Are They Twins? And Other Questions: Meet Erika


So I have a few kids…three kids to be exact. I had a baby exactly every 22 months between May 2010 and January 2014. Meaning that I had my third baby when my firstborn was 3 and the second was still 1. The general public loves it when we come out. “Are they twins?” No, I grew them separately. “You sure have your hands full!” Yes, thanks for that observation as I literally have no hands free. “Do you ever sleep?” Not very much, and I do not wish to discuss it. “You’ll miss these days!” This, I DO take to heart. I am in the trenches right now, but it is fleeting. I am exhausted, but I KNOW that I will miss the amazement of toddlerhood some day.

As an only child from a very quiet household, I am a fish out of water. We are staying afloat, but I am making it up as I go. I can barely remember the blurry days of my first baby, it was the hardest thing I had ever done in my life, and I thought for sure that I was failing massively. Thankfully, with each kid, one’s personal belief in her parenting skills increases. My nerves and endurance skills, however, continue to be tested every day. I like to say that every day is a marathon. I hit the ground running when their alarms go off at 6:30 and it’s nonstop questions/demands/food preparation/clean up/mediation/existential musings until whenever I manage to successfully tuck them all in for the night and crash in front of the television.

In 2009, my husband and I were celebrating our third wedding anniversary. We thought, wouldn’t it be so nice to start a family? I had a four week break from grad school in May, so it seemed like the perfect time to squeak in a baby and stay on schedule with my program (I still love how idealistic this sounds). We were incredibly blessed and got our May due date, although he came late (who ignores a Cinco de Mayo due date?) which cut my maternity leave down to three weeks. Looking back on this, it’s no wonder the poor kid is so prone to anxiety, I was a complete stress ball!


He’s 5 now, but that summer is a complete blur of feeding schedules, pumping in odd locations, attempted sleep schedules, catching up on client hours, running home to nurse, falling asleep anywhere and everywhere, idyllic summer evening walks in the city, and coming to terms with what motherhood would realistically be for me. We all go into this position with an idea of what “Motherhood” will be for us.  It can be a rough landing when you realize that your reality is going to be very different.  He turned out to be great! He got the best of me for 22 months!

IMG_5554The next two kids are my wild cards. My middle child is my only girl…this results in more 3 year old angst than I ever thought possible. But she has moxie that will help her survive the world, and I think that she is a kind soul, despite how she treats her brothers.  She’s scrappy, and I love it.


I’m convinced that my third child will be the death of me. He has more zest for life
than you would think possible for a person of 25 pounds. I want him to be a baby forever, but he seems determined to grow up fast and join the preschoolers in their fun. Why would you want to sit still when there are big kids to keep up with?  It’s
shocking how often I have to remind this child that the couch is for his butt and not
his feet. This is a metaphor for his life.

It’s been a wild ride in our house since 2009. Well, really, since we got married. Whenever you blend two lives, it’s bound to be some sort of crazy. When you dare to add kids to the equation, it gets even more fun. When our daughter was one week old, my husband quit his job in Chicago to make $0 for six months and start a company with his old boss in New York. That’s a special brand of crazy. But that’s the Kelly family. We love trucks, we love aquatic animals and we love living on the edge of crazy.


I vent, I complain, I stress, but I love what I do. I can’t believe that I am entrusted with raising three human beings…I hope that I am moderately successful. It’s a fly by the seat of your pants and go with your gut position. I can only take my probiotic and hope that my gut is working. I am grateful for the opportunity to be part of this amazing team of Mommies and I hope that I can bring something useful to the FCMB site! Thank you!


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