The Free App That Makes Family Planning Easy

Did you know that it’s possible to bring on an anxiety attack just by looking at a child’s sports schedule? It is. And I had one.

Back in January, when the winter chill had clearly messed with my head, I decided to sign my children up for Little League and soccer. Perhaps it was while watching them try to tear each other’s hair out over a sticker book. Or maybe it was when my older daughter pushed her little sister off the couch because she was blocking her view of the television. Either way, I signed them up during a major bought of cabin fever. With an intense longing for temperatures above 5 degrees, I envisioned a springtime full of outdoor family fun, free of winter stress and worry.

I was a fool.

The carefree springtime of my fantasies was quickly replaced with the cold, hard reality of juggling the logistics of two kids, four sports teams, and two shell shocked parents. Oh, and I can’t forget about dance classes and Girl Scouts. Apparently, we overextended ourselves.

Stress Free Sports

You see, in many areas of parenthood, we now consider ourselves well-seasoned. My husband is expert at school drop off. No easy feat when dropping your kids off on the shoulder of the Long Island Expressway during rush hour would be less complicated than your school’s drop off lane. When he’s away, I can do dinner and bedtime solo like a champ.  We can both do a road trip with our eyes closed. But two kids in spring sports? We may as well be first time parents bringing a newborn home. Except, instead of a “Baby on Board” sign, we need something to say, “Excuse our excessive speed while we try to get to our fourth game today.”

Who knew life could get this busy? Apparently everyone I have mentioned spring sports to. Where were these people when I was guzzling wine and signing my kids up for every activity available to them? My husband and I also thought it would be “fun” to run a half marathon this spring. Because who doesn’t have time for two hour training runs on the weekend? Good idea.

All of these decisions were made in the dead of winter. I am convinced that getting trigger happy with children’s sports registrations was our version of Jack Nicholson running around an abandoned hotel with an ax.

An actual photo of me this January.

Thankfully, I discovered a FREE app that has made our lives so much easier. Still crazy, but easier.

*** Disclaimer – This post contains affiliate links and I earn a small commission from sales rendered through the links. As always, I only feature companies that I know and love.***

Cozi is a complete game-changer. It’s an app that allows you to coordinate all of your family’s activities through a shared calendar. When you have two kids with jam-packed calendars and two parents whose crazy schedules do not end at 5 every night, it’s a necessity.

And okay, I use the word “discovered” lightly because my friend Lea told me about Cozi months ago, but I never set it up. She raved about how much easier it made coordinating the busy schedule of her family of five. She also noted that the words, “It’s in the Cozi” helped prevent many an argument – it’s worth it for that alone.

Let’s be honest, I didn’t get Cozi up because I’m lazy and maybe I get great satisfaction from complaining about my husband not telling me when his gigs are.

Spring sports changed everything. When I looked at the schedules I knew that I could never remember who was supposed to be where and when, let alone make sure my husband was on the same page. I also knew that my husband and I had to know each other’s schedules if we were ever going to get our girls where they needed to be. Shouting, “Oh yeah, I have a conference call tonight at 7,” from the shower wasn’t going to cut it when one of us needed to be on the field.

I set up Cozi in a matter of minutes, plugged in all of our practices and games, plugged in all my after-work meetings and events, had my husband do the same, and breathed a sigh of relief. Our schedule is still crazy, but plotted out on a calendar that my husband and I both have (and changes in real time) made things feel manageable. Plus, if you sign up before May 31st, they are offering a free printable that puts the entire summer schedule on one handy sheet – that camp schedule is no match for you!

Plus, there are so many other perks. My husband usually does the grocery shopping (I know, don’t hate me) but I never seem to manage to send him a list until he’s already been there for 30 minutes. And for a dude that always has his phone muted, my frantic texts go unseen until he’s home without the tub of yogurt I desperately need. With Cozi, your family can have a shared, running grocery list. If someone picks up lawn bags on their way home one day, they can take it off the list with the click of a button.

Get Cozi, the #1 family organizing app

There’s also a ton of other amazing features. It allows you to meal plan and look up recipes. The best part? If you find a recipe you like, you can add all of the ingredients to your grocery list with the click of a button. Whaaat? Amazing!

And do you want to know the best part? It’s free! Yes, free! And I’m talking forever free. Not a free trial that charges you after a month. You don’t have to provide any payment info at all. You can upgrade to the paid version separately, but so far our family is completely happy with the free version and has no plans to upgrade.

If you want to manage your family’s crazy schedule with ease, click this link and watch everything fall into place. It truly is all you need to keep your sanity this sport’s season. Well, that and a well concealed flask.

 

Cozi, the #1 family organizing app

WMDW: Half Marathon Training Edition

Mama’s drinking wine tonight because, how else does a frazzled mom train for a half marathon? Seriously, if you know of a better way, then by all means, share it with me, ’cause I’m apparently running one in three days.

I was seriously into running a half marathon about three months ago. Winter me imagined May me to be a picture of health and athleticism. Winter me is an idiot.

Don’t get me wrong, I was pretty good there for a while. I was following the half marathon training program I printed off the internet and stuck to my fridge like I was… hmmm, I’d love to drop a long distance runner name here, but I literally can’t think of one. Prefontaine? He ran marathons, right? The fact that I’m unsure shows you how little business I have running this race.

Anyway, I was weekend long running like a champ until my children’s spring sports’ schedule started. Between baseball, soccer, and dance my husband and I haven’t been able to watch a 30-minute show together in the last month let alone fit in two hours for a long run. Did you know that the New York Yankees have fewer games and practices than my 6- and 4-year-olds? Fact.

So, my goal of 9 1/2 minute miles quickly changed to “just running the whole thing,” which then deteriorated to, “If I have to walk, I have to walk,” and has now reached “as long as I don’t need a medic, I’ll be happy” status.

That’s the point where you just say to yourself, “I could get a training run in right now, but I think I’ll just drink this glass of wine before baseball practice instead.”

Basically, if they give out a medal for the runner who has logged the least amount of miles AND drunk the most ounces liters of wine in the weeks leading up to a race, I’m pretty sure I have it in the bag.

Cheers!

The Perfect Mother’s Day Gift (Other Than a Day By Yourself)

I love Mother’s Day. It’s the one day all year when I don’t have to worry about planning, coordinating, or buying anything… said no mother ever.

Mother’s Day is great. Your little ones come home with adorable crafts that, since they are dated and labeled with “Happy Mother’s Day,” you actually won’t throw away once they go to bed. If you’re like me, you’re lucky enough to even watch the world’s cutest Pre-K class sing songs about how delightful you are. You might even get breakfast made for you while you lounge on the couch. But none of this comes without a cost.

Husbands, while fantastic at making killer waffles and telling the kids not to bother Mommy while she’s peeing, often forget that Mommy isn’t the only mother that should be celebrated on Mother’s Day. There are grandmas and great-grandmas that need to be wined, dined, and gifted on this day, and that means Mommy needs to step in.

Gifting with Ease

In other words, moms, it’s time you thought about buying your mother and mother-in-law some gifts for next Sunday. Because chances are, your husband hasn’t. Lucky you, StoryWorth isn’t just a perfect Christmas gift, it’s also a perfect Mother’s Day gift.

I’ve written before about how much StoryWorth has meant to our family, and it wasn’t just talk. We gifted my mother and mother-in-law with StoryWorth last Christmas, so now, in addition to their beloved Papa, our family members will have more keepsake books being written about their lives. Thanks to StoryWorth, old family stories and anecdotes will not get lost with time, but will be remembered and retold by my children and future generations.

Mother's Day StoryWorth

And it’s invaluable for moms who thought that Daddy was taking care of gifts this year, because it’s the perfect last minute gift! There’s nothing to be shipped – just log in and choose to have your StoryWorth gift emailed on Mother’s Day morning. You could even wait until the big day itself, and Grandma would be none the wiser!

If you’d like to give the gift that says you love someone so much that you want to learn more about them, buy StoryWorth this Mother’s Day by using this or any of the other links provided.

And if any dads out there are reading this, be a Mother’s Day hero and let your wife know that you’ve taken care of everything this Mother’s Day! Which means – buy Storyworth AND make some dinner reservations that include everyone!

PS: To My Dearest Husband. If you’d like to get me StoryWorth, wow, that’s really sweet. Just make sure it comes with me shamelessly sipping on wine while watching a Real Housewives of Beverly Hills marathon while you tend to the children.

MMYFB: Messy Couch Edition

Mama Makes You Feel Better Tonight with a glimpse of her messy couch. It’s well established that I am a mess. But we have reached new heights in my home this week. In fact, my husband just said, “Nooo, don’t post it,” with a look of real concern when I told him I took a picture of the couch. He has some sense of shame. I, clearly, have none.

So, here it is in all its glory.

messy couch
The messiest couch in America.

That’s laundry that needs folding, stuffed animals, toys, and a book bag from school that I’m quite certain was supposed to be returned yesterday. It’s shocking even by my low standards. So, naturally, I did what any good mom would do–I gave my kids the iPad, ordered pizza for dinner, shoved that pile over, and starting watching a true-crime documentary on the OWN Network.

Happy Friday fellow moms!

Lice Autocorrects to Love

Did you know that on the iPhone the word lice autocorrects to love? It makes sense considering the only foolproof way to know whether you truly love someone is to determine whether you’d allow them to be in your presence while literally infested with bugs. Milo Ventimiglia himself could show up at my front door, but, God help me, if that perfect man had even one nit, he’d find his ass on the curb.

I recently arrived home after a weekend away to a husband and children in the midst of a lice scare. Allowing them to remain in the house with me is the only proof they will ever need to know my love for them. The Great Lice Scare of 2017 was incredibly eye opening and I’d like to share with you all the immense knowledge I have gained in the past 36 hours.

at the nit picker
Not the kind of “salon” a mom wants to bring her kid to.
  1. You can desperately love someone and simultaneously be disgusted by them. I didn’t run from my home screaming when I thought my daughter’s hair was infested, but I most certainly did not hug her.
  2. The thought of having to launder and/or vacuum all the bedding, carpets, furniture, stuffed animals, and clothing your child has come in contact with is almost as horrifying as the thought that they have bugs living on their head. Almost.
  3. The power of our minds is incredible. For instance, with my words alone, I bet I am making you itch right now.
  4. Lice means that the idea of burning your house to the ground and starting over doesn’t seem so preposterous.
  5. “Nit picker” is an actual profession. These people own businesses dedicated entirely to killing bugs and removing nits from other people’s hair. Watching them work is both fascinating and horrifying.
  6. Nit pickers bill more an hour than most lawyers. They earn every single penny.
  7. There are times in life when I like to be thrifty. Lice removal is not one of them.
  8. My daughter screams bloody murder when I brush her freshly conditioned hair with a $25 “no tears” brush that barely touches her. She will, however, sit calmly while a man in a head lamp meticulously combs through her hair with a fine-toothed metal comb that looks like a medieval torture device.
  9. I apparently do not know the difference between dandruff and a nit. While my children may be victims of dry, flaky scalps, they did not, in fact, have lice.
  10. Handing over cash to a professional who has just told me that my kids don’t have lice is worth the peace of mind. I would have hugged the man if he didn’t deal in lice all day.

In case you weren’t aware, it’s still Lent. So, while my husband and I consulted the nit picker over the phone on Sunday night, and sent our children off to bed with what we thought were insect eggs in their hair, I sipped a cup of tea. The Easter Bunny better leave a bottle of bourbon in my basket next month.

 

Super(Bad)Moms: Hilarious Doula Edition

If there’s one type of mom I love, it’s one that surprises you with a well-placed f-bomb. I’m not sure about you, but when I think of a doula, I think of a calm, meditative, woman… that I’d be afraid to swear in front of. Hilarious doula is not something that comes to mind.

Well, many thanks to Alexis Edwards for breaking that stereotype for me. This amazing Super(Bad)Mom is a do-gooder extraordinaire who also happens to be insanely funny. Her professional life is the epitome of selflessness and her blog, Mrs. Mombie, is flat out hysterical. I’ll let her tell you her story, in her own words, because they are incredible.

Tell us about your occupation.

I’m all over the place. I went to grad school for social work and worked full time as a domestic violence counselor for almost 4 years before transitioning to SAHM. That ish (raising tiny humans) is nut bags so I still did contract social work writing home studies for an adoption agency until I became inspired to train as a doula. I certified as a doula in November and have since been working to build a private practice that serves the link between birth and mental health (Birth360). I’m also passionate about sexual assault awareness and want to play a role in educating professionals on trauma-informed care. If all that wasn’t enough, I also blog which is basically a full time job in itself so my real occupation is driving myself bananas.

What are your favorite hobbies? Sleeping.

How many kids do you have?

I have two fuegos (this word is better than ginger mkay). My son Rory was born in 2012 and my daughter Rowan was born in 2014. One is cool, calm and collected (except for at restaurants in Santa Fe) and the other one will cut you.

How sweet are these two?

What is your athletic/workout routine like?

Bahahahahahahaha. Everything you need to know you can read here in my post about my experience at SoulCycle. *Editor’s note: Read this blog post immediately. It will bring you immense joy.

What is something you do to help make the world a better place?

I’ve always been an advocate for human rights. I use my platform as a writer to spread awareness and advocate for equality and I intentionally parent my children to do the same. I often hear mothers say they aren’t doing enough. They wish they could volunteer or be involved in some cause and my response is always this: Mothering is THE most important thing you can do. It’s the grounding work for our future and when we raise tiny humans into compassionate adults, well frankly we are saving the world.

Tell us about something you’re passionate about.

As I said before I’m very passionate about sexual assault awareness. I am a survivor myself and it took me a very long time to tell my story and begin my healing journey. Over time I started sharing more, learning more, and releasing myself of the enormous blame I carried. Once I started to work with other survivors my inspiration grew from their stories and I started becoming more involved as an advocate. I cared more about the issue from a policy level and it became my mission to shift our cultural norms and change victim blaming mentality.

My passion grew even more after training to become a doula. We had to read the book When Survivor’s Give Birth and it blew my mind that I never thought about the ways my history could impact my births (here is a podcast where I speak to this). We may carry our wounds in everything we do, but I want women to know we can navigate this journey in healthy ways and break free from the pain.  

What is one of your proudest parenting moments?

When my kid finally shit on the toilet instead of on the floor.

zero given
One kids pees on the floor while the other watches his 12th episode of Paw Patrol. No big deal.

What was your worst parenting moment this week?

Yelling. Yelling is always my worst moment. To be fair I’m what I call a loud talker. I’m passionate and words just flow out of me with lots of emphasis, but I’m also a firecracker with a short fuse and can go from zero to 60 easily. This is something I’m constantly working on, but I definitely fuck up and yell when I’m frustrated. Like when someone shits on the floor…

What is the most embarrassing thing one of your kids has ever done or said?

Since I’ve been talking a lot about the shitter, I’ll share this. One time I took my kids to the Nature and Science center we have in town. One of the exhibits is a giant dino pit which is basically a sandbox with dinosaur bones. Well my kid shit IN THE DINO PIT. Like in the middle. Everyone saw. A big ass turd fell out his pants. Children screamed. Parents stared. But I just picked up a shovel and scooped that shit out the pit like it was a litter box and moved on with my life.

Tell us about one of your kid’s worst meltdowns.

OMG. We were in Santa Fe for my sister-in-law’s wedding. The whole extended family went to brunch at this restaurant downtown. My kid had an epic meltdown at the table. I can’t even remember about what. Probably because his fork wasn’t shiny enough. Who the eff knows. Well it was so bad I had to take him outside. He literally fell out in the middle of the sidewalk kicking and screaming. A woman passed by and turned to me and said “What a brat”. Luckily I maintained my cool and didn’t go to prison that day.

Family photo meltdown.

What is one of your “dirty secrets” you try to keep hidden from other moms?

I’m a pretty open book and don’t generally hide things, except for maybe the dead Christmas tree on my back porch.

What is something your kids do that drive you crazy?

Um, everything? Nah, just kidding (kinda). Let’s pick whining. Holy mother the whining. But more the inappropriate whining. They do their fair share of normal whining. You know, about the 14th snack they need or when they are throwing each other under the bus, but the poorly timed whines are like nails on a chalkboard. Example:

Excited Mom: Who wants to go to the park?!

Whiney Kid: But mom I told you I wanted to go to the park yesterday.

Is it 5pm yet Mom: Say what?! So the answer is you don’t like doing fun things? Alrighty then.

What is an unhealthy food you feed your kids?

Um one of my two kids is a majorly picky eater. All he consumes is waffles and fried chicken.

Oh, and Lucky Charms for breakfast. Ignore the laundry on the table.

What is something you swore you’d never do, but now do regularly?

I swore I’d never be what I was in that restaurant in Santa Fe. My kid would sit quietly and eat whatever meal I served him. Bahahahaha. My kids regularly run around restaurants with bare feet.

Do you have any vices?

Yes, thank you for asking. I enjoy sitting. Carbs. Alcohol. Yelling. Frizzy hair. Holey underwear. Basically all the things.

Alexis Edwards is my kind of Super(Bad)Mom. She is passionate, inspirational, and selfless. Most of all, she reminds me that being a mother is enough. Not only am I beyond inspired by her, but, if we didn’t live thousands of miles away from each other, I would force her to be my friend. Thank God for her blog and Instagram, so I can just pretend to hang with her!

Super(Bad)Mom: Business Mom Edition

It’s nice to be on top. And Erin O’Keefe is an inspirational mama who can tell you what the view is like from there. Sometimes, it looks a lot like paradise.

Erin is a mom who somehow balances motherhood with being a serious rock star in the business world. Not only has Erin reached Diamond Ambassador status at Plexus Worldwide, but she has also twice spoken at the company’s Super Saturday. I was pretty stoked when my boss gave me a free magnet and notepad this year; Erin’s company has sent her on not one, but two all-expenses paid trips to Hawaii — all to reward her incredible work.

Being a corporate champion would be enough for most, but Erin still manages to volunteer at her daughter’s school and gymnastics events. Oh, and she’s a passionate athlete. Erin runs three days a week and works with a trainer another three days. This inspiring fitness routine has helped her run three marathons, two of which benefited the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Erin is a selfless woman who lives to pour her love on others and help other women achieve their goals. Despite her incredible business success, she is, above all else, a mom whose proudest moment is watching her daughter perform at her first gymnastics meet. She sounds pretty damn perfect and enviable, doesn’t she? Anyone who excels in both business, athletics, and motherhood sounds like a Supermom to me. Thank God for the rest of us, Erin comes with some Bad Mom moments to help us even the playing field.

Tell us about an amazing party you have thrown. My son’s first birthday/baptism…we had it at our favorite bar and it was amazing. *Editor’s note: Anyone who has a child’s party at a bar is someone we want to hang with.

What is the most embarrassing thing one of your kids has ever done or said? Some sweet old lady said hello to my son when he was 2 and he stuck his tongue out at her.

Tell us about one of your kid’s worst meltdowns. This seems to happen when we are on vacation…at a nice resort…by the pool.  Serious screaming and fighting with the kids and having to carry my son out of the pool while every mom is staring at me.

This is Erin’s Christmas card. Amazing.

What is one of your “dirty secrets” you try to keep hidden from other moms? I absolutely love being a work at home mom…now that my kids are in school.  I don’t think I would have enjoyed it when they were little and home.  I’m a tad selfish and love my workout time, alone time and to be able to work at home without them wanting a snack every 4 seconds.

What is something your kids do that drive you crazy?  Ask for a snack or a drink every 4 seconds when they are home.  Throw their backpacks and coats on the floor when they walk in the door.

What is something you have allowed your kid to do this week that you know you probably shouldn’t have? Play on their ipads for like 8 straight hours.

What is an unhealthy food you feed your kids? Gushers…ewwwwwwwwwwwwww.

Are there any dangerous activities you let your kids participate in? Nothing crazy dangerous,  but I let them climb and jump off everything.  My daughter does back handsprings on our bed, my son jumps off bay windows, whatever.  It doesn’t bother me.

What is something you swore you’d never do, but now do regularly?  I let my kids eat crappy snacks and drink soda.  I only let them drink soda at restaurants but swore I would never even do that.

What is something you do or say in front of your kids that might horrify other parents? Go away.

Do you have any vices? beer, wine, tequila…yum. *Editor’s note #2: Erin, let’s hang.

Any final Mama Confessions you want to get off your chest?  I sometimes travel for work and I love love love being able to do it alone. I have zero mommy guilt when I travel and I use it as a time to recharge my battery. My events seem to come every 6-8 weeks, right before I have a total mommy meltdown.Thank you Plexus.

Erin is us. She lets her kids watch iPads for hours, feeds them the crap they beg us for, and she loves a good drink. She’s also a dedicated, enterprising woman, making her dreams come true. Doesn’t that mean that we can be those things too? I think so.

The Lent Diet

This year’s Lent Diet will be different.

Let’s be honest. For most of us, Lent is just a diet sanctioned by Jesus. Lent is supposed to be about sacrifice for the purpose of penance. Are we truly showing penance when we give up chocolate in order to fit into our spring clothes?

When I decide to give up sweets every year, it has much less to do with the atonement of my sins and much more to do with the fact that the impending spring is a reminder that swimsuit season is around the corner. Plus, there are so many loopholes. Last year, I gave up wine…and promptly filled the void with bourbon. You know, just as Jesus intended.

The fact that everyone treats the day before Lent like they’re heading off to rehab in the morning is also pretty questionable. For instance, I’m pretty sure the Holy Spirit doesn’t approve of the way beads are distributed on Fat Tuesday. Yet, there I was last night, laying on my couch having my own little Mardi Gras that involved guzzling wine and demolishing a bag of Tate’s chocolate chip cookies. Because, yes, my Lent Diet starts today and I needed to get my last fix. But it also got me thinking that this year, I should do more.

This year, as always, I am giving up sweets and second helpings (as a friend mentioned last week – if you’re not Italian, you may not understand that there are grown women in this world that eat like this). I am also adding “drinking at home” to the list this year, which I fear makes me sound like someone who needs more help than Lent has to offer. When I consider my list of sacrifices, one thing is plain to see – – every single one of the things I am giving up is to help me lose weight. It seems I am giving up gluttony and replacing it with vanity.

I have decided that that is okay. I am going to stick to my Lenten promises. Because they are good for me. My ability to binge on anything containing simple sugars is out of control. I eat enough carbohydrates in one meal to feed a family of 6. And, okay, maybe I drink too much wine. Plus, I am training for a half marathon, and all of these sacrifices will help me accomplish my goal of, you know, not feeling like I’m going to die while running 13.1 miles. Giving up these unhealthy habits for 40+ days (Sundays don’t count, but I’ll keep to my Lent Diet on them anyway) will benefit me, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t still sacrifices. So they remain.

But this year, I am going to do more. This year, Lent will not only be about me. I am going to “give up” more than sugar, alcohol, and carbohydrate units. This year, I am also going to give up my time, my energy, and my things. And I am going to give them to people who need it.

This Lent, I am going to ensure that, every week, I devote time to do at least one thing for others. Whether I volunteer at a local charity or donate goods to those in need, Lent is not going to be all about me this year. This week, I am finally going to bring the bags of clothes we have been hoarding in our upstairs hallway to Goodwill. Next week, I am going to bring my kids grocery shopping and then drop off after school snacks at an incredible local charity that feeds kids in a cafe setting. Who knows where I’ll go from there!

One thing is for sure, come Easter, I’ll be the gal with the slim pants and the full soul. Because my Lent Diet is going to make my body starve, while it serves my soul a feast. Who wants to join me?*

*Just to clarify, I mean the service part. I would never be so cruel as to ask any of you to give up drinking wine at home. I’m not an animal.

 

WMDW: Starbucks Edition

Mama’s drinking wine tonight because this is how we left Starbucks today. Let’s just say, my Cascara Latte didn’t cut it after this.

My glass of sauvignon blanc came to the rescue at home and is reminding me to have a gratitude attitude. Thanks to Starbucks whose amazing staff immediately made a sobbing four-year-old a new hot chocolate and mopped up our mess with a smile. Another thank you to the old men sitting across from us who didn’t even blink an eye when we made our scene. Also, a huge thank you goes out to the woman who gave me a smile and a knowing nod as I walked past her holding a pile of dripping napkins.

To the group of college students standing next to us: you’re welcome for the reminder to refill your birth control.

Cheers!

Super(Bad)Mom: The World Traveling Mom

When I was thirteen years old, I went sledding at a local golf course with a friend. We were meeting a group from the all-girls school that I would be attending the following year. I was the outsider. Middle school girl politics being as they are, I was a bit nervous. As soon as I reached the top of the hill, a blonde girl I’d met just once before grabbed my arm and ingratiated me into the group by inviting me to ride on the back of her sled. I hopped on and went for a ride that’s still going on twenty-three years later. Whether it’s convincing me to ride a zip line, stay in a grass hut in Panama, or start a non-profit, I’m incredibly grateful to still have this blonde girl by my side, convincing me to take a plunge.

Now it’s my turn to make her take one, as I forced nominated her to be Mama Tries Blog’s very first Super(Bad)Mom!

My friend Lea is the ultimate supermom. She’s also incredibly humble, meaning she answered only three of the questions for the “super” portion of Super(Bad)Moms, and only with one to three word answers. The “bad” mom portion was much lengthier. It’s a good thing my first featured Super(Bad)Mom is a friend I can call out on her BS, because the joke’s on her — instead of writing the supermom portion in the question/answer format I planned, I am writing a narrative about how fabulous she is (which will make her cringe to no end).

A quick glimpse of Lea’s Facebook page reveals an enviable life and family. She is a gorgeous mother of three ridiculously adorable little boys, all under age 6. She and her husband not only manage to dress and feed the boys everyday, but also make sure they are all enjoying life to the fullest. On a Saturday, she’s likely to invite our family on a hike when we are still in our pajamas and trying to figure out how we can stay like that all day. Seriously, they go on hikes – a lot – with three energetic little boys, one of whom is a baby!

When she’s not taking advantage of local offerings, Lea is bringing her family on a boatload of vacations. I have low-grade anxiety for at least a month before taking my kids on a trip an hour away, but she takes her boys on incredible vacations at least four times a year. They have passports for God’s sake! I don’t even have the patience to bring my kids to get passport photos taken, let alone travel outside the country with them.

How does a full-time teacher and mother of three children continue traveling the world? In Lea’s case, it means taking on even more responsibility. Lea excels in everything she does. Determined to continue living her dream, she became a consultant for Rodan & Fields. In less than two years, her “side hustle” is not just giving her some extra spending money. She has built a thriving team, won awards, and has even created training videos for other consultants around the world – all while continuing to teach and raise an amazing family. On top of all that, she saw a need in her community and proactively filled the void, starting a local chapter of the Lady Project, a non-profit women’s social and philanthropic group.

Whether it’s work, her family, entertaining, or supporting her friends, Lea is the epitome of a supermom. Her drive and ambition are inspirational and have made me a better person. Without her encouragement and example, I never would have taken the steps to start this blog.

She had a baby three months before this was taken. It’s not right.

Because here’s the thing – Lea isn’t perfect. There are no perfect moms. Just perfect Facebook pages. Lea is just like every other mom begging her kids to eat breakfast and stop fighting each other. As I’ve written before, that’s where the inspiration lies. If we know women like Lea also struggle with day-to-day mom life, we can certainly work our mom asses off and accomplish some of the great things she does, too. When I saw her ability to juggle chaos, a full-time job AND a side gig, I was out of excuses. It was time for me to be proactive in making my writing dreams come true, too.

Now that I’ve made Lea seem like the ultimate Supermom, I’ll let her tell you about her Bad Mom moments.

What is the most embarrassing thing one of your kids has ever done or said? My five-year-old, Eamon, recently announced to a table of guests that his mom LOVES spicy foods, but sometimes it gives her diarrhea.  Really I had just gotten over a stomach bug, but thanks for that Eamon.

Tell us about one of your kid’s worst meltdowns. Not really a meltdown, but when Eamon was two his eye swelled shut from a bug bite. We brought him to the ER and they gave him steroids.  The doctor warned us that the steroids may make him a little hyperactive, but we poo-pooed it and went straight to a restaurant for dinner. Big mistake! Eamon became delirious at the packed restaurant and was laughing extremely loudly and then proceeded to throw his food. He nailed another table across the restaurant with his corn on the cob. We took our food and bottle of wine to go!

Restaurant dinners with kids are always more exciting when one of them spills his milk.

What is something your kids do that drive you crazy? All 3 repeatedly asking for refills of drinks at the dinner table.  We keep a gallon of milk on the table now.

What is something your kids have done this week that has annoyed you to no end? I caught one sitting on my bed pillow with no underwear on. *editor’s note: I really wish there was a photo of this one.*

What is something you have allowed your kid to do this week that you know you probably shouldn’t have. Bought Pokemon cards as a reward for expected behavior.

What is an unhealthy food you feed your kids? We frequent the Dunkin’ Donuts drive thru for munchkins more than I’d like to admit. I also let my kids eat jars of salsa con queso — so I can eat it, too.

Are there any dangerous activities you let your kids participate in? The boys love to jump off the couch onto a pile of pillows, topped with a dog bed.

These boys like to keep playtime safe.

What is a typical morning like at your house? I pretty much have a panic attack every weekday morning trying to get all of us out of the house by 7 AM. Maybe once every two weeks it goes smoothly, but most days you would actually see me and Jerry sprinting around the house getting all the things together that we should have the night before. Add an uncooperative kid (or two or three) and I pretty much lose my mind. It takes me the entire car ride to work to calm back down. Sometimes I worry that I am creating anxious children and that they will have childhood memories of their mom yelling “Eat! Take another bite! Eat faster! We are going to be late!” As of now they do not seem concerned at all though! They could not care less if they’re late, and I think they just wonder why Mommy goes mad every morning.

“Why Mommy goes mad every morning.” We are not alone, ladies. We are not alone.