Browsing Tag

parenting

back to school
Best o’ the Bitch, Parenting

Back to School Daze

6 comments

Here’s a word problem for you in honor of “Back to School”:

Johnny’s Back to School night starts at 5:30 sharp and is 12.6 miles away from Johnny’s home.

Jenny’s Back to School night starts at 5:30 sharp and is 1.6 miles away from Jenny’s home.

Johnny and Jenny are siblings. They have one parent available to attend both Back to School nights. How does one parent get to both Back to School nights at the same time?

Bonus: Johnny also has a mandatory meeting that starts one hour into Back to School night. There is still just one parent available for another 53 minutes. How does Johnny get to his meeting?

Answer: This is not a math problem. This is an existential problem. Please refer to Kierkegaard for Dummies, page. 72, “Back to School & The Absurd: An Eternal Loop of Despair” for more information.

Surely I jest… and yet, no matter how old I am, there is a certain poignancy to summer’s end. Even as an adult, despite the lack of schedule and thus predictability that kicks my Faux-CD — an obsessive need to create order from chaos (not recognized by the DSM but easy to spot by parents everywhere) — into high gear, I still get knocked on my ass by the first week of school. read more

Bitch’in Life, My Bitches

How to Have It All

2 comments

I love women.

Because only a woman, in all her multi-tasking glory, would believe that we can have it all. That we should have it all. Big jobs — hell, big careers — perfect homes, brilliant children, happy marriages, wrinkle-free faces, thin thighs, well-groomed and exceptionally well-trained pets; organic, homeopathic, BPA-free better living through less chemicals (or more, depending on who you are and how you roll).

And we Gen-Xers have certainly elevated the practice of allowing life to should all over us to a fine art. First, according to a recent New York Times article by Judith Warner, “The Opt-Out Generation Wants Back In,” a big chunk of us X-chromosomal beings took a powder round about the turn of the millennium and at the height of our early careers to raise kids.

I was no exception: that face-first nosedive from chief ass kisser to chief ass wiper was jarring, to say the least. And yet, I’ve always known that was a privilege, and so my early mantra (often uttered through gritted teeth), “I wouldn’t change it for the world,” has become a simple, true fact. read more

Best o’ the Bitch, Bitch’in Life, Parenting

What Not To Say To A Woman

18 comments

“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. read more

Bitch’in Life, Parenting

How To Be Seen

2 comments

Ever feel like you’re slipping through life like the Invisible Woman or Man?

This is a sensation that only seems to increase with age. Nowadays, when I walk into a room, nobody looks up. The faces of my children, illuminated by their tiny space-aged screens, are buried so deep in their Instagram streams and their YouTube faves that I’m pretty sure if I lit myself on fire nobody would notice. (Well, maybe my son would film it, but he’d probably edit me out of the shot so I didn’t distract from the inferno.) Even the dog is nonplussed, and unless I’m carrying a grocery bag full of raw meat and beef jerky, she barely lifts a whisker to greet me.

My husband does a good job trying to see my frustration and alleviate it, but there are days when I’m just driven to tears. As the Invisible Woman, my special power is laser-beam focused X-ray vision that forces me to hone in on the pile of dishes in the sink, the lurking hampers and baskets overflowing with laundry, the evil dust bunnies growing fat under the couch, and the flotsam of everyday life. read more

Bitch’in Life

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

2 comments

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? read more

Parenting

A Graduation Speech for Parents

4 comments

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. read more

Best o’ the Bitch, Parenting, Pop Culture

Fat Like Me

9 comments

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. read more

Best o’ the Bitch, Parenting

Sex, Lies, and Parenthood

14 comments

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?) read more

Best o’ the Bitch, Parenting, Pop Culture

When Superheroes Panic

18 comments

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. read more

Bitch’in Life, Parenting

Mommentary for Mother’s Day

5 comments

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. read more