Diaper Duty

Erin and her son Lincoln

Diaper Duty - Join Erin on the journey of a lifetime.  Along with her first born, Lincoln, (born in 2010), Erin is learning the "art of being a baby mama"




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Would you turn your kid in?

Written by Erin Hill. Posted in Diaper Duty

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Last week, in Philadelphia, the parents of two teenagers who allegedly robbed a nine-year-old girl turned them in. Images of the teens from a convenience store’s surveillance camera were released, and the parents turned the boys in that same day.

Would you turn your kid in?

While I can’t imagine what it’s actually like to see your teenager on the news for a crime, I think I’d turn mine in.

We’re here to teach our children right and wrong, but, though we may preach it, would we practice it?

I can assure you, I do. I can say that with confidence, too, but cause it is high on the list of my parenting priorities. What I think is right, is put into practice: Be honest, be nice, do time if you’ve done the crime, etc.

Not only is turning them in the right thing to do as a parent, it’s the right thing to do as a member of society. I’d hate to have that over my head for the rest of my life, and I’d hate for my kid to wake up one day and think “man, I robbed someone and never paid the price.”

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Who cares?

Written by Erin Hill. Posted in Diaper Duty

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I feel like a lot of the stress we can bring on to ourselves as mothers (and fathers) is the worry about what other people will think of our parenting and/or our child’s behavior.

“How does this make me look as a mom?”

“They’ll think I’m horrible!”

“It looks like he’s a bad kid. He’s not! HE’S NOT!”

To this I must ask, why do we care?! WHHHHY!?

Growing up I wasn’t someone who cared about what people thought. I felt that quality helped me be who I am, make life-long friends, and be more compassionate toward others. I wasn’t afraid to make a mistake and if I did get embarrassed, it was easy to shrug off and tell myself (and believe) people who loved me didn’t care I just did/said that.

However, when I became a parent, this fear that everyone is watching and judging threatens to consume me. Everyone is watching and judging as usual, but now, I care. WHY?!

I suppose I’m not 100 percent confident in being a mom. I mean, it’s weird. Me? A mom? So because of that, it’s harder to tell myself I’m all right with what I do or how I act. I’m molding another person! It was OK when I was steering my own ship, but now maybe I AM embarrassing (Whaaaa?) or wrong or something else. There’s no book to follow!

MOST of the time I don’t care, but there are instances, like when I walk around the corner away from my three-year-old when he won’t leave the giant cage of balls at Walmart, tell him I’m leaving him, and he’d better get going if he wants to come with me. (Meanwhile, you know I’m NOT, and I’m watching him like a super spy peeking around the corner at him while he contemplates a life at Walmart.) I’ve had people throw me looks. Like, weird looks of “you told him you’re leaving him?” or “YOU’RE NOT WATCHING HIM!” Seriously? You think that people of Walmart? They do. I can see it in their eyes!  I still stick to my guns but my heart sinks, I put my head down in shame, and I bite my lip to keep from explaining myself to the judges…then, Lincoln wises up and comes with me.

It’s also hard to write for this blog because of this -- I often write something, reread it, then go back and add in all my explanations, apologies and excuses.

I’m catching myself, though, and taking some help from junior high/high school me. Why would I care what people think if I know I’m doing it right for me/him? I’m not hurting anyone so why wouldn't I just do what I do? If people don’t get “it,” that’s OK and not my problem, right?

Indeed teenage, Erin, indeed. Now, go play your guitar to Nirvana’s Nevermind album.

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All we need is love...to be a nice person

Written by Erin Hill. Posted in Diaper Duty

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“We should love everyone, mommy?”

“Yes, honey. Greet everyone with love.”

“OK mommy.”

This was a recent conversation between my son and me about what I think it means to be a nice person. I’m trying to teach him that everyone is important, everyone is valuable, everyone is special, everyone deserves respect. My definition of a nice person is someone who treats people this way most of the time.

I wasn’t taught this from the get go. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, it just hasn’t served me well these last 30-plus years. Overall, I’d say I’ve always been a pretty nice person, but my heart was not always in a good place. I was competitive, judgmental at times, a grudge holder, etc. The stress that caused me was not good and until recently, I never placed it on myself. Someone always did something to make me that way. Meanwhile, my reaction was all mine and I chose to not always react the best way. About a year ago I decided to think and live my life a different way and see how it went. So far, so good (better than good, actually). I'm less stressed, less angry, and less hurt. I'm not 100 percent with this, but I'm doing well enough to quickly realize the times I'm not loving. They're getting few and far better, and life is oh so good.

Anyway, I’m trying to teach Lincoln to love because if you approach someone or a situation with love, you just feel better in my experience. Loving people just spins off into all kinds of other good things -- an open mind, acceptance, and general good vibes to name a few. I want my boy to have this ability. It's very important.

It’s hard to do this with someone you just met or, in my case, someone you previously loathed, but it is such a helpful and nice thing to do. You don’t have to go around kissing everyone or be their doormat.

Just love. (Gee, how nice would this world be if more people just loved more people?)


Erin Hill is a ErinHillfirst-time mom to Lincoln, who was born in January 2010. She's learning as she goes and is experiencing everything a new mom goes through while seeing the humor, irony, and enjoyment in her adventures.

Erin is a full-time technical writer, a freelancer for Patch, and co-creator and blogger at SlimSavers.com. She lives in Plum with Lincoln, her husband, Adam, their dog, Roxie, and five (yes, five) cats, Nirvana, Gary Roberts, Elvis, Talbot and Forrest. (Anyone want a cat?)

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Is nowhere safe? No, nowhere.

Written by Erin Hill. Posted in Diaper Duty

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So now there’s a little boy in a bunker somewhere in Alabama?

I’m having a REALLY hard time believing my son in safe anywhere these days.

Random elementary school shootings, school bus intruders and kidnappers…everything I can think of and more. I’m driving myself crazy!

Previously, I’d hung on to a little hope that Lincoln was safe at preschool and with me at home. Now, I don’t really believe this much at all. In my opinion, nowhere is safe now. That makes me so sad.

Am I nuts? (Don’t answer that.)

No longer do I feel like the “that won’t happen to him” talk I give myself when I read of a horrible incident is enough to calm my nerves. I just don’t know how to settle my fears so that I don’t become the woman who locks her family up in their house. (Well, I won’t do that since I don’t feel safe in my house any way! ARG!)

How do you cope and deal with the possibility that something horrific could happen? Do you think about it? A lot?

I’m not obsessing. I can’t possibly. I’d be in tears the entire day and up all night. I think our minds know what could happen, but they just numb it down for us so we don't freak out! But, sometimes my mind wanders to crazy places. Scary places. I hate my mind. I hate this world sometimes. (I hate that I just said that.)


Erin Hill is a ErinHillfirst-time mom to Lincoln, who was born in January 2010. She's learning as she goes and is experiencing everything a new mom goes through while seeing the humor, irony, and enjoyment in her adventures.

Erin is a full-time technical writer, a freelancer for Patch, and co-creator and blogger at SlimSavers.com. She lives in Plum with Lincoln, her husband, Adam, their dog, Roxie, and five (yes, five) cats, Nirvana, Gary Roberts, Elvis, Talbot and Forrest. (Anyone want a cat?)

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.

I'm watching you...should I be?

Written by Erin Hill. Posted in Diaper Duty

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I went to a party recently where there were some kids (imagine that). The youngest was four and she was running around the party and having the time of her life. Her parents, who were related to the host and several other people at the party, were mingling with the adults – there were only two other kids there, and they were her brothers.

I turned to my husband and said, “I guess at four they can run around more by themselves at a party?”

I said this to him not out of judgment or surprise or anything like that. I was addressing a question we often have in these situations:

What’s the age that the kids can mingle independently with a crowd at a party?

Every time we’re at a party – a kids’ party, a get together, whatever – either my husband or I (or both) are not far from Lincoln, who just turned three. We’re not hovering (I don’t think), but we’re there in the same room or we have a visual from an adjoining room. Other kids are usually running around far from their parents off on their own agenda. These kids are mostly older than Linc or have a sibling that’s older they’re paling around with.

In a public space, it’s different. I’ll stick by him for as long as I want in public. But, in someone’s private house where we know everyone, when can he have some more space? I'm just used to hanging around (and I don't mind it at all).

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