This One Goes Out to (Childfree) Besties Everywhere

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

She goes to coffee dates with me - and my kids.  Which makes her some sort of saint.

She orders beautiful lattes with the most intricate designs - I ain't got time for froo froo.  Coffee goals - GET 'ER DONE.

I order two chocolate milks with a coffee (2 extra shots of espresso please).

The differences in our lives - surface subtly in our coffee orders.

She’s my kid’s auntie.  Not ANT-EY. AAaauuuuunnntie.  There’s a difference.

She showers them with gifts for every occasion (and non-occasions).  Whereas I don’t even let myself be talked into the $1 aisles at Target.

She buys them the best clothes – because she doesn’t think it’s absurd to spend more than $10 on items like - Guess jean baby shorts, or DKNY rhinestone shirts, or a super-hero pink velvety cape from the coolest, bookstore in town.

Whereas I opt for “play” inspired separates that can be thrown away if the mud stains don’t come out, or a hole pops up or someone poops their very “playful” pants.

She let’s them eat three bowls of Cheerios for breakfast.  I would’ve shut it down at two bowls. Probably one.

She let’s them watch movies in the morning.  And in the afternoon.  And at night – as long as they ask nicely.  Whereas I monitor screen time like a prison warden. Moms, I know you mentally tally the minutes spent in front of the tube every single day.

She lets them play with her very expensive smart phone.  Mine is on lock. And has an ugly Otter Box.

She gives into their requests to change princess dress up clothes fifty-million friggin' times.  I pretend to not know where the princess dress up clothes are. Sometimes I tell the kids the dress up clothes have disappeared.

She lets them skip naps.  And the kids think she's an angel sent from heaven because of it.  Whereas, First Commandment of Motherhood: 1. Thou shall not skip naptime or all hell will break lose.

She listens to my kids’ deepest secrets, reassuring them that she’ll never say a word to anyone.  And then she dutifully (and rightfully) tells mommy and daddy.

She checks in when my kids are sick. 

She takes pictures of them, when my hands are too full of kids, snacks and baby wipes to hold a camera.

She forces me to get out of the house, when I so desperately need to.

It’s true, she doesn’t have children.   

I understand that a great deal of Aunties want to be moms.  And would do anything to clean up kid crap and never sleep again.  

But, there are also Aunties that don’t ever want kids.

Either way, these childfree besties choose to be by our sides.  To stand by our kids at this moment in their lives.

Even if she doesn’t fancy sharing her time with snot-nosed, selfish monsters.  Hell, I DON'T LOVE SHARING MY TIME WITH THESE FOOLS!

Even if she doesn't love walking into germ cesspools AKA my house.

Even if she doesn't love listening to me whine about how I worry 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

Or if she can't relate when I talk about how exhausted I am from a night of teething cries or colic.
Or how I'm tired for six solid months with a newborn in the house.  Seriously, six months solid - NO SLEEP.

She doesn't know what it's like to clean a house, and have it destroyed in five minutes.

She can't feel the constant heart ache that plagues all parents. As a parent your heart is always aching for good and bad reasons.

She doesn’t know what it’s like to have someone interrupt her when she’s peeing, pooping, talking on the phone, showering and working.  She doesn’t know how annoying it is when kids interrupt Facebook time. Precious Facebook time! 

She doesn’t know what it’s like to have her body, her house, her job, her (possible) marriage, actually ALL of her relationships hijacked by tiny, needy human beings.

She may not know what these things feel like.  But, she chooses to care about it, because you care about it, mama.

Your childfree bestie still chooses to be your friend.  She chooses to understand and sympathize with your situation, even if she can’t totally empathize.  Even if she never wants to relate, or so painfully wishes she could relate.

She makes an effort.  She makes a damn effort with you.  She makes a damn effort with your kids.

And while it's hard sometimes to carve time out for her, .....shit, for your damn self, you should try. Even if you have to cancel a couple of times because your kid got sick, or the babysitter cancelled. Try, try again. Don't try because you're afraid that she'll get sick of being there for you one day.  Try, because she won't get sick of it.  She'll always be there for you.  As you should for her, because (childfree) besties are the best.

Anyone mamas have a childfree bestie?  What is your friendship like?  Why do you love her?

Share in the comments section below.

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Can we Stop with the 100% Attendance, ahem, I mean "Immunity Awards"?

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Attendance awards are nothing new under the sun.

I was a proud recipient of them in elementary school.  When the school principal called my name to receive one - I got beet red, but marched proudly up to snag this silly gold star of sorts.

I was glowing with foolish pride.

I just got an award for having the best damn immunity in the class! HOORAY!  Because, that's essentially what these "attendance awards" are - they're immunity awards.

Gawd help anyone with weakened immune systems.

Oh for example, like my daughter.  Quick back story - she was born at 4 pounds, 11 ounces full-term. She has had asthma since birth - and episodes of complications.

When a virus attacks her body - it plows.

On the third day of Kindergarten, KINDERGARTEN (big deal!!!) last week, she had to stay home.  Because she was sick.  Oh the horror!  I was like, really, third day of school, sick????

There was nothing we could do about it.  We can't control germs.

So our dreams of snagging the 100% Attendance Award were shot down and smashed (yeah right, like I actually mentioned that asinine award to her in the first place).

My daughter couldn't go to school because she couldn't breathe, her cough sounded like a barking seal and her nose ran like a faucet.  She couldn't go to school because quarantining my child at home that has an infectious, contagious virus IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO.

Let me repeat for parents that let their sick kids go to school to infect mine and many others.

Keeping your sick kid away from school IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO.

I'm gonna go ahead and tell you what I think of you now -

First, you're a fucking selfish asshole.  And you're dumb fuck.

The end.

Okay, for real.  How would you like it if I let my kid who may be exhibiting symptoms of a fever, chills, cough, etc. go to school - and it turns out, to be, gawd forbid, Ebola?  Yeah, bet you'd be pissed I let my kid go to school.

Alright, alright that was a bit extreme.

Try this real life anecdote on for size - maybe, you can't take anymore time off work.  Maybe you've used up all of your sick days already.  Maybe, you don't have sick days to begin with.

Either way -

Say, hypothetically, my kid gets your kid sick.  Then you have to take a day (UNPAID) from your job to take care of your kid. I bet you'd be pretty peeved.

Seriously, can we all just boycott attendance awards?  Like, right now.

Parents don't need anymore pressures, and our kids don't either.

We don't need to feel pressured to drag our snot-nosed, fevered, miserable, sick kids to school all because - THEY WON'T GET THE ATTENDANCE AWARD.  OH MY GAWD.

It's nonsense.

Why are we giving awards away for immunity and participation, when it's productivity that matters?
It's never enough to just show up to anything.  It truly matters about the effort you give and the work you do while you are there.

Can you imagine an adult getting an attendance award at work - but like, they have the lowest productivity?

Or the kid that gets the 100% Attendance Award flunks 5th grade and we're all supposed to keep clapping for this nonsense?
I think not.  I'll be booing from the back.  Loudly.

Don't get it twisted, I support the idea that we should be encouraging attendance, and discouraging truancy.  I get it.  But, this program sucks.  Worse - it doesn't even work.

The attendance schemes penalize the kids who get sick, and stigmatize any children that may have underlying medical conditions.

So I'd like to ask the Attendance Award to stay home from school now.  Because it's sick.

How do you feel about the attendance award scheme?  Are you a teacher with any opinions on this?

Share in the comments section below.

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Back to School Supplies: Parent Edition

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Screw my kids’ school supply lists.  Hellooooo??  Does anyone care about me? MY needs?  The supplies I need to get MEEEE through the school year?

Hell no, no one cares.  Fuuuccckkkk yoooouuuuuu family!!!!

It’s time to take matters into my own hands.

I’d really appreciate if my kids ran out like lunatics going store to store in search of my supplies at midnight the night before the first day of school.

If they obsessed over what scissors I need to cut a mutha-fucka for real. (Okay, no seriously, I'm not that crazy).

So I’m proclaiming my position.  I’m shoutin’ from the rooftop.  Mama’s gonna need some fuckin' supplies for the school year!!!

Here’s what should be on your list mamas.

1. An extra alarm clock, like perhaps, a fog horn.  Think of it as reassurance for when you turn your smartphone, harp inspired bbdddiiingggsss 'OFF' at 5 AM. And you doooozzee offffff...oooppss.

2. A coffee bean farm.  In your back yard. All the stores in the world can’t generate enough caffeine for this new “chapter” (I love the euphemisms for shit that’s really hard, “chapter”, really?) ahem, “sleep-deprived, nightmare” is more like it.

3. Booze, but seriously, limit that shit to weekends.  Ain’t nobody got time for booze.  Tip: the hard stuff gets you drunk faster. Gaw, even drink seshes are being rushed – what is this world coming to??!!!

4. Meds.  If you were teetering on the balanced spectrum before - the demands of the school year might throw you over the edge.  A trip to the doctor wouldn’t hurt.  A little sanity screening is the perfectly, responsible thing to do.  P.S: Your next physical will be years from now when your kid is 18, so get the meds while you still can!

5. Marijuana. Just in case you are not the meds type.  If you're neither... You'll need to put GOD on your school supply list STAT.  Ya hurd me muthas?

6. A Costco membership.  If you don’t have one, about now is the time to consider one.

7. Dinners that last at least two nights.  Two sets of left overs a week is what you’re aiming for.  Boxes of mac-n-cheese count.

8. A stack of take-out menus because, who the hell can plan dinners that result in leftovers every week?

9. A hazmat suit, so you don’t catch the germs from the school cesspool.

10. A cleaning service for the house.  Make sure they also do the laundry…and fold it.

11. Glittery nail polish.  To cover up your chipped ass manicure that you no longer have time to get done once a week.

12. Hair cut before school starts.  Your next hair cut will be Christmas break.  Make sure they blow that shit out right.

13. A minivan.  Some parent will surely shame you into participating in a car pool.

14. Will power – Just say “No” to car pool.

15. Stationary: So you can thank everyone and their mother, for everything and their mother.  Seriously.  You gotta thank all of the teachers all year round, you gotta thank the PTA members, you gotta thank the parents that actually volunteer in the classroom, you gotta thank a mutha-fucka for making your life a miserable, harried disaster.

16. A box of tissues.  So you can wipe your sappy ass tears when your child brings home their first “A.”  Or brings home an award for whatever kids get awards for.  Or sadly, when a “friend” calls your kid ugly, and picks on them.  So yes, tissues...boxes of tissues.

Speaking of boxes...

17, Boxing gloves.  So you can kick the school bully’s ass.

18. A backpack.  Whaaaa???!!  Every parent loves a little hands-free action - just make sure that shit is Prada.  Or if you're really feelin' baller status, you can spring for the Chanel leather one.  Either way, it's flossy, and you deserve it, cuz you bossy bitch.

Anything else to add to the Parent Back to School Supply List besides a big fat 'fuck you school year?'

Share in the comments section below.

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Why I'm Not Establishing a Sleep Schedule for my Kids a Week Before School

Monday, August 10, 2015

Right now I’m supposed to be inching back my kids' bedtimes, earlier and earlier every day.
I’m supposed to be using that thing called an alarm clock to wake them up.

For real though, where did I put that thing?  I think I saw it two months ago stuffed under magazines in my nightstand.

An end of summer sleep schedule is supposed to be established.  Note to self- have family meeting about the importance of sleep during the school year.

Routine.  I gotta ramp up a routine.

I’m not doing it.  I’m not doing any of it.

I was going to.

Really, I was.

But, do you know what I’d be missing if I did?

It means, we’d miss the fireflies coming out at night.  The sacred time that is just after the sun goes down, where the sky paints the air around us a hazy bluish-grey color.  It’s not yet completely dark.  The kids can still see.  The flickers of light start flying in the sky, and my kids eagerly grab their jars to catch the fireflies.

Ice cream runs.  The sweet, cold creamy goodness (with rainbow sprinkles, gummy bears, one pink cookie and hot fudge) would be a distant memory.  We wouldn’t want the kids to be too sugared up before bed.

Sunset walks as a family, calling out all of the colors we see in the sky.

Stargazing.  No more pointing out the arrow and the archer constellations.

Writing our names in the air with sparklers.  We can go through 3 packages in 15 minutes.  But, it’s the most magical 15 minutes.

We’d miss waking up to sun spilling on our faces and the songs of birds.

Waking up to birds is better than waking up to BEEEEP. BEEEEEEP. BEEEEEEEEEP!

We’d miss our smiley faces upon waking up.  My kids and I aren’t exactly morning people.  We look like we will stab the next person that talks to us.

Slowly sipping on green tea in the morning.  I prefer easing my way into energy.  If I have to wake up earlier, I’ll be gulping down gallons of coffee and be a jittery, one woman freak show by 7AM.

There’d be no more morning naps.  The kind where my girls pile into my big, four poster bed, and we cuddle against the soft sheets. And in the middle of cuddling, we fall asleep again with the morning sun hitting our faces through the window slats.

I want to savor these lazy summer mornings for as long as I can.  I’ll be the bad parent that didn’t prepare my kid adequately for school wake up time.  Because, let’s be real.  The kids will get used to it.  They’re highly adaptable. 

There will be enough frazzled mornings during the school year.  

School year, don’t steal our moments yet.  We’re still in our summer slumber for 5 more days.

Let it lay. Let us lay. We’ll lay until the day….we can’t anymore.

Do you have kids close in age? Be prepared to answer these questions in public. Every. Damn. Day.

Monday, August 3, 2015

I had my kids back-to-back.  Anyone who does this back-to-back birth thing on purpose is a gawd damn lunatic.

Mine were accidents....errrrr....surprises, whatever you call it when in the heat of the moment you and your husband decide not to "pull it out and pray."  Passion equals pregnancy, ya hurd me?

My girls are 16-months apart.  And wow - can we say HORRIFYING?

I've had two babies not walking, two babies not talking, two babies in diapers, two babies that can't totally feed themselves, and two babies with erratic sleep patterns.

Being pregnant and having babies for two years was about as enjoyable as stabbing myself in the eye with a number two pencil.

Now, they're older, and we, as a family are past all that hard (really fucking hard), baby bullshit.

We now have new challenges.  Like, intrusive questions and comments asked and made by random people out in public.

Just like Australian mom, Annie Nolan who posted a picture of her twin girls holding a sign with answers to all of the overly-intrusive and exhausting questions she gets in public about twins - I came up with a list of questions I always get asked.

Irish twin mamas and mamas with kids less than 2-years apart- ya feel me on these?

1. Are they twins?   No, they're just close in age.

2. Really, they look so much alike, not twins? Um, no, I would know.

3. Irish twins?  Still, no.

4. Is your family Catholic? I can see how your religious stereotypes are trying to put me in some type of breeding box to help you better understand why I would do this to myself.

5. Do they have the same mom/dad? I mean, we never got a DNA test, but I'm pretty sure my two very similar looking children have me and their dad as parents.

6. Did you want to have kids close in age?  I'll answer your question, with a question.  Who fucking does this shit on purpose?  No really, go find them, I want to see if they're sane.

7. Were you taking birth control?  Yes, our preferred method was "Pull it Out and Pray."  Except those two times I got pregnant.

8. Did your body have a chance to heal from the first birth? Wait, do you mean down there?  Lucky for you boo, my vagina was untouched, c-sections sista. But, let me just lift up my shirt for you to show you my stomach -  it looks like it got ran over by a semi-truck, then squeezed by barbed wire and cut by a butcher.

9. How could you have another baby now - the kids wouldn't all be close together?  I'm pretty sure that's our concern, But, if you must know - we won't be having another kid, and we can't.  My husband is snipped for this exact reason.

10. Me and my sister are X number of months apart.  We're super close.  Are your girls close?
Yes, they love each other.  Except when they're fighting over a broken, cheap Happy Meal toy.  Then they hate each other.  Just like regular 'ol siblings.

11. You think they'll be close when they grow up?  I can't predict the future, but I hope so.  If you have a crystal ball, let me know wassup.

12.  You must've had your hands full for awhile there, huh?! Yes, still do. One of which always seems to be full with alcohol.

What intrusive questions or comments do you get about your kids?

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5 Reasons Why I Drink During Dinner with my Kids

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Hi, have you had dinner with your children lately?

I wouldn't exactly call it the most calm, enjoyable and family-fun filled event.

If all of these "experts" are going to guilt us parents into having family dinnertime every night....and talking about our days.  Well, I plan to do that with drinks thank you very much.

No amount of studies and expert advice can account for the massively annoying food-fest that dinner actually is, with children.

Here's why I always drink at dinner with my kids:

1. I don't care about fights.  Little one could be crying that older one stole her Barbie, or Paw Patrol or tiny, weird, broken off piece of some random Happy Meal toy, and I don't flinch.  I could be looking at the tears streaming down little ones eyes as I try to lay out my fabulous Linguini with Pesto sauce dinner - and not give two fucks.  Why? Because I caught a buzz while waiting for the pasta water to start boiling.  She can cry her way through all that crushed red pepper.

2. I don't care if they eat their vegetables.  As little one spits out her organic mix of peas, carrots and vegetables, I'm laughing.  Instead of screaming, I stay cool. I level my eyes to hers and say, "You'll eat those vegetables.  You'll eat them, or you'll go to bed right now."

If I was sober, I'd be stressing over those string beans, freaking out over those abandoned sweet potato fries.  I'd probably end up spoon feeding her those friggin' brussel sprouts myself.

With a buzz - I give no bones - I don't negotiate with terrorists - go to bed brat.

3. I don't try to be a short order chef.  If I spend more than 30 minutes on this damn meal - you're gonna Mangia, maniac.  No, I won't make you mac-n-cheese.  No, I won't make you dinosaur chicken nuggets. Just no. Eat.  Plus, mommy shouldn't be operating ovens at this point anymore.

4. I don't care about crying.  I block you out with my buzz.

5.  I don't get frustrated with the five-million fucking requests at the dinner table.

Just as I'm going to bite into my succulent, savory, well-grilled steak.. "MMAAAAOOMMM!!! I need WAAAATTEERR!!"

I get the water, sit back down.  About to chomp on bite number two.... "MMAAAOOOOMMM, I need more napkins!!!"

Napkins, sit back down.

If I drink, I will get up from that dinner table like a well-attentive server.  I will fill every request, with a wink and a smile.

Cheers Muthas!

Do you drink while cooking dinner for your family?  Or do you drink while eating dinner?  Do you find it helps you deal with dinnertime annoyances?

Share in the comments section below.

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As a Mom in America, I Feel Really Safe

Friday, July 24, 2015

As a mom in America, my kids are really safe.  My kids are 4 and 5-Years old and I can’t imagine not letting them roam the neighborhood alone or wait at the bus stop without adult supervision.

I make a special effort to discuss safety with my children before we go out in public.  I tell them to hold my hand in parking lots, to look before they cross the street and not get in a car with strangers (unless it’s the only car sitting outside of the mall we’re in – that’s being shot up by a psycho).  Then by all means, get in the stranger’s car.

I really enjoy our relaxing time in restaurants as a family.  Sitting down to a meal is our special time, and we enjoy treating ourselves.  I also like a break from cooking and being cooped up in the house!  I remind them that it’s not polite to be loud in the restaurant, to chew and swallow before speaking and never get out of their seats to play hide-and-go-seek under tables (unless an armed asshole is firing off rounds into the restaurant).

Hanging out at the park is a favorite past-time for us.  We love going there on nice days to play at the playground, kick a soccer ball around and practice riding bikes.  The sound of children’s laughter fills the air, and meeting other friends at the playground is all part of the fun.  Because parks can get kinda busy, I always remind my children of the rules.  No walking up the slides as other children are trying go down, steer clear of people swinging on swings and never go to the bathroom alone (unless you’re running away from a maniac and his semi-automatic rifle).

As a family, we make a special effort to explore our surroundings.  We take advantage of everything our great country has to offer.  We’re so fortunate to have great state parks in this country that are well-maintained.  State parks tend to have a lot of densely wooded areas and hidden drop offs (especially mountainous state parks).  The views are great, but with little ones you have to keep an extra watch on them to make sure they don’t get too close to the edge.  They are not allowed to skip on hiking trails, throw sticks at each other, or run (except when a human-hunting dickhead is shooting in our direction).

Going to the movie theatre is probably my kid’s favorite activity to do on a rainy day.  We load up on slushies, popcorn and soda and sit down in those comfy leather seats.  I feel so safe and secure at PG-rated movies because I know there won’t be any swearing or mature content.  I especially feel safe scoping out the audience and sitting closest to the exit doors.

Church is a great way to be with your community.  And experiencing church in the South is as welcoming as it gets!  We’re not super religious, but we’ve gone to church together as a family a few times.  It’s nice to meet others, sing and listen to a person speak of goodness in the world and urging you to be a better human – for all humankind.  My children understand church etiquette, like no snacks, listen attentively and sit still (except when a gun-wielding wacko waves his gun in front of the congregation- then you run like hell.)

School is THEEE safest place for all children in America.  You know that no matter what – your kids are going to learn great life lessons, be fed healthy food and treated well by all teachers.  It’s a place where the fundamentals for socialization and emotional development begin to form the adult your child will become.  As a parent, having open lines of communication with teachers is key – and you are safe and secure knowing that your child is being nurtured every day.  My children understand that they are supposed to behave in school and be kind to their teachers and their peers.  They know to listen to adults and follow directions (unless they hear gunshots – and are told to ‘STOP’!  Because I have absolutely told my kids if they feel scared, and sense violence, to RUN.  And never stop running).

To all the scared and fearful parents out there – don’t worry.  It’s America.  We are the safest country in the entire world.  We have the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and politicians that have our backs.  It’s our duty as parents, to make our kids feel as secure as possible – which is totally do-able (unless you have no real gun laws).

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