In Which Words Fail Me
Wednesday Advice Smackdown

More Ponderous Pontificating on Mommyhood

I know! You are so welcome.

(And while I do need to fact check this, I'm writing from the assumption that no one has ever had a baby except for me in the history of the universe.)

Jason and I were having a discussion (over dinner) (in a restaurant) (eating food that we could cook at home, but why, when paying for it is so much fun?) (and also when it inspires the wrath of the U WENT BACK 2 WORK BECAUSE U R A SELFISH WHORE people) (and let's not forget the wine, the delicious delicious wine) about whether or not we feel "different" since Noah was born.

I immediately chimed in with a Raising-Arizona-like "I LOVE HIM SO MU-UU-UCH!" and said that yes, I feel like a completely different person now and my LANDS, the differences, they are many in number, although I can't really think of any right now beyond a heightened tolerance for another human being's bodily fluids.

Jason shrugged and said he didn't feel that different.

And while I went all Precious-Moments-eyeballs on him for a moment, because if he didn't feel different, that must mean he doesn't love Noah, because again, the multitude of differences! Like...there are soggy burp cloths in my Coach bag! THAT'S A LIFE TURNED UPSIDE DOWN, I TELL YOU.

Jason tried to explain, ignoring my weirdness like he has ignored my weirdness for the past eight years now, that while yes, our day-to-day lives are very different, he doesn't feel like he as a person has changed at all. Having Noah hasn't made him a better person who always gives change to homeless people or who has any deep insight into the human condition. It hasn't even changed how fast he drives.

And other than me still not being quite up to par in the seduction department, we as a couple haven't changed much either. We still talk about non-Noah things, like the pets and our jobs and people who bug us and man, a vacation would be nice soon but man, this thing at work, like, man, it's probably going to kill me dead. Please pour me another glass of wine.

(Yes, we've always been this exciting. And eloquent!)

Jason summed up his feelings:  Now we have Noah. He is here and we need to take care of him, but taking care of him is fun, so therefore Noah makes our lives more fun and wow, so glad we finally got knocked up and that we got knocked up with this particular little person, but being a dad is not the earth-shattering, ground-swelling, clouds-parting, surging-Bellagio-fountains kind of life change he thought it would be.

"Like when we got married," he said. "Everyone kept asking if I felt different. And I didn't. We were just married, and it was great, but...not that different."

I responded by telling him that this was the craziest crazy talk I had ever heard, you big fat crazy, and spent the rest of our dinner contemplating my sleeping son, my incredibly delicious rockfish and how all the ways motherhood has changed me.


There's the aforementioned skin issue. It's really the only way I can describe it: Noah is walking around (okay, more like lolling around like a floppy rockfish) with my top layer of skin. I'm extremely sensitive now. I feel hurts and slights very deeply and it doesn't take much to get me irreparably bent out of shape.

I spent a weekend recently stomping around my house and threatening to pull down my whole damn stupid website because what am I DOING, putting myself and my son out there so freaks and weirdos and mean people can be freaky and weird and mean to us and I DON'T NEED THIS SHIT, DO NOT FUCK WITH THE MAMA BEAR.

So that's a change. Probably not a good change. Probably a change I should discuss with my therapist, had I not fired my therapist because I cannot afford emotional health right now; I have to buy diapers.

(And formula. Stupid boobs. I spend all that money on nursing bras and rented pumps and Soothies and lanolin and twee breastmilk storage containers and four months later I've got enough powdered Similac Advance in my cupboards to create a powerful DHA- and ARA-fueled army of confused flour beetles.)

One thing my therapist WOULD be proud of me for is my sort-of overcoming of the thing about the phone. (That's what we called it. The Thing About the Phone. Not strong enough to be considered a phobia [volcanoes!], but intrusive enough to be a definite Thing.)

I hate the phone. HAAAATE it. I've hated it ever since I was in the first grade and could never remember my phone number, and every time I tried to call home from my friend Missy's house I dialed wrong, and one time this really mean lady yelled at me because she thought I was some punk kid when I just needed to ask my mom if I could stay for dinner.


(And I didn't even LIKE eating dinner at Missy's house, because her mom made canned green beans instead of frozen green beans and put onions IN the hamburgers. So not worth a lifelong Thing, is all I'm saying.)

But Noah can't make his own pediatrician appointments, nor could he sweet talk his way to the top of daycare waiting lists, so I use the phone now.

I even called some random guy who left a Post-it on my car window asking where I'd gotten my leather interior done to tell him (we did it ourselves, and by "we" I mean "Jason") because it seemed like a nice, normal-phone-using thing to do. Also, I respect anyone who has a Post-it handy in a parking garage.

I still have not called to order Indian food though, because the woman who answers the phone at the restaurant is snippy, and snippy stills makes me nervous and when I'm nervous I give them the wrong street address.

I feel badly for when I judged people for their screaming babies ("Just give the damn thing a pacifier already, GOD. All babies like pacifiers, right?"), or for buying an SUV after having one child ("What, like you need all that room for a seven-pound infant? GOD."), or got angry because someone didn't call me or repeatedly canceled lunch plans while on maternity leave ("She's sitting at home eating bon bons in her jammies! She's totally going to spoil that damn baby and have no friends or life ever again and it'll be all her fault.") ("GOD.")

And I'm suddenly aware of money. Before Noah, we never worried about money. We never THOUGHT about money. If we ended up with some money for the savings account at the end of the month, that was GREAT, but if not, WHO CARES, look at the pretty things we bought! We'll think about retirement tomorrow or the day after that.

We're still doing just fine. We can pay our bills and have money left over, despite the insane amount of money I pay to Noah's daycare every week (and you would not believe it if I told you, and I mean that, because I've told people who were firmly convinced that they lived in the High Cost of Living Epicenter of the Universe how much I pay for daycare and they have gone blind from shock. And then, just to be mean, I tell them how much the more expensive centers cost, the centers that we did not get a spot in because I did not get on the waitlist two years ago or offer them my kidney, and then they ACTUALLY DIED. THE POLICE ARE INVESTIGATING ME).

What the hell was I saying before that tangent? Wait, let me SCROLL UP AND CHECK.

Oh right. We're doing okay. Things are definitely tighter than before, but you know, the mortgage gets paid and we can afford to go out for dinner and after consulting our budget spreadsheet I have decided that I can, in fact, continue to pay $12 a month for XM Radio because I no longer grocery shop while pregnant (i.e. seven pints of Ben & Jerry's, family size tub of pudding, etc.).

But I'm just...kind of obsessed with money anyway. I won't spend anything on myself, like AT ALL. Every day at work, I scavenge around the kitchen and put together a free lunch of leftover lunch trays from meetings and free birthday cake and even some mysterious Jell-o snack cups that appeared the other morning. Today I used a Sharpie to color the heel of a shoe that Ceiba chewed all to hell and I don't think you can notice at all, unless you look directly at it.

I went to buy cat food this weekend and pitched a damn FIT because MY GOD, did we not realize we were paying $22.45 for a case of canned light food versus $19.78 for this other brand? That's a cost savings of...more than a whole DOLLAR at LEAST, don't make me to the math, but honestly, that's ridiculous of us to have never noticed that.

Although I'm not forgoing simple pleasures like lunch and new shoes while lavishing hundreds of dollars on Noah either. I almost bought him generic formula ON PRINCIPLE, but got scared of it, like what if it's the Hydrox equivalent to Oreos? Hydrox cookies are gross. And the generic diapers gave him a rash. 

I plan to make homemade baby food, not so I can ensure that he will only ever poop out the finest organic produce money can buy, but because those twee little jars are a fucking rip off.


I am fairly sure, however, that my recent decent into miserhood is definitely temporary and will end sometime around the same time I run out of my good facial moisturizer.

I'm also trying to watch my language, surprise surprise. I'm also having a tough time doing it, duh duh duh duh DUH. When I dropped the damn baby-food-making mixer attachment on my toe and broke it, I screamed the f-word several times, only to see Jason standing in the doorway, precious babe in arms. Later that night I broke a jar of red pepper flakes (from BALDUCCI'S, like, are we just throwing money out the window here?) and let a few more choice words fly.

The other night we realized that Noah was staring at the TV while a commercial for Hostel was on. Jason casually turned him around and started talking to him VERY LOUDLY while I fumbled for the remote.

But then yesterday I stumbled onto the Radio Disney channel on XM, only to hear them edit "piece of crap" out of a Weezer song. Seriously? Like, are you fucking kidding me?

And it threw me into an existential dilemma. We all want to be the cool parents who don't freak out about a bit of potty language and buy the stupid edited versions of CDs at Wal-Mart and whatever, but no one wants to be the parent of the kid who calls their preschool teacher a fucking douche.

Or even a piece of crap. Hmm.

I guess I'm not really different either, except that I think about a lot of weird things now. Like when to learn how to use the parental controls on the TiVo. Or whether a subscription to the Sunday paper would be worth it for the coupons, and would I really remember to use the coupons, BECAUSE WHO AM I KIDDING?

I can tell you this much: Parenthood is not sainthood and I am not a better person for fulfilling a base evolutionary urge to reproduce and pass on my clearly superior genetic code. Mostly I just feel like I'm just trying not to mess this kid up too badly.

If anything, being a parent just magnifies my insecurities and makes my bad habits more obvious. It would be really great if having a child automatically made me a kinder, gentler, more fiscally-responsible, phone-using person who watches her goddamn motherfucking mouth sometimes, but it didn't. 

I guess the only real life-changing difference is this: Now we have Noah.



Too bad the "we" part of the equation hasn't changed a damn bit, except that we're playing like it counts now.



Another wonderful comment - thanks for the peek into your life

Zoots Mom

Noah will be just fine...How could he not be...he's beautiful and has some spectacular parents taking care of him...

Ali G


i agree about the snippy take-out people - WHAT IS THEIR PROBLEM?! it's like, hello, i am SPENDING MONEY on eating food in my own house, where i have a perfectly functional kitchen, and possibly some peanut butter.

sigh... i need to save more money. unfortunately, all my budgeting plans go awry when i realize my only choices are to get a job that pays real money... or move out of NYC already...


Am also scared of the phone...makes me so damn nervous everytime I have to pick the fucker up. WHY?? I don't even have a reason for it--at least you've got your childhood trauma. Mine is just pure, unadulterated crazy.


wow, you ARE feeling chatty today. i'm going to go out on a limb and say it maaaay have been the wine at dinner but only if it affects you like it affects me, because when i have wine i like to talky talky talky but mostly in a whiny way.

thanks for being real with us. ignore the asshats who are mean and come around just to crap on your baby parade.


you have an amazing talent for taking that neverending inner monologue that I imagine a lot of us have and putting it down into words and showing us all that hey? if you are a little crazy, well then, so are we!


My husband didn't act that different either, until the boys started to talk, and the "i love you daddy," and the out of the blue hugs. Now, he cannot get enough...and he spoils them, like rotten eggs. They get all the spoiling now, and not me. But I would have it no other way. Because when you have kids you cannot imagine loving anyone more than these miniature little adults who wipe their boogies on you and think its funny to bite your behind.

Don't worry it will happen to Jason.

And I worry about money every day. Which is why I took the stab at putting my ad on your blog. I get scared that the money will run out when the kids need something like shoes, or a jacket. I get scared that one day I will find a big fat zero in my bank account and I won't be able to feed them. They are my everything....I completely understand what you mean.

And a Sharpie on your shoes? You are inventive!


I loves your mad storytelling skillz. You weave a magnificiant tale momma bear. Now about the couch! Seriously just a hint maybe?


sounds like me with my first but put far more eloquently than i could have ever thought of expressing on my own.
do what i do and buy brand new expensive moisturizer and make-up on ebay. that way i save a buck but still get what i want. i imagine these products are from people who work at the make-up counters and they quitely steal and make extra money on the side. i don't mind supporting the black market...


A) Good for you for embracing formula. Stop flagellating on the boobs, people! Breastfeeding is great, formula is great, get over it already.

B) The men.THE MEN! My beloved said the same shit about not being changed. Probably because his stomach did not navigate to above his ribcage for the last five months of pregnancy. EH?

C) Do you feel differently about your mom yet? The subject of a whole new post, isn't it? You mean they actually felt this way about US? Someone once said that if children actually knew how much we loved them, they would be afraid to leave the house. Or something like that.

D) Except our kids, who will google themselves when they are twelve, die of embarrassment or drown in our love for them. And GOD! The torture. Can't wait.


I've so done the Sharpie On The Shoe thing too! It works well.

I wish, WISH my friends that have recently had babies were more like you.


I have always had a mild phone Thing. I can make calls, but I have to mentally work myself up to it, and I simply can't do it if someone is sitting there listening to me. I take the phone into another room, where I can be alone. When email finally came on the scene, I found my true communication-medium love and have never looked back.


burp clothes in your coach bag is the ultimate display of your love for noah!

Wacky Mommy

My husband asked me the other day, "Do you think sometimes you should maybe answer the phone, occasionally?" I was like (not even stopping to consider it), "No." I do answer it when Wacky Girl is at school, in case she's sick or something. Amalah, you are a fine writer. Are you going to write a book sometime? It would sell.


Your posts are so great. Truly.

I don't have kids, and I plan on not having any, but I'm really glad that you are not only having these incredible experiences (no matter how mundane or boring you're inclined to think they are) but that you're writing about them as well. Your perspective on motherhood *is* important and valuable to someone like me who will never have that experience. So you can think of it as providing a useful service, if it helps. And besides, sharing is good.

Reading your posts is like having a good (non-phone) conversation with a friend. A friend with a most outrageously cute baby.


Me too with the phone thing.

You said " Parenthood is not sainthood and I am not a better person for fulfilling a base evolutionary urge to reproduce and pass on my clearly superior genetic code." I like that because parents that are my age tend to make me feel just a little "less" than them. And who knows if that's them or me? But, thanks for acknowledging this, Amalah.

Also? I heart existential crises like yours. I too want my kids to be respectful, but seriously, when you study porn for a living, whatayagonedo?


Wow that was a post and a half. I have a few comments

1. Generic formula is the same thing as regular. I spent a fortune on name brand with my first born. My 2nd child will never know that which is name brand.

2. Daddies just don't get it. My husband gave me my first postpartum cry with my 2nd child by telling me he didn't remember 1st childs favorite ducky toy from when she was a newborn. Um hello it was the ducky she always had, how do you forget that?

3. I totally have that kid who will eventually call someone a douche and its horrible. She has taken on our nicknames for our cats and now lovingly refers to them as "The Bastards" she is 2. Don't be jealous, and no you can't have her she is all mine. *sigh*


I tried a Sharpie on a bleach splashmark near the crotch of my husband's pants one day, and it worked not at all. Embarrassing to walk around with a guy who has a wife who uses Sharpies on his pants and who wears the pants anyway because so what it's just pants. With a covered-up bleach splashmark that now looks like a properly-placed wet mark. Oops.

La Dieter

My husband can only talk on the phone while simultaneously doing something else, including, but not limited to, patting himself on the head like a monkey.

I cannot wait until the day I feel overwhelming love for my future little ones. I can only imagine...


And should I mention that I once ironed ("touched up") the collar of a linen dress while I was wearing it? Being too lazy to undo all the tiny tiny buttons that went from my chest to my ankles. Or too late for work maybe. Yes, I did get a scorch mark on my chest, what of it? Now, the only clothes I'll iron while I have them on is the corner flap on my denim skort (which never stays flat out of the dryer and looks really stupid curled over) because I just don't take the same precautions with the flubber on my thighs as I do the delicate skin on my chest. Sheesh.

And I love all of your posts and the pics of that gobble-lishous baby. You're a terrific writer -- thanks for sharing you life!


Try the "bright beginings" formula.. (the one that Brooke Shields hawks) its all the same stuff as the $$$ stuff, plus it comes in the big cans that you normally can only get at costco, and there are always coupons in the baby mags and on the can. My son even liked it better (or so it seemed).

Oh and savings? Why save when you can get cute little Paul Frank baby t's??? :-)


I am amazed how many of us share the phone thing! I don't really like calling people I KNOW - much less strangers. My husband looks at me like I'm a loon when I always make him do the calling if at all possible. God bless e-mail.


I'll just say this: YES the Sunday paper is worth it. I never though I'd remember to use the damned coupons either, but I've turned into Coupon Nazi so I don't worry about that anymore. We do all our grocery shopping at WALMART for the love of GOD and use COUPONS on top of it. How sick is that??

And yeah, I've gotten to the point where spending $40 for a pair of JEANS has made me get the shakes. Help! (Just my way of saying it might not be so temporary.)


Oh and yeah, I have a phone thing too. BIG time.


Jesus! Just 10 min. ago there were only 14 comments! Well. It's different, but the same way. Whatever you believe, it will NEVER be exactly the way it was BN - before Noah.


I relate to this in every way.

Also I feel like I left my index finger at home every time I Exit the House Away From the Baby.
I catch myself shuffling around in my purse, looking for the thing I forgot, till I realize it's him.


It is so nice to read that I am not the only one with a phone "thing" going on! I can make the phone calls, but I tense up any time the phone rings. It drives me nutty.


Secret Confession of the Day: I am a total phone pansy. I think I've dialed the phone, like, MAYBE 12 times since I got married a year and a half ago.

Which is the entire reason I got married. No more unecessary, panic inducing, phone usage.

Bozoette Mary

When my son -- who is now a cop, yes? -- was 2ish, we were driving up the road. A car cut us off, my husband leaned on the horn, my son said, clear as a bell, "Come on, asshole!" We started watching our language after that... at least for a while.


Awwwwwww, Amy. I'm reading your archives at the moment and I really wanted to leave comments saying "Don't worry! In a couple years time you'll have Noah!"

I've never had a child so I can't write and say I soooooo know how you feel, but I know how you feel about the phone thing at least. I just cannot talk on the phone. I had to call in sick to my training day of work yesterday 'cause I have the flu, and now I think they called me back this morning and I just cannot answer the phone. And I think I'm telling you this because I have been freaking out about it for the last couple of days, and yay! Someone who understands!

Anyway, I think you are an awesome mum and don't worry about the swearing too much ! I probably shouldn't relate this story 'cause it sounds really awful, but when my boyfriend was growing up as a toddler or a little kid or whatever, his Mum would send him to find his Aunt, to relay the message that she was a "stupid whore" or whatever. Just as a joke. And then his aunt would send him back to his mum with a different message. And he turned out okay. Actually, he turned out quite good! :) Just thought I'd let you know so you don't feel bad about swearing or whatever. I'm pretty sure he never called his teachers a whore, either. That would have been embarassing for his family. Anyway, I love reading your journal and thanks so much for that! <3 Jem


From the way I have heard my friends talk about parenthood, I think you described it perfectly.


I know.


I have the same fears about my kids learning bad words. One of my four-year-old's favorite movies is Grease. I never realized how dirty that movie is until I watched it with her! I had to warn her preschool teacher that she might come into school saying things like "go flog your log" and I'm really sorry, but hey, she likes Grease.
Also, I played Kanye West's Goldigger for her in the car the other day and that has the word fuck like a hundred times. Oops.
Noah will be fine. And, by the way, on XM, channel 116 (XM Kids) is much better than Radio Disney. Especially the morning show - my daughter loves it.


Brilliant! Bravo, bravo!

Only one little criticism. You said "nuclear". I'm pretty sure you must have meant "nuk-u-lar". It's just a little error, probably a typ-o. No, no... you needn't thank me.

Organic poop... hahhah


You are so cool and so normal and it is great that you share that with us. Thank you!

That is all.


You are SO the best writer ever. You make me laugh every post.

My husband and I actually had the SAME conversation about our new baby. His response was freakishly similar. They are all programmed the same, I think. I was saying how much I loved her and don't mind waking a kabillion times at night to feed her because I love her so...he said he did not "feeeeel" love for her the same way. Described it as more of a conscious choice. Although his sense of responsibility increased in ways like driving slower and feeling protective. He too got my "precious moments eyes" (a glare really) as I asked..."howwwwwww, how could you not feel the same way I do???" I was mortified, until he explined what his love for her was like. Then I understood..he is a man, but OH such a good one.


You make me less afraid to have kids. Thank you.

Nothing But Bonfires

Respect the segue, indeed! EVERY DAMN TIME I see the word "segue" some little voice in my brain kicks into action and sidles up to me and says "speaking of segues......" and then I laugh out loud and it looks like I'm a crazy person.

ALSO, your Indian food people DELIVER??? We have to go and pick ours up. Though they're not snippy on the phone, so maybe that's the trade-off. And once the guy even wrote "10% off your next order! Signed, Sanjay" on the back of our receipt, because we're there so often.


Once again, LOVE the entry! (as usual)...

And I vowed to make my first son all organic baby food too - and my friends w/kids laughed and laughed. And I did, for like 1 month, when I had a freezer full of peaches and no room for a different fruit! Then I switched to tiny jars of organic babyfood, which is so much easier! And with the amt of food that I ruined (can't cook worth a damn) and then threw out because how many days of the same food can he tolerate... it WAS cheaper to buy the little jars. Just sayin'.


Hey Amalah.

Long time reader/lurker here. I had intended on continuing to lurk and not comment (even with the delurking week), but I wanted to let you know how touched I've been by your last few posts. I'm actually teared up, and found myself very very thankful that you and your husband have such a beautiful baby.

You see, my husband and I have been married for 4.5 years and have serious fertility issues. Well, I have fertility issues. He, apparently, could populate the world. We've had 3 (known) miscarriages, lots of doctors, tests, and congrats, they actually know what's wrong with me.

Anyway, I haven't gotten to read all of your archives, but I just wanted you to know that I'm so happy that you and your husband have this baby. Don't ever be sorry for loving, obsessing, worrying, or anything else. And I'm sure any woman who has gone through what we have knows and agrees.

You have my admiration.



Okay, enough reading my mind already. I have been meaning to post an entry on my blog about the beautyness and wonderfulness and scariness and the omigoshiness of motherhood and you keep beating me to it and writing it WAY BETTER THAN I EVER COULD and now I have to find a different topic or people will be like, "oh, so you just copied amalah, you amalah copier"! (did you get all that?)

Noah, as always, is AllThingsSnuggleable.

OH, and my husband? Same response as Jason to the babychangeyourworld thing.


I completely agree with your sentiments on motherhood, especially those expressed in your previous post. Fathers do not understand it (until the kid is older and can express his/her love for the father), people without kids do not understand it. I did not understand it before I had my own child. However, I do not understand why you feel the need the justify your monthly expenses, financial choices to the entire internet. How you spend your money is your business, and you can talk about daycare and dinners out without the need to justify these expenses. Why get so defensive? Why even give people who seem to be keeping an Amalah spending spreadsheet on their computers even the pleasure of knowing your thought process and agony over financial choices? Why do you care so much about what 100 odd strangers think about your choice of formula brand? I am just curious, since you have mentioned being upset about such comments.

mama speak

The whole "wearing your skin thing", it doesn't go away. My daughter is 2.5 and it's still just as strong as it was when she was born. It drives me nuts cause I'm pretty sure it's hormones, and all those things you used to roll your eyes at your mom over worrying about...well, now you get to do it. (When I think of how she must've felt about me with some of the extreme sports...and not just drinking ;) I mean it's good cause you love in an extreme you never understood before, but you also understand now that you can hurt in that way too.


I second the comment about you making kids less scary. I thank you. My boyfriend wouldn't if he knew the thoughts that have been running through my head lately.

I can make appointments with all of my doctors online. It's the best, because not only can I avoid making a phone call, my whole office doesn't hear when I need a pap smear!


You are so right about parent hood magnifying our insecurities. It's so much more fun to be able to ignore our bad habits, but for some reason, having kids makes one existential. I never realized how much TV I watch pre-kids, now, it's a source of guilt. Especially because they're school age.

You think it's bad now, just wait until you have your first parent teacher conference. Talk about feelings of insecurity and inadequacy. I guess the wearing your skin thing doesn't go away even after 9 yrs. It just changes.


Lolismum: I didn't realize I came across as defensive here...I just rambled obsessively about my monthly expenses because I am obsessive about my monthly expenses.

Are we saving enough? Do we have enough of a nest egg? Will the daycare check bounce? Are we spoiling the baby? Are we depriving the baby? If I just skip lunch today will I suddenly realize that we don't need my salary after all and I can stay home?

So it's not so much me trying to justify my budget to the Internet as it's me trying to give the Internet a glimpse into the weird circular logic I've developed about money since Noah was born.



Ouch! Chicken pox huh? Well, I hope for you that he doesn't, but I had the chicken pox at 5 months old and am none-the-worse for the wear.

In fact, I don't remember a thing! My mom says she felt so sorry for me, but then felt better when all my friends got it a 5-8 years old and were REALLY whiny and I was immune and all.

I am not a mom, but your words ring so true and honest that they give me hope that if one day I am lucky enough to become a mother I will be a teensy tiny bit forewarned on the awesomeness that is maternal love.


I just wanted to tell you my hubby was the same way. He didnt feel changed. Yes, he loved the baby but it wasnt anything like it was for me! Wait until Noah is about 20 months old and ask him that question again and I promise it will be different. Its hard when they are little and dont give back much very hard on the guys but once they start interacting with him and then when daddy comes home from work and he runs up to him screaming daddy!!!!!!!!!!! Then his life will be changed. Its just a time thing.


ok. i had to stop reading for a minute and leave a comment immediately when you wrote about putting youself (and your son)out there for freaks and weirdos to say mean things about.

while i will go back to finish reading your post, and all the comments, i feel i must stop now to say--fuck those people. they clearly have no clue what a love as deep as yours is. i don't know what it is, either. but, i appreciate the opportunity to experience it through you.

i've been reading your blog since about 1 month before you announced Noah was on the way, and i've kept relatively silent. but lately i've noticed that you've been on the defensive. and i want to find the people that are making you feel that way and kick their asses.

you are, and always have been--since i discovered you--an amazing writer.
it doesn't really matter if you're writing about baby poop, or not. that's how good you are.
so, at the risk of sounding like a crazy person--i hope you recognize your talent, and how much it means to all of us...


You rock my socks Amy.


Er, my last comment sounded kinda lewd. That's NOT what I intended at all.


Motherhood suits you, girl. Your writing (while always kickass) is fantastic these days. Must read TV.

Oh, and your kid is wicked bad cute. I'm glad you're telling the internets about it all -- utter fascinating to read about it when you haven't taken the plunge yourself. If you give up the high end moisturizers, however, I might get cold feet.


Just to support the idea you already mentioned...I have heard, from those with experience (unlike me), that you can often just blend a portion of what you might have been eating anyway for the baby as long as it's not spicy (i.e. green beans? peaches? all right then. spaghetti? probably. indian food? not yet)... and it will not only be easy but potentially healthier and much much cheaper. Down with industrial processed baby food!


I don't know if I've EVER heard it summed up better than that. Makes me a little less scared about the whole thing. Thanks!

Oh, and getting the Sunday paper just for the coupons...waste of money, I've tried it.

the kim half of glamorouse

1. I am loving the long posts
2. Stop it. S.T.O.P. You're making my heart hurt.
3. OH MY GOD SNAP on the phone phobia. Except mine came from my first 'real' job when the boss really liked to ring and yell at me if I took more than three rings to answer.
4. Don't worry about him calling his preschool teacher a fucking douche bag, we're currently dealing with the Middle Child pointing at people smoking and saying, "Mummy, he/she's smoking. he's going to die isn't he mummy...".



Eek! I hope he doesn't have chicken pox. Although, my sister had them when she was 2 days old (2 spots total - both on her forehead) and was barely sick, so maybe it won't be so bad?

You've made me worry a little about my level of crazy once I have a baby. I already think about money like you do, and it's just me and my husband and we have enough of it, but I worry just the same. I think I may go a little insane when there's another person to worry about.


I have the same issues with the phone. I hate everything about the it. I get very nervous and have to constantly repeat myself because I am talking too fast and too low. But I think I hate leaving voicemails worse than I hate actually talking to a person. I'm one of those people that hangs up as soon as I hear the voicemail start. I think my issues with the phone come from when I would answer the phone when I was little and my dad would scream from the other room "TELL THEM I'M NOT HERE!" while I was trying to talk to whomever it was. It always made me kinda uncomfortable to tell them that when I'm pretty sure they heard him.


Ah, the phone. It is nice to know that there are others out there in the world who have phone phobia. I hate the phone so much that even when I am at friends/family's houses and the phone rings I cringe. Why is that? And the cell phone, well thank goodness for special rings for special people, otherwise I would never be able to communicate. Also, food delivery, I can never answer the door. Can't order the food over the phone and can't answer the door. It requires that whoever I am with to handle the entire exchange. I will go out before I will sit at home and wait for a stranger to come to my door. Weird, huh?
Love your posts about motherhood. Very beautiful and scary. Thanks for sharing!


Thanks for your honesty! I loved this post. And speaking of the skin thing (is that what it's called now?), I had my 10-month old at the little play area in Tysons yesterday and this 5 or 6 year old little boy tried to step on my baby's little hands while saying "I'm going to hurt you."

No, I'm going to hurt you, you fucking little sociopath.

I never knew I could feel such anger toward a little person.


I have a 'phone thing,' too. I get very irritated when I talk on the phone. I get very bored, and I just want the conversation to end already, dammit!

Good luck with the budgeting. It can be done. :)


Wow. Great post. I can identify with your perceptions of motherhood and how it changes your life. Except the whole Indian restaurant delivery thing -- I haven't found one near me that delivers.

I hope that Noah doesn't have chicken pox -- keeping my fingers crossed for you.


Soggy burp cloths in the Coach bag? Oh my god, don't let anyone EVER say "U R A SELFISH WHORE." Because, seriously, I've just added "don't want soggy burp cloths in my Coach bag" to the list of reasons I'm not having kids. Bless your selfless heart.

kathy S.

What a relief to know that there is another phone phobic woman on the planet; I thought I was the only one. DO you want to know what makes me a really, really bad mommy? Having my 7 year old daughter order take-out because I am too nervous to do it myself. I also suck because that same 7 year old caught a glimpse of the commercial for Hostel, was terrified and when I refused to sleep with her, cried bitter, bitter tears.


I was just telling someone the other day, I don't feel different because I had a baby. (ha - I just typed 'hade' a baby - I'm freaking TIRED, that's changed) I love my boy a lot, and so does my husband but seriously? There are only two things that have changed, that I notice. One is that I'm tired. I haven't slept well, and by that I mean more than like four hours in a row, except for maybe two nights, in like eight months. But that's normal. The other, harder to really be clear on change, is that I feel like everyone's mother. I mean, I went to see the movie Capote? There's a part where Truman Capote is feeding baby food to one of the mean dirty killers, cause he's on a hunger strike? I was crying and crying, I felt like I could see my baby's face in that actor's face. And if I hear about something happening to someone, a baby or a kid, or even an adult male, I think oh my God, they were a tiny baby one time, just like MY tiny baby and I lose it again. It's like a tremendous, painful sense of empathy.

Also, I second whoever said about the generic formula. I breastfed my babe for seven months and now he's on formula almost exclusively and it's like HALF as much to get the generic, which is exactly the same. Well. It's a teensy bit foamier, but that's the only difference I've noticed.

Real Girl

Hmmm. Not being a mama myself, I haven't had much to say lately--which doesn't mean I haven't been reading.

But from my experience as a kid, which I actually once was, I think it's pretty hard to f*ck up your kid as long as you give him/her love and support.

My folks swore and still do. They put me in front of the TV but also read to me at night. They did a lot of things that parents today stress themselves out about. But they have always supported me endlessly, given me love, and expressed their pride in me.

I turned out just fine.


I can only hope after I have my baby I can remain normal and fabulous, like before, but with much less video game playing.


The CHICKEN POX? OH LORD. (See, I resisted the ever-lovin' f-bomb myself. ).......

Anyway, another great post! However, I have been feeling weirded out because I DON'T feel all that different. Overall, I feel like ME, except with a KID. I have been wondering myself if this is healthy or not. Like, am I just PLAYING at being a mom and ultimately, I just don't "get it" since I don't feel different?

I have been obsessing over the monthly bills thing, too and my husband thinks I am insane. He keeps reassuring me we have enough while I madly do the calculations again. I did however manage to jusitfy the XM radio by writing it off as birthday presents for this year (a non-guilty way to keep the radio coming, I figure).


I finally got fed up with my phone phobia as it was totally affecting my ability to do my job. I looked up some stuff on it, and it's a real problem, folks! Therapists think it has to do with a difference in how people communicate. Those who only listen to the words others are saying are fine on the phone. Those of us who primarily depend on body language and other unspoken signals from another person feel lost and panicky on the phone, as we feel the conversation is beyond our control.

Alas, the only way to get over it? Use the phone. The more you avoid it, the worse it gets.

Lecture over. (Sorry! I can't help myself!)


A subscription to the Sunday edition of the Washington Post will pay for itself in coupons. I tend not to use a lot of coupons because they are mostly for junk, but even so, it covers the cost of subscription. I imagine even more so if one is buying diapers and formula.


My 5 1/2 year old's new favorite saying is,
"What THE?" He doesn't actually FINISH the question but just lets it hang out there. Now, I don't usually say that, so it's either from my ex (who is an idiot - let's just get that out of the way) OR quite possibly something he picked up in Kindergarten class. Either way -- there's always something. If it ain't you, he'll hear it from someone else. I do have a potty mouth but have managed, I think, to curb it reasonably well. Besides, DEAR GOD, now he's starting to WRITE.


Hmmm, thanks for a post that I can't stop thinking about! Upon further reflection, I guess what I was trying to say in my previous comment is that I don't feel like I am "Arun's mom" but rather I still feel like "Cagey, who has a son named Arun". I guess being a mom still doesn't really define me and I am not sure whether that is a good thing or a bad thing. Hmmm.....


Bwahahahaha! I told myself I was going to make my own babyfood before he was born and never made an ounce of it. The jars were just too damn convenient. I cuss like a sailor in front of my kids but they also know that I sometimes say bad words. If they say bad words they get a bar of soap in their mouths, and yes, I've sat next to my then 5 year old both of us with bars of soap in our mouths. Since then I've yet to hear them swear. So far, so good...

Jody W.

I will never get tired of reading this blog.


Dude. Amalah. You keep bringin' it, man. This post - it really - wow. Yes. Am incoherent with agreement.

So. Confession. We did a sort of "half-caff" of generic formula and stupid expensive kind for the last, oh, 4 months of formula time. Saved a bit of dough without being fully consumed by soul-gulping fear of Lasting Damage that comes from using generic anything on your baby.


I feel ya on the phonebia. (Haha! Sorry.) I don't know what it is, but I just can't deal with the phone. There are 5 other people in my department at work, and 2 others are anti-phone, as well. And we use the phone a lot. It's great how the 3 of us jump through hoops to avoid it.

Also, I don't have a kid, so I can't quite identify with your post, except that I'm 23, and I still have that type of amazing love for my mom. So I'm sure that Noah's love for you is also all-encompassing. Too bad he's not old enough to express it on his website, but it's definitely there.


So...4 months pregnant and wondering...just exactly how expensive IS formula, anyway?

Makes me realize I have lots more research and learning to about this baby thing.

Anyway, Amalah - you rock.


@christine: Think $25 a can. Pow.

Jackie Joy

Ugh. The daycare in the AREA, it is like, I should just quit my job, stay home, and take in a couple kids! We could afford a new home!

And the coupons? They are not worth it unless they are on something you already buy. Like formula and diapers.

Generic formula, we used, but the soy kind. Generic diapers? After the hundredth carseat-soaking, we started buying Luvs. Cause I looove throwing that $22 out the window every week!

Noah? Is cuter with every. freaking. picture.

Heather B.

Formula is $25??!?! Wow..


I think there might be enough of us who hate the phone to band together and start a movement.

All communications with strangers should take place over email (ordering food, can I bring my car in, do you have rum cordials in yet, etc...)

The calls I hate the most are to sort-of-friends. People who I don't know very well but like... Sometimes I resort to email but the reply is way too late (Do you want to come to dinner like an hour?). I guess normal people don't check their email with every 25th breath. This is something the movement will have to address.


$25 a can? How long does a can last? Like, a week?

I'm scared that this answer is going to throw me back into the no-kids camp.


I'm loving the new frequency of your posts... you're a great humorist and always make me laugh...

also happy to see that you are benefitting from updating more regularly with all of those new blogads ;-) good for you!


*prostrates self*

Please don't ever stop with the blogging, Amalah. I have never laughed so much until I cried, cried so much until I laughed, nor had so many sympathetic vibrations (for someone I don't even know) at the Internet. Rilly.


"earmuffs max."

I mean that's all you really need to know.


Tip on making your own baby food. Pick a day, like Sunday, and make a whole bunch of one whatever. You put the processed food into ice cube treys and stick them in the freezer. Once they are frozen, pop the food cubes into a freezer bag and store. It takes a minute or so to thaw them out (microwave, pan, air) and you have complete little meals whenever you want them. I attribute this little effort to my girl's quick move from baby food to "real" food. The only little one I know that considers broccoli and okra a dessert!


That was brilliant! I love your blog. If only you lived in Alaska, we could have a great chat over martinis.....I am right beside you on so many levels of this whole motherhood adventure!


there's always gonna be someone that has something to say, because the rest of us are just to nice to tell people how fucking stupid they are. i'm going back to work when my son is around 6 or 7 weeks, and everyone can bite me. either that, or they can pay my bills. (yeah right.)

i just made a blog and i was wondering if it's okay for me to link to you...just lemme know. thanks!


there's always gonna be someone that has something to say, because the rest of us are just too nice to tell people how fucking stupid they are. i'm going back to work when my son is around 6 or 7 weeks, and everyone can bite me. either that, or they can pay my bills. (yeah right.)

i just made a blog and i was wondering if it's okay for me to link to you...just lemme know. thanks!


So if you subtract your daycare fees, all of your meals out for your family, formula and coach bags can you really not afford to stay home? I may be reading things wrong but I do think you would be a lot happier at home.



Where I live, they lock it up behind a glass case. I'm not even kidding.



Where I live, they lock it up behind a glass case. I'm not even kidding.


["seriously" was @lotionbarbunny, not laura. sorry for double post. amalah's work/money business totally her own. more power to her. sisterhood stay strong, etc].


I am an official lurker. I read your blog daily. As a fellow mom and wife I am blown away at the similarites between your life and mine, (and probably 97% of all moms and wives out there.) You are so freakin' funny and right on about all the insane stuff you write about. If I lived on the East Coast, I'd hunt you down and make you be my friend. But, alas, I'm in California and I'm not that psycho, so you're safe. I've spent countless precious minutes shirking my responsibilities at work to read your blog. Bless you, dear Amalah. Bless you.

Lisa Ann

So if you subtract your daycare fees, all of your meals out for your family, formula and coach bags can you really not afford to stay home? I may be reading things wrong but I do think you would be a lot happier at home.

GAWD. I hope this was a joke.


a nice, poignant view on motherhood.

love reading your stuff. this is what blkogging is all about.


amy - I am only hoping noah doesnt have chicken pox so YOU dont get it b/c it sucks as an adult - but as a child? He'll be better immunized than if he just got the immunization.


Hey LotionBarBunny, fix the clock on your computer *chortle*


There are always going to be people who make shitty, judgemental comments. I hope that you don't take them to much to heart. No one is perfect and no one lives YOUR life with YOUR son. You make the decisions for your family and the majority of people understand that. The sane people anyways. I will never understand people who choose to judge others ways of life when no one is perfect. Doesn't it make them look like asses? To come somewhere and judge as if they ARE perfect. Don't they know that people KNOW that they aren't perfect? Or are they just that egotistical to think that?

People need to learn that they can raise their own children and leave others to do the same. And when their children grow up to be holier-than-thou assholes who throw judgement around like they are God himself, they will understand it was just them rubbing off.


My husband works with a lot of people who have grown children (our baby is 10 months). Anyway, the other day he said something like, "I can't wait till she's 18 and I don't have to worry about her anymore..." The more experienced parents just laughed and laughed and laughed....

Also, somebody mentioned taking another look at your own parents and how much they must have loved you. I remember when I was a teenager and stayed out late, my dad would always be waiting up. I would always say: "DAD, REALLY, you DON'T HAVE to wait up!!"

Now I understand. He had to.


Supa $25 a can!!! Holy smack! I'm so glad I just nursed my 3rd son and never had to go to forumla.

JackieJoy, we switched to Luvs a long time ago--cheaper in price but SOOOO much better on preventing leaks, and they fit better too.

Amy, I sure hope he doesn't have the chicken pox!!

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