APPLICANT #8: Brienna McWade

Brienna McWade is a mother of two from Buckley, Washington.

Here is Brienna's video application:

Here is Brienna's current situation:

"What am I up to? Oh, just living' the dream. Whose, I'm not exactly sure.

I'm a city-girl at heart, living in the 'burbs to raise my kids on a chunk of land.

As a mom of 2 kids, nearly 2 and nearly 4 years of age, I thought it would be great to have a giant yard to play in. Then I realized all the yard work. But we're here and we're happy. Most days.

My nearly-4 year old daughter is gearing up for her first year of preschool. Both husband and I are a bit anxious at the transition, though I imagine, she'll shine.

My nearly-2 year old son is running and jumping and babbling with delight, though we're having a hard time understanding when he's not signing.

My husband is a hard working fireman for a South Seattle department, which entails being gone for a day or two at a time. This has given me a crash course in parenting alone. Days by myself can be long, and nights even longer. Toss some teething in there and I'm a wreck. This has taught me to tackle challenges head on and rely on my own intuition and to trust my instincts. I'm always waiting for him come 8:30am.

The multi-day stretches that he's home is another subject in itself. It's no small task to parent side-by-side for days at a time. Routines become disrupted. Good cop/bad cop comes into play. And parenting styles are challenged regularly.

This arrangement has allowed me to develop a broad understanding and perspective for all parenting situations. However non-traditional this arrangement may seem, it works for us and we wouldn't have it any other way."

Here is Brienna's blog post:

"THAT'S DOMESTIC DIRECTOR TO YOU...

As you may or may not be aware, I stay at home and care for my kids, the household and food. Along with those not-so-simple responsibilities, I also facilitate art projects, homemade cookies and accessibility to clean clothing — to name ONLY a few.

I manage not only my time, but also that of at least 2 others (sometimes 3...) and keep all schedules as in sync as I know how. I coordinate meetings with grandparents and in-laws. Set-up play dates and social interactions for my kids. Fearing a 2pm meltdown, I consolidate outings and events into neat little chunks of time, taking into consideration naps, snacks and quiet time. I brainstorm new meal options to avoid the snack traps of goldfish crackers and string cheese as well as break through the tediousness of chicken for dinner, again. I ensure that little minds are being challenged and enlightened. I attempt to teach and try to slow down enough to play. So much more than changing diapers and running bubble baths!

Through the course of this often thankless and constantly demanding and needy position I hold, I find myself missing the work world, all shiny and sharp. Downtown traffic, high heels and always a few minutes late. Morning coffee, office meetings and real-world chit chat. I miss the competence I once possessed for jobs I excelled in. I miss the adult camaraderie and conversations over current events, music and what's for lunch.

It's always easy to see the grass as greener on the other side. And nothing quite says 'boring' like "stay-at-home mom". I shrink a little anytime someone asks me what I do. Answers like "mom" and "I'm not working" seem to immediately end the conversation. No one seems to find interest in a job such as this. Someone would much rather talk about driving a UPS truck than the ins and outs of raising children and managing a home.

A good friend of mine was speaking to me about the importance of having a title as she is embarking on the beginning of a family and no longer plans to work. She is embracing the notion that we aren't "just moms" and we don't "just stay home with our kids". I really like her way of thinking and it's been making me wonder about a title for myself. So no longer will I be a "stay-at-home mom", I will now be Domestic Director. After all, doesn't that much better sum up the myriad of roles we play? Though we may be at home, I would hardly call it 'just staying at home'.

So to all those moms out there looking to reclaim a little bit of their former 'working' self: grab a thesaurus and make a title.

Then own it.

Brienna"

The Verity Mom Team