Friday, November 27, 2015
Childfree friends are precious gems. One-of-a-kind. Rare to mothers around the world. They unlock a life that seems so foreign, so exotic.
Um, like my past life. B.B.
Admittedly, I suffer from a severe form of mommy brain. Which suppresses and obliterates all memories of fun and feelings of fun. Okay, okay – some memories of this magical world where champagne and free time flow freely still do exist in the depths of my brain. I tend to relive these memories while listening to my 90’s playlist (Ahhh Smoosh it! Smoosh it real good!) and downing gallons of vodka. I tend to get real nostalgic when I drink the cheap stuff- brings me right back to those glory years of … oh wait. If there are any lessons I’ve learned from my glory years – it’s to never, I repeat, never drink the cheap stuff. I lie, I don’t drink the cheap stuff, because I don’t want to feel like death.
So while I sip, and get loosey Goosey (yes, muthas GOOSE) I remember the days spent dancing on bar tops, funneling beer and engaging in serious sexcapades with virtual strangers.
Ahhhh, the life in the lap of liberty. It is indeed lost to me, but not my heart.
It’d be fair to say, that I am in fact slightly jealous of my childfree friends. I’m jealous of their time, of their carefree life and of their hair. Seriously, all of my childfree friends have impeccable fucking hair.
When I’m not drooling over their recent dye-job, I’m adoring them.
When they ask me to hang out – I’m like CHA-CHING! Mama’s GOT A DATE TONIGHT MUTHA FUCKAS!
FOR REAL, I’VE GROWN TOO COMFORTABLE WITH THE ‘MOM FRIEND’ DATE.
You knoooowww the kind. You show up to the ‘mom friend’ date with your hair in a bun, sweat pants, a bottle of wine – and it’s in your living room with screaming kids running all over the place.
I’m usta that. It’s easy. And lawd knows, I need easy. Me and the mom friends usually start early and are done by 9. Because, you know…bedtime is at 9.
But, the childfree friend date! EEEEEeekkk!! I can’t help but to squeal! Oh gaw, it’s so great. It’s grand really. Dinner is at 9 o’clock! Ahem, as in dinner STARTS (not ends) at 9 o’clock honey.
I mean, I’m gonna need to guzzle gallons of coffee in the hours leading up to said, adult, late dinner- but whatever – YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE!
This is all very exciting with the childfree friend – but whew, TONS of pressure.
I look at myself in the mirror.
I look like I’ve been hiding away in some baby bunker subsisting on goldfish, listening to Baby Einstein and watching Disney’s Frozen fifty-million friggin’ times. Ugh, ya hurd me muthas? I look like poopy in the potty.
So duh – I go into a major tailspin right before plans with my childfree friends.
Here are the10 things I freeeeeaaak out about, okay obsess over before a night out on the town with childfree friends.
1. My hair is a hot mess. Like, suddenly, the brassy tones that slightly bothered me yesterday, are paramount now. A hair appointment with my stylist is needed STAT. Does she even remember me? (Yes, kids are coming to the salon with me, that’s what happens when you book last minute).
2. My manicure is triflin; and chippin’. What is nail art? I hear it’s all the rage right now.
3. 1990’s called, they want their shoes back. Dr. Martens and Mary Janes ain’t gonna cut it for a night out on the town. And most of my heels were bought before my child was born. So yeah, that would make them 6-years old. Well, maybe the Mary Janes could work – I hear they’re making a comeback.
4. Time to get clutch, yo. Gotta ditch the diaper bag for a day – wait, can I fit wipes in a clutch? I’ve grown a bit addicted to them since I had a baby. I have this need to wipe down every surface I come in contact with. Maybe a cool crossbody will work better for me. Baby steps ladies, baby steps.
5. Shave my shenanigans. ALL shenanigans. South, muthas. It’s not like me and my childfree friends go down on each other, or compare vaginas when we hang out. Well, at least not visually compare. Maybe verbally – but whatever. The point is I feel the need to get my punanny in tip top shape before going out with my childree friends. I’m married too – it makes no sense. Ugh, where’s my razor? Has anyone seen mommy’s razor?! Oh, here it is – found it! Oh look, it’s dull because soooommeeeonnnee used it for man-scaping. Awesome.
6. Must find funny anecdote about my life that doesn’t involve children. Wait. Is there one? I have no epic happy hours to speak of. Or wild nights out to brag about. Just tales of tit-sucking monsters, chaffed nipples and blow-out diapers. I’ll just shut up now.
7. SUV. Total mom car. If I roll up to valet with that – it will totally give me away. It could be worse – I could have a minivan. Ugh. I hate myself. Opting for Uber. At least no one will know what I drive, and I can get drunk as a skunk to drown out my very mommified life.
8. FUPA. It’s doughy, squishy and hopeless. I developed an enlarged fupa directly after childbirth. Fupas bulge out from my tight-fitting shirts and scream, “Hi, we gotta mom ova hea!” Must order Spanx.
9. Bladder. As in, it ain’t gonna hold. I’ve birthed two babies. The first laugh after a few drinks – and she’s gonna blow! Scratch the Spanx. I’d probably piss myself before peeling that damn thing off anyway. Seriously, have you ever had to peel yourself out of Spanx while your bladder is on the verge of blowing up? No bueno.
10. Drowsy eyes. By midnight, I make like Cinderella’s souped up pumpkin. I turn into pumpkin road kill. As much as I struggle to keep my eyes open past 9PM– they will inevitably droop. Better pack a yellow jacket pill and a shot of B12 to make it through the night. Wait, will those fit in my new clutch?
Cheers to a night out on the town muthas!
This article originally appeared on Dirty and Thirty.
Tuesday, November 24, 2015
Sweat is pouring down my bra, forming a steamy puddle. The deodorant I just put on…. Wait….did I put deodorant on?? Either way, it’s not working if I did remember to swipe the stick on my stubbly pits. My hair was straight five minutes ago, but now it’s frizzy and in a ponytail. AGAIN.
This isn’t a work out.
It’s me getting my baby out of the house. ON TIME.
I carry the car seat, with baby in it – to the door. My 18-month old (who isn’t walking yet) – says she has to go potty. I roll my eyes, huff and puff and shuffle her to the bathroom. She is potty training after all – it wouldn’t be fair for me to say to her - pee in your gawd damn diaper, we’re gonna be late!
The baby is getting fussy.
Fuck, did I pack that weird crinkly, colorful cloth chewy toy she likes?
“Alright, out we go!”
Ohhhh heeeellll NOOOooooo.
Yup – blowout city.
I throw my hands up and curse everything holy.
For real? Is this for real my life?
I briefly consider leaving my baby completely and utterly covered in her own baby shit.
“Everybody back to the bedroom!”
I change my newborn’s diaper and change her clothes.
Back in the car seat she goes.
Now, let’s really go to that doctor’s appointment.
We arrive. On time.
I can’t say that I arrived everywhere on time in the early days of motherhood. But, I never stopped having respect for other people’s times and schedules. I made every single effort to arrive on time. And I mostly, did arrive on time.
Sometimes I had to build in an extra 30 minutes into my perceived prep time (meaning missing 30 extra minutes of precious sleep time.) I sometimes had to skip blow drying my hair. I sometimes had to skip a meal.
Kids don’t equal an automatic excuse.
Let me repeat, your kids are NOT an automatic excuse to be late.
It’s not fair to be late just because you have a kid. It’s not fair to be double late – because you have two kids. Because….nothing. It’s not okay to be late or tardy to any party. It’s tacky. It’s rude. It’s selfish and inconsiderate.
Furthermore, you ‘missin’ the boat mamas’ - blaming your piss-poor punctuality on a baby or kids just adds insult to injury. The only person to blame – is you. Own it.
I can condone a little lateness here and there. Occasional eleventh-hour arrivals are acceptable. Sometimes shit happens that you truly have no control over. Unexpected obstacles do happen. But they don’t happen, every damn time we have plans.
Being late, is not better than never. You can take your lateness – and please never ask me to hang out.
I know being a mom is hard. Duh. I know getting out of the door can feel like an Olympic Sport. Duh. Just stop being a delaying dick. Your lateness makes my life a whole lot harder. I now have to stand on my head and juggle pineapples for my kids while you’re “busy” being late.
Perpetual lateness is a direct result of perpetual poor planning. Let’s be real – most punctuality problems – are indeed, preventable.
Maybe if you did the following – you would stop being late.
1. Have some empathy – cuz it’s not all about you. It’s proven that narcissistic people are habitually late.
2. Get a reliable watch- and think about setting it five or 50 minutes fast. Or like, 2 hours fast. Oh, fuck it, fast forward a day.
3. Don’t try to fit ‘one more thing’ in before you leave to meet me. Regardless of what you think – or what you’ve convinced yourself to think – you don’t have the time. It ain’t gonna happen – you’re going to be late.
So next time a mom is 30 minutes late to meet me out for lunch with the kids – I’m leaving. I don’t have an appetite for your late, lame lines. And I damn sure, don’t have the time.
Fess up time!! Are you always a late mama? Do you think I'm an OCD, rude fuggen' bitch who needs to remove the stick from my ass? Is being ON TIME too much to ask?!
Share in the comments section below.
Share in the comments section below.
Monday, November 16, 2015
I keep thinking, I'm a bad mom if I leave for Paris. If I leave, I am purposely putting myself in chaos. In unrest. I am selfishly thinking of this trip I've dreamt about, and not of my children.
What if Paris isn't the same anymore? What if the atrocities have changed the allure? The city must be so profoundly sad.
My flight leaves soon for Europe. I have to figure out if I'm getting on it.
The world is still reeling from the terrorist attacks on Friday, November 13th. Which was also my birthday. I learned of the attacks as I was sipping my first celebratory drink.
Soon, I'm supposed to be in Paris, sipping champagne, climbing the Eiffel Tower (which is currently closed indefinitely) and eating croissants. I'm supposed to be celebrating another year of life, in the City of Light. I'm supposed to be traveling to other parts of Europe - checking off destinations on my ever-growing bucket list.
How do I leave my children and go to a place where hundreds of innocent people were injured and killed? How do I leave the peace of my home and family to go to a place where tensions are high? And fears run deep?
I've had a love affair with Paris for quite some time. I've always wanted to go with my husband in the Fall or winter. Ahhh, to sip delicious coffee in a quaint cafe, outside in the crisp weather. The croissants. The baguettes! My husband has never really wanted to go with me to Paris. He's been three times. He's over it. He wants to see new places. I don't blame him.
So this solo trip to Paris was for moi. It was to explore my love affair with la Ville Lumière. It was a trip to satiate my thirst for Parisian life. Oui, indeed.
Oscar Wilde famously said, "When good Americans die, they go to Paris." That sounds lovely. But, I'm not ready to die yet.
However, given the randomness of the Paris attacks, I keep thinking - couldn't I die anywhere? I could leave my children motherless at any moment.
Alas, I have to ponder Paris a bit more. Do I let terrorism keep me in fear (which is what they want), or do I keep exploring, keep traveling and keep teaching my kids that there is nothing, absolutely nothing like the global experience.
Travel makes you fall in love with places, cultures and people. Travel makes you empathetic and tolerant. Isn't that what the world desperately needs more of?
Monday, November 9, 2015
My two young daughters love telling random people when daddy is away for work. The Target cashier, the librarian, parents at the park, the WHOLE. DAMN. WORLD.
This is how they say it: “Daddy’s on vacation…..I mean business trip! Hahahahahahaa!!!”
And I’m like, “BAAAAAAHHHAAAAhhahaaaaa!!!”
Clearly, I’m amused by this Freudian slip. But I’m also a little freaked.
Announcing an absent father (to the world) is risky – because of you know, psycho, stalker killers out there waiting to prey on my un-manned house.
Note to self: don’t post “Hubby is away on business!!! Woo HOO!!” on Facebook. Or Twitter.
Forgive me if I’m paranoid – that’s life with a traveling husband. Quick side note for you creepy fuckers that may read this: I have sensors and alarms strung and stuck on every door, every window, every crevice. You’d be caught in half a second. There is an array of alarms at the ready. It’ll sound like DEFCON FIVE up in this house if you try to mess with me or my kids.
I got weapons. I got self-defense moves. You don’t want none of this suckas – beeeeliiievvveee that.
Eeeek, sorry if I sound on edge a bit. It’s just, you know, you can’t be too prepared when your significant other says “Sayanara!” for weeks on end.
To some, I may sound OCD. Neurotic. Anxiety-ridden. I wish I took meds. I should probably talk to someone.
I DO sleep with my home security alarm remote next to me on my nightstand. I know the exact position of the panic button and its degree relation to my fingertips. Thirty degrees.
My car panic remote is next to that. Thirty degrees. North.
I DO check the stove multiple times before I go to bed – barking at it, “Off off off off.”
Confessions of a crazy person, mmkaaayyy. I get it.
Besides the panic-induced neurosis, I’ve narrowed down 21 thoughts moms with traveling spouses have while their mister is MIA.
1. He eats dinner at fancy restaurants. And sips nice adult cocktails while discussing politics, social issues, economics, art – anything a grown-up would talk about. I’m eating Cheerios, or whatever scraps are left on my kid’s plate after dinner, discussing the latest episode of Doc McStuffins.
2. He’s visiting cool places. Experiencing different cities, terrains and cultures. I’m going to Chuck E. mutha-effin’ Cheese. Again. If he sends me a selfie in front of a cool tourist attraction, I’m gonna get stabby.
3. Hubby sleeps uninterrupted in a hotel on plush pillows. I hardly sleep. I’m wedged in between two “scared” human beings who have “nightmares” fifty million times a night. Ohhh, they also do 360s in bed. So a limb in my stomach and a kick to the head is completely normal.
4. That fucker is so cheating on me. Probably not. But, he totally could.
5. Parks on the weekend are torture. Happy families are everywhere. Note to self: avoid parks like the plague.
6. Place one pair of hubby’s shoes at the front door and one pair at the back. To, you know, deter intruders.
7. Is the alarm system working properly? Are the fire alarms working? I should test those.
8. What kiddie activity can I find that will take up the most time? Art class will take up 1 hour. Ooooooo ooo – a playdate with that family down the street – that’s like 3 hours. I can’t stand so-and-so’s kids, but desperate times, you know, call for shamelessly desperate measures.
9. New batteries for vibrator must be stocked at all times.
10. I’m surrounded by little human beings all day long, but I feel lonely.
11. Hubby, don’t dial my number. You sound calm, cool and collected. I sound crazy. The kids sound crazy. I’ll resent you. Don’t call.
12. I need a break from bedtime stories. A hiatus to hell sounds fun at this point.
13. Walk slowly down the stairs – don’t fall. If I fall, my kids got no one.
14. Must teach kids how to dial 9-1-1 on iPhone.
15. Chew carefully. Must not choke while solely responsible for my kids.
16. This is NOTHING like being a single mom. I still have access to a joint bank account. I still have hope for some type of break from these children in the near future.
Spoiled, suburban, middle and upper class moms got the wrong message about single motherhood.
Shit is haaaarrrrddd... Not for like a little while. It's hard for like EVER.
If you have a traveling husband repeat after me muthas - I shall never compare myself to a single mother. We clear?
17. Simmer down on the booze. Can’t get sloshed when you’re the solo parent. OK, two glasses of wine, that’s it.
18. Is marijuana considered medicinal for mothers? It should be.
19. I’m definitely not cooking dinner. Frozen pizzas, fast food and Kraft Mac & Cheese are great culinary creations. So is a bowl of Cheerios.
20. I hope I get a kickass souvenir. Or, like, a day off from this whole parenting thing when hubby gets back.
21. When’s your next trip? You’ve been home for two days. No, seriously, when’s your flight? I can drop you off at the airport.
Adjusting to life with a traveling husband IS hard. It’s lonely. It’s draining. Seriously, if it wasn’t hard, there wouldn’t be support groups for it.
Do you have a traveling spouse? What's the hardest part for you? Or do you love it? (Seriously, I love it - wouldn't have it any other way).
Share in the comments section below.
A version of this article originally appeared on Scary Mommy in June 2015.
Monday, November 2, 2015
The granite countertops glisten. The blueberry muffins are freshly baked, and sitting on a pristine pastel, mint green cake platter.
I check my breath by blowing hot, steamy air from the back of my throat into my hands.
I take a deep whiff.
Gross. Just so gross - coffee breath all the way.
I got three minutes - lemme go upstairs, do a little brush, and check to make sure the kids didn't leave toothpaste "bugs" in the sink. You know - the toothpaste globs that kids leave behind, that get caked to the sink because apparently getting the toothpaste in their mouths is too difficult. Furthermore, cleaning up their caked on globs of organic, schmorganic toothpaste is even harder.
I swish with mouthwash, spit it out and make my way back downstairs. I do a final look at myself in the foyer mirror. I hope I don't get caught checking myself out. I'd be better off busying myself with my phone while I wait.
Two minutes go by and ding-dong. She's here. The young woman I am interviewing to babysit my children one day. One day.....
The last time someone other than a family member watched my children - was 4 years ago.
My youngest was 5-months old, I was visiting my hometown for the holidays and I was desperate to get away from my daughter's piercing, needy screams for a night of drunken debauchery with my old homies. She was a colicky baby, and I needed a cocktail (or ten) to block out the hideousness that was my life at the time.
Nothing bad happened. I was just miserable all night. I was running on fumes of sleep. Couple that with cocktails. And the leave-my-baby-jitters. It was an unenjoyable evening at best.
I don't let people watch my kids.
I barely tolerate family and close friends babysitting my kids.
And it comes down to one reason.
All consuming, fear. In fact, it's probably a phobia! A paranoia at this point!
I'm afraid one of my kids will choke, and the person watching them won't know CPR. Or will be too freaked out to react at all.
I'm afraid there will be a fire, and if my kids are under the care of someone else - in someone else's home - they won't know the fire escape plan. They won't know how to operate the windows there. Because of course -all windows are different. I only taught them how to open our windows.
I'm afraid they'll fall - and hit their heads on hard floors or concrete. And down stairs.
I'm terrified my oldest will have an asthma attack, and I won't be there to administer her the medication. Even though she's 5-years old, and knows how to administer it herself.
I'm scared one of them will break out in hives from a random, first-time allergic reaction.
The "what-ifs" that swirl through my head make me sick to my stomach. And so - I never pull the childcare trigger.
My husband begs me for date nights.
It's with great pride that I announce we've had two "day dates" in the past two years.
Ugh, sad state of affairs. I know. I know! But, yet I can't help it.
Sure, would I like to go on a date with my husband? Or go out with my friends when my husband is out of town? Yes and yes. But, at what price? How fun is being childfree, when you're freaking out about childcare?
I don't give a damn that I've missed cocktails because I didn't have anyone to watch my kids.
I give no fucks about the fun adult birthdays I've had to miss.
I don't give a shit that I've missed another shindig.
It never seems worth it to me to find a babysitter, interview them and then actually use them because of this overwhelming anxiety I have about leaving my kids in someone else's care.
Not to mention the disgusting, visceral reactions that precede before said "nights out."
How worth it is date night if I spend 30 minutes in and out of the john with anxiety-induced diarrhea before the big date? I'm supposed to feel sexy and date-worthy - after that?
My childcare trepidation - always means I chicken out. I turn down invitations left and right.
As I sit across from this friendly, inviting face - I wonder, can I trust her? Will she be more alert watching my kids that I am? Will she know to never answer the door? How does she handle herself in emergency situations? Will she invite boys over like I did when I was a teenage babysitter? Will she be on her phone the whole time? Will she remember to turn off the gas stove when she's done cooking the kid's mac-n-cheese for dinner? I need to know. I need to know she will not only follow my detailed lists of DO's and DON'Ts - but that she'll be diligent, and react with common sense and urgency when needed. I want her to remember that she was a small child once. What did she like about her parents? What did she not like? How would she like to be cared for? Most importantly, can you play Barbies for two hours straight?
HIRED. Here we goooo......
Anyone else afflicted with parenthood paranoia? Anxiety over your children being in someone else's care?
Anyone else afflicted with parenthood paranoia? Anxiety over your children being in someone else's care?
Monday, October 26, 2015
When my 5-year old white daughter picked out a Tiana costume at our local consignment store, I had a strong urge to jump up and down and yell –right on little girl! I knew I raised you right!
We held the dress up to her frame – perfect fit. We picked out a rhinestone tiara, just like Tiana’s and grabbed some white gloves.
Then my daughter asked, “What should I do with my hair mommy? Tiana’s hair is brown. My hair is not.”
My daughter has dishwater blonde hair. We have several princess wigs at home – Ariel, Merida – but no Tiana.
“We could look up on the computer to see if there is a Tiana wig. Or we could use hair spray paint. “
“Noooo… wigs itch me. Maybe I just keep my own hair – but you put it up like Tiana’s.”
At this point - I was praying she didn’t ask me to paint her face to match Tiana’s. Cuz, then I’d have to explain blackface to a 5-year old. I’m totally comfortable doing it. I just wasn’t feelin’ that convo in the middle of a kiddie consignment store with like a bazillion eyes on me.
Cuz it woulda went like this – painting your skin black isn’t cool. Ever. Don’t do it. Don’t talk about doin’ it. Shit ain’t cool little girl.
Thankfully she didn’t ask.
We grabbed our bags, and went home. My daughter burst through the front door and bragged to her dad.
“Look daddy! Mommy bought me the Tiana costume! And she got me these fancy gloves!”
She was beaming. I was beaming. My husband was beaming. We exchanged a knowing glance that said, Yeah, boooooyyyyyeeeeee, we got this whole parenting thing on lock.
There might’ve been an air fist pump. Or, I could’ve totally imagined that part.
Social justice and discrimination in all forms – race, gender, religious, etc. are all issues I care deeply about. Being fair, open-minded and educated about these issues is paramount to me and my husband. It’s even more pinnacle for me to teach my kids about these issues and any possible implicit biases that may exist. I want to shape my daughters into diverse, tolerant and empathetic human beings.
But, why was I soooooo happy that my white daughter wanted to be a black princess for Halloween?
I couldn’t figure out why. I thought maybe, I like that she’s colorblind?
But that couldn’t be it – we don’t teach our kids to be colorblind.
We’re more of a notice people’s differences and celebrate it kinda family.
So I called my black girlfriends.
Please don’t assume that I’m a typical white woman treating my black girlfriends like opinion jukeboxes on racial issues – you know – put a coin in them and expect them to spit out opinions on a dime…
I called my brown girlfriends and my white girlfriends too.
I asked my tribe. My whole crew.
“Do you think it’s weird that I’m happy she picked out a Tiana costume? Like, would your mom have been happy if you picked out a white princess costume when you were a little girl?”
“Were you annoyed that there were, and still are, less black baby dolls on the market, and fewer black Barbie dolls?”
“Seriously, South Pacific and Middle Eastern girls and women are very under-represented – where are the Barbies in sari’s at Toys R Us?”
“Did you have black Barbies or baby dolls when you were a kid? Or did you only stick to white dolls because they looked like you?”
The responses I received varied widely given each woman’s ethnic background and childhood geographical location.
But one response really stuck. When I asked my friend why I was so happy about my white girl pickin’ out the black girl princess costume – she said, “Is it possible you’re just happy she picked out something that is different? That her choice goes against the conventional choice for a little white girl?”
And it was like BOOM.
She’s right. I wasn’t happy that my daughter was picking out a costume that was created to look like Disney’s sole black princess. The color of the princess’s skin didn’t matter. I was happy my daughter didn’t go for the typical choice.
I would’ve been thrilled if my daughter picked out a Superman costume or a Ninja Turtle getup. I’d be elated if my daughter wanted to be Hillary Clinton or Serena Williams for Halloween. Just anything but the (gag) beloved Cinderella costume. Or like, slutty school girl (with plaid skirt – seriously I saw a costume like that for kids), or hooker-looking Police Woman.
I don’t get down with those skanky kiddie Halloween costumes – shit is gross. Ya hurd me?
Getting into a costume, is about getting into character. I don’t know if my daughter likes how Tiana looks, or likes who she is in the movie. Or maybe my daughter wants Prince Naveen to be her boyfriend? Wait, maybe I want Prince Naveen to be my boyfriend? It’s a toss up between him and Prince Eric for me.
Ahem, anyway - I don’t know why my daughter wants to be Tiana, or why she thinks it’s okay to be Tiana. I’m just happy she thinks it’s okay to be Tiana, period. Because it totally is.
And now, I must ponder my own Halloween costume. I want to be Beyonce’. I think I’ll call my black girlfriends about that. And my brown and white girlfriends. And, for real, I think I’ll call my personal trainer if I’m gonna pull this one off. Wait, I don’t have one.
A version of this post originally appeared in Mamapedia.
Monday, October 19, 2015
Skimping on the parent tip actually makes you suck less as a parent. It makes you suck less as a human being even. Your kids want you to skimp sometimes.
Here are 14 Situations Where You Are TOTALLY Allowed to Skimp
(And I'm gonna give you some times where you are NOT allowed to skimp)
1.While drinking wine or herbal tea. Really- it's whatever your cup of tea. As long as you're unwinding and doing it alone. Let the kids watch TV or play ipads while you enjoy a glass of wine or a cup of herbal tea. I recommend the wine though. One hour of “screen time” isn’t gonna kill your kids. In fact, after a full day at school or daycare - I bet your kids wouldn't mind zoning out a bit either.
2. Fast-Approaching Work Deadlines. It’s okay to plop your kids in front of the television or hand them ipads when you’re on deadline for work. If something comes up at work, it’s okay to ignore your kids for a bit. I would also like to say in the same breath – don’t make it a habit. If deadlines and "random", "urgent" work assignments keep coming up – look for a pattern – and look for a solution.
For example, if you have a boss that seems to always schedule a conference call at 5:30PM (even though you get out of work at 5PM), I’d think about arranging a structured activity for your children on that particular day/time. Another option – hiring a stand-in babysitter or Mommy's Helper.
Someone who can handle all parental duties, make dinner, play with your children – all while you’re locked away in your home office handling after-hours work demands.
Or, you could just ask your boss to stop scheduling said meetings.
3. If you’re going through a move – definitely okay to skimp on parenting. Let me be clear – during the physical act of moving. But, when it comes to the emotional stuff after the big move – you betta be on point parents. Change is HARD.
4. If a loved one is sick, and you’re the caretaker. Effe your kids. They can take a back seat. But, if the caretaking becomes more permanent, than temporary, I’d again, consider arranging a structured, consistent activity for your children.
5. To have sex or masturbate. Let the kids watch TV while you get in a quickie.
6. When you don't have time to cook. Or grocery shop. Let the kids eat fast food when you’ve had zero time to grocery shop, it’s too hot to cook, or you just don’t friggin’ feel like cooking. A bowl of Cheerios for dinner also suffices as appropriate sustenance. Four bowls later – it’s a four-course meal.
7. If you are sick. Give no fucks. None. And if you even try to give fucks while laid up with illness – you are also sick in the head. You can put two doctor’s appointments on your calendar.
8. If you’re hosting an adult dinner party with friends or family. Chances are there are enough people around to give those kids attention. Probably way more attention than they want. If your children tire and bore of the social situation – send them upstairs with some ipads and dessert.
9. If you’re involved in volunteer work. In this case – try to get your kids involved. It’s okay to treat your unpaid work, the same as your paid work. It’s admirable. So if there is a volunteer work deadline looming – treat it the same as a professional, career deadline.
10. Book Club. Words, women, wine. That’s sacred stuff there. Skimp away.
11. For exercise. Healthy body, healthy mind – happy parent. Send them to a gym daycare, or let Dora babysit them while you do downward facing dog.
12. For travel. Skimp, and send them to Grandma’s house for a long weekend. Same goes for a much-needed spa day or any spa services.
13. To Do a Quick Scroll Through Facebook. Whhaaa???! OMG, like you haven't. Pah-lease. Sometimes, it's the only form of news I get all day.
14. When family is around. They're watching your kids. Someone is watching your kids. Wait. Where's my kid? Guys, seriously, who's got Ella? Where's Matthew? Fuck, I say this at every family get together!
It’s NOT okay to skimp on parenting in the following situations….
1. To do drugs or anything illegal. Also, related, if you’re taking the drinking thing a little too far every single night – then you’re officially not skimping as a parent – you’re sucking.
2. For jewelry parties, Tupperware parties, or sex toy parties. Those parties suck to begin with. No one wants to go to them – so no, you do not get a free pass for skimping.
3. To go comfort your best friend who has fought with, and broken up with her boyfriend….AGAIN. Not worth it. She can get over that shit herself. For like the gazzilionth time.
4. When you need to clean your house. Either, use chores and cleaning as teachable moments with your kids - or get a housekeeper.
5. Same goes for yard work. No skimping there – make those suckas sweat! Or hire someone to do it for you all.
6. To watch sports. I say this, especially to men. Because at least one major sporting event is on EVERY weekend – sorry. You can’t claim sports solitude every weekend. No skimping allowed. Same goes for you mamas addicted to reality TV or Scandal. I fucking love Scandal too ladies. But,TiVo or Netflix works – for when the children are asleep.
Please note - tt’s always important to skimp when you feel like you’re about to lose your shit. When your sanity is at stake. Preferably, you should skimp a bit before you get to Bonkersville. So you do indeed, keep some small shred of sanity. You never know what could happen, you might need it.
If you give 100%, 100% of the time, you are setting yourself up for failure. You will burn out. You will get a direct flight to Bonkersville. You’ll scare the crap out of your kids. Your kids will expect that level of commitment every single day. Don’t let your tank go on “E.” Keep some of that energy, for yourself or the random chaos that life throws at you.
So parents, for the love of gawd- skimp. Skimp some here. Some there. Just don't skimp a lot - because then - you'll suck.
How do you skimp?
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