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Journal Kids

happy friday + that mom guilt…



Oh man, this week has been a doozy. I seriously over-booked myself and scheduled in way too many projects, photo shoots, and other work meetings into one week. While I continually tell myself not to over-commit, sometimes you're excited about so many things that you can't help but say yes! This busy week meant that I was away from Ruby more than usual, and that dreaded mom guilt kicked in. I saw her for only two hours yesterday, and I just about cried when I got home at 11:30pm at night, exhausted, and waiting till she woke up this morning so I could see her little smiling face.

With her first real Halloween coming up (last year she was a tiny ball of a newborn, so we didn't dress her up), I've also been coming to terms with all the halloween costumes, birthday parties, and other events in my future that involve craftiness of some sort. I'm not one of those moms who can whip out a sewing machine and put together a felt costume from scratch, nor can I make a three-layered cake from scratch in an afternoon. Sure, I can put together great ideas, come up with a fun theme, and find the various elements needed to put it together…but Martha Stewart, I am not. I'd much rather find a great halloween costume on Etsy or mix and match bunch of cool ready-made decorations to put together something special for an occasion. Last night, a good friend was reminding me that I don't have to be that mom who makes everything from scratch or be super domestic. Ruby will learn to love the type of mom that she has…my strengths and weaknesses and all. I just need to remind myself of that too…

I hope you guys have an amazing weekend! I'm looking forward to a little R&R for sure…

ps. look whose favorite new word is "Goodbye".

{Instagram photo of Ruby eating a pickle for the first time. She actually liked it despite this expression!}


  1. What a cutie! I hear you on Mom guilt. I work way too much as an art teacher at a charter school w/ long hours (at least 10 hours at school each day). Not to mention everything else in life!
    I’m an art teacher, and I don’t even worry about making things – who has time! Max’s first costume last year was from Pottery Barn Kids, and I got him one this year from Pottery Barn Kids (Max from Where the Wild Things Are) – he has yet to want to put it on, eep!
    I have a newborn arriving in a few weeks, hopefully Sadie will wear what I ordered from Etsy.

  2. i would say don’t let the guilt get to you but it gets me every time, especially in weeks when i travel. i know it wouldn’t be good if i stayed with my own all the time but it’s hard. sometimes, when i really miss her i’ve been known to have a slumber party just for us just to get a little more time in, even when she’s sleeping.

  3. Girl! From an outsider looking in you are super fabulous and Ruby is so blessed to have you as a mama! There is so much pressure we put on ourselves as mothers. Work with your strengths. That craftiness will come in small ways as life goes on if that is what you want to achieve and if not, oh well! That’s what sites like Etsy are for! I try to remember that not only does Martha Stewart have an empire behind her helping with all those perfect things she creates but she is also had 70 something years to evolve into who she is.
    Don’t beat yourself up, really the first year as a mother is such a huge adjustment. You are still figuring out so much. My son is 3 1/2 and I feel like its all started to click, not that won’t change as new stages of development come. But as a person I feel I have found my groove. Best wishes. Have a great weekend!

  4. Ah ha ha. Ruby will not “learn to love you”! She simply will because you’re Mom.
    Your ability to curate components of an experience – whether it’s theme for party, an idea for a costume, or helping her pick out an ensemble for a school dance – will be exactly what she loves about you and will rely on you for. There’s a really good chance she’ll never even be aware of which strengths or weaknesses are different between you and other moms until she’s about ready to start her own family.

  5. I think Ruby is so lucky to have such a creative mom that she will appreciate and love even if you don’t make a Halloween costume from scratch. You have an amazing eye and work ethic and that is pretty amazing in itself. My mom never made my costume and I never expected her too, I loved all the other things she did for me and Ruby will feel the same way. Don’t beat yourself up. Have a great weekend with your beautiful family. xx

  6. Kid’s don’t care where their halloween costumes come from, it’s all about the candy! My 2 year old wants to be a purple panda bear this year, so I feel the making a felt costume from scratch is inevitable. I can’t promise it will be amazing.
    I understand the mommy guilt thing, but I just try to tell myself absence makes the heart grow fonder. There is nothing better than the look on my little girl’s face when I get home after being away all day. I’m sure you are a great mom!

  7. I totally get it. My baby is six weeks old today. Everyone always said the first three months would be the tough, what with breastfeeding and crazy sleep patterns… But the hardest part for me has been going back to work full time. Between pumping, trying to spend quality time with her, lack of sleep, trying to be a good wife and trying to finish all my work, I’m absolutely spent! I finally broke into tears yesterday as I realized how hard it is to do it all… and for the first time I understood mommy guilt… I always figured it was guilt moms felt because they were busy living their lives or enjoying doing something else beside parenting… but it’s way more than that. It’s fear of being a bad parent coupled with the profound sadness of missing your baby… I miss her smile and it breaks my heart to miss her little milestones… But I can’t give up my work either. I guess it’s all part of the juggling act. Let’s hope it gets easier with age…

  8. I am 14 years into this mothering thing and among many other lessons, one thing I have learned is that your children will know you much better than you think they will! It is hard (impossible, I’d say) to fake who you really are to your children. They have a sharp, keen eye for baloney.
    Which is a good thing for you! Because whether you’re busy or not, whether you feel like you are good at juggling or not, Ruby will know that you really, truly love her, because you really do! She’ll know you’re doing your best to be there for her, because you are. Over the years your children know and understand you better than almost anyone else. It’s something that has surprised me as my children have gotten older. It’s mostly a welcome relief! I like being friends with my babies (children). It’s one of the joys of family.

  9. I hear you on the mum guilt. I almost cried when I got to work on Tuesday and I certainly cried when I arrived home from work. It’s so hard but I know that working two days a week is better for me, but sometimes I just want to be home with her. Ruby will love you no matter what, you’re her mum.

  10. That face! So cute and so precious haha. Discovery of pickles early can only be a good thing. After this you’ll have pickle munching competition though! 😉
    I’m so glad I don’t live in the States. Everyone seems to live under so much pressure to outdo the next person I’d be so stressed! You’re already super creative and have such a lovely business, you have nothing to prove! Ruby’s eating pickles, she doesn’t need a Halloween costume with that delightful face lol! <3

  11. I LOVE your friends comment about loving the type of mom that she has. I am pretty craft at times and my older son is used to it but since I’ve had my younger one I haven’t always had the time I want or need to devote to doing crafty type things. As the younger one gets a little less dependent on me (I feel like it’s happening so quickly!) I’m starting to be able to find time to do the more crafty or creative things that I enjoy. And I feel you on the mom guilt and I work from home 99.9% of the time! I used to work full time though and I don’t think I could ever go back. I love being home with my babies even if my productivity suffers sometimes. But in a few years I’m not going to say “Hey, man, I still remember when that post went up late, or I took a day longer to edit client x’s photos”… I’m going to remember all of the time that I spent with my little ones, and they will too.

  12. Someone once told me that I was made to be exactly the mom my little Olive needed and I remind myself of that when the mom guilt kicks up. It’s so obvious reading your blog how much you love your Ruby and that’s all she really needs. Kids care way less than we do about perfectly frosted 3 layer cakes…

  13. Beautiful baby! Lots of good advice from your comments, don’t be too hard on yourself. Enjoy the moment no matter what…they grow up way too fast to fret over things that won’t mean much later on!

  14. Awww~ I totally know what you mean about the mom guilt. I just try not to get overwhelmed by all the “goodness” and “inspiration” out there. It’s so nice to see but sometimes it does make you feel a bit like there’s so much more you can be doing for your kiddos. In the end, I think our babies will much more remember the lovely days of doing nothing together at the park than fancy costumes or cakes. I could tell that you were super busy last week~ even just via Instagram! Ruby is so lucky to have such a creative/talented/wonderful mama like you~ I’m sure she is super happy know all the awesome stuff you’re up to. =)

  15. I love your honesty, Joy! You’re a wonderful mom! And you can’t be great at everything, or you would be unbearable 😉 You excel at what you ARE good at!

  16. No to mom guilt! My mother was a ‘power mom’ who franchised a successful business when I was a toddler. She died all too young, and in her last months expressed guilt to me about not spending time with me and my sister when we were little. I was able to honestly tell her that while she may have felt she missed out as far as her life experience went in observing our early years, I was always so proud of her, my mother, “The Boss”, who was my role model in all things. Without her, I certainly would not have the education, success, and wonderful life I have now. I would not speak up the way I do now, would not have chosen my own path, because other than her there were no other ladies in my life showing how things could be for you as a career woman. I think of her every single day. No to mom guilt!


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