22 Sep
The Education of a Room Mom

It’s Guest Post Thursday! (It is Thursday, isn’t it? Time just flies when you’re Swiffering!) Today we welcome an expert at navigating the other moms at school—Lela Davidson! Lela is a fabulous writer who has a new book out called Blacklisted from the PTA. Perfect reading for those of us who’d rather join the Witness Protection Program than frost cookies for a bake sale. Check out Lela’s answer, then check out her book! — Wendi

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

I just became Room Mom of my daughter’s Pre-K class. I didn’t really want to do it, but nobody else volunteered. The first event I did—a Welcome Breakfast–was a simple affair because the kids are still young and I didn’t have a lot of time to organize. I thought it was fine, but now I hear that a lot of the moms were making fun of the event and calling it a “Cheap Breakfast.” Should I say something to them? Make sure the next thing I do is nicer? Hit them with my car? This is all new to me and I’m panicking!

Signed,

Dubious Room Mom

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Dear Dubious,

Wow, and congratulations! Room mom is quite an accomplishment. But be honest, nobody else volunteered? Or did the other moms duck to avoid the flying clipboard you knocked out of your rival’s unsuspecting hands? Maybe not, but anyone who uses the words “event” and “affair” to describe a social event for five-year-olds could be headed down the perilous path of the PTA Queen Bee. Be careful, my friend.

To your question, may I ask who you’re trying to please? Because half those kids would be happy sucking on a glue stick. If it’s the moms’ approval you’re after-good luck with that. Seriously, what’s wrong with a cheap breakfast? What did they expect-scrambled eggs Benedict and Poptarts with the crusts cut off? Were you supposed to spend hours cutting fruit into animal shapes and arranging it on skewers? (Never introduce sharp objects, by the way. You don’t want to arm these women.)

As for what other moms are saying about your efforts, unless you heard this with your own ears, beware of the messenger. She is likely a drama-seeking, pot-stirring, soap opera-watching, bored out of her mind bitch who masks her menace in concern. Maybe she sounds something like this: “Cindy should keep her big mouth shut, except she can’t, on account of the Botox. Bless her heart.”

Or is it more like: “How does it feel when everyone in the whole entire school thinks you’re a cheap skank who doesn’t love her kids enough to buy the real French Toastix?”

Either way, she is not your friend.

And finally, if you’re panicking because you think other moms’ impressions of you will impact your child, let me assure you, they will. These power moms determine who gets the good teachers, the last chocolate milk, and the lead in the school talent show. This is the Big Leagues, Baby. But if you want to play with the mommy elite, you play by their rules, which include conforming to ludicrous standards for the preschool social hour. That said, never EVER waste valuable time endearing yourself to mean moms when you could be sucking up to the teacher instead. Priorities, Rookie.

Managing the academic and social life of your children is difficult, but any woman who navigated the horrors of her own middle school is fit for the task. Hold your head high, toss some grapes in a bowl, and bust out the grocery store muffins. Bottom line, relax. Otherwise you risk turning yourself into one of those bitches I sometimes accidently bump with my car.

Love,

Lela, Guest TMH

 

 

 

 

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21 Sep
Lookin’ for Friends in All the Wrong Places

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

My husband is in the military, and we live on base. He is gone a majority of the day, and sometimes I get bored.   Usually I do chores and go on the internet or play video games. I am applying for jobs, but don’t have one yet.

So sometimes, I like to walk around my house and look outside and such. Sometimes, when I look outside, my neighbors happen to be out. I don’t, like, stare at them. But I do look for a second and then go back to what I was doing. I was kinda doing that today, but this time I believe they saw me looking. Now I’m worried that they believe I’m some creepy loser who just watches them from the window. I don’t mean to be creepy. I just get bored and get curious what people are doing. Do I just avoid them or tell them I just look outside sometimes?

Signed,

Peeping Penelope

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Dear Peeping Penelope,

::sets down binoculars::

Listen, it’s perfectly normal for you to look out your damn window. All of us do it when we’re bored or daydreaming or worried that there’s a serial killer lurking in the bushes. In fact, when I go for walks around my neighborhood, I am compelled to look in everyone’s garage, should it happen to be open. I can inventory half my block’s lawn equipment. AND THAT’S OKAY.

What’s more worrisome is the fact that you seem trapped indoors. And that when you see these neighbors of yours, you hide behind the curtains rather than wave hello. As for approaching them with an explanation, you may come off like a lunatic if you try to rationalize your anti-social behavior. (Been there, done that, Penelope. Trust me.)

As a woman whose husband is in the military, I can attest to how difficult it can be to meet people on base, especially if you don’t have any children to use as social pawns at the playground. But as difficult as it is to put yourself out there, it’s absolutely essential for survival, Penelope. SO ::smack:: PULL ::smack:: YOURSELF ::smack:: TOGETHER!

A few ideas!

1. Ask your husband to invite some of his friends or co-workers (and their spouses) over for a dinner party. Talk about anything other than how much you like staring at people from the window.

2. Look up and contact your base’s Family Readiness coordinator. This is often a spouse that can put you in contact with social groups and gatherings in your community. (I’d steer clear of the Neighborhood Crime Watch.)

3. GO OUTSIDE. Looking wistfully out the window is a very clear sign that you want to be out, interacting with others. Go for a walk, read a book at the park, anything! (Just leave the binoculars at home.)

You’ll need some patience with the process and confidence in yourself, but you’re bound to make friends as long as you’re not holed up inside.

Good luck!

Kristine, TMH

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20 Sep
An Affair to Remember

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

My husband hates me. I had an internet affair about 2 years ago and although I have seen the error of my ways, asked for forgiveness, and tried to move on, he can’t.

Things were bad for many years before the affair, so our relationship was in terrible shape before that, and the cheating just seemed to crush it.

I don’t think he loved me anymore before it happened, and I don’t blame him for hating me now. The guilt for me is never ending. If I do anything that seems suspicious to him, no matter how small and insignificant, he accuses me of lying to him, and brings back all of the mistakes I’ve made into the discussion.

Do you have any advice? Is counseling the last chance? We have two little kids. I want the family to be whole, but I can’t even get him to commit to trying.

As it is, he told me months ago that he hasn’t decided if he wants to stay with me. So the stress of wondering if/when he will leave me is really making it hard to cope. I want to make things right, but at the same time, I feel like he’ll be punishing me for the rest of our marriage, no matter what I do. I don’t expect things to magically go back to normal, but this current situation is terrible and I have a really hard time dealing with depression, guilt, and feeling like I am horrible human being.

Please help,

Guilty

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Dear Guilty,

Oh, my.

Your marriage was in trouble and your extramarital affair didn’t seem to help matters.  Huh.  Whoddathunkit?

I will not pass judgment on whether your having an affair makes you a terrible person or not, but I will say that you need to find a way to make peace with what you did.  Learn from the experience, grow, but move on. Because the self-flagellation bit is not doing you or your husband or your children one bit of good.

You say that you want your family to be whole, because you have two little children, but let’s face it:  your family is shattered and has been for a while.  You think your husband hates you, you are destroyed by guilt, he is undecided about whether to leave you or not and the stress is eating you up inside.  These are not the Family Values that benefit anyone.

Instead of wondering if your husband wants to remain married to you, ask yourself if you want to remain in this marriage.  Not just “for the children”– for you.  I know that there are some people who think that when there are children, a marriage must be preserved at all costs.  I’m not one of those people.  If the parents aren’t fulfilled and happy, it will make its mark on the children.

If you do love your husband and want to remain married, you will need to see a marriage counselor.  Not only to try to mend your relationship, but to try to figure out where things went wrong in the first place.  Your marriage is in trouble. I don’t know if it’s salvageable or if it’s worth trying to save at this point.

If your husband is so hurt by your actions or if he no longer loves you for whatever reason, the two of you will need to figure out a way to co-parent effectively, without accusations and recriminations.  Because every child deserves that.

Good luck,

Marinka, TMH

 

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19 Sep
We’re On A Budget, Should Our Kids Be, Too?

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

My husband and I have no choice but to tighten our financial belts right now. We’re cutting back on a lot of our normal activities and expenses in order to stay afloat.

As part of our new financial plan, I think it’s become necessary to reduce our pre-teen sons’ allowance from $10 a week to $7. However, my husband doesn’t agree and thinks that by doing so we’re “punishing” them. What do you say?

Signed,

Livin’ La Vida Budget

_____________________________

Dear Livin’ La Vida Budget,

First of all, I commend you for sucking it up and taking care of your finances in a responsible manner. If more people were like you, we wouldn’t have pawnshops bursting with flat screen TVs, diamond rings and solid gold toilet seats. It’s like everyone thinks they’re Lil Wayne all of a sudden. And trust me, Chardonnay doesn’t taste any better in a $500 jewel-encrusted pimp cup with mink handles. (OK, I’m lying. IT SO TOTALLY DOES!!)

The good news is that you and your husband seem to be on the same page for most of this financial overhaul, which we hope will ultimately lead to less stress for everyone. Like they say, “the family that saves together, stays together.” Or maybe it’s “the family that saves together, stays in crappy Motel 6’s and gets bitten by bed bugs together”—I can never remember. At any rate, be happy and proud that you two are working together on this dilemma.

That said, I question your motivation regarding the reduction of the preteens’ allowance. Is it because you think an extra $6 a week is necessary for your budget? Or do you want to teach them a lesson about financial responsibility? Show them that everyone has to make sacrifices? If it’s the latter, then you need to get that point across to your husband in a “I want this to be a life lesson so they grow up and don’t have to struggle” type of way.

However, if it’s the former and you’re just cutting their money because you’re cutting everything, I’d advise you to reconsider. Ten bucks is a lot of money to a (probably unemployed) preteen and gives them the freedom they crave at this age. After all, there’s no bigger rush than buying a bottle of   Justin Bieber perfume with your own money. At least that’s what I told the clerk at Macy’s last week when she saw me doing cartwheels in the cosmetics department. (Beliebers UNITE!)

Maybe the best thing to do is simply offer a compromise. Reduce the kids’ allowance by $3 each, then give them small jobs to earn it back or have them find a way to reduce the family budget by that same amount. Either way, they’ll definitely be learning the values of money, responsibility and family.

Now if we could just teach them to Lil Wayne.

Good luck,

Wendi, TMH

 

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16 Sep
Mouthing Off: Toddler T&A!

Toddlers & Tiaras has really taken the cake recently for the portrayal of toddlers in their beauty pageants. Of course, we should point out that they haven’t yet (YET) had a preschooler pop out of an actual cake. Recently, however, they had a three-year-old dressed up like Julia Roberts’ hooker character from Pretty Woman and a four-year-old entertain as Dolly Parton, complete with cleavage and junk in the trunk. Even TMZ was horrified!

The fact that young girls love the the movie  Pretty Woman is a bit disturbing in and of itself – hello, Julia is a hooker! Now, we aren’t saying prostitutes don’t deserve love, happiness and fabulous jewelry, but should little girls dream of walking the streets in order to snag a Prince Charming? Is this realistic? Or, more to the point, is it appropriate? Apparently pageant mom, Wendy Dickey (no relation to TMH Wendi…that we know of…), thinks that it is. She recently dressed her toddler in a pint-sized version of Julia’s hooker costume from the movie! She went on to support this decision by stating that she also dressed her as the “classy” version of Julia (you know, after Richard Gere has saved her and cleaned her up) later in the show.   Well, that makes everything better. Oh, wait. No. The character is still from a movie about a HOOKER!  (An aside: Julia Roberts was only paid $300,000 for her part in the film. Poor actress. What ever happened to her?)

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Wendy (not Wendi) went on to defend her choice by insisting that her daughter had no idea what the costume signified. Well, all we can say is that it’s a good thing there’s no photographic or video evidence that may pop up later in the child’s life. Whew. That was a close one.

As if purposefully making up your toddler like a prostitute isn’t dig-your-eyeballs-out-with-an-ice-cream-scoop ridiculous enough, another woman, Lindsay Jackson, dressed her daughter up as an anatomically correct Dolly Parton! We’ll just let that set in for a second. Yes, to play the country singing icon the four-year-old was given C-cup padded breasts and an ample derriere (We believe Beyonce would call it Bootylicious? Scratch that, we’re pretty sure Beyonce would say: “Oh hell NO, The House of Dereon does NOT do that!”). Now, we love Dolly as much as the next person but we’re pretty sure that even the Dollywood owner, who once said “I modeled my looks on the town tramp,” would agree that this was not good judgment.

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Sadly, the tale of so-disturbing-we-must-chug-an-entire-box-of-Fraznia-and-do-you-know-how-much-this-wreaks-havoc-on-our-GERD? toddler clothing is not finished. There is a French company, Jours Après Lunes, that has just come out with a line of lingerie for young girls. Not teenagers. Little children! Even their ad campaign has the little girls all vamped up, prancing around in lace “bras” and panties with bed head and jewelry! When did it become acceptable for little girls to be paraded around like sex objects? Even the poses in the ads are extremely suggestive. Frankly, if the police should confiscate our computer here at TMH (We don’t know why they would. We have most certainly NOT been been playing Canasta with Tobey Maguire, Ben Affleck, and Leonardo DiCaprio)  we’d have some serious ‘splainin’ to do once they found these images in our history. Perhaps the French have been watching too much Toddler & Tiaras?

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What do you think? Are we getting our Spanx’ed derrieres in a twist over nothing?

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