Today we welcome back one of our fave Guest Mouthy Housewives, Tonya of AdHoc Mom! We totally love Tonya and keep begging her to become one of our Sister Wives. Please, Tonya, please! Tease up that pompadour and join us in celestial marriage, baby! We’ll let you use the good vacuum!
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
I’ve noticed that my neighbor never puts sunscreen on her young children. I asked her about it once at the pool and she said something like, “Their father’s Mexican, they don’t need it.” I think this is almost child abuse as I’ve seen both of the kids get red burns on their faces and necks. Should I try to put some on them when she’s not looking or am I just overreacting?
SPF Pissed Off
Dear SPF Pissed Off,
First off, what is this sun business you speak of? As a person with almost translucent skin (and a hefty cable bill), I don’t venture outside too often. (I’ve put in my application to become a vampire, but so far the Living Dead Society has yet to get back to me. I think they read somewhere I was vegetarian?) That being said, I do slather my own child in pounds of sunscreen and I’m pretty sure he goes from weighing a mere 35 to a nice hefty 50 once I’m done with him. Therefore, I fully understand your frustration at witnessing a friend fail to protect her own children. It’s akin to watching a pregnant woman smoke, with a bit of seriously questionable racial profiling thrown in.
However, while I don’t believe you are overreacting as extremely severe sunburns are certainly considered a form of child abuse, in order to keep neighborly relations on a congenial level, I wouldn’t recommend putting sunscreen on her children while she isn’t looking. This could quickly backfire into a situation whereby she will never trust you again, and may later instruct her progeny to wrap your house in toilet paper or leave smoking bags of dog feces on your front doorstep. Neither, as my teenage self can attest to, are very pleasant
So to keep your friendship and the neighbor relationship moving forward, I suggest trying to get her children involved in the process of putting on the sunscreen themselves. Perhaps you could use some different colors of sunscreen on your own kids while you are all out together and encourage her children to join in the fun of making their bodies into living art projects. (This is a tactic I have used successfully on my husband)
The most important thing to remember if you witness this behavior again is that she is their mother and she really does love them. Even if she’s an SPF 500 level idiot.
Tonya Vernooy, Guest TMH
Have a problem/question/dilemma that you’d like one of The Mouthy Housewives to answer? Email it over to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or click here and we’ll get right on it!
Dear Mouthy Housewives Readers,
Goodness, you look stunning this morning. Let us drink you in.
Today, we’re taking a break from solving your problems with wit and wisdom and are focusing instead on a few public service announcements. They are things that we all know. And yet, every year there are terrible tragedies that break our hearts. We are hopeful that by highlighting them now, we will start a discussion, raise awareness and that you and your friends will hear our nagging, and yet oddly adorable, voices as a reminder. So here are some things to keep in mind during this long, hot summer:
1. Water Safety. Although there is a year-round risk for at home drownings, during the months of May to August, child drowning deaths increase 89% as compared to the rest of the year. The American Academy of Pediatrics issued recommendations, including:
- Supervision when in or around the Water. Designate a responsible adult to watch young children while in the bath as well as all children swimming or playing in or around water. Supervisors of preschool children should provide “touch supervision,” be close enough to reach the child at all times. Adults should not be involved in any other distracting activity (such as reading, playing cards, talking on the phone, texting or mowing the lawn) while supervising children.
- Learn to Swim. Formal swimming lessons can protect young children from drowning. However, even when kids have had formal swimming lessons, constant, careful supervision when children are in the water, and barriers, such as pool fencing, to prevent unsupervised access are still necessary.
- Learn Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). In the time it might take for paramedics to arrive, your CPR skills could make a difference in someone’s life. Classes are usually inexpensive and easily found via community listings.
- Do Not Use Air-Filled or Foam Toys. Novelty toys such as “water wings,” “noodles,” or inner-tubes should never be used in place of life jackets (personal flotation devices). These toys are not designed to keep swimmers safe.
Please check out the AAP link for more recommendations as well as Colin’s Hope for some valuable resources.
2. Cars. We’ve all heard the terrible news stories of children left in a locked car in the summer. What seems like an innocent mistake quickly ends in tragedy. No one thinks that it will happen to them, and yet it still happens, year after year, again and again. In 2010, 49 children died after being left in a car. It’s also important to know that a child’s temperature regulating system is still immature, and therefore different from ours. A child’s body temperatures can warm at a rate 3 to 5 times faster than an adult’s. Children have died from heat stroke in a vehicle with outside temperatures as low as 57 degrees F.
Develop a system to make sure that you never leave a child in the car, no matter how many things are going on. It could be as simple as a “buddy system,” such as texting a friend after you removed your child from the car. Whatever works for you. Just know that if you need a back up reminder, you should have one. Please share your ideas in the comments.
3. Sunblock While certainly not as dramatic as our first two summer dangers, using sunblock should be a part of everyone’s summer routine. As the sun radiates light, (er..shines) part of the light contains ultraviolet (UV). The UVA rays damage the skin and contribute to its wrinkling and the development of skin cancer. Most people get between 50 to 85% of their total lifetime sun exposure by the time that they are 18 years old, so it’s especially important for parents to teach them about sun damage and protection.
So let’s be safe out there.
The Mouthy Housewives
Welcome to Mouthing Off, a semi-regular feature where we tell you about an item in the news that has us perplexed. We’re already on the record with our outrage about toddlers drinking alcohol and shoes for girls designed to tone their legs. Now we’re talking about parents from Canada who don’t want to reveal their child’s gender.
Yes, that’s right. Although their child does not have ambiguous genitalia, they feel like gender is not something that they want to impose on their child. (They seem to have no problem, however, imposing the name Storm on their child.)
The dad is quoted as saying, “What we noticed is that parents make so many choices for their children. It’s obnoxious.”
Oh, the irony.
Because these parents seem to have made a choice for their child that will follow him/her as a footnote to his/her life in the form of a media joke forever. Besides, I don’t know about other parents, but we at The Mouthy Housewives are the type of hands-off parents that did not make the gender choice for our children.
There are many ways of battling gender stereotypes, but perhaps confusing the beejesus out of your kid and everyone on the internet isn’t the best way.
Guess what? Kristine of Wait in the Van is back to give us more advice. We’re lucky to have her and her wisdom!
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
I have been married almost 19 years and every month or so I wonder if I should get the hell out. My hubby is rarely home because of his work. I do all of the parenting and I am a stay at home mom. My hubby, a firefighter, can make so much more money than I can with overtime and cash shifts. So there is no big draw to going back to work.
When he is home he does little but organize the garage or basement (pack rat). On the bright side I never have to worry about money, am the parent I always wanted to be and guess I just have to figure out what I want to do to keep myself happy now that the kids are older.
Sex life is near dead. Am I wasting my life or do many other stay at home wives feel similarly frustrated? Does it get better?
Frustrated and Confused in Canada
Dear Frustrated and Confused in Canada,
What you described, my friend, is like an ideal marriage for many Americans: sex optional, money secured, and husband occupied. (So I’ll try to keep in mind that you’re actually Canadian, and that maybe Americans are sometimes delusional.) Your description is also giving me flashbacks to my own therapy sessions from several years back, so if you’ll just excuse me for a moment…
The short answer here is that, OMFG, YES, this sounds completely normal. I mean, hell, it took me a few years to realize that I wasn’t actually supposed to HATE my husband, because holy crap, I could use some help wiping asses around here, but NO. You just LAY AROUND on the motherfu–
*chews another Xanax*
Based on what you’re telling me, I’m guessing your husband is just as bummed about your current situation as you are. (Mostly because of the sex thing.) My advice to you is to find something that makes you happy, whether that be working from home, scrap-booking, or blogging in your pajamas even though you’d rather watch TV, but someone left the remote in the kitchen, and YOU JUST SAT DOWN.
If you’re happy, your husband will be happy. And by “happy,” I mean, excited that he might be finally getting laid tonight. Because remember all those annoying Debbie-Downers that would bitch about how hard marriage can be? Well, they were talking about you staying at home, silently hating your husband, who is hiding in the garage among his boxes of shit. Go talk to him. Naked, maybe. I bet you’re better company than the garage. Especially if you’re naked.
The bottom line is that marriage is ridiculously hard work, and typically involves thinking about divorce with startling frequency during your kids’ earlier years. You know, my therapist would often say, “You have two young children! THIS IS THE WORST TIME OF YOUR LIFE! You’re SUPPOSED to be depressed!”
Which…you know…does that help?
Kristine, Guest TMH
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
I am a divorced mother of two (ages 17 and 10). I’ve been divorced for approximately 3 years after an 11 year marriage. It was very difficult for me. I am 35 years old and tried dating several times but when it got serious, I turned and ran for the door. I felt like I was settling and I refuse to settle. I know what I want but I’m beginning to think my standards are set too high.
Normally, I am attracted to older guys but the younger ones in their 20s are the only ones really pursuing me. For the past month, I hooked up with a 20 year old and the boy has rocked my world. We have great sex but he is immature. We entered the relationship as “friends with benefits.” It worked for me because I don’t have to commit but the more time I spend with him the more I truly like him. What should I do?
My “Friends with Benefits” Man is Only Three Years Older Than My Child
Dear Friends with Benefits,
I think at some point all of us have to ask ourselves the most important relationship question… Am I Demi Moore in this scenario?
Perhaps you are. Maybe you’re already dating your Ashton Kutcher and it’s just time to take the relationship to the next level. And many many years from now, you’ll be sitting on the couch with him, holding hands and watching old reruns of “Two and a Half Men.”
When I was in my late twenties (okay, I was 30), I dated someone significantly younger than me. Like a decade younger. And he was sweet, super cute and loads fun. He had abs that I’ll never experience again. But once some of the lust wore off, I realized that I really had NOTHING to say to him. Not even a mutually shared love of Kabbalah and Twitter to fall back on. So I broke his sweet young heart. I’m absolutely positive he must still be pining away for me.
Your boy toy sounds hot. And fun. With awesome abs. But you said it yourself… he’s immature. And I’m guessing that is not a trait you are looking for in a long term relationship. Go ahead and date this guy until he makes fart jokes in front of your boss at the company summer picnic. Then move on.
Given your divorce, I can imagine you are very gun shy about relationships right now. You might want to consider making an appointment with a therapist to work on some of your fears. And don’t ever think about settling when it comes to men. Now if you’re at the grocery store and they’re out of Cookie Dough Crunch ice cream, feel free to settle for Double Chocolate Delight. But when it comes to guys, you deserve the best one.