I buy fruit on sale.

I make casseroles.

I force my husband and daughter to eat chicken & rice past its prime.

Do I earn a few points for always drinking good wine? (Life’s too short to drink Yellowtail.)

I’m a mom, like you and you and you. One category for hundreds of millions of us–it feels funny, doesn’t it? After angst-y adolescence and the twenty-something years of striving to be different–trying to jump out of the box to create our own– and struggling to be individuals, we throw our hat into the ring with a gazillion others. And, we’re fine with it.

Heck, why not?

“I’m a mom.”

It’s a tough, thankless job that doesn’t put any money in our pockets but hopefully means that we’re accruing gold stars for later on down the road–like, when we’re 85 and we need to get to the beauty parlor and to the Barney’s Leisurewear sample sale. 

By now, each of us has changed thousands of diapers, made hundreds of bottles, lost our perky boobs and gained two permanent under eye bags. Instead of buying the latest DVF wrap dress, we throw down our credit cards for baby cowboy boots and blanket buddies. Anyone who’s gone through that is an amiga in arms.

Over the past six months, while I struggled to accept my place in the “Mom” category–something I should have embraced like a newborn baby or a buttery Marc Jacobs with gold detailing–Jamie and my readers have been very patient. I’ve put paper to pen–and then put it on the screen–but I should have done it more often.

Of course I’m always writing–just like I’m always stain-removing and washing dirty dishes. It’s a compulsion. I just might not be writing here. I might be writing recipes, revising them, writing them again and putting them in a new cookbook. I might be writing grocery lists for our Couples Cooking classes in Chelsea and SoHo. I also might be doing a little dance because I’m finally going to cook on morning television with my favorite ladies. (Between now and my television dates, I’m investing Parker’s college fund in miracle serums and dropping my 5 o’clock habit of chips and a glass of vino… HD cameras are not kind.)

But “Life As We Know It” is a good space; I need to use it.  This is a middle ground that’s mine and yours. I’m not forced to be a mom in a moo moo or a city girl in heels. I’m a writer, a cook, a girl’s girl who runs around the West Village with flour on my cheeks (no, the other cheeks… things get crazy when Hubby and I bake together) and Boudreaux’s Butt Paste  smeared up and down my suede boots. When I’m here, writing, I don’t have to be in a “Mommy Mode,” “Work Mode” or otherwise. I’m just taking things one meal at a time, charting my life–my full plate–through little bites, long suppers and nice bottles of wine.

Photo by Colleen Duffley