How much do mommy bloggers earn?

This weekend – the first of Benjamin’s “every other” weekends with his father – John Bear and I had two nights and one full day of long overdue us time.

We haven’t had a weekend solo since our trip to the Poconos and New York City in August… and given all of the stress I’ve been under lately with the new job, the family drama, Benjamin’s new school and life in general I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to mellow out enough to just enjoy him.

But I did. And we did – enjoy each other. Immensely. For 36 hours.

IMG_3002

Being with my boyfriend, not as a mother and a girlfriend but just as a girlfriend, is hard to describe – but it’s one of those things any mother can appreciate, tapping into your inner-girlfriend. It’s essential to our survival.

I haven’t had time to label them yet, but check out my Fall 2009 Photo Album for a ton of new pictures from this weekend. Start here with this photo, to see the most recent. [We were in Cleveland – John Bear’s hometown and my new favorite spot on Earth – love that city. If you live there let me know.]
This weekend – the first of Benjamin’s “every other” weekends with his father – John Bear and I had two nights and one full day of long overdue us time.

We haven’t had a weekend solo since our trip to the Poconos and New York City in August… and given all of the stress I’ve been under lately with the new job, the family drama, Benjamin’s new school and life in general I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to mellow out enough to just enjoy him.

But I did. And we did – enjoy each other. Immensely. For 36 hours.

IMG_3002

Being with my boyfriend, not as a mother and a girlfriend but just as a girlfriend, is hard to describe – but it’s one of those things any mother can appreciate, tapping into your inner-girlfriend. It’s essential to our survival.

I haven’t had time to label them yet, but check out my Fall 2009 Photo Album for a ton of new pictures from this weekend. Start here with this photo, to see the most recent. [We were in Cleveland – John Bear’s hometown and my new favorite spot on Earth – love that city. If you live there let me know.]
This weekend – the first of Benjamin’s “every other” weekends with his father – John Bear and I had two nights and one full day of long overdue us time.

We haven’t had a weekend solo since our trip to the Poconos and New York City in August… and given all of the stress I’ve been under lately with the new job, the family drama, Benjamin’s new school and life in general I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to mellow out enough to just enjoy him.

But I did. And we did – enjoy each other. Immensely. For 36 hours.

IMG_3002

Being with my boyfriend, not as a mother and a girlfriend but just as a girlfriend, is hard to describe – but it’s one of those things any mother can appreciate, tapping into your inner-girlfriend. It’s essential to our survival.

I haven’t had time to label them yet, but check out my Fall 2009 Photo Album for a ton of new pictures from this weekend. Start here with this photo, to see the most recent. [We were in Cleveland – John Bear’s hometown and my new favorite spot on Earth – love that city. If you live there let me know.]
This weekend – the first of Benjamin’s “every other” weekends with his father – John Bear and I had two nights and one full day of long overdue us time.

We haven’t had a weekend solo since our trip to the Poconos and New York City in August… and given all of the stress I’ve been under lately with the new job, the family drama, Benjamin’s new school and life in general I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to mellow out enough to just enjoy him.

But I did. And we did – enjoy each other. Immensely. For 36 hours.

IMG_3002

Being with my boyfriend, not as a mother and a girlfriend but just as a girlfriend, is hard to describe – but it’s one of those things any mother can appreciate, tapping into your inner-girlfriend. It’s essential to our survival.

I haven’t had time to label them yet, but check out my Fall 2009 Photo Album for a ton of new pictures from this weekend. Start here with this photo, to see the most recent. [We were in Cleveland – John Bear’s hometown and my new favorite spot on Earth – love that city. If you live there let me know.]
This weekend – the first of Benjamin’s “every other” weekends with his father – John Bear and I had two nights and one full day of long overdue us time.

We haven’t had a weekend solo since our trip to the Poconos and New York City in August… and given all of the stress I’ve been under lately with the new job, the family drama, Benjamin’s new school and life in general I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to mellow out enough to just enjoy him.

But I did. And we did – enjoy each other. Immensely. For 36 hours.

IMG_3002

Being with my boyfriend, not as a mother and a girlfriend but just as a girlfriend, is hard to describe – but it’s one of those things any mother can appreciate, tapping into your inner-girlfriend. It’s essential to our survival.

I haven’t had time to label them yet, but check out my Fall 2009 Photo Album for a ton of new pictures from this weekend. Start here with this photo, to see the most recent. [We were in Cleveland – John Bear’s hometown and my new favorite spot on Earth – love that city. If you live there let me know.]
This weekend – the first of Benjamin’s “every other” weekends with his father – John Bear and I had two nights and one full day of long overdue us time.

We haven’t had a weekend solo since our trip to the Poconos and New York City in August… and given all of the stress I’ve been under lately with the new job, the family drama, Benjamin’s new school and life in general I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to mellow out enough to just enjoy him.

But I did. And we did – enjoy each other. Immensely. For 36 hours.

IMG_3002

Being with my boyfriend, not as a mother and a girlfriend but just as a girlfriend, is hard to describe – but it’s one of those things any mother can appreciate, tapping into your inner-girlfriend. It’s essential to our survival.

I haven’t had time to label them yet, but check out my Fall 2009 Photo Album for a ton of new pictures from this weekend. Start here with this photo, to see the most recent. [We were in Cleveland – John Bear’s hometown and my new favorite spot on Earth – love that city. If you live there let me know.]
This weekend – the first of Benjamin’s “every other” weekends with his father – John Bear and I had two nights and one full day of long overdue us time.

We haven’t had a weekend solo since our trip to the Poconos and New York City in August… and given all of the stress I’ve been under lately with the new job, the family drama, Benjamin’s new school and life in general I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to mellow out enough to just enjoy him.

But I did. And we did – enjoy each other. Immensely. For 36 hours.

IMG_3002

Being with my boyfriend, not as a mother and a girlfriend but just as a girlfriend, is hard to describe – but it’s one of those things any mother can appreciate, tapping into your inner-girlfriend. It’s essential to our survival.

I haven’t had time to label them yet, but check out my Fall 2009 Photo Album for a ton of new pictures from this weekend. Start here with this photo, to see the most recent. [We were in Cleveland – John Bear’s hometown and my new favorite spot on Earth – love that city. If you live there let me know.]
This weekend – the first of Benjamin’s “every other” weekends with his father – John Bear and I had two nights and one full day of long overdue us time.

We haven’t had a weekend solo since our trip to the Poconos and New York City in August… and given all of the stress I’ve been under lately with the new job, the family drama, Benjamin’s new school and life in general I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to mellow out enough to just enjoy him.

But I did. And we did – enjoy each other. Immensely. For 36 hours.

IMG_3002

Being with my boyfriend, not as a mother and a girlfriend but just as a girlfriend, is hard to describe – but it’s one of those things any mother can appreciate, tapping into your inner-girlfriend. It’s essential to our survival.

I haven’t had time to label them yet, but check out my Fall 2009 Photo Album for a ton of new pictures from this weekend. Start here with this photo, to see the most recent. [We were in Cleveland – John Bear’s hometown and my new favorite spot on Earth – love that city. If you live there let me know.]
This weekend – the first of Benjamin’s “every other” weekends with his father – John Bear and I had two nights and one full day of long overdue us time.

We haven’t had a weekend solo since our trip to the Poconos and New York City in August… and given all of the stress I’ve been under lately with the new job, the family drama, Benjamin’s new school and life in general I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to mellow out enough to just enjoy him.

But I did. And we did – enjoy each other. Immensely. For 36 hours.

IMG_3002

Being with my boyfriend, not as a mother and a girlfriend but just as a girlfriend, is hard to describe – but it’s one of those things any mother can appreciate, tapping into your inner-girlfriend. It’s essential to our survival.

I haven’t had time to label them yet, but check out my Fall 2009 Photo Album for a ton of new pictures from this weekend. Start here with this photo, to see the most recent. [We were in Cleveland – John Bear’s hometown and my new favorite spot on Earth – love that city. If you live there let me know.]
This weekend – the first of Benjamin’s “every other” weekends with his father – John Bear and I had two nights and one full day of long overdue us time.

We haven’t had a weekend solo since our trip to the Poconos and New York City in August… and given all of the stress I’ve been under lately with the new job, the family drama, Benjamin’s new school and life in general I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to mellow out enough to just enjoy him.

But I did. And we did – enjoy each other. Immensely. For 36 hours.

IMG_3002

Being with my boyfriend, not as a mother and a girlfriend but just as a girlfriend, is hard to describe – but it’s one of those things any mother can appreciate, tapping into your inner-girlfriend. It’s essential to our survival.

I haven’t had time to label them yet, but check out my Fall 2009 Photo Album for a ton of new pictures from this weekend. Start here with this photo, to see the most recent. [We were in Cleveland – John Bear’s hometown and my new favorite spot on Earth – love that city. If you live there let me know.]
This weekend – the first of Benjamin’s “every other” weekends with his father – John Bear and I had two nights and one full day of long overdue us time.

We haven’t had a weekend solo since our trip to the Poconos and New York City in August… and given all of the stress I’ve been under lately with the new job, the family drama, Benjamin’s new school and life in general I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to mellow out enough to just enjoy him.

But I did. And we did – enjoy each other. Immensely. For 36 hours.

IMG_3002

Being with my boyfriend, not as a mother and a girlfriend but just as a girlfriend, is hard to describe – but it’s one of those things any mother can appreciate, tapping into your inner-girlfriend. It’s essential to our survival.

I haven’t had time to label them yet, but check out my Fall 2009 Photo Album for a ton of new pictures from this weekend. Start here with this photo, to see the most recent. [We were in Cleveland – John Bear’s hometown and my new favorite spot on Earth – love that city. If you live there let me know.]
This weekend – the first of Benjamin’s “every other” weekends with his father – John Bear and I had two nights and one full day of long overdue us time.

We haven’t had a weekend solo since our trip to the Poconos and New York City in August… and given all of the stress I’ve been under lately with the new job, the family drama, Benjamin’s new school and life in general I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to mellow out enough to just enjoy him.

But I did. And we did – enjoy each other. Immensely. For 36 hours.

IMG_3002

Being with my boyfriend, not as a mother and a girlfriend but just as a girlfriend, is hard to describe – but it’s one of those things any mother can appreciate, tapping into your inner-girlfriend. It’s essential to our survival.

I haven’t had time to label them yet, but check out my Fall 2009 Photo Album for a ton of new pictures from this weekend. Start here with this photo, to see the most recent. [We were in Cleveland – John Bear’s hometown and my new favorite spot on Earth – love that city. If you live there let me know.]
This weekend – the first of Benjamin’s “every other” weekends with his father – John Bear and I had two nights and one full day of long overdue us time.

We haven’t had a weekend solo since our trip to the Poconos and New York City in August… and given all of the stress I’ve been under lately with the new job, the family drama, Benjamin’s new school and life in general I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to mellow out enough to just enjoy him.

But I did. And we did – enjoy each other. Immensely. For 36 hours.

IMG_3002

Being with my boyfriend, not as a mother and a girlfriend but just as a girlfriend, is hard to describe – but it’s one of those things any mother can appreciate, tapping into your inner-girlfriend. It’s essential to our survival.

I haven’t had time to label them yet, but check out my Fall 2009 Photo Album for a ton of new pictures from this weekend. Start here with this photo, to see the most recent. [We were in Cleveland – John Bear’s hometown and my new favorite spot on Earth – love that city. If you live there let me know.]

The grocery store.

Forget the skyrocketing grocery prices that make me clench my jaw and actually tighten my grip on the shopping cart handle- the grocery store is my enemy anyway. It’s the ultimate test of my will and my skills as a single mother. It’s such an odd place too. All of these people, all needing the same thing, something we would die without

Usually any mention of the store invokes a barrage of protests from Benjamin. Poor kid. He always has to go. No dad to stay home with. But tonight, after 2.8 years of going to the store together, something amazing happened.

“We have to go to the store, Benjamin – to get food!” I always say it enthusiastically, trying to get him excited about it, faking my own dread.

“Okay Mommy, let go to tha stouh fo food.”

Say what? Really. Was I hallucinating? There might be a chance, I thought, that we’ll have our first flawless grocery experience.

When he got situated behind the wheel of his car shopping cart we took off into the produce section.

“Drive Benjamin! Drive!”

“Okay Mommy! I’m driving! Look!” The car cart is massive. And so loud. But I love it because inside is the cutest little boy on Earth.

I’m cheering him on, grabbing whatever I can, as quickly as I can. I feel like one of those contestants on that shopping game show from the 80’s.

We made it as far as the tomatoes before he jumped out.

I remember the first time Benjamin broke free from me in a grocery store. He was just over 16-months-old. As soon as his feet hit the ground he just started running down the aisle, screaming some kind of Braveheart freedom cry. He didn’t touch a single thing on the shelves he just ran and ran. I had to let him do it – to deny him this kind of pleasure would just be wrong.

But now my little baby is a little boy and he’s jumped out of the cart just to piss me off.

“Get back in Benjamin,” I am using my stern mommy voice, the one Super Nanny suggests. He refuses. I quickly look around – for anything to bribe him with (I know Super Nanny would kill me, but we need food, damn it, and I can’t afford a tantrum at the start of the grocery trip, at the end – maybe, but not now).

I spot some cookies.

“Get back in and I’ll give you a cookie.” He jumps in as fast as his little legs can get him there, grabs a hold of the wheel and stares straight ahead.

I grab white chocolate cookies. Perfect. But then he jumps out again.

Again I use my stern mommy voice but no dice. He wants all of the cookies. The entire box.

“Fine. Here they are. Now get back in.”

And then I see her. She’s there every time. Sometimes she’s old, sometimes she’s young – but for some reason she’s always a she. She’s the woman at the grocery store who gives me the you are a horrible, horrible mother glare. One year ago her stare would have ruined my night. Defeated me. But tonight I just shook it off.

Benjamin chows on his cookies through the baking aisle, the pasta aisle, the frozen food section and even the dairy section. And then the check out. Home free. We made it. Our first grocery trip without a tantrum or a cry or a pout.

And then he spills the cookies.

All of them crash onto the floor.

Another she – a nice she – looks at me with understanding sympathy as I crouch down to pick them up with my son scrambling to help. She’s older. She remembers these moments. I find strength in that and let her know we’ll be fine – they’re just cookies, no big deal. A store employee comes up, “I’ll go get you another box.”

“Oh no, really… that’s okay.”

But she’s already gone, on a sprint to the cookie section.

Damn it. I was so close.

Benjamin sees the balloons. One second later he’s dashing to them in a full toddler sprint. I abandon my full cart right next to the automatic doors to chase him down.

“Ballooooooonnnnnssss!” He wants one of those giant, excessive ugly things with princesses and weird cartoon characters.

“No, honey, no balloons tonight.” It’s impossible. I can’t cave. I’ve already paid. I have to think of something quickly. “The balloons live here. This is their home. They don’t want to leave.”

Nope. Benjamin didn’t believe me, he’s still tugging at them furiously.

My groceries are waiting. So is my car. So is freedom.

“We’ve got to go, come on – right now.” I pick him up and start walking back to the doors.

Tantrum.

I’m trying to hold him up but he keeps wriggling to the ground. Come on cookie lady, where are you? Then she appears and takes in the view of this mother with a cart bursting full of groceries and her screaming son.

“Do you need help?” she looks so concerned.

“No, thanks. I’m almost there!” I grunt as Benjamin’s foot swipes near my head.

Somehow I get him outside to the car. He’s still screaming his brains out and I can’t find my keys. Benjamin is now on the pavement between my car and the next car. My purse is on the ground and I’m frantically sifting through it. So much for the perfect trip.

The finally keys turn up.

I load Benjamin in, scold him just a bit for his blow out and then wheel the cart back.

Then another she appears. A young, single, childless she. The she I used to be.

She sees her friend in the parking lot. They walk toward each other and across my path. Both of their faces are so fresh, unwrinkled and bright. One year ago I may have envied them, wished upon a star for some semblance of that life to reappear. But not now. Now everything, even the grocery and all of its mishaps, is okay.

I’m the she I’ve always wanted to be… and my little he is the reason why. But if any of the more seasoned “shes” – i.e. you guys – have any tips on how to avoid the tantrums it would be greatly appreciated.

If you liked this post, you might also like:

This weekend – the first of Benjamin’s “every other” weekends with his father – John Bear and I had two nights and one full day of long overdue us time.

We haven’t had a weekend solo since our trip to the Poconos and New York City in August… and given all of the stress I’ve been under lately with the new job, the family drama, Benjamin’s new school and life in general I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to mellow out enough to just enjoy him.

But I did. And we did – enjoy each other. Immensely. For 36 hours.

IMG_3002

Being with my boyfriend, not as a mother and a girlfriend but just as a girlfriend, is hard to describe – but it’s one of those things any mother can appreciate, tapping into your inner-girlfriend. It’s essential to our survival.

I haven’t had time to label them yet, but check out my Fall 2009 Photo Album for a ton of new pictures from this weekend. Start here with this photo, to see the most recent. [We were in Cleveland – John Bear’s hometown and my new favorite spot on Earth – love that city. If you live there let me know.]
This weekend – the first of Benjamin’s “every other” weekends with his father – John Bear and I had two nights and one full day of long overdue us time.

We haven’t had a weekend solo since our trip to the Poconos and New York City in August… and given all of the stress I’ve been under lately with the new job, the family drama, Benjamin’s new school and life in general I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to mellow out enough to just enjoy him.

But I did. And we did – enjoy each other. Immensely. For 36 hours.

IMG_3002

Being with my boyfriend, not as a mother and a girlfriend but just as a girlfriend, is hard to describe – but it’s one of those things any mother can appreciate, tapping into your inner-girlfriend. It’s essential to our survival.

I haven’t had time to label them yet, but check out my Fall 2009 Photo Album for a ton of new pictures from this weekend. Start here with this photo, to see the most recent. [We were in Cleveland – John Bear’s hometown and my new favorite spot on Earth – love that city. If you live there let me know.]
This weekend – the first of Benjamin’s “every other” weekends with his father – John Bear and I had two nights and one full day of long overdue us time.

We haven’t had a weekend solo since our trip to the Poconos and New York City in August… and given all of the stress I’ve been under lately with the new job, the family drama, Benjamin’s new school and life in general I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to mellow out enough to just enjoy him.

But I did. And we did – enjoy each other. Immensely. For 36 hours.

IMG_3002

Being with my boyfriend, not as a mother and a girlfriend but just as a girlfriend, is hard to describe – but it’s one of those things any mother can appreciate, tapping into your inner-girlfriend. It’s essential to our survival.

I haven’t had time to label them yet, but check out my Fall 2009 Photo Album for a ton of new pictures from this weekend. Start here with this photo, to see the most recent. [We were in Cleveland – John Bear’s hometown and my new favorite spot on Earth – love that city. If you live there let me know.]

The grocery store.

Forget the skyrocketing grocery prices that make me clench my jaw and actually tighten my grip on the shopping cart handle- the grocery store is my enemy anyway. It’s the ultimate test of my will and my skills as a single mother. It’s such an odd place too. All of these people, all needing the same thing, something we would die without

Usually any mention of the store invokes a barrage of protests from Benjamin. Poor kid. He always has to go. No dad to stay home with. But tonight, after 2.8 years of going to the store together, something amazing happened.

“We have to go to the store, Benjamin – to get food!” I always say it enthusiastically, trying to get him excited about it, faking my own dread.

“Okay Mommy, let go to tha stouh fo food.”

Say what? Really. Was I hallucinating? There might be a chance, I thought, that we’ll have our first flawless grocery experience.

When he got situated behind the wheel of his car shopping cart we took off into the produce section.

“Drive Benjamin! Drive!”

“Okay Mommy! I’m driving! Look!” The car cart is massive. And so loud. But I love it because inside is the cutest little boy on Earth.

I’m cheering him on, grabbing whatever I can, as quickly as I can. I feel like one of those contestants on that shopping game show from the 80’s.

We made it as far as the tomatoes before he jumped out.

I remember the first time Benjamin broke free from me in a grocery store. He was just over 16-months-old. As soon as his feet hit the ground he just started running down the aisle, screaming some kind of Braveheart freedom cry. He didn’t touch a single thing on the shelves he just ran and ran. I had to let him do it – to deny him this kind of pleasure would just be wrong.

But now my little baby is a little boy and he’s jumped out of the cart just to piss me off.

“Get back in Benjamin,” I am using my stern mommy voice, the one Super Nanny suggests. He refuses. I quickly look around – for anything to bribe him with (I know Super Nanny would kill me, but we need food, damn it, and I can’t afford a tantrum at the start of the grocery trip, at the end – maybe, but not now).

I spot some cookies.

“Get back in and I’ll give you a cookie.” He jumps in as fast as his little legs can get him there, grabs a hold of the wheel and stares straight ahead.

I grab white chocolate cookies. Perfect. But then he jumps out again.

Again I use my stern mommy voice but no dice. He wants all of the cookies. The entire box.

“Fine. Here they are. Now get back in.”

And then I see her. She’s there every time. Sometimes she’s old, sometimes she’s young – but for some reason she’s always a she. She’s the woman at the grocery store who gives me the you are a horrible, horrible mother glare. One year ago her stare would have ruined my night. Defeated me. But tonight I just shook it off.

Benjamin chows on his cookies through the baking aisle, the pasta aisle, the frozen food section and even the dairy section. And then the check out. Home free. We made it. Our first grocery trip without a tantrum or a cry or a pout.

And then he spills the cookies.

All of them crash onto the floor.

Another she – a nice she – looks at me with understanding sympathy as I crouch down to pick them up with my son scrambling to help. She’s older. She remembers these moments. I find strength in that and let her know we’ll be fine – they’re just cookies, no big deal. A store employee comes up, “I’ll go get you another box.”

“Oh no, really… that’s okay.”

But she’s already gone, on a sprint to the cookie section.

Damn it. I was so close.

Benjamin sees the balloons. One second later he’s dashing to them in a full toddler sprint. I abandon my full cart right next to the automatic doors to chase him down.

“Ballooooooonnnnnssss!” He wants one of those giant, excessive ugly things with princesses and weird cartoon characters.

“No, honey, no balloons tonight.” It’s impossible. I can’t cave. I’ve already paid. I have to think of something quickly. “The balloons live here. This is their home. They don’t want to leave.”

Nope. Benjamin didn’t believe me, he’s still tugging at them furiously.

My groceries are waiting. So is my car. So is freedom.

“We’ve got to go, come on – right now.” I pick him up and start walking back to the doors.

Tantrum.

I’m trying to hold him up but he keeps wriggling to the ground. Come on cookie lady, where are you? Then she appears and takes in the view of this mother with a cart bursting full of groceries and her screaming son.

“Do you need help?” she looks so concerned.

“No, thanks. I’m almost there!” I grunt as Benjamin’s foot swipes near my head.

Somehow I get him outside to the car. He’s still screaming his brains out and I can’t find my keys. Benjamin is now on the pavement between my car and the next car. My purse is on the ground and I’m frantically sifting through it. So much for the perfect trip.

The finally keys turn up.

I load Benjamin in, scold him just a bit for his blow out and then wheel the cart back.

Then another she appears. A young, single, childless she. The she I used to be.

She sees her friend in the parking lot. They walk toward each other and across my path. Both of their faces are so fresh, unwrinkled and bright. One year ago I may have envied them, wished upon a star for some semblance of that life to reappear. But not now. Now everything, even the grocery and all of its mishaps, is okay.

I’m the she I’ve always wanted to be… and my little he is the reason why. But if any of the more seasoned “shes” – i.e. you guys – have any tips on how to avoid the tantrums it would be greatly appreciated.

If you liked this post, you might also like:

The grocery store.

Forget the skyrocketing grocery prices that make me clench my jaw and actually tighten my grip on the shopping cart handle- the grocery store is my enemy anyway. It’s the ultimate test of my will and my skills as a single mother. It’s such an odd place too. All of these people, all needing the same thing, something we would die without.

Usually any mention of the store invokes a barrage of protests from Benjamin. Poor kid. He always has to go. No dad to stay home with. But tonight, after 2.8 years of going to the store together, something amazing happened.

“We have to go to the store, Benjamin – to get food!” I always say it enthusiastically, trying to get him excited. The total mommy fake out covers up the dread. But my kid can read me like a book and he usually never buys the act, usually…

Tonight instead of throwing a preliminary grocery store tantrum I heard, “Okay Mommy, let go to tha stouh fo food.”

So on we went – Mommy with the highest hopes and Benjamin with a smile on his face that seemed to good to be true.

When he got situated behind the wheel of his car shopping cart we took off into the produce section.

“Drive Benjamin! Drive!”

“Okay Mommy! I’m driving! Look!”

The car cart is massive. And so loud. But I love it because inside is the cutest little boy on Earth.

I’m cheering him on, grabbing whatever I can, as quickly as I can. I feel like one of those contestants on that shopping game show from the 80’s.

We made it as far as the tomatoes before he jumped out.

I remember the first time Benjamin broke free from me in a grocery store. He was just over 16-months-old. As soon as his feet hit the ground he just started running down the aisle, screaming some kind of Braveheart freedom cry. He didn’t touch a single thing on the shelves he just ran and ran. I had to let him do it – to deny him this kind of pleasure would just be wrong.

But now my little baby is a little boy and he’s jumped out of the cart just to piss me off.

“Get back in Benjamin,” I am using my stern mommy voice, the one Super Nanny suggests. He refuses. I quickly look around – for anything to bribe him with (I know Super Nanny would kill me, but we need food, damn it, and I can’t afford a tantrum at the start of the grocery trip, at the end – maybe, but not now).

I spot some cookies.

“Get back in and I’ll give you a cookie.” He jumps in as fast as his little legs can get him there, grabs a hold of the wheel and stares straight ahead.

I grab white chocolate cookies. Perfect. But then he jumps out again.

Again I use my stern mommy voice but no dice. He wants all of the cookies. The entire box.

“Fine. Here they are. Now get back in.”

And then I see her. She’s there every time. Sometimes she’s old, sometimes she’s young – but for some reason she’s always a she. She’s the woman at the grocery store who gives me the you are a horrible, horrible mother glare. One year ago her stare would have ruined my night. Defeated me. But tonight I just shook it off.

Benjamin chows on his cookies through the baking aisle, the pasta aisle, the frozen food section and even the dairy section. And then the check out. Home free. We made it. Our first grocery trip without a tantrum or a cry or a pout.

And then he spills the cookies.

All of them crash onto the floor.

Another she – a nice she – looks at me with understanding sympathy as I crouch down to pick them up with my son scrambling to help. She’s older. She remembers these moments. I find strength in that and let her know we’ll be fine – they’re just cookies, no big deal. A store employee comes up, “I’ll go get you another box.”

“Oh no, really… that’s okay.”

But she’s already gone, on a sprint to the cookie section.

Damn it. I was so close.

Benjamin sees the balloons. One second later he’s dashing to them in a full toddler sprint. I abandon my full cart right next to the automatic doors to chase him down.

“Ballooooooonnnnnssss!” He wants one of those giant, excessive ugly things with princesses and weird cartoon characters.

“No, honey, no balloons tonight.” It’s impossible. I can’t cave. I’ve already paid. I have to think of something quickly. “The balloons live here. This is their home. They don’t want to leave.”

Nope. Benjamin didn’t believe me, he’s still tugging at them furiously.

My groceries are waiting. So is my car. So is freedom.

“We’ve got to go, come on – right now.” I pick him up and start walking back to the doors.

Tantrum.

I’m trying to hold him up but he keeps wriggling to the ground. Come on cookie lady, where are you? Then she appears and takes in the view of this mother with a cart bursting full of groceries and her screaming son.

“Do you need help?” she looks so concerned.

“No, thanks. I’m almost there!” I grunt as Benjamin’s foot swipes near my head.

Somehow I get him outside to the car. He’s still screaming his brains out and I can’t find my keys. Benjamin is now on the pavement between my car and the next car. My purse is on the ground and I’m frantically sifting through it. So much for the perfect trip.

The finally keys turn up.

I load Benjamin in, scold him just a bit for his blow out and then wheel the cart back.

Then another she appears. A young, single, childless she. The she I used to be.

She sees her friend in the parking lot. They walk toward each other and across my path. Both of their faces are so fresh, unwrinkled and bright. One year ago I may have envied them, wished upon a star for some semblance of that life to reappear. But not now. Now everything, even the grocery and all of its mishaps, is okay.

I’m the she I’ve always wanted to be… and my little he is the reason why. But if any of the more seasoned “shes” – i.e. you guys – have any tips on how to avoid the tantrums it would be greatly appreciated.

If you liked this post, you might also like:

This weekend – the first of Benjamin’s “every other” weekends with his father – John Bear and I had two nights and one full day of long overdue us time.

We haven’t had a weekend solo since our trip to the Poconos and New York City in August… and given all of the stress I’ve been under lately with the new job, the family drama, Benjamin’s new school and life in general I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to mellow out enough to just enjoy him.

But I did. And we did – enjoy each other. Immensely. For 36 hours.

IMG_3002

Being with my boyfriend, not as a mother and a girlfriend but just as a girlfriend, is hard to describe – but it’s one of those things any mother can appreciate, tapping into your inner-girlfriend. It’s essential to our survival.

I haven’t had time to label them yet, but check out my Fall 2009 Photo Album for a ton of new pictures from this weekend. Start here with this photo, to see the most recent. [We were in Cleveland – John Bear’s hometown and my new favorite spot on Earth – love that city. If you live there let me know.]
This weekend – the first of Benjamin’s “every other” weekends with his father – John Bear and I had two nights and one full day of long overdue us time.

We haven’t had a weekend solo since our trip to the Poconos and New York City in August… and given all of the stress I’ve been under lately with the new job, the family drama, Benjamin’s new school and life in general I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to mellow out enough to just enjoy him.

But I did. And we did – enjoy each other. Immensely. For 36 hours.

IMG_3002

Being with my boyfriend, not as a mother and a girlfriend but just as a girlfriend, is hard to describe – but it’s one of those things any mother can appreciate, tapping into your inner-girlfriend. It’s essential to our survival.

I haven’t had time to label them yet, but check out my Fall 2009 Photo Album for a ton of new pictures from this weekend. Start here with this photo, to see the most recent. [We were in Cleveland – John Bear’s hometown and my new favorite spot on Earth – love that city. If you live there let me know.]
This weekend – the first of Benjamin’s “every other” weekends with his father – John Bear and I had two nights and one full day of long overdue us time.

We haven’t had a weekend solo since our trip to the Poconos and New York City in August… and given all of the stress I’ve been under lately with the new job, the family drama, Benjamin’s new school and life in general I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to mellow out enough to just enjoy him.

But I did. And we did – enjoy each other. Immensely. For 36 hours.

IMG_3002

Being with my boyfriend, not as a mother and a girlfriend but just as a girlfriend, is hard to describe – but it’s one of those things any mother can appreciate, tapping into your inner-girlfriend. It’s essential to our survival.

I haven’t had time to label them yet, but check out my Fall 2009 Photo Album for a ton of new pictures from this weekend. Start here with this photo, to see the most recent. [We were in Cleveland – John Bear’s hometown and my new favorite spot on Earth – love that city. If you live there let me know.]

The grocery store.

Forget the skyrocketing grocery prices that make me clench my jaw and actually tighten my grip on the shopping cart handle- the grocery store is my enemy anyway. It’s the ultimate test of my will and my skills as a single mother. It’s such an odd place too. All of these people, all needing the same thing, something we would die without

Usually any mention of the store invokes a barrage of protests from Benjamin. Poor kid. He always has to go. No dad to stay home with. But tonight, after 2.8 years of going to the store together, something amazing happened.

“We have to go to the store, Benjamin – to get food!” I always say it enthusiastically, trying to get him excited about it, faking my own dread.

“Okay Mommy, let go to tha stouh fo food.”

Say what? Really. Was I hallucinating? There might be a chance, I thought, that we’ll have our first flawless grocery experience.

When he got situated behind the wheel of his car shopping cart we took off into the produce section.

“Drive Benjamin! Drive!”

“Okay Mommy! I’m driving! Look!” The car cart is massive. And so loud. But I love it because inside is the cutest little boy on Earth.

I’m cheering him on, grabbing whatever I can, as quickly as I can. I feel like one of those contestants on that shopping game show from the 80’s.

We made it as far as the tomatoes before he jumped out.

I remember the first time Benjamin broke free from me in a grocery store. He was just over 16-months-old. As soon as his feet hit the ground he just started running down the aisle, screaming some kind of Braveheart freedom cry. He didn’t touch a single thing on the shelves he just ran and ran. I had to let him do it – to deny him this kind of pleasure would just be wrong.

But now my little baby is a little boy and he’s jumped out of the cart just to piss me off.

“Get back in Benjamin,” I am using my stern mommy voice, the one Super Nanny suggests. He refuses. I quickly look around – for anything to bribe him with (I know Super Nanny would kill me, but we need food, damn it, and I can’t afford a tantrum at the start of the grocery trip, at the end – maybe, but not now).

I spot some cookies.

“Get back in and I’ll give you a cookie.” He jumps in as fast as his little legs can get him there, grabs a hold of the wheel and stares straight ahead.

I grab white chocolate cookies. Perfect. But then he jumps out again.

Again I use my stern mommy voice but no dice. He wants all of the cookies. The entire box.

“Fine. Here they are. Now get back in.”

And then I see her. She’s there every time. Sometimes she’s old, sometimes she’s young – but for some reason she’s always a she. She’s the woman at the grocery store who gives me the you are a horrible, horrible mother glare. One year ago her stare would have ruined my night. Defeated me. But tonight I just shook it off.

Benjamin chows on his cookies through the baking aisle, the pasta aisle, the frozen food section and even the dairy section. And then the check out. Home free. We made it. Our first grocery trip without a tantrum or a cry or a pout.

And then he spills the cookies.

All of them crash onto the floor.

Another she – a nice she – looks at me with understanding sympathy as I crouch down to pick them up with my son scrambling to help. She’s older. She remembers these moments. I find strength in that and let her know we’ll be fine – they’re just cookies, no big deal. A store employee comes up, “I’ll go get you another box.”

“Oh no, really… that’s okay.”

But she’s already gone, on a sprint to the cookie section.

Damn it. I was so close.

Benjamin sees the balloons. One second later he’s dashing to them in a full toddler sprint. I abandon my full cart right next to the automatic doors to chase him down.

“Ballooooooonnnnnssss!” He wants one of those giant, excessive ugly things with princesses and weird cartoon characters.

“No, honey, no balloons tonight.” It’s impossible. I can’t cave. I’ve already paid. I have to think of something quickly. “The balloons live here. This is their home. They don’t want to leave.”

Nope. Benjamin didn’t believe me, he’s still tugging at them furiously.

My groceries are waiting. So is my car. So is freedom.

“We’ve got to go, come on – right now.” I pick him up and start walking back to the doors.

Tantrum.

I’m trying to hold him up but he keeps wriggling to the ground. Come on cookie lady, where are you? Then she appears and takes in the view of this mother with a cart bursting full of groceries and her screaming son.

“Do you need help?” she looks so concerned.

“No, thanks. I’m almost there!” I grunt as Benjamin’s foot swipes near my head.

Somehow I get him outside to the car. He’s still screaming his brains out and I can’t find my keys. Benjamin is now on the pavement between my car and the next car. My purse is on the ground and I’m frantically sifting through it. So much for the perfect trip.

The finally keys turn up.

I load Benjamin in, scold him just a bit for his blow out and then wheel the cart back.

Then another she appears. A young, single, childless she. The she I used to be.

She sees her friend in the parking lot. They walk toward each other and across my path. Both of their faces are so fresh, unwrinkled and bright. One year ago I may have envied them, wished upon a star for some semblance of that life to reappear. But not now. Now everything, even the grocery and all of its mishaps, is okay.

I’m the she I’ve always wanted to be… and my little he is the reason why. But if any of the more seasoned “shes” – i.e. you guys – have any tips on how to avoid the tantrums it would be greatly appreciated.

If you liked this post, you might also like:

The grocery store.

Forget the skyrocketing grocery prices that make me clench my jaw and actually tighten my grip on the shopping cart handle- the grocery store is my enemy anyway. It’s the ultimate test of my will and my skills as a single mother. It’s such an odd place too. All of these people, all needing the same thing, something we would die without.

Usually any mention of the store invokes a barrage of protests from Benjamin. Poor kid. He always has to go. No dad to stay home with. But tonight, after 2.8 years of going to the store together, something amazing happened.

“We have to go to the store, Benjamin – to get food!” I always say it enthusiastically, trying to get him excited. The total mommy fake out covers up the dread. But my kid can read me like a book and he usually never buys the act, usually…

Tonight instead of throwing a preliminary grocery store tantrum I heard, “Okay Mommy, let go to tha stouh fo food.”

So on we went – Mommy with the highest hopes and Benjamin with a smile on his face that seemed to good to be true.

When he got situated behind the wheel of his car shopping cart we took off into the produce section.

“Drive Benjamin! Drive!”

“Okay Mommy! I’m driving! Look!”

The car cart is massive. And so loud. But I love it because inside is the cutest little boy on Earth.

I’m cheering him on, grabbing whatever I can, as quickly as I can. I feel like one of those contestants on that shopping game show from the 80’s.

We made it as far as the tomatoes before he jumped out.

I remember the first time Benjamin broke free from me in a grocery store. He was just over 16-months-old. As soon as his feet hit the ground he just started running down the aisle, screaming some kind of Braveheart freedom cry. He didn’t touch a single thing on the shelves he just ran and ran. I had to let him do it – to deny him this kind of pleasure would just be wrong.

But now my little baby is a little boy and he’s jumped out of the cart just to piss me off.

“Get back in Benjamin,” I am using my stern mommy voice, the one Super Nanny suggests. He refuses. I quickly look around – for anything to bribe him with (I know Super Nanny would kill me, but we need food, damn it, and I can’t afford a tantrum at the start of the grocery trip, at the end – maybe, but not now).

I spot some cookies.

“Get back in and I’ll give you a cookie.” He jumps in as fast as his little legs can get him there, grabs a hold of the wheel and stares straight ahead.

I grab white chocolate cookies. Perfect. But then he jumps out again.

Again I use my stern mommy voice but no dice. He wants all of the cookies. The entire box.

“Fine. Here they are. Now get back in.”

And then I see her. She’s there every time. Sometimes she’s old, sometimes she’s young – but for some reason she’s always a she. She’s the woman at the grocery store who gives me the you are a horrible, horrible mother glare. One year ago her stare would have ruined my night. Defeated me. But tonight I just shook it off.

Benjamin chows on his cookies through the baking aisle, the pasta aisle, the frozen food section and even the dairy section. And then the check out. Home free. We made it. Our first grocery trip without a tantrum or a cry or a pout.

And then he spills the cookies.

All of them crash onto the floor.

Another she – a nice she – looks at me with understanding sympathy as I crouch down to pick them up with my son scrambling to help. She’s older. She remembers these moments. I find strength in that and let her know we’ll be fine – they’re just cookies, no big deal. A store employee comes up, “I’ll go get you another box.”

“Oh no, really… that’s okay.”

But she’s already gone, on a sprint to the cookie section.

Damn it. I was so close.

Benjamin sees the balloons. One second later he’s dashing to them in a full toddler sprint. I abandon my full cart right next to the automatic doors to chase him down.

“Ballooooooonnnnnssss!” He wants one of those giant, excessive ugly things with princesses and weird cartoon characters.

“No, honey, no balloons tonight.” It’s impossible. I can’t cave. I’ve already paid. I have to think of something quickly. “The balloons live here. This is their home. They don’t want to leave.”

Nope. Benjamin didn’t believe me, he’s still tugging at them furiously.

My groceries are waiting. So is my car. So is freedom.

“We’ve got to go, come on – right now.” I pick him up and start walking back to the doors.

Tantrum.

I’m trying to hold him up but he keeps wriggling to the ground. Come on cookie lady, where are you? Then she appears and takes in the view of this mother with a cart bursting full of groceries and her screaming son.

“Do you need help?” she looks so concerned.

“No, thanks. I’m almost there!” I grunt as Benjamin’s foot swipes near my head.

Somehow I get him outside to the car. He’s still screaming his brains out and I can’t find my keys. Benjamin is now on the pavement between my car and the next car. My purse is on the ground and I’m frantically sifting through it. So much for the perfect trip.

The finally keys turn up.

I load Benjamin in, scold him just a bit for his blow out and then wheel the cart back.

Then another she appears. A young, single, childless she. The she I used to be.

She sees her friend in the parking lot. They walk toward each other and across my path. Both of their faces are so fresh, unwrinkled and bright. One year ago I may have envied them, wished upon a star for some semblance of that life to reappear. But not now. Now everything, even the grocery and all of its mishaps, is okay.

I’m the she I’ve always wanted to be… and my little he is the reason why. But if any of the more seasoned “shes” – i.e. you guys – have any tips on how to avoid the tantrums it would be greatly appreciated.

If you liked this post, you might also like:

There is a fascinating discussion led by the fearless Gwen Bell on Twitter tonight.

At issue – how much do mommy bloggers earn for our work here in cyber space? Or, more importantly, how much should we earn?

I quit my day job in June to become a full-time blogger but quickly found I needed to supplement that income with freelance writing projects. Soon I was working so hard I thought I would snap. Then a job offer came along and I snatched it up. And alas, my dream of becoming a full-time mommy blogger is temporarily on hold.

I agree with Gwen that we need to start talking, openly, about the future for mom bloggers as more and more marketers want our attention – and believe me, do they want us. The more we talk, the more we can demand. Because blogging is not easy.

For starters – if you are a mommy blogger take this annoymous poll. And be honest. If not, you’ll have to live with the guilt and the last thing us mamas need is more guilt.

Then stay tuned to Gwen Bell’s Twitter and blog for the latest on this evolving discussion.

{ 1 trackback }

The Business of Blogging « Musings of a Marfan Mom
November 17, 2009 at 1:39 am

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Real Life Sarah November 16, 2009 at 8:01 pm

Does this survey include money for consulting, teaching classes, etc, or just strictly on the blog?

Reply

mssinglemama November 16, 2009 at 8:03 pm

Good question! I’ll ask Gwen and Type A Mom.

Reply

mssinglemama November 16, 2009 at 8:08 pm

You know what… until I hear back – let’s say – yes, include the extras because you couldn’t do them without your blog, right?

So – anything you earn because you blog.

Reply

MZ November 16, 2009 at 8:04 pm

I’d be interested in knowing other things…how many readers do these bloggers have? How long have they been blogging? How often do they post? Are these things correlated to how much they earn?

Reply

mssinglemama November 16, 2009 at 8:17 pm

Yes, we need to make more polls…

Reply

Amy @ Muddy Boots November 16, 2009 at 8:11 pm

Maybe there should be a 0-$100 option? It skips from nothing to over $100.

Reply

mssinglemama November 16, 2009 at 8:16 pm

You’re right… but it only gave me so many options. But this is annually so if it’s less than $100 a year, no need for a specific amount. Right?

Reply

Suzanne November 16, 2009 at 8:15 pm

I’ve been blogging about my pregnancy/baby since July 08 but didn’t know there was such a thing as being a “mommy blogger” until a few months ago. I’ve gotten nothing of any monetary value out of it, but tons and tons of support, new friends and helpful advice. Not to be a sentimental jerk about it (because who doesn’t want to get paid for something they love?) but I absolutely would not change anything about my blog just to make money – that’s not why I write.

Reply

Lauren @ Hobo Mama November 16, 2009 at 8:33 pm

Are some people joking? Because if you’re someone who checked $100,000+, I need to know…HOW. Well, heck, I’d take how for most any category, but seriously. All right, off to catch up with the Twitter feed.

Reply

melissa November 16, 2009 at 8:49 pm

i’m interested in some of the same questions that earlier commenters asked. blog traffic, page views, are those that important? i’ve been blogging for 2 years and seriously…i’ve made $160. that’s it.
i’m fine with that actually. because if the only way to truly make decent money is by doing reviews like what i’ve heard…
i’ll just keep on doing what i’m doing.
this future of blogging is going to be very interesting to watch…

Reply

kristin November 16, 2009 at 8:58 pm

I agree. I’ve been blogging for a few years now and already its changed so much. I remembers when reviews started, now everyone does them. It used to be a luxury, now some bloggers think they have the right!

You can easily make money doing paid services. Bloggers used to bring in payloads by payperpost services. Now it’s different. Although premium social spark bloggers can make hundreds on just one post.

Reply

Julie@Momspective November 16, 2009 at 8:53 pm

WOW! My advice to people is to keep on keeping on, a wise woman once told me it takes at least two years to really start seeing a difference. If you love what you do, you’ll hopefully prosper and succeed!

Reply

Ewokmama November 16, 2009 at 9:21 pm

Mostly I don’t make money off of my blog (although I save money by getting things for free that I’d otherwise have to pay for), but I was able to get a paid writing gig because of it on a parenting site.

Reply

Jill November 16, 2009 at 10:05 pm

So where is the minus category? I vote for -10,000 to zero!

Reply

Gwen Bell November 16, 2009 at 11:45 pm

Hi all,
Jumping in to add that I consider blogging to be blogging and all the things that surround/feed your blogging life. For me that’s blogging, speaking at and attending conferences, conducting workshops, updating statuses around the web, taking/editing/uploading photos and consulting. I do both paid and unpaid work – in fact, I segment off some of my time every month to give freely to non-profits that come along. And I use the paid gigs to make it so that I can get back to the blogging and commenting and engaging in community. (More coming soon on my blog, actually. Thank you for the post & shouts, Ms Single Mama.

Reply

Susan (5 Minutes for Mom) November 17, 2009 at 1:41 am

This is a complicated one for Janice and I to answer.

5 Minutes for Mom does bring in a fair amount of revenue, but we also pay a full time virtual assistant and a part time bookkeeper and designers and developers and the list seems to go on and take away most of the revenue. Basically at this stage we are continually reinvesting in our company.

We do also own ecommerce toy stores and that is where we tend to generate more income. Those stores helped subsidize 5 Minutes for Mom in our early days.

I think blogging is one of the toughest ways to make an income. We work ridiculously hard and are constantly belittled in the press and even amongst other bloggers.

But, we wouldn’t want to do anything else.

Reply

Emily November 17, 2009 at 6:33 am

Another side to that coin (perhaps another poll) is –

Do you actually LOSE money as a mommy blogger?

I do – I pay for hosting out of pocket JUST so I don’t have to run afoul of some corporate bloghost’s ToS. I’m also considering paying for someone to help me design my blog instead of using a free template.

Reply

Mandi @ Organizing Your Way November 17, 2009 at 10:17 am

Are we using a broad definition of “mommy blogger” as a mom who blogs? Because that category I fit, but my blog is not a journal or specifically about being a mommy.

I also think a key here relates to Sarah’s question in the beginning. Most of my income comes from the things I do because I blog — consulting, etc. — rather than from my blog itself, although I do earn income from my blog as well. I almost think it should be two separate polls to get a more accurate view.

Reply

Gina November 17, 2009 at 3:49 pm

Curious about that too–I’m a “mom who blogs,” but my blog doesn’t seem to be the typical mommy blog talking about parenting, kids, etc. I don’t even show pics of my kids very often. I found this to be true at the Type A Mom conference, too, that I was earning way more $$ than others, but my type of blog lends itself to the diversity of impression ads, affiliate links, and other revenue earners more than most. I actually don’t do reviews at all. After meeting some of the moms who blog parenting/personal issues, I think there are ways to monetize (if that’s one of your goals), but it is different than what I do. And I think you have to see “earnings” as more than cash. Gift cards, clothing, products, etc. should count.

Reply

Cat November 17, 2009 at 6:29 pm

Do you consider the value of products received as a contribution to income?

Reply

trisha December 22, 2009 at 2:52 pm

I make a fair amount of income from blogging, but it took a year and a half and a staff to get there. Plus, lots and lots of mistakes.

And i still dont make as much as I would if i used my college degree.

Blog income doesnt exactly equal real life income….atleast not yet.
trisha

Reply

earn extra money July 11, 2014 at 12:33 am

Yes! Finally something about earn income online.

Reply

Leave a Comment