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.
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.
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.
The power of our minds is incredible. For instance, with my words alone, I bet I am making you itch right now.
Lice means that the idea of burning your house to the ground and starting over doesn’t seem so preposterous.
“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.
Nit pickers bill more an hour than most lawyers. They earn every single penny.
There are times in life when I like to be thrifty. Lice removal is not one of them.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.