Let me set the scene: A preschooler is dressed for a school pageant in a plastic Strawberry Shortcake smock, the pockets filled with notepads and pencils. Her parents are trying to convince her to leave the house before they’re late but she’s throwing one of those fits that moms of preschoolers know so well. Her outfit is ugly! She cannot go to the “What do you want to be when you grow up?” pageant looking like this! It’s not fair! Why can’t she wear a tutu?!
And thus began my journey to becoming a writer.
While all the other kids chose occupations with more inspiring wardrobes, I stood between three cheerleaders and two ballerinas and proclaimed in rhyme that I wanted to be a writer when I grew up.
Now that I’m a mom (a mom who has made Halloween costumes that always prompt a tantrum from my toddler), I have a lot of sympathy for my mom and the tough position I put her in. But also, preschooler Bethany was right: I have NEVER worn a smock in my career in magazines and marketing.
I studied journalism in college, interning with CosmoGIRL magazine in NYC (my crowning achievement was a byline on a Six Degrees of Zac Efron piece) and a nonprofit in The Hague, Netherlands (where my fellow international interns taught me all the Italian hand gestures). Since then, I’ve been a managing editor for online publications, an oil and gas magazine, and a content marketing agency.
My husband and I met at Baylor before Waco was Fixer-Uppered, so we would drive down to Austin with our friends whenever we needed something to do.
After college, we moved to Houston where we enjoyed the restaurants and all the city has to offer as care-free 20-somethings. Then we moved to Dallas where both of our kids — Peter, 3, and Lydia, 1 — were born, but Austin was always the place we’d come back to when we wanted to get away. In October 2019, we saw the opportunity to become Austinites and jumped at it. Now we are living in north Austin, settling into our new city and looking for all the best kid-friendly-but-adult-worthy hangouts.
Before kids, I was a writer and editor who never said no to a challenge at work.
When Peter was born, I quit my job to stay home, and now I say “no” at least 300 times a day. When you’re in charge of little unformed humans all day, you start to wonder if you’re doing it right and if everyone is having the same problems.
I found out how much I needed to connect to other moms and how hard it can be to do that in person. Reading blogs and social media posts from other moms has helped me realize that we’re all a little nuts; kids make us that way. And that’s what I want to give back to other moms by writing for Austin Moms.
The thoughts of a mom range from incredibly boring to slightly disturbing, and very frequently, they’re disgusting. Did I pack enough snacks? What’s that smell? When do I need to take them to the dentist? Whose snot is this? Am I raising a psychopath?
Seriously, where’s that smell coming from?
But these aren’t the things you can talk to your non-mom friends or colleagues about. So here I am, internet friend, to confirm that I also have a running list of a million worries, questions, boring triumphs, and ugly moments. You’re not alone, and you’ve got this.
On the weekends, we like to try new playgrounds, hiking trails, breweries or restaurants. During the week, I’m likely in the Starbucks drive-thru, listening to podcasts while doing endless loads of laundry, checking out a local playgroup, bobbing my head to a Daniel Tiger song that I’ve had stuck in my head for two days, and wearing smears of graham cracker crumbs.
That Strawberry Shortcake smock would probably come in handy now, actually.