Only Judy Can Judge Me

“It’s fine, I’m still cool. It’s COOL to care about your health!”, I told myself earlier today as I Googled “best colon cleansers 2021” knowing full well I am in fact, NOT cool. It’s alright, though. I have other redeeming qualities that nobody can take away from me, like how to do the Cupid Shuffle and knowing most of the lyrics to “Regulators”. It’s fine.

It’s kind of wild how fast it happens. One minute you’re in the know with all things pop culture, rattling off the names of celebrity couples, eating in the newest restaurants in town and making playlists of the top pop hits and the next minute the only couple you can name is Melissa & Doug, you’re picking macaroni out of your hair while eating your toddler’s last cold chicken nugget, and the only songs you know are the title tracks from your kids’ favorite cartoons (Puppy Dog Pals on repeat). Life comes at you fast, but that parental out-of-touch fog comes faster.

I remember how judgey I used to be about parents before I was one. The first time I saw a kid on a tablet while out to eat with his parents, I rolled my eyes and judged quietly to myself. Any time I saw or heard a child throwing a fit in Target, I felt so bad for the little nugget, as Target is a vacation destination and no place for unevolved little humans. After having kids, though, everything changed. Aside from the new set of long boobs I left the hospital with, the built in fanny pack with all of the storage, but none of the zippers, accompanied by the absolutely no sleep thing, an empathy switch was flipped and I saw everything, and I mean everything, through a new lens. After I became a parent, and I was walking through life questioning literally every decision I was making, I remembered back to that kid at the restaurant with the tablet and I remember CLEARLY, he wasn’t making a peep. Just eyeballs deep in an episode of Paw Patrol letting his parents enjoy a nice fried cheese appetizer and each other’s company. Those kids throwing fits in Target no longer receive any of my sympathy, because all it goes to their parent, who is just trying to browse the Hearth and Home by Magnolia section without their offspring losing their damn minds over not being able to take a sip of the gallon of milk that’s riding shot gun with them in the cart. Parenting, friends, ain’t no walk in the park. And even if it were, I would still tell you to bring along some type of mobile device loaded with cartoons, because sometimes walks in the park are even hard.

Even after I became a mom and dismounted from my high horse, I still sometimes felt myself acting a little too cocky. I remember vividly being out in public about a year ago (when being in public was still a thing you could do) and hearing a mom having a sweet and calm conversation with her son that went something like this: “Look what I got you, Henry! It’s a behavior chart!” And while I can’t be positive, I’m pretty sure I heard little Henry say, “Oh, wow, f*ckin gweat”, under his breath. I honestly didn’t blame him. A behavior chart. Ha! What kind of absolute deviant would need one of those to keep them under control and what kind of parent would believe it would actually work?

Me. That’s who. And while the behavior chart I’m using is actually just a calendar from the dollar section at Target with a bunch of stars a couple sad faces drawn on with crayon, it’s a behavior chart nonetheless. Toddlers, man. I guess since shock collars are frowned upon/illegal, behavior charts are the next best thing. I never saw myself as a behavior chart mom, but I’m kind of loving it. Not only is it humbling, but, being the behavior chart owner gives a sense of power, and who doesn’t love that? 10/10 would recommend becoming a behavior chart mom, because apparently Henry’s mom knew what she was talking about and those things work. I think about her often and about what a jerk I was for thinking she was nuts.

After last week’s blog, I felt relieved to get a lot of that off my chest. I felt renewed, like I had just gone to confession, except I’m not Catholic and the only experience I have with Catholic confession is what I’ve seen on the movies, and those usually end up a little spicy, so maybe it wasn’t like that at all. I heard a lot of great feedback from a lot of great people letting me know they’ve been going through it, too, which served as another great reminder to leave the judging to Judy. Or God. Judge Judy and God, they’re really the only two you can trust. Regardless, just think twice. Trade in that high horse for a more practical ride, like a Keep Your Comments to Yourself Cadillac or a You Just Wait Yukon. Okay, those are a stretch, but you get what I mean.

Well, that’s enough out of me for this evening. If anyone has a good colon cleanse they can send my way, just holla atcha girl!


It’s Been Awhile

Oh, hi there! I’m sorry I’m late. I’ve just been making memes on Instagram and tweeting my way through a pandemic trying not to lose my shit. How are you?

But, really, hi. You may or may not have noticed I haven’t posted in quite some time. Sorry about that. The last post I made, in fact, I typed while tethered to a breast pump from my lactation room at work before the world shut down. I was full of enthusiasm, hope, positivity and milk. Like, so full of milk.

A lot has happened since the last time I posted, actually. For instance, Tom Hanks got Covid, Kim Jong Un died, I got Covid, Kim Jong Un didn’t die, I worked from home, murder hornets tried really hard to become a thing, I went back to work, there were protests, there was an election, there were more protests, someone trademarked the term “maskne” before I could get to it, I bought a new bra, my oldest turned 2 (and is now almost 3), my youngest turned 1, Clare & Dale ruined The Bachelor, I went back to wearing my old bra and I finally got to use the phrase, “okay, fine, but it’s going to have to be part of your Christmas present!”. Big things, really! I really shouldn’t wait so long the next time, huh?

In reality, I started this blog because I wanted to learn, share and even dish out a little advice about parenting and life as I go along. But, and this may surprise you, after a once in a lifetime pandemic took over the world, I quickly realized I had no advice to give. None. I was just out here trying to survive, keep my family healthy and not drink every single night. I’m still working on that last part, actually, but that’s beside the point. Sure, I joked my way through this pandemic like I do most serious situations that I’m too uncomfortable to face head on, (I acknowledge this toxic trait, yes, thank you for asking). But, I’d be lying if I said I was a lucky one who didn’t struggle over the past year of this shit show. For someone who always has something to say about whatever it is that’s happening (at least, that’s what my mom always told me), I was at a complete loss of what to say or do. There were days when I knew there were decisions to be made, but I couldn’t bring myself to make them, or even entertain the thought of them without having a melt down that would put my toddlers to shame. On the rare occasion I did make a decision, I was convinced I had made the wrong one. Like the day I sent my kids to daycare when I KNEW I needed to get some work done at home without four sticky yet adorable little hands trying to play tug of war with the cord of my laptop, only to be met with a wave of guilt and driving to pick them up two hours later. Or the day one 5 minute trip to the post office sent me into a tailspin because I was positive I had picked up this new deadly virus from one of the dorks who didn’t understand the rules of the post office and made me breathe his stupid air for 30 seconds. I’m sure I made some sarcastic tweet about these experiences, but in reality, I was very quickly losing my shit. THESE are only a couple of the reasons I didn’t blog. I didn’t know what to say or what to do or what to tell anyone else, except for “what the fuck?”. I know now that most of us are in the same boat, I believe it’s named the S.S. Not Real Fuckin’ Sure, and we are slowly, but surely, making our way to shore. I hope there is wine there.

All of that is to say, I think I was afraid of what would have come out if I sat down to type out my feelings during the last year. It’s a lot easier to look back and see that things were getting a little hairy than to identify it in the moment. I guess there were a few signs, though, like the morning I was walking my recycling to the curb listening to the beautiful sound of my wind chimes carry across the neighborhood, when I realized I didn’t have wind chimes and I was actually hearing dozens of wine bottles clink together in the bottom of bin. That was pretty telling. Or the time I fell asleep on my son’s bedroom floor in the middle of a work from home day missing several calls from my boss and coworkers. Yeah. It’s easy to see now that things weren’t going great.

Although I wasn’t lucky enough to dodge all of the mind games and mental side effects that come with a pandemic, I’m lucky I found my way out of the hole I was in and that the hole wasn’t very deep. I’m lucky that I was able to go back to work in a safe environment and send my kids back to daycare where they’re so well taken care of. I’m lucky that I have a husband who does more than his fair share. I’m lucky that I channeled what was left of my sense of humor into a way of getting through the tough times. I also know there are people who weren’t so lucky. People who have lost, and people who feel lost, and people whose holes were a lot deeper than mine. I extend my ear and heart to those people. These are tricky, scary and wild times. There’s a lot to be scared of, but there’s even more to look forward to, I honestly believe that. So, if you need an ear, some heart, or even someone to just lower some rope to help pull you out of that hole you’re in, you just holler, because we need you up here, and we’ve got shit to do.

Wow. That was long. Did it even make sense? Not sure, but words are words and that’s all I can do right now.

That being said, I’ve decided to put aside some time each week for this blog again. It’s time to tweet less and write more. Let’s be honest, I’ll still be tweeting, it’s an illness. This decision to blog more wasn’t a new year resolution, because those just aren’t for me. Call me anti-tradition, but I don’t really trust resolutions I make for myself at 10:30 pm on new year’s eve after I’m two seltzers and half a bottle of champagne in. And don’t even come at me about planning those resolutions ahead of time. I’m a mom of two boys two years old and younger, so I clearly am not great at “planning”. I don’t have any new advice to share, but if Twitter has taught me anything about myself, it’s that I’m good at sharing everything, even the things my boss, who follows me, probably doesn’t want to know.

So, it sounds like I’ll see you next week? Same place? Little joke there, nobody is going anywhere.