I don’t remember much from my early days as a mom, but I do remember thinking, Holy cow. Those baby showers where everyone talked about tiny feet and snuggly newborns—like having a baby would be some sort of wonderful, extended Christmas—in no way prepared me for this.

Motherhood was the best thing that had ever happened to me—instant and bottomless love, snuffly baby noises, and the soul-calming weight of a sleeping infant on my chest—but it was also turned my world upside down. What to Expect When You’re Expecting didn’t prepare me for finding hospital IV tape on my wrist three weeks after delivery because I was too completely consumed by keeping an 8-pound person alive to remember to really look at myself in the mirror. (I was actually showering every day, but apparently not very thoroughly.) Everyone talked about how amazing becoming a mother was—and they were right—but I was unprepared for the stress of not quite knowing what I was supposed to be doing and constantly second-guessing my parenting decisions.

As I slowly transitioned from writing posts about my cute baby and our fabulous time together to sharing my personal ups, downs, and uncertainties of motherhood, the blog started to resonate more with friends, then friends of friends, and even people with no personal connection to me. Over time, the essence of Days Like These has become this: You are not alone. Parenting is a roller coaster of good times and bad, unimaginable joy and hair-pulling frustration. I am going to tell you the truth as I am living it, in the hopes that it will encourage you, help you through a lonely parenting moment, or simply give you a good laugh and make you think, Well, at least THAT didn’t happen to me today. Raising kids is wonderful, and difficult. But it shouldn’t be lonely.

Have Stroller, Will Travel: Exploring Italy with Two Small Children and Other Ridiculous Moments in Parenting is my first foray into a book-length narrative. A few days into our Italian vacation with a one-year-old and a three-year-old—about the time our stroller had broken, jet-lagged children were trying to start the day at 2 a.m., and we fed the kids McDonald’s because they refused to eat Italian food—I thought, Holy cow, if the rest of the trip is anything like this, I’ve got enough material for a book. Three long years and one more baby later, it’s finally (almost) here! Have Stroller, Will Travel will be available on Amazon in paperback and ebook November 24, 2014.