Girls Night Out vs. Guys Night Out

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.

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Approaching Life Like a Child

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:

  1. 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.

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What Birthday Party Themes Would Be if They Were Based on My Kids’ Obsessions

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.

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Cheat Sheet to Decode What Your Wife is Saying 

We have all heard the complaints from men that they don’t understand women. Why don’t we just say what we mean? I like to think that I am a pretty straight forward, say what I mean kind of gal. Sometimes, however, even though I am visibly upset, when my husband asks “What’s wrong?” I respond with “Nothing.”
Why do I do this? Well, probably because saying “nothing” is a lot easier than saying “I am exhausted from taking care of the kids, the cat, the house and the yard during the summer while you are in an air conditioned office, eating lunch by yourself, while I am cleaning up the floor for the 8th time today because someone spilled something AGAIN and don’t tell me going to work is hard because I work, too, during the school year, and let me tell you, mister! Staying home with the kids is WAY harder than going to work, and the only time you call me during the day, thereby giving me a chance to talk to an adult and a reprieve from the endless whining and arguing I hear all day is to ask me if you can go out with your buddies tonight when all I want is for you to be home to see your children and to give me a much needed, freaking BREAK!”

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How My Failure To Participate in the Love Your Spouse Challenge Almost Ended Our Marriage

I thought we had a good marriage.
I thought we were happy.

I thought that 16 years and three kids later, through good times and bad, in sickness and in health, we could get through anything. Together.

Apparently I was very wrong.

Let me back up and start from the beginning.  

It started with a simple request. Looking back, I should have responded differently. I should have replied right away instead of just ignoring it. Then more requests came. In total, seven requests. I ignored them all.

Seven invitations to participate in the “Love Your Spouse Challenge” on Facebook. All I had to do was post a photo of me and my husband online for seven days. It doesn’t sound too hard. Why didn’t I just do it?

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Why Waterparks Suck for Grownups

When I was a kid, my number one favorite thing in the world to do was swim. I didn’t care if it was in a pool, a lake, a horse trough, a backyard puddle; I loved to swim. For about 10 years the only thing on my Christmas list to Santa was a swimming pool. I never did get a backyard pool, and, over the years, my love for swimming has waned a little. My children love the water just as much as I did as a kid, but my feelings have slightly changed. Here are the top reasons why:

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