Cast Profile: Annmarie Kelly-Harbaugh

by stephaniejankowski on March 16, 2017

Today’s 2017 Cast Profile is Ohioan Annmarie Kelly-Harbaugh. She already promised she’s not a Browns fan, so please welcome her with open arms.


How did you discover LTYM?
A girlfriend of mine was a participant last year in Austin, TX.


What is the craziest thing you remember saying to your children?
Either “Stop drinking your sister’s blood!”
“We don’t smell butts in church.”

What is the craziest thing you remember your mother saying to you?
“Girls don’t drive in high heels.”


What is one of your favorite things you’ve ever written? Link us if you can!
I have written lots and lots on my website,  If you are looking for an ode to head lice or the story of when I tried to hide in a port-a-potty during a 5K, it’s all there. 

But I suppose my favorite writing is the book.

Annmarie Book

I published it last year with my husband.  It was a little like making a baby—romantic and naked and nerve-wracking, with the end result of bewildered pride: “We made this?!”  The book is called Here Be Dragons: A Parent’s Guide to Rediscovering Purpose, Adventure, and the Unfathomable Joy of the Journey

Here Be Dragons is the story about how we were kind of awesome before we became parents.  Then the kids came along and peed on everything.  And they made us sad and tired and angry.  And we needed to sneak ice cream when they weren’t looking and hide chocolates in the garage just to survive days with those adorable little monsters who took over our marriage and kind of ruined our lives.  Then, just when we thought we were never going to make it—never going to drink an entire cup of coffee uninterruptedly again, never going to drive from point A to point B without 19 arguments and 4 bathroom stops, never going to become the grown-ups we’d always planned to be—we figured out something even better: how to be a family.  Here Be Dragons is the story of that journey.


What do you wish someone had told you before you had a baby?
People warned me about how tired I was going to be.  I had been to college, stayed up all night writing papers, but I was no match for that tiny human who single-handedly broke me down and urinated on the pieces.  I was so tired one morning that I tried making pancakes with breastmilk. 

I actually wrote about this in Here Be Dragons:

I remember sitting on the edge of my bed one night . . .  I could not remember whether I was waking up to feed the baby or going back to sleep because the baby had just been fed.  So I sat there, too tired and confused to choose.  Another night, I told my husband that I understood why some animals ate their young.  Even days were foggy.  I tried making pancakes with breastmilk but settled on ice cream for breakfast instead.  Of course, I mistakenly put the half gallon of ice cream back in the pantry rather than the freezer.  Later that day, I cried when I discovered the melted goop on the cereal shelf, but then rallied when I realized I could probably use it to make pancakes. . .  My husband did his best to be helpful through it all.  But what they do not mention to you during your wedding ceremony or your baby shower or your engagement party is how you are going to look into the eyes of your beloved and want to punch him in the face. I guess I would have liked it if someone had pulled me aside and cautioned, like wagging a finger in my face, full-on warned me— You are gonna look and feel bonkers crazy for about six months, maybe even a year.  And then, just when you think you might drive to the grocery store and never come back, your baby will sleep through the night, and you will start to get your life—and your marriage back.


What do you hope the audience takes away from your essay?Annmarie Kelly-Harbaugh, head shot, outside copy
I hope they laugh a little.  Maybe cry a little.  Mostly, I hope that I bring a moment of ease to someone who is struggling, someone who feels like this dirty-diaper-car-Cheerios-daily-pandemonium is as good as it is ever going to get.  I want other parents to know that they are not alone.  That their sleep-deprivation is real.  And that raising children is terrible and wonderful and nightmarish . . . and worth it.




Don’t miss Annmarie on May 12th! Grab tickets to the show HERE!

Gale Wire March 18, 2017 at 3:54 pm

I want to be there! Please keep me posted of more Ohio events, I will plan a weekend trip to see my family. You are doing some great things for parenting, for motherhood, and for women. I am so proud of you! High on my ‘cool things to do in life list’, I consider myself a loyal Annmarie Kelly-Harbaugh fan.

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