I don’t understand this constant effort to polarize moms against each other. There are the working moms vs. the stay at home moms. The good moms vs the bad moms. And the helicopter moms vs. the free range moms. The moms who cried during the Parenthood series finale and the ones who didn’t (okay, maybe no one is talking about that.)
The problem with this effort to put moms in boxes and pit them against each other is that most moms don’t fit easily into any of these categories and we also don’t have much interest in attacking each other. Or at least I don’t.
I know moms who work outside the home. I know ones who don’t. But a lot of mothers I know do some combination of both. Some moms make Pinterest worthy organic gourmet cupcakes for playdates and some put out a bag of pretzels for the kids. The way I see it – both are fantastic options because my kid is at your house having fun. So I’m just grateful you invited her over.
And then the helicopter moms vs. the free range moms. Which are you? Probably neither – right? Do I need to watch my children every second of their existence? No. Would I let them take a Greyhound bus alone to Atlantic City? Unlikely. Like you – I’m somewhere in between.
I know my children’s capabilities. I know what they are comfortable doing. I know what I’m comfortable letting them do. Parenthood is a process of letting go, giving my children more and more freedom until they are ready to tackle this crazy world on their own – with the hopes of them someday finding me an assisted living facility with a sushi bar and a wine happy hour.
Silently judge a mom and I promise – you’ll probably end up in her shoes one day. I remember when my first daughter was a toddler. I watched a mom literally use her own hat as a tissue to blow her kid’s nose. I mean, OMG gross. Throw a packet of tissues in your diaper bag! Stop in a bathroom and grab some toilet paper!
But don’t use your hat to wipe your kid’s nose.
Yeah, well… fast forward and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had my kids’ snot on my own clothing. Because who the hell remembers to keep tissues in their diaper bag? In fact, I haven’t even seen that diaper bag for weeks. We are all doing the best we can here.
Instead of judging another mom – maybe learn a little something from her. The mom with the fantastic shoes at the playground probably knows where to find the most comfortable wedges ever. I bet the mom who bakes those gourmet cupcakes knows a super fast recipe that anyone could handle. And the mom who has 5 children probably knows a great way to get kids of all ages doing chores. I swear, I do.
We need to have compassion and respect for other people’s choices. I’m not a good mom and you aren’t a bad mom. We are moms who are doing what we can to raise thoughtful, amazing children who will make this world into a more creative, beautiful place.
Back when I was single, Valentine’s Day was a very big deal. If I wasn’t dating someone, I tried to just plow through the day and hope for the love of cupid my mother didn’t send me a gigantic arrangement of carnations to the office with a note reading, “I love you!! Love, Mom.”
If I was dating someone, I prayed with the intensity of a thousand suns that my significant other would send two dozen roses to my workplace. Obviously there is no point in getting flowers at home since you really aren’t trying to impress Larry the doorman.
No, the roses must come to your office where all your co-workers can cast their eyes on the glorious vibrant bouquet and think to themselves, “Wow. That is one lucky girl!”
Since those days, I have celebrated many Valentine’s days with my husband Rick.
He has given me chocolate. He has given me roses. He has even given me a very sexy velour hoodie footie…
But I don’t need any of these things.
For Valentine’s Day, I only need one true act of love. That is – I need my husband to get the electrician over to our house and fix the dim lightening in our master bathroom so it STOPS HUMMING.
When we first got the dimmer installed, it hummed on the lowest setting. It drove me nuts.
It took months to get the electrician back because we kept forgetting to call and when we did call, he kept forgetting to come.
He finally showed up and installed a new light dimmer. Which conveniently HUMS ALL THE TIME no matter what the setting.
Of course it’s totally unimportant in the scheme of things but totally maddening in the daily life of living. So my dear husband, track down that electrician and get the lightening fixed and I will be yours forever.
And if you are looking for the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for your significant other, don’t buy him or her these…
(Yes, those are tandem mittens so couples can hold hands while keeping warm. I don’t know who that couple is but boy, they really seem to like their mittens!)
Instead this Valentine’s Day, get the love of your life something he or she will cherish forever. Maybe get that broken faucet fixed in the downstairs bathroom. Hang the pictures that are still sitting in the hall. Go buy those speciality bulbs for one of the bedrooms and change the light bulbs. Remember to actual record TV shows in HD, instead of SD. Whatever is driving your spouse crazy… fix it, change it and improve the quality of their life.
Because that is what love is all about.
I’m sure you’ve been wondering what I’ve been doing while recovering from surgery. Mostly 4 things….
1. Trying to untwist one of those double layered tops from the cult store Justice. If you don’t have tween girls – let me explain. They sell these tops that are really 2 shirts but sewn together at the shoulder. So after you wash and dry it, the 2 tops are twisted together like a Rubik’s cube. It’s maddening…
2. I’ve also been trying to trademark “This Sick Beat” before Taylor Swift. But she beat me to it. She even trademarked another one of her lyrics, “Party like it’s 1989!” which really sucks because that was my new life motto and I just had it tattooed over my belly button.
3. I also started an epic letter writing campaign to prevent Ray Romano from marrying Sarah on the series finale of “Parenthood.” While everyone was stocking up on tissues for the final show of this at times depressing but very well done drama, I was trying to urgently prevent the inevitable joining of Hank and Sarah in matrimony.
The couple has zero on screen chemistry and they should just let her marry Adam Braverman who plays her brother but is actually her boyfriend in real life. A sibling marriage would really shake things up in the final episode.
Anyway, the finale just aired and obviously my letter writing campaign was a bust. Mostly because the only people who wrote letters were me and some sibling marriage advocate out in Duluth.
But the finale was very sweet and well done. And of course sad. Mostly sad because of Drew’s little mustache but other stuff too. But I really liked the FNL Jason Street cameo in one of the last scenes. If only they had worked in Coach Taylor too.
4. Finally, I also wrote a few articles on Lifetime Moms like why parents really dread making school lunches…
And why there is no point moving to France now because you won’t be allowed to name your kid Nutella…
I hope these cheer you up from your “Parenthood” is over blues.
I’ve been doing this playdate thing for 10 years. I’ve been at playdates where the kids never even glanced at each other, never mind actually played.
I’ve sat at a playdate with a German nanny who spoke no English while I stared at my phone which had no reception for an hour and a half.
I once hosted a playdate where upon conclusion our 7 year old guest declared it “the most boring playdate ever.”
I’ve dropped off, picked up, hosted and cleaned up many many times but what I’ve rarely done is ask about guns.
Because I don’t know. It feels awkward. “Hey thanks for having my kid over! Oh do you have any firearms in your home not stored properly?”
Plus the mom usually seems so nice and normal and has a cute haircut. How could she have a gun lying around?
So how are we not asking this question?! How am I not asking this question?
We have to start talking about gun safety with other parents. Even if they are nice and have cute haircuts.
And it doesn’t actually have to be awkward. According to GunSafe Mom, have a private (not in front of the kids) conversation with the other parent hours before the playdate. This is not a conversation to have at the door as you are dropping your kid off.
And the conversation can go something like this…
“Start off friendly. “Hey, Angela! Sophie is really excited about the playdate. Anything I can send with her?” Break the ice, then preface other safety issues, like whether or not your child has food allergies or if she’s scared of dogs. Then say, ‘This may sound odd, but it’s a safety issue — do you guys have any guns in your home?’ (Courtesy of The Stir)
See that’s not so bad. Especially because it could save your kid’s life.
And this isn’t an issue of whether you believe in owning guns or not. It doesn’t really matter. It’s about making sure all of our children are safe.
That way when our kids head off to a playdate, they can wonder about things like…
Will my friend’s mom give me access to the delicious trifecta combo of Nutella, Marshmallow Fluff and M & M’s that my own mother has denied me for so long?
Will we be allowed to watch endless amounts of TV until our eyeballs fall out?
Will we get to draw superheroes on the wall of the playroom like my friend absolutely promised?
We parents will worry about the other stuff.
A couple weeks ago, I told my kids that I was having surgery. (I’ve had an abdominal hernia for a long time). Of course, my kids were very concerned about my well being but masked it really well by saying things like, “WE ARE SO EXCITED ABOUT YOUR SURGERY! DADDY WILL BE HOME ALL WEEK!!”
And of course everyone else I told was convinced I was having a boob job because apparently in Florida “surgery” is code for “boob job.” So now I feel like I have to buy some push up bras so South Florida residents won’t be disappointed. Or maybe a t-shirt that says, “Same Old Boobs That Nursed 5 Kids, Better Stomach!”
At first I was panicked about the surgery. As soon as the surgeon came in, I asked the two most important questions you can ask any doctor… 1. Are you sober? 2. Have you ever done this procedure before? After that, it’s game on!
I had to spend one night in the hospital and one of the nurses came in to ask me if I was related to that CBS 4 guy on the news. “I am!” I exclaimed. “I’m married to that CBS4 guy!!” She was thrilled which I figured could only mean good news for my nursing care.
Now that I’m on the other side of the surgery, I’m panicked with how much TV I’ll have to watch. Like this morning I saw this segment on “Today” with beauty tips from Naomi Campbell. This was her actual advice…
1. Drink warm water with lime juice
2. Drink green vegetable juices for breakfast
3. Do yoga/ pilotes
4. Eat everything in moderation
5. Use moisturizer
6. Keep your style simple
I mean, what? Did she come up with these in the green room 5 minutes before the interview? 30 years of modeling and one of her beauty secrets is “use moisturizer?”
And by the way, I could drink a bathtub of warm water and lime juice, and I’m not going to look anything like that 44 year old super model.
See why TV is not making me feel better?
Since I’m really not great at sitting still and doing nothing while in pain (is anyone?) – please tell me your fave TV show or movie. I would love something funny and light. I just watched the most recent “Parenthood” episode and they are trying to depress us so much we won’t even care it’s going off the air.
By the way, that CBS4 news guy (along with my mom) have been rock stars taking care of me.