I'm immersed in Present Over Perfect right now, Shauna Niequist's book that I pre-ordered months ago. I'm 36 pages in, and already, this stands out: 

"A friend and I recently talked about how invested we both are in people thinking that we're low maintenance – we both want to be seen as flexible, tough, roll-with-anything kinds of women. And this ends up keeping us from asking for what we need, for fear of being labeled difficult or diva-ish."

I have no fear of being labeled difficult. But I do have a simmering resentment that those fears are not misplaced. I've spoken up about time with my family and have been told that it was a "power play." And no one else protested that label but me. Something is very, very wrong when expressing needs, drawing boundaries, advocating for equal say is labeled as being difficult or controlling.

I work way too hard – both at my actual job, and then again, at home – and am way too tired, you know, growing a human being and all, to be ok with this: being mocked and vilified for asking for partnership, in my marriage and in my family. The price for being "flexible" is steep – exhaustion, disconnection, resentment; the penalty for speaking up is equally heavy – malignment, contempt, and the most emotionally hurtful label any mother can be given, "selfish."

I would love to wake up one day and realize that I was being silly and ridiculous and that what I thought was reality was just a figment of my imagination. But seven years into marriage, and this is still the alternate universe that I'm living in.

The women say, "Self-care! Happy moms are the best moms." And the men say, "Sure, honey, rest up. I'll just be spending the afternoon playing the most expensive, elitist, and time-consuming sport known to man – golf." 

I would love to take a spa day – sipping mocktails by the pool after an hour-long pregnancy massage and another hour-long facial. But that would take precious time away from my boys and precious money away from actual needs – diapers, student loans, an umbrella stroller for our upcoming trip.

I was an Econ major. I am well-versed in opportunity cost, trade-offs, optimization models. And yet, how do I optimize this life? How do I check off the boxes of: nourished, fulfilled, connected and also the boxes: good mother, happy wife?

I want to be heard, I want to be acknowledged, I want partnership. When has that turned into too much to ask for?

There's been a lot of talk of injustices lately, and for good reason. There is a danger to silencing voices, a danger to using privilege and your own metrics to compel others to live the same way you do. These inequalities are not just in the space of the "other." They coexist in our own homes and our own families. They play out in our otherwise happy lives, in the early morning silence, behind closed doors.

I don't have an answer to this. I love my husband, I love my family, I love my work. And yet: enough. I'm tired of struggling for partnership. I'm tired of justifying my needs. I'm tired of competing and negotiating and strategizing for a good marriage. I am straight-up, unapologetically tired.

planners: electronic v. paper

This has been a big debate for me. I'm a huge fan of paper products -

Rifle notebooks



holiday cards, anything from

Paper Source

. I'm especially picky about planners. I was on the verge of pre-ordering (six month early) the

Day Designer


Whitney English

because it seemed to fit everything I've been looking for as I attempt to streamline my organizational process.

I ended up waiting, and I'm glad I did, because I came across


. I have never been more impressed with an electronic "planner": tasks divided into "projects" and sub-projects (so much more efficient than my separate work and personal planners), integration with iCal and google calendar, synchronization across devices, a well-designed interface, the ability to add file attachments, color-coding (!!!), and my favorite, the capability to assign an email as a task directly from gmail. I was sold. At $29 for a year of Premium use, it also cost less than most of the planners I've purchased. The nerd in me also loves that it tracks your productivity (graphs!) and archives everything, so you can see exactly what you accomplished (one of my reasons for sticking with paper in the past).

You know that I have a problem with


, so this is great. Less focus on spending time trying to organize my to-dos within the planner itself and more about setting and forgetting. It's also less to carry around. I have the app on my phone, and I don't have to remind myself to jot that to-do down in my paper planner later. So electronic v. paper? I'd never thought I'd say this, but electronic is winning.

Anyone else use Todoist?