Earlier this week I went to volunteer in my son’s 1st grade class for the last time this school year. Seeing these little six and seven year olds with their gap-toothed smiles and eagerness to learn has been a highlight of my year. When I walked into the class this time, a little girl came over to me and asked “do you like my beautiful dress?” Of course I did. “Do you want to see it twirl?” It was a very impressive twirl. Another little girl came over and barreled into me with a bear hug which started a chain of hugs. Continue reading
Recently my two oldest children have both been hurt by people they thought were friends. As we all know, when our children are hurt, we hurt a million times more for them, so I, too, was hurt by the people they thought were friends. The thing is, my amazing kids are over it. They forgave and forgot and moved on. They don’t call these kids “people they thought were friends”. They just call them friends.
A few years ago, someone I worked with did a really shitty and unprofessional thing to me personally and I was hurt and angry. Guess what? That person is long gone from my life, but I am still hurt and angry when I think about it. The thing is, that person is not thinking about it at all. The only person my grudge-holding is affecting is me. Continue reading
Nobody told me this would happen when I turned 40.
I expected all the usual signs of aging: the wrinkles, the grey hairs, and the sagging. Even the non-existent metabolism. Those I was ready for.
What I was NOT at all prepared for was the hair.
All the hair in all the weird places. Continue reading
Recently I was very honored to be interviewed as part of the Inside Voices podcast. Inside Voices interviews writers and bloggers and a shares their stories.
Of course, my story was ridiculous and embarrassing. Aren’t they all?
Have a listen here
My absolute favorite thing to blog about is any time I make a complete and utter fool of myself. Luckily for all of us, I have such a story!
Last night I went to the gym. Weirdly, this is how many of my good, ridiculous, Jennifer-is-an-idiot stories begin.
The gym I go to is a sort of boot camp with instructor- led, daily classes. The class on this particular night used TRX bands, which are bands that hang from a bar near the ceiling and look like this:
Yesterday morning I was really mad at my husband. I woke up furious. He said “good morning” and I shot daggers at him instead of answering. I stomped around in the bathroom as we were getting ready for work, slamming drawers and sighing loud sighs.
“Are you upset?” he asked.
What made you deduce that, genius?
“Yes!” I replied with an eye roll.
He really is clueless sometimes.
“Um…. what did I do?”
Ugh. Do I have to spell everything out for him?
When I woke up this morning, my heart hurt. It hurt for all the people in our country who feel that their voices aren’t heard, that their opinions don’t matter, that their worth is somehow less because of the color of their skin. It hurt for all the people who were feeling that the best choice for the leader of our country was someone who belittles and bullies.
Trump’s slogan, “Make America Great Again”, is not one I can support. Of course I want my country to be great. It’s the “again” that I can’t stand behind. America has never been great. America has been great for a small percentage of its inhabitants. America has been great for white men. For the rest of the population: women, minorities, the LGBT community, people with disabilities, America has been a work in progress. I woke up this morning petrified that the years and years of work that has been done to help make America great for the non-white males of our country will not go backwards. That a president who speaks disparagingly about these groups of individuals will not make our country a horrible place to live.
We’ve all heard it; we’ve all said it. Being a mother is hard. Yes, of course, it is the most rewarding thing we will ever have the privilege to do. But it is also one of the hardest. Anyone who claims otherwise is full of shit. Sometimes moms need a break. Being able to hang out with friends over cocktails and appetizers to commiserate can be just what the doctor ordered. If your doctor is not ordering time with the girls- you should probably find a new doctor.
I am lucky to have a group of friends with whom I regularly get together once a month. We have been having our Girls Nights Out for many years now and have helped each other through pregnancies, crazy jobs, newborn troubles, toddler years, school issues, marital issues, illnesses, etc. I honestly think I would go crazy if I didn’t have these friends to vent to, to cry with, and to laugh with.
Ironically, we go out to have a break from our family and the household responsibilities, but 98% of our time is spent talking about our kids and/ or our husbands; usually both. And while we’re all blessed to have pretty great husbands, the conversation inevitably gravitates to what bumbling idiots our husbands are and how nothing would ever get done in our houses without us around. I would venture to bet that if I sat in on any dinner with other moms out for the night, their conversations would be similar.
I actually don’t think my husband is a bumbling idiot. So why, then, do I complain about him when I am with my girlfriends? I suppose it is because I feel I can vent and commiserate with friends who can relate to my frustrations. Yes, there are times that I wish he would do more around the house and I wish he would do them MY way. Rather than nag him at home about those things, I just vent to my friends and move on. We all do it. But I would be horrified if I thought he was complaining about me when he was hanging out with his buddies.
It made me wonder what guys do talk about.
Read rest here
Sometimes I look at my kids and marvel at how their innocence and ability to have not a care in the world. Usually their biggest concern on any given day is whose turn it is to use the iPad. While I am laying in bed worrying about the Zika virus, child abductions, work obligations, how in the world I am ever going to keep up with the laundry in the house, the ridiculousness of our country’s current political state, cellulite, world hunger, who will win America’s Got Talent, etc., my sweet cherubs are sleeping soundly in their beds dreaming about Minecraft. If I could bottle up the innocence of my children and keep it for myself, my life would be much less stressful.
Unfortunately, I can’t do that. But if I could take some tips from my kids’ attitudes towards life and adopt them as my own, here’s where I would start:
- Saying NO
Kids are pros at saying no. Do you want broccoli? No. It’s time for bed. No. How much easier would life be if I could easily say ‘no’ with the same abandon. You should come to the PTA meeting this Tuesday. No. Please send a gluten- free, sugar-free, GMO- free, antibiotic-free, made in America, store packaged, healthy snack for your precious snowflake every day so she can have an afternoon snack while we listen to relaxing Botswananian bongo music. No. She’s in 4th grade. She will not starve. No. Being able to say “no” is empowering and freeing. I wish I was as good at it as my kids.
Read rest here
A story was recently trending about a boy who had a Target themed birthday party because he is obsessed with all things Target. It made me think of all the themed birthday parties we have had for our three kids over the years. There have been princesses, pirates, farm animals, monkeys, and dinosaurs. While the kids have loved their parties, the themes were mainly chosen more by what I could pull off at the time and less about what their obsessions of the day were.
If I had planned their birthday parties around their ever-changing obsessions, our birthday party history would look something like this:
Age 1: A “Throwing Food off the High Chair” Party
This party would be a fun-filled event full of finger foods and colorful bibs. Party games would include seeing who can throw those baby Puffs and Cheerios onto the floor the fastest and swatting at a spoon full of pureed sweet potatoes. Bonus points if the food sticks to the wall. The menu would involve baby cereal and those gross little meat stick things.
Age 2: A “No” Party
This would have been the easiest party to plan. No presents, no food, no decorations, the answer to every question would be no. Of course, the soundtrack for the party would be Meghan Trainor’s “No”. For an added treat, lots of “mines” could be thrown in there, too.
Age 3: The “I’ll Do it Myself” Party
This party is a parent’s dream. You don’t have to do anything, because, no matter what you do, your three year old will want to do it himself. Cleanup for this party will be a bitch, though. Three year olds want to pour juice themselves, but aren’t very adept at it yet.
Read rest here