Which is to say, yes. Yesterday, we were just moms.
Happy Day After Mother's Day, mamas! We were going to do a post about all the super-mean shit our kids say (Can I have a different mommy? I liked your hair better before you cut it. I don't like smelling your farts. I will never love you. Et cetera ad nauseam) as a reminder of why we deserve a special day. Then we were going to write a post about our Mother's Day wishes for all of you (it would have been most empowering). Then...well...
We decided to just be moms and take the day off to enjoy our children! Because WE deserve it! Except that... one of us was doing a wine tour with an old friend, one of us was hosting a huge family dinner, one of us was comforting our own mother during her mother's funeral, and one of us was dragging a thrashing, biting, scratching child from a party.
Which is to say, yes. Yesterday, we were just moms.
My first-time mama sister: We had to do a round of shots today, which Baby handled pretty well. (Mommy and Daddy did their best.)
Second sister, in support: Awwwww!!!! The shots are always so hard....for ME! Haha. My heart just BREAKS.
My mother, mama of four, grandmother of six, and former pediatric nurse: Oh, I always hated shots days! The only good thing (besides protecting them from life-threatening illnesses!) is the extra cuddle time.
Me, aka MOTY: I always kind of liked it that they slept all day and I got a break.
"Why TF is it that women have a plethora of birth control options where men have like two? In one calendar year, a woman can get pregnant at the MOST two times. A man can impregnate a woman 365+ times in a year. Yet we are the ones tasked with preventing pregnancy? I'm on a coffee roll against the patriarchy, ladies."
Redecorating your kids' rooms? Instead of spending an exorbitant amount of money on oh-so-adorable area rugs that the darling rascals are going to color, spill, and possibly even pee or poop on, save your tragically limited time and money by buying the bathmat version! Seriously, the price difference alone is shocking:
Amirite?? Now, take a look at what that extra $$$ will get you in care instructions:
Ain't no MOTY got time for that! Go with the bath mat and no wasting time delicately spot cleaning (or, if you are super meticulous, color checking before using a cleaner) and no wasting mommy-time money on professional carpet cleaning. Just throw these babies in the wash and move on. Plus, they honestly look good!
NOTE: This hack works better for smaller spaces, but remember, kids don’t know the difference and will think you are extra awesome for getting more than one!
Open Reply to Suzanne Hayes in Regard to Why I Will Definitely Not Stop Calling my Child “Kid,” Thanks
Dear Ms. Hayes,
Your latest post for POPSUGAR caught my eye. Not because it hit on some hot button parenting issue that's close to my heart, but because the topic just seemed so absurd. Surely, I thought, there must be more to this than meets the eye. So, I clicked. I read. And I marveled that A. someone published this and B. you really do seem this bent out of shape over the fact that moms are referring to their kids as… kids.
Yep. Apparently this quick informal noun isolates my child, positions him as nuisance or a brat (um, have you met my kids?), and detracts from the hundreds of hours I invested in selecting just the right name (which, incidentally, I never expected to be compensated for by a set number of times the chosen name was spoken).
My kid is a special flower, damn it, and his intricately researched name shall be used!
OK, OK, let’s just take a giant step back and reenter the MOTY world for a hot second. We use “kid” a lot in our space (e.g. “My kid is being an asshole today” or “My kid peed on his sister’s face this morning.”) And it’s not just, as you flippantly suggest, because those three li’l letters are easy to type. “Kid” is actually a nuanced usage common to the discourse community of relaxed, non-helicopter, free-range-leaning parents. It’s part of our lexicon, and it bears a certain welcome edginess that, when tossed around by a leggings-wearing, disposable-coffee-toting mama, cues me into the fact that, hey, this lady is perhaps just a little bit brash and whole lot awesome.
“Kid” says, sure, maybe this mama tries her darnedest to feed her kids organic kale smoothies peed out by Gaia herself every day while they all craft alliterative haikus around the breakfast table… but she’s not above Dunkin' Donuts and cartoons.
"I'm really proud of myself. I've been waking up at 5 a.m. every day to do yoga even though I'm still nursing. I feel like that takes real discipline. I also feel like I deserve to be skinny for doing this."
My li’l guy just had his world rocked by Influenza B and croup at the same time. Kid was sick AF. He missed school Monday through Wednesday (on the croup diagnosis) and returned to school Thursday (sorry, other kids and teacher, we had no idea he had flu!), only to get in trouble for throwing food, then have his fever spike later in the day, and then do nothing for three additional days but watch Horrid Henry (apt, yes, he is both called Henry and, at times, quite horrid) and fight us on taking his $180 Tamiflu prescription (story for another day.)
The good news is he is recovering beautifully! The hilarious news is that during that one, feverish Thursday when he braved the academic rigors of kindergarten, he completed this graded assignment:
As you can see, he scored pretty low in terms of staying on topic, topic being the rainbow-focused science experiment they completed as a class. Please see his actual answer below:
I like eyeballs.
When I asked why he wrote that when he was supposed to write about the rainbow experiment, he answered, “Because I do. And I was so bored of talking about rainbows.”
I looked at his face, still a bit wan, lips still dry and cracked. I imagined him, hot and sick last week, pencil in clammy hands, hair falling over his glassy eyes. I imagined him tasked with writing that one utterly mind-numbing sentence. And I felt… oddly proud. Proud that he made it through the day, that he reached his limit and recognized it for what it was. Proud that he spoke his weird little truth. Proud that he used proper capitalization. Proud that he’s mine. Our kids, mamas. We can't always protect them. We don't always take care of them as best we can. But, I'll be damned, if as a MOTY, I don't recognized and honor the sentiment of I can't even.
A couple of weeks ago, a viral video of a toddler screaming for the duration of an eight-hour flight from Germany to New York reopened the conversation and ignited support from those in favor of the growing movement to create kid-free zones on airplanes. First things first:
Still… something about this kid-free zone concept doesn’t sit right with me.
I’m a lipstick junkie. How else can a sleep-deprived mama look fabulous in under 30 seconds?
Lipstick. It’s your savior, mamas. I have preached this before.
My homegirl (check out her running blog) inspired me to try “Wet n Wild® megaslicks Balm Stain” and I am fucking blown away.
It’s super easy to apply. It goes on like a moisturizing lipstick and then... it magically fades into a subtle lip stain. I’m obsessed! The colors are rich and varied. It’s literally as moisturizing as chapstick. And then, the pretty stain lasts much longer than expected.
And it’s ONLY $2.99!! I bought one in EVERY COLOR.
The only downside? After using mostly natural, vegan lipsticks, I can’t help but wonder if it’s loaded with toxins. But... so are my kids' fruit snacks and the un-organic cheese I’m buying, and god knows I’m eating plenty of that. So, I’ll take my chances. Because this shit is bomb.
Disclaimer: If this beauty tip doesn't work for you, too bad! A true MOTY hardly has time to perfect her own look, let alone worry about yours.
Let me start by saying that I love the Reading Fair. In fact, I adore it and everything it stands for. This former English major turned MFA student turned failing memoirist/adjunct composition instructor and now copy director at a small ad agency is just thrilled by the way it inspires kids to read. To read! To eschew YouTube tutorials and Musical.ly drivel and crawl inside the dogeared pages of actual chapter books? Yeah... pure wizardry. And the Reading Fair doesn’t just inspire kids to read but also to think critically about story structures and to create utterly unique visualizations of their budding analyses out of the very materials that elementary school magic is made of – trifold poster boards, construction paper and rubber cement.
You see, Fifth Grade Reading Fair Powers That Be, it is my deep affection for the Reading Fair and all its didactic glory that made me feel so betrayed when the assignment guidelines for your fine event came home in my daughter’s backpack, and I read your closing line on the instruction sheet:
Remember to google Reading Fair Projects for more ideas on how to present your book.
(Insert the deflated balloon whistle of my sinking heart.)
My first reaction was outrage: Why are we telling 10-year-olds to look online for creative inspiration when their very own brains hold the kind of artistic wonder and freedom we as adults can only dream of rediscovering? Why, when our eager, curious, hardworking children reach a point in their captivating ideation process are we dismissing them with a simple, “Google that shit?”
We love our kids. They drive us crazy. We write about it instead of going insane.