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5 Signs I’m A Mom Stereotype

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Some of the other PTA moms and I were laughing about mom stereotypes the other day during the big holiday festival planning meeting. We were all throwing out some of the most common mom stereotypes that we hear. It was all fun and games until it became clear that most of us fit at least a few of those stereotypes. Honestly, it didn’t bother me at all. I’m all about the mom stereotypes these days. I have bigger things to worry about…like where exactly I hid that last box of Girl Scout cookies…

1. 75% of the pants in my closet are leggings or yoga pants. Ok, fine. 90%. What? They’re comfortable. #sorrynotsorry

2. I have an infinite amount of love for the Pumpkin Spice Latte. I don’t care how cliche that might be. From September to January the only think I drink at both Starbucks and DD is Pumpkin Spice. The only creamer I buy is Pumpkin Spice. 

3. My number one beauty product is dry shampoo. I might run out of everything else but I will never deplete my supply of dry shampoo. 

4. My go to hairstyle is the messy bun. Emphasis on the messy.

5. My week is not complete without a random trip to Target where I spend 3 times as much money as I planned and come home without anything on my list. Usually toilet paper and laundry detergent.

I’m a stereotype. I’ve accepted this about myself.

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6 Rules For Parenting Your Teen

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Parenting teenagers is fun. No, seriously. It’s fun. I enjoy teenagers. I find Tyler to be hysterically funny, very smart, and fun to be around. We share the same sense of humor and love of sports so we always have stuff to talk about. However, I also find him to be annoying clueless, chronically messy, and completely disorganized. The trick to parenting teens is to evolve your parenting style as they evolve. You can’t parent a teen the same way you parent a toddler. It doesn’t work- for either of you. These are the top 6 rules I stick to for parenting teens in my house.

1. Stop nagging them. Seriously, stop. They just tune you out and nothing you are saying gets through to them. I ask them to do something one time. If it doesn’t get done, they lose something important like their phone until it does get done.

2. Don’t take anything personally. They don’t hate you. It’s the hormones. Oh, the hormones. Just smile and deflect the sarcastic comments and eye rolls with your skin of teflon.

3. Pick your battles. And pick them wisely. Dirty laundry on their bedroom floor? Not as big of a deal as being home by curfew. You cannot fight every battle with your teen and still maintain your sanity.

4. When in doubt, feed them. This doubly applies if you have a teen boy.

5. Listen without talking. I learn the most about what is going on in my big kids lives when I don’t talk. This is especially effective when they are trapped in a car with you. We have a long commute to the big kids’ schools which has led to some very interesting conversations.

6. Allow for natural consequences. These are not your adorable little toddlers anymore, these are people that you are going to send out into the real world in a few short years. If they forget their homework, oh well. If they forget their lunch, so sorry. If they forget their shoes (yes, this happened in my house last week), too bad.

They might be put out by the change in parenting style but I’m much happier. And that’s what really matters.

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5 Rules For Parents Of Student Athletes

Football season has been hard this year, y’all. It’s Tyler first year in his new charter school and also his first year on varsity. He came into an existing team that was already really good and has tried hard to find his spot. He’s been the starting right tackle all season and while he’s good at the position, he does not like it. He’s never played offense before, and the line is not his ideal spot to play. He’s a defensive minded player. So it’s been a challenge this year, both for him and for me. I hate watching my kid getting yelled at by the offensive coordinator but I know it’s just part of sports. This season has been an exercise in patience for me. This last week the defensive coach moved Tyler to play nose guard for the game. And he blew it up at that position. The coach came up to us at the end of the game to tell us that he finally found Tyler’s perfect position on the team. And I was instantly glad that I held my tongue and never got involved this season. Once your kid gets to high school and especially varsity level, there are rules. There are boundaries. There are expectations. 

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1. Do not pick fights with the other team’s parents. I mean, this should be a no brainer. But you’d be surprised by some of the stuff I’ve seen this year. There is no reason for you to have any contact with the other team’s parents. Period. 

2. Do not embarrass your kid. No glitter signs, no pom-poms, and for all that is Holy, leave your high school cheerleader outfit at home. 

3. Respect the commitment. Taking away practices or games as punishment doesn’t hurt your kid, it hurts the team.

4. Allow the coach to be the coach. Don’t get involved in coaching decisions. Unless your kid’s health is at risk, then by all means, get involved. The only time I got involved in anything this year was when Tyler had a concussion. 

5. Don’t be a tacky referee heckler. Keep it classy- no foul language and don’t throw things. I don’t care how bad the call was. We all heckle the refs when they make bad calls, but don’t make yourself or your school look bad.

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10 Reasons September Makes Moms Go Crazy

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September is the worst month for moms, y’all. It just is. School started here the last week of August for 3 of our kids. So even though August is busy with school supply shopping and meet the teacher nights, September is when the you-know-what really hits the fan. September is August’s ugly stepsister. 

1. The germs. Oh my gosh, the germs. We were approximately 96 hours into the new school year when the first kid fell victim to the plague. And then one by one we all fell. We’re still battling the plague. It’s October. Suck it, September.

2. Back to school nights. We already had meet the teacher night. Back to school night is pretty much a repeat of the same thing except you are expected to bring in $200 worth of school supplies for the privilege of being held hostage for 2 hours.

3. Curriculum nights. And then after back to school night we also have curriculum nights where we discuss what our kids will be learning during the current school year. 

4. Fundraisers. Oh the fundraisers. The first fundraising packet came in on day 5 of school. Day 5. I’m still borderline comatose on day 5. Can’t we spread this around a little bit, people. 

5. The PTA shakedown. The fliers started coming in the first week and they haven’t stopped yet. Join the PTA, pay the PTA fee, attend the meetings, volunteer for this, that, and everything else. And multiply it times 3 schools. 

6. Beginning of Year testing. I hate this testing. Basically it shows just how slack we were in the summer with the whole read for 30 minutes every day thing. The kids stress out about not going down a reading level, I stress out because they’re stressed out. It just sucks.

7. Dysfunctional car line. Oh the car line. The seventh circle of hell. The first week or so of school is easy because 80% of parents walk their kids into school. Then the week following Labor Day is when the car line turns into purgatory on steroids. I just can’t. 

8. Open Houses. Yet another way to hold us hostage for 2 hours on a school night because we obviously have nothing else going on, right? Did we not cover everything during meet the teacher, back to school night, and curriculum night? No? Great, let’s have an open house night too. 

9. Picture days. Why? Why does this happen during the first 2 weeks of school. First, everyone is sick by the time picture rolls around which means the pictures are awful. But that doesn’t even matter because who has money to pay for pictures after spending $200 per kid on school supplies, joining the PTA, and buying school clothes? Not me.

10. Homework. The second week of September is generally when I start to consider homeschooling. Because homework sucks. Mason has had at least an hour of homework every night. In 3rd grade. Which means I have an hour of homework every night for third grade. I already did 3rd grade. I don’t want to do it again. Stop the insanity. 

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6 Things My Husband Will Have To Learn If I Die

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I left my planner open on the island the other day and when Matt happened to glance at it when he walked past his eyebrows about shot off the top of his forehead. I don’t think he truly has any idea what I do around here or how much is on my plate on a daily basis. That started me thinking about some of the things he would have to learn to do if, Heaven forbid, something happens to me while the kids are still school aged. 

1. How to fill the fridge and freezer and pantry. He will absolutely be shocked to learn that we do not, in fact, have a grocery fairy who does this task magically. Having to actually plan out meals, make lists, shop for food, and then put it away will be probably the hardest thing for him to figure out. He has no clue how many hours a week are dedicated to food prep in this household.

2. How to do the laundry. At this point Matt is banned from laundry. After putting a cashmere sweater in the dryer, mixing reds in with whites, and not pre-treating any stains- he was banned. So if the laundry gets left to him he will have to learn what clothes hang to dry, how to fold kids’ clothes, who won’t wear shirts with tags, how to remove common stains, and how to separate loads. Or maybe they’ll just end up with new wardrobes every month or so.

3. How to do little girl’s hair. I’ve taught him how to blow dry Zoey’s hair but he’ll have to figure out which brush to use for her hair (not to be confused with the brush Maia needs for her hair), how to braid, how to do pigtails, how to use the curling wand and hair straightener. 

4. How to do car line. Or how to do car line without losing your mind and running over the idiots. He does car line at Ty and Maia’s schools every morning but the little kids’ school car line is honestly the seventh circle of hell and I’m not sure he would survive it on a daily basis. The little kids would probably have to ride the bus.

5. How to cook things that can’t be grilled. He’s mastered the art of grilling meat but you just can’t grill year round. And you must add vegetables and side dishes in there somewhere. They’d probably live on take out.

6. How to manage the kids’ school life. PTA meetings, volunteering, parent-teacher conferences, college planning nights, open houses, awards ceremonies, curriculum nights, IEP meetings, early release days….it’s a whole lot to keep track of, especially when you have 5 kids in 4 different schools and 4 different school systems. 

So basically, I just cannot die. That’s what it boils down to. I just cannot die. 

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