"On any given evening, you might find a handful of neighborhood moms inside my garage. Using a few folding chairs around the bar — a.k.a. a wine-stained cooler — we gather in my makeshift speakeasy where boxed wine is customary. We listen to whatever we want on the jukebox — a.k.a. my iPhone. There is no cost for anything. There's no need to coordinate an actual outfit, do your hair or slap on makeup. Here, paper-thin, extremely used yoga pants and holey sweatshirts are the general fashion attire of the non-paying patrons."

"What happens when you have little children, a spouse and responsibilities, and the heaviness of real life comes in? What happens when you are grieving the loss of a family member or loved one and still need to be mom, wife and friend? It’s a strange life phase to be in."

"My daughter is now 4 years old, and anything butt-related is considered a giggle-fest cuss word. Butt, toots, farts, butt toots, fart butt, poop butt, butt poop — I mean really, the vernacular of my preschooler is impressive..."

"Sure, material objects are just that — objects. However, in our short materialistic life together, the snow cone maker has already made some pretty stellar memories," wrote Kristine Rohwer. "We’ve shared with friends, we laughed and ate them with our feet in the kiddie pool and we had a few stolen by the dog. It’s a new summer-only tradition."

"I wish for my daughter to skip that long agonizing portion of life where women do not like their bodies. Where we nitpick, hide, starve and belittle ourselves. I wish for her the tools I needed to have been a better reflection of self."

"Moments before guests arrive at our humble dwelling, my husband and I tag team in a manic spree of hiding our natural home normalcies from the outside world," writes Omaha mom Kristine Rohwer. "Glade plugins are activated, dishes are thrown in the dishwasher, toys are randomly thrown in the kids play area and, magically, the laundry couch is now a place for people to sit – no longer the family morning closet. What we present is a complete façade."

"Things have changed for our first baby," writes local mom Kristine Rohwer. "I’m sorry, buddy, that you were the first, then the second and then the very last on the chain of attention. You’re a good boy and I alone appreciate the feet licking. You are loved and annoying, and I’m sorry the attention you wish came from me is now coming from toddlers. I promise someday they will understand when we tell them 'soft touch,' and you’ll actually enjoy their sticky hands."

What have I been up to when I don't see my friends for weeks, sometimes months, at a time? Sometimes I’m not even sure – until I REALLY think about it. Here's a typical day in my house, and this isn't considering any other factors – sickness, social engagements, husband out of town, etc. – that might throw a monkey wrench into our already “hanging on by a thread” lifestyle. 

"I always had a will to love. But now, in motherhood, the love is stronger and bigger than I ever expected. My care is wider. All babies of the world are now my babies. I care deeply about the children around us. My morals are more calculated. I now have to think and believe more honestly on what is right and wrong now that I have an audience – aka my children. My skin is thicker. Any sense of criticism or worry about the way I am by others is on the wayside."

Here’s the real life summer: I come home from work – sweaty, hot and tired. I frantically attempt something to feel like summer – hose in the backyard and freezer-burnt ice cream – but rush through dinner, bath time and bed time, then attempt to get through the news before my eyes become too heavy to make it through the next segment. I tell myself I’ll fit summer in somewhere that weekend, such as a trip to a farmer’s market or a cool drive-in movie. Or, better yet, just fill up the baby pool and call it good.

Here’s the awful truth: Working moms feel guilty about someone else watching their sick kid. They feel guilty if they are home with their sick kid because they miss work. They feel that they are judged for having sick babies – and most likely someone is blaming their choice to work and put their kid in daycare, which is, naturally, making their kid sick to begin with. It’s unfair. We can’t win. 

Kristine Rohwer and her husband's families are traditional – but they aren't so much. They "lived in sin" for three years before getting married, outside, while their guests drank beer. Yet they wanted to find a way to bridge the gap between their "loving families and their traditions," and Kristine's lovable family and their non-traditions. So they decided to have a baby blessing.

Parents who send their children off to daycare sometime need reminders that it’s okay. "Mom guilt on those mornings when drop off isn’t going smooth – or any number of reasons we feel guilty – is the pits," writes local mom Kristine Rohwer. Here are her three reasons why daycare is good for kids – and parents.