A Momma Grows in Brooklyn

http://amommagrowsinbrooklyn.blogspot.com/

Mary Jacobsen Teague writes about the occasional triumphs, many pitfalls, and the hijinx and hilarity of motherhood. She recently moved from Brooklyn to Arlington, Mass. with her husband and two sons.

What's your favorite family tradition?

What's the most challenging thing about being both a blogger and a mom?

What's the most rewarding thing about being a mom?

Do you think the government should pay stay-at-home moms for their work of raising children and managing a household?

Mary Jacobsen Teague

If the question is whether I think the government should issue paychecks to guardians who stay home to raise children solely because they choose to stay home to raise children and manage a household, then my answer is no. Don't get me wrong. I think the work is difficult, and it deserves actual compensation, including a retirement plan, a disability policy, some vacation time, sick days, medical and dental coverage. (But maybe I just think that we all deserve those things - regardless of employment status.) As a policy issue, and not a personal one, I think we all recognize that reproduction is a necessary function of a healthy society. On the other hand, as a society, we want and need able-bodied adults to join the workforce and to be productive. In the absence of consensus about the benefits for kids (and society) of having two working parents/guardians, governmental guarantees for paid parental leave from work seem to me like the best solution. And it is worth noting that the U.S. is the only industrialized nation that fails to provide its parents with any guaranteed paid leave after the birth or arrival of a child. If you are interested in checking on the rest of the world, follow this link: http://www.npr.org/2011/08/09/137062676/time-with-a-newborn-maternity-leave-policies-around-the-world.
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What is a fun and creative way to preserve baby memories?

Mary Jacobsen Teague

Well . . . starting a mommy blog worked for me. (And I keep a journal with the more personal memories that are just for our family.)
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What's one of the worst messes your child has made? Please share a link to a photo if you have one.

Mary Jacobsen Teague

In preparations to put our apartment on the market so that we could move from Brooklyn to Boston, we had hired a handyman to paint, plaster, tile, and generally improve our space. The relationship with that handyman soured, and after many weeks of his failure to meet expectations, we finally just asked him to finish whatever he was in the middle of and to leave the rest to us. My husband and I wanted to give the living room a fresh coat of paint. We had two problems. First, we could not quite remember what color we had used five years earlier when we painted it the first time. Second, we were pretty sure that one of the four walls was (somehow) a different shade than the others. We tried our best, but in all honesty, we probably had three false starts getting those walls freshly painted - all in the same color. Nevertheless, we did finish the walls several weeks before we had to move so that I could start my new job. Which is exactly when my older son found a permanent purple marker.
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What's your best tip for easing the impact of holiday house guests?

Mary Jacobsen Teague

To the extent possible, give up and give in. The more you can relax and actually enjoy the company of your guests, the better. It's a blessing to be together for the holidays regardless of the stress. So just give up, give in, and seek the joy.
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What's your go-to family meal made entirely with pantry staples? Please share a link to the recipe and photo if you have one.

Mary Jacobsen Teague

Army eggs and applesauce. I know it's not very creative, but there are days when we all get home around 6:15 and feel wiped out and headed toward (if not already in the middle of) meltdown mode. So, I make army eggs. Heat a skillet over medium/med-high heat with olive oil/butter. Butter both sides of a piece of bread. Press the mouth of a small glass (or even a shot glass) into the middle of the slice - cutting out a circle. Place the both the cut-out circle and the slice of bread with the hole in it in the pan. Crack an egg and put it in the hole of the slice of bread. Cook on both sides until the egg is as cooked through as you like. Salt and pepper to taste. Grab some applesauce. Call it a day.
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