My Un-Apology.

I have so much to say.

So many unfinished drafts. Thoughts that are still half-formed, nonsensical blobs, because it’s Summer, and I grab my time in 10-minute increments — writing or brushing my teeth or responding to emails furiously because I know that at any moment, someone is going to head butt someone else and I will have to drop whatever I’m doing to attend to the blood-curdling wails.

Writers require time and space. I have neither of those things.


Because I have so much to say, I make the most of what I have to work with. It’s not pretty. I yell a lot. But when you want something bad enough, you find a way to make it happen. I can’t not parent, and I can’t not write, just like I also can’t not clean the kitchen after every meal.

I’m sort of sick of apologizing.

I won’t anymore. Writing is my un-apology.

If you read my work, I hope it’s because you enjoy it and are not looking for meekness or backpedaling for being real. You won’t find that here. Women do enough of that. I DO ENOUGH OF THAT. Let’s all make a promise to each other to stop saying sorry for being true, raw, honest human beings.

Today, my true, raw, honesty is that I enrolled my 2-year-old in preschool for the Fall because I made the decision that I can be a mother and also a person who pursues her wildest dreams, all at the same time.

I realized I was hanging around waiting for someone to give me permission.

I was waiting for someone — specifically my husband — to take me by the shoulders and say “YOU NEED TO PUT OUR KIDS IN SCHOOL SO YOU CAN WRITE ESSAYS AND SELL THEM AND PAY FOR THEIR TUITION AND MAYBE ALSO GET YOUR NAILS DONE.”

But you know what? No one is going to do that. Not even Robbie Hobbs, who we all love dearly because he is hilarious and endlessly supportive.

I took myself by the shoulders, looked myself in the eye, and told myself it was time.

And you know what happened next?

I didn’t apologize.

Victory!I’m elated.

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What It Means To Be Seen.

I have struggled with other people’s assumptions my entire life.

I remember being in the principal’s office at the public school we were zoned for when we lived in the country, and her leaning in and asking me “Are you an only child?”

I was in her office because a boy had run up to me and grabbed me between my legs when our Spanish teacher was out of the room. I was so embarrassed — it had been a dare, I think, from the way his friends were laughing — and would never have spoken a word about it to our teacher. But my friend was appalled and dragged me to the principal and now there I was, sitting in front of her, mortified and sweating and wishing I wouldn’t have let my friend shove me into her office.

“Are you an only child?” She asked me again.


“Well, that explains it. You’re probably spoiled.”

The number of siblings I did or did not have had nothing to do with the fact that I was minding my own business, sitting on a windowsill talking about whatever 5th grade girls talk about, when someone shoved his hand in a place it never should have gone. But I was a white girl who was dressed nicely and got good grades, and now it was out that I was also an only child too, with parents who worked in the city.


This is when my shame began: the apologetic feeling. The I’m sorry for being who I am. The let me work really hard to make you feel okay about dealing with me.

I have spent almost my entire life dealing with a compulsive need to prove to others that I’m not an airhead because I smile a lot. I’M JUST A HAPPY PERSON, DAMN IT.

I have worked tirelessly for far too long to prove that I’m not bitchy because I’m a confident woman, that I’m not racist because I happen to be white, that I’m not closed-minded because I was raised in a Conservative Christian bubble, and that I’m not judgy because my house is clean.

I’ve spent my life feeling afraid of offending others with my presence, even when they were the ones offending me.

Fuck. That. Noise.

I don’t want to apologize anymore and I don’t feel like I have to, because I have experienced the elation of being immersed in a situation where everyone is just as screwed up and weird and talented as I am and it was AMAZING. It was such a moving experience to go to the Blog U Conference last weekend and feel completely accepted into a group of people who are not at all like me, but yet somehow completely like me.

We swept the Notre Dame of Maryland University campus with a quirky, maladjusted wave of awesomeness. The nuns probably all rolled over in their graves or crossed their chests or something.

I can’t wait to go back.

Somehow these people who I have never met in real life know and understand me better than people who have known me for 35 years. I don’t know how or why and I don’t understand any of it, but apparently this is what it feels like when you find your people.

This is what it feels like to not have to explain or apologize for being yourself.

This is what it feels like to be seen.

Being seen for who you are.

Before the “Middle School To The Max” party.

I never would have had this experience without the support of my amazing husband, who raised the funds for me to go, and without the support of my bomb ass friends and family who keep pushing me, reading my work, encouraging me and telling me I need to shut up and stop apologizing for the love of holy hot dog buns.

Go find your people.

It is so, so worth the wait.

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My 12-Year-Old Self

Recently I had the pleasure of talking to Allison Tate, a widely respected editor and writer who, at 40, seems wise beyond her years. Her writing has gone viral over and over again not only because it’s beautifully written, but also because she knows things.

I soak up everything she says like a big nerdy sponge.

We were talking about goals and being happy with where you are in life. She suggested thinking about how your 12-year-old self would feel about where you are right now. Would she be happy with what you’ve achieved? Would she be proud?

I have spent the past week reflecting on this. If someone threw out the question “Are you happy?” I would say yes without thinking. Of course I’m happy! I’ve always been happy. It would be weird to have a name like Harmony and be a sullen bitch.

But in the day-to-day grind, I’m not sure that I am happy, not really. I feel frustrated and dissatisfied for reasons I’m unable to pinpoint. I’m tired of being broke. I’m tired of cleaning up puddles of pee. I’m anxious to get all of my kids in school so I can devote more time to freelancing, which will hopefully translate into money. Or maybe I need to find a real job where I can do real things without little people following behind me, immediately undoing them.

One afternoon this week, my three-year-old accidentally peed all over the bathroom floor. Thankful he at least made it to the bathroom, I mopped it all up while he changed into clean clothes.  Approximately 20 minutes later, he asked for some lemonade.

By this point in the day, I was desperate for peace and I didn’t care that the baby was playing with plastic sandwich bags in the kitchen; I stepped over them and poured him a cup full of lemonade.

I was just turning around to remind him to be careful when he stepped in the pile of bags and slipped, slinging lemonade into the air and landing on his arm, which I was sure was broken. Blood poured out of his mouth as he screamed. Lemonade dripped into my cabinets and drawers.

His little sister ignored it all and kept playing.

20150430_170626The arm was not broken, and the blood was coming from his tongue. He was fine. Approximately 20 minutes later, he had another accident in the bathroom. This time, he carefully covered the enormous puddle with thin layers of toilet paper.

“I trying to clean it up, Mommy,” he explained when I walked in. A valiant effort, which I thanked him for as I gathered wads of pee-soaked tissue off the floor.

Maybe the real issue is that I am done with childbearing and now I just want to move on to the next phase of my life, where afternoons like the one I just described don’t happen anymore. Don’t say it — I know these challenges will be replaced with bigger ones. I like to believe that I am better-equipped to cope with older kid problems than potty training problems. I am so over potty training problems.

So why can’t I just settle into to life as it is, right now, and be satisfied with it?

I did what Allison suggested, and thought about what my 12-year-old self would think. I can barely remember being 12, so I pulled out some pictures to jog my memory.


In all my 12-year-old glory.

I had a perm and glasses that covered my whole face. I was embarrassed of my changing body and wore the biggest clothes I could find to cover it up. I was awkward, smart, and a voracious reader. I still played with dolls and I didn’t want my friends to know. I loved music. I looked to be about 40 years old.

So basically, not a lot has changed.

Then I found this picture of me opening a typewriter. I had forgotten that my parents gave me a typewriter the Christmas that I was 12.

20150502_085202~2I was a writer then and I am a writer now. Also, try not to be jealous of my air-brushed sweatshirt.

My 12-year-old self would not only be happy with where I am, she would be in AWE OF IT. I am happily married with three beautiful children, I sometimes write things that get published, and I have discovered contact lenses.

My 12-year-old self would eye roll me for being dissatisfied with where I am. I deserve to be eye rolled.

Amy Poehler wrote in her memoir Yes Please, “Success is filled with MSG,” meaning that no matter how much of it you get, you’re left wanting more. This is the root of my dissatisfaction, in addition to the fact that no matter how many times I clean up pee, more seems to appear.

Maybe my 12-year-old self wouldn’t have minded cleaning up pee. Her knees certainly weren’t as creaky.

(If you liked this post, then you will LOVE I Still Just Want To Pee Alone! Click here to find out more!)

I’m A Liar (and other news).

A lot of other bloggers have a “newsletter” that you can subscribe to and they email them out every week or so. But I have an inbox full of newsletters that I haven’t read and probably never will, so I decided not to subject you people to a Modern Mommy Madness newsletter. It is just another thing that would cause me needless stress.

Instead, I started vlogging. I think we can all agree that this is a terrible idea, but I was cooped up in the house with two small children all last week and I did it out of BOREDOM.

I do a lot out of boredom. Like eat.

If you want to see the vlog fantastic, you’ll have to follow me on Facebook here until I master YouTube and/or figure out how to share the videos on my blog. I keep waiting for Robbie to gently tell me that it’s time to stop, but he hasn’t yet … which means I’m going to continue searing disheveled images of myself into the eyes of the internet.

In other news, I had another piece published on Scary Mommy — you can check it out here. Also, I sold 100 copies of “I Still Just Want To Pee Alone” in TEN DAYS. That was unexpected. I imagined that I would be sitting on a corner somewhere under a tent next to those people who sell area rugs with tiger faces on them.

I kept telling everyone I’m not a salesperson. I don’t sell things. I don’t know how to sell books! I guess I lied. If you want a copy, please drop me a line ( and let me know! I’ll re-stock soon and start taking orders again once I’ve recovered.


I had a super cute helper at the post office.

I took my youngest to the post office with me last weekend. She loudly sang “Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star” as a line of 12 scowly people waited for the clerk to process my box of books. Her little voice echoed throughout the building as the man next to us filed a complaint with a manager because “offensive material” is being delivered to his home. I tried to read the form as nonchalantly as possible without him noticing — WHAT KIND OF OFFENSIVE MATERIAL? — but the print was too small.

The other thing that happened this weekend was that I noticed my husband again after several days of forgetting he lives here. Nothing like seeing a big strong man carrying a sleeping child to make me sit up and take notice.

Well played, Robbie Hobbs.


If you liked this post, then you will LOVE I Still Just Want To Pee Alone! Click here to find out more!

It’s Okay To Just Be Okay.

Sometimes people call me a “mommy blogger,” a term that makes my skin crawl ONLY because I get lumped together with women who claim to lead perfectly well-mannered lives with their perfectly well-mannered children.

You know, the very same women who shudder to be categorized with women like me.

It’s cool. I get it. “Mommy blogger” can mean a lot of things, which is why I prefer to simply think of myself as a writer who enjoys irreverent humor and the PBS show Peg + Cat because they do math at my (very basic) level.

Mom dating ad

It was interesting to note the people who sidled up to our table at the library on Saturday to get to know the “mommy bloggers,” presumably so we could partner together to repair this broken world.

I could see their wheels turning: Look at those sweet-faced mommy bloggers over there. I bet they would love nothing more than to pimp out my book and counseling services. Together, we can make a difference.

I hope they weren’t too disappointed when they got close enough to hear our riotous discussion of anal sex.

The thing is, I’m totally excited about making a difference in the world. I want to make it okay for moms to just be OKAY.

I have an obscene amount of trash in my van.


I wear makeup even when I’m not going anywhere.


I have an obsession with making sure my children have trimmed fingernails, but I refuse to clean baseboards.


I love my husband and kids but not my thighs.


I don’t want anyone to help or change me. I am fine just the way I am, and so are you. Sometimes the simple acknowledgement of needing nothing but acceptance is enough.

I mean … let’s not get carried away.

(If you liked this post, then you should follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!)

Books Are In!

100 books arrived today. They smell divine … like trees. And hard work.

Interested in acquiring one?! OF COURSE YOU ARE! Read here for more information.

984307_10155650834920508_4183205641462227949_nMy three-year-old took this picture.

My Best Half.

My marriage is not perfect.

As much as I would love to think of myself as the perfect wife, I’m not. At all. I have high standards. I’m demanding. My expectations are lofty — not just of my husband, but also of my children.

Sometimes Robbie will tell me that he feels like nothing is ever good enough for me, and he’s right. Nothing is. I always want more, because I am a goal-oriented person. I’m a Capricorn, a mountain goat who wants to climb because I enjoy it and I don’t have time for your whining or lollygagging so either get on board or get out of my way.

Yeah. That.

I expect my sons to open doors and say “yes ma’am” and carry their Fiestaware dishes to the sink. Yes, my kids eat on real dishes. I expect them to follow directions and behave in public and say “thank you” and “please” because manners get you farther in life than just being smart. I expect them to follow directions and I expect to be respected because I am their mother and I deserve it.

I expect my husband to be able to fix things and keep up with the yard and be emotionally present and provide for our family. I expect him to listen and communicate and deal with the kids at the end of the day when I just can’t anymore. I expect him to be serious and funny and my partner in all things.

I expect a lot.

My expectations can be difficult to live with, but I give a lot in return and I am more demanding of myself than I am of anyone else. It will be a lifelong process for me to inch slowly toward Robbie’s end of the spectrum, where nothing is a big deal, as he inches slowly towards my side, where everything is urgent. We are truly yin and yang, which on a good day means we bring out the best in each other … and on a bad day, I want to claw his eyes out.

He does things like buy me stress-relieving water. Want to know why I was stressed? Because he was taking too long in the store. I could see him in there, wandering around. What the hell is taking him so long?! We need to GO!

He was hunting for the perfect beverage for his wife, that’s what he was doing.

10801931_10155098744040508_622468002666916761_nSidenote: the water didn’t relieve my stress.

The thing about our relationship is the love that overarches all of the differences between us. I could have married someone else and been happy. Maybe. But I have never and will never love anyone like I love Robbie Hobbs, and that is the thing that grounds me in our marriage. That is the thing that makes everything else make sense.

And then, from time to time, Robbie does something startling that reminds me just how lucky I am.


In the blogging world, there are conferences that writers attend to learn how to be a success — whether that means learning how to make money through blogging, or how to go from blogging to authoring an actual book. I kept hearing about one conference in particular, BlogU, that I really wanted to attend. It’s supposed to be the best, and I think we all know how I feel about things that are the best. Why waste time doing something that is only marginally passable, when I can aim for THE BEST?

So back to the conference, Jill Smokler of Scary Mommy will be there. Jen Mann of People I Want To Punch In The Throat will be there. A ton of writers I am obsessed with will be there. I wanted to go so badly, tears would well up every time I thought about it.

I talked about it for months. Robbie wanted me to go, but we just don’t have the money for a trip like that. The airfare alone was ridiculous, and we are a one-income family of five. I felt guilty for wanting to go, but I’m a mountain goat. I can’t help myself. I WANT TO CLIMB.

I began looking into corporate sponsorships and devised a plan of action. When I sat Robbie down and presented it to him, he was on board … but quiet. Finally he said, “I think this is a solid plan, but you don’t have enough time to make it happen. I just don’t want to see you stressing out over anything extra. I’m going to figure something out.”

Then he stood up, and he took action. He set up a Go Fund Me. (You can view it here, it’s really cute.)

I cringed — hard — when he showed me his plan. I loathe crowd funding, and I dislike feeling like a charity case, but it was a huge success. People genuinely wanted to help. I feel really humbled by it (mostly because, if I’m honest, it really bothers me that I couldn’t afford to go on my own, without asking for help), and grateful to him because he knew I would miss out otherwise.

We had all of the money within one week.

So yes, I have high standards.

And that is why I married Robbie Hobbs.

Before we had children.

Before we had children.

Do You Want To Pee Alone?


I have an announcement to make! I’m being published in another book (insert high-pitched screeching)!

I Still Just Want To Pee Alone, due out March 27, will be available in e-book form and paper form. I personally prefer paper form. I have every intention of hugging it and sleeping with it under my pillow. And YES, you can totally get a signed copy. I mean … if you want.

Can you spy Modern Mommy Madness?!

Can you spy Modern Mommy Madness?!

I Still Just Want To Pee Alone is the sequel to the national best-seller I Just Want To Pee Alone. I am honored to be included in this anthology with many other extremely talented writers, and I will let you know as soon as it’s available for order!

(Did that sound professional enough? Because the real truth is, I am totally hyperventilating over here.)

Jumping Jacks.

Interviews are not my strong point. At all. Just ask one of the many members of management at my old corporate office where I endured several panel interviews before quitting to stay home with the kids.


I have strong interpersonal skills, but when I’m being focused on intently by someone I don’t really know, I go weird. This is why one of my current life goals is to avoid putting myself in a situation where I’d have to go through an interview EVER AGAIN.

Writers and bloggers shouldn’t have to be interviewed, right?


I was very flattered to be asked to participate in a podcast interview recently (details forthcoming). I know very little about the world of podcasts, but I said yes without hesitation because why not, right? Then I proceeded to stress out about it for a week and eat ALL THE THINGS.

Yesterday, the day of the interview, I totally panicked. I paced around the house, checking the clock repeatedly, waiting for it to strike 12:30 so I could dial the number — which I also checked and rechecked repeatedly. I was so nervous and had no idea what to do with myself, so I put on my adult onesie and did jumping jacks. Because that’s normal.

I spent the interview being weird and laughy and trying not to yell “THIS IS TERRIFYING!!!” into the phone. Because, nerves.

If I ever have to return to the workforce, I might wear this to the interview. At least I’d feel warm and cozy.


If I ever end up famous (snort) and someone asks me, “Do you get nervous during interviews?” I’ll totally lie and claim that I never get nervous because I practice daily meditation, eat steamed kale for breakfast, and eschew caffeine.

I will not admit to jumping jacks and camouflaged onesies.

But you’ll know the truth.