06 Jun
Mouthing Off: Working Moms Deemed Root Cause for All of Society’s Ills

A very strange thing happened yesterday in American politics. And that strange, aberrant and unprecedented thing was that a Republican lawmaker blamed one of our country’s problems on…wait for it…women! Crazy, huh? That sort of thing hasn’t happened since, like, hmmmm, well, the day before yesterday, probably.

The latest slam against the female gender comes from Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant who told the Washington Post that America became “so mediocre” in regard to educational outcomes because, “I think both parents started working. And the mom is in the work place.” He then backtracked a little and tried to say the cause was both parents, but it’s telling that his first culprit was everyone’s favorite target, moms.

But honestly, is there anything worse than working moms? They’re always ruining it for everyone! All those ladies care about is putting on their shoulder-padded business suits so they can strut around the boardroom and pretend they’re Susan Dey on LA Law. They certainly don’t care about putting their brilliant minds and college degrees to use. Or seeking personal fulfillment. Or even contributing to their family’s budget so their kids don’t fall below the poverty line because most modern families survive on two incomes. No, those hose beasts are just selfish females.

And we speak from experience because all of us were raised by strong, independent working moms. And it’s 100% their fault we didn’t get full ride scholarships to Harvard, master Chinese at age four or learn how to spell “pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanokoniosis” correctly. Losers.

But maybe Governor Bryant, who runs a state that regularly ranks the lowest in education, is on to something. After all, why blame cuts in educational funding, teaching to the test or a broken system when you can instead just jump on the “blame women and moms” bandwagon that’s become so popular lately? Really, when you think about it, it seems totally obvious that most of the world’s problems are caused by moms:

1. Global Warming! Where do you think all that hot air is coming from?!

2. Deforestation! You know women and their…feminine paper products.

3. The Syrian Civil War! Bashar al-Asaad is in a bad mood and we ALLLL know why. (Lookin’ at you, Mrs. Asma al-Asaad!)

4. Breast Cancer! I mean, if we didn’t have such an abundance of damn cleavage in the world.

5. Obesity! Is it too much to ask moms to cook some damn dinner instead of driving through Mc High Fructose Corn Syrup for every meal?

6. Terrorists!  Probably wore store-bought Halloween costumes. 

7. Scandal-plagued Congressmen! Anthony Weiner’s mother was a math teacher.

8. Measles Outbreaks! If Jenny McCarthy would just shut her mouth. (No, wait, that one may be on point.)

We could go on, but…let’s not. In fact, if we could shelve this whole argument for, say, the foreseeable future, that’d be great. Ya hear that, Governor Bryant?

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04 Apr
It’s the Most Taxing Time of the Year

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

My husband is a low-key guy, but whenever tax season approaches, he seems to lose his mind. Now that it’s April, and he’s getting the stuff to our accountant, I hear him muttering, cursing, and slamming stuff in his office and generally acting like a lunatic. I know there are a lot of receipts and forms, and I’ve offered to help him throughout the years, but he always says, “I GOT THIS!”

Short of joining the Tea Party, what can I do to make the  next few weeks more tolerable?

Signed,

Taxed by Tax Season

_____________________________________

Dear Taxed,

Oh, this sounds familiar. In my household, however, there’s only TurboTax and an ancient desktop computer to vent upon so I often hear the slamming of keyboards and things like, “NO, NOW IS NOT A GOOD TIME TO UPDATE WINDOWS!”

Depending on your husband’s personality, any number of things may help the two of you cope with tax season. Your personality and abilities will play a role as well, of course. Speaking for myself, again, offering assistance is really only offering my ability to stand beside him in the home office with a confused look on my face and occasionally shuffling papers to look busy. It doesn’t seem to help, is what I’m saying. So here are some other ideas off the top of my head:

1. Have a chat.

Is your husband the talk-about-my-feelings type? Many husbands are not, and often only seek to “talk about it” if it’s going to fix a problem. But maybe he just needs someone to feel that his efforts are appreciated. Let him know that you’re thankful for taking care of the paperwork and see if that eases his grumbling. Otherwise, maybe implementing some sort of organization system for the paperwork could help with next year’s filing.

2. Reward chart!

Okay, so maybe don’t pull out the one you used to potty train your toddler, but talk to your husband about maybe treating yourselves once tax season is over. Maybe you’d like to go out for a nice dinner or even escape for the weekend. If that doesn’t tickle his fancy, perhaps suggest you cash in your refund check and let him swim around in a kiddy pool full of $20 bills.

3. Stick it to the man.

While not a viable option, tax evasion is still on the table should you decide that federal prison or a lifetime of wearing disguises on the beaches of the Cayman Islands is something desirable for the two of you.

I’d suggest going with #1 or #2, however.

If none of them work, just try to maintain some patience, remembering that there’s a reason “taxes” are often lumped in with unpleasurable things like “death.”

Good luck,

Kristine, TMH

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29 Oct
My Manicure is Not a Waste of Money!

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

I am a stay at home mom to a 2 year old girl and a 6 year old boy. Before having kids, I worked part-time. It’s been tough to live on one income, and unfortuantely my husband and I seem to have different ideas about spending. For example, he thinks it’s irresponsible for me to get my nails done at the salon, but I see it as a necessity. I need that quiet time once a week, and it’s not that expensive.

Who do you think is right?

Signed,

Manicured Mary
__________________________________________________

Dear Mary,

Wouldn’t it be great if I were Suze Orman? Great for me, I mean! Because then I’d be a kazillionaire and take you out for a nice manicure! Wait, unless Suze Orman practices fiscal responsibility and doesn’t treat people she’d never met to manicures and other beauty treatments.

Personally, I totally sympathize with you. I love to get an occasional manicure and see it as Necessary Pampering. Unfortunately the Treasury has yet to recognize this budget item as worthy of deduction status. It’s not easy to look good sometimes. But I also sympathize with your husband. Because when looking for expenses to trim, his eye naturally jumps to all things shiny. Like your nails. And if it’s between food, housing, car, cable or your nails, I don’t have to tell you what’s going to be sacrificed in that pentogram.

The trick is to balance your need for some pampering and his need to live within your means. There are some ways that you could approach this.

1. Get your nails painted a less shiny, eye-catching color. There are gorgeous muted shades for fall, so perhaps it’ll be less likely to catch his eye? Of course you may prefer less Lucy-hiding-purchases-from-Ricky approaches below.

2. Discuss how much money there is in the budget for discretionary spending. If you know you have $X a month for non-necessary spending for the family, talk about splitting that amount among the family. And if your budget does not permit for discretionary spending, it’s time to re-evaluate it. Because a financial plan that does not allow for occasional spending is not sustainable.

3. Explain that the manicure is about more than nails, that it’s time for you to have for yourself. If you hire someone to watch the kids while you get the manicure, would it make sense for him to watch the kids on the weekend so that you can save on the costs that way?

Look, many of us are having money worries and financial conversations with our partners that we may want to avoid at all costs. Talking about money feels icky to us. But unless you can find a source of oil in your backyard (definitely worth looking! And if you find it, remember what a rock I’ve been in your life for the past few minutes), you got to have the tough-as-nails talk.

Good luck!

Marinka, TMH

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20 Aug
Smarter Parenting With Smartphones

The Mouthy Housewives are a chatty bunch, so our commitment to our smartphones is no surprise. What was a surprise is how quickly Marinka leapt to her feet, pushed the other Housewives out of the way and said, “I got this one,” when an opportunity to review the LG Connect 4G Android smartphone and MetroPCS, the nation’s most affordable 4G LTE service came up. The other Mouthy Housewives don’t know what hit them. (It was Marinka’s elbow as she grabbed the phone.)

Here’s what she has to say about it:

My kids are 11 and 14, and I simply can’t imagine parenting them without a smartphone. We are in contact throughout the day at my request/insistence, including a quick text announcing their arrival once they reach school. My daughter keeps in contact with me when she’s leaving school, whether to go to a friend’s house or the gym or after-school team sport practice. My son texts me from playdates and sleepovers, checking in with me periodically. I find that kind of ability to keep in touch a safety feature. And because I know my kids will be checking in by text, they have more autonomy than I may have otherwise given them.

I have no idea how my parents raised me without a smartphone. Checking in is teaching my kids responsibility, but it also helps maintain a connection between us during days we don’t see each other until later in the day. There are days when the texts are flying; we are making plans for the weekend, looking forward to vacation, or even my favorite, “What’s for dinner?” followed by an implied groan. But as much as I love my smartphone, I don’t want to pay a lot for it, because let’s face it, it takes a lot of cash to make my hair this blonde.

And for reasons I still don’t understand, cash doesn’t grow on trees. So I love the fact that MetroPCS has the nation’s most affordable 4G LTE plan, starting at $40, with taxes and regulatory fees included. In fact, if you go for the MetroPCS LG Connect 4G and the $70 plan, you can save nearly $750 a year with MetroPCS’s no-contract 4G LTE in comparison to the Verizon Wireless LG Lucid.

The phone itself is gorgeous — the LG Connect 4G is an Android with a crystal-clear 4” touchscreen that is great for viewing pictures, video, and browsing online content. And for receiving texts from your children with things like, “Forgot my lunch. Bring to school now. Hungry.” Even if you get the text while in the process of getting highlights.

What about you? How often do you keep in touch with your kids via your smartphone? Is it mostly text or phone calls? Let me know for a chance to win a $100 Visa Gift Card.

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Be sure to visit the MetroPCS brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!

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13 Aug
The Mouthy Housewives’ Tips for Back to School Shopping

Hey, have you been enjoying the Lazy Days of Summer?

Well theyíre almost over! That’s right; put those bathing suits away because school is around the corner, and those long summer days are about to be a distant memory. We know. We’re sad too.

And by sad we mean, can’t wait for our kids to get to school so that we have a chance to take a shower without someone asking what we are doing.

But before liberation, there is some back-to-school shopping to be done. It’s a chore that many parents dislike because it can be expen$ive and chaotic. Fortunately, The Mouthy Housewives are here to guide you through the process.

Here are out Top Six Tips for making Back to School Shopping Almost Painless.

1. Make sure to make a list. Of all your children. It’s so awkward when you forget to shop for one of the children and people can be really judgmental about that. We have no idea how Octomom does it.

2. For every new outfit you get your child, buy yourself a pair of shoes. Or something sparkly.

3. Before you buy more extras like pens or pencilstry to find the ones from last year. They’re definitely in your home somewhere, so have the whole family look. And if they’re not in your home, they’re at someone else’s, so don’t be shy about inviting yourself over for a quick look-see.

4. As you’re doing your back-to-school shopping, remind your kids every five seconds that you are doing this for them, for their welfare and well-being and that you are the best parent in the whole world who is definitely entitled to the best nursing home care when the time comes.

5. Do your shopping online. This avoids the oft-hated going outside and seeing other people and also long lines and kids who want everything off the shelves.

6. While youíre online, check out the Microsoft Office 2010 Home and Student site!

With Microsoft Office 2010, your kids will have everything they need for their school work, and they can create graphs and charts and presentations and whatever else it is that kids are doing these days and leave you in peace so that you can relax and watch reality TV.

So donít wait! Buy Office today and save 15%. This promotion ends on 9/14.

Be sure to visit Microsoft Office 2010’s brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ posts about their back to school shopping tips!

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