Tell me a little bit about yourself:
I live in upstate New York with my husband, our 3.5-year-old daughter, and our two dogs. I work outside the home as an editor at a newspaper, and my husband works seven days a week at his family’s secondhand book business. I also blog at Bread and Roses Vintage and sell vintage on Etsy. Our daughter is in day care Mondays-Wednesdays, and my husband and I juggle our schedules around the rest of the time to be with her. It’s hectic, never boring, and often exhausting!
Describe your mommy uniform:
When I’m home with my daughter, I’m in jeans or shorts, a comfy, cute T-shirt and slip-on shoes (I am obsessed with these $8 granny shoes from Kmart for summer. If it’s hot, I love to tie my hair up in a colorful bandana to add a little vintage flair to my look. Fashion is my passion, but I absolutely DO NOT get dressed up to sit around the house, color, do dishes or go to the playground!
What is your strategy when getting dressed for the day?
If I’m home, it’s 95 percent comfort, 5 percent cute. I really believe that if you look good, you feel good, so I always try to make sure there’s something about my outfit — the color of my top, the cut of my jeans, even just a pair of crazy striped socks — that is going to make me smile. And I’ve gotten better at purging clothes from my closet that are just “OK” but not great. It makes such a difference to know that when you reach for something, it’s going to be something you actually want to wear.
Going to work is a whole different ball game. My work wardrobe is so many things to me: part armor, part camouflage, part therapy. I like to go all-out and spend a lot of time putting together an outfit that makes me feel great. (That being said: I am NOT a makeup or hair person!)
What is your favorite clothing item?
That’s like asking me to choose my favorite ice cream flavor! Right now, I’d say it’s a striped dress I’m making using vintage fabric and a vintage pattern. I’ve gotten really into sewing — I find it super therapeutic, and my daughter loves to sit next to me and put my pins back into the pincushion for me. Or she’ll paint while I’m sewing. I’ve made it part of our Friday morning routine, and it’s such a wonderful way to start the day.
Describe your cleaning/organizing routine:
“Triage” is the only word for it — we just sort of attack things when they get out of control (which my husband is WAY better at than I am). I tend to get overwhelmed by minutiae, so I try to do really focused things, like keeping on top of the dishes and laundry, or doing one cleaning task every day that I’m not working. I always try to involve my daughter in any way I can — she is still at an age where things like washing windows and wiping down counters are fun and exciting!
What is the one household chore that you wish you were better about?
Organization. Things just pile up, and wind up in weird places, and it makes me feel so scattered and stressed out! Controlling the toy chaos makes it even harder — we try to keep a lot of our daughter’s toys confined to her playroom, but they always seem to creep out into the rest of the house.
What give you the most “mommy guilt”?
Leaving for work when my daughter’s crying/whining for me. THE WORST. I work night shifts every Sunday and some weeks she gets super clingy and sad as it gets closer to time for me to leave. She loves her “dada” dearly, and he is absolutely wonderful with her — but it is still tough to leave when she says, “Mama, I wish you didn’t have to go to work.”
What gives you the most “mommy pride”?
Just watching my daughter’s curiosity and intellect blossom. She is such a genuinely engaging and inquisitive little thing, and I love answering her questions and telling her about the world. It fills my heart with such joy and happiness when she looks at me with a smile on her face and says, “Mama, what shall we talk about? Tell me about some things!”