. (Totally speaking from experience here...Sophie and I just moved to Takoma Park, and holy hell, the barf!)


Woo hoo its a whine fest!

I love these. Its been a sucky day here too.

Here's to you *clink* and hoping it all gets better


You're doing fine, don't be so hard on yourself. You've undergone a major life-change, and that always takes an adjustment period.

I don't come here for the content of your writing as much as I do for your personality. You could write about lint, and I would still read it.

Geez, those few little critics we sometimes get can really make you paranoid, huh?

You're great, just as you are. Really.


Please! I still read the "little stuff." None of it's boring to me--it's all amusing. When all else fails--BABY PICTURES!!!!!!


You don't have to apologize about anything! You're funny and cute even while complaining, which, you're really not complaining all that much. This has been a big change for you and it will take some time to get used to.

I'm impressed you still find time to paint your toenails.


dude, what's it been, four days? five? cut yourself a little slack; I don't imagine that when you started that office job all those years ago, you had it all under control in four days. And they didn't make you simultaneously edit financial stuff while serving as a human teething ring, now did they? DID THEY?!

Linda B

You probably just got used to working fulltime in an office setting and now you're back at home. It'll take time. It's like the first week or so when you are home with a newborn and you just look at him/her and think to yourself "Now what the hell do I do"


You WILL get office envy.

The best job advice I ever got was this: Whenever you start a new job (and what you're doing IS a new job), there will be a day early on when you will be convinced that you made the worst mistake of your life. Ride it out; you'll probably be wrong.

Enough with the performance anxiety! We're easy!

Heather B.

You know why I love you? (Well other than the obvious)Because you make even the mundane sound spectacular and I doubt that anyone is going anywhere. I know for a fact that it's hard to write when happy because it's overwhelming and I am usually too damn excited to write a coherent sentence.
So take your time and enjoy it.

Vaguely Urban

Looks like you're making some great strides in multitasking already. Next, just train your toes to pick up the plastic keys.

p.s. I don't think you sound whiney.


You will so figure it out eventually. I think an adjustment period is totally normal when you go through such a big change.

Real Girl

Can Ceiba babysit while you write? And then Max can babysit Ceiba? Put the animals to work for their suppers!


We like you because you're honest (mostly? I'm guessing?).

I would be surprised if it DIDN'T take you a while to adjust.


You'll never have to worry about locking THOSE keys in your car at daycare! You'd notice IMMEDIATLEY if you did.


There are times when I think it would be totally awesome to have hundreds and thousands of people reading my site, and then there are times when I read a post like yours where your kind of afraid to say what's on your mind for fear of the judgment and then I think, wow, I think I'm good with the 50 or so nice people that stop by on a daily basis, ha!

I know you're not crying for sympathy or anything, but I think it's pretty incredible of you to keep putting yourself out here even with all the trolls and the "eyerolling" that you have to put up with. I think you're doing just fine, and I enjoy reading whatever it is you write. Sometimes it's not necessarily what you're writing so much as how entertaining your style is. Good luck with the transition--it's always hard dealing with change.


Bah. Whining, shmining... Everything you're feeling is so perfectly normal it isn't even funny. Honestly... how can anyone expect you to go from one lifestyle which you had (and even enjoyed, at times) for years on end to another (very demanding and tiring yet totally rewarding) job without even a hitch?

I guess what I'm saying is, don't feel bad. It's going to be rough. You're allowed to want to "rewind". :) Blogs make great outlets for venting, don't they? ;)


I get it, I totally get it. NO apologies. No guilt. We're all in this together. Now I'm beginning to see what I'm in for. Deep breath.

Anyway, it looks to me like Noah's getting a toe fetish, lucky for you.

anne nahm

The real pittfall of being a SAHM or WAHM is people secretly think you are sitting on your thumb all day, eating bon-bons and watching soap operas.

The other real pitifall of being a SAHM/WAHM is that 6 hours of your day are totally free while the kid is sleeping or eating or playing quietly.

Only those 6 hours? Are broken up into 3 minute segments and never during the same part of the day two times in a row. It's hella hard to string together a coherent thought for an entertaining blog.

But if you have already figured out the Great Toe Secret, well then you are far ahead of the curve.

And OMG, I spent like two minutes wondering how you had such bizzarely short fingers.


Sweetie, I just do the ensuring-the-kid-stays-un-bruised-and-un-injured thing minus the work thing, and I complain ten times more than you.

And, I'm justified. So, you're, like, doubly justified.


My work at home mom used to take me to day care 2 days a week. She says it was to let me socialize with other kiddos, but I know it was because I was driving her crazy and keeping her form work.

Maybe something to consider, especially since they love him so there.


If poor Noah ever runs for office he may regret the "toe sucking incident in 2006" when the press gets hold of that picture (cough Dick Morris cough).

As an initinal SAHM then WAHM then full time student/full time work *then* just full time work mum with an accompanyment of 17, 16, 15, and 13.5 yo boys (our timing was off on the last one) and a neurotic German shepard and a love turd of a pit bull (also both male!), I can tell you it all works out.

Keep the peace and bring the wine!


oh don't worry...
you'll get over it.


i did not roll my eyes. rather i sighed. and not in annoyance but in relief at the addition of yet another woman to the ranks of being just a human being and not a super freak. of course you're having trouble adjusting. and we have enjoyed that which you have provided for us to read. i personally took great solice in sharing my opinion that flickr is poopy. that made me happy and contented.


I took a year off about 5-6 years ago. I found that I got more done during my lunch hour when I worked than I did all damn day when I tried to "work from home." I took the GirlChild to school, I worked out and I went and picked her up from school. I had to go back to work because I felt like I wouldn't ever get anything done.


I'm actually posting a comment as there are less than, oh a MILLION posted right now! (I faithfully read, but once there are more than a hundred, a girl has to wonder if you are able to read all of them.)

Anyhow ... anyone who says that transitioning to working at home and being with your baby all day long isn't hard? They're lying. Especially when the last time you stayed at home with him for this long he STAYED WHERE YOU PUT HIM DOWN. Please, don't worry about telling us how you feel about how hard this is. Those of us who are doing the same thing know exactly how you feel! Hang in there ... it WILL get easier, I promise.


girl, we'd love ya if all you posted was your grocery list.


I worked from home last year after having my second daughter in March. She was home with me and I sent my 3-year-old to daycare (the GUILT!) because there was no way I could work 32 hours a week with them both home. It's a big adjustment and you're not's difficult! Plus there are so many distractions like the shiney pretty refrigerator and Tivo and mountains of laundry. Hang in there! Really, I had all sorts of dillusional fantasies of drinking lattes at a cool Internet cafe while I edited and the baby played contentedly at my side. Oh, silly me! But working from home is a great gig. You just have to ease into it and get a reliable babysitter. Now I have to go back into the office. Blech. :)


Life as you know it has changed....again!

I can't imagine that being a easy transition.

I'll be thinking of you.


dammit, it's YOUR blog, and if you can't just flat-out talk about what's going on and how you're feeling without a rush of criticism then i say SCREW 'EM. ;)

by god, i sound like a grouchy old woman who shoos children off her porch.

go away you annoying vermin children! GIT! ;)


Hi Amalah, I have been visiting your site forever but have never posted before. Thanks for your great work. I just wanted to express my support and appreciation. PLEASE Don't be so hard on yourself!!! I for one really appreciate the honesty and humanity you share here and in so many of your posts. We come here to hear from YOU, the honest, funny, human you that you share with such wit and skill. You don't have to pretend to be anywhere other than where you are as far as I'm concerned. (that's the beauty of your posts) And really, how could this NOT be a tough transition!!?

BTW, I think you're a GREAT writer, so good at expressing yourself. You make me laugh all the time, which I can tell you is not that easy to do! You're great at seeing the folly in human situations. I love how honest you are about the challenges in life, and how you can find humor even in tough situations. I don't even have kids but I read your posts all the time because I love your honesty and humor. And I can relate because a lot of my friends have young children. Soooo. Thanks for all your work. You hang in there! You are greatly appreciated by fans like me. (BTW, I could never do what you do - my hat's off to you!)


u r so stupid becuz u know you live in the gutter and can't afford 99 cent keys so yur kid has to knaw on feet.




All change is hard, even good change. And this is good but has negatives as well as positives (like much less adult interaction), so it will definitely take time. You'll feel a lot better in a month, and if you don't, you can work on changing what isn't working. Don't feel bad though, anyone who is judging you is mean. I appreciate your honesty, many people need it. As a new SAHM to my son (a month old today!), I'm feeling a little bad that I don't totally love it all the time. It's nice to see that other people don't think it's a perfect situation, at least not every waking second.


did you wash your feet first?


As April stated, "You could write about lint and I would still read it" holds true for me. You have such an awesome writing style and an amazing sense of humor that I look forward to any and all entries. Keep up the good work.


Hang in there. You will find a routine eventually. I always found a six-pack and a remote kept the little one out of the way for awhile....and damn, if he didn't sleep better.

Enjoy your blog! Congrats on your new adventure!

Motherhood Uncensored

We can't hit them out of the park all the time. Plus, this blog is free - you can do whatever the hell you want.

Hooray for Flickr!


You must be doing something right, We all keep coming back to see what you have to say. Don't worry once you settle into a routine, things should calm done. Good Luck. Mmmmm Toes!

Jen K.


Long-time lurker, first-time poster. I have been a freelance writer for 3+ years now, and I can tell you it definitely takes time to get adjusted. When you go from working in an office to working at home, it feels like you're missing your safety net. It's like this: What? Nobody's monitoring what I'm doing? Yaay! and then, Oh, this feels weird. It takes awhile to get used to working by yourself and to develop the discipline to get anything done (which is why I don't allow myself to watch TV until 5 pm because, hello, Oprah, ER reruns on TNT, The Price is Right). Hang in there - having the freedom to do what you want when you want to do it, to go to the grocery store on a Wednesday between projects instead of fighting the crowd on Saturday and to take on projects you want to work on instead of work you're forced to do is delightful. You're really talented and I think you'll do well as a freelancer. Good luck!


Noah, deliciously cute as usual. The feet on the other hand, though those are nice, pedicured, attractive feet, are grossing me out. I am one of those people with a feet phobia. If someone's bare feet accidentally touches mine, I get nauseated. I am known to cool off frienships because said friends have habits of putting unsocked feet on coffee tables 3 inches from your coffee mug or playing with their feet. I know it's irrational, but I cannot help it. Ok, I'll now shut up and go throw up.
You are doing very well during this huge transition though. Good luck.


" is the best of times (baby), it is the worst of times (work). But people should just be thankful that a bunch of us WAHMs don't start whipping out the Uzis and takin some vengeance for the stupid remarks."


My husband doesn't understand why I don't get more done. I mean come on, he takes two naps a day.

I might bust out the Uzi on him!

It will take a few weeks for you to work out the kinks. But then you will probably get some semblance of a routine. Mine is "work like crazy when the baby naps. Seem like you are working like crazy when he's not and people call to see "how that project is coming along."


Oh Great Amalah,

I love you, I love Noah, I love this blog, and I love 98% More Boring. Because what you are doing now, oh Great One, is called life. Please don't feel badly. I love the daily updates and if this is boring? Sign me up!


If staying home was easy, you'd see lines of men all over the planet just waiting for their turn. Juggling this world while attempting to begin a whole new way of working seems hard because it IS. Cut yourself some slack. Any naysayers out there have to answer to us first.


After I quit my miserable job and got a truly fantastic, soul-satisfying great one, I got depressed, when by every single outside account, I should have been screaming from the rooftops about how UNBELIEVABLY HAPPY AND EXCITED AND THRILLED I WAS with my new life.

It's hard to adjust, even to a good thing. Sometimes, too, the lack of structure can cause us to be less productive, when we're used to HYPERSTRUCTURE.

I'm sure a lot of people thought I was a selfish, foolish asshole, when really, there's no right way to handle anything, because it's all harder than it looks. It's so understandable and really, you should give yourself a break.

Much love to you and Noahmeister.


Every change comes with an adjustment period, think of it as a life warranty. Don't be so hard on yourself, your doing great!


One thing I learned working from home: You still need daycare.

There's not a lot of work getting done with a toe-sucking, speed-crawling, attention-hogging, not-so-much-baby-as-full-grown-kid in the house.

It's cool, Amalah. We'll wait this out.

robin j.

I actually think you should post your grocery list, or write an entry about lint. You'd still get all kinds of great feedback, I'm sure. :)


I don't know how you do it, Amalah. I get nothing done (work or school wise) when I'm with Ella. Zilch. She requires 100 percent of my attention at this age (1 and a half) when she's not asleep. And she's down to 1 nap a day now. One too-short nap. Reason #17 why I'm not a SAHM or WAHM, but kudos to you for doing it! :-)


Change is always a little difficult, but good! xoxo


Mmmmm, feet . . .

I am actually relieved to hear you say this, as it makes me feel like less of a loser for feeling the EXACT same way.


Everyone already said it, but eventually you will wake up, get Noah, have breakfast, start working and realize you can't believe how long you've been doing it this way and you almost don't remember going to the office. But that day isn't today, and maybe not tomorrow and that's okay. No rush. Don't second guess yourself!

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." -Anais Nin

You'll be just fine! xox


Same thing happened to me! Great opportunity to work from home plopped right into my lap and some days I just feel paralyzed by the diffuculty/wonderfulness of it all. But WAHMs have the perfect setup right? No one wants to hear us complain. Truth is that none of the Mommy choices are easy. I think once you are a mom, nothing is effortless anymore. Thanks for being honest about it and not pretending to be all pretty mary sunshine.


Nothing throws the system off like happiness... and a lack of spending money.


Happiness schmappiness. It's not as easy as it looks.

Just ease into it and keep us all addicted with cute baby pics. You know we'll all be around when the H. factor kicks in.



You're doing great. Every new job/career change requires adjustment. I don't think it has been horrible because you write with personality.

Hang in!



Just popping up to echo what everyone else is saying here, but give it time. I made the switch from "work in an office" to "work from home" two years ago, and I always say I wouldn't change it for the world, but sometimes? Yeah, sometimes I totally would, because sometimes it would just be easier to work for someone else, you know? And I don't even have a baby to try and occupy while I write. (Do have a purse dog, though. I feel your pain.)


Amy, you just made a huge lifestyle change! And it's impossible to work with a mobile child around! You're fine! Just own the fact that you ARE going to need part-time childcare help in order to get your pretty money. It's okay - it does NOT mean you have failed. Seriously, though, own your need to concentrate when you work. You can't, CAN'T CAN'T watch your child and compose at the same exact time. You CAN do it in the same exact day.

Also, we are all supposed to complain. It's right here in my mother handbook, Article 41, Section III, p. 503.


I admire you for doing what you're doing. I think being any kind of at-home mom has to be harder than leaving the house & going to work among adults who, for the most part, don't need my constant supervision or to have their diapers changed. (at least, I haven't changed them)

So kudos to you. I'm so happy that you & Noah get to have this time together.


You will be ok, you've just made a huge transition, but a good one. You get to be a full-time mommie. Something zillions of women would LOVE to be able to do!! And I'm sooo glad you finally got a flickr account. I've been waiting for you to get one!!


You crack me up! Putting your toes in his mouth for a toy! HAHA!


Well, I've got to hand it to you for trying to work at home. I tried to work at home with my two-year-old and finally had to give up. I could only work before he woke up in the morning, when he was taking his one-hour maybe nap, and after he went to sleep. My whole day felt like I was just waiting for him to get unconscious so I could get something done. Good luck to you. I hope it goes better for you than it did for me!


Hey.. cut yourself some slack, Woman! I have yet to see anyone deal with change without a hitch or even a small twitch. It's going to take time for you to adjust to these new changes in your life.

Hell I just got what I wanted to, to move into my own home again and ya know what?? I'm a lunatic this last 2 weeks, lol. Change effects everyone... even good changes..

Just sit back, relax, upload adorable pictures or your sweet sweet son to flickr to feed our greediness... and give it some time.

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