Katie Dohman
World's Okayest Mom
A year ago, we moved from a home I thought we’d live in forever to the dream we almost didn’t even know we had until the opportunity presented itself — a 1921 French Revival home that needed a total renovation. At the time, we had three kids aged 5 to 1. And my husband and I are both self-employed. What could go wrong? Here, I’ll start: lead paint, rodents, potential asbestos, or, like, small humans falling through the not-to-code spindles on the banister? (We took care of... more
Existential parenting
I’ve always been a little … shall we say … existential? Even as a small child, I asked my mom about when the sun would blow up. She’d always tell me that it was so far into the future, it wasn’t even something we had to worry about. I worried about children 10,000 generations in the future anyway. What would happen to them... more
Counting the memories
We were driving to pick up Remy and Eero at daycare when it came lilting on the radio. One, two, three, four …Tell me that you love me more.Ruby piped up from the back seat: “Hey, uh … don’t I know this song?”It took me a beat. I looked into the rearview mirror. I saw a young girl looking back at me. Not a baby. A wrecking... more
Our witching-hour antidote
I always thought the witching hour was just for brand-new babies. Maybe because when I was reading about it, I was trying to quell a squalling infant at 5 p.m. every day and had no space to think of anything else at all. But my kids are 6, 4 and 2, and the witch still visits. Walking in the door from school/daycare, making and... more
Zhoop, there he is!
Lest you don’t believe that when you have children you are imbued with a certain set of superpowers automatically, let me submit the following for evidence:I was having an extraordinarily rare relaxing moment with my husband. We were watching Better Things on our iPad in bed. Eero, our youngest, was snuggled up, sleeping on my chest. The... more
The double shift persists
I found out I was in preterm labor with my first child about 31½ weeks into my pregnancy.So I spent seven weeks on bedrest working from my laptop — I was even supposed to limit my trips to the bathroom — because I had to save my short-term disability pay for maternity leave. The possibility of a NICU stay was looming, so I was... more
Long-term ‘survival mode’
So, on the night Ruby came home, I nursed her, and then I rocked her, sang my first lullaby, with tears streaming down my face — happy, surreal moments mixed with massive hormone shifts — and then I caaaarefullllllly laid her down in the pack-and-play, which was right next to my bed. The second her tiny, dark-haired head deigned to... more
A love letter to our daycare provider
In an ideal world, I would soak up every magical moment with my kids — and all the moments would be magical. And I’d stay home with them at least until they were all in school full time. Mama knows best, right? There’s a real part of me that will always feel that way. But the truth is, there ARE some... more
Birthing a revolution
January is figuratively a time of rebirth for many of us — or at least we resolve for it to be for about 48 hours. But for me it’s literally a month about birth and rebirth. First, my entire identity changed as I became a mother for the first time during the Polar Vortex of January 2013. (My daughter will forever hear how we brought... more
Hawaii with kids?
Want to ratchet a parent’s blood pressure up about 30 points? Ask if they relish the idea of boarding a plane with tiny, sticky humans who consider themselves conscientious objectors to sitting down, inside voices and not kicking seatbacks. Things I have feared — besides my very own mortality, but perhaps with the same... more
His first (gulp) haircut!
My 3½-year-old son had long hair up until about a week ago. Long as in, halfway down his back. It capitalized on this laidback surfer vibe he seems to give off, and more than one person has called him “Spicoli.” Why did I allow it to grow so long? A bunch of reasons — stubbornness, lack of time, not wanting to deal with a possible... more
A love letter to reading
My childhood bedroom windows faced south and east, and in the spring, our lilac bushes bloomed and the apple tree blossomed. The breeze would blow, carrying a heady, sweet-spicy smell through my window and over my blue-and-white gingham comforter. I laid my freshly washed, braided hair across my flannelly Care Bears pillowcase. I was... more
You have my permission
I wish we could power the world with unasked-for advice. Think about it — totally renewable, takes up space only in the air (though it does sometimes demolish the psyche) and it’s endless! Someone get me a Nobel, I’ve finally found a use for the stuff. And the advice never comes faster or as furiously as when people discover... more
There she goes
I remember a few things about my first day of kindergarten. My pleated, plaid wool skirt itched. My mom made me pin my bus schedule to my pink sweater vest. My teacher was Mrs. Seath, whom I immediately loved because she had long, curly black hair that she could whip into a braid, lightning fast, secured with a bright scrunchie. ... more
The things we grew
We planned on living in our current house forever. It’s midcentury modern, and has the elusive fourth bedroom. It’s in a great location — we can walk to a small grocery store when we’re out of coffee (a true emergency if there ever was one) — and there’s a splash pad across the street. Most notably, it was here that I started to... more
Waiting for Papa Yaya
It’s January 852nd, 2018. There’s a blizzard warning. Snow is flying sideways when my tulips should be coming up — Facebook Memories cruelly rubs it in when I check to see who else is whining about the weather.All the couch cushions are tossed haphazardly on the floor in a makeshift fort, toys flung... more
The art of chaos
This column — my debut in Minnesota Parent! — was turned in late. Here’s why: Working motherhood is kind of for the birds. I’m a freelance writer and have three kids under 5. I know. If you look up “total chaos” at Dictionary.com, my family’s photo is riiiiiight there. My 3-year-old, the middle kid, was going through the final... more