When Bullying Is Real

{Content Warning: Use of a homophobic slur.}

Alright. Middle school began last week for my two sixth graders, which always makes a mama’s heart flutter, and here’s how it’s going: MOSTLY WONDERFUL.

My kids are feeling confident.

They’re finding their groove.

They appear to have other sixth grade humans to sit with at lunch, so the Very Worst, Most Awful Part of the Day seems handled. ...  read more

Brief Update: Your Response Requested

Quick updates, friends, on this, the first day of school 2018:

1. Got up early this morning! BEFORE my alarm went off. I AM ON TOP OF ALL THE THINGS. THIS IS MY NEW ROUTINE. I SHALL BE UP EARLY EVERY DAY THIS SCHOOL YEAR. 

2. Fell back asleep. 

3. Slept through my alarm.

4. Woke to the face of a child asking if I would, because this is the First Day and therefore a Special Circumstance, “do that thing where you at least look like you tried.” ...  read more

5 Things People With Tidy Homes (read: not me) Don’t Do

So, for months now — MONTHS — Facebook keeps showing me the same sponsored post in my news feed. It’s by Myquillin Smith of The Nesting Place, a stunning home and garden blogger, and it’s titled 5 Things People With Tidy Homes Don’t Do. 

Now, I want to be CRYSTAL CLEAR that I have no problem with my fellow humans who keep tidy homes. I LOVE PEOPLE WHO KEEP TIDY HOMES for many reasons, the main one of which is I get to live vicariously through them. Thank goodness, because God knows I don’t keep a tidy home myself. I mean, it’s gotten better as my kids have grown older — less “filth and squalor” these days and more just “mayhem, muck, and madness,” you know? — but tidy is definitely not a word applicable to our situation. ...  read more

We’re Getting Baby Skunks Because We’re Good Americans.

Now hear this: if I can’t physically rescue baby humans from cages, I am going to rescue All the Baby Animals. 

All of them. 

Every single one.

I mean, YES, I am ALSO taking action on behalf of the small humans. But no one is letting me march into those detention centers with my wire cutters while holding a separated mommy’s hand so we can reunite her with her kid and stop this insanity, so I’m finding I need to take other actions, too. Tangible ones. To soothe this world and myself. To reduce the amount of harm. And it doesn’t hurt my mental health if those actions require me to snuggle tiny, furry creatures.  ...  read more

We’re Getting a Kitten! Don’t Tell Greg.

We’re getting a kitten! 

Don’t tell Greg

Also, don’t tell Abby.

Also-also, don’t tell my parents. 

None of those people will approve, and the first two will be downright hostile about it — Greg because he feels we already have enough living creatures around here costing us money (FALSE, Greg), and Abby because her soul is damaged and she doesn’t like animals.  ...  read more

I Tried Revenge Chores So You Don’t Have To

Got in a fight with Greg yesterday about a Tiny Thing. For the record, it was categorically his fault and zero percent mine, and we shall ignore the fact that I’m the only one telling this story without giving him a shot at sharing His Side. Yes? Yes. Excellent. I’m glad we’re on the same page.

Don’t worry, though; I got back at him by Revenge Weeding, Revenge Dish Washing, and Revenge Dinner Cooking. That’s when you do all those things, but with anger in your heart instead of love. Well, I suppose with love, too, but only technically speaking. Revenge Chores are like when the love is definitely there, but it’s buried deep, deep down under the Muttering and the One Sided Conversations in Your Brain Where Everything YOU Have to Say Is Brilliant and Wise So That He Acquiesces, Admits Fault, and Begs for Forgiveness. That’s very satisfying if you, like me, are interested in maintaining the fantasy of Righteous Anger and stoking the flame of simultaneous Self Pity and Superiority, but it’s not very satisfying if you want to, you know, do anything actually productive in the relationship.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Sometimes you gotta make hard choices. ...  read more

I’m My Kids’ Friend AND Their Parent (Psst… You Don’t Have to Pick)

I spent much of my early parenting life afraid.

True truth.

And although some of my fears made sense — as in, I’m pretty sure it’s a biological imperative and plain good sense to want to keep your child from harm — many of my fears were based simply on the Great Unknown of Parenting. I was afraid I’d do it wrong. Afraid of being too lenient. Afraid of failing my kids and somehow Ruining Them Forever. ...  read more