#Diversity

#Diversity


Straight Pride Parade Organizers Received Suspicious Mail… Full Of Glitter

Posted: 02 Jul 2019 07:39 AM PDT

Straight Pride organizers called the FBI when they received suspicious letters in the mail… that turned out to be full of glitter

Three organizers of the ridiculous “Straight Pride” Parade that’s planned to take place in Boston next month reported receiving suspicious letters in the mail. The FBI and Massachusetts State Police rushed to investigate the envelopes, which had no return addresses and sounded like they were filled with a substance. Get ready to LOL, because that substance was… glitter.

Yep, someone responded to these homophobic trolls in possibly the most appropriate way: By glitter bombing them. The only unfortunate thing is that they called authorities instead of opening the letters, which would have sent glitter flying everywhere in their homes, which was probably the point. If you’ve ever done even a single Pinterest, you know how invasive glitter can be. BRB while we put together letters full of glitter to send to everyone we wish to suffer just a little, but in like, a totally harmless way.

Anyway, I guess the way these Straight Pride boneheads discovered the letters was probably a little unnerving.

“I went out to my mailbox and there was an envelope in there with my name and address, no return address, the back was very heavily taped up and when I shook it I heard stuff shaking around inside,” Samson Racioppi told CNN.

Racioppi called the police, who brought in a bomb squad and shut down the street. Meanwhile, Racioppi warned other parade organizers to check their own mail and learned two others had received similar envelopes. The bomb squad and FBI investigated those, too.

Calling in the bomb squad was probably appropriate because anything could have been in those letters. But can you imagine the conversation between Racioppi and the FBI after the letters were tested and found to just contain glitter?

RACIOPPI: So was it anthrax?

COPS: Um, no sir.

RACIOPPI:

COPS:

RACIOPPI:

COPS: It was glitter.

Everything is now fine — the FBI released a statement saying that while the investigation is still ongoing, they don’t think there’s any threat to Racioppi, any of the other parade organizers, or the public. Meanwhile, though, the Straight Pride Parade is still slated to go on. Last week, the group received approval for their public event application. Now, they just need to get the police district captains on board and obtain a parade permit and entertainment license. The parade is tentatively scheduled to take place on August 31.

America, I think you know what to do. A daily barrage of glitter-filled envelopes might just help these dudes get the idea that the LGBTQ+ community is fabulous AF, and their stupid parade is not something the world needs. Just, you know, don’t package your glitter in a way that looks like it could be anthrax. We fully support filling these homophobic men’s lives with glitter, but no more public resources need to be wasted on them.

The post Straight Pride Parade Organizers Received Suspicious Mail… Full Of Glitter appeared first on Scary Mommy.

18 Baby Names As American As Apple Pie

Posted: 02 Jul 2019 07:00 AM PDT

There’s no doubt that America is in a tumultuous season right now, and many of us are feeling disillusioned. But there’s still a lot to love about our country — which is about to celebrate its 243rd birthday.

If you’re a proud American at heart, these patriotic baby names are a perfect tribute.

1. Lincoln

Our nation’s 16th President, Abraham Lincoln, is probably best known for helping pave the way for the abolition of slavery with the Emancipation Proclamation, and leading the country through our bloody Civil War. But along with that legacy, he also left a wealth of wonderful quotes … including this one, which is eerily applicable to today’s administration: “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.”

2. Bridger

This name has earned a spot on this list in two ways. First (and most obviously), there are a lot of famous landmark bridges in America: the Brooklyn Bridge, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the Oakland Bay Bridge, just to name a very few. Secondly, it’s symbolic of the “bridging” of cultures that happens here, the incorporation of other heritages and traditions into our melting pot. Which brings us right into the next name on the list …

3. Ellis

This federally-owned island in New York Harbor opened in 1892, and was the nation’s busiest immigration point through 1954. All in all, Ellis Island welcomed approximately 12 million immigrants to the United States, including many of our ancestors. For a twist, try Ellison.

4. Liberty

The Statue of Liberty. “With liberty and justice for all.” The right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” There’s no need to elaborate on why Liberty is the perfect American baby name; it’s a theme woven tightly into the fabric of our nation.

5. Glory

Is there any more prominent symbol of the United States than our flag? But since Flag doesn’t exactly make the best baby name, we can fall back on the flag’s longtime nickname, Old Glory. (Fun fact: the original “Old Glory” was an American flag flown by sea captain William Driver in the 19th century). Banner is also a viable option, especially for a boy. And while we’re on the subject of the flag …

6. Betsy

Betsy Ross was an upholsterer who has long been credited with sewing the first American flag. As the story goes, her acquaintance George Washington came to her with a design for the flag in mind. She gave it a couple of “tweaks” to make it easier to cut and sew, whipped up a template, and the rest is (literal, American) history.

7. Canyon

The state of Arizona’s Grand Canyon is arguably one of America’s most famous landmarks. This unisex name not only pays homage to the 277-mile-long, 18-mile-wide natural wonder, but is also on-trend with the nature and geographical names popular today.

8. Justice

Another virtue name, this one perfectly gender neutral and appeals to our sense of fairness, yet isn’t overtly religious or spiritual. And of course, it’s part of the last few words of the Pledge of Allegience: “… with liberty and justice for all.” It strikes a nice balance between popular and hardly-used, too; it’s currently in the middle of the top 1,000, at #558.

Dominika Roseclay/Pexels

9. Rocky

Another quintessential American landmark, home to multiple national parks, the majestic Rocky Mountains stretch between the U.S. and Canada. Don’t wanna name your kid after the whole range? There’s always Pike, after the Rockies’ famed Pike’s Peak: the second most-visited mountain peak in the world.

10. Valor

The red, white, and blue stripes of our flag have meaning in their colors. The white stands for purity and innocence. The blue stands for vigilance, justice, and perseverance. And the red stands for valor and hardiness, which is why Valor is such a patriotic choice. It’s a modern virtue name, kind of like Patience and Mercy were to the Puritans.

11. Apple

This one lands on the list because of its association with Americana — after all, if something is totally unique to the U.S., it’s considered “as American as apple pie.” But we’d be remiss not to mention its association with something else American, too: Apple Inc., the global technology company headquartered in Cupertino, California.

12. Talon

The Bald Eagle has been one of our most visible national symbols since 1782, its sharp-eyed stare and sleek white head recognizable the world over. And sure, you could cut to the chase and name your kid Eagle, but Talon — as in, the eagle’s powerful bird-of-prey claw — is a more name-like alternative.

13. Star

What could be more American than a reference to the stars and stripes or the star-spangled banner? And if you’re an American who happens to also love astronomy, or just gazing up at the night sky over our beautiful countryside, this name is doubly delightful.

14. Rosie

An American cultural icon, “Rosie the Riveter” is the strong, bandanna-clad woman with the take-no-shit attitude who’s rolling up her sleeves on the famous “We Can Do It!” poster. The poster was made during World War II, when women stepped up in droves to enter the workforce and replace men who were fighting overseas.

15. Ford

For American auto enthusiasts, how about Ford? From the Model T to the Mustang, Ford — headquartered in Dearborn, Michigan — has manufactured some of the most classic American cars. (But if you’re on team Chevy, that makes a perfectly good name too — and is equally American.)

16. Boston

It’s one of the current crop of trendy place names, but Boston has real historical significance to the United States too. Founded in 1630, it was the commercial, political, financial, and religious center of New England. It was also the place where the American Revolution began. And of course there was the Boston Tea Party, one of the most famous political protests this country has ever known. Boston: Spilling the tea since ’73. (1773, that is.)

17. Douglass

Can you imagine not even being sure of your own age? Born into slavery in Maryland, Frederick Douglass didn’t — although that was the least of his worries. But he grew up to be one of the most powerful abolitionists in U.S. history and among the most famed intellectuals of his time, advising Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War and becoming the first Black citizen to hold a government position. “Knowledge,” he said, “makes a man unfit to be a slave.”

18. Anthem

There are songs and melodies, and then there are anthems. While a song is nice and mellow, an anthem has grit and meaning and is used to unify people who are fighting for the same cause. If our national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner,” stirs up deep feelings, gives you chills, and/or brings tears to your eyes … you may just want to name your baby Anthem, because they’ll have the same effect on you. Sometimes all at once.

 

No matter what you want to name your baby after, we’ve got you covered. Check out the thousands of options (and inspirational lists!) at the Scary Mommy Baby Name Database!

The post 18 Baby Names As American As Apple Pie appeared first on Scary Mommy.

To Those Who Saw Me When I Was Out In Public For The First Time With 3 Kids

Posted: 01 Jul 2019 06:00 PM PDT

I thought I knew what I was doing having three kids. I had successfully maneuvered a large box from the post office to my car with two kids in tow — and by in tow I mean one twenty feet ahead and another trailing twenty feet behind — while eight months pregnant. Surely managing an infant would be similar.

And it is exactly like that, except the box baby needs things, which often reminds the older two that they, too, need things. They often wait for inopportune times to loudly express their demands for food and water or to use the bathroom, or demand whichever thing I offered them only moments earlier, when I wasn't changing a dirty diaper. Some days are exhausting, others are lovely (but still exhausting).

So thank you. Thank you for seeing me. Thank you for offering — even if I don't take you up on it — I appreciate your offer, and more than that, I appreciate you.

You saw me struggling to buckle up the infant carrier. Usually an easy feat, I stretched my arms reaching for the buckle behind my neck, while balancing a tired, crying baby on my chest. Maybe it was my hair in the way, maybe it was the squirming infant, but the buckles would not meet. You asked if you could help, thank you.

Pixabay/Pexels

You saw me bouncing and swaying with a baby nearly asleep in the carrier, keeping an eye on my other two children, running wild circles around the other picnickers while waiting for our lunch. I filled a mini cup with ketchup and prepared to balance two precarious plates overflowing with food truck goodness back to where my older two were supposed to be sitting. You asked if you could help. Thank you.

You saw me as I herded my two children towards the ice cream line up. Anticipating sugar, their little bodies vibrated with excitement, causing them to physically bounce and spin and loudly shriek which flavor they'd prefer. With a baby in one arm and my other hand full of teetering lunch time garbage, I scanned the area for a trash can. You offered to help. Thank you.

You saw me struggling to close my very obstinate stroller. No amount of jiggling, jostling, pushing, pulling, or silent cursing were collapsing the cantankerous pram. Beads of sweat dotted my brow as I stared at it with a great deal of contempt and considered abandoning it altogether, when you walked by. You offered to help. Thank you.

 

You saw me walking ten paces ahead of my very over tired three-year-old. I used my very best patient voice and tried to coax her the last few steps to the exit of the park. Walking by with a group of friends and seemingly well-behaved children, you suggested we mothers should fist bump each other in trying times like these. Thank you.

You've picked up soothers, chased after me with fallen shoes, held open doors, helped my children off of swings and shared stories in exhausted solidarity. Thank you.

When my five-year-old daughter (sneakily fueled by sugar and freshly scolded) locked me out of the house and didn't return to the door no matter how gently or furiously I knocked, I hesitated to ask for help. Partly because I thought she would open the door, and partly because I had never experienced helplessness at this level. It is hard to be completely helpless to circumstances, to admit things are completely outside of my control, especially sugar-induced spiritedness. With my phone inside, a baby in my arms and a very sweaty, very sticky, pant-less daughter by my side, all of us shoeless, I found you on the sidewalk. You didn't judge me as I explained our situation and I asked to use your phone. You kindly listened, and empathetically distracted me with small talk as you walked with me back to my house. You waited as I explained the situation again to my husband on your phone. You waited until my five-year-old finally opened the door, a cheeky smile on her face, my phone in her hand and her dad on the screen. Thank you.

It really does take a village, and I'm so lucky to have a fairly capable body, a great husband and a strong circle of family and friends to help along the way. And then there's you, lovely strangers, filling in the gaps. I never realized before how much that African proverb also pertains to the parents. It takes a village to raise a child, but it also takes a village to raise a parent. Thank you for helping to raise me. Your kindnesses do not go unnoticed.

One day, when my hands are less full, I promise to pay it forward.

Thank you.

The post To Those Who Saw Me When I Was Out In Public For The First Time With 3 Kids appeared first on Scary Mommy.

My Husband Was Emotionally And Financially Unfaithful

Posted: 01 Jul 2019 06:00 PM PDT

Have you ever had your guts ripped out, stomped on, and then pushed back in your body?

That's what financial infidelity feels like.

On the outside, you look OK, but inside, you're a mess. I should know. My husband has been both financially and emotionally dishonest with me. (To this day, he claims he never got physical.)

Let me back up.

Fifteen years ago, my husband decided he wanted to leave his well paying job to become a real estate agent. He had a nice chunk of change from his dad's will, and I was on board. We were excited about the future.
Until a few years later, when he’d only sold two or three homes, claiming the competition was too tough. So we began to borrow and borrow. Then I pawned my engagement ring and sold out my 401K because surely, surely it would turn around.
By this point, we had four children and we were barely able to pay to put gas in our car. Then his car broke down and he couldn't afford to fix it. This was the first time I was without a car and trapped at home.
But I still believed in him. I spoke to friends and even strangers at the grocery store to get him more business. They said he never returned calls. I should have started to get suspicious at that point, but I wanted to believe. I married for better or for worse. It would be OK.

Then he started to borrow money from our oldest daughter. I cried. She cried. He went to the office.
At “the office,” I learned he had a little club of realtors he would chat and go to lunch with daily. These weren't actual “career realtors”—they were the moms married to a doctor or the sons of very wealthy business owners. They went to the office to socialize, and my husband found them all fascinating. Much more fascinating than his family that was splitting a box of mac and cheese for dinner. He went out with the fun people.

I confronted him.

He begged forgiveness. He said he would turn over a new leaf. And, for a few months, he did. Those few months were nice. We had birthdays with presents and cake—my birthday never fell under one of the good times, but he assured me that 'next year' would be different.

The bad times always seemed to return. My husband claimed he was trying, and it would get better. But it never did. Then he had an idea.

"We can sell the house," he gleefully whispered. "I know someone who will buy it and then let us rent for a couple of years. We'll get back on our feet."

My mind began to swim, thinking of real Christmases, a real birthday gift for me (selfish I know, but try not getting a single gift from your husband for ten years) and being able to buy food from the grocery store without worrying about a card decline.

Less than three months later, I got a text from his mother telling me she would make sure we received her check before the rent was due. My heart sank. I hadn't bought much of anything but food and paid off a few small bills. I was only in the process of getting health insurance. And it was a month before my birthday.

Melissa Segal/Reshot

I confronted him. Again.

He claimed I spent too much and lost control. He screamed that I wasn't supporting him and was just spending everything. I cried. He screamed more. I got the flu and had to pray every night I wouldn't die. He said we had no money to go see a doctor.

I cursed myself and hated myself for months. How could I be so stupid to blow all that money?

Without me knowing, he pawned his car to cover bills after people were tired of lending, and he was unable to pay the ridiculous note (PSA: Never ever pawn your car at a check title type place—it is a scam, and you will never win). He lost his car, and for the second time, I lost mine to him.

Then one day, almost a year after the house sale, I glanced at my journal and reviewed my spending from the last year. I quickly realized it was impossible that I had gone through all the money. I went back to look and discovered many large ATM withdrawals at a strip club (the total amount was in the tens of thousands).

I confronted him. He lied. Then he confessed, saying that he felt more welcome there than at home.

I broke down. I never got a chance to have a birthday. I never got health insurance. I couldn't function. My guts were out and being stomped all over. I couldn't breathe. He said he was sorry. He said he would change. And oddly enough, he did.

For a few months.

Fast forward to now. We are facing eviction, and I have now discovered he hasn't filed taxes for years. He is begging for another chance. He said he found God, and he will never fail to provide for his family again. I can't look at him.

I have no money to leave him. We only have one car so I can't kick him out. Friends are calling with prayers. They think we just need counseling. I feel past talking.

I am now almost 50 years old and have been out of the work force for 20 years. My kids are ready to leave him. I know I need to, but I am scared. He is back saying he's going to work super hard. I don't think I believe him.

I don't how this story will end. I want to believe in fairy tales, but I think I want to be the one who saves herself. I'm just not sure how yet.

The post My Husband Was Emotionally And Financially Unfaithful appeared first on Scary Mommy.

6 Things From Our ’80s Summers That Are Frowned Upon Today

Posted: 01 Jul 2019 06:00 PM PDT

I grew up in the 1980s and 1990s. On weekends and in summers, I listened to NKOTB and Boys II Men via a cassette tape while crimping my hair. Then I'd pull it up into a ponytail and secure it with a neon scrunchie, apply strawberry Lipsmaker, and pop another watermelon Jolly Rancher into my mouth. Next up was plopping onto my twin bed to browse the latest issue of Teen Beat. I yearned to catch a glimpse of the love of my life, Jonathan Taylor-Thomas.

On Friday nights, it was TGIF. Two solid hours of sitcoms. Saturday evenings were reserved for our VHS rotation of Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, Beethoven, and Back to the Future while we snacked on Pop Qwiz or Pizzareias chips.

During the school year, we'd head to our K-5 school where my friends and I would play endless games of four square and tetherball. When we were bored with those, we'd zoom down the 1000 degree, steep metal slide —  with non-existent sides. Or we would hang upside down from the hexagon-bar contraption. Yes, the one that resulted in multiple broken arms from stunts-gone-wrong.

Those were the days.

I'm a mom of four now, and summer is in full swing. The 1980s nostalgia is not only back, but on trend. Fanny packs, scrunchies, and Caboodles are back in circulation, after all. But some of my childhood summer faves are big no-nos today, and for good reason.

1. Drinking from the hose.

When I was a child, my mom would kick us out of the house for the entire summer morning. See you at lunch, kids. If we were thirsty, we had an easy option. We'd turn on the spigot and drink well water straight from the grass-green hose.

During today’s summer, I carry around four 64-ounce BPA-free water bottles, one color per kid, filled to the brim with filtered water. And no, I'm not being extra, because hoses can pose significant risks. They can release phthalates, flame retardant, lead, and BPA, all of which are toxic. Hoses also house bugs, bacteria, and dirt, all of which flow right into your child's mouth. Gross? You bet.

The other issue is that hoses left in the summer sun may contain dangerously hot water, posing a burn risk to users. A nine-month-old in Las Vegas suffered second degree burns over 30% of his body last year when he was sprayed with hose water. Stagnant water, which sits within a hose in direct sunlight, can heat to a terrifying 130-140 degrees.

2. Skipping the sunscreen.

My mom insisted my siblings and I wear sunscreen, re-applying every few hours as directed. Her brother, my uncle, died of malignant melanoma when I was a child. She wasn't playing when it came to sun protection. But none of my friends' parents bothered to buy sunscreen — instead, allowing their teen daughters to go to tanning beds to get golden brown before prom.

The reality is, even just one blistering sunburn during childhood doubles a person's melanoma risk. Scary? You bet. Sun protection is that important.

Thankfully, there are hundreds of sunscreen and sun-protection options for families. Just please, don't use DIY your sunscreen. Research shows that online sunblock recipes are unreliable.

3. Eating artificially-dyed foods.

Red, white, and blue popsicles and cherry push-up icy pops were all the rage during my childhood. Apparently the cheaper and more brightly colored they were, the better.

But today we know better, because the proof is in the pudding. One of my kiddos has all-out-rages about 20 minutes after consuming anything with artificial red dye in it. He’s not alone.  Many kids struggle when they consume foods containing artificial dyes such as Red #40, Yellow #6, and Blue #2. Artificial coloring isn't just in sugary treats like birthday cake, candy, and slushies. They can be found in condiments such as ketchup and salad dressing, cereals, sports drinks, and baked goods. Some kids might react to dye consumption by vomiting, complaining of a headache, or becoming agitated or hyperactive.

Artificial dyes are generally found in unhealthy foods, but buyer beware. There are artificial dyes in some "healthy" foods such as whole grain granola bars and even vitamins. Parents should learn to read ingredient lists, and swap their kid's favorite orange chips for a healthier, dye-free brand.

4. Hiring a too-young babysitter.

I started babysitting, without adult supervision, when I was 12 years old. I spent my first summer as a teen caring for two elementary-age children full-time, making a whopping $20 a day.

Hiring a young sitter can save parents big bucks, but the risks are significant. Is the sitter experienced, mature, and CPR certified? How trustworthy is the the sitter? With teen cell phone addiction, parents may justifiably worry that the sitter is too busy interacting on Snapchat to keep their eyes on the kids. And in some states, such as Maryland and Illinois, there are laws stating how old a child must be to stay home alone — which would also apply to being the caregiver to children.

Selecting a sitter to keep your kids safe and entertained is no easy task. It's a good idea to consider finding a sitter via a professional child care service and conduct extensive interviews. Ask for references and conduct a few trial runs before officially hiring.

5. Applying toxic bug spray.

Many kids in my generation skipped the sunscreen, but their parents sure didn't skimp on bug spray. We all walked around summer camp reeking of a cross between gasoline and eucalyptus. Sprays promised we wouldn't be bitten by a single pesky mosquito.

DEET, the main chemical in many bug sprays, was found in one study to cause symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, rashes, and issues concentrating in 25% of participants. Over the years, DEET has been vehemently debated due to claims of toxicity.

Of course, protection from mosquitoes and ticks can be very important. In fact, Alpha-gal syndrome, a condition in which a person becomes allergic — sometimes deadly allergic — to red meat, is believed to be initiated by a Lone Star tick bite. And Lyme disease is no joke. Luckily, there are many more natural repellents available than "back in the day." Citronella, anyone?

6. Play on merry-go-rounds.

The puke-your-guts-up wheel was by far the playground favorite during my elementary years. Even better, much to our teacher's dismay, was the day after it rained when the path around the merry-go-round was sheer mud. The mess wasn't the biggest issue, though. The hot metal burn factor and inevitable peer-trampling were downright dangerous, both leading to several ER visits every year.

Good luck finding an old-school merry-go-round on a playground today. There's only one in our entire town, located in a neighborhood park, and of course my kids and other park-goers adore the simple and thrilling game of spin-and-ride. I haven't banished my kids from enjoying it, but I do watch them like a hawk. And I admit, I'm thankful I don't have to worry about them on school playgrounds.

The reality is, almost anything our kids do can turn dangerous in the blink of an eye. However, there's no reason to tempt fate. Now that you're armed with updated information, you know better.

Now it's time to do better and clink our glasses to a fun and safe summer.

The post 6 Things From Our ’80s Summers That Are Frowned Upon Today appeared first on Scary Mommy.

I Used To Wonder Why It Took Parents So Long To Get Out Of The House, Now I Know

Posted: 01 Jul 2019 06:00 PM PDT

I finally got all three of my kids packed up and in the van to head to summer day camp when the sun broke through the clouds. Shit! Damn you Mother Nature! Alexa had told me it was going to be a rainy day, and it had been wicked cloudy all morning. I took these as signs to not put sunscreen on the kids—because what a fucking gift. Applying sunscreen to three squirmy kids bitching about how cold the water will be for lessons is about as much fun as it sounds. But now the sun was out and they would be in the pool first thing for swimming; the right thing to do was to at least put sunscreen on their faces.

As I went back inside, I thought, this is why we are never on time. I was fool for once judging other parents for taking so long to get out of the house. Because here I am, running back into my own house to grab roll-on sunscreen. Sigh…

But this was just the beginning of several more attempts to leave the driveway. Two of my three kids were happy to use the roll-on sunscreen, but my third child decided she would do things her way. As I was putting the van into reverse, she was apparently putting about a quarter cup of sunscreen onto her face via the tube she had in her bag for camp.

"MY EYE! IT HURTS SO BADLY!"

I turn around and see what looks like a child who didn't just apply sunscreen on her own but tripped and fell face first into a pool of it. My daughter was squeezing her eyes shut while waving her arms around and screaming that her eye stings.

I had already dealt with a meltdown that morning, served breakfast, cleaned up breakfast, packed three lunches with snacks for the day, packed three backpacks, and was told I was the worst because I wouldn't allow screen time. I finally had three kids out of the door and now I was cursing Mother Nature for her sliver of sun, which of course disappeared a few minutes after said sunscreen delay. I was not in the mood for the stubborn foolishness of a 6-year-old.

"Well. This is what happens when you don't listen to me. Instead of waiting for your turn with the roll-on stick, you get lotion in your eye."

I then took baby wipes to her face to get rid of the mess she had made. But she fought that, rubbed her other eye, and started screaming again.

"WILL IT ALWAYS BE LIKE THIS?! OWWWWIE!"

I had zero sympathy.

"I don't know. But I have a feeling you will be fine. But keep crying. That will wash out your eyes. I will also get a wet cloth."

I went back inside, realized I had left the coffee pot on, rinsed cereal bowls, because no one wants to deal with hardened Frosted Flakes, found a wash cloth, ran it under water, and took it out to her. I told her to dab her eyes on the way to camp. It wasn't even 8:30 am, and I was done. I looked at the clock as we finally left and realized that the last ten minutes had been spent in absolute fuckery.

And this was just one day, one attempt to leave, and one of many reasons why it takes so fucking long to finally go anywhere. I gotta say, though, at least we were all out of the house. We were actually in the car and buckled up, which is more than I can say on most days when the delays begin. And there are always delays. If it's not a day-long project that a child thinks can be started and finished in a matter of minutes, or a request for more time to do whatever thing has to be done right that second, then someone has to poop.

Seriously, what is it about me saying it's time to go that makes one or all of my children have to go?

And then the socks aren't right. Shoes disappear. Toothpaste got on the wall behind the toilet. I probably have time to send this email while unloading the dishwasher and putting in my contacts. I am pretty sure I started the dishwasher without any detergent. I better go back in and check.

It never fucking ends.

Did I turn off the oven? Did I lock the back door? OMFG why are all of the lights on? JFC, the dog is still outside. Can someone please shut the door? I don't know why your sister has that toy. I guess you can bring Optimus Prime—just go outside. No, you don't need to pack a bag full of Pokemon cards, 17 stuffies, homemade slime, and a change of clothes for your imaginary monkey. Sure, bring the cards. Of course you dropped the cards. I would be happy to help you clean them up. Are you seriously asking me for a snack while I am the only one cleaning up this mess? And why are YOU back in the house?

It's a miracle that we get anywhere, really. And if we are there on time, then someone give me a high five. And please forgive pre-kid me if I ever judged post-kid you or made you feel bad for being a few minutes late. I was an unknowing asshole, because holy shit, I get it now.

The post I Used To Wonder Why It Took Parents So Long To Get Out Of The House, Now I Know appeared first on Scary Mommy.

A Open Letter From The House ‘Nag’

Posted: 01 Jul 2019 06:00 PM PDT

Dear Family,

You know how everyone has a place in our family dynamics? One of you is the jokester, always cracking us up and keeping things lighthearted. Another is the endless peacekeeper, always finding a way to mitigate an impending blow up and alleviate stressful situations at all costs. And then, of course, the troublemaker and rabble rouser in residence. You know who you are.

And my place in the lovely little world of ours? My role is, and will always be, the family nag. And while I take little joy in this role, I accept my place in our family unit. And you know what?

Shit gets done.

You are welcome.

You think I don't want to be the happy-go-lucky one? The one that spreads joy and sunshine all under the guise of a quick witted retort or a side of clever banter? The one that lights up a room with an off the cuff nickname or a snarky joke?

That, dear family, is not my job. I make things happen. Pure and simple.

I go to bed with 42 things that have to get done in my head and I wake up with 22 more added to that list. You know how many of those things will directly affect how your day will go? By my count, 64. That's right: with the exception of buying Midol (and let's be frank, everyone benefits from that being ticked off the to-do list), pretty much everything I do revolves around you and yours.

And you know how that comes to happen? My relentless and unmitigated attack on each and every day. And as much as I would like to channel my inner Wonder Woman (and look completely and utterly badass doing it), Gal Gadot I am not.

If you want to ensure that the lives you have grown accustomed to keep on keeping on, then my superpower will continue to be nagging. It's not glamorous or flashy. I can't leap tall buildings in a single bound or scale the side of a building, but I can remind, badger, pester, hound and goad the hell out of a day. That I can do with my eyes closed.

That is how your paper gets in on time so you don't fail and beat yourself up for a week. That is how you remember to put air in your tire so that you aren't stranded on the side of the road. That is how the fish you begged me for doesn't end up floating lifelessly at the top of the tank from starvation tomorrow morning. That is how it all gets done. Each and every single day.

Luz Fuertes/Unsplash

Why do I have to use "that tone," you ask? Because time and time again, it has been proven that one gentle reminder in the most dulcet of tones has no effect. Zero. In one ear and out the other, as my grandfather used to say.

When you finally hear me at DEFCON 1, you seem to have conveniently mis-remembered that it had been preceded by multiple stages of requests. You don't seem to hear the first request, as kind and pleasant as can be. This, of course, leads to ratcheted levels of requests that also seem to fall on uninterested ears.

And do you know what got us here? My inherent need to not let you fall off of some impending precipice in your life. To put it more bluntly—you know that red box that you see everywhere that has the words IN CASE OF EMERGENCY, BREAK GLASS? I'm it, baby. That’s me. I'm your lifeline between the world of "oh shit" and "thank you sweet Jesus." And do you know why? Because of my superpower.

So I will live with those heavy sighs and over dramatized eye rolls. I will ignore the under-the-breath string of swears and obscenities. I will try not to be hurt or believe you when you mutter, "I hate you." I will do it. I will fall on that sword for all of you to ensure that your day runs like a well-oiled machine.

And through it all, shit will get done. You are welcome.

Your House Nag,

MOM

P.S. I love you.

The post A Open Letter From The House ‘Nag’ appeared first on Scary Mommy.

Nobody Told Me Motherhood Would Make Me Feel Like I’m Failing All The Time

Posted: 01 Jul 2019 06:00 PM PDT

One of my least favorite and more tedious responsibilities as a parent is clipping all four of my tiny humans’ fingernails. I mean, that’s 80 freaking nails … 100 if I include my own. Because of that, it’s just sort of become one of those tasks that falls between the cracks in our big family. And unless my kids are scratching themselves or others, it keeps getting pushed to the bottom of my to-do list. (And really, if that’s my biggest shortcoming as a mother, I’ll take it.)

But it seems others don’t possess my “there are bigger fish to fry” mindset when pertaining to such, what I consider, small and miniscule details.

My twins were almost a year old when I was taking them for a well-baby checkup. We were already running late, they were screaming, my husband was at work, I forgot the snacks, and one of them demolished their diaper in the parking lot of the pediatrician’s office. Of course, right? I changed him in the back of the SUV when I realized — lo and behold — his fingers resembled those of Edward Scissorhands.

Well, shit. 

We made it into the doctor’s office (barely), and when the nurse who helped with weighing my babes looked down at his fingers, she passively squealed, “Aw! Mommy needs to trim your nails!” All the while, shooting me a dirty side-eye like I’d somehow neglected my child.

Little things like this happen to mothers all too frequently, don’t they? She didn’t remark, “Daddy needs to trim your nails.” She said Mommy needed to — I needed to. And although what she said wasn’t a huge deal, this type of gender stereotype amongst parents is a huge deal, and it’s making mothers feel like failures.

I'm a good mom. In my heart of hearts, I know this. My husband knows it, my friends know it and my kids know it (as long as their punishment isn't an electronic ban or I'm asking them to clean, in that case, I'm the "worst mom ever"). But it seems for me and so many other good moms out there, the rest of the world doesn't see or cherish our value yet. Because the truth of the matter is, no matter what we mothers do, society expects too much out of us while acknowledging us far too little.

We're told by sanctimommies that if we skipped our seldom and much-needed moments of alone time, maybe we could be better. If we nursed longer, maybe we would feel more confident in our parenting. If we were older/younger, emotionally wiser or more financially stable, maybe we wouldn't feel like such despicable failures. 

Maybe. Maybe. Maybe. It's such a loaded word, isn't it?  Sure, we all have the potential to be better than what we already are — even when giving it our all — but I'm starting to wonder, when do we stop to consider the damage being done to ourselves along the way?

Scary Mommy and Bettmann/Getty

Let me be clear, mothers worldwide would give up their lives for their child(ren). But when we are talking about day-to-day living, the broad concept of mundane, but magical, everyday motherhood, we can't keep pouring from an empty pot. Yet it seems the world would have it that way.

But we are enough.

We give it our all until we are wrung dry, but We. Are. People. Too. Flawed ones, sure. We question our judgment, we make mistakes and we fall flat on our drained and deprived-of-the-light-of-day faces. But we get up every single day and try our best once more. On repeat. For 18+ years, and we do it because we love those wild ones who are the reason for those mile-long dark circles beneath the eyes.

For most, just "raising children" isn't good enough. We want to give them a childhood that's peaceful and joyful to remember. We want to be their home. But we can't do and be all of the things 24/7 without thinking about our own needs too. When we try (and we do try, don't we?),  it's only mass-destruction for the entire family in the long-run.

So why is it getting to that point?

Why is it that Dad can be halfway through his steaming hot dinner while Mom is starving and still fiddling with the kids and their meal plates? When will we see a mom with a ton of kids and think about how lucky she is instead of criticizing her family size? And when will a mom be able to freely pull out her breast to nurse in public — regardless of her child's age — without hesitation or shame?

Some let their kids eat day-old Flamin' Hot Cheetos recovered from under the couch, because … well, as long as there's no dog hairs, it's totally fair game. And then there are others who only allow organic, steamed and clean-choice food in their home. No matter the style, we have all failed, leading us to feel like failures. Our motherly role has been doomed with a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" type of mentality, and we are tired.

Since we want what's best for our kids, we want to be the best for our kids. But, somehow, we are confusing best with perfect time and time again … and it's ripping our mom-hearts to shreds for literally no reason at all. If not for the world around us, we would parent on pure instinct. But because it's impossible to scroll through social media, watch a popular show, or even walk through town without encountering some type of misogynistic view on the high demands expected from a mother, good moms feel like failures everyday.

Our parental instinct is burdened by the opinions of others, but we are enough. What works for one child or parent will not work for another. Most of us, well, we are running on the collaborated input of trusted professionals, our partner's two-cents, as well as our gut's intuition.

We are the mothers that friends, family and loved ones call "good," and we fail every single day. But though we fail, we are not failures.

The post Nobody Told Me Motherhood Would Make Me Feel Like I’m Failing All The Time appeared first on Scary Mommy.

Share: