Preschool Changed My Life

Think this might sound overly dramatic?  It’s not.  Immediately after dropping my son off on his first day, changes began to happen.  While some have been more dramatic than others, largely it’s been a hugely positive experience.
1. (Truly, I think the biggest deal).  Did you know there were shows for adults on TV during the day?!?  I seem to remember something vaguely about The Today Show from before my kids joined this world, but the memory is hazy, so I’m not really sure.  In any case, there are actually programs on air during daytime hours that do not involve dancing rodents or singing pirates.  I know.  I KNOW.  I’ll wait for a minute while you wrap your head around this one…
2.  Good now?  Okay, so then we picked my son up and made it back home.  I was sitting there, watching my kids eat lunch and my daughter happily sucking on her sippy cup.  All of the sudden I was filled with an overwhelming sense of “Screw this”.  I got up, marched out to the kitchen and threw away all of the baby bottles and pacifiers.  For approximately 30 seconds until the plastic kid bowls magically shifted themselves over to the newly available realty, I had a small corner of space in my kitchen cupboards.  I think the magnitiude of acing out the first day of school kind of just had a ripple effect with inspiring other significant life changes.
3.  My son told me at preschool that he jumped off a blue mushroom.  It is possible that he was talking about some play structure at the preschool’s playground.  It is also possible that my 3 yr. old is now on drugs.
Crap.  Is he on hallucinogens already?!
4.  I have been able to successfully make it out the door before 9am, with both myself and my children fully dressed.  (Okay, fine, so one day I forgot my daughter’s shoes, but I carry her anyway, so this doesn’t count, right?)
5.  I yanked the single stroller from its dusty storage and gave it a whirl.  Bad news for those amazingly buff arm muscles I’m pretty sure are hiding within, but I decided to just go crazy and celebrate having only one child in my care and give the double stroller the blow-off.
6.  I can pee with the door closed and not have to nervously kegel-stop every two seconds in fear that someone is hitting someone else over the head with a toy.
7.  My math skills will vastly improve.  For the past 13 months, it had solidly been Mommy +2.  Now there will be a lot more counting to keep track.  Now that someone else has responsibility for my son 5 hrs./wk., +1 is now an option.  Mommy has got to be on her game to keep track.
8.  If I find myself running out of things to obsess over, I can now solely devote my mental space to creative brainstorming for fulfilling my duty of bringing a wholesome snack for the preschool class while avoiding the bevy of bizarre food allergies.  Would it be too weird to take in empty bowls and tell the children to enjoy imaginary snacks of their choosing?  Very little risk of hives that way, I would think…
9.  I can grocery shop without that dastardly beast of a car cart.
I’ve got this, I’ve so got this

10.  I’ve got a new clock to beat.  If working overtime to meet calorie, exercise, and blog stat goals weren’t enough, I can push myself to new heights by trying to get there on top for drop-off AND pick-up.  Maybe even a minute early?  Hold onto your seats, my friends, because this Mom of the Year really is going to bring it.
In short, this is all very good news.  God bless preschool, the amazing life-changing force that it is.
This was originally published on The Mom of the Year.
More About Meredith: Meredith blogs at The Mom of the Year, dedicatedly earning her title one epic parenting fail at a time.  When her kids aren't busy pummeling each other with legos or requiring their 16th sippy cup refill of the day, she tries to offer quick, relatable laughs for fellow parents of the world and all their empathizers.  She remains entirely terrified by crafts, promises to never share any useful household tips, and is fully committed to a less serious look at the world of parenting.

Lost in Translation

There is one aspect of running a 24/7 daycare being outnumbered by small children I have yet to discuss here.
I have named this phenomenon and even created a little picture to fully illustrate what happens.
Lost In Translation
kids flowchart
Our trip to Target today provided a perfect example:
(Walking through toy aisles to pick out their bribe for not fighting the entire trip a small treat.)
Child 1 (2 y/o): Look, look it’s Areo!
Me: Oh from The Little Mermaid, that’s Ari…
Child 2 (4 y/o): That’s not Areo that’s Ariolo.
Me: No, her name is A...
Child 3 (4 y/o and perceived expert on the subject): Boys, her name is Areola.
Child 1 & 2 nodding approvingly: Can we get Areola, please, please mom? We love Areola!
Child 3: Yes, we want Areola, Mom.
Me: Guys, we are not getting…
Child 2: Look Toy Story toys!
Exit aisle left. I follow red faced but relieved my children only shouted “areola” three times.
Now moving on to everyone asking for a Woody.
Who comes up with these Disney names anyway?
woody costume
What have kids done to embarrass you lately?
This was originally published on Four Plus an Angel.

Bed Rest is Exactly Like Groundhog Day

Bed Rest, Day 8
Baby’s Gestational Age: 28 weeks, 3 days
Reading: Steve Jobs biography
Watching: Arrested Development, Season 1; The Big C, Season 1

This qualifies as sunshine.
Somewhere between 7:30 and 8am: Knock, knock. A nurse comes in to take my blood pressure, pulse and temperature, scanning my bracelet like a bag of sugar at the grocery store. She gets me a new pitcher of water and reminds me to drink a lot of fluids.
“Ride” bed back to sitting position, get up and go to the bathroom (remind self to never take standing up and walking for granted again). Get back in bed.
Knock, knock. Nurse’s aid enters and asks me how I’m doing today. Offers to bring me things. Tells me to let her know when I wanna shower so she can change the bed linens while I do. Calls me honey or darling or sweetie.
Knock, knock. Nurse comes in to give me a little cup of colorful pills — antibiotics, prenatal vitamins, stool softeners. Where are the happy pills? I deserve some happy pills. Scans me like box of Twinkies and leaves.
Knock, knock. Breakfast arrives. TGICoffee. Turn on Today Show to find out what’s going on in the world outside my little box.

Scan me like a bag of donut holes
Knock. Knock. Someone comes in to sanitize the room.
La la la, la la la, la la la la la la la. Lullaby plays over the intercom while new father wheels his newborn from delivery to the nursery for the first time.
Knock, knock. Nurse comes in and squeezes goop on my belly. Cold goop. Attaches fetal heart monitor. Must stay put for the next hour while they get a reading. Nurse leaves. Immediately need to pee.
Knock, knock. A doctor enters and asks me a few quick questions, listens to my heartbeat, is either grumpy and short, or smiles a bit and is short. Says something like, “Keep on doing what you’re doing,” and leaves. Total time in room: anywhere from two minutes to three minutes. Mental note: start asking unnecessary questions just to get money’s worth.
Ohhh. I have to pee.
TV off. Open Steve Jobs biography. Read one sentence.
Knock, knock. Someone comes in to take my breakfast tray.
Try to focus on Steve Jobs again.
Need to pee. Need to pee.
Phone rings and someone from the cafeteria asks me what I want for lunch. Sigh. Something not from the cafeteria. That’s what I want.
Steve Jobs. Pee. Steve Jobs. Pee pee. Steve Jobs. Pee pee. Pee pee.

My decorated hospital room door. Not really familiar with what's outside of it.
Knock, knock. Nurse comes in to take fetal heart monitor off.
Run to bathroom before she can even wipe goop off belly. Pee with abandon.
Back to bed. Back to reclining. Unnnnggggnnnnggggggnnnnggggg, groans the bed.
Knock, knock. Nurse’s aid brings towels, starts shower for me. Standing up for a few minutes under hot running water is like a gift from heaven. It’s like a chocolate lava cupcake still warm from the oven. With a glass of cold milk. There will be a day when I take showers for granted again. It won’t be today.
11:00am: The View comes on. The only daytime show I like.
Knock, knock. Someone enters whose main two purposes seem to be collecting my garbage and talking to me about The View while I try to watch The View. I am too nice to ask said person to be quiet. Wonder why the person who sanitized the room didn’t just take the garbage with her. Seems like that would solve a lot of problems.
Between 12:00 and 1:00: A cheerful person brings my lunch tray in, places it on my tray table, and says, “Have a nice day.” Leaves. I look at the food and sigh. Try not to think about the fact that there are more than six entrees out there, in the world.
La la la, la la la, la la la la la la la. Another baby hits the halls.
Put ipad away. Try magazine instead. Learn that Blake Lively looks better in red Dolce and Gabbana dress than Demi Moore. Who is Blake Lively? Eh, who cares? What really matters is who does Demi Moore’s work? It’s good work. Very good. I want it.
Knock, knock. Nurse comes in to take my blood pressure, pulse and temperature, scans me like a gallon of milk.
Turn page of magazine, eager to find out how celebs are “just like us.”
Knock, knock. Person enters to take my lunch tray away.
Knock, knock. Nurse comes in to give me a little cup of nonfun pills. Where are the happy pills? I want some happy pills. Scans me like a zucchini and leaves.
Bed up. Walk to bathroom. Wash hands. Take 22 steps total. Back in bed.
La la la, la la la, la la la la la la la. Man, people are shooting out the babies up in here.
Things get quiet. Pull out laptop and try to connect with the world. Not metaphysically. Mostly Facebook-ly. And email-ly. Write. Read. Maybe watch an episode of The C Word. It’s good for the perspective.
Sigh. Shift. Push buttons to move bed up and down. Shift some more. Think about ass spreading. Sigh noisily. Think beyond today. Start to panic a little. Use mental toughness to push it aside. Say to self, “No matter how bad you have it, someone always has it worse.” Would say to self, “At least the baby is okay” but no need. Someone else says it to me at least twenty times per day.
Ride bed back up from reclining to sitting position. Slip on flops and go to the bathroom again. Wonder how standing and walking to the bathroom can start to seem like a chore — what was that I said about not taking standing and walking for granted? Twenty-two steps. Back in bed.
Sun starts to set. Look out at multi-dimensional roof view. Feel lonely. And sad. Think about the next day, the next week, the next month. Panic. Push it aside. Remember hubs and son are coming to visit soon. And I’ve almost made it through another day. Small goals.

Putting the bed in bed rest.
Between 6:00 and 7:00: Knock, knock. Dinner tray comes in. I look at food and sigh. Or rather, do a combination sigh/raspberry thing with my lips, kinda like “Pbpbttpbbpbbthhhhh.”
Wonder why hospital tray tables are not standard items people have by their beds at home. They really should be. Handy things, these. Put everything right at your fingertips so you don’t have to get up off your lazy ass at all. Hmmm. Maybe not such a good idea outside of hospitals.
Knock, knock. Nurse comes in to give me a little cup of o’ pills. Couldn’t we mix this up a little? Get me some happy pills. Pleeeaase? Scans me like a Lean Cuisine and leaves.
La la la, la la la, la la la la la la la. Overpopulation might be a real issue.
Gabe and Asher arrive. Asher opens hospital room door, beams and says, “MOMMY! We here!” Best part of my day.
Knock, knock. Nurse comes in to take my blood pressure, pulse and temperature, scans me like a deli chicken. Hooks me back up to the fetal heart monitor for the next hour. Leaves. Oops. Need to pee.
Asher hands me a drawing of a turtle for my room, puts his hand on my tummy and yells, “Hello, baby brother!” through my belly button, goes potty and pushes up a chair to the sink to wash his hands. Uses way too much soap. Splashes water all over the floor. Asks for the ipad. Says he needs to potty again within five minutes just so he can wash his hands again. Too much soap. Splashes water. Puts paper plates all over the room and serves “pancakes” made with pretend eggs, orange juice, strawberries and bananas. Yells over Gabe and I whenever we try to talk to each other.
I need to pee.
Gabe gets in the bed with me, avoiding the cords. Tells me about his day. I tell him I need to pee. Asher gets too wound up, gets loud. We say, “Shhhh, babies are trying to sleep.”
Time for them to go.
Asher climbs aboard my “space ship” to ride it to the moon. Unnngggghhhhhggggnnn. Unnggghhhnnnnnnggggnnnn. He bends me like a pipe cleaner. Maybe not so good for the baby. But it’s only once a day. Unnggghhhnnnnnnnhhgggnnnnnn. Together we count, “5-4-3-2-1, BLASTOFF.”
They leave, blowing kisses in the doorway and saying, “I love you. See you tomorrow.”
I smile. The door closes. I sigh. I feel sad for a minute. Then I realize I’ve more or less made it through another day. And The Bachelor is waiting for me, rose in hand. Or American Idol with a golden ticket. Or Glee with a slushy in the face. Because whether I wanted to last week or not — this week, I’m sure as hell gonna watch it all.
I watch TV.
I turn my white noise machine as loud as it’ll go. I hug my big-ass body pillow. I turn the lights out. Which you can also do from your bed. Eventually I go to sleep.
At least twice in the middle of the night, a nurse opens my door about a foot, letting the light from the hallway flood in, and just kind of looks at me from the doorway, presumably to see if I’m still alive. I shield my eyes, thereby proving said aliveness. She closes the door and leaves.
And, I’m awake.
Couldn’t I just buzz the desk a couple of times when I get up to pee instead? “Uh, yeah. I’m alive. Just so you know.”
La la la, la la la, la la la la la la la. An unpredictable number of times during the night. Hear it while half asleep. Dream I had twins, triples, quadruplets. Dream I am a baby again. Dream I am not in the hospital.
Between 7:30 and 8am: Knock, knock. A nurse comes in to take my blood pressure, pulse and temperature. Scans me like a bag of Cheetos.
I am in the hospital.
For at least one more day.
Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
You get it. Groundhog Day.
This was originally published on Toulouse and Tonic.
More About Toulouse: Toulouse is a SAHM of two stinky boys who works hard to increase her mothering skills by stalking other mothers on Facebook, tweeting funny bon mots on Twitter, pinning hilarious sayings about drinking wine onto her Pinterest page, and exercising her family’s sense of humor by writing about them on her blog, Toulouse & Tonic.
While her methods are unorthodox, she is succeeding at making her kids hate her one post at a time.

When the Child is the Teacher

I have been thinking a lot lately what my life was like before I had children.

More than just my life, who I was and who I’ve become since.

Before I had children I thought of only myself, I wasn’t completely selfish I have always cared of others feelings. I was very impatient, hot headed, insecure, It was hard for me not hold a grudge against someone who hurt me. Lack of imagination and curiosity.

So since I’ve had children, I’ve learned so many things about myself. And both of my children have taught me something different.

My 8 year old daughter reminded me what it felt like to be a little girl again.

She taught me how to use my imagination, she brought out the little girl giggle that I haven’t heard in years. I learned that I can sit on the floor and play Barbie’s for an extended period of time. Through her eyes I see more than just the “weeds” I see flowers, everywhere I look I spot a flower. How to brush her hair with minimal shrieking. I enjoy chasing a butterflies, and fire flies. When the sunsets on the day I see the most beautiful colors, I see the excitement in her eyes while she gazes into the sky and wonders why it looks so pretty. I feel a love between a mother and daughter when I give her a good night kiss.

My almost 3 year old son is teaching me what it’s like to be a boy. He taught me that bugs are fascinating creatures not as disgusting as I thought. Except for cock roaches, I will always hurt myself or someone else to escape from one of those suckers. I learned that some kids like to cuddle and others not so much. He’s a cuddler and I never thought of myself as a cuddler. Come to find out I really do enjoy it. He taught me that boys can be just as sensitive as girls. I now know how to hunt bears in the backyard and how to cast a fishing pole. I’ve learned that it doesn’t matter what age a boy or man is they always have their hand down their pants.

From both of them, I learned how to love uncondionally, that my heart is big enough for both of them. I’ve learned how different every child is. And just how beautiful and innocent they are when they sleep.

This was originally published on Bad Word Mama.

More About Bad Word Mama: Bad Word Mama, is the Mom who says it like it is. She is the mother of the loudest family ever.  She is never alone.. NEVER. She says she hears voices in her head, but she can't tell what they are saying because her kids never shut up. 

10 Ways I've Changed Since I Became a Mom

A few weeks ago, when my mom was visiting from the Middle East, she gave me a couple of magazines she’d picked up during her travels, one of which was a parenting magazine. It was a cheapy local magazine she thought I might like, and since I haven’t read a magazine in . . . forever . . . it felt like heaven to flip through it.

Even if half of it was in Arabic.

One of the English articles really grabbed my attention. It was one of those double spreads where random women revealed the ways in which motherhood has changed them. The answers were pretty standard (“It’s taught me what’s important in life”, “It’s brought me closer to my husband”, blah, blah, barf, blah), so I didn’t really get anything out of it.

With the exception of one thing: a blog post idea!

Now, I’m sure I’m not the first blogger to put together a list like this, and I sure as hell won’t be the last, but I’m doing it anyway.

So here you go.

10 Ways I’ve Changed Since I Became a Mom:

1. I wait until my split ends are at least an inch long before heading to the hair salon.

2. I go to the gym at the ungodly hour of 5:30 am just to get some time to myself.

3. My boobs are smaller than they were in grade 7.

4. I’ve ditched my expensive shampoos, conditioners, & straightening balms for my husband’s Head and Shoulders shampoo. And I don’t even have dandruff.

5. I’ve become one of those annoying women who feels cold all the time.

6. My eyebrows are thicker because “pluck eyebrows” is no longer a priority.

7. I often catch myself feeling jealous of moms who drive minivans.

8. I’ve cooked all but 5 of the meals I’ve eaten in the last 2 years myself.

9. I spend at least 90% of my day in my pajamas.

10. The first thing I think of when I wake up in the morning is: “Do-do-do-do Dora! Do-do-do Dora! Do-do-do Dora! Do-do-do Dora!”

How have YOU changed since you became a parent?

This was originally published on Cloudy, With a Chance of Wine.

More About Dani:Dani Ryan is a corporate slave turned stay-at-home-mom who has a knack for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. She tries to find the humor in motherhood on her blog, Cloudy, With a Chance of Wine, and is a proud contributing author to the hilarious book, I Just Want to Pee Alone. You can find her on Twitter and Facebook.

This Post is About My Period

I thought I'd start off with a warning right there in the title, in case you're easily offended by things like menstruation or the fact that I put a cartoonish maxi pad (With wings!) in today's graphic. But actually, this post isn't about my period; it's about my not-period.

Now that you've made it past the warning, I want you to know that I'm not saying my period is currently late. Maybe it is. But I'm not saying that.

Nextly I'll explain that, usually, my head is filled with a constant stream of things I need to do, my task list on an endless loop. It's as if my brain's convinced I'll forget something crucial if I stop thinking about Every Damn Thing for even one fraction of a second.

So basically, living inside my head is like working in retail, where you have to listen to the same 15 irritating songs over and over every day all day long against your will, until it's almost 20 years later and you still can't hear Mariah Carey's "Always Be My Baby" without remembering the kajillion teensy off-the-shoulder crop tops you folded in the Juniors department of LS Ayres in 1995.
Or something.
I suppose I could try just doing the stuff on my list to clear my head, because then I wouldn't have a to-do list to think about, right?


Let's face it, nobody ever really does all the stuff on their to-do lists. Besides, I'm super busy doing other important stuff, like coming up with complex analogies that somehow combine pop divas with defunct department stores. It's not as easy as I make it look, I assure you. So, as it stands, there's only one thing that'll derail my usual train of thought. One thing that will take my mind off the never-ending list of things I need to do, drive away all other thoughts, one thing that focuses all my concentration on a different topic.

And that thing is a late period.

Whether it's late by one day or ten, I'll obsess to the exclusion of all other things until I've convinced myself there's a 99% chance I'm almost definitely pregnant. Then, five minutes later, I'll be equally sure I'm not. Here's a sampling of what it sounds like in my head:

Was that a cramp? It felt like it might be a cramp. Maybe it was implantation! Am I just bloated, or am I showing already? I'll go ahead and Google "early pregnancy symptoms," even though I already have them all memorized. Nausea? Maybe. Breast tenderness? Only always. Mood swings? YES. NO. I mean, YES! Why do pregnancy and PMS symptoms have to be exactly the same? God, I'm tired. Was I this tired last week? I wish I could tell if this a normal amount of tired, or more like an I'm Growing A Person amount of tired. Wait - was that it? Did it start? Are my pants ruined yet? I should just take a test - buying a $12 piece of plastic and peeing on it seems to be pretty much the quickest way to get your period to start. If it doesn't start, where exactly are we going to put a SIXTH KID? I mean where would we. If we were preggo. Which we're not. Probably. God, I'm hungry. I certainly feel like I'm eating for two. Or maybe I'm just eating for one. One giant woman who's trying to gain 15 pounds in mini Reese's cups. Ugh, everything's driving me crazy. Except for coffee. Coffee good. Hey wait, if coffee still tastes good, I can't be pregnant! I'm pretty sure that's a law or something. Better Google it. Whoa, getting a little dizzy when I stand up, there. Does that mean anything? Owwww, my back. Could I be in back labor already? No, it's probably cramps. Was that a cramp?

And so on. A new endless loop - hooray! I'll enjoy the change of pace until my uterus decides I should get back to fretting over my to-do list. After all, although I obsess like this on an almost bi-monthly basis, there have only been three times in my life (so far) it was actually followed by more teensy junior-sized clothes for me to fold.

This was originally published on Hollow Tree Ventures.

More About Robyn: Robyn Welling is a freelance writer and humorist at Hollow Tree Ventures, where she isn't afraid to embarrass herself — and frequently does. She loves sarcasm, sleep, beer, other bottled items, long walks on the beach, and her husband. Oh, and her kids are pretty great, too. Her goals include becoming independently wealthy, followed by world domination and getting her children to clean their rooms. Until then, she'll just fold laundry and write about the shortcuts she takes on her journey to becoming a somewhat passable human being; if history is any guide, she'll miss the mark entirely. Join her on Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest, where she hides when her family makes ridiculous demands for things like dinner or a game of Monopoly.

Pushing the Gosh Ham Limits

My son Jacob is eleven. He started middle school this year. Not long ago, friends with older boys warned me this would be the year of hormone fluctuation, anxiety resulting from big changes at school and boundary-pushing. I have wise friends. Over the past six months he has refused to get his hair cut, his grades have dropped to the basement a few times and boundary-pushing is in full-swing.

There have been times when his bursts of independence have resulted in grounding, like the time I found out he was getting a D in Science stemming from three missing assignments. When I asked why he hadn’t completed them he performed an exaggerated shoulder-shrug and said, “I guess I just wasn’t feelin’ it.” BUZZER! Wrong answer, mister man.

Since he’s my firstborn, I’m often left wondering, “Well, how the hell do I handle these shenanigans?” I usually call my mother. Then go with my gut. Then call my mother again. Not knowing how tight to pull the apron strings is a constant internal struggle for me.

Then there are times when his offbeat humor catches me completely off-guard and I’m left wondering whether I should laugh or say, “Jacob that’s inappropriate.” I have a fairly juvenile sense of humor so even though I feel it’s my duty. . . *snicker*. . . I said doody. . . sorry.

So even though I feel it’s my du–responsibility to react in the proper parental way, sometimes my child just cracks me up and I lose all resolve.

Yesterday is a prime example. This is an actual conversation from the drive home from school:

Who can say "no" to a ham?

Jacob: “Well, Ham-it. I forgot my gosh ham homework.”

Me: “What is this with the ham? What are we doing here?” *swirly hand motions*

Jacob: “I’m cussing but with meat. It’s meat humor.”

Me: “I feel like this should be outlawed but I’m not sure.”

Jacob: “Let me know when you make up your ham mind.”


For the record, I compromised.

I told him he could HAM it up all the way home but then he had to knock it the HAM off and watch his HAM mouth.

I couldn’t resist.

Dear Sweet Baby Jesus in your warm footy pajamas, I’m trying, really I am.
This originally appeared on Dani Stone.

More About Dani:

I’m a wife and mama from the great flat state of Kansas. I’ve been married to my Dougie for 14 + years and we have two adorable and precocious children. I’d rather have a steamy mug of coffee than the most expensive glass of wine and I have a sugar wafer addiction I really must get control of.

I’m a published author, freelance writer and editor, juggling assignments like a circus performer in sparkly red shoes.
I’m proud to be founder of VOGM, created after my daughter, Katie, battled and won a rare brain disorder, Vein of Galen Malformation.

When I’m not writing for work or world peace, I’m embarrassing my family by sharing our personal lives here – Dani

I Get You

I have a friend I met when we both belonged to a local moms group. One of the first group activities my kids and I participated in was a play date at her house. My friend has a cat, and Lily, who was probably just over a year old, was found playing in the litter box. We determined that she hadn't eaten anything (litter or otherwise), and after washing her hands REALLY good, I released her to continue playing while I sipped my coffee, chatted with the other mothers, and kept a better eye on my kid. I was grossed out, but what was I gonna do? Enjoy my coffee and grown-up conversation, that's what.

My friend has since told me that seeing my reaction to that situation was when she knew she liked me. That we could be friends. I also have vivid memories of situations when I knew a fellow mom was like me. Situations where I remember thinking, "I get you," or "You do it the way I do it."

If you are the mom who picked a knife up off of my kitchen counter, looked at the bits on the edge of the knife saying, "This looks like it was used for food," and proceeded to cut your kid's hot dog with it: I get you.

If you are the mom who convinced me it wasn't completely disgusting to dig Lily's brand new tiara out of a public toilet, wash it off, and give it back to her to wear: I respect your parenting.

If you are the mom who told me years ago that the kids live in your house, not the other way around, and your main living area will not be overrun by kids' stuff: I'm still looking to you as an example.

This is how I like a  play date to look.
If you are the mom of two girls who says letting your children dress themselves "builds character and sense of self": Thank you for helping free me from that particular battle.

If you are the mom who meets me and the kids for a day at the beach, and we both bring beer without even discussing it: I'm so glad we are East Coast transplants together. Sisterhood!

If you are the mom who said "I love the update on your kids. You need to blog this shit though.": Thank you for encouraging me to take that leap. My first Crock Pot giveaway will be rigged in your favor.

If you are a mom who likes to laugh at her kids: Make sure you share the funny with the rest of us so we can laugh, too.

If you are a mom who understands that a light-hearted approach to parenting doesn't diminish the fierce love we have for and desire to protect our kids: Keep it up. Important jobs can be fun, too.

If you are a mom who takes time for yourself; to exercise, enjoy hobbies, and go out with friends: Good for you. It makes you a happier wife and mother.

We all parent differently, but there are some situations that cut through all of the bullshit and tell me we are more alike than anything. I live for those moments.

This was originally published on Funny is Family.

More About Amy: Amy and her husband made two kids, a three year old girl and a five year old boy. She doesn't consider herself a housewife, as she owns no pearls, and only one apron. She likes to read stuff and write stuff, and does both as often as possible. She doesn't like to clean stuff, and does that as little as possible. Amy is an expert in nothing but laughing at the absurdity of parenting, which she does at

Double Tea Cups

Relationships between a mother and daughter are complicated. My daughter Camille, aka "The Kraken" and I have been on the outs lately. Actually we've been on the outs since her birth. As a newborn she was colicky and clingy. She's what the discipline books would call a "high-need" child. She's what I would call "bat-shit crazy." I like to think I run a tight ship around here and everyone is usually on board the SS Bossy Mom, except Camille. There is always some pushback from The Kraken. It's a daily battle of wills and I refuse to back down to a 5 year old. She is whiny, spoiled and prone to tantrums.

Back on the Prowl and Putting on the Moves

Uncertain glances. Hesitant smiles. Some perfunctory small talk as you feel each other out.
The end goal? A real first date.
Playdate, that is.
It is with some nostalgia, and yes, some nerves, but I am throwing my hat back in the ring. It’s time I got back out there and into the world of mommy dating.
I am actually a seasoned mommy-dater. It took a while, way back when Anne was little, to find the right match.
I frequented the popular singles-bars of mommy dating (playgrounds and libraries), looking for the right connection. After some promising sparks I had a bunch of completely miserable first dates.
But in the end, I did connect with not just one person, but a fabulous group of mom friends. Score!
Our kids were young. We were sleep deprived. And we were all looking for the same thing: real, cool, normal moms to hang out with.
Oh, how I adore these ladies. We vent about our kids, tell our life stories, and have a grand old time together. We get together with kids and without kids. These are real, true, stick-together friends.
But now our kids are older and we all have different schedules. No one’s around on the two mornings a week that Grace is home with me. We still get together, but less often with the kids and more on our own.
I know that two mornings a week with nothing planned will get more than a little boring in the long winter months. Having a friend or two to get together with would be nice.
So I guess it’s official: Grace and I have flipped our social status to “looking for a new relationship.”
But this time, I’m finding the world of mommy dating is even more complex.
The first time around, my kids were young enough that they weren’t choosy about their playmates. It was really about the mom-to-mom connection.
But now? Grace is three. She’s got a personality. And so do I. Which means we’ve moved on to double dating. If it doesn’t work for both of us, it’s just not gonna happen.
And the other shocker: I have been around such real, normal moms for so long – both in real life and online – that I forgot how many moms are still so UNREAL with each other.
And I think – no, I know – that when I’m doing the small-talk thing with these kinds of moms, they’re shocked by how honest I am. Which is fine, because they’re saving me from wasting further get-to-know-you time on them.
For example. Holiday break is over. Back to school, dance classes, and so on. I’m chit chatting with another mom and she asks the perfunctory, “How was your vacation?” question.
My answer?
And the way a mom reacts to that answer tells me whether or not I have any desire to continue speaking to her.
The looks I have received have been telling. One of confusion. One of wide-eyed silence. One of smug judgement. And one of complete and total understanding, accompanied by a conspiratorial laugh.
Guess which mom I spent an hour laughing with during our girls’ dance class?
She’d be a kick-arse mom to hang out with, but her younger kid is boy and they live kind of far from us. Sigh.
Could’ve been so beautiful, could’ve been so right…
Wish us luck at the library next week. I hear it can be a bit of a meat market.
This was originally published on Honest Mom.
More About J.D.: JD Bailey is the creator of, where she writes about raising her young daughters and managing her depression. With real candor and a good dose of humor, JD blogs to connect with other moms and create a space for women to both vent and laugh.
JD is a co-author of the book, I Just Want to Pee Alone, and her work has also been featured on the Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, and Bonbon Break. In addition to her writing, JD is also an outspoken voice in the conversation about moms and depression. She was interviewed by Katie Couric about the topic and is featured in a March 2013 Parenting Magazine article about parents and depression.

When she's not writing, JD can be found spending too much time on Facebook (HonestMom) or Twitter (@JDhonestMom).

The Sleep Conspiracy

There’s a great big fat conspiracy going on around here. Well, that’s my theory anyway…

I’m pretty sure that at least once a week, there’s a conversation between my kids that goes something like this:
Miles (age 3): Okay, guys. Let’s put our plan in place. I’m not going to fall asleep until 9 tonight, so you guys can fall asleep right away. I’ll take the first shift.

You Want a Real Mommy War?

Instead of pitting working moms against stay-at-home moms, which is so totally ridiculous I would laugh if it weren’t actually happening, let’s start a war on the moms who don’t want to own up to the reality that is motherhood and marriage. How about that?

"It Could've Been Worse"

So I thought you'd enjoy this story -

Last night we had a 9:45 p.m. flight to Phoenix to attend my nephew's wedding and had planned to leave the house by 7:00 so we could stop and pick up sandwiches on the way and leave enough time to stop at the Delta Sky Lounge for our usual pre-flight (free) beer.

Characteristics of the Perfect Wife

Characteristics of the Perfect Wife:

She cooks, cleans and cares for the kids, all while bringing in a fat paycheck.

She encourages him to play golf on both weekend days.

She knows when to stop talking.

Oh, the Places New Moms Won't Go!

One of my best pals in Blogland is Nicole from Ninja Mom. She runs a series every Friday called "Character Assassination Carousel" where each participant rips a classic piece of children's literature to shreds.
My original intent was to roast those stupidly-sadsack-grammatically-challenged creatures from the Hundred Acre Woods, otherwise known as Pooh & Friends.