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At 2:30 a.m., sprawled out on a hardwood floor with my hands covered in poop and soiled newsprint, I didn't think I would survive puppy parenthood.

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"Pre-parenthood, I think most of us find meaning in one passion or another. In writing, reading, the arts, sports, activism, volunteerism, education, our careers," writes Catherine Kraemer. "After kids, it's easy for that meaning to shift. And for good reason! Parenthood is hugely meaningful! I know it's the most meaningful venture I've ever undertaken."

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Parenthood has no respect for your personality type. Having kids pushes and pulls you into scenarios that challenge boundaries, test your strengths and taunt your weaknesses. For the foreseeable future, there will be orientations, birthday parties, play dates, conferences and the sidelines at soccer games.

"I will have to talk to people I don’t know. Risk saying the wrong thing. Embrace my discomfort to the sake of the more important task at hand," writes local mom Catherine Kraemer. "And keep in mind that I am not the only parental wallflower overwhelmed by new social challenges."

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