2014-THANKSgiving

5 Ways Saturday Mornings Are Never The Same After Kids

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I remember with great fondness jumping out of bed and racing downstairs for a bowl of Golden Grahams and Saturday morning cartoons; the wonderful days of Captain Caveman and Fraggle Rock. Hours would slip by unnoticed while I made every attempt in the world get the right balance of milk to cereal ratio and would eventually give up once I ran out of cereal. Or milk.

Fast forward a whole lot of years and you will find me scurrying around the house in a foggy haze of tattered bathrobe and one lost slipper while chasing a toddler and yelling across the house to the preschooler all while waiting (impatiently) for my ancient coffee maker to hurry the hell up.

The universe may as well have left me a note that read: Welcome to Saturday morning as a parent, asshole. Which got me thinking about these five ways in which Saturday mornings after kids will never be the same again…

1. You can’t eat an entire box plus half a gallon of milk all by yourself. At least, not without being judged. Also, in the event that you try to accomplish such a heavenly feat of Saturday morning bliss, your children will nag the shit out of you to try some too. Goodbye, Count Chocula.

2. There is no Hanna-Barbera on regular TV anymore. Gone are the days of crazy cartoons where characters were not overly sexed up or cliquey and snarky and rude. Or maybe they were and I recall them through glossy romanticized memories. But seriously, Wilma Flintstone did not have double D’s and giant alien eyes.

3. Camping out on the couch for several hours in a row would NEVER happen in my house now. No matter how much I wish for it, it will never be. Why? Because I have kids who never stop moving, are always asking me for stuff, and a house that constantly requires cleaning.

4. By the time the last awesome cartoon ended I would fly out of the house, grab my Huffy and ride around until I found other kids to play with. Sometimes we would form a bike gang of a dozen sugared up tikes. Can you imagine a Huffy bike gang of middle-aged moms?

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5. Last but not least, good old Doctor Denton’s Footed Pajamas. Sigh…I had every color. They were soft and warm on the outside and kind of scratchy but still cozy on the inside. I basically lived in those damn things until I nearly 12 and by then they were decidedly NOT cool anymore. So then I wore Punky Brewster tee shirts with my Rainbow Bright pajama pants. But now that I have grown up, I wear – you guessed it – yoga pants and old university tees.

This is the part where I am supposed to leave you with an uplifting paragraph about how I wouldn’t have it any other way. Because, kids (swoon). Guess again. If I could wave my imaginary wizard wand I would sleep in until noon and get to eat ALL THE CEREAL BY MYSELF. I would get hot coffee. I would Netflix Captain Caveman or Saved By The Bell. My kids would be super duper well behaved. And finally, I would get to wear footed pajamas with my dignity intact.

Related post: 13 Ways Working Out is Different After Having Kids

MZ Wallace Francis Tote ($435) Giveaway

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I’ve spent a great deal of my adult life searching for the perfect handbag.

One that can hold everything I schlepp around with me (and that’s A LOT,) but still look cute. One that has a place for everything, so I don’t spend 30 minutes searching for my phone or my chapstick. One that can hide that secret piece of gum that I never know when I’m going to need, and one that stays clean looking, despite the dirty fingerprints belonging to my offspring.

I stopped my search once I discovered MZ Wallace bags.

Screen Shot 2014-10-25 at 5.14.33 AMMZ Wallace bags are what every mother needs in her life.
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Meet my favorite MZ Wallace piece, the Francis bag. The Francis has ten – TEN! – exterior pockets and six interior pockets, giving you a place for just about anything you need a place for. It’s water and stain resistant, with magnet Italian leather trim and protective leather feet. Best of all? It looks gorgeous.

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The Francis is priced at $435, which is the only negative about it. But! I’m giving one away for one lucky reader…

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Stop Asking Me if I’m Going to Try For a Girl

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brothers-reading-together Image via Shutterstock

I have two sons. Two happy, healthy, bright, beautiful sons. And nearly every day someone asks me if I’m going to try for a girl. It is such a rude, wrong, offensive, presumptuous and mean question. So, stop it.

Seriously, when did this become a thing? When did people decide they could just ask strangers if they were satisfied with their children? When my second son was three weeks old, we took him and my older son to a restaurant. Looking at my blue-clad newborn, the first thing the server said to us was, “So, you’re going to try for the girl next?” Three weeks old. I still looked pregnant and the server asked when I was going to try for another baby. Not just any other baby, though: a girl.

The truth is that yeah, I did want a girl. I mean, I really wanted a girl. I even wrote an article about it. And every time someone asks me if I’m “going for the girl,” it’s another gut punch reminding me that I don’t have a girl. That I won’t be able to braid my daughter’s hair, teach her about feminist icons or help pick out her wedding dress (if and when she chose to get married). Every day or two I get to smile cheerfully, shake my head and mourn the daughter I always thought I would have. So, thanks for that, strangers.

You know what else is awesome? When my son hears this crap. Nearly five, what must he think when someone asks me if I’m going to try for a girl? That he’s not good enough because he’s not a girl? I always respond by saying how wonderful my boys are, but at what point will he start to internalize the message that babies are only worth having if they’re girls?

I’m luckier than most to have two children. During my older son’s emergency c-section, I discovered that I have a uterine anomaly — I only have half of a functional uterus; in fact, the entire left side of my reproductive system is nonfunctional. I was lucky to get pregnant twice, even more so to carry to term twice. Even when I’m having a really hard time with them, I try to remain cognizant that my children truly are something of a miracle; often, my anomaly can render women infertile. So do I want to try for a girl? I don’t even know if I could get pregnant again even if I wanted a third child.

But what if I did want a third child and couldn’t get pregnant? I didn’t have to explore fertility options prior to my pregnancies, but what about the women who did? What about women who have had miscarriages or abortions? Do they want to be reminded about the babies they never had? And worse, what about women who have lost a child? I can’t even imagine how devastating it would be fielding these comments day and day out, had I lost a little girl.

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Lastly, my reproductive choices are no one’s business. I’m a pretty open person. After all, I write personal essays about my life and share them on the internet. You can’t get much more open than that. But even I don’t want to talk about my reproductive choices with a stranger. I don’t want to have to laugh off something that is a real, serious, and sensitive issue. I don’t want to justify my sons’ gender or my choice to not have a third child.

So, the next time you see a parent at the playground, find something innocuous to ask about. Do not ask parents of boys if they want a girl. Do not ask parents of girls if they want a boy. Do not ask parents of one child when they’re going to have another. Do not ask parents of multiple children why they have so many. There’s no reason for it. It’s none of your business. And you have no idea what the family has gone through, child-wise.

So stop it.

Related post: 10 Things Never to Say to a Mom Expecting Another Boy

this piece first ran on bluntmoms.com

10 Reasons Parents No Longer Enjoy The Bar Scene

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crowded-night-club Image via Shutterstock

A night out is just not the same as it was before having kids. Of course going out, getting a break from the kids, and hanging out with good friends is a nice reprieve, but coffee shops and spas are more your speed these days. Why doesn’t the bar scene work for parents? Here are ten reasons…

1. It’s just too late. It’s all about brunching and day drinking now, none of this out ’til early morning crap. Nothing good happens after midnight anyways, right?! You have waffles and bacon to get to in the morning… and you want to be well rested.

2. It’s expensive. The next morning you’re scared to look at your bank account. It’s not that you’re spending your life savings to go have some vodka-waters or anything, but it’s that you’re literally drinking your money away and that makes your stomach hurt. Preschool and birthday parties are putting a big enough dent in your wallet these days.

3. The Crowds. Being packed like a sardine in a hot club is no longer your idea of fun. You can’t understand how people actually enjoy this. But, then again, you handle those Disney World crowds with a Mickey shaped ice cream cone in your hand like nobody’s business.

4. The music is too loud. You don’t even like loud music in the car anymore, why would you go somewhere with blaring music so loud that you are unable to talk to the people you’re there to see? Ludicrous. You didn’t leave your kids at home and drive all the way here to get a migraine.

5. You wonder where all the seating is. You just want to sit down and not have to chase around a toddler for 20 minutes. That’s why you got a babysitter, right?

6. You only want to go to places that serve food. This is your time to eat something (with both hands) that you didn’t have to cook. You think you make way better drinks at home than the bartender anyways, so just bring out the food already. That’s what you really want.

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7. You no longer care that other people are out having “fun”. You use to go out all the time because everyone else was and you didn’t want to miss out on the fun. Now you could absolutely care less and you know you’re having more fun at home playing with dolls or trucks than the people out spending their rent money on cheap booze.

8. Your hangover feels more like a deadly virus. THE.WORST.

9. You’re absolutely horrified when you walk into the dirty bathrooms. You think your bathrooms at home are dirty, until you walk into a bar bathroom. Bathtub toys and kid’s underwear are much better than whatever that is in the corner over there. You don’t remember these things bothering you before…have the bathrooms changed? Or have you changed? I’m guessing the latter.

10. You have your phone glued to your hand. Not to take pictures of the awesomeness that surrounds you, but because you’re worried you’ll miss a call from the babysitter.

What you really enjoy (most days) is being with your kids, and when you’re not with them, you better be sipping a mimosa somewhere getting a massage. Am I right?

Related post: 5 Ways Date Night Changes With Kids