BTW, What am I even saying? I'm writing this past my bedtime and I still have 2 Jersey Shores to watch (which is actually nothing compared to the 18 Grey's Anatomy's sitting in my DVR). ANYWAY, recently I shot a segment with the Kate to my Alli, Diane Mizota of Yahoo Shine's This Week in MOM. Hopefully some of my tips will help you get (look) organized... (aka.Perfectly Disheveled!)
October 20, 2011
When it comes to "the home," I'm not sure the saying, "it's what's on the inside that counts" really works. Sure a home needs to be filled with love and warmth-- a safe haven from the outside world. Stuffed with family, kids, and pets, it needs to be functional and utilitarian, and not just decorated, pretty and impressive... sure ... And while keeping your home tidy and perfectly organized is all the time impossible, there are a few ways that can sort of mask the chaos (aka. Stuff it away) and make it appear like you have your shit together.
October 12, 2011
Without getting into a diatribe about the plight of the working mom and how no one will ever understand our woes and Debbie Downer cries of "waaaaaah waaaaaaah," I would like to say simply: it's not easy. Especially when your son attends a school where the majority of moms don't work, or at least, are so involved in the minutia of the school it appears as if they don't work/ need/want to work and the joys of planning a bake sale or book fair pales in comparison graduating from Yale Law. This is not to say that those women, some of my favorite, sweetest and dearest friends, to be exact, aren't brilliant and capable of work... it's just that... well. They. don't. work. And. I. do.
Lately, Jonah has been asking me about this... "Why do you work and the other mommies don't?" There are days I'd like to respond by saying, "Because they're lucky bitches." But, of course, I refrain and offer a very matter of fact and confident, "Because I am a writer and I tell stories. That is my job. Some mommies work. Some mommies don't. Your mommy works." Often, I throw in a "I like to work" bit in there too because even though there are (jealous) days that I wish I didn't HAVE TO, the truth is, I do LIKE to. I like to work. And I want Jonah to grow up not only proud of me but see an example of a strong, smart, and professional mom.... To know that I have a full a life... To know that mommies and daddies can have careers, goals and passions and love their family equally.
However, the tricky part about my job is that it's not a one-liner. So to try to explain to a 4 year old about why I can't pick up from school today and what exactly I'm doing at work... in a world called "Digital Media" and "blogging" and working as a "spokesperson" or "brand ambassador" and how I'm connecting it all with "social media..." blah blah blah... Um, yeah. It's not so cut and dry..... and apparently NOT sooooooo veeeeeeeeeeery important or impressive according to said 4 year old anyway.... see job description below....
October 6, 2011
A couple years ago, I wrote a post when I worked at Momlogic about Parenting from the Gut. I had decided that my all things Westside and Neurotic was getting out of control and I'd try to listen to my instincts instead of flocking to the gurus that I had (still am) been paying good money to, to tell me what kind of pajamas my toddler should wear in mid October.
Sure... that "laissez faire," whatever works mentality works sometimes, but there is one area in particular that my own "here's how I'm going to handle this" strategy has been failing big time: Potty Talk with a capital Shit. My 4 year old has been swearing like a truck driver and literally nothing I do or don't do works. Last year, it was all Poop and Pee all the time. J's teacher suggested every time he says Poop or Pee out of context like he has Turret's that I quickly swoop him up and take him to the bathroom as if to say (and actually say), "Oh, you're saying Poop. That must mean you need to go...." Yup. That worked for a week. Then there was the "next time you say that, time out/toy taken away/done playing/no TV blah blah blah" phase. Then there was the "do nothing" phase.... which maaaaaaay have lead to bigger words being spewed like "Stupid. Dammit. Asshole. Shit." And his number one favorite, which he actually will only whisper because he knows just how bad it is: "Fuckit" (Said as one word).
Now before you go judging me and wondering where this angel gets this foul and massively inappropriate vocabulary, allow me to assure you that if, I repeat IF it comes from me it would never be on purpose and only during moments, at least for me, when I'm driving and people don't know how to signal or stop short or drive. really. at all. (Yes, I'm working on my road rage). And it's certainly not from watching Real Housewives or any of that garbage. In fact, if it comes from his exposure to media at all, then the fucking Backyardigans are really the ones to blame... But I digress...
Though his language has been a little extreme, I can say proudly (er, um... as proudly as a mother of a child with this problem should be) that this is language he DOESN'T use at school, but DOES use in proper context. Case in point, the other day: I had to return something to Zara. The manager and sales associate were being complete biatches and extraordinarily rude. When I walked away from the counter in a huff (with J in tow), he asked me why we had to go, I said, out loud, so the two B's could hear me: "Because they're NOT being very helpful."
J: Mommy, were they mean?
J: Mommy, should we call them assholes?
I laughed. Yes. I laughed. And in my opinion, the fact that he was able to identify the store manager as an asshole means he is good at reading people. That will save him years of bad relationships. I mean, he was a little off on wanting to call her "Dammit" a few minutes later, but I totally caught his drift. AND yes, I know this is not okay to encourage this behavior which is WHY, I pulled his preschool director aside the other day and told her about my little fouled mouth friend and asked her what in the fuck I should do...
So, her advice: Tell him that we have a new plan. From now on, when he needs to say not nice words, he must go into his bedroom or bathroom, shut the door, and say them to himself. It's private and those words are hurtful and not acceptable, especially not acceptable when you're saying them to your mommy. He must not use this language only in private.
Well, when I picked him up from school and he called me a stupid poop head, I seized the opportunity and told him the new plan. You have never seen a child so excited to get home and close the door by himself. For about 30 seconds I heard, "stupid. shit. dammit. asshole. fuckit. awful. poo poo. pee pee. throw up." Then he came out, took a deep breath and said he was all done. Not ONE bad word has been uttered outside his room since and I swear he has been in a great mood for like 2 days straight. This may have been the best parenting advice I've gotten yet.
We'll see how it fucking goes...
Speaking of parenting advice, here's some of my favorite nuggets of advice I pulled together for Momversation & YouTube. Enjoy ;-)
October 3, 2011
Do your parenting tactics change when you're in public? Mine do. At home, I'm all rules, all Betsy Brown Braun and Wacky's class up on my boy. I stick to my word and mean what I say. (Kind of). But when others are around, even close others, like family, my will to parent perfectly goes to shit. You'd think in public that you'd be more on your game, but No. Not me. I fall apart. I have no backbone and no follow through. Too scared to make a big move and too scared to do too little. The result? A whole lot of nothing.
I've decided that by the time Jonah turns 7, I'll have this portion of the show down. I hope.
Recently, I got a chance to chat with my sweet friend Soleil Moon Frye at her Happy Chaos book launch party hosted by Target Baby about this very subject... It should come as no surprise that this lady is consistent in her parenting, aka Happy Chaos. Speaking of which, here's to a very sweet New Year for those of you that celebrate.