Forget Pinterest-worthy lunches. Just pack something that's edible, and (mostly) healthy.

I had purchased three Bento boxes and spent weeks scrolling through Pinterest pages of nut-butter sandwich faces, animals made out of quinoa, organic berries and homemade flax cookies. As I stared down my new reality of being a working, divorced mom with a kid who I was sure would never eat hot lunch, these cute pictures taunted me as yet another way I was sure to fail as my son started his journey into elementary school.

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It's Ok if you can't be at every one of your kids events: They'll be fine

Trying to manage the kids’ activities is like trying to juggle while riding the spinning teacups at Disneyland.

In my house, we have three kids within a range of two years. Like a lot of families today, our children might be categorized as “over-programmed."

Most weeks we find ourselves running between competition dance, baseball, basketball, golf (or whatever sport is in season) and piano lessons. We'll even occasionally throw in in a showcase, performance or science fair at school.

We try to monitor this, but frequently an extra lesson or an extra team sneaks in here and there. And, unfortunately, there are just times where events overlap — or we can’t shuffle work around to be somewhere at 3 p.m. on a Tuesday — and we miss their event.

I feel the pang of guilt every time this happens.

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Becoming a stepparent has forever changed what I thought I knew about parenting

In June 2018, I went from being the mom of an only child to the parent of three kids — my son and my husband’s two daughters.

I knew early into the relationship with my husband that not only was he the right one, but that his girls were the right ones, too. I had a deep love for all of them. What I didn’t have a clue about was how hard all of this would be for me to adapt to. While we have been incredibly fortunate — the kids have all bonded beautifully — there’s no “What to Expect When You’re Expecting a Whole New Family.”

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Step Mom By Design: My first Momaha post!

I am a stepmother and, if I'm being honest, it's not something I ever dreamed of being. I don't think any stepmom does.

As a young child, I didn't carry around my baby doll pretending I was its second mother. We don't dream of being a stepmom in the same way we dream of being moms. In our dreams, we're the mom our children know first; the only mom they'll ever come to love. We don't dream of being second. Being a stepmom means someone's first dream has ended in heartache.

But here I am — grateful to be a stepmom by design.

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My New Last Name

For months I stood on my soapbox saying, "My name is my name. If I want to be known as Jessica Lacey Flamingo-Hedgehog, then that is my choice." We all had lots of laughs about the idea of business cards that read "Flamingo-Hedgehog." That name is still unanimously approved by my husband and kids to this day.

I have agonized over this last name situation almost as much as I agonized over choosing my son's name.

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Spit parenting this summer? Here's how I plan to get through it.

Nineties rap blares on the radio as the air conditioning blasts against the new summer heat. Chip and snack cake wrappers litter the front seat. Is this a scene from an idyllic teenage summer?

Nope. It's just me — a bewildered mom — sitting kid-less in a Walmart parking lot after work, not knowing what to do with myself while my son is with his dad…

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Go Down the Water Slide!

I waited in line patiently after the five-year old in front of me, looked to the life guard for a nod of "okay", and zip, splash, into the water I went. Down the water slide. 
Yes, I was "that" mom, the weird, goofy one who got into the pool with her kids. The mom who did handstands in the deep-end, raced her kids across the pool, threw rings to be found at the bottom, and actually went down the water slide. I was in fact, one of only three moms that got in the pool today. And honestly, I don't totally understand it.

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