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motherhood

The Perfect Mom - Powered by rainbow gas
Parenting

Perfect Mothers & The Art of Not Knowing

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Motherhood, like all other ages, has its distinct social strata. Much like teen stereotypes (jock, popular, bully, freak, burn-out, geek, dork, etc.), there are the protypical mothers: tiger, helicopter, lawnmower, free-range; or if you are less about cryptic buzz words, there’s the best friend, the by-the-book, the martyr, the me-first, the emotional wreck, the control freak, the hands-off, and the scatterbrain.

Despite the fact that I’m one who has never done so well with cliques, I’ve managed to have my moments fitting into just about all of the above descriptions.

There is one, however, that is the white whale of ’em all, and as a lifelong Type-A, maxi-zoom dweebie, it’s also the one I secretly aspire to be: The Perfect Mom.

You know her: she’s the one that’s always in the know (although not a know-it-all; she’s far too political for that). From the second she birthed her child with nary a cuss word on her lips nor a broken sweat on her brow, she has the whole motherhood thing dialed in and down cold. From Mommy and Me through to the Ivy League, there is not a teacher, coach, or school administrator that doesn’t know and love her, which makes her privy to precious insider information.

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The Whites of Breaking Bad
Parenting, Pop Culture

What Breaking Bad Teaches Us About Parenthood

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Spoiler Alert: I’m not gonna talk about any details that will give away key plot points, but I will give you enough background so if you’ve never watched arguably the best television show in history, you’ll get my drift … and probably settle in for a binge right then and there.

Breaking Bad is a show — well, a magnum opus, actually — about the American Family. The basic premise is that Walter White, a milquetoast chemistry teacher when the series opens, finds out he has lung cancer. In his zeal to provide for his family and leave a legacy of more than just crippling medical bills, Walt begins “cooking” and selling methamphetamine.

The cancer comes and goes, but the meth? Whether crystal form or paper form (as in money), it becomes a constant as Walt morphs from Mr. Chips into Scarface.

Skyler White, Walt’s long-suffering wife, provides the “moral compass” to the show (well, until she doesn’t). What is most fascinating about Skyler is how much people hate her. You would imagine that the despicable crimes of a drug kingpin (Walt) would earn the ire of fans, but actually, everyone is cheering for Walt and praying that he dodges one more bullet and stays 20 steps ahead of “the bad guy” one more time.

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My own prince trying to digest the miracle of childbirth
Pop Culture

The Royal Birth & The Summer of Love

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This past week the whole world cheered as Kate Middleton gave birth to the baby who will someday be king.

There are many classy traditions around British royal births, including the fact that the news is delivered in a white envelope to Buckingham Palace, and the Queen is the first to read the details before announcing it to the world.

Rather quickly, we found out that one royal tradition — natural childbirth — may not have been in the cards for Kate. However, it was confirmed that she had a vaginal birth.

That I read this rather private detail in several reports made me laugh out loud. I could only imagine what was written on the note the Queen received:

“Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, was safely delivered of a son, at 4:24 p.m., local time, weighing 8 lbs., 6 oz. The Duke of Cambridge was present for the birth, and by conjecture he confirms that the baby arrived vaginally. The Duke himself averted his eyes from the Duchesses’ savaged crumpet, lest he go blind and/or decline to produce a spare.”

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Does this bitch look like her mother, ya little twit?
Best o’ the Bitch, Bitch’in Life, Parenting

What Not To Say To A Woman

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“Are you her mother?”

In the right context, asking a person if she is someone’s mother isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Had I been cradling a baby, clutching the hand of a toddler, or even standing with my arm around my real 12-year-old daughter, I would have grinned proudly and copped to the parentage.

But the dewy eyed gal who was assumed to be my offspring was none of the above. She was young looking, I’ll give the well-intentioned Subway sandwich shop owner that; but aside from the fact that we were ordering turkey subs together, the girl in question was not in fact my daughter.

She was my brother-in-law’s 30-year-old girlfriend.

How could I be mistaken for a grown woman’s mother? Was it because my grays were showing? Did my lack of make-up (since we were en route to the beach) render me ancient?

I’d always assumed that my rampant immaturity keeps me looking younger than I am. That I am aging like a rock star.

Motherhood changes you in the most brilliant, powerful, and wonderful ways. But it also bitch slaps you to another reality at times — one where a MILF is a Hollywood fantasy, and the Hot Mom’s Club is just another excuse to sell Spanx.

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You are a Badass cuz Jen Sincero sez so!
Bitch’in Life

Free to Be A Badass – Interview with Jen Sincero, Guru of Badassery

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With July 4th looming in the near distance, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to freedom. There’s the practical freedom that’s been fought for and won, over and over again, in this country — most recently this week when the Supreme Court struck down the freedom-sucking Defense of Marriage Act — and then there’s personal freedom.

According to kickass, badass, bestselling author Jen Sincero, the other side of fear is freedom. So this week Bitch’in Suburbia sat down with Sincero to chat about her new book, You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living An Awesome Life, and cull nuggets of wisdom from this passionate purveyor of sassy self help.

Bitch’in Suburbia (BIS): I loved your book, Jen, for many reasons — chock full ‘o self-help (which I’m a sucker for), lots of swear words (ditto), and a lot of talk about what it takes to live a badass, authentic life. And pretty central to it all is the idea of freedom. How do you define freedom?

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The perfect gift for mom for graduation
Parenting

A Graduation Speech for Parents

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My fellow parents; graduates; and those who have ever had parents or who have ever graduated:

I think that it’s a good thing that some Hallmark planner somewhere decided that Father’s Day, not Mother’s Day, should be the holiday closest to graduations.

If Mother’s Day coincided, then it would be an emotional burden too ginormous to bear, and it would probably lead to some sort of social collapse — if not an economic boon for tissues.

Invoking fathers, theoretically the more stoic parental units, is a smart move. (Although on plenty of graduation occasions I’ve enjoyed watching grown men cry.) The well-worn marketing expression, “Dads and Grads,” helps us remember that behind all graduates lurk parents who are moving on to the next age and phase, too.

Speaking of Hallmark — a brand where sentimental word choice is their business — I’d like to call in one of their consultants to my kids’ school, pronto.

There they call graduation “culmination,” which is like a swift kick to the emotional balls. Graduation is something that feels gentle and gradual — a mere conferring of diplomas.

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Yes, Jes Baker, you are all of the above!
Best o’ the Bitch, Parenting, Pop Culture

Fat Like Me

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Summer is officially here, and you know what that means: time to peel off the layers and take a good look at what’s getting squeezed into shorts and bathing suits this year.

If you haven’t been shopping yet, let me tell you — 2013 summer fashion meters are set to scant. My muffin top went full-on soufflé when I tried on a pair of this year’s über low-slung, crotch hugging shorts. After scouring a half dozen stores, I realized the only option for somewhat decent coverage was “boyfriend shorts,” which is a nice way of saying if your physique is not up for short-shorts with quarter- inch zippers, then you’re a man.

Feeling dejected and ready for a snack, I ran to the comfort of my own home to kick back with People magazine, only to find that beneath its virtuous wrapper (“New Details: Brad’s Devotion – The Inside Story”) lurked a 36-page section devoted to “Most Talked About Bodies 2013.” Aside from the usual age-defying suspects (JLo, Gwenyth, Madonna, Satan), I found myself now privy to around 30 different diets that would supposedly clean my gut, reset my body, detox me, integrate my nutrition, open me up to “miracle carbs,” give me “body confidence,” shred me, kick up my metabolism, and drown me in juices and supplements.

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Sex & the evolution of Forever.
Best o’ the Bitch, Parenting

Sex, Lies, and Parenthood

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Is sex dirty? Only if you do it right.” ~ Woody Allen

Have you had the big sex talk with your kids yet?

I’m not talking the kind of clinical talk (man puts penis in woman’s vagina, an egg is fertilized by a sperm, baby comes out, yadda yadda), since the kids get that info way early on at school.

I’m talking about the rest of it — what all those hormones do to a person, when it starts happening (hint: even a little younger than you think or remember), and what makes sense when. And truthfully, that schoolbook explanation doesn’t cover the half of it and may not ever apply to them.

I am going to be totally honest here and say I haven’t had the full-on talk just yet. I have a 12 year-old girl and a 13-year old boy, so I don’t think I’ve dropped the ball (pun intended). We have, however, done the “where do babies come from” bit several times over the years, and I even put in the kid’s bathroom my old dog-eared copy of the Peter Mayle/Arthur Robins classic, Where Did I Come From, where adorable and yet anatomically correct people illustrate the facts of life, with neither a bird nor a bee in sight. (And if ANYONE could explain what a bird or a bee has to do with sex, I’d appreciate it. I can visualize dogs doing it, but not so much winged creatures. Although maybe a hummingbird is a good example of what sex is like when you’re trying to squeeze it in between the cracks of our busy, modern, adult life. Not for me, of course — but maybe for you?)

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Back off, Wonder Woman!
Best o’ the Bitch, Parenting, Pop Culture

When Superheroes Panic

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If you haven’t caught the summer’s first big popcorn movie, Iron Man 3, you’re missing a mind-blowing event.

I’m not talking about the ass kicking Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) delivers to every bad guy in sight, nor the impressively real CG destruction of Hollywood’s Grauman’s Chinese Theater, Stark’s mod mansion, and chunks of civilization in general.

I’m talking about the conceit of the script: Tony Stark has panic attacks.

I particularly loved this, as I’ve navigated a panic disorder myself, and like Stark, have learned to use it as a sort of internal guidance system. When I panic, I realize I’ve gone down some badass wormhole, and it’s time to make some adjustments.

Iron Man 3 was my big Mother’s Day gift. (I know, it seems a little juvenile BUT if you consider a cool movie on a scorching hot day AND the whole family loves it, it’s kind of fantastic.)

The next morning, I started my day as usual: doing laundry.

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And now a word from our Mother's Days sponsors...
Bitch’in Life, Parenting

Mommentary for Mother’s Day

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As a “popular mom blogger,” I am uniquely qualified to shoot some mommentary your way on what this whole motherhood shebang means nowadays, particularly around our “official “holiday, Mother’s Day.

I’m actually kinda filled to the gills lately, having just attended the Mom 2.0 Summit — a business conference where approximately 450 breeders and people who wanted to reach those procreators gathered to network, interact with brands/corporations/media companies, and absorb a ton of amazing information from those whose businesses are for parents and by parents.

What made this conference particularly intriguing was that the Wall Street Journal had just published an article called, “The Mommy Business Trip.” A  “moms gone wild” puff piece about the big biz of mom blog conferences, the author made her case about how women left to our own devices go insane: we Tweet pics of ourselves having fun (vs. making meatloaf, I suppose), raid the minibar, and run amok with the television remote. (No cartoons for a day – that’s right, we’re so cray-cray!) Yup, big perks for slacker moms looking for an “easy” way to ditch the family for a few days.

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