What I’ve Learned So Far (10 Week Edition)

What I’ve Learned So Far (10 Week Edition)

There are a ton of blog posts out there that gently (and not so gently) offer advice to moms of newborns. We like this one from Liz because she hacks through the nonsense and offers some straightforward down to earth advice for the masses. (And seriously, baby smiles FTW!) 1. I need to have a shower everyday. After having my daughter, Ryley, a daily shower has become an absolute priority in a way it never was before. The first few weeks it felt essential because I felt so physically spent and disgusting thanks to my own bodily fluids post-labor as well as the baby’s. A shower was the only thing that made me feel like a somewhat functional human not covered in spit-up and poop. And now whenever I shower in the morning during the baby’s first nap, I feel like I start my day with a victory. Even if she goes off the rails and refuses to nap again in the crib, at least I managed to fit in one thing entirely for me. I think a new mom needs to do at least one “selfish” thing every day, whether it’s a shower or a glass of wine. And if you really want to multi-task bring the glass (or bottle) of wine into the shower with you. 2. My baby doesn’t like the car. I feel like this is one of those truisms of parenting you always hear, that a car ride will instantly lull a baby, and she will become a sleeping angel the second the wheels start rolling. This may be true for some babies, even...
Older Moms Understand The Myth of Perfection

Older Moms Understand The Myth of Perfection

I’m at the McDonald’s outdoor playscape — a place I would never have taken my first child. The junk food! The germs! The consumerism! The GMOs! But after 10 years of parenting and almost 40 years of living, I have developed the perspective that being too idealistic about what I will or won’t expose my kids to is just nonsense. It leads to nothing but stress and unrealistic expectations. I don’t love everything about moving into the “older mom” camp, but letting go of the idea of perfection is definitely a perk of being an older mom that I have fully embraced. So here I am at McDonald’s, letting my 3-year-old drink chocolate milk that’s probably full of hormones and antibiotics that will destroy his ability to have children. But hey, he’s occupied. And they have Wi-Fi here, so I’m one happy camper (smart move on the free Wi-Fi, Mickey D’s). He’s taken to playing with a set of twins who look to be just a little bit younger than him. They “take turns” sliding down the slide, which means that they keep kicking each other in the butt as they scramble to get in their turns, one after the other. It’s cute and endearing, and I’m just happy my kid is out of my hair for a bit. The twins’ mom strikes up some conversation. She asks how old my son is, whether he’s in school, yadda, yadda, yadda. But then she cuts to the chase. “Is he potty trained yet?” Isn’t it funny how you can inquire about the bathroom habits of little humans within 30 seconds...
If Mom Ain’t Happy, Nobody’s Happy

If Mom Ain’t Happy, Nobody’s Happy

The past few months have been challenging. My own frustration, bitterness, and pessimism seems to match our nation’s collective angst. Perhaps the Summer of 2016 could best be called the “Summer of WTF” or the “Summer of Tragedy” or the “Summer of When-Will-This-crapshow-End?” We all seem to be feeling a bit beaten down, frustrated and scared. I hate to admit it, but as grateful as I am for all the joys in my life, I haven’t been very good about feeling grateful or showing gratitude for those joys. I haven’t been a very good wife, mother, or friend. I haven’t been my best self. There have been days when I’m not even sure I’ve been an okay-ish version of myself because I was a downright pain in the ass to be around. And quite frankly, I’ve annoyed myself with my own moodiness and sulking. Some of the reasons for this funk or despair (or whatever you’d call it) are somewhat obvious. The news headlines make me want to scream or weep on a daily basis. Adjusting to our summer schedule was difficult, and certain work projects that I busted my butt on didn’t produce the results I would have liked. An extra 5 pounds (oh, who am I kidding, it’s definitely closer to 10) have permanently attached themselves to my belly, butt, and thighs. And as much as I would like to say that I’ve made peace with this, the truth is, I have not. I want the scale to magically adjust itself without giving up my daily Kit-Kat bars and French fries. As much as I would like to...
7 Moms You’ll See In A Group Text

7 Moms You’ll See In A Group Text

If you have kids in the modern age of parenting, chances are, you’ve participated in at least one group text. Whether it’s coordinating a playdate, a ladies’ night out, or organizing a complicated carpool routine, moms texting takes on a whole new level of hell when you have multiple people expressing opinions. And, often, the group text can make you feel like a prisoner in your own phone. I’ve been in a group text with six of my neighbors for over a year and there are times when I come back to my phone only to find 92 new texts. It can take almost 20 minutes to catch up on all of the conversation twists. Group texts are exhausting. And, what’s worse, now most messaging systems will indicate you’ve left the conversation, thereby alerting the other texters that you, in fact, don’t have time for their craziness. Group texts on your phone are what “Reply All” is to email: a special kind of hell designed to make us crazy. Technology is great, mostly, but the group text is enough to drive a busy mom crazy. If you’ve hung around group texts long enough, you will start to see certain patterns, certain nuances of the participants. Never is that more true than in a group text run by moms arranging carpool. Believe me, I know. Because one point or another, I’ve played all these roles. Let’s examine them, shall we? 1. The Initiator Mom She’s the mom we all love because she’s the one who dutifully remembers that on Wednesdays at 4 p.m., the kids all have to be at soccer practice....
Teachers Share The Most Ridiculous Things Parents Have Ever Said to Them

Teachers Share The Most Ridiculous Things Parents Have Ever Said to Them

Teachers share threats, insane requests, and absurd accusations from parents As summer winds down teachers are preparing their classrooms while parents are practicing their happy dance. A Reddit user challenged teachers to share the most ridiculous thing they’ve heard a parent say and more than 4,000 comments came in. Between crafting engaging lesson plans, endless grading, and breaking up fights teachers have a special kind of endurance. Too bad these parents failed to realize that and instead shared these absurd criticisms and requests. On Tests “This girl didn’t study and skipped most of the questions on a test. Mom came in to argue about her daughter’s failing grade and said she should only be graded on the questions she did answer, so therefore should have scored a 100 since the few she chose to answer were correct.” “I had a parent tell me his kid was acting dumb for my benefit and that he is really smart at home.” “My [teacher] mom frequently is forced to let kids retake tests because they didn’t do well on them. Not because the kids have any sort of problem, but because the parents complain that their genius somehow got a failing grade on a test.” On Homework “It’s not your job to teach my son lessons.” “Intellectual property is a real gray area,” one parent said in regard to blatant plagiarism. “‘Caitlyn doesn’t feel like writing. She’ll just say the answers to the work out-loud from now on.’” “My child has anxiety and as such, will not be completing your final project. You will give her an A for the course regardless...
I Don’t Know What Happened to My Brain After Having Kids

I Don’t Know What Happened to My Brain After Having Kids

I’d like to tell you that I am stronger, smarter, and more savvy after bringing four humans into the world. I’d like to tell you that having kids has done nothing but motivate me to be better, inspire me to reach for the stars, and finally teach me the secrets of being a woman who “has it all.” I’d like to tell you that becoming a mother has simply strengthened my organizational skills, propelling me to become a master scheduler and Queen of the Calendar. But honestly? That would be a lie. Because the truth is, somewhere between peeing on a stick and throwing up in those first few months of having my first kid, I lost my mind. It wasn’t a subtle change, really, when I look back on it. It was dramatic and swift, like a car stopping for a squirrel, tires locking and rubber burning. If I had to trace it back to one moment, I would say that it all started a few months into my first pregnancy, when my husband and I were shopping for some supplies for a tropical getaway. I was simply trying to pick up a bottle of sunscreen, but for some reason, bottles were flying left and right. No matter how hard I tried, I kept dropping every bottle of sunscreen I picked up. It was so ridiculous that my husband just stood there laughing at me, until I finally gave up and moved on to the sunglasses section — where I proceeded to knock over the entire display. I look back at that moment, the confusion I felt wondering what on...