Monday, March 30, 2015

The difference between a stay-at-home mom and an engineer.

I always knew I wanted to be a wife and mother. So much so that when I was a teenager, my friends teased that I would be married and pregnant at the age of eighteen. (I wasn't, but I came close. Ssshhh.)

But I also grew up in modern America, and therefore I knew from a young age that being a mom, while self-sacrificing and all, was simply not enough. On one of those cutesy kindergarten surveys, I answered the question "What do you want to be when you grow up?" with "Electrical engineer"! 

If you know me, you know that this is crazy. I mean, I'm all for teaching five-year-olds that they should shoot for the stars and follow their dreams and whatnot, but at no point in time did I have any desire to sit hunched over lightbulbs and motherboards all day (uh, that's what electrical engineers do, right?). Not even when I was five. 

But I said it because my dad was an electrical engineer. Even though I really wanted to be a stay-at-home mom, like my mother. Because I was shrewd enough to know that whatever my private desire, I needed to have a more acceptable public platform. 

(Electrical engineer, my foot. I should have been a politician!)

(Ha. Ha.) 

And what's the difference between an engineer and a stay-at-home mom? 

(Other than the fact that one of those things means nothing to me but "lightbulbs and motherboards.")

An engineer makes money. A stay-at-home mom doesn't make money. 

Of course, if I were smart, I would remind myself that being a stay-at-home mom saves money, because we're not paying for daycare, we eat home-cooked meals instead of eating out all the time, and I have time to do our own cleaning. (Uh, theoretically. Don't tell that to my bathroom.) And if I were really spiritually in tune, I would also be at peace knowing that money isn't the most important thing in life, and I am investing my time in my family instead of in worldly goods. 

But whenever I try to tell this to my brain, it responds back, Baloney! Money is the MOST IMPORTANT THING! Money is EVERYTHING! If I'm not rolling in cash at the end of every day, I am worth NOTHING! My entire value is measured in MONEY ALONE! MONEY MONEY MONEY MONEY!!!

Whew. Okay. 

Take a deep breath, brain. 

I guess I can be pretty messed up. But what else is new? 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Follow me online!

Today is your lucky day! Why, you ask? Because you can now follow me, the author of The Clueless Mom, on all your favorite social media, and you can spend hours upon hours reading every thought that ever popped into my head. Wow! Amazing!

Follow me on Twitter: @theemilyhubbard
Follow me on Bloglovin'
Follow me on Pinterest
Follow me on Goodreads
Email me:

Follow away!

Bloglovin' obligatory post

<a href="">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

"Everything is going to be all right."

I run into a lot of older women in my line of work. (My momly line of work.) They are so perfectly sweet and nice to me and don’t judge me for being a baby having babies, which is awfully good of them.

But one thing older ladies like to say is that “everything is going to be all right.” They’re probably saying it because they’ve lived longer and they have much more perspective on life’s problems, big and small, and they think I’m overreacting, and they want to stop me before I get into an emotional train wreck.

Here’s the thing, though. I know I’m overreacting and turning into a blubbery mess over a problem that will probably just blow over. But saying that everything is going to be all right really isn’t going to help anything. The emotional train wreck is just going to happen. You know why? Not because I have a silly little problem. It’s because I’m a brand-new mom, and my whole life is changing, and my body is postpartum, and I’m freaked out because my heart is bursting with a love for this baby that I never knew I was capable of. And I’m realizing that I don’t have the kind of free pass to make mistakes that I used to, because I have a husband and a baby now, and they’re relying on me. And this big life change is causing me to question who I am, and what I want, and those questions are scaring me because what if I was always wrong about the answers, and I’m secretly a total screw-up headed for a major mid-life crisis?

So basically, I’m a mess.

If there’s one thing I could really use right now, it’s five minutes where I can just whine about the tiny problems in my life, like how my baby hates tummy time but she has a mild flat spot on her head so I do it because I’m afraid she’s going to have to get one of those corrective helmet things. Or how breastfeeding is terribly frustrating but I can’t even think about stopping. Or the million other small grievances that don’t make life impossible or anything, but they’re kind of annoying.

Yeah, I know everything is going to be okay. I mean, everyone in my family is healthy and well, and I have the support of countless family members and friends, and I have a roof over my head and food to eat. I know how huge those things are. In ten years I’m probably not even going to remember how much my first baby cried when I put her on her tummy. But there are a million worse things that could happen that I’m trying not to think about and that scare me every day, so really, when I complain about how many times I have to change a diaper in a day, don’t say “Everything is going to be okay.”

How about instead you just say, “Man, that sucks.”

Or whatever the older-woman equivalent is.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Introducing: My Baby

My baby is the cutest, smartest, best baby in the world. Obvs.

And she’s confusing and frustrating and sometimes it feels like she hates me. Also, she can read my thoughts. (I.e., the moment I’m about to fall asleep or wash dishes or get in the shower, she cries, as though she knew that that was the worst possible moment and she wanted to remind me who’s boss.)

At this point, she seems to have inherited almost all her looks and personality from my husband. I’m okay with that. He’s a pretty cool dude, after all.

She’s growing way too fast, of course. Except for the times when I wish she would get older faster so she could eat solid food/crawl/burp on her own/entertain herself for more than five minutes.

She hates tummy time. (Sigh.) But on the plus side, she likes baths.  

She has the most beautiful smile in the world.

She loves to snuggle. (I’m so glad.)

All in all, I think she’s an easy baby. I thank my lucky stars for that.  

I’m so grateful I get to be her mom.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Introducing: My Husband

My husband is seven years older than I am, which sometimes feels like a lot and sometimes it doesn’t.

He’s a “car guy.” He knows way more about cars than any sane person ought to. When we’re watching movies, he points out what kinds of cars the characters are driving. Plus the cars that are barely noticeable in the background. Plus the cars that aren’t visible but you can barely hear the engine running behind the dialogue.

He loves to fix things. He usually fixes them before I even notice they’re broken.

He’s from Texas, but he’s not one of those Texans who think that Texas will someday take over the world. (Mostly.)  

He doesn’t like chocolate. Or mint. Or lemon. Or tomatoes. Or peaches. But he’s a pretty good sport about eating whatever I make for dinner.

He’s incredibly handsome. He looks like a combination of Chris Hemsworth, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Clark Gable.

(I’m kidding.)

(Sort of.)

(Not really.)

(You should be jealous.)

We’ve been married for two years, but it feels like it’s been about a week.

When he comes home and finds that I’ve been too stressed to make dinner, he offers to get pizza.

He adores our baby. He’s a wonderful father.

I can’t believe I get to be his wife.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Introducing: Me

Calling myself the “Clueless Mom” is an attempt at humility. In real life, I’m not humble. I think I’m all that. It’s a good thing I now have parenthood to remind me how I’m so not cool.

I’m obsessed with hyperbole. I think it’s hilarious to exaggerate the truth and I don’t like to clearly draw the line between the reality and the exaggeration. (It’s gotten me in trouble in the past. Thankfully, no one has died because of it.)

(Okay, one guy died. But just one.)

(And maybe a couple of cats.)

(You see? I have a problem.)

I’ve spent a lot of my life trying to be good at crafts and dancing, and I’m not good at either. Also, I’m finally coming to realize that I don’t like crafts.

I’ve also spent a lot of my life trying to be good at cooking, but I’m pretty good at that.

I just graduated from college. I thought I would miss it, but I don’t yet.

I talk a lot. Especially at night when my husband is trying to go to sleep.

I grew up in a beautiful vacation spot that most people would consider paradise. I never want to live there again because I’m crazy and I love cold winters.

I’m a real goody-two-shoes. I’ve never done anything bad in my whole life. (Except for the time I killed that guy because I exaggerated too much.)

I’ve tried to write more serious stuff before. It’s hard and I’m not sure I’m very good at it. Maybe someday.

I adore my baby. I can’t think of anything I’d rather do than stay home and snuggle with her all day. Even though I occasionally want to rip my own hair out.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

I have a confession to make.

When I was pregnant, people would always tell me that when they were about to take their babies home from the hospital, they thought to themselves, “How can the hospital let me take this baby home? I have no idea what I’m doing!”

I was a little offended that people seemed to be insinuating that I would feel this way. Um, no. I’ve taken care of babies before. I know how to change a diaper, thankyouverymuch.

Plus, I was overpreparing like nobody’s business. I was reading books on baby care, talking to friends, watching videos, hiding in friends’ houses to watch them caring for their babies, that sort of thing. I was so ready. I knew what I was doing.

All throughout my baby’s first week, I stayed confident in my ability to care for this child. (I mean, I was crying and depressed over something or other at least once a day, but even then I didn’t doubt my parenting prowess.) Even when I wasn’t totally sure what to do, I thought, “This is the hardest it will ever be. I’ll just keep learning and then things will get easier and easier.”

I was so young. So naive.

I’m ready to admit it now.

I have no idea what I’m doing.

I mean, as far as skill level, I think I’m doing pretty well. I can change diapers, rock the baby to sleep, and strap her into a car seat.

It’s more the principles of baby care that still have me stumped. Is it evil to let my baby cry for more than 30 seconds? On the other hand, if I never let her cry, will she never learn to soothe herself?  Will I fry her brain if I watch too much TV? On the other hand, will I go insane if I don’t watch TV and instead just sit there while I feed her, imagining worst-case scenarios involving RSV and SIDS?

And there are a million other questions I can’t answer. I’m clueless.

So that’s what this blog is about. I’m not here to give you parenting advice. I don’t have any parenting advice.

But I think even seasoned moms are clueless every once in a while. We all get stumped occasionally. (Or nine times a day, as the case may be.)

Looking at Facebook and Pinterest, sometimes I don’t believe it. We really like pretending to be supermoms online. I mean, it sure is tempting to show off only your best moments. But let’s be real. In a way, supermoms don’t exist...but in another way, we’re all supermoms. If you spend 24 hours a day loving (if not always liking) your kid(s), you’re a supermom.

(At least, that’s what I like to tell myself. I do what it takes to get me through the day.)

So. I hate to break it to you, but on this blog, you’re not going to find…
  • Fabulous DIY projects.
  • Adorable cupcake recipes.
  • After-school snacks arranged to look like giraffes.
  • Astounding time-saving life hacks.
  • Life-changing organization tips.

As far as what you will find here, all I can promise is complete honesty about my mom life. There will be confessions. There will be rants. There will be offerings to the parenting gods in the hopes that they’ll send me some answers. That sort of thing.

Welcome to The Clueless Mom!