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Expert of Nothing: Why I Don’t have a Blog Niche

Expert of Nothing: Why I Don’t have a Blog Niche

Being a blogger it’s quite important to know your genre, your blog niche, your claim to fame. Know your audience. Have people who give a flying shit about what you have to say. Be someone that people want to know what you know.

 

I’m not one of those people.

 

The absolute hardest part about creating a blog, for me, was picking the blog niche. Seriously. There was no “Parenting Like Your Drowning” blog niche. I even checked for “Losing Weight Because Your Dinner Consists of Dried Edamame and Rotten Grapes” blog niche. Nada.

 

I have tried my hand at pretending to good at things I’m not. I’ve tried to squeeze my lazy ass in the DIY category but I just killed weeds once and then accepted weeds as part of my landscaping. I tried to write about parenting like I knew what the fuck I am doing. In the end all I had was something to make me laugh until I cried when my kids hit their terrible twos, threes and fours and turned into assholes just like everyone else’s kids.

 

Losing weight is probably the one thing in my life I have attempted more than anything. Currently, I am on the upswing of that battle being down 90 pounds from my highest weight. Does that make me an expert? Hell no. I am one crisis away from running naked in the streets with a Reese’s mustache on my way to McDonald’s.

 

For real though, I have never worked hard enough at anything to be considered an expert. I have this personality flaw that expects to be the best at everything and avoid all the things I know I’m not good at. In school I avoided all activities that required running. This discovery came in the second grade when teachers paired us up and forced us to race each other like an underground dog fight. For some reason, I remember my teacher on a lawn chair smoking a fat cigar with fist fulls of cash and a fedora, but (I hope) that can’t be right. Let’s just say I remember being grateful one kid had crutches so I wouldn’t face the humiliation of last place.

 

After that, I avoided running like the plague. I joined softball under the misguided notion running wasn’t really a necessary skill. The first day of practice the coach started us off running around the gym like quarter horses and I nonchalantly ran half a lap right to the locker room and back to the safety of my Dixie Chicks CDs and Cooler Ranch Doritos.

 

So, turning 30 this year I am determined to stop avoiding things that make me uncomfortable. I’m going to work hard at things that I’m not naturally talented at. I mean, the list is short, but I’m sure I can find a few new things (ha!). Believe it or not, two decades after Michael Vick’s long-lost love had us coughing up blood on the tennis court, I took up running. I still could get passed by someone with a broken leg, but I do it. Maybe it’s embarrassing to be running like Quasimodo with a piano on his back, but I like to pretend I’m a good example for my kids. Maybe they will see me and know if they work hard, one day they can run like Quasimodo WITHOUT the piano.

 

But, what am I the expert of? I would like to say I am the expert of my life and telling it like I really don’t give two shits what anyone thinks. Maybe that’s not enough. Maybe it is. All I know is I love telling my stories. I love when I see someone at the grocery store and they cackle about reading my bush shaving story. It’s fun. It makes life fun and, hey, what else can you talk about in the produce section besides pubes?

 

Super Mom: That’s What You Can Call Me

Super Mom: That’s What You Can Call Me

As a mom of twins, I am in a LOT of mommy groups. Virtual mommy groups, really. Because I don’t have a lot of time to put pants on anyone and get to actual real life social interaction. In one of my Mommies of Multiples groups, I read a blog by a mom saying she found it offensive when others called her “Super Mom.” She just wanted to be considered a mere mortal like the rest of the world.

 

Wait, what?

 

Not only do I have twin five-month olds, I also have a four and three year old. I don’t leave the house without someone strapped to me, in a stroller or hefting enough carseats and diaper bags to pull neck muscles (been there, done that). I haven’t slept longer than 2 hours straight in five months. My nipples resemble hardened bunions.

 

If I walk vigorously up the stairs I can hear the clap of my withered, prune of a lower stomach slap my upper thigh. My closet has clothes ranging from size 26 down to size 12. I have worn all of those sizes in the past year. My head has bald spots so large I have taken to wearing bandannas like Captain Hook’s portly sidekick, Mister Smee. I take four kids to the grocery store which means I have to push a double stroller, pull a shopping cart AND make sure my two oldest don’t end up in an Amber Alert.

 

The absolute LEAST I have earned is having flabbergasted strangers call me Super Mom. I, myself, cannot even fathom how I pull off my daily agenda. The mere fact that I have an hour to type on a computer shocks me. I remember tooting my own horn for working 60 hours a week and thinking how damn HEROIC I was for pulling that shit off. My level of responsibility that exceeds my own comprehension. I use to close bars more than once a week. Now I am in charge of four extremely small and fragile beings and they are all still in one piece????

 

I have earned it. Call me super mom. I don’t know how, but I have earned it.

 

In that same breath, though, please don’t think I have advice. Like I said, I have absolutely not the slightest inclination of how this shit is getting handled. My kids are nice most days by pure luck of the roll. There is nothing “super” about my parenting skills other than the fact that I haven’t resorted to sleeping midday while they learned to juggle cutlery. I really have no idea what I am doing. BUT, I sure as hell love to hear other people call me super mom. I’ll take what I can get.

Life as a Catholic Preschool Mom

Life as a Catholic Preschool Mom

Life didn’t prepare me for Catholic preschool.

 

My parents weren’t the religious type. My mom was a firm believer in raising my brother and me to make our own decisions when it came to God and church. I dipped my toe in the (holy) water several times throughout my life. I can remember being 12 years old and begging my mom to sign me up for sleep-away bible camp. While I was more interested in lake life with my two best friends, I was also vaguely interested in learning more about God and what he meant to others. That first night of camp we answered questions on a scrap of paper for our counselor. Lots of basic questions like favorite foods, songs, etc. but she also asked us if we were Christian. I quickly scribbled my answers, turned it in and discussed the questionnaire with my fair-haired friend, Jenna.

 

“What did you put for the ‘Christian’ question?” I asked quickly, “I mean, obviously I put ‘no’ because I am obviously Presbyterian since I go with you to church when I sleep over.”

 

It hit me fast that, no, Christian and Catholic were not the same thing. I learned it faster when all the counselors shook me awake at midnight, traipsed me into the cold summer night, formed a circle around me and begged Jesus to “save” me until I cried. This ruined religion for me for a very long time.

 

In the years that followed, I did my stint as an atheist. a Buddhist, Unitarian Universalist, agnostic, etc. I did enough time with my grandmother in the Catholic Church to be able to mumble my way through the Lord’s Prayer. I swore during my hairy-legged college days I would never raise my children in a religious household. But, eventually, I came around. Granted, I am never going to be one to post my 4 am cup of coffee next to a worn-out Bible on Instagram, but I’m trying. I try to explore my relationship with God and learn about the ways he has touched others’ lives.

 

So, here I am, 30 years old with my son starting his first year of Catholic preschool. While I don’t have my mother’s whimsical fancy when it comes to parenting and religion, I also have a really hard time fitting the Catholic mold. Just last week I left school red-faced after realizing that, no, talking about nipples on my Facebook feed is NOT an appropriate conversation at Catholic preschool drop-off. I didn’t learn this until I could hear the figurative clutching of pearls from the other moms around me. I also realized that my kids are also cluelessly pattering through this new Catholic preschool regime when my 4 year old told me his first field trip to Catholic church was weird because they made him splash dirty water in his face when he walked in.

 

Sigh.

 

Talking to others about religion makes me itch. But wondering what my innocent little boy is blithering on about is enough for a full-blown medical induced coma. I just broke my three year old from screaming “shit!” into the intercom at McDonald’s. I’m not up for this scrutinizing. I can barely step in wet grass in June without flashing back to my Jesus Camp experience. How does one do it?

 

Perhaps it’s all in your tribe. Maybe I’m not meant to be with the squeaky #blessed moms. But, just maybe, that one mom that belly laughed at my nipple comment might be who I need. At this point in my life I am not trying to make anyone like me. My religious quest is to be here for my kids as terribly as I know how and to have a relationship with God. I know there’s other moms out there like me. We might not be the perfect Christians, but, damnit, we’re trying.

Dear Santa: Bring Me Some Metamucil

Dear Santa: Bring Me Some Metamucil

Dear Santa Mrsmommymack.com

So, being pregnant with twins AND in my first trimester right up until the holidays is quite fun. Nothing like double the feeling of: nausea, heartburn, pure, bone-numbing exhaustion and raw, unedited emotion just in time to see your entire family.

I’ve harnessed this tornado of emotional and physical pain into a letter to my man, Santa Claus. Please, I’ve been remotely good? I am begging you.

  1. So much poop. As I have told everyone, including my hairdresser and someone I scared by the cucumbers at the store, I have to poop. No, I NEED to poop. Being pregnant slows all trains to Poopsville down to a crawl and the exit is fruitless at best. I want an ate-Taco-Bell-all-night-and-drowned-it-with-tequila sized poop. So many things are happening internally right now, but poop is not one of them.
  2. A longer fuse. I have noticed my husband’s white-eyed, twitchy glances towards me when I enter a room. This is similar to a rabbit in a bush next to 5,000 foxes. He is afraid and I don’t blame him. The rage in me is hideous. Out of dish soap? I’m going to lose it. Favorite yoga pants are dirty? Watch the fuck out. Scandal is on Thanksgiving hiatus and I was unaware? SWAT team, now.
  3. The ability to puke until my eyes bleed, then eat until I cry. This might be a tall order. But, daily I just wish I could retch this nausea completely gone and then stuff my mouth, ears, eyes, etc with egg rolls. Can’t this be a thing?
  4. A dishwasher. Sure, this is a tangible object. However, I do need to voice that it is December 1st and I am still working through the casserole dishes from Thanksgiving. Scraping congealed, slightly burnt (sorry, Mom) green bean casserole for hours while simultaneously dry heaving should be sent to Guantanamo as a new torture strategy.
  5. So many tissues. Kleenex is obsolete in my house due to the fact that I cried for four hours this week after my husband asked me to fold some laundry.
  6. A vice. Booze? Nope. Trampolines? Na-da. Sushi? Out of the question. Cigarettes? This isn’t Mad Men. What is a pregnant woman to do if she can’t drink wine and smoke at the trampoline sushi bar? How am I supposed to “celebrate” the upcoming Armageddon of having four kids under five?!
  7. An internet filter. When I’m pregnant, I have an incredibly hard time not wanting to kill everyone on the internet. I will write seething letters of semi-hatred to people I would normally ignore. I spent way too many hours (or maybe NOT ENOUGH!? See, there I go again.) one night hating the woman who was photoed duct taping her sweet, helpless chocolate lab’s mouth shut.
  8. More time. Santa, let’s just cut to the chase. Shouldn’t you be pregnant for 18 months with twins? I mean, I’m no scientist, but this shit makes sense. I’m not ready. HOW IS THIS GOING TO WORK?!

So, Santa, I will be waiting patiently at about one minute past minute on Christmas morning for your arrival. I will be the one crying on the toilet in dirty pajamas.

 

-Mrs. Mommy Mack.

 

 

One Track Minds: Don’t Suggest Fun Shit to My Kids

One Track Minds: Don’t Suggest Fun Shit to My Kids

One of my favorite comedians, Jim Gaffigan, hit the nail on the head when talking about children and their one-track minds. He joked about how he and his wife were nonchalantly talking about ice cream and his child screamed “CHOCOLATE!” for the remainder of their road trip. Despite their desperate pleas, the child never stopped.

This is what it’s like having a toddler.

Every.
Single.
Day.

I don’t know if this is something new for us Millennial Parents, because my mom seems to have completely forgotten about kids’ leech-like minds. For example, we took a trip to the zoo recently. Boy were we excited! After an an entire morning packing, a half-hour drive and a good 20 minutes getting us out of the vehicle, we arrived! My mom, my 3-year-old son, one-year-old daughter and I grabbed our tickets and headed in, right past the gift shop.

“PRIZES!” My son exclaimed at unnerving volumes.

I began my spiel of, “Oh now, nice! Aren’t those pretty? Look! I think that LION KNOWS HOW TO TALK!” In a 100% effective way to distract him from the fluorescent monkeys.

My mother, however, apparently had a stroke on the trip over and blurted, “I will get you one of those prizes on the way back, my dear, sweet baby angel!”

I whipped my head around in hopes my son was (temporarily!) missing and did not hear my mother’s pirate mouth. No such luck.

From that moment forward, no matter how many white lies I told about the animals abilities to talk/walk/play poker at night, my son was over it.

“Yeah, I’ve seen enough animals. Time for a prize!” He said after merely passing a chipmunk on the way to the first animal exhibit.

That was it. That’s all we heard. Every step we took further away from the gift shop, the more my son hated animals for even existing. So, the trip lasted a quick lap around the zoo and my son raced into the gift shop. My mom then proceeded to tell my children they could have anything they wanted because, Lord knows we should give the little hustler the Taj Mahal. After careful, intricate, meticulous, hair-pulling deliberation, my son chose a pen. That was his prize. My daughter “picked” a monkey (she’s 1, let’s face it, I handed it to her and it was the best thing that ever happened to her) and my son could have had anything in the store and he picked a pen. Priorities.

So, after the zoo trip, I have been coaching friends and family not to speak of anything children might even fathom to enjoy unless you have it in your pocket and don’t ever want to see it again. Things have been moving smoothly, until today.

You see, I just got myself a double stroller and my husband has been taking our car to work. That means: anywhere we want to go is by foot with me pushing 60 pounds of toddler through 85 degree weather. Today, we had to drop some paperwork off at the insurance office. It was only a little over a mile away, but it’s hot, my kids are squirrely and I’m fat. By the time we got there, I was red as a plum, we were all out of water and I had to shit. In other words, we were done.

The receptionist decided she wanted to strike up a conversation, however. She was: talking to the kids, advising me to put more sunscreen on due to the fact that I looked like I was melting and then asked if we WERE HEADED TO THE PARK NEXT. 

Instantly, I had visions of taking her padded headband and shoving it down her throat. But, there were too many witnesses.

My son instantly shot up, “YEAH!!!! The park!!! Let’s GO!!!!!!”

Mind you, the park is three miles away and I’m nearing cardiac arrest. So, don’t judge me for not schlepping us across town.

After shooting the deepest death glare I could muster at Little-Miss-Parky-Pants, we left. I tried so hard to change the subject. So fucking hard.

I pointed at a seagull, “Hey buddy! Look! It’s an eagle!”

“Cool mom! Maybe he wants to come to the park with us?”

Next attempt, “Aren’t you getting thirsty? I bet you can’t wait to get home to have some SODA! What a treat!”

“No thanks, Mom. I will be thirsty at the park!”

Again, “Don’t you want to wash down that soda with some ICE CREAM! You can have Mom’s special ice cream she hides in the ice maker for after you go to bed!”

“Hmmmm, maybe later, Mom. We gotta go to the PARK!”

Finally, I shot it to him straight, “OK, Mom didn’t want to tell the lady at the office this, but the park is closed today. We can’t go there! But we can go tomorrow and you can tell DAD all about it when he gets home from work?”

Pause…

“OK!!!! Now, let’s go have soda and ice cream all day!!!!”

So, now I have to deal with the guilt of: not killing myself trying to get them to the park, LYING to a CHILD, and the fact that my husband will have to hear about the park for an entire two hours tonight when he gets home.

Looks like tomorrow I’m getting a workout.

Back to My Favorite Place on Earth: Turd Island

Back to My Favorite Place on Earth: Turd Island

For the majority of the past three years, I have been a working mom. I have had several different jobs — trying my hand at: insurance, investments, bank, selling homes and call centers. Nothing had the “joie de vivre” to keep me from having mental breaks after a few months away from my two turkey muffins. Like clockwork, I would slowly feel the gusto fade into the mist with each place of employ and feel that same jubilee turn into a deep, dark pit of despair.

Once I was in this place for the umpteenth time in the past few years, my husband decided he’d had enough of seeing me struggle to stay happy. He was going to head out into the world of 401(k)’s, PTO, meetings and office drama. It was my turn to be the stay at home parent. HIP, HIP, HOORAY!

I was over-the-moon proud and grateful to my husband. To celebrate, we decided to have a little family pool party at my mom’s house. We: raced over, splattered on sunscreen, shimmied into our swimsuits and filled a bag of water balloons. This is the life!

After a couple hours slip-sliding, my son came running over…

“Poop!” My three-year-old son screamed while running through the backyard. Since my son likes to announce every Lincoln Log my pug deposits in the lawn, I thought nothing of his poop declaration. That is until I saw him tug at his butt crack through his trunks…

Sure enough, a sopping shart had soiled his trunks and Dad quickly ushered him to the bathroom to be hosed down. I took the time to sip my ice cold beer and giggle to myself how I dodged quite the messy bullet. Well, until I saw a rock hard bulge in my one-year-old daughter’s bikini bottoms. Luckily, I was able to slide them off of her and fling the turd in the garbage without much shrapnel on the scene. While I happily sprayed her bottoms and smiled at my fortune for getting the less disastrous of the two crime scenes, I saw something fire like a green shooting star across my mom’s patio. The speed and velocity of this mass of diarrhea was not something I had ever mentally prepared for when entering motherhood. This cherub-esque doll of a child didn’t even stop playing kitchen for a beat while firing on all cylinders across the concrete.

Looks like Karma is a very, very mean bitch. Now I am pretty sure my mom’s neighbors think we were cleaning up criminal DNA all afternoon with all of the hose spraying, bleach dumping and whimpering screams of disgust.

Needless to say, my kids quickly reminded me that my rose-colored outlook on being the stay-at-home parent isn’t going to be just smelling their sweetly sweaty heads all day. Sometimes, shit is going to get real and I am 100% over the moon, nonetheless.

 

Shit Show: The Day My Kid Ate Poop

Shit Show: The Day My Kid Ate Poop

Please don’t judge me.

Yesterday was the worst day I have ever had as a mom. It made me rethink my decision to procreate.

Let me take you back…

I had just gotten home from work and was just getting ready to relax. Kids got their kisses and hugs and ran off to play. As I stretched my weary body I said to my husband, “Isn’t it so nice now that the kids can play together alone?” Feeling like I had just jinxed myself, I peeked in their room. Adorable playing was taking place and my heart felt like mush. How precious! What cherubs!

About 3.5 minutes later, all hell broke loose.

I sat back in the living room and heard my son shut the bedroom door. I should have went with my gut and went back in. But I waited two minutes and opened the door to pure horror.

My son had taken off his diaper and my one year old daughter had one turd in her hand and one turd in HER MOUTH. The worst part? She was smiling.

I stood there. I froze. Bile rose in my throat as I looked at her poopy lips and my son’s poopy butt hiding in the corner.

What. The. Ever-loving FUCK.

Quickly, I leapt to action after swallowing my dinner back down. I screamed for my husband who threw the Poop Gifter in the tub as I dug my finger in the Poop Eater’s craw.

I have never gagged so hard in my life as I called Poison Control and had the most embarrassing, yet reassuring conversation take place. People sure are nice on that hotline and, apparently, unfazed by my heathen offspring.

Now that the shock has worn off, I think the most horrifying part was the gleeful expression on my daughter’s face. She liked it! What the hell have I spawned?!

What horror stories do you have? Tell me in the comments!

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Dizzy Castle

Dizzy Castle

We have been in the Portland area for two weeks. Other than: staring at the umpteen boxes we have yet to unpack, rolling around on a deflating air mattress, and taking two trips to the complex indoor pool, we haven’t done much and, yesterday, I realized if I didn’t take the kids out to burn some energy off they might internally combust.

So, I took to the internet and discovered many area moms raving about a local indoor playground called Dizzy Castle. I decided this would be an inexpensive way to calm them. We packed up early and headed out.

We arrived completely underprepared. Both my husband and I were wearing flip-flops and did not realize that we not only needed socks but workout fatigues and an hourlong warm-up beforehand. We settled for purchasing some chintzy, too small “socks” from the counter and headed in.

The plan was to eat at the little food court prior to heading into battle, but my son had another idea. He ripped off his shoes and headed in. Thankfully, he was a little overwhelmed by the colors, swinging punching bags and sweaty children that he stuck close by. I quickly ran and ordered some food and sat back thinking I would relax, watch him run himself ragged and head home.

Wrong.

I was able to put off the inevitable by haranguing said two year old back to the table with a pirate ship filled with grilled cheese and potato chips. After a few bites, he was off again with potato chip in hand. This time, his fuel gauge was full and he was much more brazen. Considering most of the children were much older than him, I decided to follow him in. We played with some foam balls for a considerable amount of time before I saw his poop face. I tried to keep his public display a little more private, but he stood directly in front of the entrance with a purple vein throbbing in his forehead while he worked out his #2. I quickly shuffled him back to Dad for a run to the men’s room and took my daughter into the toddler area. We sat quietly while she crawled around with sweet little babies and we all cooed and laughed jovially while relaxing on the bright red mats.

Before my inevitable demise.

About a half an hour later, my husband and son returned. My husband looked like he just completed an entire month of P90X and my son looked crazed like he was hopped up on jungle gym. Between gasps for air my husband said, “I just went down the slide 11 times. It’s your turn.”

Being the show-off I am, I thought: How dramatic. 

I was so wrong.

I quickly learned that the slide entrance wasn’t merely a set of stairs. The first step to get to the top was army crawling up a set of foam logs. Mind you, I have never army crawled in my life. As children piled up behind me waiting for me to lug my frame up the logs, I felt horrified. Thankfully, my toddler wasn’t quite that quick either. At the top of the logs, you needed to squeeze through a two-foot by two-foot hole. Not only was I horrified that I might not fit through this hole, I also felt claustrophobia clutching my insides. Since there were about forty sweaty children behind me, there was no turning back. I pushed my breasts in and wedged through the hole. Much to my dismay, there was another whole set of Logs of Death. I was more motivated this time as I could see the top. I could see the end in sight and was looking forward to feeling like I wasn’t in a coffin. However, once I flopped on the platform, I realized the ceiling was only two-feet tall.

This was where I stopped breathing.

My son was unfazed. He leapt on the slide and soared to the bottom. I took the next track of a slide to quickly follow him down. Due to the fact that I was wearing yoga pants, I sizzled down the slide. I started breathing for a few quick gasps, until I saw my oblivious child jump into my track. Quickly, I tried to grab the sides to stop my body from careening into my offspring. Other than getting plastic burn on my palms, nothing happened. I rocketed off the bottom of the slide, bear-hugging his little body in hopes that this wasn’t an episode of Rescue 911.

Not only was he alive. He was hysterical with happiness.

I, on the other hand, had sweat soaked through my pits, my hair was matted and I had a Charlie Horse. He still wanted to race back up the logs, but I lured him out of the building with promises of cookies and Mickey Mouse.

Next time, I will be prepared.

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