I Feel Guilty When The Pain Keeps Me From Being A Mom To My Kids

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

“Can you watch a movie with Mommy upstairs this morning?” I ask in the most singsongy voice I can muster.
“Yes! The Grinch! No school, Mama?” says my 4-year-old daughter quizzically. She looks confused.

“Not right now. Mommy hurts too much to drive you to school right now, so can you come upstairs and rest with me?”

My 4-year-old outstretches her soft, pudgy, baby-like hand to grab mine.

“Yes, Mama. I hold your hand,” she says.

I walk hunched over with my daughter’s hand in mine desperately trying to hold back the tears that I feel welling up in my eyes. I can act tough, like the endometriosis isn’t impacting my life. It’s an invisible disease after all—I don’t have to wear any of its damaging effects on the outside. My appearance isn’t marked by this disease (except, of course, the scars on my belly showing a storyline of past, failed surgical treatment attempts).


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The pain of endometriosis is deep inside a woman’s reproductive organs. For most, the pain is most intense during ovulation, PMS or a period. But, it can flare up at any time, and put a woman out of commission for days.

It’s not just “bad cramps.” It’s your worst case of bad cramps, amplified by a million-gazillion. Over-the-counter meds barely touch endometriosis pain for many sufferers. No one’s faking their pain. No one’s weak in this disease.

In the past, endometriosis has stopped me from going to work, running errands, cooking dinner and exercising—all of which is frustrating and inconvenient to my daily life. But not being able to get my kid to school, that took my disease to a whole new level. Seeing the impact that endometriosis is having on my daughter’s life is hard to watch. I can’t help it—I feel like a shitty mom. I feel guilty.

As my daughter and I start up the stairs, I want to howl out in pain. It’s similar to labor pain, but like one long contraction. I feel like I could pass out from the pain. I grow more clammy, dizzy and emotional with each step. I focus. Just get to the top, I say to myself. I instruct my 4-year-old, “If something happens to Mommy, like I fall or I go to sleep and you can’t wake me up, run outside and knock on doors to find a neighbor, okay?”

I know the minute she opens the door to the outside our house alarm will go off and alert emergency responders. Either way, she’ll get help.

The thought of my daughter trying to shake and wake me from an unconscious state is almost more than I can bear. What if she watches me fall and get knocked out? She would be absolutely terrified—traumatized really.

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We make it to the bed, and my daughter pops in the movie. I’m relieved to be in the horizontal position so as to eliminate anything too horrific, like a fall, from happening in front of my daughter. I press play, and she cuddles up close.

She looks up at me with her worried eyes.

“Is it because you’re bleeding from your butt again?” she asks. My husband and I have tried to explain what happens to mommy when she gets her period, but clearly my daughter’s missed a key detail.

“Yes,” I say.

“Will I have to bleed from my butt when I’m older?” she asks.

“Kinda, you bleed from your vagina. But, not like this. You won’t have to hurt like Mommy hurts,” I say.

Unfortunately, that’s not entirely true.

When you have endometriosis, cells that are usually found in the uterus grow outside of it. The cells can grow on your ovaries and bowels. The growths inflame and cause chronic pelvic pain, excruciating periods, and infertility in some women. Research shows there is a genetic link. Endometriosis is hereditary.

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As much as I want to shield my daughters from my suffering, I can’t. They see the toll it takes. I can only be a voice for this disease and an advocate for more studies. I can push, through pain, for more research so that my daughters and the daughters of millions of sufferers don’t have to go through this debilitating disease.

My kids know Mama is not weak, and neither are the countless other women who suffer. Lena Dunham, the creator of the hit series "Girls", isn’t weak. She once took a temporary hiatus from her career to deal with an endometriosis flare-up. "Top Chef" host and mother, Padma Lakshmi, isn’t weak. She’s channeled her pain and struggle into strength by writing about endometriosis in her book, Love, Loss, and What We Ate: A Memoir.

And while I can talk about the disease, and celebrities can talk about it, most medical professionals don’t get it. Many believe endometriosis sufferers are just wussies, that they can’t handle pain.

Imagine a young woman who’s just reached puberty and is writhing in pain. And she hears, “You can handle it.” “It’s not that bad.” “Are you sure you’re not faking to get out of school?” That’s been the reality of so many sufferers—young women and adult women.

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We have to change the conversation. We have to tell sufferers that we’re with them. That we’re going to fix this. That we’re going to find ways to make them better. We have to share our stories, connect and band together. We need to show support and put money behind research for more viable treatment options. We need to find a cure. There’s currently no cure for endometriosis.

We can be helping the women and mothers in our lives who are suffering through this disease. We can be helping daughters around the world who may be predisposed to the disease. We can help find treatments and cures before they too suffer. There are girls who still stand a chance of being happy, healthy and endometriosis-free.

This article originally appeared on the publication Scary Mommy in April 2016.

Actually Childfree People, Moms ARE Busier Than You

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Women are claiming and owning their childfree status. They’re taking a stand and telling the world that they don’t want kids or can’t have kids. BRAVA. I’m proud to share this planet with women that do this. Huge kudos, it shows how far we’ve come as women.

Nothin’ but love for ya.

Childfree women are also letting you know they shouldn’t have to explain themselves. Ever. Not to you. Not to me. Not to their parents. To friends. To strangers. And they’re absolutely right, they shouldn’t have to.

Childfree women want to go about their days, without scrutiny over their childfree status. Without someone debating their uteruses. (Fine, UTERI, even though I hate the plural version).


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I have solidarity with my non-breeding sisters, and the issues they face, even though I’m a mom. I understand that many childfree women feel misunderstood, mistreated and under-represented. I know they have challenges. There are serious injustices against childfree women.

I’ve been there. I’ve been the single, working gal with no kids. I’ve been the coupled, working-gal with no kids.

As a childfree woman in the workplace, I was often asked to work holidays and longer hours because I didn’t have a family to tend to. I was paid less than parents for the same job, because I didn’t have mouths to feed.

As a childfree young woman in my twenties asking about tubal ligation at the doctor’s office – you would’ve thought I asked how to commit mass murder. I was disregarded and flat out denied. All because I didn’t have a litter and “might regret it later.”

I’ve been the woman told by doctors, “You probably can’t have kids” because of my reproductive condition, Endometriosis. I’ve even been the woman (pre-kids) that has said openly, “I DON’T EVEN WANT KIDS.”

As you can see, that didn’t work out too well for me. Hello 2 kids later! Here’s the obligatory – I love my kids and wouldn’t change it for the world remark. We still cool? Okay, moving on…

I’ve worn many of the hats, heels and dresses that can be worn as a woman. Post kids –I’ve done the stay-at-home gig, the work-at-home gig and the work-outside-the-home job.

In my own tribes and circles, I’ve been mostly understood by my childfree friends. They support me when I gripe about the issues and challenges I face as mother. It’s not all we talk about, because I know better than to talk about snot-nosed brats ad nauseum to any of my friends. There has always been a mutual respect for each other’s lifestyles.

Except for when it comes to this business of who’s busier. Not that this is some type of contest, right? It's not a competition. It's not a battle on the suffer-o-meter.

I’m just saying, if you want to see an eye roll of epic proportions – watch a childfree person tell me they’re busier than a parent. Than me. Better, yet, write about it. Childfree people trying to make their points about why they should be respected through articles and blog posts - I'm totally cool with. Except for when they claim this misguided nonsense, "We're just as busy as parents."

A childfree person cannot possibly purport that they are AS busy as I am, or busier. Nah. No you ain’t. 


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This is not a bash fest. I wouldn’t dream in a million years of bragging about my busyness.

Anyone that grew up with a mother in their lives knows how busy moms are. It’s not some made up, fantastical theory the world concocted.

I’m being perfectly blunt, because I find it utterly ridiculous that a childfree person could compare their existence to a mother without knowing what it’s like to actually be a mother.

There are some experiences and existences in life you just simply cannot grasp fully, and cannot begin to judge or make statements on, unless you are indeed that person. Being a minority is one. Being elderly is another. Being a recovering drug addict is another. Being a rape survivor is another. Suffering from mental illness is another. The list goes on. Being a mother is also one of those instances that unless you are one – you can’t compare your life in any way shape or form to one.

Let me make two exceptions of busyness here. If you’re a childfree caretaker of a loved one, and you do not get paid, you may be as busy or more busy than me or any other mother. I also think anyone suffering from a medical illness that plagues them with exhaustion, is inherently more busy and tired than any other person on this entire planet.

Now let me be clear.

Being a nanny doesn’t qualify you to know the motherhood experience. Being a babysitter doesn’t. Being a teacher doesn’t compare to being a mother. Being an auntie or a godmother doesn’t mean you know what it’s truly like to be an actual mother. Having a pet that you leave at home for long periods of time, doesn’t mean you know what it’s like to be a mom.


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They can’t compare. Do you do mothering and nurturing things for the people you care about in your life? Maybe you do. It’s mothering in a sense. And I don’t want to take that away from you. There are ways to be a faux parent of sorts to your nieces and nephews. Or to your pets.

But, this isn’t being rude. You’re not a mother. And I’m not a cool, hot, skinny twenty-year old. Okay, it just is what it is.

Here’s why parents are indeed busier than childfree people, in case you need an explanation.

It’s rather simple. I am responsible for more humans than myself. All day. Every day. You are responsible for numero uno.

If the thought of that alone doesn’t mentally exhaust you, then you really are clueless.


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If you think worrying about yourself and all of your commitments even to your lover, could possibly be busier than me, or any other mother, you’re delusional.

You’re not only ridiculous to say this, your words are like a slap in the face to mothers and fathers everywhere. Including the ones that raised you.

Every single solitary second I am thinking about the well-being of my children. It is a primal duty. I can’t control it. I can’t turn it off. It is a continuous and RELENTLESS cycle of figurative and literal temperature taking. I am always thinking about my kids’ health, their safety, their emotions. Even their friggin’ fiber intake.

While writing this article, I’ve had hundreds of thoughts about the two other small human beings in my life. Here are some…

Dammit I need to have the kids practice math.
Did I pick up bananas for the kid’s lunches? Milk? 
Who has practice tonight? Who’s going to get kid 1, from point A to point B, and who’s going to pick up the other kid? I’m juggling 4 people’s schedules. FOUR. 
I need to schedule an annual doctor’s check-up for my kid.
I hope the pollen count isn’t too high today, or my kid might need her inhaler. I hope she remembers how I taught her to use it. Or she could DIE.

These are thoughts that reel through my head while I’m working, commuting, exercising, preparing meals, reading a book, etc. All day, every day in some way. And that’s just in 30 seconds. I’m too busy to tell you all of the thoughts I have about my children in 24 hours.

These are not thoughts of an anxiety-ridden person. Or a stereotypical “harried” mom. These are thoughts of a mom at work. A mother commuting to work. A mother exercising, or having after-work cocktails with clients. These are thoughts that a mother has while volunteering or out to dinner with girlfriends. These are the thoughts that hang on the minds of mothers sitting in bed before they sleep at night.

Even my damn sleep is interrupted by thoughts about my children.

I haven’t slept with the same level of ease and wreckless abandon since I had to take care of a kid. I could’ve bitch slapped my pre-kid self for A) complaining about my so-called exhaustion and B) not taking as many naps as possible. 

This is not about invalidating a childfree person's busyness. Or about tearing down the childfree life. Or telling a person without kids that they're not allowed to feel a certain way. It’s not about butting childfree women against mothers.

But, I am telling the childfree women that erroneously believe they are as busy, or busier than parents - that I am 100% positive you are wrong and off your rocker.

The fact that I have to tell you this is like arguing over whether the sky is blue and the earth is flat. It’s bat shit cray cray.

It doesn’t mean I’m better than you. It doesn’t mean I’m holier than you. It doesn’t mean I should get special treatment over you. It just means I am busier than you.




RIP "Missguided Mama" Blog. Hello Sarah.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016




I'm gonna miss Missguided Mama. She was a cool mutha. Full of lots of renegade parental viewpoints, profanity and opinions. And if I'm being honest, she was also very tired. Very sad. And sometimes pretty angry. 

She couldn't get her footing after motherhood had rocked her world. She couldn't find her place. She felt like she was moving through her days at record speed, barely coming up for air, and yet stagnant. Awkward. Busy bored. Wondering when she might get a shred of herself back.

She was also drunk. Very drunk on wine. Not while writing blog posts (okay sometimes, but she always edited sober).



Missguided Mama was the blog name I created when I first started writing as a new mom. It was what all the cool mom bloggers were doing. The trend of mom blogs. The difference between me and other "mommy bloggers" is that I never wanted to make money off of sponsorship opportunities and ads. I didn't want to lie about how I loved products on my blog to make millions. Or even hundreds. Nope. And let's be real - who the fuck would run ads on a site with a mom that swears FUCKING CONSTANTLY? C'mon, I know better. I know my place in life people.

Simply, I just wanted to write. LIKE GIVE ME A DEAR DIARY MOMENT AMONG THIS MADNESS PLEEEEEAAAASSEEE. I needed therapy. But, not the kind from a therapist. I needed to write. And bleed out my feelings on paper (computer screen).

I was a new mom when this blog started in 2012. I had two babies, back-to-back in age (16 months apart). It was chaotic. It was mayhem. Who the hell DOES that? Two babies back-to-back....ON PURPOSE? Dear gawd.

I had two babies not walking. Not talking (for the most part). Two babies in diapers. Both babies screaming because they didn't have language to articulate pain, discomfort or tiredness. All they did was cry. I WANTED TO CRY DAMMIT. A LOT. And I did, in closets and bathrooms. And while giving my babies their bedtime bottles, in the darkness. So no one could see. I cried a lot.

Me, 3-months pregnant for my daughter's 1st Birthday (PS- holy dark hair!!)

I didn't have time for therapy. Nor the patience (nor the belief in conventional solutions from a therapist). So when the kids were asleep for their four-hour stretches I curled up with my wine, and my words. And I wrote Missguided Mama into life.

Through Missguided Mama I've been able to serve and reach a community of women and mothers. I've been able to connect to so many badass women, mothers, fathers and grandparents all at different points in the journey of parenthood.

And while MM is dying down, my mission isn't. Which is to make ALL women feel like they're doing a great job. To inform. To engage. To tell all moms that they are badass motherfucking unicorns. To make all moms feel like they're good enough. To make all moms feel like, I GOT THIS YO.

I ain't sellin' out muthas, Never that. Please bah-leeeeaaavvvee. Rather, I'm sellin' up. And soaring to new heights. New projects are on the horizon that thankfully, will REACH EVEN MORE PEOPLE. I have some exciting opportunities that are giving me a platform to write for a larger audience. And so, I'm letting go of my old moniker. Closing a chapter, and starting a new one.

I AM NOT GOING TO STOP BLOGGING HERE. The only thing that's changing for this community of readers, is the name of the website.



As my journey through motherhood has eased into a more calm flow, I have been able to wade through the water - rather than tread furiously trying to stay afloat. I am no longer a harried, hot mess mom trying to see through the blur that is newborn hell and toddlerville.

I have time, rather I make time, for curiosity again.

Curiosity has propelled me to think creatively. It has made me a more whole, and happier human being. 

Curiosity has refueled my love for things I love - like nature, travel and art.

Curiosity has catapulted my writing career, because my keen interest in all that is women and mothers - brings me material for days.



Alas, it's time to move on from Missguided Mama. From her. From that time. Because she no longer suits me.

We are a sum of our experiences. If we, as beings, are not constantly in forward motion - changing and progressing, what the hell are we really doing? 

Not hustlin'. Not really living. Wasting.

Signs of a changing and evolved person are very positive - it means - THEY ARE GROWING. Their minds are expanding to take in new ideas. They're self-aware, and challenging who they think they are and what they want to be. They are not binary beings - they are fluid. 

Again, new moms, YOU WILL GET THERE. I promise. Maybe not at first. Taking care of small human beings is relentless work. There is no sleep til Brooklyn. And even when you do get to Brooklyn, there's still no fucking sleep. It's brutal.

Once you have a little bit more time and space, once you claim more time and space for yourself, and if you allow yourself to be more than a mother, you will understand how important self-love is. For you. For your kids. For your loved ones. And for YOUR SELF.


Choosing your kids AND yourself is an active choice. One that isn't always easy to make when our society glorifies moms who engage with their children every single second. Not easy, when our world favors a mother who self-obliterates for the sake of propping up her children and her spouse, at the detriment of herself. Her professional value. Her capital. Her future value. Her self-worth.

I can't imagine thinking the same way as I did, even a year ago. That's not to say I'm some cultural and social chameleon. Most of the things I believe and value fundamentally, are constant. But, how I identify as a woman and mother is being challenged and changed ON THE REGULAR. As I get to know myself more and more. As I get to know the world, more and more.



I can't possibly imagine BEING the same person I was a year ago.

So Missguided Mama is dead. It was a good run.

Time to put my name on my writing. Sarah Hosseini. And the website is now www.SarahHosseini.com (still here, on this site).



I am still fearless in writing, just check out my MY WORK page. It's filled with most of the published writing I've been up to in the past year, that doesn't always make it to the blog.

Articles about how I love to swear (even though I'm a mom, GASP!) Articles about how marriage and sex can change after babies. And essays about my body - and my love-hate relationship with it postpartum.



I am still REAL. I don't hold back. Not about sex. About hemorrhoids (heheeee, are you tired of hearing about those yet??!!). Not about womanhood. And motherhood. Check out some of my interviews (video included) on my PRESS page.



I love Missguided Mama as she's a testament of how life can really change. She's the mirror image of my life as a new mom. Missguided Mama showed me how motherhood can rock you. How you can lose total sight of so many things in this world - by being in a baby tunnel. In an unstoppable cycle of serving, sacrificing and NO SLEEP. Sarah Hosseini is proof that a person can eventually come out on the other side, changed, transformed, more whole, and better than before.

Missguided Mama is where I started, but Sarah Hosseini is how we are going forward. Keep following. I only changed the name of the blog - so DON'T FREAK OUT. Change is hard muthas. But, change is necessary.

Can't wait to share the next chapter with you and invite more people into this tribe.

SO MUCH LOVE Xx

Sarah


Where Do I Bury My Maxi Pad at Your House? (Oh, like you haven't thought about it)

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

As a parent, I find myself invited over other parents’ houses for get-togethers a lot. It’s not like I’m popular or anything. It’s just that my pre-kid clubbin’ days are officially over. And NO ONE, I mean no one, wants to see my muffin top in DA CLUB dancin’ to 50 Cent. Go shorty, it’s your birthday.

Alas, the parent house party is a way better option for my life these days. They’re low key and they don’t require a spray tan or a pedicure. Dress code is sweat pants (okay fiiineee, yooogggaaa pants). Each person brings a dish (and booze) to share. Everyone brings their kids to play with each other. The really “on top of it” parent brings activities and crafts for the kids. Let the parental fun begin. HOOOLLAAAAAA!!



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The biggest benefit to parent parties is that we don’t have to find (or pay for) babysitters.

Everyone goes home by 9 or 10 o’clock. BOOM. That’s a parent house party right there. Loads of fun. It’s a cheap way to socialize in a pseudo-adult capacity.

But dear gawd, I pray no one invites me over for a parent party when I’m on my period. The embarrassment of burying my bloody business at your house party pains me.

Yes, I would totally rather be horizontal on my couch, raggin’ it out with Netflix and ice cream. And that’s exactly where I should be when Aunt Flo comes to town.

Alas, I cave because...you know, the kids. Gotta make the kids happy. Gotta be social. Get outta the house more. And all that crap.

So this means, I will now have to exhibit extensive, circus-like acts to hide my period products at your house party. Clean ones in my purse. Dirty ones — AHHHH!!! Where to put them??!!


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I panic. Like serious panic mode over some bloody f*cking pads. I blame patriarchy. (I could whine about patriarchy for another 5 paragraphs, but I’ll spare you).

Anyway — the incognito, feminine product conundrum never bothered me before kids. Probably because the house parties I attended pre-kids had tons of black-out inducing booze and joints. No one woulda gave a damn about my bloody cooter plugs or pads.

So what to do with my sanitary sweethearts when the bathroom trash to put them in — is completely clean? Glistening, in fact. And threateningly – empty. 

DAMN YOU neat and organized parents!

Oh, the horror!

Let’s be real here though for a second. You all know damn well that the humiliation of wearing a maxi pad starts way before you even get into the sparkly, clean bathroom.

It starts when you feel it bulging through your skinny jeans — looking like either a penis from the front or a tail from the back.

It starts while ripping apart the very loud packaging that encases the new, clean maxi pad. With the bathroom door closed, in a house full of screaming kids, you could probably still hear the packaging of a maxi pad being ripped apart at 86 decibels. That’s the volume of a chainsaw, folks. And it looks like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre in your old pad.





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Yeah — so after ripping your new maxi pad packaging that can be heard clear across three continents — you then have to figure out how to best conceal your old, bloody pad. Most women wrap the old pad up like a bazillion times with toilet paper. The result is a miniature Charmin cloud. But, what to do with the cloud?

To place the pad as lone evidence in the trash, or to not? That is the question.

I mean, if there’s a few snot-smeared tissues already in the trash — you’re in luck. Just dig a bit under the soiled tissues, and place your toilet paper wrapped pad underneath those tissues.

Seriously, I feel like I’m burying a dead body. Please, I plead with you people. Don’t clean out your trashes for me. I want to see all of your trash. Soooooo you don’t see mine.

Period.

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But if the trash is painfully empty — anyone that goes into the bathroom after you will see that huge lump of toilet paper sitting in the trash. It’s impossible to be inconspicuous. They’ll know immediately that you’re a bloody f*cking mess. And gawd help you if Fido, the family dog, goes into the bathroom later and sniffs out your fishy-iron smelling pad and presents it half-eaten to all of the house guests. Or maybe, the toddler who just started “exploring” takes it out of the trash and starts throwing it like a ball across the living room because he thinks it’s a “Ball mama! I throw ball mama!”

When faced with an empty trash, I have only one other option. Take the evidence with me. 

Yup, that’s right. I’ve been known to wrap up my bloody pad in at least 10 revolutions of toilet paper, and put that shit in my purse. And I know you brought your purse into the bathroom with you, because you had to bring your clean pads.

I simply bury that nasty pad in my bottomless “mom purse” and keep it movin.’ I’ll dispose of my mammoth maxi pad with wings (AKA adult-diaper) at home, thank ya very much. I just admitted that I smuggle my soiled sanitary napkins from house parties. I think I have a problem.

This panic over my period paraphernalia is too much to handle. I gotta try the diva cup. PS — no worries, I always wash my hands.

10 Reasons Summer As a Work-At-Home Mom SUCKS SWEATY BALLS

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

“We’re going to go strawberry picking, then go to the pool and then we’re going catch fireflies!”

This is me the first morning of summer vacation.

My daughters are 4 and 6-years old.

“Are we leaving now?” the older one asked.

“Well, not quite, I have some work to finish up on my computer, then we can go.”

“Can we watch TV?” the younger one asked.

I hesitated. Cringed. Hemmed and hawed.

Oh screw it, what else am I supposed to do?! I have deadlines LOOMING!! FUCK SCREEN TIME BULLSHIT - I WILL NOT FEEL GUILTY.

“Yes, for an hour.”

“YEEEESSSSS!!!!” they both chant skipping off to their rooms.

I’m about a week in, and let me tell you – I’ve accomplished, hmm, let’s see, nothing. NADA. Like seriously, productivity is plummeting.

I AM WRITING THIS ARTICLE AT 5:30AM WHILE MY KIDS ARE SLEEPING.


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Ya feel me muthas?

I’ve found that if I wake up before dawn, tip-toe down to the coffee maker and hunker down in my room without flushing my bathroom toilet – my kids stay asleep until about 9AM. And I can work.

For a little while.

Sure, we go to the pool. I’m not a total killjoy!

I’m the mom under the umbrella with a lap top, phone, and hot spot device. My phone charger and lap top charger are messily wrapped around my chaise lounge chair. I have my big over-sized, wait for it – reading glasses on! Ta-da! NOT sunglasses. Ugh.


Me attempting to work, watch my kid in the pool and not burn



Summer camps help.

THANK GOD.

But, I probably should’ve lined up childcare in the interim.

Stupidly, I thought in my head, Girl, you GOT this! You can handle it all!

LOLOLOLOL

(Good thing we went to Nonna's ("grandma" in Italian) for 3 weeks, because otherwise I would've made absolutely no money this summer)

Here are 10 Reasons Why Being a Work-At-Home Parent Over the Summer SUCKS

1. You Don’t ACTUALLY Get Work Done. Sure, I’ve got a little done in my 3-ish hours of solitude in the morning.  And the one-ish hour at a pool on a nice day. But it’s all in increments. Picking up where you left off each time is a real challenge for work flow and productivity.

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2. I can’t get a full thought out. It’s mostly all in snippets. It might even be in syllables at this point. Is this article making sense? AM I MAKING ANY DAMN SENSE?!

3. I’m not tan. Everyone else is all sun-kissed and glowy looking. I’m rather sallow looking. I have pasty white legs. I know excessive sun is BAD. Duh. But, I could use a little somethin’. A little pop of color. And NO, my blue ass veins that you can see through my skin do NOT count as color.

4. My phone gets wet. A lot. If I didn’t have to the have the dang thing with me, it wouldn’t get wet. I wouldn’t keep having panic attacks over a stupid, smart phone. If it’s so smart, can’t it get wet without acting crazy??!!

5. I feel guilty ALL of the time. If I have to answer a work e-mail, text or Facebook message in the middle of supposed summer-fun-time, I feel like a jerk. I feel like I’m disappointing my kids.

6. Screen time. It’s a lot. I ain't even gonna lie. I'm gonna own that shit. Tablets and TV’s are the babysitters. I actually don’t care about the amount. I don’t beat myself up over that non-sense. It’s just that by the time I’m ready for a glass of wine, my kids are OVER screen time. They’re bored of it. And I’m like I CAN’T WIN! No wine. *sad emoji face

7. I can’t make plans with other parents. No playdates. No park meetups. Thank GOD my two girls have each other- that’s basically why we had two. To entertain each other.

8. I yell for my kids to be quiet. Or I hide in my closet for conference calls.

9. I’m always looking for coffee.



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Whenever we’re out and about, I’m scanning the roadways for the next coffee shop to fill up. Then, I’m always looking for a bathroom because hello, my bladder ain’t what it used to be.

10. Broke as hell. Seriously. Mama makin' no money. Thankfully I'm a saver.


via GIPHY


Honestly, this whole summer vacation thing feels like harder work than the school year. I’m waking up earlier, going to bed later and churning out about half of the work. I’m constantly checking the calendar. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to mark off the days until my kids go to school.

 And…

“MMAAAAAAMMMAAAA!!!”

Gotta go. They’re up.

How do you handle working from home?!  Share in comments section - cuz seriously - I need tips y'all.

20 Things I Learned About Myself When I Became a Mom

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Early motherhood will make you question everything about your past self, and everything about your new self. 

It is the most soul-sucking and self-obliterating task on the planet - you know - keeping human beings alive and all.
For a good long time, there's a chance you won't know who you are and what you're about anymore.

You might even feel lost. You might feel like you've lost yourself.

I think it's all part of the process. Once you gain some clarity (and SLEEP), you'll start to notice your preferences have changed. Your thoughts, your spirituality, maybe even your politics have shifted.  After all, we're a sum of our experiences.

You start looking at everything in your life with a different lens. And so begins this deeper, more intimate relationship and understanding of yourself as an individual and a mother.

Here are 20 Things I Learned About Myself When I Became a Mom

1. Coffee is essential for my survival. I cannot function without caffeine. Without caffeine I cannot live. Caffeine is considered a food group in my diet. I will hunt down coffee like an addict if need be.

2. I hate pants. All pants. Even yoga pants - well, I hate those the least. But yeah, I hate them.

3.Messes don’t freak me out. I used to be OCD-ish about my house. But, I no longer care. In fact, it’s mostly the opposite. I live in a constant state of clutter. Barbies, legos, school art work (ad nauseum), etc. strewn all over the house. To me, it’s a sign that I’m tending to more important things. Like painting and playing Candy Land and tea party. We’ll clean it all up next time we have visitors over the house. 




4. My cooking is horrible. I used to pride myself on my cooking skills. However, the fact that I have to fight to get everyone to eat my food, night after night, just solidifies that I suck. Which is fine, I’ve learned to like neon-orange mac-n-cheese from a box.

5. I can survive on Cheerios exclusively. I had to for like 3 days when both my kids were sick and I couldn’t leave my house.

6. My organizational skills are on point. I can pack a diaper bag, day bag, suitcase for a 2 week trip, the car, MY WHOLE HOUSE up for a move, whatever you name it. I got this. Water bottles, snacks, band-aids, extra change of clothes, (wine) it’s all there honey.



7. I need 6 hours of sleep (but can survive on way less).

8. I can get ready in the morning in 10 minutes flat. Hair brushed, makeup flawless, shoes on with a kid tuggin' on me. 10 minutes. That's magical honey.

I never said I looked presentable in 10 minutes

9. I actually love kids. Before I had my own kids, I mostly thought children were vile creatures. I would always find ways to stay away from kids and not be around them. But once I had my own kids, I realized little humans are pretty amazing. They’re brilliant. And I’m inspired by them. Moment of truth – I still prefer my own kids to someone else’s.

10. My mom tribe is EVERYTHING. The friends I had before babies mostly dropped off the face of the earth. Which at first, was disheartening. Motherhood can be a pretty lonely place without familiar gal pals. But, the friendships I’ve formed after children, go deeper than the surface. I found a sisterhood, through motherhood.

11. My hugs have healing powers. My daughter could be screaming at the top of her lungs, letting out big, deep sobs and all it takes is one long hug to make the tears melt away.


12. I value 'me time' like never before. Hair appointments, grocery shopping solo and exercising does NOT count as ‘me time.’ That's called maintenance. Netflix, chill and wine – that’s ‘me time.’

13. I have a strong stomach. No – not abs people. Pah-lease. My core muscles were ripped to shreds during pregnancy. No, what I mean is, I don’t get queasy with blood, vomit and poop. Disgusting bodily accidents involving bodily fluids don’t gross me out. I’ve held out my hands in a cup for my kid to puke into them (all mothers do this as if they can actually hold the amount of puke that’s about to come out), I’ve changed hundreds of blowout diapers. I’ve put band-aids on several scrapped knees. Nothin’ gets me sick now. Except amusement park rides. THOSE do me in.

14. My math skills suck. Seriously, I’m not even doing core math yet. But if the word problems in kindergarten are any indication, I’m screwed. I’m a writer. Writing is my jam.

15. Nightclubs are over-rated because sleep is more important. I always have these grand fantasies of having a girl’s night at the club. And when it actually happens, I end up staring at twenty-year-olds in crop tops, wishing I flaunted my badass body when I had one. I end up with a headache because I’m listening to music that is NOT Top 50 from the 80’s or 90’s. Not to mention I’m practically face planting into my martini because it’s 11 PM.

Me, hungover after a girl's night

16. I'm brave. I have to be. I've faced my fears, for my kids. Like climbing mountains. Most Recent, with both kids.



17. I have a voice, and it matters. I speak my truths now without holding back. I’ve never been more confident about voicing my opinions and speaking up in cases of discrimination and equality. I teach my girls to do the same.

18. I love the world. I love the people in it. And I love to travel it, and show it to my daughters. 


19. I’m strong as hell. Physically and mentally. One time I had to run, carrying both of my babies (who weren’t walking yet) up 3 flights of stairs to a hospital because the older one wasn’t breathing well. I’ve had to sit patiently at my younger daughter’s hospital bedside while she battled Meningitis for 5 days at 2-months old. I've had 2 c-sections.



20. I love being a mom. I wasn’t sure this whole motherhood gig was for me. My pregnancies were unplanned, and back-to-back. I struggled for a while post-partum trying to figure out who I was as a mother and how to juggle it all – work, marriage, kids. And some days, I do better than others at this whole “balance” thing, whatever that means. But every single day, there remains a constant – I love these little human beings more than myself and I love being a mom.



Kindergarten Rape Culture (Brock's in Training)

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

"I'm gonna marry her. I'm in love with her," said a little boy at my 6-year old daughter's school.

We were standing in line waiting to get the cafeteria lunch.

All I could muster up in that moment to that little boy was, "Nope. No, you're not."

I was trying to carefully choose my words on that special day. It was the first time I came to eat lunch with my daughter at school. All of the other mommies who don't work, do it regularly (as my daughter told me a hundred times). I wanted it to be a good, fun lunch. I didn't want to ruin it. I didn't want to make her uncomfortable.

But, as I gauged her reaction, she already was. Not with me. With him.

THIS is rape culture. This is the environment that allowed Brock Turner to grow into the monster rapist he is.

Later that afternoon when my daughter came home from school I inquired about her friend's name. I was trying to sound nonchalant about my questions.

What's his name?

What does he like to play at school?

I didn't want to be invasive. I didn't want to make a big deal out of something that might not be. I didn't want to come off as concerned (even though I was). But, you know kids, they can read right through that shit. Still, I was determined to get her to open up. And I didn't want to make her feel like SHE did anything wrong.

If anything, in all of my years of interviewing people as a journalist I've learned that if you start with the easy questions off the top, your subjects will quickly build a rapport with you - and spill their guts. It's human nature. And so - she went.

My daughter  looked at me quizzically and said, "He calls me 'sexy baby,' but I don't even know what that means."

By her saying 'I don't know what that means' with one eyebrow up - I knew she was baiting me. She knew what it meant. Maybe not the exact definition. But she understood the social cue. She knew it was sexual. She knew it was wrong. She knew it was inappropriate. My daughter was looking to me, for my reaction, to help her navigate through her own feelings about it. She was clearly trying to make sense of it too.

Naturally, I fucking exploded.

I explained to her that it was completely unacceptable for her classmate to be calling her "sexy baby." I told her that if she was feeling uncomfortable, she should tell her teacher when it happens first. Then tell me. My daughter interrupted me.

"I did tell my teacher."

I was blindsided. No one told me. The parent.

THIS IS RAPE CULTURE.

After my kid went to bed I sent a blunt but firm e-mail to both her teacher and the school principal. I explained that it's unacceptable for the boy to be calling my 6-year old daughter "sexy baby." I told them she's uncomfortable. And she obviously didn't like it because she told the teacher about it. I then asked what would be done to prevent this from happening again. I told both the teacher and the principal to call me ASAP.

Three days later I get a call from the principal. He explains to me that he can't tell me what was done to handle the situation because of privacy issues, but rest assured it has been handled.

THIS IS RAPE CULTURE.

ME: "Uhhhh, has it been handled sufficiently?" "How will I be able to judge if I think the situation has been handled, if you won't tell me how exactly it was handled?"

Principal: "If it were the other way around and it was your daughter that had a complaint against her of this nature, we'd call you."

That was my explanation.

To make matters worse, the principal offered his "expert" opinion on the matter.

"I'm sure he didn't mean it. I'm sure he didn't know what he was saying. Kids hear stuff on TV, in songs and they say it. They don't know what it means."

Right. With that, I cut the conversation off. I wasn't about to be mansplained about the influence of media on children. I got that brah.

THIS IS RAPE CULTURE.

A month later, my daughter comes home with a card from the same classmate. In it, he draws two stick figures holding hands. There are hearts on the card. He wrote "I Love You" in the inside.

My daughter bashfully hands the card over to me as we go through her backpack together at night.

"What's this?" I ask her.

"That boy in my class says he loves me. He called me 'mamacita,'" my daughter says with the same insecure, timid look as before.

"I explain - he's not supposed to be saying anything like that to you. Calling you 'mamacita' is not appropriate. I'm going to have to talk to your teacher again."

Mamacita is the perversion of "Little Mama" in Spanish when a guy says it to a girl. By calling her "mamacita" he's implying she's hot and sexy.

With that - I emailed the principal and teacher again and requested a face-to-face meeting.

At the meeting, I was fed more of the same bullshit I was fed on the phone. I was told the kid must hear it in lyrics. Or on TV.

THIS IS RAPE CULTURE.

I explained, "You do realize I cuss and use profanity FOR A LIVING and my kids don't go around school calling everyone bitches, assholes and fuckheads right?"

The difference? My kids have learned respect for other human beings. They know what is appropriate to say to another person, and what is not.

The clincher was when my daughter's female teacher tried to school me on the matter. She tried to belittle my claims. And invalidate my feelings on the incidents.

"You know, your daughter made a card for him too."

I said, "You're right. I remember. She made one for his birthday. She makes a card for ALL of her friends' birthdays."

THIS IS RAPE CULTURE.

This boy in kindergarten was giving UNWANTED attention to my daughter repeatedly. This boy was giving sexual attention to my daughter at 6-years old. HE was making her feel uncomfortable at school.

The principal was drinking some contaminated cultural Kool-Aid that blames this little boy's behavior on TV and song lyrics. I BLAME HIS PARENTS. THEY ARE RAPE CULTURE.

Clearly, they haven't taught their son to respect girls, women and human beings. They haven't taught him the right way to speak to a girl. They must be exemplifying and applauding this deplorable and damaging behavior at home.

Mister principal, after the second offense, why wasn't I brought in for a meeting with the little boy's parents? Why wasn't it even a consideration to have the boy removed from the class and placed elsewhere? Why are you not sending the message to the parents and to the boy, that this type of rhetoric and behavior will NOT be tolerated. That my daughter and her feelings MATTER. That her education MATTERS.

THIS IS RAPE CULTURE.

And female kindergarten teacher - You bringing up a birthday card that my kid made for her harassing classmate, and comparing it to the I-LOVE-YOU-RED-LIGHT-FUCKING-SPECIAL card he made for her - you are invalidating my daughter. You are not allowing her to be heard. You are attempting to invalidate me. THIS IS RAPE CULTURE.

Brock Turner, his tone-deaf father and the unforgivable judge have proven what I've feared all along. Women are second-class citizens. We will not be heard. The assaults against us will be twisted to exonerate the guilty. Our drinking, promiscuity and walking-while-being-female will be blamed.

And while the Stanford rape case has confirmed all of the things I'm afraid of for my daughters - it's also surprised me in a very good way.

WE ARE SPEAKING OUT. Our voices coming together, our stories and our solidarity with the survivor and all survivors, is the most powerful thing we've done. We're being heard. And we're loud. And it's great.

I see the outrage and I smile. Maybe, my daughters won't have to endure rape culture for much longer. Maybe the adults around them can learn how to conduct themselves properly. Maybe my girls can grow up in a world where they don't fear walking to their cars at night. Or fear the cable guy coming to the house to fix the internet. Or fear the boy in their class.

Maybe instead, the world fears US. And our voices. And shakes at the condemnation we will bring upon anyone, that fucks with us again.




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