The Post I've Been Dreading

The Post After The Post I've Been Dreading

First, let's tally up the responses to yesterday's post...

Hateful, judgmental or otherwise assvicey emails:
Loving, understanding or otherwise supportive emails: 300 and counting

Gold star for the Internet! 'Tis a Christmas miracle!

I hate when I get all defensive like that. You'd think that no one ever says anything nice to me, ever, which is not true. Probably 95% of the comments and emails I get are positive, but it's just that the people who take the time to write hate mail tend to fucking eviscerate me.

And while it's one thing when people tell me I have stupid hair, or that I'm a spoiled materialistic whore because I put a link to my baby registry in the stupid sidebar, it's quite another thing entirely when Noah is involved.

Possibly because it makes me overthink the kind of squishy ground we online writers tread when we post the pictures and real names and bowel functions of our children, and partly because I sooner would chew my own arm off than have him hurt, and if you hurt him I'm thinking that it's only fair if I chew YOUR arm off.

Also, my wafer-thin motherhood skin hasn't yet developed any kind of fuck-you-and-what-you-think-of-my-parenting callous, and yeah, I've been working on that metaphor all damn day.


So whenever I thought about how to approach the whole I'm-going-back-to-work topic, I kept composing the possible hate mail I would get with each one. Like this!

Approach #1: Waaah, I'm so sad I'm going back to work and wish I could afford to stay home but I can't, feel sorry for me and my snuffling sadness.

Dear Amy,

Whatever! You so could afford to stay home! I'm staying home! I just decided that my child is more important than expensive diaper bags and got rid of TiVo. Perhaps you don't really want to stay home, because anyone can stay home if they really love their child enough.

I hope your job pays for a really nice concealer, because otherwise all you'll see is your cold, shriveled and ugly heart when you look in the mirror, like Dorian Gray of the bad parenting world.

Imaginary Hatemailer #1, Who We'll Call Agnes

PS. Also, we moved to Kansas.

Approach #2: Did I mention that I'm going back to work? No? Oh, well, I am, and I feel just fine, let's talk about something else now.

Dear Amy,




Approach #3: 404: Page Not Found.

Dear Amy,

God, your site sucks now. It won't even load. You're so lame and boring.

The Internet

PS. We heard you moved to Kansas. That's lame and boring.

Don't I write interesting hate mail to myself? I should try sending some real hate mail sometime. Except, I never would, because GOD. JUST HIT THE BACK BUTTON AND CALM DOWN. Just because you're anonymous doesn't mean karma can't find you and drop a goddamned anvil on you, or something.

Hatemailers: the asshole roadragers of the Internet, and yeah, I've been working on that metaphor all year.


My point is that I have not gotten any hate mail, other than a couple of Philadelphians who were all, "Wait, what'd we do?"

(Nothing, except tempt us with gorgeous brownstones in our price range and then dash our hopes with the wage tax and property taxes of like, $15,000 a year. And you made my mother-in-law cry, because she was SO HOPING we'd move to Philly so she could be near Noah and I could stay home, and yeah, my own family hasn't been exactly supportive of my decision to go back to work, so why would I expect the Internet to be any different?)

After hitting the "publish" button on yesterday's entry, I took Noah to his daycare and spent a few hours there with him, getting to know the teachers and the other snotty-nosed brats whose parents work and don't love them very much.

And really, it was very nice. The teachers are affectionate and gentle. They tell the babies they love them. And they work with an eerie precision and efficiency to make sure that no baby is fussing or upset or even left glassy-eyed and bored in a bouncy seat. Honestly, I'm lucky if I can keep Noah that entertained and content for half the day.

And Noah did great. When we first arrived, he kept looking for me, whether he was on the floor or in the teacher's arms. After an hour, he no longer seemed concerned. He smiled at his teacher, seriously studied a pretty little nine-month-old girl and shrieked with delight over a handmade mobile of Mardi Gras beads that hung from the ceiling.

He'll be fine. I'll just miss him, is all.




Supportive comment #301

My heart broke for you reading your last post. The most important thing is that you do what is right for you and YOUR family.
Noah is one lucky little man.

Lisa B

He will be great. And so will you.

Why is it such a big deal to women whether a fellow mom stays at home or works. Or even WHY she works. I just don't get why others can be so judgemental and why they think YOUR decisions are THEIR business.

But then again, what do I know?

Lisa B

Oh and Brighton is dead on. Noah IS one lucky little man. And handsome too!


Yes Amalah, he'll be fine. And so will you.

We had a nanny until my daughter was almost 3 when we decided she needed more interaction with other kids and enrolled her in the local Montessori.

I remember dropping her off that first day like it was yesterday (and it was 7 years ago). She smiled and waved goodbye to me. I kept a brave face and went to my car and cried for 15 minutes. Big mommy tears.

But it was the right thing to do.

My "baby" is now in 5th grade and there are still days when I cry a little bit after I drop her off at school. Because I will miss her.

Mommy's the most amazing kinda love.


You're great. Your husband is great. Your son is fabulous.

you will all be okay.

just remember, no one knows more than you about what your son needs.


The best part Amy - will be how happy he is to see you at the end of the day.

He will have a delightful time with the other orphan children in the center, whose parents love them so little they are paying 10,000 per year for good child care.

But the grin for Mama at the end of the day? Priceless!


I'm a lousy comment leaver, even though I should know better since I get such a thrill when someone comments to me. But I wanted to leave a late supportive entry too.

Motherhood is challenging enough, why do women do this to each other? I say make it work however you can and your baby will be just fine.


Yay for the nice Amalah readers!

I don't doubt that you will totally cry like a baby when you drop Noah off at daycare for real on your forst week back. Well, not like Noah because he will be all happy and entertained... maybe like the baby of a really judgemental person once the baby realizes what they are stuck with CAPPY MCCAPSLOCK for the next 18 years. But anyway, you will cry. And probably leave work at lunch to run and see him. And maybe leave early. But, it will get easier, at least that is what my working outside of the home mommy friends have told me.

Jen-Again who will be joining you in (hopefully!) a year and a half or so in the baby in daycare brigade!


Nothing but love for all of you.


Of course you'll miss him. Who wouldn't? Those cheeks alone! :)

But we, the Internets, will be here to comfort you and leave silly comments on your blog while you are going through your withdrawal.

I'm glad you had so many wonderful responses. Doesn't surprise me in the least. :D


add me to the ever growing pile of people who 100% support you. only you know what's best for you and your family.


You guys are such! great! parents! already! Project Babalah = A smashing job, already. You've got a bloody COLLEGE FUND for him already, which makes you miles ahead of Cappy McCAPSLOCK who will probably home school their 14 kids using nothing but the Bible and something called a "primer" (say it: PRIM-ER). You go with your callous-building, but I say it will mostly be used to shield you from the flood of tears that might come from gently placing him in the caring arms of the daycare peeps. Not that I have anything bad to say (the opposite, in fact) about either the Bible or home-schooling, by the way. That last picture makes Noah look so... wise!


You guys are such! great! parents! already! Project Babalah = A smashing job, already. You've got a bloody COLLEGE FUND for him already, which makes you miles ahead of Cappy McCAPSLOCK who will probably home school their 14 kids using nothing but the Bible and something called a "primer" (say it: PRIM-ER). You go with your callous-building, but I say it will mostly be used to shield you from the flood of tears that might come from gently placing him in the caring arms of the daycare peeps. Not that I have anything bad to say (the opposite, in fact) about either the Bible or home-schooling, by the way. That last picture makes Noah look so... wise!


Sorry! accidentally posted twice. Please feel free to delete as needed.


I'm 100% supporting ya. Been there, made those same hard decisions. I have no regrets, my babies are SO SO very freaking loved. They're ten and six now, by the way :)


It broke my heart to leave my baby with a sitter to go back to work, and she was a year old! When she started daycare at 18 months, I cried. No matter what age they are, it'll break your heart, but that doesn't mean it's not the right decision to go back to work. Let's hear it for longer (paid) maternity leaves, a la Canada, though!


You'll be fine, and so will Noah. The first day will probably suck and be hard though, just be forewarned. But it will not suck like you think it will, the anticipation is worse.

I'm in the same boat as you - people bug me ALL the damn time about staying home. Unfortunately, our living expenses = $X a month, hubby's job pays like $X - $0.50. So my income is needed, but not all of it. But they see a nice house and stuff and assume I can just quit if I really wanted to. Yeah, if we want to move to the FAR F-ING side of Loudoun county and we like being closer in (not quite as close as you) but people love to point out that it appears to them that IF I REALLY WANTED TO (or if I really loved my kids enough) I would quit. Assholes.

Anyways - I loved your post yesterday, exactly how I feel too. And today is DAY TWO of maternity leave for me, and I'm already dreading the end of it.


I am pretty sure I heard from Agnes. Yep, that sounds awfully familiar.

We did our final check-in with the daycare center today, turning in our paperwork and whatnot, and I felt so sad. It's really nice to read how things went with your center and Noah.


It's amazing how judgemental people can be of others' choices. We get flak for homeschooling because we are obviously not socializing our children properly by me staying home with them. Whatever. You do what works for your family.

Noah is a cutie-patootie, and so lucky to have you and Jason for parents.


Try and form a daycare at where you work


My heart broke for you reading your last entry and I am not even a mother. You will be fine and Noah will be fine. It will not be easy, but you know what, staying home full time isn't easy either. Good luck Amy!


Let me just say, like all parenting decisions it is a tough one. With my daughter I had decided to stay home, then after 6 weeks couldn't take it and went back to work. After 6 weeks I couldn't take that, flipped out on my boss called her horrible names, got on prozac and became a SAHM. Now my daughter still ends up at preschool twice a week because damn being a mom is hard stuff and sometimes we both need a break. The moral here is as always you have to do whats right for you and Noah and to hell with everyone else. Plus I would be sad if your site went to the dogs. I have to get my free entertainment somewhere.


You know... I BALLED when I read that.
Why can't you stick to the lipstick? Whydya have to go on an make this momma cry?
(hows that for hate mail?)

You are a great momma. and even better for sharing. thank you.


Yes, he will be fine. You will be fine, too. This is such an emotional topic. I was a stay at home mom. My daughter is a working mom. We were both stressed, just in different ways. It all works out. Try not to be so hard on yourself. It'll be great!


What a great post. I don't comment very often but i read you every day. I think it's a very personal decision and i'm glad no one (so far;) has made you feel bad about your choice.


You'll both be fine, although he'll miss you, too. Is the daycare near your work? I knew some women in my other office who had their kids in day care a few blocks away, and would go have lunch with them.


I cried at your last post, it was so heart renching. Screw anyone who has a problem with you working. It's your decision, not theirs. Your child will not be scarred for life for it. Anyone who has an issue is probably envious that you can leave the house and talk to grown ups or is just a hateful person anyway.


I almost e-mailed you yesterday, but I wasn't sure what to say... as a working mom, I've had all the hate-mail-like conversations in my head (and sometimes with real life people!) That first day can be tough, but you will get to know Noah's caregivers, and you will start caring for them, and they will love him... and that makes it all easier. And I think it makes the time you will spend with him all the more precious! Best wishes.

Busy Mom

Everything will be fine, a lot of it is getting used to a new routine. I'm sure you guys have made a great choice and are comfortable with his caregivers and he will have a fine time with his new friends! Going back to work that first day is brainscrambling enough, my only advice (don't mean it to be ass-vice)is to have his first day at daycare occur before you have to be back at work.


"because I sooner would chew my own arm off than have him hurt"

So you leave him at a daycare with strangers? I do not get why people have children if they are looking forward to going back to work and letting someone else raise their child. But hey, he'll have those Gap pants!


I had to go back to work last spring when my little muffin was three months old. I felt really alone and really defensive. But it gets much easier after that first day. He'll always know you're the mama, and honey, you will come to love your hours of GrownUp Time.

My anti-guilt force field is finally getting up to snuff, so I'll lend it to you if you want.

Best wishes.


I really meant to drop you a line about yesterday's post, but ...yeah, the whole work thing. Commenting is about a million times faster.

I admier you for being able to take a step back and do what is best for your family, even everyone else may not agree. Coming from another ridiculously high-rent/high-income area (santa barbara? hello!) I completely understand your need to go back to work in order to support the lifestyle that you choose. Because GAP pants are important, dammit.

Plus the pretend hatemail made me laugh. Although the second one made my gasp. Which made my coworker look at me funny.

Oh Well.

Good luck with the new daycare. I'm sure it will be awesome. AWESOME.


Actually, I did get hate mail just like that recently, and my baby is 22 and her brother is 25, because I dared say that my kids survived working motherhood wtih no ill effects and life didn't suck because I worked. Did I get hate mail! Surreal - the proof is in the, uh, adult kids, isn't it? You'll be fine. Noah will thrive. It'll be an adjustment and it will suck at times, but overall, you are doing what is right for YOUR family and everybody else can bite you.


AAAAANNNNNDDD we have our first crap comment! Welcome Kasey, and sorry about that poor reading comprehension thing you've got going on. "Looking forward to going back to work" MY ASS.

Fuck you!

Oh, and Dawn: Yes, the daycare is extremely close to my job, and I intend to go nurse him over lunch as many days as I can.


well dammit, that one chic had to go and ruin all the supportive posts. bah! screw her. you do what you wanna do. noah will be just fine. it's obvious his mommy and daddy love him very much.


That's right, Kasey. Obviously any parent who works thinks nothing of their child's well being. I mean, all of Amy's writing from the heart was just a cover to make us feel bad for her, right? I guess you and your narrow-minded opinion make Hatemailer #1. Good job. Now go stand in the corner.

(Not that you aren't able to defend yourself if you choose to, Amy, but that really made me mad!!)


^^Busy Mom, you are an incredible asshat. Please go shave your mustache, or something, and never return.

Amy, this is my first comment I'm leaving for you, and I almost emailed you too. I've been there, the working mom, the stay at home mom, the partialy working mom... Nothing is simple and easy.

Your child is like your heart, outside of you. Not to be all sappy, but being a mother is such an intense experience of emotions, my children are 3 and 5, and I still feel that same crazy arm knawing love as you do.

Being a mother, BUSYMOMASSHAT POSTER, means that you will do whatever it takes to make sure your child is happy and well adjusted. Some of us decided that the best choice is to stay at home, and do whatever it takes to do that, even though that makes a severe financial cramp. Others decided to try and be just as selfless, and go back to work. Both choices are HARD!! Both lives are HARD!

Let's not try and judge one another so much, mommies. We all have enough guilt to carry around everyday as it is.

Except for you, BusyMomAsshat. I will be silently judging you over here.


Amalha, you will be fine and so will Noah and your hubby.
When I went back to work last year when my son was 2.5 months, I thought that he'll forget his Mama and prefer his Grammy (who watches him) over me...but guess what??? I WAS HIS FAVE PERSON (well, until he turned 1 and now Daddy's his fave person, but that's a different story). At the end of a stressful/hard day at work, coming home to a smiling baby with his arms reached out to me made everything all better. I second the previous do what is best for your family and don't give a crap what anyone else thinks because it's not like they pay your freakin' bills or anything, right?


hey, it's me again...just want to apologize for misspelling 'Amalah' :)


PissedAtBusyMom, I think you meant Kasey, not BusyMom.


Um, yeah, whoops. Sorry, BusyMom! JESUS! As I said, this is my first comment I've posted, so the whole scrolling down thing and looking at names went sailing over my head.

Kasey! CrazyKasey, YOU SUCK!


You can say whatever you would like to make yourself feel better. You will have what, a whole two hours after dinner to play mommy, right? You should listen to your family, they might be on to something...


its good going back to pay the bills, and it's also good if, you know, you like your job and the feeling of confidence and autonomy it might give you too -- it doesn't have to be all self-sacrifice. Even if you ARE a mother.

one of the clearest memories of my mom that i have is of the day she got her first job after quitting work to staying home for years to take care of us kids. she had just gotten off the phone and she had tears in her eyes - she was crying because she was happy. i was 8, my brother was about 11. She loved us, and she also loved having her own identity and work interests. (ESL teacher).

my brother and i turned out just fine.


You know, I think I actually agree with Kasey. They should make a law that says you absolutely cannot have children unless you are able to raise them on one income (i.e. your husband's. And if you are a single mom? Well my darling, you are just shit outta luck.) I mean really, mothers don't need interaction with other adults at all. I believe if a woman wants to have a child, it really means she is perfectly content with talking only about poop, breastfeeding, and onesies all day, every day.


As I said in the e-mail yesterday, screw the judgemental bitches, actually I think I said "fuck 'em" but hey, you get the point.

Noah is a lucky boy to have parents concerned about his current and future happiness...he'll miss mommy a little bit but he'll also have a wonderful time making buddies (and flirting with the girls - obviously).

Ya know, bad karma haunts you forever when you're mean and ugly to people right??


I refuse to even type the things I am thinking about Kasey right now because its not worth it. I am in the same position as you are right now Amalah. Yes I could stay home with my new son and give up every single luxery we have just to pay the bills but you know what? In the long run there are so many things I want to give him that unfortunatly cost $$$ so I HAVE to go back. And thats why we as LOVING mothers check out a billion daycares and ask a million questions and sign up for mommy cams so we can obsess all day. I too am tortured by the decision but I know it will mean a better life for my son not to mention all the benifits of socialization and learning he will get. Noah is beautiful and you are obviously a wonderful mother doing the best for her boy.
Sorry for the rant.


Just wanted to say that the picture of Noah yesterday, with him sucking his thumb & your caption about him not forgetting that your his mommy?

Not a chance. You are everything to him. Always will be.

And that picture of him was the best yet.



if you don't agree with amalah's parenting then fucking leave. who in the hell do you think you are, trying to make someone you don't even know feel like shit? what makes you think you're so much better than her? based on your attitude, i can already tell she's a much better parent than you could ever dream of being.


People are so mean. Sorry, guess Amalah was wrong about the Internet. There are serious idiots out there who don't know that if you can't say something nice, sometimes you shouldn't say anything AT ALL. I'm sorry people have said mean things to you Amalah. I don't have a baby yet, and already I worry about sending him/her to daycare. It's obvious how much you love Noah, and anyone who reads this site is heartless if they can't get that.


"PissedAtA" poster, sweetheart, you got the name wrong. It was "Kasey" who left the asshat comment. Busymom is a lovely blogger who would never rip on our Amalah. Just wanted to clarify, it was an easy mistake to make.

Amalah, dahling. In my tenure working in daycare, I can say with a lot of confidence a couple of things. For one? The socialization of daycare is awesome. ALL my babes at the center ADORED each other (despite the biting phases) and I think they learned a LOT being with each other every day. Most DC workers love kids with all their hearts, that's why they're doing it. And finally, you will always be in more agony about sweet Noah being there than he will ever, ever be. This is a new adventure for him! This is hell for you! It's a terrible situation for you, sweetheart, but it's not for him. Please don't kill yourself about this. It's all gonna be okay. I swear.


I'm just jealous of those care providers who get to take care of that gorgeous kid all day :). Oh, and of you who gets adult stimulation....:).


Down with the hatemailers! Why should they judge and hide behind the internet?

Noah is going to be just fine, he will make a friend or two that won't hate him behind the internet. He will be super popular because his mom is Amy the internet guru. You will be fine...just don't move to Kansas, you are too cool for Kansas.


I hate cappy most of all. Cappy makes me homicidal. Instead of killing cappy because they're anonymous, I end up ramming my head repeatedly into my dishwasher door over and over and over.


Wow, Phila is a defensive city, huh? I can't believe I'm not the only one who was all Huh, what did we do? If the market is affordable, it's not for us.

Amalah, darling, there's always going to be some person who would not do things the way you do things. But didn't our forerunners in feminism fight for our ability to CHOOSE? I think so! And you chose your choice, and I find it apalling that there are women who would criticize this choice. Don't let it get you down. Life's too short to be involved in the warped minds and opinions of others.


I think someone's mom was one of those stay-at-home "full-time" moms who totally resented it and passed her resentment of working moms (and anyone with a life) on to her kid.

A little stimulation of the maternal brain beyond "Elmo Wants a Bath" can be good for the family as a whole.


Oh Amy! Your post yesterday made me want to cry because I so understand where you are coming from. I have been on both sides of the fence - a mom working outside the home and a stay-at-home mom - and I just don't think there is any one right way to handle the whole work-or-not-to-work issue. I just know that you and hubby will figure out what the right thing is for the three of you, and that's what matters. And that choice may vary over time, but that's okay.

Yes, you'll miss Noah - which is perfectly normal. But just remember that you are making each and every decision out of love for the little guy, and plaster your desk/office with pictures - including that adorable picture you posted yesterday with Noah on the couch sucking his thumb! What a cutie!

Big hugs to you, Amy! I know you need them!

(P.S. If it helps, my kids never confused me with their daycare provider - and I had to leave my son in daycare to go back to work when he was only 7 weeks old. Noah will know the difference, don't worry! :) )


Me again. Just went back and read Kasey's totally rude comment. What a load of crap. If I hadn't worked when my kids were younger, we wouldn't have had food or a place to live because my husband's job didn't pay shit. I only got to be a stay-at-home mom because my husband joined the military for several years - so we didn't have to pay rent, electricity, water, etc. Now that he is out of the military, I am working again at a part time job because we are desperately broke. I would be working full time, but I can't find a full time job in my area. Sure my kids are older (8 & 11), but they still need me. They need food, clothes, and a place to live too.

So Kasey - if you are a mom who can stay home on a one person income, great for you, otherwise you shouldn't judge others for the decisions they make.


You made the right decision for you and your family. Noah will be fine, you will be fine, Jason will be fine, your mortgage will be fine.

Now personally, I have the real problem with you leaving Ceiba and Max alone all day. They're only little pets. How could you leave them so defenseless? Why even have pets if you can't stay home with them? Sheesh.

(Clarifying, I am not an asshat. Think I am v amusing and snarky.)


Ok. So now ya know. We like you a really lot. You'd have to take to kicking kittens for us to be mean to you. By 'we', of course, I mean your sane readers.

By 'sane', of course, I mean 'mostly sane'.

Wacky Mommy

re: Kasey -- "You will have what, a whole two hours after dinner to play mommy, right?"

I "play mommy" at home with my two kids and we are lucky if we get two hours of playtime a day. Because I am a busy girl cooking food they refuse to eat ("That is some yucky kind of food, Mommy!" -- Wacky Boy), cleaning up puke (dog/cat/kid), washing peed-on laundry, doing yardwork, trying to, maybe, do an hour of g.d. yoga so I can stay limber enough to keep up with my babies, volunteering at school and in the community (cuz I've got oodles of free time, right? so of course I'll do the PTA newsletter, go on field trips, do neighborhood clean-ups, help build playgrounds, spend time in the class, etc.) and...

(this part was a surprise for me) staying at home is like any other g.d. job. Except you go more in debt with just one income. Woo-hoo! I do love the "lovebucks." (Wacky Boy just came in to give kisses.) But staying home full-time isn't like when you take a snow day and lie around in your jammies. It's a job. My kids were mad at me all day long today and it wasn't cuz I was "abandoning" them. It's cuz I didn't let them eat cookies all day in their jammies. I forced them to get dressed and go to the library and Santaland and they howled like I was torturing them. They got over it. Kids can deal, they do it well.

Be supportive, would you? We're all just trying to do our best.

Kisses, Amalah, and all you other mothers, from the whole Wacky Family.


This Monday was my first day back off of maternity leave. Your post made me cry. Yeah...if I wanted my family to never go on a vacation, my son never to see Mickey Mouse , or never have those cargo pants from the Gap, I probably could have made it work and stayed home. But we also live in a nice neighborhood with expensive taxes, great schools, good ethnic food, nice diverse culture and I want my son to know and understand all of those things too. The first day was hardest, the second easier...I can only assume it gets better each day.....
I'm crossing my fingers for me and for you. Just keep thinking about those cute cubby cheeks you'll get too smooch when you get home- that's what I do!


Let's weight the choices here...

Loving, attentive daycare ladies with pretty 9-month-old potential girlfriend material AND Mardi gras beads


Home all the time with Judgey McJudgerson (AKA Cappy McCaperson), learning to judge and use too many caps?

Clearly, your son will be wonderfully better off with Option A. If nothing else, he can get by on his good looks. He's just a big Cutey McCuterson, after all!


Oh, and by the way, Kasey, you SUCK!


Kasey is a B-I-T-C-H! And I bet she lives in Kansas. For your information, generations of mothers have worked while typically grandparents or tribe elders raised the younger generation. It taught the kids to respect others (especially elders) and to learn the inner workings of their society (a.k.a.-social skills). If you had an education of any sort you might know that--but I guess they skipped that in your home school lessons. Get off your high horse. Guess what? My kids are going to college -- partly because they have a college funds. But also because they are also going to know how important it is as a WOMAN to have options and a CAREER! It's about choices dumbass--my daughters will have them. All this is because their mother is setting standards, teaching them values, giving them options and setting the bar high, damit. And the same argument can be said of sons. Amalah is teaching Noah that she has value in places beside just her family and that the all the women in his life should be measured in a similar fashion. I HATE IT WHEN PEOPLE ARE SO STUPID. Amalah you should publish Kasey's email so we can bombard her personally. Kasey please don’t breed it’s against natural selection.


I have been reading for a while, but reading your blog yesterday and today made me need to post a comment. Don't listen to any of the people who send you hate mail. They suck because they're just jealous that they can't have a baby as gorgeous as Noah is. Every parent has to make the best choice they can to do what is best for their child. My parents both worked and my sister and I turned out just great (if I do say so myself).

I came across a picture book today that seriously made me cry today. It's such a mom book. So sweet and special that it says everything about every mom who has to leave their kids at daycare. It's called "Don’t Forget I Love You" by Miriam Moss and illustrated by Anna Currey. You have to read it!

Good luck and ignore all the icky people.


Hmmmm. I feel conflicted about this discussion and the polarity of the arguments that are being presented here. As much as I am all for women working outside of the home (in other words, I'm not some kind of SAHM purist), I think we all have to admit that in most cases, it is better for kids to avoid daycare, especially during infancy. I am not saying that everybody is in the position to do so financially, but I mean, objectively, if you can possibly avoid sending your kids to daycare, especially when they are very young, you probably should, right?

Personally, I had to re-evaluate and finally give up a lot of my pre-motherhood ideas about career advancement and professional fulfillment. I ended up working from home, doing a lot of anonymous, hacktacular freelance writing to make ends meet. We live in a rather culturally stagnant place that happens to have one of the lowest costs of living in the U.S. My kids don't get Gap pants (does Old Navy count???), but I am here when they come home from school.

I read Amalah's blog with a kind of anthropological, detached fascination, because that world of name-brand beauty products, Sephora, and Coach handbags is so absolutely foreign to me. I'm not necessarily trying to challenge or belittle Amalah's priorities or worldview, but I think we do have to admit that a lot of the things that we come to view as non-negotiable are actually lifestyle bonuses that we could probably do without.

I started off with the plan that I would work from home until my younger son was old enought to tell me himself if anything bad or weird or uncomfortable or unpleasant was occurring at daycare. When he was three, he started going to a church-run mother's day out a couple of days a week for some structure and socialization (and unfettered Target time for Mom). It just ended up that I decided to keep freelancing, even though my youngest son is now seven. Personally, I can't even imagine willingly going back to that grim commuting/pantyhose/daycare lifestyle, although the FT income would make our lives a lot easier in many ways. But again, that's just me.

I don't mean to hijack Amalah's blog, and I think that all of the support she is getting here is really touching. But I am also a little disturbed by the fervant denial in these comments that there is anything wrong with daycare. It's not ideal, and if that is the choice that we make, we have to acknowledge the tradeoff.

Another Amy

I just started reading you recently. I'm (almost) ashamed to admit I have spent several hours on several occasions reading through some of your archives because you are such an engaging writer. However, I am posting because I am from Kansas and while we *DO* have some Kasey-types here we are not all that way!! Please be nice to us hicks! And also, while there are a lot of hicks in Kansas who stay home with their children I bet you'd be surprised that per capita it's probably pretty similar. Will be thinking of you through your rough transition. I agree with 99.9997% of the preceding posts when I say that it's your decision and only you know what is best for your situation. The Kasey's of the world help toughen up that "Mom-skin" quicker though...


I think women are in a tough position nowadays regarding the whole staying at home versus working thing. You're damned if you do, damned if you don't. Only you know what your situation is, so only you know what's right. Judging by your past two entries, you're obviously thinking of Noah first, and you can't go wrong with that! :)


I'm not even pregnant and I'm absolutely dreading this decision. I wanted to comment yesterday but I was like, well she didn't put up comments for a reason so.... but I just want you to know I believe in you! Whatever you choose will be right for you and your family and that's all that matters! xoxox


Gee, with 300 emails, I hope you read mine. I forwarded a lovely email my Mom sent to me on my first day back to work after my first child. It really is inspiring, and I hope it helps you through the day next week.

Merry Christmas, and give that beautiful boy some extra hugs!


Thank you, MrsAnthrope... you articulated my own opinion better than I ever could.


I have a point here somewhere, but my brain's too clogged with mucous and hormones. Just count me in with the people who say "Yay, Amalah!" and "Fuck you, Kasey!"

And yesterday's picture? Cracked my shit UP. He was all like, "Wha ...? Oh, yeah, Mom. Hi. Couldja get me some Goldfish crackers?"


Because it's a fact, not an opinion, that daycare is something that should be avoided if humanly possible. Because it's all about the Gap pants and "lifestyle bonuses", not about paying the mortgage and long-term financial planning. Because there's only one *right* way to raise a family.

The hell?

Maybe part of the reason some people get judgmental about these types of issues is because nothing is black and white, there are no easy answers - and individuals who are faced with making tough choices can second-guess themselves so much, they become defensive and criticize others who make different choices. Maybe we should feel sorry for them.

Then again, some folks are just dicks.


Oh, and MrsAnthrope? I'm trying to find where Amalah says that shopping at Sephora or Coach is "non-negotiable" for her. Can you tell me where she says that? Because what *I* read is that she would give up anything to be with her son and that the choice to go back to work had much more to do with the area in which they live, AND that they were looking for less-expensive places, NOT because SHE must have Coach bags for every month, as you seem to imply.

Way to go for writing the comment she was trying to avoid in the first place. Couching it in niceties (i.e. how our defense of her is "touching") doesn't change your judgemental tone.


The hell with Kansas, Amy, move to Sweden! :D


Hey - I just found your blog and LOVE IT.

I am a stay at home mom of a nine month old daughter. It's really my dream job: I've never found any outside employment more enjoyable, and I am truly grateful every day that I have a husband who is able and willing to earn the bucks for us three.

However, I don't judge Moms who need or choose to work in addition to raising their little ones. In fact, I look up to them. It takes so much energy to do what I do...and yet I can nap during the day with my daughter sometimes!

One of the toughest things about parenthood is that you JUST DON'T KNOW. You just don't know how the decisions you make will or won't affect your kids. How much is your nurturing, how much is genes, how much is just frigging luck? So you make decisions that you're most likely to be able to live with long term.

Sounds like you've approached your decision thoughtfully and lovingly....I do very much wish you well!


Hey, just read my own post and it's kind of rambling. Did it come through that I like you and I'm on your side??


Dudes, whoa. I think you are reading way too much snark between the lines of my comment. I believe passionately that women and mothers shouldn't feel pressured to bow to outmoded social strictures and expectations. All that I was trying to point out was that I thought the mass denial was running pretty thick through the comments section. And no, I don't think that any intellectually honest person would really try to argue that it is just an opinion that a mother's care is fundamentally, immutably preferable to daycare, when and if it is an option. And, all things considered, I think that it is an option way more than we, as a culture, are prone to admit.

From the way-disproportionate cattiness my comment provoked, I now realize this is more of a partisan pep rally than a discussion. Okay, gotcha -- I told you I was out of my element here.


I feel so bad for mothers when their maternity leave runs out and they realize they have to go back to work. I stayed at home with mine, I had no choice, he was born ill. It was awful at times though. There was no money for extras ever. I went back to work and school when he was 5. Now, I work and it's okay. Because dammit, those Gap pants are important sometimes. Just like that expensive trip to the ocean with his school that he couldn't have gone on if I were a SAHM. There are good and bad things both ways. But if you can't afford it, you just can't afford it. No need to apologize to anyone.

Sarah King

To: MrsAnthrope

I want to try to make peace here, and I promise no cattiness.

First of all, I think that Amalah has made it quite clear that she would like to stay home with Noah. She has mentioned several times that she just cannot afford it, that she has looked into other options, that she will miss him like crazy and she is already feeling guilty.

Given that, while I think I understand how you feel that daycare is not generally the best thing, you must have realised how it would seem that you mentioned that on the day that Amy is feeling all this worry. It was not going to be taken well.

Finally, this blog is not a discussion of motherhood, and this comment section is not meant to be a debate on the pros and cons of working, of daycare and of mothers in general. The comments are a place for people who like Amalah to tell her so, and those who don't like her can of course also tell her so, but is more polite and reasonable for these people just to stop reading.

I think you like Amalah, and I think that you were not judging her choice. You were pointing out your opinion, and I hope that you realise that this is your opinion, not fact. I don't want to start a flame war here, but I hope that we can all respect one anothers opinions and choices, and acknowlegde that almost every mother wants the best for her child and knows what is best for her child.

Ali G

amy - you are a great mom, and noah is going to be fine. go storches!

assvice givers - staying at home is a valid choice, but every mother needs to decide that herself. personally, i think being a latchkey kid made me more independent, and my mother is a strong female role model who gave me great guidance when i entered the work force... but my mother was always available when i needed her (as was my father - remember, men have kids too), and if anyone wants to suggest that her decision to work was purely selfish materialism, they can take that up with ME - b/c no one says shit about my mom. and i'm sure noah will feel the same way (you know, when he can talk and all).


YAY! You are one rockin' mommy. Only you and Jason know what is right for your family, and I know you two have hashed this decision out every way possible. Keep up the great parenting and have a wonderful 1st Christmas with Noah!!!

Ali G

just to clarify - i DID have babysitters and daycare when i was younger. didn't want to make it sounds like mom left me on my own at like 9mos...


And the secret? He'll miss you too. And love to see you when you pick him up and will run to you and jump in your arms.

Which he would NEVER EVER do if you stayed at home with him all day b/c he'd be sick of you and think you were kinda boring.



Hey, WAIT.

I am from Kansas and am not a hick. Imagine that!


Okay, I don't have children, don't want to have children (afraid I will warp them for life), and actually can't have children, but that last picture of Noah actually made me think a little wistfully about having a child. He really is too cute for his own good or my own good. : )

Good luck on the going back to work thing...try not to let it get you down too much.


The secret is not for mothers to attack mothers for their choices, but for all of us to work together to force our companies and governments to make those decisions more flexible.

Within the last few years in Canada the maternity leave has been extended a couple of times until it reached the current ONE YEAR. Now that's at 60% of a maximum salary (which is not even close to the average salary), but many companies will "top up" that amount by paying a portion of your salary on top of what the government pays. The leave is not limited to use by mothers. It can be split between the parents, allowing both some one on one bonding time with the baby before going back to the two career juggling of time.

Parents have made tough decisions for all of history, and we'll never all agree on what is best, but putting in place a system to support all parents in their decisions is really whats best for the children.

Amalah, you put a tremendous amount of time and effort into choosing just the right place for your son while you have to work. He's close to you, and will be loved and adored by all his daycare slaves (as in slaves to Noah, not slaves in general). The one this is hardest on is you, and don't ever kid yourself it will always be hardest on you no matter which decision you make. The downside to wanting the best for our kids is our tendancy to believe we never quite achieve it.


It sounds like you and Jason are making fantastic first-time parents. Noah is very lucky to have such loving, and thoughtful people to raise him.

Have fun going back into the rat-race!


Dear Amalah,

Noah is cute and adorable and perfect.

Just in case you forgot.

PS - How is Jason and fatherhood going?


I agree that Noah will be just fine, daycare or no. Just hope he isn't like me when I was little. I was kicked out of two daycares when I was around 4 or 5. For being curious and getting into things and doing things like turning the new red carpet greenish brown with cleaning products. I say she should have locked things up better. She didn't agree.

RockStar Mommy

I know what you mean about the hatemail. Do you remember when that psycho chick was stealing my pictures and pretending to be me and pretending my kids were her own and that she was pregnant with my son? I FREAKED THE FUCK OUT. I didn't care about the pictures of me, especially because she was stealing pictures where I had ugly Alyssa Milano scrunchy circa 1991 hair. But she was stealing the ultrasound pictures!!! She was telling people the the little boy in MY belly was hers and that she couldn't wait to post pictures of him for everyone to see.

That day, I actually understood how people can murder other people.

Pick on me all you want, but leave my goddamned family alone.

Anyway, Now that I've eaten up half your bandwidth over nothing....

So, hurray for zero hatemails! I haven't gotten ANY in almost a week - this is seriously some kind of record. It really is a Christmas miracle!


This is supportive post #457, or something like that.

I just wanted to say that I cried when I read that post. It's a hard decision for anyone to make, but you know what? You and Jason know what's best for your family, and you're the ones who will have to live with the decisions you make - not your parents, not your siblings, and certainly not your online readers.

Cheers, and take care.



Hey Amy :)

Been reading your blog for a little while now (a friend sent me a link to your cookbook post and I nearly died laughing...and then had to go back and read the whole damn site..."uhhh yes boss, I'm working...I'm not on the internet really uh huh"...) Being a shy reserved English gal (well I keep trying to convince myself of this, but it doesn't always work) I haven't commented before because I didn't want to make a tit of myself...not that I have a habit of doing that AT ALL...

But...even though I have no kids of my own, my heart damn near broke for you reading your last couple of posts...the love you have for Noah is so strong I can almost touch it across the waves...and it fair warms the cockles of me heart (no we don't all speak in a 'cocknee' type accent us Brits, just some of us!) Ummmm, what am I trying to say here? (Don't worry, no assvice from me, particularly on the subject of babies...I can just about tell which way is the right way up...) Basically I just wanted to say whatever you do, Noah will know that you and Jason love him with all your hearts, and that's what matters.

Wishing you all a very Happy first Christmas together as a family!


(Crap, just realised I wrote my e-mail address down wrong first time so just posting this so ya know I'm not a chicken shit anon!)

Heather O'Douls

What, north philly is TOO GOOD for you??

cheap real estate, y'all.

just don't go out after dark and send noah to private school!

RockStar Mommy

BTW, I'm from Philly and FUCK YOU PHILLY IS RIGHT! Why do you think we left? Not to mention, ALL THE SCHOOLS SUCK ASS, NO MATTER WHAT ANYONE TELLS YOU! I was enrolled in some and have family members enrolled in almost every school you can think of. All completely crappy for the amount of prop tax you gotta pay to live there. Not to mention the crime, which is high even in the good (which are few) neighborhoods. So there.

What did Philly do? HA!


Heh...I banned "Kasey" before I went to bed and thought things would stay calm overnight. Whoops.

1) The Kansas thing is a JOKE. I don't think anyone who lives in Kansas is a hick or a hatemailer. It's just an example I plucked out of thin air to illustrate the whole "you have no right to complain when you choose to live where you -- pack up and move to the suburbs, the South, the Midwest, etc." guilt trip some people lay down. Joke!

2) I would love to stay home with Noah. Would. Love. To. His daycare is great,'s not ME, you know? So I can agree with MrsAnthrope on the non-idealness of it. Trust me, I don't need to be reminded.

Because I can't get away from the fact that there's a squishy line in terms of what I'm willing to give up to stay home (a savings account, not living paycheck to paycheck, an occasional date night with my husband), and this is the extremely personal choice every woman has to make, and this is usually the part of the choice that makes her feel like shit. Because there's always that little voice (or in my case, Internet trolls) telling me that I'm being selfish and could give up more and DAYCARE IS ABUSE HOW DARE YOU.

(For more on that, please see this excellent post.)

So is daycare something to be avoided AT ALL COSTS? God, I hope not, because by that logic I was irresponsible to even HAVE a baby when I knew there was a chance I'd be going back to work, and I hope only the Kaseys among us would agree with that.

3) I'm all for a good discussion, but...this isn't a message board. This is a personal website and therefore, it's my life you're discussing. Which still feels weird to me, even after all these years.

So yes, it may seem like some commenters are going overboard with the RAH RAH DAYCARE YAY posts, but I like to think that they've sensed that I feel like shit about the daycare thing and have only been focusing on the trade-offs and negatives, and want to reassure me that everything will be okay, just like they would do if we were all at Starbucks together and I started crying into my latte.

So yeah, feminism and choice and female power and every choice is a valid choice and we should recognize that, but right now I'm feeling a little too fragile to be providing the bandwidth for some kind of mothering throwdown.

Am also selfish! Bitch!

4) I forgot to say THANK YOU to everyone who emailed me. I read every single one -- from those of you who have made the same painful choice, to those of you who made a different choice yet still support mine, to those of you who wrote loving testimonials to your working mothers. Thank you.

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