Zero Effs Mom

The Revolution is well underway, people. It’s no longer a grassroots movement. Bully moms everywhere are feeling the heat as the Zero-Effs moms climb out from under the rocks of humiliation dropped on them over the years for not living up to the pretentious expectations of “society” and band together in a perfectly imperfect sisterhood of normalcy.

Even Hollywood is glamorizing us with movies like “Bad Moms” and fulfilling my dream of being played by Mila Kunis in a movie about my life. The Zero Effs mom is becoming a modern day folk hero, the Robin Hood of our time, stealing pride back from arrogant biatches and returning self-esteem to those just trying to do their best.

But as it becomes more mainstream to fight the oppressive parental expectations we’ll never live up to, I beg you – don’t celebrate me because my bag of effs is empty. I’m not this way to be cool or trendy. I doubt any of us are. It comes from pain. It comes from embarrassment. It comes from humiliation. And from that pain, embarrassment, and humiliation we realize that we are still standing. We realize that we don’t have the luxury of giving up. We have life to live and a family to raise. We have things to do. How we do those things is none of your effing business. So get out of my way or get run over.

I started life with a bag overflowing of effs. I handed them out like candy. I was the Opera of effs. “YOU get an eff! And YOU get an eff! And YOU, take four!” I gave 1/4th of them to the mean girls in middle school, trying to be cool. I gave ½ of them to my first husband. Which leaves me with 1/4th of the effs God gave me. Those are very precious, limited edition effs reserved for my family. I got none to waste.

Honestly, it’s not just the way I interact with other parents. It’s the way I live. And it’s liberating. Do what you do and let me do what I do. Celebrate the non-judgment. If you want to hand-make all of your baby food, refuse to allow anyone to drive your child without a car seat installed by a fireman, or only allow your child to play with hypoallergenic designer puppies, that’s your prerogative. I won’t judge you for it. But don’t judge me for wanting my kids to go on road trips with friends, experience a Twinkie, and know the feeling of rescuing a dog from the pound.

If I hear judgment of me or anyone else, I will not only call it out, I will ensure the biatch receives the verbal assault I didn’t have in my arsenal as an 8th grader with the self-esteem I didn’t have in my first marriage. Not to be mean. That’s not my intent. It’s to tell the bullies of the world to move on. Go somewhere else. Like Hell.

The Zero Effs moms aren’t perfect. And we know you aren’t either. And your neighbor isn’t either. And the PTO president isn’t either. The kicker: your babies don’t want or need perfection. They need and want you. So know you’re good enough, stock your arsenal with some self-esteem, and tell Tiphi to shut the eff up.

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Lies from the Internet

Lies the Internet Tells Us:

  1. Your made-from-scratch version of that Pinterest find will be beautiful and delicious.   Every. Single.  Time.
  2. I can order clothes from Asian discount websites and look super sexy cool for less than $20! As long as my waist is smaller than an average person’s arm.  Which is normal, right?
  3. Working out at home is easy. And your dog won’t hump you while you do crunches.  #noexcuses
  4. Cleaning the house is a breeze with the Pinterest Squeaky-Clean-House Checklist. And it’s totally worth spending 5 hours on with 2 dogs and 2 kids.
  5. This homemade face mask will eliminate any need for Botox! And it totally won’t make you break out.
  6. I can make a fortune as a stay-at-home mom with just my laptop!
  7. Yes, I CAN make that Minecraft cake.
  8. If I need $$$ I can just create a page to fund me.
  9. Ombre gray hair looks great on everyone. Especially 14-year-olds.
  10. A parenting manual exists. Actually, there are many.  How many?  Count the number of parents on Facebook.
  11. Kendra Wilkinson is still relevant. Kendra Wilkinson was ever relevant.
  12. Not airing the Miss Universe pageant would be a gross injustice. We would never get the eternal wisdom of the constants bestowed upon us in broken English that no one can understand.  Because translators are for wussies.
  13. Caitlyn Jenner went off-roading in heels and a dress. What?  You don’t?
  14. Chris Martin and Jennifer Lawrence are a couple we should care about.
  15. The death of a drunk guy who shot an M-80 off his head is tragic. Not at all the universe’s way of weeding out the “less-fit-for-survival”.
  16. We can fix our relationship with Facebook! Hold on, let me search for that article that my bestie (you know, the one I met on that cruise 11 years ago and haven’t seen since) posted to her cousin’s wife’s wall…
  17. Quinoa is delicious. So is kale.

 

Thanks for never letting me down, Internet.  You’re the BEST.

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Never Say Never

Sounds like a James Bond movie, doesn’t it? Brilliant.

Almost every time I’ve declared, “NEVER!” I think God has smiled a little inside, grabbed some popcorn, and settled in to watch the critically acclaimed miniseries, “NEVER! Well… maybe… Ok, FINE!” starring ME.

First up, we have babies. Nope. I’m not gonna have any. Too much responsibility! Plus, I don’t know what to do with a BAY-BEE!

So God gave me this one:

silly bella

Then he gave me this one:

FullSizeRender

Turns out, I’m the BEST MOMMY EVER! My kiddies both said so… soooo that means it’s true.

Ewe. I’ll never shop at a “MOM” store. Blah. Oh! Look at that cute dress at New York and Company! Hey! Look at the new shirt I got at CATO! I’m so stylish. Funny, God. Vurry funny.

Um, no, I don’t do oysters. That I still won’t do. Yuck, those nasty loogie-textured things…

Mini-van? Nope. I’ve held out by getting a Yukon instead. Aka, the mini-van for moms who refuse to get a mini-van. Does that count?

Oh, to drink? “I’ll just have water with lemon” I’ll never say! Who orders “WATER”??? I’d never order gross water! Well, now I do. Judge away, younger me!

Next up, we have divorce.

Awe, bless her heart. She’s divorced… that’ll never happen to me. I’m going to read all the articles and pray really hard and nope, no d-i-v-o-r-c-e for me!

Turns out, if you marry the first guy I married you’ll end up divorced. Just ask his newest ex-wife.

Which brings me to my next “NEVER! Becomes FINE!” moment. When my ex-whatever-he-was and I divorced, it was mainly because he “fell in love” with someone else. While I was pregnant. And my dad had a stroke that left him permanently disabled. And my dog died on my birthday. And I was 3,000 miles away from home. Cue anything by Willie Nelson.

At first I didn’t blame the “other woman”. But… then I realized she knew about all of it. She knew he was married. She knew I was pregnant. Needless to say, I wasn’t her biggest fan. I would NEVER forgive her for her part. Ever. I didn’t want to speak to her, I didn’t want her to be near my baby, I didn’t care to ever hear her name (which, unfortunately for me at the time, is a very popular name).

Fast forward 6 years, they are married with one baby and one on the way. Then he takes me to court so that he can exercise his visitation in Seattle. Awe, that’s cute, right?? A military guy who just wants to see his daughter. UH-UH. He talked to my daughter maaaaybe once a month on the phone and miiiiight see her once every 18 months. I was desperate. And I was convinced that there was something motivating this and it wasn’t “fatherly love”.

One lovely day, a dear, dear friend divulged some interesting information: there might be trouble in paradise and she might HATE him.

Ugh. What do I do? She might be the only person who can help make sure he can’t take my baby… I prayed… and thought about it… and crossed my fingers… and reached out to her.

Let’s just say she was more than willing to help me. My bet paid off. It was risky. She could have double-crossed me. It could have backfired. Are we best friends? No. But before I picked up the phone I’d already forgiven her for whatever part she had. FYI, if it weren’t her it would have been someone else (Seriously. I can rattle off ten names right now).

After the divorce that left me bitter, angry, and hollow do you think I swore off marriage??? YOU BET I DID!!!!!!! Am I now married to my best friend? You bet I am. God, that’s some sense of humor you have! But if this guy is the punch line, I’ll be the joke 😉

I’ll never be one of those weirdos that eats organic. Such a load of crap. I’ll never like spinach. I’m not a runner… I’ll never run a 5k. I’ll never wear mom jeans (in my defense, I didn’t realize they were mom jeans until I got home from the store. It was quite unfortunate). I’ll never clean! (I said that one just the other day. Then I thought a friend was coming over and I was embarrassed that she might see my house in that state.) All things I’ve said and all things that have turned out happening…

So just for shats and giggles:

I’ll NEVER be rich! I’ll NEVER have a huge beach house! Heh… 🙂

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Christmas Card Chaos

Each year, I send a cute Christmas card to all 10,000 of my closest friends and family members.

{Yes, I exaggerate.  Maybe I get confused because I spend $10,000 on stamps.}

The first year we sent cards we didn’t have a ton of time or money to find a photographer so our card was a hodgepodge of candid pictures through the year.  Christmas Card 2011

Super cute, inexpensive, got the job done.

Then the hubs we raised the bar.

My hubs is a classic overachiever.  Bachelor’s degree + TWO Master’s degrees = super-smart.  He didn’t get to where he is now by being average.

And I love that he pushes me to rise to his level of over-achievement.  I appreciate this about him very much.

HOWEVER, the reason it takes him pushing is because I know that once that pesky little bar has been raised, it’s hard to shove it back down.  Believe me, I’ve tried.  A lot.

{“Wow, E.  You birthed a 9 lb. baby boy with a head the size of a bowling ball for my birthday!  That’s the best present ever!”  Dam.}

“Hey, E, we need to have family pictures taken.  Like the nice ones we see all over Facebook.  Not the ones that we take ourselves.”

{He has a point.  But I must tread lightly.  One misstep and by the time the kids are in high school I’ll end up with no place to go but the Kardashian Kristmas card.}

Kardashian Kristmas

nicksaglimbeni.com

 

Yes, we should send all of our enemies friends a 3-D Christmas card!  Should we include the glasses???  No, I’m sure everyone has the 3-D app on their iPhone 10.

Surprisingly, I am a perfectionist.  I want everything I touch, ESPECIALLY our Christmas card, to be perfect.  A beautiful representation of my sweet little family on our best day.

BUT, I realized early on that I didn’t want to die of a heart attack by age 15.

Because I know I can’t control everything and everyone, I step back.

I have to “Let it Go” in order to get anything done.  Otherwise, I’d work on my hair for 3 hours, spend 3 hours ironing my pants, another 8 hours scrubbing baseboards with a toothbrush, 10 hours organizing bills and stuff, 5 hours folding laundry perfectly… you get the idea.

So, when I take a picture of my family at home there may be a pile of crap in the background:

Crap in background

In my defense, we were renovating… that’s why the bed’s not made.

My clothes sometimes look like this:

Wrinkles

All the wrinkles will keep each other company!

My hair sometimes looks like this:

Gross Haire

Just. Gross.

I’ve learned to let things go for the sake of sanity.  Once I learned how it was like a thousand butterflies lifted the dumb bells off my shoulders and angels embraced me.  Aaaaahhhh.  For my tightly-wound friends I highly recommend trying it.

{Luckily, I don’t live in a town that will put me on the prayer list if someone “calls” on me and my bed isn’t made.  I’m just on the prayer list because I have the mouth of a convict sailor, drink alcohol on occasion, and have tattoos.}

Now, back to Christmas cards (You were wondering, weren’t you?)

{Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you for riding Tangent Airways.}

The second year we sent out Christmas cards we used a picture from our first family experience with a professional photographer.  Shameless plug, if you’re in Atlanta, Claire Elise is amazing.

Christmas Card 2012

Bar.  Officially.  Raised.

The third year we used the same photographer (she really is awesome).  This time we were dressed up a little more, all color-coordinated, on location at Piedmont Park.  Our card was breathtaking.  Especially when I MISSPELLED OUR LAST NAME.  Ooops.  Ma bad.  (I snipped the name part out of the card for the post so it’s like it didn’t really happen.  I’m still perfect.)

Christmas Card 201

What I love about this picture is that no one would have any idea that Bella decided it was hilarious to honk my boobs during much of the shoot.

{Bar raised, then lowered by half on account of the spelling mishap.}

So began our descent.

I knew this year the pressure was on.  All I had to do was nail spelling our last name correctly.  I got this.

I made the appointment with Claire in October, carefully taking into account my hubs’ call schedule, kids’ activity calendar, and any miscellaneous events I’ve over-committed to.

Every detail was planned.  Claire was going to meet us at the square and we were going to be all dolled up in our best holiday attire.  Heck, I was feeling so sassy that the cray-cray dogs were even going to be included!

I felt very prepared and accomplished… and then it rained.

Part of me was relieved.

The hubs wanted the opportunity to buy clothes specifically for the occasion and he hadn’t had the chance.  Maybe this would give him the window of time he needed to find the perfect Christmas outfit.

{Isn’t finding the perfect Christmas outfit top of mind for every man???}

Reno 911!

youtube.d3.ru

 

Hi Officers!  Just on my way to have my Christmas pictures taken.  No big deal.(Really I just wanted to reference “Reno 911!”)

 Plus, I found a corduroy blazer for Roman but the store was out of his size at the time I needed it for pictures.  Maybe now I had the chance to put my little guy in an old guy blazer!

{I love to see little boys dressed up like old men.  It’s like watching a Hallmark commercial.}

I also needed a “perfect” bow for Bella’s hair.

AND, I was looking a little pasty.  SPRAY TAN TIME!!!

Only none of those things ended up happening.

Instead of investing in the perfect family Christmas pictures we had to have our hardwood floors replaced because our furnace leaked.

We lived in a hotel for a week while our floors were being fixed.  Sooooo, that chunk of time was out of the question.

And then the kids started karate twice a week which narrowed our opportunities for free time even more.

But, around the middle of November I thought, “No big deal!  Our first Christmas card was totally adorable {“totes adorb” for those under age 25}.  We can revive the candid pic card!”

MM-MM.  Nope.  Not so cute.

We rarely get the chance to take a family picture.

When we do, chances are one of us has a wonky eye or a runny nose, someone {Roman} is crying, a random dog is pooping in the background, or I decide, “Today is the day I choose to not wash my hair.  I’m not doing anything important today.”

Joke’s on you, E.

Today is the day you will take a memorable, candid picture with your family during an impromptu ice skating adventure.  Today is the day everyone is adorably cute and perfectly poised.

And your hair will shine like the Star of David.  Your friends will ask why they just purchased cooking grease from the store when they could have harvested it from your head.

Also, today is the day your face decides to retain all the water you’ve been drinking for the past year.

Ugh.

I’ll take one for the team.

However, as the days ticked by, I thought, “Maybe I don’t have to use the swollen-face-dirty-hair picture.  I’ll dress the kids up in their cute Christmas pj’s and get a beautiful picture of them by the tree!  Who needs a pro??  I GOT THIS.”

Nope.  I attract jokes like a magnet.

I dressed the kids up and positioned them in front of the perfectly lit tree.  I got out my professional DLS Nokia phone.  AAAAAAAAAND our new black lab puppy who weighs 1,000 pounds photo bombs our picture.

What the face, Georgia!  MOOOOOOVE!

Bella, who is terrified of Georgia when she acts like a puppy (which is all the time), freaked out and just about pooped her pants.

Move Georgia

{The look on her face says enough.}

Roman decided it was time to tackle Georgia because all he’s ever wanted to be is a Football Player Boy.

Lola, our Chihuahua, was laid up on the couch with her eye hanging out.

{Different story for a different time.}

Sometimes in life (especially where kids are involved) you just have to say “at least we’re pretty”.  Or “shudda called Claire”.  But then I wouldn’t have this horribly transparent blog post.

So, without further ado, I present our 2014 “Swollen Face-Dirty Hair-Black Lab Bombed-Oops I Crapped My Pants” Christmas card:Christmas Card 2014

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