The Mom Voice: On the Playground — and at the Office?

Today’s topic: the mom voice. Do you think you have a “mom voice”? Have you heard your friends’ mom voices — and did it bring you comfort or freak you out? Have you ever noticed your mom voice encroaching at the office — and was it welcome or unwelcome? 

A few weeks ago, an old friend who lives in a different city posted a video on Facebook of her three-year-old son. She was off-camera, with her little boy front and center, and my friend K was at first encouraging him, then scolding him when he started making a mess.

It was a cute video, but what I loved most surprised me: It was her MOM voice. It’s that distinct voice that we all found once we became parents to an unruly toddler — equal parts educator, disciplinarian, cheerleader, and perhaps world-weary battle warrior. It’s something I’ve often recognized in my own home videos (“GAH, is that what I really sound like? What a nag…”), but it was kind of AWESOME to hear my friend’s mom voice. I’m not sure if it was because I was so happy to hear it in someone else — a kind of validation, like, “Look, another previously cool chick has turned into a MOM!” — or if it was because we haven’t kept in touch and her voice tells me a lot about where she is in life, which I suspect is the same place I am. Like if we were to meet up on a playground or coffee shop we’d instantly fall back into that happy old rhythm of friends.

What was really interesting was how, after she posted the video, a LOT of people commented on how nice it was to hear her mom voice. So I’m not just a weirdo! (Nah, I totally am.)

So here are the questions, ladies: Do YOU have a mom voice that you recognize? (Did it start after you grew out of the POOPCUP stage of parenting?) Have you heard your friends’ mom voices — and did it bring you comfort, solidarity, or something else? (Have you found your mom voice encroaching at the office? I’ve definitely noticed that I’m less willing to take any BS these days in any circumstance, but I’d attribute that more to being a grownup and less to a mom — but I’m curious to hear your thoughts.)

Pictured: Pixabay.

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Activity Scheduling Tips for Moms: How to Easily Plan Summer Schedules and Beyond

activity scheduling tips for working momsSummer schedules are already starting to be released, so I thought it might be good today to talk about how you take care of activity scheduling for kids — what are your best activity scheduling tips for moms, dads, and other caregivers? Do you use an Excel spreadsheet to schedule your kids’ activities, like I do? In general, how do you find classes and camps for your little one? Share your best activity scheduling tips with us here, ladies!

My top activity scheduling tips for working moms (or other parental units/caregivers) include:

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How to Level Up Your Childcare/Personal Help (When Money is No Object)

how to level up your childcare | extended options for very busy momsIf you’re a busy working mom, good childcare is a must — but what happens when a nanny doesn’t even begin to cut it? How can you level up your childcare and household management? (Warning: this post is not terribly budget-friendly.)

I’ve wanted to talk about this ever since I read this post from Penelope Trunk (written in 2008 but I first read it more recently than that) about hiring a house manager — an entire position I never knew existed but would love to have if money and time allowed. So if you need more than a nanny, let’s review the “additional childcare options for very busy moms” that I know of (beyond, obviously, getting your husband to be an equal partner and sharing parenting duties)…

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What to Wear to Work After Maternity Leave

What to Wear to Work After Maternity Leave | Tips for Working MothersWhat should you wear to work after maternity leave? We got an email a while ago from a reader who posed this interesting question. What is the “safest” choice to make so you look like a rational person who is not a sleep-deprived emotional wreck? Which clothes are best if you’re pumping at work? What will fit? These are my tips (and reasons) for what to wear to work after maternity leave, but I’m interested to hear what readers say also. (Psst: you may also want to check out the readers’ and my general tips for returning to work after maternity leave!)

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Why You Shouldn’t Buy a Fancy Diaper Bag When You Find Out You’re Pregnant

The case against fancy diaper bags | CorporetteMomsHere’s a fun question for you guys: what would you tell new moms NOT to buy? What did you buy that was a waste of money or a mistake for your family? For me, the big answer to this question is a fancy diaper bag — I now advise all of my friends to NOT buy a fancy diaper bag when they find out they’re pregnant.

(Pictured: a lovely $1400 Burberry diaper bag to consider if you don’t want to listen to this advice!)

All of my friends and I made this mistake: the second we found out we were pregnant we started looking for fancy diaper bags.  Resist the urge to do this! At least until after the kiddo is born and you’ve been using a diaper bag for a little bit of time and have a better sense of your needs (and the level of grossness that often comes with babies).  For example, the one that I bought (a very nice Rebecca Minkoff one that’s still available) I ended up hating, because I didn’t want a two-handled tote bag — one handle would fall off my shoulders, and I felt like the whole thing threw my balance off further, particularly if I was babywearing.  It also didn’t fit neatly over the stroller handles (or underneath in the basket) — in short, I used it about three times.

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How to Share Emotional Labor as Parents (AKA, How to Get Your Partner To Care About the Little Stuff That Keeps You Up At Night)

Are you always the parent who makes sure the kids’ homework is done every night? Schedules/attends/follows up on all the kids’ doctor’s appointments? Referees the sibling rivalries? Buys holiday gifts for teachers? We’ve talked before about being the default parent, sharing parenting duties with your husband, as well as mommying your husband, but we thought we’d have a discussion focused on ways to share emotional labor as parents — AKA, how to get your partner to care about all the little stuff that keeps you up at night (and take on some of it). Do you find yourself performing a lot of emotional labor and noticing that your partner doesn’t do their share? What are you doing about it, if anything? Has anyone set up a family kanban board or some other method?

If you need a good definition of emotional labor, try this one from Everyday Feminism:

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