19 Things I Never Thought I’d Have to Teach My Kids

19 Things I Never Thought I’d Have to Teach My Kids

Part of our job as parents is to teach our children important life lessons, but I never realized I’d have to teach my kids common sense as well. Here are some things you’d think your kids would know … but nope.  1. You can’t see where you’re going when you walk backwards. Or when you put a box on your head. Michael Jackson and that guy from the “Party Rock Anthem” song are the exceptions, not the rule. 2. You are not obligated to make a “yummy” sound with each bite. But please never stop this. 3. There is not a parent waiting at the bottom of every drop (though we wish there was). Someone needs to create those bungee jackets from The Uglies for toddlers. 4. Other children appreciate being poked in the face exactly as much as you do. Which is not at all. So stop it. 5. The garbage can is not a Vegas all-you-can-eat buffet. Although the opposite is true. 6. Parents’ arms experience fatigue; we cannot help you “skin the cat” or throw you into the air for hours on end.  Uncles and aunts on the other hand … 7. Dirt is going to taste just as bad whether it’s the first bite or the tenth. But go ahead and take bite eleven. Maybe it’ll be better this time. 8. Screaming into our faces and throwing a tantrum isn’t fun for anyone involved. Because now you have no candy bar AND a headache. 9. Not everything plugs into an electrical outlet (no, not even keys, sticks, paper, shoes, or blocks). Though I’m still going to think you’re a genius every single time you...
5 Workouts You Can Squeeze in While Cleaning Up Your Kid’s Toys

5 Workouts You Can Squeeze in While Cleaning Up Your Kid’s Toys

Toys. No matter how many you buy for your kids, more seem to appear out of nowhere. Our kids have an endless supply, and they always manage to scatter themselves all over no matter how often we pick them up. Since we spend so much time picking up toys, why not turn it into a workout? You can check “exercise” off of your to-do list without ever stepping foot in a gym. As it turns out, incorporating regular movement into your day is actually better for your health than exercising for an hour at the gym and then being sedentary the rest of the day. This is great news for parents. We have so much to get done every day and with most of these tasks, there’s an opportunity to incorporate short bursts of movement, which does really add up. Without further ado, we’ve got toys to clean up. 1. The Squat Pick Up IMAGE SOURCE: JENNIFER JOHNSON This is a good one to do when you have to pick up toys from the ground and put them away on a higher shelf. To Do: Squat to pick up the toy. Stand up to put the toy away. Repeat as needed. Tips: This exercise involves getting into a low resting squat position, which can be challenging if your body isn’t used to moving this way. It can be easier for beginners and those unfamiliar with this movement to start with feet wider apart, toes pointed out slightly. This creates a wider base of support and typically helps with form until you are able to move your feet closer together with feet...
26 Thoughts Upon Finding My First Grey Hair

26 Thoughts Upon Finding My First Grey Hair

I walked into the bathroom to take a shower, just like every other morning. I looked in the mirror, just like I always do. But something was different—something glinted in the light as I turned my head. I inched closer to the medicine cabinet, and sure enough, glaring against a chestnut backdrop, I saw it—a single, wiry, grey hair. Holy crapnuggets. I always wondered how I’d feel about getting my first grey hair. What would go through my head when that age-old physical sign of mortality finally reared its head? Turns out, it’s a bit complicated. Here’s how that internal upheaval panned out in 26 thoughts: 1. Observant Me: Wow, that grey hair is like three times as thick as the rest of our hair. Dang. 2. Vain Me: And it sticks straight up off the top of our head. What the hell?! 3. Self-Assured Me: It’s all good! Grey hair makes people look wise and distinguished. 4. Mentally-Still-22-Years-Old Me: NO! NO! NO! WE’RE ONLY 22! WE’RE TOO YOUNG FOR THIS TO BE HAPPENING! 5. Vain Me: We have to dye it! Immediately! 6. Lazy Me: We’re not going to dye it. That requires way too much work and maintenance. 7. Organic Me: Plus, all those chemicals. Ew. 8. Pragmatic Me: Calm down. Everyone gets older. It’s just part of life—no worries! Plus, isn’t grey hair “in” right now? 9. Vain Me: Oh, shut up, Pragmatic Me. Nobody likes you. 10. Intellectual Me: You know, grey hair is considered a sign of wisdom and honor in some cultures. 11. Vain Me: Are you sure about that? 12. Pseudo-Intellectual Me: Umm…I think I read it somewhere. 13. Vain Me: Yeah, that’s what I thought. That’s it. We’re dying...
5 Tricks To Get Alone Time When You’re A Mom

5 Tricks To Get Alone Time When You’re A Mom

The older I get and the less time I have to myself, the more it becomes clear to me that I am an introvert. I know it seems odd that I would have so little self-awareness to not realize where I stand on the personality charts, but to be fair, I’m really outgoing in social settings. I love public speaking, become more animated and sociable when I’m nervous, and honestly get a kick out of making small talk. But once the crowds have parted, the last drop has been poured, and the night is over, I find myself so incredibly drained that my body feels like I’ve just run a marathon. I simply cannot function until I have some time alone, in silence, to get myself together. Before motherhood, I could always count on driving in the car alone to gather myself. I would use my commute to ditch the work stress and gear myself up for dinner, the weekend, or even just one-on-one time with my husband (let me be clear here: it’s not his presence that I needed to prep for, but the social interaction in general). But now? Now, I am never alone—ever. In the hunt for a moment of solitude, I’ve picked up some really bad habits that I don’t think are doing me any favors—namely, staying up really late and watching TV, while my husband sleeps beside me. I know I should go to bed, that the baby will be up soon, that I function better with a good night’s sleep, but the alone time is just so…delicious. I lie there sipping wine from what is...
10 Embarrassing Parenting Hacks

10 Embarrassing Parenting Hacks

Creating a spray to keep monsters out of a toddler’s bedroom? Genius! Life-changing! But what about those tricks we do throughout our day that we hesitate to share with the parents on the playground? I’m finally spilling the beans. 1. Put Food on the Floor Germophobes may want to stop reading here. How many of you have a baby who tosses everything off the high chair tray with glee? Adding insult to injury, he eats all the food off the floor as soon as he is let free. It is maddening! Sometimes it’s easier to cut out the middle man. Find a relatively clean spot on the floor and put the food there. Google articles on how germs are good for the system to make yourself feel better. 2. Commando Mornings With all the morning juggling, the last thing I want to do is wrangle a preschooler who swears he doesn’t need to use the bathroom into taking off pajama pants and putting on underwear. But keeping him in a pull-up once he is awake will derail potty-training progress, and it doesn’t seem sanitary. So pants get pulled to knees, pull-up gets ripped off, and pants go back up. We will deal with getting the underwear on after Mom has her coffee. 3. Me or the Doctor? Sometimes I feel a little bad about this one because I don’t like to use empty threats on my kids, but desperate times call for desperate measures. The preschooler doesn’t want me to brush his teeth? He gets the choice of me or the doctor. Doesn’t want to get his hair washed? “Do...