Honesty and Confessions

“I’m for sure losing my shit over this nap bullshit today.”

So started an awesome and epic voicemail left by a dear friend. Her kid is two. I get it. Some other awesome quotes from the nearly 3 min long voicemail include…“Oh my GOD!”, “I don’t know, I just don’t know!”, and “What the fuuuuuck!?!”. There was a lot of nervous (borderline insane?) laughter.

This frantic call happened to be about naps. It could have been about any number of toddler issues including, but not limited to: foods they won’t eat, foods they must have right now, wrinkles in socks, bedtime routine, going potty, doing something themselves, refusing to do something themselves, pacifiers, lovies, screen time, nose blowing, hand washing, hair brushing, teeth brushing, the blue cup or the green cup or the spoon not the fork…the list is endless. Because, well, toddler. But I am actually not here to talk about toddler “issues” (check out this post for that) or even nap issues. Nope, I want to talk about her feelings and her truths and how she’s perfectly normal being imperfect….

My friend, it should be noted before we begin, is a kickass mom. She juggles a lot and she makes it look easy and her kid is freaking awesome. But she was having a rough day, she was having a hard time figuring out her child and she was having a little meltdown of her own. (We’ve all been there before. Here’s my epic meltdown confession.) And so she called me. Now, maybe she thinks I’m some kid-whisperer (nope!) or that I have all the answers (bwhahahaha!) or I know some voo-doo to make kids nap (I wish!). But really, she needed someone to whom she could vent and be honest, she needed someone to hear her and not judge, someone who would commiserate and just listen with an occasional “been there” or “that sucks”.

Listen, please: you are not alone and your feelings are normal and sometimes you yell or get frustrated or don’t especially like your kid. That is ok. YOU ARE OK!


This is especially true for new mommas or moms who feel isolated or those that think they are the only ones feeling however it is they are feeling. I assure you, you are not alone. You are not the only one. And there is nothing wrong with you. What is wrong, is our society. We have created this culture of “perfectness” and we see perfectly adorable Instagram posts and perfectly made crafts on Pinterest and perfectly funny quips about how a toddler is “testing”. Then someone “confesses” their “big sin” with “oh I’m such a bad mom, I needed to take a two minute break by myself. But then I was fine and we baked cookies and sang songs and we are perfectly happy now!” Blah! None of it is real. That is NOT real life. A mom yelling in rage at her husband because she’s overtired – that’s real life! A frustrated mom throwing the kids entire plate of dinner in the trash – that’s real life. A mom crying to her best friend and admitting that she just plain old doesn’t like her kid today – you guessed it, REAL FUCKING LIFE!

Now I’m going to be my typical pessimistic, loud-mouth self: where did we fuck up so much?! What is wrong with our society!?!? Where is our real village?! We have dozens of friends and neighborhood women who will bring us a casserole or pick up our kids from school. We have twenty people we can text to run over Motrin when our kid is sick, and they’ll do it in 15 min! But most of us don’t have a single other woman we can call right this second and let it all out. And I mean ALL of it – the bad, the ugly, and the insane.  We don’t have a network that will actually hold us when we are racked with sobs from the guilt. We don’t have someone, or at least we don’t think we have someone, who will still like us when we confess our failings. Why can’t we mommas be honest with ourselves and our friends? Who are we trying to impress? Well, I guess each other….but why?!

And here’s the really big thing…this isn’t limited to moms. I think women have this facade all the time, even our “bad days”, we beautify them for others. Or make it a joke. Even our “confessions”, we water them down or gloss over them. We don’t admit the really bad things we think…and then, of course, it creates this cycle where we assume they ARE really bad thoughts because we don’t hear anyone else having them. But it’s a ruse, a big screwed up game. Because when you do let your guard down, when you do find that person or two with whom you can truly be honest, you find out THEY ARE JUST AS MESSED UP AS YOU! And it’s amazing and mind-blowing and freeing!

But why can’t moms and women just be honest with each other all the time? Why do we always try to hide, or at least mitigate our shortcomings, especially our emotions? Why is it so rare to have friends to whom you can say the really ugly things you sometimes think? Let’s be honest, it’s usually about our own selves. Yes, sometimes I think how much I don’t like a particular kid that day…but I always still feel like I love them. But if I’m brutally honest, it’s much more common for me to think about how much I don’t like myself. Or how I’ve screwed up. Or how I did this or that thing wrong. And in the past I bottled that all up…until it was eating away at me. But I am lucky, so damn lucky, that I have a few treasured friends that I can say the really bad stuff to…and they get it. They don’t judge me. They listen and they say “that sucks”. They don’t necessarily try to fix it. Sometimes you just need someone to show you that they’ll love you even if you aren’t perfect or, maybe even better, they love you because you aren’t perfect…just like them.

Anyway, when I talked to my friend, it felt so very good. I loved being able to just listen and commiserate and it felt absolutely fantastic when she said “I know I can tell you this and you won’t think less of me.” That sounds selfish, but I think, I hope, it felt just as good for her. I hope I helped her feel normal and loved, not despite of her flaws, but because of them. Because our flaws, all our imperfections, are what make us beautiful and unique and perfectly imperfect women and mothers. 🙂

Instagram Deceit

I just posted this pic on IG….


And while it is true that I was about to do some meal planning and make sure my calendar was up-to-date. And also it was true that I had gotten a (yummy) cookie and coffee to assist me with that task. This picture is not really truthful. What I didn’t take a picture of was the messy kitchen counter or the basket full of clothes to be folded. What you can’t tell is that the coffee has been reheated three times already. And this was my fourth (and probably not last) cookie today. And I didn’t mention in my post that about 30 seconds after this was snapped the baby woke up. Again. And the reason I have to sit down with a coffee to “update” my calendar is because my freaking inbox is so overflowing, I have no idea what is going on past today (and I’m probably forgetting something today, if I’m honest).

So, while the picture is maybe an accurate snapshot of one split second, if is not an accurate portrayal of my day. Or my life. My life is much messier. I think most of IG is like that…not so much out-and-out lies, but certainly not a realistic representation of real life or a normal day. And I also think knowing that, taking everything you see on social media with a grain is salt, is maybe one of the keys to modern day happiness. 😉

I can’t say this enough…don’t forget your teachers!

While we all want to start the new year fresh, maybe with recently konmari-ed closets, our poor teachers (often literally poor because we don’t pay public school teachers enough!) are starting the new calendar year with broken crayons, dried up markers, and stubby pencils. Worse, to restock their dwindling supplies, they have to use their own money (side note: when I taught public school, I spent hundreds of my own money every year…and that was just what I kept track of!). That’s where you come in…you can help a teacher and show your appreciation by simply asking them what they need and helping them procure it! It’s the least you can do for someone who spends hours every day, week after week, with your perfectly-behaved little darling. 😉

If you have it within your own budget, then please, go pick up their needed supplies, stick on a quick “thank you for all you do” post it note, and make them feel loved and appreciated. That’s what we did last week…I asked my two kids’ teachers what they most needed, they told me, and we delivered. (Also, think what a great lesson this is for your kids!)


Kinder needed glue sticks and 1st grade needed dry erase markers!

If your personal budget doesn’t allow or their needs list is quite lengthy, then ask for their wish list and share it with other parents or even neighbors – you might be surprised who is willing to help with specific needs. Last year, I asked our public school kinder teachers what they needed and had a small list…I posted it on our local neighborhood Facebook page and several generous people, who didn’t even have kids at the school, dropped all of the items on my porch within two days! Our teachers were so shocked and you could tell it really inspired them to know the whole community cared! Plus, what kid doesn’t get excited about fresh crayons?! You can also pool your money with other parents…a small $5 donation from 10-20 families can really add up and can restock their entire classroom with things they need to finish the year (glue sticks, copy paper, Clorox wipes).

One more note – you don’t have to just ask your own kids’ classroom teacher! If your teacher doesn’t need anything or has already been taken care of, ask another teacher! Don’t forget specials teachers like the librarian and music teacher; or the reading specialist or special education teachers!

It really is the little things and it really does take a village, whether raising kids or teaching them. 🙂




We are all “threenagers” sometimes

I would really like to talk about this term “threenager”. First, a confession – I myself have used it. Not regularly, but I’ve uttered it on more than one occasion. And sometimes it sort of feels accurate. But really? I think it’s a stupid term. It’s sort of insulting to teenagers (not that they probably care) and I think it’s kind of insulting to three year olds too.

Here’s the thing – it’s fucking hard to be three. HARD! You don’t know what you want sometimes and when you do know what you want these stupid adults won’t let you have it/do it. You’ve got big emotions that you don’t have words for and it seems no one can understand you. You want to be independent so badly but you still need help and comfort. You’re trying to figuring out this whole big giant, messy world and everyone around you is so busy and hurried and you feel rushed all the time. You don’t want to take a nap – you might miss something! – but being three really takes it out of you! And then bedtime, my goodness, do you know how scary the dark can be?! Or the fear or having an accident when you’re trying so hard to prove you’re a big kid who doesn’t need diapers? Or worse, when you like diapers because they mean mom smiles and chats with you while changing them…but everyone is telling you only babies wear diapers. and you are NOT a baby! but you kind of still are, just a little.


Being three sounds a lot like being a first (or fourth!) time parent. Or a teenager. Or a freshman in college. Or any number of times in our lives when we are faced with change or growth or outside pressure and emotions come into play and sometimes even adults act like a “threenager” and you know what? That’s all ok and normal. (See my last post!)

Listen, I get it, “threenager” is cute and concise and we can all bond over it at the playground. It does make the tantrums a little more bearable sometimes, to have a term that everyone understands. But the term “threenager” sort of sweeps all of the emotion and confusion and growing and figuring out under the rug…..and for me, remembering all that my kids are going through is what gets me through the tough times. Thinking about their feelings makes me sympathetic and helps me help them deal with being three.

Because they aren’t a “threenager” they are just three. And its hard to be three. And it’s our job to help them with hard things.

And just because I want you to know that I UNDERSTAND….here is a picture of my three year old eating a breakfast taco and giving me “a look”…



A breakfast taco, btw, that he begged me to make, watched me cook (there is a perfectly fried egg in there, damnit!) while hopping around underfoot asking if it was ready every five seconds, ran to the table to eat, and then as soon as it was served, he threw an epic fit because he DID NOT WANT IT TO LOOK LIKE THAT! (I don’t have the slightest idea what he was expecting, I make these several times a week and they always look the same.) After about ten minutes of screaming, foot stomping, chair rearranging (don’t ask), and general fit throwing, he finally pushed his chair back in, sat down, and happily ate the wrong-looking taco. He declared it delicious. I still have no idea what it was all about, but I suspect he was just having a hard time being three. Sometimes I have a hard time being thirty-seven. 🤷🏼‍♀️

Momma Loses Her Shit

I don’t even know what to say. Today sucked. It was bad. The baby slept terribly last night which meant I started out the day with a sleep deficit (and I need my sleep, this is something anyone who knows me knows to be true). My husband is out of town (for work) so that means getting up early, getting everyone dressed and fed and medicine taken (allergy for one, asthma for another) and teeth brushed and shoes on and bags packed and and and…it’s chaos. Or a race. Or both. I don’t know, it’s insane. Oh and don’t forget the baby, he needs to be changed and nursed at some point. And the dog. And myself, at least I need to brush teeth for the sake of the other people I will see. In any case, mornings when my husband is gone are especially difficult. Add in the very little sleep and, oh did I mention, it was the first day back to school after three weeks at home. Oy! It was rough.

But I did get the kids to school on time, with a healthy breakfast (homemade breakfast tacos with sausage, eggs, and cheese!). So go me! But then we got back and my toddler decided today was going to be an everything-is-wrong-no-matter-what-I-will-throw-a-fit kinda day. If you’ve ever been around a toddler for long, you know those days. He didn’t want his orange shoes to be orange (seriously). He wanted physics to not exist. He asked for an apple, got an apple, and then screamed because he didn’t want THAT apple. I could go on but I’m feeling insane again just thinking about all his fits. I tried to distract him, I tried to calm him, I tried humor and counting and food and bribery…nope. Today he was just going to be three. *sigh*

And the baby that didn’t sleep well last night? You guessed it, he didn’t nap well either. He wanted momma – which is fine, that’s my job and I’m glad I’m his comfort. But he wanted me as his pillow all day. Sitting down. That doesn’t work with a toddler. And he did that very lovely thing where he pooped himself awake every time I got him to sleep. What is that?! Why?!? I think evolution should have made pooping while asleep obsolete…it least if only to help preserve moms’ sanity. He was just needy and time-consuming (more so than a baby usually is) and off-schedule and just hard today. Which happens and is to be expected sometimes, but it still isn’t fun.

Now I will say there was one lovely moment this morning where we got out the watercolors (see previous post!) and that was good. But when the big kids got home, one threw an absolute fit because we did watercolors without them. WTF?! I can’t win! Which reminds me…both kids came home from school HANGRY. I mean, grumpy, whining puddles of low blood sugar. Of course it was time to feed the baby who was also hangry (and tired) and I had a horrid ten minutes of complete chaos and meltdowns because everyone needed me at the same time and about fifteen things needed done at the exact same moment and no one was hearing me because of the hangry problem and somehow, by some miracle, I did not yell and I held it together and I got it done. I was actually pretty proud (oh pride, you fool). But it drained me.

Did I mention that I accomplished pretty much nothing today? I had a list…a realistic list, I know what days are like with a toddler and baby…but I had a list nonetheless of things that sort of needed done. Pick up medicine at the pharmacy, quick grocery store stop for fruit and lunch stuff, respond to an email, etc. Not one thing happened. Nada. It just was one of those days, nothing was easy, nothing worked out. And that really stresses me. I try to let it go, I do, but I get great joy and satisfaction from crossing things off a list and accomplishing something. And I really like my life in order. (Bwhahaha! I should have never had kids then!) So on top of being tired and all, I felt sort of deafened too.

And then, ladies and gentleman, it got worse. I can’t explain it, I don’t know what happened, but everyone was melting and losing it and needing me at once and two kids were crying and there was homework stress and the baby WOULD NOT NAP and physics was still getting the best of the three year old and I spilled the whole vacuum canister all over the kitchen and I really should have started dinner but was missing an ingredient and my son didn’t hear me WHEN I WAS TWO FEET FROM HIM and I absolutely lost my shit. No, I didn’t just lose it. It exploded. I was like the toddler. I yelled and actually stomped my feet (repeatedly) and slammed a door and then I cried. Oh it’s so embarrassing to think about now. I threw a damn tantrum just like a toddler. And as I stood there crying into my hands at the kitchen counter, I heard my oldest comfort the baby and and my toddler actually stopped his own fit (ha! I finally succeeded in distracting him!) and my daughter wrapped her arms around my legs and told me it would be alright. And maybe I should feel guilty, but all I felt was pride and love. Well, and embarrassed. (And still tired).

After I calmed myself down (which happens pretty damn quickly when you realize your kids have just witnessed you act completely ridiculous), I gathered them all around for big hugs and I apologized for my behavior. They all assured me, unprompted, that they understood and each gave me advice for how to calm down. 🙂 It was very sweet and made me feel that, even if I totally failed today, I was doing something right overall. Even adults have emotions, big ones, and while I wish I could have handled myself differently, I think it’s a valuable lesson for kids to know that adults are people too. And to see me having the same struggles they do. We talked a lot about what I could have done differently at dinner (random leftovers, I had given up by then) and it was a great learning opportunity for them all.

I’m not exactly sure why I typed this all out, maybe mostly as therapy for myself. But I also think it’s important for us, as parents, to share these sorts of things. This isn’t what we see on social media – at best, we see a funny hashtag like #momfail or a picture of a kid with the flour they’ve spilled all over. We make it funny. But this is real life and it’s not always cute or funny or Instagram perfect – and that’s ok. No, it isn’t ideal to lose it completely, I don’t recommend it as a parenting style, but it is going to happen and in fact it happens to us all at some point and it doesn’t mean we are bad or scarring our kids for life and we shouldn’t hide it. If anything, I probably would have been a lot better off venting to a friend earlier in the day.

And you know, as tough as today was, we are all healthy and we have a roof over our heads and it could all be a lot worse. Of course, it could have been better too, but hey, you win some, you lose some. I’m going to bed now and I will take any good thoughts, positive vibes, prayers, or even voodoo dances (if that’s a thing) that we all get some good sleep. It’s amazing what sleep can do…and what lack of sleep can do!

Oh, and one more thing….this gem came out of today…. 😍😍😍



“Momma! Momma, take our picture! Take a picture of Frankie and his big brother!” ❤️

Keep It Simple!

Ironically, I could write a novel based on this one sentence. Especially when it comes to kids and parenting. “Keep it simple.” is the single greatest advice that we all ignore. But I’m here to (quickly!) remind you that keeping it simple is your key to happiness when it comes to kids…you don’t need fancy or expensive toys or an elaborately planned activity. Often, those things only result in stress and mess and disappointment. Think simple….

Water colors. Yep, a couple bucks for the old-school crayola watercolors, get some plain paper, throw some water in a cup, and have a few paper towels standing by…and you have cheap, SIMPLE fun for at least 30 minutes. Plus, you get great art to hang up after you’re done!


I just let my toddler do his thing, but you can add in some questions and prompts to get them thinking about colors, tints, shades, mixing, primary and secondary, etc. You can paint a picture together, each taking a turn. You can “teach” how to paint a specific thing by doing it on your paper and having your child then “copy” onto theirs (much like those paint studios do for the group canvas painting). The options are endless, but overall, it’s a fun, cheap, and simple activity that you may have forgotten about…enjoy!