Browsing Tag


Are you a conductor on the Guilt Trip Express
Bitch’in Life, Parenting

Are You a Conductor on the Guilt Trip Express?


I love a good viral video like the next gal, but last week, I instantaneously regretted clicking the “play” button on “Remember me… Mom wants son to call from college” uploaded by Ann Pinto McCarney (currently near 750,000 views).

“Hi, Liam. Remember me? I’m your mommy. I gave birth to you,” McCarney starts. ”Well, actually, I didn’t quite give birth. I had to have a C-section to get you out. A big scar and it hurt like hell, but that’s OK. Do you remember that it was me that gave you life?”

OY. I hear the woman — I pushed two watermelons out of a veritable garden house myself — but after five seconds of viewing I already felt guilty for not calling her.

And I’m not even Liam.

Gotta give McCarney props for her production choices. The camera is angled up at her, catching the side of a refrigerator and a cabinet — big clues she shot the video in the kitchen, which is the ultimate nurturing Mama’s home base. There’s a harsh reality quality in the clip, thanks to bright daylight (a late-night loving college student’s nemesis) and McCarney’s near constant mocking facial expressions. read more

Parenting today in a post 9-11 world
Best o’ the Bitch, Parenting

Parenting Today in a Post-9/11 World


September 11, 2001, I was doing what all young mothers do.

Separating from my child for the very first time.

Not that we were never apart. Hell, I was a working mom, so there were plenty of times when I saw my son for only minutes a day, as I often left before he was up and got home shortly before his bedtime.

But this was different. This time he was leaving the nest for his first day of preschool. He was only two and a half, but with a six-month-old baby at home and us considering a cross-country move, I needed a few waking hours to deal.

Dropping him off at his brand new preschool was the hardest thing I’d ever done.

Or so I thought.

As I left his school, a man stopped me and said, “I just heard the craziest thing. A plane flew into the World Trade Center.”

Before I could respond, he added, “Wait, what did I just say to you?” The man looked sincerely befuddled, with the same expression on his face as you have when you wake up from a nightmare.

I repeated the horrible thing he said, and he replied, “No, not one plane. Two planes.” read more

back to school 2015
Best o’ the Bitch, Humor, Parenting

Ask Bitch’in Suburbia: Back to School 2015


Hey kids — it’s that time of year: More pencils, more books, and presumably more teachers’ dirty looks. But then again, who could blame them? In a world of Common Core, overly involved parents, undersized budgets, tests to teach to, and a lack of necessary tools (especially time and trust, not to mention those new fangled devices called computers), it’s impossible not to look at least a little pissed off.  Lucky for everyone, your friendly neighborhood Bitch’in Suburbia has the cheat sheet ready with all the snappy answers you need for your back to school questions. Just raise your hand and read on…

Dear Bitch’in Suburbia,

I have this recurring nightmare: I’m in a classroom, and the teacher hands out a test. Everyone around me dives right in, but I can’t read the words. Then the bell rings, and I’m still not done. I wake up every morning in a sweat, and I barely have the energy to get my kids off to school. What do you think it means? read more

resist the racket

How to Resist The Latest Parenting Racket


They say that there’s a sucker born every minute, so what does that say about the people that brought that thar sucker into the world?

That’s right — it takes one (or more accurately, two) to make one.

And today’s parents that are so fully devoted to providing our precious offspring with “the perfect life” and getting a do-over for perceived deficiencies in our own upbringings are perhaps the biggest chumps ever created.

Don’t believe me? Let’s review for a minute your childhood vs. your child’s/children’s:

YOU: When you were born, your parents took you home in an outfit provided by the hospital. Later, the blanket you were swaddled in became the perfect rag to clean off your spit-up and sponge down your changing table.

YOUR KID(S): Your child(ren) came home in a photo-shoot-ready coordinated outfit from the Gap or better. Baby’s first blanket was as much a fashion statement as it was a lovey.

YOU: You rode home from the hospital in your mom’s arms. As you grew, you bumped around in the back of the family sedan, or if you were fancy, a station wagon — no seatbelts required. Extra points if mom or dad or both chain-smoked with the windows up and the heat on during the winter. Outside of the car, you were moved from place to place in a simple stroller that you graduated from the second you could walk. read more

kvell in public
Bitch’in Life, Parenting

How to Kvell in Public


There are lots of words that have made their way from Yiddish into the English vernacular that regardless of your denomination, you know what they mean: maven, chutzpah, shtick, nosh, schlep, schmuck — to name a few.

But there’s one word that you might not know, but I can say with 100% certainty, you probably (hopefully) do on a regular basis: kvell.

The Miriam-Webster dictionary defines kvell as “to be extraordinarily proud; rejoice,” and while that’s a good start, it goes a lot deeper than that.

Kvelling, much like its kissing cousins, bragging and boasting, is something that ranges from casual to a high art form. In this age of social media, we all know how that goes. From the people who document every wondrous move their children make starting with breathing, to the humble-braggers that moan about their shin splints from running their third marathon this year, and to the people that over-use the phrase “This happened” or plain old, “This,” to accompany photos they take (i.e., views from a mountain top they just biked/hiked up, fancy meals they’ve “effortlessly” whipped up, shots of themselves or their kids with celebs, etc.) and everyone in between, the ability to publicly tell your stories of all-time highs is at an all-time high. read more

where the time goes
Best o’ the Bitch, Parenting

Moms, Here’s Where the Time Goes


Where did the time go?

You know what I’m saying — it feels like just yesterday that gorgeous girl who looks like a princess in her strapless prom gown was a toddler playing dress-up. That handsome young dude holding up his driver’s license was last seen playing with trucks on the living room floor. Even the dog who used to have a thick, dark coat that gleamed in the sun when she romped and played is sporting grays and spends hot days napping instead of frolicking.

Where does the time go? is the popular refrain when we look at pictures of our growing, growing, (sniff) gone babies.

As we age especially, time feels like an over-caffeinated bitch, speeding away and laughing at you as it leaves you in the dust desperately trying to figure out where the hell it went.

Neuroscientists like David Eagleman have good explanations for why this is  — beginning with the fact that the passage of time is a perception, not a clear-cut sensory experience like smell, touch, taste, and sight. While these faculties reside in distinct areas in the brain, time is embedded throughout the senses  — for example, in the persistence of a smelly diaper, the eternity of a screaming child’s temper tantrum, or the endless throb of a finger burnt when hurrying to make dinner. read more

essential text acronyms parents should use

Essential Texting Acronyms Every Parent Must Use


Sometimes it feels like teens and parents don’t speak the same language.

When you glance at your kid’s texts, you likely will see a slew of acronyms and other shorthand that look like utter gibberish. Perhaps you’ve taken a gander at Vine or Snapchat, and in the time it takes to adjust your readers, you’ve already missed what was so damn funny. Maybe you’ve hopped on Yik Yak, Whisper, or even Tumblr, just to see what those rumored bastions of bullying are all about, and left hours later having enjoyed a few good memes and at least one Britney Spears gif, but with no deeper understanding of how to navigate those angst-filled digital waters.

All of this may bring up some uncomfortable feelings as you realize your child has a life that is unbeknownst and unintelligible to you. There are three things you can do next:

1) Panic: This is fairly easy to do, as us 24/7 hovercraft parents can find fear in just about everything from a can of tuna to a walk around the block. Lately my inbox has been inundated with articles from Kim Komando, “America’s Digital Goddess” including her piece in USA Today,”Essential Texting Acronyms Every Parent Must Know” and on her own website, “5 Dangerous Apps You Don’t Know Your Kids Are Using.” We are the “what to expect” generation — we are plugged into the idea that knowledge is power, but it also can be powerfully scary, too. If you thought the threat of preeclampsia was bad, just imagine what happens when you find your underage child on Tinder. (I don’t know either but it makes me very nervous.) Yup, it’s easy enough to panic…. read more

fundraising pushes buttons

How to Give Till It Hurts Without Killing Yourself


Remember the ice bucket challenge?

It was a brutal tidal wave on social media of people dumping freezing cold water (or lukewarm marinara, depending on who you are and what your threshold for both pain and humor are) over their heads, all for a good cause (ALS).

In a move that I’m sure made me tremendously unpopular, I refused to take the ice bucket challenge bait.

It’s not because I’m not charitable or didn’t want to help fund a good cause, because I am and I do.

Thing is, I’ve been training to survive charitable fundraising stunts for well over a decade now, and I’ve got a few strategies to help you emerge from even the most intense times, including back to school, new sports teams, and general world crises (natural disasters, war, diseases, drought, etc.) I hate to toss the causes all in the same bucket (pun intended!), but the steady stream that’s pulled from your wallet, particularly through your children, is enough to make anyone’s heart turn to ice.  read more

Best o’ the Bitch, Parenting

A Yelling Mom’s Guide to Keeping Your Cool


Temperature’s rising, and I don’t just mean outside.

Summer is around its halfway mark, and that means we’re all knee-deep in “vacation.” This is actually a misnomer; while kids dove into a cool, deep ocean of free time weeks ago, grown-ups struggle to keep up with their plans AND our heads above the normal tidal waves of home, work, and other responsibilities. (That is unless you send your kid to two months of sleep away camp. If so, you are exempt from the rest of us water-treaders… at least for now.)

As the mom of a pair o’ teens who don’t drive and are too young to work, but are also too old to be fully worn out after day camp (if you can even find a day camp for kids over 12), a trip to the beach, or other summer activities, I am currently in full-on frantic dog-paddling mode. (Don’t tell my bitch; she might run if she hears that, and huddling together in our nighttime pack is the last bastion of sweet relief I have each day.)

The red in the emotional ther-mom-eter’s been rising, and I’m a little afraid to tell you the truth about how badly it blew last week. read more

Parenting, Pop Culture

What Orange is the New Black Teaches Us About Parenting


NOTE: No spoilers here! If you’re reading this, then you’re my bitch… in a good way, not necessarily in a prison way… and BBFs never ruin good binges! I myself am consuming slowly to savor the show; so I’m still not done with Orange is the New Black, Season 2. Jealous? 

If you’re like me, the ladies of Litchfield State Prison have you locked up and unable to do much else besides watch them in the new season of Orange is the New Black.

Even if you don’t watch the show, you know the premise: Piper Chapman, a bisexual Yuppie with a male fiancé that wears annoying sweaters, goes to jail for being a drug mule for her ex-girlfriend ten years prior. It’s a fish out of water story set in the cesspool of the US prison system.

Although the series is specifically about harsh realities — the injustices of incarceration, the viciousness of the cycle of poverty, racial tension, drug and alcohol addiction, mental illness, and more — it also lends itself to some universal life lessons, too. read more