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parenting misconceptions, parenting, tweens, toddlers

There are a lot of parenting misconceptions out there. Those parenting books don’t tell you the truth about what it’s really like to parent a living, breathing child. I think they write about parenting in theory. One of the biggest misconception is that children are supposed to meat some kind of quality standard, like a piece of USDA regulated meat. It’s not true. They are people, not products. If I hear one more new mom tell me what an asshole her toddler is I just might throw up. Look, I have compassion. I really do. I totally thought that my toddlers were both assholes of epic proportions and then they got a little older.


Thinking your toddler is an asshole is the same thing as thinking you are in love when you are 15. You really believe you are but you only think you are because you don’t know what they hell you are talking about. You haven’t experienced the real thing yet. The same way in high school you think everything is so important but really it is the most inconsequential shit that will ever happen to you.

Toddlers are not assholes this is just one of many parenting misconceptions.

Besides, takes one to know one, right? If you really want to know what an asshole is try having a conversation with an eye rolling tween. There is nothing (as of yet) that is more egregious in parenthood than having a full-grown person talk back to you, roll their eyes and walk away.

The worst part is that my “tween” might look like a big girl but she still has this tiny baby voice and still wants hugs and cuddles but when she’s done with you, she’s done with you. It’s all eye rolls and stomping and looks that say without words, “ You are the stupidest person alive!”, we really should renaming the “tween” years, the “cat” years.

I remember the toddler years. I remember being told, “ I hate you mommy” (I have a feeling that one might be making a come back.) I remember full on tantrums in the middle of the grocery store. I remember wanting to cry because my 2 and 4-year-olds were breaking me and crushing my soul. I had no sleep, the sleep I was getting was filled with kicks to the face and head butts and all day long I was to dance monkey dance. I was the walking dead. I remember their favorite word was, “NO!” The saving grace for them was that they were so damn cute and I just forgave them of all the terrible shit they did to me. And believe me, terrible twos is a myth it’s the threes and fours that you really have to watch out for.

But even with all of that, I remember the random hugs and kisses and all the, “I love you mommy” for no reason at all. I remember the nightly game of, “I love you more.” I remember tiny arms reaching for me like I was salvation and soft cuddles that made my heart explode. I remember all of that. I never forget that.

My theory is this, kids are born so ugly that they are cute and we have so much love for them that it almost kills us. The thought of losing them is crushing and losing one can nearly kill you, at the very least makes you wish you were dead. Then they become toddlers and they do become little terrorist assholes but they are now so cute and have those cute voices and say the sweetest things that we forgive them all their transgressions.

As they enter preschool and elementary school, we love them so much it is almost unbearable to let them leave us for the day. The letting go is awful. We sulk and cry and then we enjoy every moment we get with them after school, watching them blossom into amazing, smart, funny little people. Sure there is whining, interrupting, sibling squabbling and for some reason they never want to go to bed and use more toilet paper than is humanly possible but overall they are awesome.

Then they hit the tween years and they become eye rolling, gum popping, Justice wearing, whining, 1-D loving part-time strangers. Some days they are your baby and the others, they are some sort of wildebeest in designer clothing. One minute they want to tell you everything and the next, they eye roll you to mind your own damn business. Still, I enjoy the moments when we have real conversations and I love that she is at an age where she wants to dress and be like me. Not like an adult but actually coordinate with her mom. It makes my heart all squishy. If only she knew this power she has over me. Shhh, let’s keep that under wraps.

Then, they become teens. Hormones are out of control and they quite frankly are nowhere as cute as they were in the early years. Bad skin, awkwardness and bad attitudes prevail. You are basically financing them but are not entitled to any interaction (that costs extra, my friends). It’s like trying to get the girlfriend experience from a hooker, all that extra money but still, no fucking kissing on the lips. None of it’s real. They hate you and, truth be told, you don’t particularly like them either. You still love them but they are not your favorite people.

Then sometime around senior year, they turn back into normal human beings. They’ve finally got the hang of those damn hormones and they’ve probably had a crisis or two enough to know that you are not going anywhere but now, they are leaving you. My theory is that the only reason moms and dads don’t drop dead on the spot the minute their “babies” go away to college is because of all the growing pains we experience when they are tweens and teens. The pain is necessary to lessen he blow when they have to leave us.

This is my theory and I’m sticking to it and every time my tween rolls her eyes at me, I feign irritation but inside, I’m thanking her for making it easier to let her go in the end. For now, I will take every single kiss, cuddle and eye roll and cherish it because one day she might be across the world and I’ll be longing for the days when I could see her face and when she say, “ I love you,” I’ll always know that I love her more.

What was 1 of your biggest parenting misconceptions?

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parenting, bad parenting, obese child, obese children, obesity, unhealthy, unhealthy eating

If you think childhood obesity is not a real thing, then you would be wrong.

It is alive and well in suburbia. They say a picture is worth a thousand words and I believe it. Parents you are responsible for the options your child has.

I was at the pool the other day with my children and I saw an adorable little girl who looked about 4-years-old and weighed around 60 pounds. She wasn’t super tall; she was tiny so that is why I noticed her immediately. She was portly and it wasn’t just a little baby fat, she looked well on her way to obesity and that is what concerned me the most. I know people can come in all shapes and sizes and still be healthy but this little girl was breathing heavy just from walking and that doesn’t seem healthy to me.

I have two little girls and I know that weight fluctuates and kids have baby fat that they outgrow but this child had a substantial amount of weight to lose and she was so young that I was alarmed for her health. Before you get mad at me for discussing a child’s weight, know now that I am not talking trash about this child. I feel sorry for her because 1) it’s not her fault. A child’s diet is not her own responsibility at that age. 2) I know what it’s like to be overweight and have to lose weight and it is not fun or easy, for anyone. 3) Just the fact that she is so overweight, will make her an easy target at a young age for bullies. NO, that is not fair and I wish the world wasn’t like this but it is.

When children are small, their parents are responsible for what they eat, how much they eat and when they eat it. Sure, there are instances where children have a medical condition or have to take medication for a condition that causes weight gain but I think a lot of the time, it can be attributed to lazy parenting. Not all of the time, of course but there are definitely times when it’s easier to just give in. Giving in to kids who want to eat the chips and cookies rather than have the fight about eating the healthier options. I am not saying kids shouldn’t be allowed to enjoy snacks and sweets occasionally, I am saying everything in moderation.

Children are a lot more tech savvy than they used to be. There is a lot more tech available to use. When it’s hot outside, a lot of kids would rather lay on the couch playing Minecraft in the air conditioning than go outside and ride their bikes. Kids these days have access to 600 channels, endless amounts of songs on Spotify, movies on Netflix and games on the computer. Even if they are educational games and movies, it equals children who sitting on their butts a lot more of the time than they are moving around.

Pair all of that sitting around with fast food this, greasy that and super-sized everything plus soda and chips and preservatives and dyes and you have children who are moving less and eating more, more junk and less clean, organic food. Kids are eating out of boredom and mindlessly eating while sitting in front of the television. It doesn’t help that we live in a society where clean food is priced so high that you have to donate a kidney to provide safe, healthy food for your children to eat. As parents, we have got to stop this cycle before the entire world is morbidly obese and the average life span is 50.

This little girl didn’t just gain all that weight over night, none of us do. It happened over time. This little girl is also, sadly, not an anomaly, I see lots of overweight children. I’m not perfect and neither is my family. We make bad choices sometimes and I’ve had to work really hard to make sure that my kids don’t just exist on chicken nuggets, macaroni and cheese and popsicles. It’s a lot of work raising children to be healthy and teaching them to make the right choices even when I am not around. It takes diligence, commitment and hard-work.

It’s our responsibility to prevent our children from suffering from childhood obesity.

It gets frustrating and sometimes you just want to give in and sometimes you can. But as a parent, you can’t give in every time your child wants something because even though that might be the easy choice right now and it might make them happy, right now, in the long run you could be teaching them to make the wrong choices and to over indulge in things that are bad for them.

I’m not writing this post because I think it’s fun to point out that a little girl is overweight. I am writing this post because I know where this road of unhealthy leads. Eventually, people will make fun of her for being overweight. Kids are cruel. Then she will begin to slowly believe that if only she could lose a few pounds, she could be happy ( which is NOT true by the way), then she might develop low self-esteem, body dysmorphic disorder and maybe even suffer from eating disorders in search of the illusive bikini bridge and the thigh gap. She might spend the rest of her life hating her body and worse than all of that she could develop heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and several other diseases as a result of being obese since childhood. Then you die.

I’m not saying this little girl needs to be skinny. I am saying that her mother needs to step in and do something before her weight becomes an out of control problem that she has to live with for the rest of her life. Her mother needs to take responsibility for her daughter. Our children need to be healthy and it’s our responsibility as parents to give them every opportunity and tool to do so.

Do you think letting our children become obese makes us bad parents?

Update: I am fully aware that I don’t know this child or her mother or their particular situation. When I saw them by the sign, it made me think about parenting choices. We all make mistakes and none of us are perfect but we have to try.

How do you prevent your own children from falling into the trap of childhood obesity?

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walking dead, the walking dead, Carol, parenting, parenting tips

I love The Walking Dead, as many of you know. Last year when I was in Boston and shared a brief moment on the elevator with “Shane” from the Walking dead, I nearly fainted and I don’t do fan girl moments. Well, unless you count that time I made a complete fool of myself in front of the Pioneer Woman at BlogHer.

Anyways, last night, I was watching the Walking Dead Season finale and spoiler alert, Carol is badass! In fact, as I started thinking about it there are a lot of parenting lessons to be learned from Rick, Carol, Michon, Daryl and the crew.

First and foremost, kids are a liability in the zombie apocalypse. If they’re not killing you during birth, they are crying to attract zombies but then again, they also get your back. I mean how many times has Carl stabbed a walker in the head to save his dad? Now, that folks, is love in the time of the Walking Dead. My kids have never stabbed a zombie in the head to save my life, but when my back was out last month, they made me a PB& J and really, isn’t it the same thing?

But seriously, I have learned the most from Carol. I’m talking lessons that can actually make me be a better, more effective mom. Here are my Carol-isms or

Top parenting lessons that I’ve learned from the Walking Dead.

Make sure that children respect your personal space

Carol literally threatened to hurt a child if he didn’t stop trying to hang around her. I think she may have gone overboard but he knew that she was serious as a heart attack when he looked up and saw those dead eyes looking back at him. She made her boundaries crystal clear and that is something that I could use some help with.

Don’t make idle threats and always follow through

If you want children to learn to finish what they start and to respect your time and you as a person, you have to hold up your end of the bargain. Never make idle threats because you will undermine your own authority and never( ever,ever,ever) break a promise because then you lose the child’s trust.

Actions speak louder than words

Don’t talk it to death, just do it! When Carol thought 2 members of the new group were sick and could hurt her family, she thought they were a threat. She didn’t discuss it or take a vote. It wasn’t a democracy. She did what she thought was best and simply took them from their beds, killed them and then burned their bodies. I’m not saying to hurt your children but parenthood is not a democracy and sometimes the right choice is not the popular one.

walking dead, the walking dead, Carol, parenting, parenting tips

Let it Go

When Carol’s daughter turned, as much as she hated it, she had to let her go. Her daughter turned into a walker and she knew she had to let Rick shoot her in the head. She couldn’t change her back. She had to make the merciful, loving decision. She put her child first.

“That’s not my little girl. It’s some other…thing. My Sophia was alone in the woods. All this time, I thought. She didn’t cry herself to sleep. She didn’t go hungry. She didn’t try to find her way back. Sophia died a long time ago.”

Whispering is Way Scarier than Yelling

When the little boy, Sam, in Alexandria makes a pest of himself asking Carol to make him cookies. She never yells, though she is clearly annoyed, she simply whispers her threats to him and that was scarier than anything she could have yelled. I’ve realized if I whisper, calmly when disappointed or upset, my children are terrified.

walking dead, the walking dead, Carol, parenting, parenting tips

Always make them feel safe with you, even when you have your doubts

Remember season 4 of the Walking Dead when Carol took Lizzie out to the flower patch and shot her dead? What were her choices? The kid murdered her sister and liked to play with dead things. She was an apocalyptic sociopath. It was just a matter of time before that crazy little bish was killing all living people to make them her undead pets.

Look at the pretty flowers…it’s going to be all right….Bang, bang…. you’re dead.

At least Carol did the kind thing and didn’t scare her before she did it. (I told you kids were a liability.)

Prepare them for the “Real” World

There is no way Carol would ever let her kid play on a no winner or loser soccer team. Life is hard and you need to know that it will let you down. Things don’t always work out the way you planned it and sometimes you have to do things you don’t want to like eat dog or shoot the walker that used to be your neighbor. That’s why she taught the kids at the prison to use guns and knives to survive the zombie apocalypse. In the end, it’s every man, woman and child for themselves.

And my husband says that television rots your brain. I’d say that these parenting tips could make me a better parent….now, or in the event of a zombie apocalypse.

What parenting survival tips have you learned from the Walking Dead?


Photos via Walking Dead

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Parenting on Cannabis, This is your mom on drugs, marijuana moms

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Motherhood is f*cking hard. Like really freaking, punch you in the lady balls and pull your hair while running away with your big wheel and your sucker hard. Sometimes it sucks and sometimes, it’s even harder than that. But we moms, we soldier on. We push it all down, pull up our big mom panties and do all the sh*t we don’t want to do because if we don’t no one else will. Facts.

I mean does anyone think women specifically like to randomly clean up everyone else’s shit and wake up 47 times a night with cranky babies, finicky toddlers and sick children? The answer is no, Karen. Estrogen does not make us better at or even like any of those things. We love our children but all the inconveniences of motherhood…not so much. We need a release, one that won’t cause society to call us narcissistic, selfish or bad moms.

This is your mom on drugs.

Close your mouth. If you’re a mom, you know what I mean. If you’re not a mom, no one is asking for your opinion over here in “we’re tired as hell, shut the f*ck up” mom land. Forever, moms have had their hidden vices (because society judges us too harshly) some moms survive by the grace of wine o’clock, others something prescribed for anxiety, some of us should buy stock in edibles and others of us, apparently, you granola betches love a good shroom microdose. I’m not judging, edibles are my actual chill pill and I feel more in control than when prescribed Xanax.

I never tried pot in high school. I didn’t do molly, acid or cocaine in college. If we’re being really honest, growing up where I did, drugs were offered in middle school but my dad was (still is) very strict with a no drugs and alcohol policy and breaking his rules was just too big of a risk for me to take for anything. Besides, when I was in high school and college, I didn’t need chill pills because, well, I had no responsibilities, no bills and no children. I slept when I was tired. Ate when I was hungry. I did what made me happy. That’s not the case anymore. I donated my body to this thing called motherhood and I’m pretty sure when I die, my parts will be out of warranty from the sheer exhaustion and years of abuse it has sustained. I mean they call it mommy’s little helper for a reason, people.

Anyways, here I am 17 years into motherhood and my favorite thing to do after the kids go to sleep is to pop a gummy, wait an hour and see what crazy culinary concoction I will create like a mad scientist to satiate my cravings. Thankfully, the Dory brain I get from a gummy or half of one pretty much eliminates any guilt because I can’t retain such useless emotions from one moment to the next. My cannabis gummy takes down my barriers and leaves me to prioritize only what is of the most importance. But don’t try to have a conversation with me. It’s pretty much like what you would imagine having a conversation with your succulent would be like! Yeah, edibles are not good for weight loss or having intelligent conversations but they are fabulous for sleep, stopping panic attacks, and chilling right the f*ck out. That’s why I’m chunky but overall pretty happy.

Still, I’m a mom and none of the baby books say that moms, in particular, should be celebrating 4/20. But then again, what do books know and most likely those books were written by overachievers who are trying to raise babies by some crazy, unattainable parenting standard. I’m here to tell you, those of us real ones, the ones who have served on the frontlines 100% recommend cannabis over child abuse.

The truth is that parenting is hard and no book can prepare you for the reality of keeping little people alive, never mind during a pandemic. Remember, I’m speaking as the mom of teens so they are pretty self-sufficient, once I put them to bed, it’s my time. My husband doesn’t get high because it’s not his thing so he’s always sober. I only mention that my kids are older because I didn’t get high when they were little because 1) it wasn’t legal 2) most of the time I was alone with them 3) it wasn’t as accessible as it is now. But all that has changed. And I’m not judging anyone. We’re all just trying to survive over here. 

Here are some benefits of parenting on cannabis recreationally or medically.

PPD Relief

Nearly 80% of new moms experience some form of mood disturbance after giving birth, including mood swings, sadness, and irritability. One in nine mothers is diagnosed with postpartum depression, a severe mood disorder that causes prolonged withdrawal from family and friends, inability to eat and sleep, excessive mood swings, and difficulty bonding with the baby. Marijuana has been found to successfully treat postpartum depression, offering a reprieve for mothers that are unresponsive or uncomfortable with traditional medical treatment.

Treatment for Anxiety

An estimated nine percent of mothers are affected by severe postpartum anxiety, and an even larger percentage of mothers will experience anxiety over the course of their lifetime. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, women are two times more likely to suffer from anxiety than men. Occasional marijuana use has been shown to decrease symptoms of mild to severe anxiety, as well as other related disorders such as obsessive-compulsive disorder and impulse-control disorder.

Bringing Partners Together

Couples who smoke together, stay together. Some couples report that smoking marijuana together decreases the frequency of arguments, and increases sexual satisfaction and intimacy with a partner. This can be especially useful for parents, as rates of relationship dissatisfaction increase two-fold when a couple has one or more children.

Alternative to Prescription Drugs

Prescription drug abuse among women has increased by 500% in the past decade. Now more than 18 million women over the age of 26 use prescription drugs for uses other than prescribed, and the rate of abuse is suspected to be higher in mothers than non-mothers. Marijuana offers many of the same benefits of prescription drugs, most notably pain relief, with a far lower addiction rate and fewer withdrawal symptoms.

Cannabis is not what it used to be. Getting your weed now feels like hitting up your local Genius Bar. It’s bright, white, sleek and modern and feels very exclusive and dirty but not really. All I know is that the dispensary is one of my happy places. In some ways, it’s even more magical than Disney.

Honestly, I think parents probably need to get high more than anyone else on the planet. We’re adults, with joint bank accounts, 2.5 children, bills, mortgages, tuition sandwiched in between taking care of our parents and our children all while trying our best to survive it all sober. Don’t we all deserve time, now and again, to just be a human being (apart from our parenting role) and gently float away for few hours to a place where all the beautiful things in life are amplified and all the stress and worry are muted? We do.

What’s your favorite cannabis parenting snack?


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Doc G, Deborah Gilboa, Get the Behavior You Want...Without Being the Parent You Hate, parenting advice, book review

Do you know how to get the behavior you want from your children without being the parent you hate? Do you have someone that you call when you want a second opinion on your parenting decisions? I think we all have someone or someones that we call when we feel like we need confirmation that we made the right choice. It’s okay. We all have these moments. Moments when we flounder and blow up or just feel like we are doing it all-wrong. The fact that we even care probably means that we are doing it mostly right.

I have a lot of friends who I get my parenting “second opinions “ from; sisters, friends, doctors, teachers, parenting books and even the Internet. I’m lucky because I happen to have a great tribe of moms in real life and also online, one of my favorites is Doc G, Deborah Gilboa (or as I refer to her in my head, Doctor Gilboa Medicine Woman).

Whatever you call her she is not only a doctor, she is the mom of 4 boys and has not only specialized in kids but has hands on experience. Not only is she a member of motherhood, she just might be one of the Presidents of her local association of motherhood. Somehow, she manages all of this and still makes her advice feel like a personal house call.

Doc G, Deborah Gilboa, Get the Behavior You Want...Without Being the Parent You Hate, parenting advice, book review


I know because I have Doc G on speed dial and if you’ve ever talked to her when you are at your parenting wits end, she stays calm, focused and gives you practical, helpful parenting advice instead of simply commiserating with you. Don’t get me wrong, I love when my friends tell me I’m not alone and that their kids can be assholes too but I really appreciate the helpful takeaways that I get from my conversations with the Medicine Woman.

Do you know who Doc G is? If not, no worries. Even if she’s not on your speed dial, you can still benefit from her expertise and advice because she wrote a book, Get the Behavior You Want…Without Being the Parent You Hate!

She had me at “Get the Behavior You Want”. Wouldn’t parenting be magical if we could all just get the behavior we wanted without having our heads spin around like Linda Blair in the exorcist and shouting at the top of our lungs, so much so that you worry that the Sheriff next door might come over and arrest you for being verbally abusive? I’m just kidding he has kids. He knows how it is. I wonder if I could pay him to arrest the kids when they misbehave? Now, that’s an idea.

But if you can’t pay the local Sheriff to arrest your ornery children, or maybe you just don’t want to, you should totally pick up Deborah’s book. Last night, I was scanning it for so much needed assistance       in the how the heck to get my daughters to stop bickering department, so I got out my book, and found “Sibling Management” and scanned for our age group (Yes, because she not only makes the advice easily digestible for the busy mom she makes it easy to locate!) Right there on page 131, ages 8-10 was “bickering” and right beneath it were a few helpful tips to end bickering.


  1. No bickering around other family members. Take it somewhere private.
  2. No tattling about bickering. If it gets out of hand, demand a change or step away.
  3. If you tried to handle it these ways and need help, ask an adult.

If I didn’t already love her, I would now. No bickering around family members. This rule is so simple yet so vital. I don’t want to hear their bickering.

No tattling about bickering, may favorite rule of all. It’s like the first rule of fight club is there is no fight club. I can’t wait to share these guidelines with my girls when they get home from school today. I’ll keep you posted as to how it turns out.

Doc G, Deborah Gilboa, Get the Behavior You Want...Without Being the Parent You Hate, parenting advice, book review

I love Get the Behavior You Want…Without Being the Parent You Hate because it was easy to get through and reference when you need it. It’s poignant information from a expert who could be one of your closest girl friends. I know this because she is one of mine. If you are looking for a easy to read and actually helpful parenting book, this is the one you should be reading. Also, for more great parenting advice, check out Ask Doctor G’s Youtube channel.

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Happy Chaos, Soleil Moon Frye

Happy Chaos ~ Isn’t that the exact spot where most mothers reside? I do and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Recently, I had the distinct pleasure of meeting (via Skype) the star of one my favorite childhood TV shows,(no, not Ricky Schroeder though that would certainly be nice too:) Soleil Moon Frye…PUNKY BREWSTER!Is it wrong that I was so geeked to speak with her? If it is, I don’t want to be right!

Happy Chaos, Soleil Moon Frye

In a way, Soleil Moon Frye never stopped being Punky, the fun- loving star of the 1980s hit television show Punky Brewster. In the real world, she’s the mom with the inside-out shirt and bits of playdough in her hair, who can’t remember where she parked the car. She balances being a mom with a hundred other tasks associated with running her eco-friendly clothing store The Little Seed, hosting her web series on HerSay.com, advocating for causes close to her heart, and being Target’s Mommy Ambassador, to name a few. As Twitter and Facebook communities can attest, Soleil’s life is messy and chaotic, and she wouldn’t have it any other way. Her book, HAPPY CHAOS: From Punky to Parenting and My Perfectly Imperfect Adventures in Between (on sale August 23,2011) is a refreshing take on modern parenting that encourages moms to be themselves and to embrace the inevitable madness of raising kids and living a full life.

I met Soleil while being a Hot Topic guest on HerSay. She is as sweet and spunky as you could have imagined. She is very down to earth and talking to her felt like talking to one of the mom’s you might meet at the park or in one of your child’s Kindermusik classes. I was very excited when I found out that she was writing a book Happy Chaos From Punky to Parenting and My Perfectly Imperfect Adventures In Between ( in stores TOMORROW August 23,2011). The book is a refreshing take on modern parenting that encourages moms to be themselves and to embrace the inevitable madness of raising kids and living a full life. I’ll take one please.

Happy Chaos is the place between perfection and destruction where bliss exists

Soleil believes that “happy chaos” is a sign of a family operating at its best—when parents accept that they’ll make mistakes, there will be messes, tears and skinned knees. Her over 1.4 million Twitter followers know just how much Soleil lives this philosophy as she often shares with her real and virtual friends and family how she navigates the various obstacles of parenthood.

I had the opportunity to interview Soleil about her parenting style and am sharing them here with you. Hope you enjoy getting to know Soleil on a more personal level as much as I did.

What is the most profound way in which having your children has changed your life?

I learn more and more each day from my children and I never imagined they would be life’s greatest teachers. Amen sister!

If you were only allowed to leave your girls with three life lessons, what would they be?Why?

The lessons would be

1) to stay strong and always self-confident

2) to be kind to others and the world around them.

3) to love completely and not be afraid or fearful of what’s to come. To embrace every moment and lose themselves in the dash in between. These three lessons are amazing and I think every mother can relate. I know I certainly do.

How has your perspective on parenting and the world changed from before you had your girls? What do you do or not do that you never thought you would before giving birth?

Before kids, I thought I was going to be the total hippie laid back parent. I guess I am a bit more protective than I ever thought I would be.  Aren’t we all? Who knew having our hearts walking around outside our bodies would be so monumental.

Happy Chaos is where true happiness lives

Happy Chaos comes out tomorrow ( August 23,2011). I am giving away one signed copy to a lucky follower of The TRUTH about Motherhood. All you need to do is GFC follow The TRUTH about Motherhood or email susbscribe and leave me a comment about your own Happy Chaos (please include your email address). A winner will be chosen on Friday August 22, 2011.Or you can click Here to be one of the first moms on the block to own a copy of

Happy Chaos

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Netflix, #StreamTeam, Bloodline

I’ve got a new addiction and it’s called Bloodline. I know that I’ve mentioned it before but I’m a proud member of the Netflix #StreamTeam and it’s actually my “job” to watch Netflix. I’m living the dream, people. Who are we kidding? I’d be doing it anyways but this way when the Big Guy gives me a hard time about watching a whole season of House of Cards, Derek, Orange is the New Black, BBC Shameless, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt or my new favorite, Bloodline (to mention a few) I can say, “ Hey, leave me alone, I’m working over here!”

Speaking of my favorite new show, Bloodline, what would you do if your brother killed someone? Would you call the police or help him hide the body? How many times have you been in a position in your life where you thought to yourself, the things we do for family! Well, that’s the premise the new Netflix hit Bloodline is built upon. It is full of great writing, complex characters and it is a thriller in the best kind of way!

I wasn’t sure that I wanted to get invested in the show or the family the show follows, the Rayburns, because I hadn’t heard much about it. I mean it’s about a seemingly middle class family who happen to live in the paradise that is the Florida Keys. What could be that enthralling about middle class perfection, right?

Wrong. One episode and I was hooked. This family has skeletons piled upon skeletons in every single closet and each is hiding their closet from the other. Perfect parents? No such things. Good upstanding citizens? Nope, not even the sheriff or the lawyer in the family. Nothing is what it seems. There is something about high suspense and family drama (especially when it’s not my own) that pulls me and keeps me invested.

I got so hooked, I binge watched the entire season in a week. I stayed up way past my bedtime every night because I had to know what was happening to these complicated, “normal” people who had such a crazy past that it had to eventually come to the surface, no matter how hard they all tried to pretend it never happened.

Have you watched it yet? What are you waiting for? I finished the season. Now, I’m patiently waiting for May’s new releases. I’ll tell you more about that soon.

What’s your favorite Netflix show to binge watch?

Have you watched Bloodline?

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Michelle Gregg, Cincinnati Zoo, Harambe, Lowland gorilla, Gorilla murdered, cincinnati zoo gorilla

A Cincinnati zoo gorilla, Harambe, a majestic male Silverback lowland Gorilla (listed as critically endangered), was shot dead the day after his 17th birthday when a mother visiting the zoo lost track of her 4-year-old child. In a sad turn of events, the child got away from his mom and into the gorilla enclosure in front of a crowd of social media savvy a**holes (I know because they were all too busy tweeting video to actually help.) All because of one mom’s parental negligence.  Talk about a bad parenting moment. Thankfully her son is now resting safe and sound in the hospital with just a few scrapes and bruises. That’s the good news.

Who’s to blame for all of this? In my opinion, the mom. The toddler told his mom that he was going to go into the enclosure but she ignored his threats and that’s why I feel she’s responsible for the entire situation.  I realize that I’m being judgmental but how can I not be when not only was this woman not watching her child; more specifically, she chose to ignore his direct warning that he intended to do something dangerous.

Michelle Gregg, Cincinnati Zoo, Harambe, Lowland gorilla, Gorilla murdered, cincinnati zoo gorilla

If my toddler somehow ended up in the bottom of a Gorilla enclosure submerged in water with a 400 plus pound, super strong, unpredictable primate standing only inches above my child, I’d have grabbed the gun and shot the damn gorilla myself.

Who in the world let’s their toddler roam free out of sight long enough to shimmy under the clearly marked “Keep out” railings and wires of the enclosure, fall down the ravine and end up in the moat? She finally noticed that her child was in danger when other patrons started screaming? It had to take a minute for the child to escape her and make his way to the moat.

I took my girls to the zoo when they were toddlers and they were almost always strapped into their strollers as we maneuvered high traffic areas, unless they were in my arms or holding my hand. We’ve since moved past this barbaric practice; no zoos, circuses or Seas World’s for us. We go to sanctuaries, reserves, oceans and National Parks to see animals in their natural habitats.

Witnesses say the child, after being overheard telling his mother that he wanted to “get in the water”, then crawled through the railing, the bushes and fell 15-feet into the moat of the enclosure. Apparently, him telling her that he was going to do it wasn’t enough of a warning.

What’s wrong with this mom? Where was the little boy’s dad? Was anyone watching him? I’m normally of the mom and let mom parenting technique but willfully ignoring the threats of dangerous behavior ( in a dangerous place) could warrant a DCFS intervention.

Due to the negligence an innocent child was terrified and hurt and a Cincinnati Zoo Gorilla was shot and killed.

I watched many videos and read available reports on the situation. Everyone was rightfully terrified at the situation. Too bad the gorilla couldn’t be tranquilized rather than shot dead. But obviously, a human child’s life takes precedence over a gorilla’s. Zoo officials couldn’t very well stand around twiddling their thumbs while a child was drowned, mauled or crushed to death. A gorilla doesn’t know its own strength and could’ve easily seriously injured the child.

Tranquilizers could have caused the gorilla to become aggressive and hurt the child or fall on him in the interim as they waited for it to take effect. I get all of that. The thing is primates are highly intelligent animals and I think Harambe was just doing what came natural to him and he probably felt pretty scared when his handlers shot him.

I’m not a primate expert or a zoologist but it didn’t appear that he actually had any intention of hurting the child. It looked to me like he was trying to keep the baby safe until the child’s people came to collect him. I think the screaming and commotion was adding fuel to the fire and scaring both Harambe and the little boy. I think both the gorilla and the kid were both victims of this mother’s negligence.

This lady needs to be held responsible for her actions. She needs some parenting classes. I’m sure many of you think I sound like a cold-hearted witch but I watched the video (all of them) and I’m wondering why she is just standing on the sidelines screaming, “Mommy loves you!”

Lady, if you really loved your kid, maybe you should have kept your eye on him, strapped him in a stroller, held his hand and NOT let the kid wander off into the gorilla enclosure. Maybe you should have taken his warning that he was going to get into the water more seriously. That’s the part that really makes me feel like she was negligent.

I think most moms would have gone into mama bear beast mode and scaled that damn moat themselves and tried to save their baby or at the very least grabbed a zoo employee or maybe, I don’t know, sobbed at the thought of their baby possibly being beaten or killed by a gigantic primate. She did nothing…just like all the people who stood there and watched and recorded rather than actually help.

The little boy was taken to the Cincinnati Children’s hospital and is listed in stable condition after being manhandled for about 10 minutes by the gorilla. I think the bulk of the damage was probably done by the fall into the moat, the dragging around he endured while the gorilla became frightened from the screaming of the crowd or, I don’t know, the traumatization he will live with forever from seeing the giant gorilla murdered as it stood above him. Poor kid. Don’t worry kiddo your mommy loves you. She just doesn’t want to be bothered with watching you.

Word of advice if you can’t watch your kids, stay at home with the doors shut and try to keep your kids safe until they are old enough to take care of themselves. You suck! The Cincinnati zoo didn’t get the kid out of all the danger he’s facing by killing Harambe. After all, they aren’t  going home with the kid.

What did everyone think the gorilla was going to do? Eat the baby? They’re not carnivores. In my opinion, the parents’ negligence caused child endangerment.

Michelle Gregg, Cincinnati Zoo, Harambe, Lowland gorilla, Gorilla murdered, cincinnati zoo gorilla

What do you think about the endangered Cincinnati zoo gorilla being murdered in cold blood because a mom couldn’t be bothered to watch her child?

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mom low point, parenting, motherhood, doing your best, parenting fail, judgement

Have you ever had a mom low point that was so rough that it knocked you right back on your butt and made you feel like you were doing absolutely everything wrong? Being a mom is hard. I mean question yourself, cry after they go to bed, guilt-ridden, love them so fiercely that sometimes it feels like you might die…hard. Sometimes it’s so hard that I just want to throw my hands up and walk away and other times, I want to crumple up on the floor and assume the fetal position but other times, like tonight, when I feel like a complete failure, my instinct is to fight as hard as I can for what is certainly the most precious and important thing in my life, my girls.

As you may have noticed, I didn’t post too often during the holidays. I was in a proverbial Nutcracker dug hole. You see, I had this dream of what my daughters’ childhood would look like and it was the complete opposite of mine. I wanted them to have extravagant parties (because I had none). I wanted them to be well rounded and that meant culture so there needed to play an instrument, play a sport and learn a language and on top of all of that, I expected good no GREAT grades. Okay, I had some of that but I had a lot of hard times and dysfunction and I never wanted any of that for them. Bottom line, I wanted to protect them from any hardship but I’ve realized hardships come in many different forms.

My rule was if they wanted to try it, I was going to support it but still, I had expectations of my daughters but I was mindful not to put labels on them or to compare them to others or to be too hard on them. When I was a small child, I was labeled “gifted” (I hate that stupid term. It’s meaningless.) because of my IQ but all that did was pigeonhole me onto the college prep FastTrack, from about 7-years-old on, I had no choice in the matter. My life was laid out for me.

Even when all my grades were A’s, the unavoidable, “why aren’t they A+s?” always followed. I never felt good enough and there was no time or budget for me to do frivolous things like extracurriculars unless they were school provided. In fact, when all of my friends were taking things like typing and art in high school, I was taking what today would be considered AP everything, plus on the newspaper, the yearbook and taking 2 foreign languages. I graduated with a gold seal on my diploma but I hated school because it was just layered upon layer of expectations for me. It wasn’t about experiences; it was about winning. What the prize was, I never figured out. It must have been that f*cking meaningless gold seal. In return, I have never felt adequate enough. Ever. That is the last thing I want for my children.

I’ve been keeping my mom shit together pretty good over the years, sure it’s held together by duct tape and bubble gum like I’m the effing mom MacGyver but I thought I was doing a good job. Sure, I have an occasional mom low point but mostly, I thought my mom skills were on point. I tell my kids not to measure themselves against others, and yet, I almost constantly measure my failures against my friend’s perceived triumphs. I tell my girls they are perfect but all I do is see my own flaws. I am parenting the do as I say not as I do way and it’s not what I wanted. Not at all.

Anyways, the girls are, by all accounts, thriving. They play the violin, dance in the city’s ballet youth company, they tap and do jazz, there is gymnastics and cheer and oh, yes, choir plus the grades are always all “A”s but there are no recesses, no playdates, no rest and no down time. Every minute is filled with STUFF and for what? In 12 years, who is going to care if they did all of this? They’re missing experiences and for the first time ever, the report card didn’t show all “A”s. I’m failing my children again. Alert: Mom low point!

I know that is not the end of the world but the thing is it wasn’t because my kids aren’t smart enough, it’s because they simply didn’t have the time to dedicate to their homework because they were so overbooked. They had to miss school for performances and then they got sick because they were so run down. Now, I’m sitting here feeling like the world’s shittiest mom because I let this happen to them. I allowed this perfect storm of disappointment to come into their lives when I’m the one who should have protected them from it.

Friends and family (including the Big Guy) have been telling me for years to cut it back to save myself a headache but I would not relent because it felt selfish. Now, I see that I need to cut things back because it’s too much for them and that’s all it’s ever really been about. So today, I’m getting rid of things in our lives. I’m cutting the fat so that we can enjoy these few years they have left at home. I don’t care if they are not doing all the things.

Parenting today is nothing like when my parents raised me. We did less and they were accountable for less. My God, I grew up in the time of no seatbelts and riding in the back of pick-up trucks. I played outside until the streetlights came on and I walked all over town with my friends, with no cell phone or chip. The goal was graduating high school without going to jail or ending up pregnant or a serial killer. By the standards, my parents did a bang up job. But things are different now, parenting is not about getting by. It’s a measure of your worth as a human being, especially if you’re a stay-at-home parent because if it’s not about the kids…what’s it all been for? That’s not just my own opinion, it’s societies. If you’re a stay-at-home parent and your child is not perfect, you suck. Well, I SUCK.

Some days I feel like I am failing so hard at being a mom but then other days, I feel like I am absolutely killing it. You know those days when everything goes smoothly and no one is throwing a tantrum, stomping or arguing? The days when you are so happy to be their mom that you feel like your heart just might burst wide open. All the terrible mom low points are worth those days. The days when you are driving in the car singing at the top of your lungs and laughing and loving each other so hard that you feel invincible. Those days rock my world. For me, happiness is this.

mom low point, parenting, motherhood, doing your best, parenting fail, judgement

My goal is to be more present, more engaged and focus on moments with my children not all the things or all the benchmarks of what is expected of a “good mom”. I am a good mom. I love my girls. We just got so caught up in doing what was expected of us that we forgot to do what feels best for our family; what actually is best for our family.

Have you ever had a moment in parenting that made you reassess your entire process? What was your mom low point?

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