Interview your friends

Sarah and I don’t know each other well– our husbands were college mates– but she was alone with me during the first five minutes after I left my baby with someone else, and so she has seen me Cry While Fat. Not my best moments. At the time, she was six months pregnant and I was one month unpregnant, and we were sharing a cab to a wedding.

When we were in our sophomore year of motherhood, I thought it would be nice to touch base, so I sent her an interview. Here’s how you do an interview: Write 10 questions in an email. Hit send. Wait for response.

I realize this type of thing is all over Facebook, but it’s more personal to do a 1:1 version.

I think it’s always fun to find out how other people do things. Perhaps next I will interview her about her life as a freelance writer, but for now, it’s all about Finn.

How old is Finn and what’s his most recent accomplishment?
Finn turned one a couple weeks ago. His most recent accomplishment, according to me, is letting go of my hands/the coffee table/the toilet (I know, I know) for about three seconds and then clapping enthusiastically for himself. But if you ask him, it’d probably standing on a window sill and holding on the top edge of the window while banging his forehead on the glass (how did I ever think it was a good idea to try that?).

What’s your favorite outing with Finn that’s not necessarily Finn-centric?
A long walk (or, if I’m feeling lazy, we take the MTA boat part way there) to this amazing Farmer’s Market in Haymarket Square in Boston on Friday mornings. I load up his under-the-stroller basket with tons of cheap and yummy fruit and veggies; meanwhile, he’s kept happy looking at all the colorful people and produce. Then we usually both eat a peach or something on the walk home.

What’s your most frequent way to spend the last hours before Dave gets home?
Counting the hours. Ha. Seriously, both Finn and I usually feel like used tissues by then. But the 5-7 p.m. hours frequently contain some combination of: a walk around the neighborhood, whirlwind toy pick-up, dinner preparation/Tupperware removal, a grocery store run when I realize we have nothing for dinner, sitting on my bed “reading” board books, and, yes, video watching.

What do you and Dave like to do with Finn on the weekend?
If it’s nice out (which its is about 2 months out of the year here), we like to spend as much of the day outside as possible. We’ll leave our house in the morning and stroll over to Beacon Hill and Back Bay, hit some playgrounds en route, grab some food and end up with a picnic near the duck pond at Boston Common.

Do you have any tips for moms of newborns in your neighborhood?
We live in Charlestown, a fairly large neighborhood of Boston. My best tip is to talk to the other moms here””there are hundreds of them and a handful of years ago they formed the Charlestown Mothers Association. They organize playgroups, music and art classes, parades, moms’ nights out””you name it. And, on their website at, they give lots of advice and recommendations on everything from nannies to strollers.

Have any veteran moms taken you under their wings? What did they show you?
What didn’t they show me? I feel like I asked dozens of moms for help and advice (and still do) about every one of the millions of brand new mind-boggling things that are thrown into your face the first year of motherhood. There is definitely an advantage to having friends who have kids before you; for me, I had enough of them so that their most important piece of advice finally sunk in: “There is no ”˜normal’, there is no ”˜perfect’””all you can do is your best.”

Give us a fashion tip.

I’m not sure it’s a tip, really”¦more like a secret. Frustrated and frumpy-feeling in pregnancy I talked myself into believing that I “deserved’ some overpriced 7 maternity jeans. They don’t have the full tummy panel, just the wide denim-colored elastic band. Anyway, they’re not only super-comfortable (such a refreshing change from the PBS””Plumber Butt Syndrome””prompted by most of my other jeans), they’re really cute. So a year later, I still wear them sometimes!

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