About Kathryn Hively

I started Just BE Parenting as a way to cope with the anxiety of balancing work, motherhood, and the impulse to write. That’s right, I’m not a parenting expert. I, my kids, and my family are perfectly flawed in MANY ways. As a parent, I’m trying to let go of perfection and just BE the best mother I can for my kids. The ‘B’ and ‘E’ in Just BE Parenting also represents the first letters of my children’s names. What works for me and my family may not work for you and yours. That’s ok! Even if we’re not the same, I hope you’ll find something relatable here.

Posts by this author

I Can’t Decide When to Send My Child to Kindergarten

Like any neurotic person trying to make a life-altering choice, I’ve researched this topic for over a year, asked everyone I know, and posted my dilemma to the internet.

Big mistake.

Everyone—and I mean everyone—has an opinion on this topic. Her pre-K teacher says to wait. One of my best friends, who has a Ph.D. in early childhood development, is dead against waiting. Her pediatrician parroted the same advice I’ve heard countless times: “No one ever regrets waiting, but they regret not waiting.” I’ve had friends look at me as though I’d grown three heads for even suggesting I might hold her back. I’ve spoken with parents who held and those who hadn’t. I’ve heard words of regret, words of encouragement, and a whole steaming heap of judgment

mom holding crying baby

Ask for Help Already

I’m pathologically independent. Ok, I made that up, but sometimes I need to ask for help and don’t. The most I come up with is some passive-aggressive statement like “Mommy can’t do five things at once.” Not that I don’t try. Sometimes I succeed. Sometimes I cry in the shower and eat copious amounts of chocolate. More often, I feel overwhelmed and lose my shit. I seldom ask for help.

woman reading

Escaping Motherhood

Before I became a SAHM, I never felt the need to escape motherhood on a daily basis. I understand how ungrateful that sounds. I can’t imagine the agony of wanting children and not having them—or losing them. I also know firsthand the pain of leaving your kids at daycare when you’d rather be their primary…

exhausted shopper

A Cheap Introvert’s Guide to Holiday Shopping in the Real World

Being an introvert during the holidays is a veritable hell. Forget the obligatory office parties and family gatherings, I fear most the packed aisles and endless checkout lines. True, I could just buy everything online and hope for the best. (I can’t begin to express my love for Amazon Prime). Sometimes online shopping works, sometimes the “huge” stuffed animal you buy your niece looks like a pencil topper when it arrives (if it arrives at all), and you’re left scrambling for a present on Christmas Eve.

I may loathe crowds (ok, people in general), but I adore my friends and family and take pride in finding thoughtful gifts each year. I’m also really cheap…not in a Here’s a roll of toilet paper, Merry Christmas way, but in a I want to give my loved ones the best presents I can without blowing my budget kind of way. If I know exactly what I want, online shopping is a snap. However, I’m often inspired by things I see in person, which means I have to venture into the world.

I’m not a nice person when I’m rushed or crowded and nothing kills my holiday spirit faster than road raging my way to a strip mall to circle a full parking lot like a vulture. Holiday shopping during the holidays often makes me feel more like a lemming or frantic slug than an elf. So, after years of buying gifts for an extensive and diverse group, I’ve assembled the following Cheap Introvert’s Guide to Holiday Shopping in the Real World:

Girl with Tablet

Digital Mentorship and the Next Generation

Like most adults in my age bracket (and younger), nearly everything I know about smart phones, the internet, social media, and my digital footprint is self-taught. My brother and I sometimes help our parents through the complexities of modern tech—like strong passwords and wireless routers. My mother bought her first smartphone in 2016, and while she enjoys having instant access to the weather, she still refuses to buy anything online.
I imagine parents at the turn of the 20th century had the same hesitation with automobiles. They probably watched their children puttering along in their “horseless buggies”, flabbergasted.
Just imagine, an entire generation taught themselves to drive. The equivalent can be said for Millennials who came of age when everyone was learning to use social media and handheld devices. In most cases, the younger generation taught their parents. No one ever explained to these young adults how posting a keg-stand pic freshman year could hurt their job search after graduation.

To The Proud Parents Bragging About Their Kid: Consider Your Audience

We all know those parents.

Their perfect offspring never tantrums, learned to read before Kindergarten, kicks a soccer ball better than Beckham, and has artistic skills to rival Picasso.

You stand beside the swing set, nodding your head as they gush about their child’s seemingly inhuman accomplishments. If you’re nicer than me, you’re thrilled that such a talented individual will lead the next generation. If not, your internal monologue goes something like this: Your kid is eating boogers. Right now

The Mommy Wars Within

Apart from what I’ve witnessed at playgrounds, birthday parties, and Thanksgiving dinners, the Mommy Wars rage in my mind. I returned to work only six weeks after my oldest daughter was born and the struggle, the crippling indecisiveness to stay in the workforce or stay at home has remained a constant for seven years.