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Claire is an accomplished author and editor, contributing to numerous Amazon best-sellers. She has served as a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers since 2005.

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For publication inquiries, please contact Claire on Twitter @DClaireFoster.

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I was a perfectionist. Then I had kids.

Life is messy. Sticky. Goopy.

Some days, I feel I could run a cleaning business. Based on the number of hours spent washing, changing, tidying, scrubbing, folding, and wiping, I often feel that parenting is just one giant exercise in cleaning up.

Before I had kids, my house was fairly clean. My car smelled fairly nice. My schedule was fairly organized. My life was – for the most part – under control.

And control was the key. Control allowed me to manage my responsibilities. Control gave me the power to change my circumstances. I liked control.

Actually, I loved control.

As an ENTJ (the Meyers-Briggs personality assessment is spot on for me), it felt fulfilling to have a sense of control in my life. That’s why parenting was such a major adjustment. I suddenly lost control of so many variables – my time, my space, and even my feelings (Okay, why do Subaru commercials have to be so emotional? I think I cried at every single one of them when I was pregnant).

In the early years of parenting…

Letters to Julia: Toasted Bagels with Cream Cheese

September 6, 2015
Dear Julia,
Today was a full day. We went to church this morning, went shopping, attended a birthday party this afternoon, then came home to a messy house with loads of laundry needing to be done. We opted to play outside with bubbles and sidewalk chalk. The laundry can wait.
After bath time, you brushed your teeth while I brushed your long brown curly hair. Although you’re five years old, you haven’t had a haircut yet – maybe because I know those ringlet curls won’t come back after your first haircut.
I kneeled down next to your bed to tuck you in. As I kissed your forehead, I noticed your face wasn’t as happy as usual, so I asked what was wrong. You said, “My tummy hurts.” I asked, “What would help it feel better?”
“Toasted bagels with cream cheese.”
You didn’t even have to think twice about that. You said you were still hungry even though you ate plenty for dinner. Here’s one of those tough choices that moms face: 1.) Should I say that it’s already past bedtime …

I want to be a butterfly

December 19, 2014
Dear Julia,
Earlier this week, you and I had a conversation that I’ll never forget. You’re 4-and-a-half (although I feel like I just brought you home from the hospital… I swear I only blinked). You’re so full of life. Your energy and enthusiasm make me smile every day!
We needed groceries. Badly. So we hopped in the car and drove to Sam’s Club. It was one of those evenings when I didn’t have much time after work to make dinner, so we opted for pizza at Sam’s. After ordering a few slices of pepperoni pizza (you may only weigh 31 pounds, but you can put away an entire slice of Sam’s pizza by yourself), I sat down across from you and began cutting your pizza into little bite-size pieces.
You asked me how my day at work went.
By the way, that’s not typical for a preschooler. Most 4-year-olds are only interested in Dora the Explorer. Not you. You like to ask questions. You’re a relationship builder. You care about people’s thoughts and ideas, and you carry on conversatio…