How Young Is Too Young for the Orthodontist?

Graduating from high school in the late 90s meant that I came of age during the era of grunge and Friends. It also meant that, come senior portrait time, I was sporting The Rachel. This was not because it was flattering to my face shape, but because every hair dresser on the planet gave it to you whether you asked for it or not. It also meant that I was “too cool” to wear makeup. As if these two factors alone didn’t guarantee an unfortunate senior portrait, the fact that I had braces sealed the deal. Yes, I visited the orthodontist at the age of 17. In the 90s, visiting the orthodontist into your teenage years was pretty typical. This is a fate my children may never know. After my 7-year-old daughter’s most recent visit to the orthodontist, I’m not sure this is a good thing.

90s Senior Portrait
This is a picture taken of my senior yearbook page. Because my mom didn’t have a copy of this picture in her home. Enough said.

Six months ago, when our family dentist told us that he was going to refer my then 6-year-old daughter to an orthodontist, I thought that maybe there was a nitrous tank leaking in his office. After asking around the schoolyard, I discovered that this is now common practice. Apparently, orthodontists can create a picture perfect smile that will last your child a lifetime, even when your kid is still rocking baby teeth. Well, they at least want to can start the process. I had my doubts, but since I cannot say no to anyone, I made an appointment with the orthodontist. You know, because who knows what that nitrous sniffing dentist would think of me otherwise.

Our first trip to the orthodontist was tons of fun – if your idea of fun involves laying on a dental chair with a frantic child writhing on top of you. My daughter, who has typically done well at the dentist, was terrified of the orthodontist. I’d like to think she was shown a copy of our bill and was protesting in outrage, but I kind of just think she enjoys inflicting physical and emotional pain upon her mother. My daughter would only agree to open her mouth for the orthodontist if she was on my lap. Have you ever sat in a dentist’s chair and hugged a child at the same time? The strain on your neck makes tipping your head back at a salon sink feel like a hot stone massage.

This practice continued for every visit. And those were just consults to look inside her mouth and get her “comfortable in the office.” At her latest appointment, she had to get impressions. She reacted as if we told her we’d be pulling all of her teeth and she’d be eating porridge and gruel the rest of her days. She sobbed hysterically as the hygienist, orthodontist, and I all tried to reassure her that nothing would hurt. I laid there on the chair sweating, getting neck cramps, and wondering whether I’d plucked my chin hairs recently as the orthodontist’s light shined down on my exasperated face. I put my mom through some business when I was younger, but I guarantee she didn’t have to go through this when I got braces.

So why was I doing this? Does it really make a difference physically to get braces at age 7 instead of 12? Are fourth graders not allowed to have wonky teeth anymore? I get not wanting to have braces in high school (believe me, I do), but why isn’t middle school good enough? Aren’t our awkward years the ones when we learn to develop our character? I’d like to think that if I’d had straight teeth in high school that I’d have the personality of a wet blanket. Who needs to make jokes when you have a dazzling smile to win people over? Moreover, are these early trips to the orthodontist simultaneously causing my child emotional turmoil while also depriving her of her character building awkward years?

We were told my daughter needs an expander and braces now, and again in five years. This first go round will make the final one more efficient. In my meeting with the orthodontist, I should have been focusing on words like, “prevent having to pull teeth” or “super easy process at 12.” Instead I was perseverating on the “key” I was supposed to use to stretch the expander on the roof of my daughter’s mouth each week. The mouth of my stubborn child who I imagined holing up in her room to wire her jaw shut in protest. Don’t believe me? You should have seen the jaw strength on this one at her last appointment. She even wrote me an unsolicited apology note that was discreetly left on my bed later that night.

kid apology note
Maybe if your kid can’t spell orthodontist (or picture), they’re too young for braces. PS: I never got that pecher.

This last trip to the orthodontist has made me question today’s new orthodontic practices. Are 7-year-old’s ready to maintain a mouthful of expensive orthodontics? If my kid freaks out over impressions, what is she going to do when she experiences mouth soreness after a tightening, or, worse yet, the sharp pain of a broken bracket? When I experienced these discomforts, I was old enough to appreciate the “no pain, no gain” mantra. I was willing to do whatever it took to attain the end product – a straight smile. My kid is going into second grade. In a world where  jack-o-lantern smiles are celebrated, she has zero interest in having straight teeth. Basically, there is no incentive for little ones to appreciate or care for their orthodontics. So why bother?

I made an appointment for my daughter to start this process – you didn’t expect me to say no in person, did you? But I am having second thoughts. Surely someone so young and terrified can wait just a few years? Perhaps we can all agree that she’s still got a few cute years left in the yearbook and her 7th grade class picture should be the most awkward. Never fear though, we’ll make sure her senior portrait is memorable for one thing and one thing only – a bad haircut.

WMDW: The Straws That Broke Mama’s Back

If your house is anything like mine, you can walk into any room and find a used juice box straw, or, worse yet, the wrapper of one. I have always found this mildly annoying, but after two full months of this, I am ready to blow a gasket every time I see one. I recently may or may not have threatened to take juice boxes away for two weeks if I saw any evidence of juice box consumption on the couch. Well, it seems I underestimated my dear daughters because they doubled down on Mama’s threats. They are now collecting the straws. Yes, they are collecting used juice box straws. Well played, girls.

They aren’t just collecting these straws whole. No, they are taking their straws and cutting them into filthy germ-filled pieces beads and storing them in an old lunch box. Their goal is to fill the lunch box and then turn these straws into necklaces. To think, I once thought their desire to collect Dixie cups was their rock bottom.

collected straws
That’s what a lunch box full of cut up straws looks like.

Maybe I should be focusing on their desire to reuse plastic. Perhaps I should hope that this leads to successful careers as modern artists focusing on repurposing common household items. Instead, I am living in constant fear that this lunchbox is going to spill or that I’ll one day be forced to wear a necklace covered in the residue of kid backwash.

straw collector
Why can’t she have this much pride in…literally anything?

Either way, Mama’s going to drink some wine and consider which is worse – the wrath of my children if I throw this crap out, or the pain of cleaning these out from every crevice in my home for the next few months.  

When Trump Blames “Many Sides” He Contradicts Vital Lessons We Teach Our Children

On Saturday, my husband and I sent our daughters outside to play as we watched the horrific images coming out of Charlottesville. We watched as men clad in swastikas, carrying weapons and torches, shouted hate throughout the streets of a typically lovely, tranquil college town. We watched as a car rammed into a crowd on a street usually filled with students and families out for a stroll or a bite to eat. We then watched, equally horrified, as our president placed the blame on many sides. I peered out the window at my daughters innocently playing in the backyard and was as grateful that they hadn’t heard these words as I was that they hadn’t seen the images of the protest.

Blaming many sides contradicts critical life lessons we teach our children. When we blame many sides, we equate the behavior of hate-filled groups who stand for the oppression of others to the behavior of those who are willing to risk their own safety to stand up against hate. When we give people a pass for standing alongside Nazis, but denounce those who stand up to them, we need to stop and think about what message this sends to the impressionable youth of our country.

Bullying prevention is taught in school across America. We teach our children what we know to be true, that bullies and victims are few and the majority of the participants are bystanders, those who witness bullying and do nothing to stop it. Most kids are bystanders out of fear of retaliation, or feelings of helplessness. While the mindset of a bystander is completely understandable and teachers are sympathetic to their feelings, we encourage them to act as upstanders. We implore our students to stand up for someone being bullied, assuring them that they will be protected. If we can expect an 8-year-old to be an upstander, then why aren’t we encouraging adults to do the same?

When our president condemns “many sides,” he condemns the upstander right along with the bully. President Trump is equating men marching through streets spewing hate to the men and women who filled the city center of their community to show that hate does not have a place there. On one hand there is a bully marching for the oppression of women, immigrants, people of color, and the LGBTQ communities, and on the other is the upstander sticking up for those who have been marginalized. By placing equal blame on upstanders, we are sending a message to our children to allow hate. We are teaching them apathy. We are telling our children to continue being bystanders, for otherwise they will be condemned along with the bully.  

strong kids

As parents, we have concern over who our children spend time with. We want to meet our children’s friends and their parents so that we may consider their values and character. We encourage our children to surround themselves with positive influences who will bring out the best in them. We are concerned over who our children align themselves with socially because we know that these people will not only have influence over them, but also determine how they are judged by their peers, their teachers, and people in their community.

If my child was continually hanging out with friends who openly used drugs, though assured me she was drug free, would I feel unconcerned? Of course not. Even if she stayed sober, she would be aligning herself with a group whose values did not stand with her own. School officials and future employers would have every right to question her judgement. If the police entered a room filled with drugs, she would find herself in trouble just by being present. We teach our children that they are a reflection of those around them. We must hold adults to the same standard.

When we refuse to condemn white nationalists for Saturday’s despicable riots because “other groups” were also marching, we give people a free pass to align themselves with hate while skirting blame. Forgive me if I have little sympathy for men who claim to have been marching simply to save an historic relic. You chose to knowingly march with leaders and members of the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazi groups. You chose to align yourselves with hatred and you should reap the consequences, whether that be public shame or a loss of your employment.

When our president makes vague remarks about placing blame on “many sides” and refuses to condemn hate groups, he is sending a clear message to our children. Waiting two days to condemn specific hate groups still sends the same message. My children were playing outside on Saturday, but many weren’t. Children and teens across the nation heard the words of the president and received a message which blatantly contradicts the lessons they have been taught by their parents and teachers. Today, they heard a politician backpedal after national outrage that spread across party lines. So what can we do?

We let them hear our outrage. We let them know that today’s words were a start, but not good enough. We teach our children that hate is unacceptable. We encourage our children to stand up against hate of all kinds. We teach them to make their friends based on who is kind and who brings out the best in them, no matter their race, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation. Whether they see a classmate being teased over her headscarf or the contents of his lunchbox, I will teach my daughters to be fierce friends who always choose to be the upstander.

I will teach with my words and I will show with my actions. If I want my daughters to be fierce, they need a mother who is too. So my daughters will see me feel anger over injustice. They will see me defend anyone being subjected to hate and oppression. They will see their mother align herself with people and groups that celebrate inclusion and love. For my daughters, there will only be one side, and that will be the side that fights hate. Always.

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.