The Desperate Mom’s Guide to Self-Care

When you have kids, especially small children who depend on you for survival, making time for self-care may seem like an impossible feat.

You probably feel like you put yourself, your social life and even your hygiene on the back burner to tend to the needs of everyone else. At the end of the day, you might be too exhausted to accomplish much more than staring at wall in the fetal position or indulging in some mindless social media scrolling until you pass out in a pile of Cheeto crumbs.

I’ve compiled a handy list of 10 foolproof (read: shiteous) ways to sneak in some YOU time throughout the course of your chaotic day.
But first we are going to start with a quick exercise that involves making a list of all of the things you used to do for fun and relaxation before you had small children. Got it? Good.

Next, you’ll want to ball that list up in your fist and launch it aggressively into the garbage. This isn’t college anymore, the only version of a wet T-shirt contest that you will be participating in is the kind where your boobs are unknowingly lactating through your shirt, mmmkay? It’s time to put those carefree drinking and frolicking days behind you, and embrace this glorious shitshow that is #momlife.

WARNING: This list applies to desperate mamas who have children hanging from their limbs at least 75% of the time and/or who are on the verge of losing their shit. Proceed with caution.

1. Sleep. Master the ancient Chinese art of sleeping with your eyes open. Look, we know you love little Bobby, but if you have to see him do that thing he does on the trampoline for the 487th time, you might stab out your own eyeballs. Sleeping with your eyes open allows you to discreetly catch some much needed Zzzz’s whenever you need to mentally check out.

Maybe you’ll practice this fine art in the car when you’re waiting for your child in the school drop off line, or during a long-winded church sermon, at a Birthday Party, play place, or even during sex! Who cares, you’re too tired to actually be conscious for most of this stuff.

2. Find a hobby. Some people like collecting coupons, some like doing crack, it’s all about balance. Disclaimer: I don’t recommend crack. I also don’t think coupon cutting is an ideal hobby either, but whatever keeps you off drugs, man!

3. Take a leisurely drive. And by that, I mean drive your ass around until the kids are asleep in their car seats, then park somewhere and eat rogue goldfish crackers off the floor and scroll on your phone. The free WiFi at Walmart reaches the parking lot, just sayin’.

4. Find a Babysitter. As in dump your children on old people at Target because good babysitters are impossible to find. You know the sweet little old ladies who tell you how cute your kids are and reach out to pinch their cheeks? They’re basically begging you to give them some kids to play with, so you’ll actually be doing them a favor.

Can you smell the freedom of shopping solo? It might also be the smell of a restraining order, but it’s totally worth it.

5. Take a bath. Light some candles, draw a bath, get out your favourite essential oils and break out your Best of Rod Stewart playlist. Then burn all of that, and burn the house down with it. Self-care, bitch! Disclaimer: Not entirely sure where I was going with that, but if you’re considering setting things on fire to control stress, you might want to start thinking about anger management therapy. But yeah, good luck finding time for a candlelit bath.

6. Embrace the crazy. Don’t make any time for self-care. Instead, let all of your stress and responsibilities bubble over until you have a mental breakdown that requires a brief but necessary hospitalization. Imagine laying in a bed all day while people take care of YOU for once?! Forced drugs and electric shock therapy? Pfffttt, that sounds like a vacation compared to making lunches and incessantly yelling at everyone to put the mother effing toilet seat down, amirite!? Let that bat shit crazy beast within you fly high and embrace the strait jacket, bitch. You won’t regret it.

7. Start a book club. And by books I mean wine. And by club I mean it’s just you. Alone. Drinking wine. For bonus self-care points, keep a flask in the diaper bag and chug back a few shots of the holy water whenever Susan from the PTA starts drilling into you about the upcoming mother effing bake sale, or Brenda at the park tries to sell you on her 4th MLM business of the month.

8. Take up running. As in, whenever the kids are acting up and pushing you to the very edge of your sanity, just f*cking run away. BYE.

9. Meditate. Except instead of finding a calm place to draw in the positive energies from the earth, find a place literally anywhere to scream a string of obscenities at the top of your lungs. You’ll feel 100 times better once you’ve exhausted every swear word in the dictionary and created at least 50 new ones.

10. Take a vacation, except you’re really faking your own death (temporarily). Look, we’re not trying to leave our families and move to an island, although I’m not here to judge. But if it’s been a ridiculously long time since you’ve had a sanity break and you’re hovering between Britney 2007 and everyday Kanye, it’s time to fake your own death or kidnapping.

Unfortunately I haven’t worked out the logistics of executing this plan effectively, but if you watch enough episodes of Criminal Minds you can probably formulate a plot that allows you to reemerge from a hostage situation after a few weeks or months, unscathed but inexplicably well-rested and tanned. Keep me posted, I’ll be here to take notes.

If you were hoping for a more insightful and practical list of self-care ideas, I apologize, but I’m in the same sinking boat with you when it comes to lack of free time, and my self- care routine currently involves heavy sarcasm, making memes and eating cake.

You’re not alone; some days I’m just trying not to drown in mom duties whilst reminiscing about the days that I could fit into my size 6 jeans and had names like “hot guy who buys shots” programmed into my phone.

But here’s the good news; if you made it through this entire article, and maybe even had a chuckle or two, you have just completed 5 whole minutes of doing something entirely for yourself, which equals 5 minutes of what? You got it: self-care!! See what I did there? You’re welcome.

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Vomit on my Sweater, Mom’s Spaghetti; a Tale of Stage Fright

What’s your dream job? Mine has always been an SNL skit writer/actor, or comedy entertainer.

One of my (many) goals with my blog was to ultimately make parody videos and skits to really let you all in on my occasionally overly animated and weird personality that doesn’t always translate well in writing or pictures. (Or even in real life unless you really know me and have lived through and understand my level of awkwardness.)

You aren’t able to grasp my tone of voice, sarcastic undertones, facial expressions, impersonations and occasional jerk-off motions in writing, so I’ve been wanting to share more of that with you.  Some of my influences include Rebel Wilson, Melissa McCarthy, Kristin Wiig, the late and great OG Chris Farley, as well as Will Ferrell, Adam Sandler, and pretty much every funny person who ever lived.

Five years ago when I quit my office job, I had decided it was time to stop trying to fit this round peg into a square hole and to start living out my creative passions and entertainer urges. So I brainstormed, researched and did a bit of Googling, and I ultimately decided to sign up for a Second City stand-up comedy class in Toronto. Yup, I signed up for a once a week class, in a city 4 hours away from my home.

Some of my favorite comedic legends trained at the Second City, so I figured it would be a great place to start. Having recently completed a Live Your Best Life workshop that posed the question about my passions, comedy was the first thing that came to mind. The workshop focused on self improvement and overall well being, and it helped empower me to break down my fears and visualize what my ideal life and career would look like.

It also helped me to accept myself as a round peg in a square hole, and understand that my mind is completely wired in “R mode” as my 11th grade art teacher referred to it. Right brainers, where you at? Who needs logic when we have all this creativity to use!

So I took the leap! I drove out to Toronto once a week for the entire duration of the program, to try my luck at comedy because I knew I was passionate about laughing and making people laugh. The last “class” was an actual performance in front of an audience at a comedy club in Toronto. GULP.

AND I SUCKED. BAD. Like vomit on my sweater, mom’s spaghetti. I kept on forgetting what I wrote down, the whole crowd got so loud, I opened my mouth but the words wouldn’t come out, I was choking now.

Eminem lyrics aside, my anxiety got the best of me. I wanted to literally DIE as the bright lights shone on my red cheeks and I choked on my own saliva while desperately trying to recall any part of my act.

I even resorted to calling out to my husband in the crowd, “Hey hunny, what the hell is my act about?” which people responded to with laughter (yay!) but only because they assumed it was all part of the schtick. But in my sad reality I was actually desperately hoping he’d throw me any line from the act that I had rehearsed in front of him 800 times and had now forgotten.

It was a huge blow to the dreams I had of becoming an entertainer, much like the former singing career I had attempted in my 20’s. I was capable of singing, writing and recording songs behind the curtains, doing my best Britney stage twirls and hair flips in the comfort of my home, but put me on stage and actually open those curtains and I would forget how to person, much less sing or perform.

One time a bandmate even placed a keyboard on stage with me so I could pretend to play along to the music; my hope was that it would distract people from my awkwardness on stage. Naturally, I then started worrying more about the audience suspecting that I wasn’t actually playing the keyboard than my quivering voice and trembling knees. Anxiety is a real treat, friends.

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Ultimately, my journey into discovering my passions and looking for a related career led me to home décor and decorating. (Cough, safe, cough.) After the on-stage embarrassment, I quickly talked myself out of comedy and signed up for an online Interior Decorating course. I ended up starting my wood sign décor business for some extra cash, and that kept me busier than I imagined I ever would be.

The home décor business allowed me to be creative and passionate from the comfort of my home, but without the fear of being vulnerable or judged. But this isn’t where I want my story to end. The “problem” with the creative mind is that it is completely full of ideas all the time; add an entrepreneur spirit to the mix and it’s a recipe for a brain bubbling over with Shark Tank visions.

But in comes the self doubt. It is inhibiting my confidence for making comedy videos and REALLY putting myself out there, back on stage but without the stage. It’s a lot easier “performing”  in your own home without all of those eyeballs staring at you in real time

I just haven’t grown the balls or found the time. And I think, what’s the point? I’m 36, it’s not like I’m going to land my dream job on Saturday Night Live now, at nearly effing 40, from a blog or Youtube post, nonetheless. What if I’m not even funny and I suck, and it’s like the stand-up act all over again?

But then I have to tell myself that none of that is the point, the point is that I love and live for humor and I want to bring humor to the world, even if it means completely making an ass out of myself for the sake of making someone laugh and relate. Correction:  ESPECIALLY if it means making an ass out of myself for the sake of making someone laugh and relate.

So why am I telling you about all of this? Well, I’m mostly just warning you about what is probably not destined to happen in the near future, so people don’t think it’s coming way out of left field, because it’s something I’ve wanted to do since the first time I made someone laugh.

I’m also trying to give myself a pep talk in the process. If a couple people are like “yeah girl I laugh at your shit all the time, your Instagram has me in stitches, let’s see what else you’ve got!” then I might build up a bit more confidence to get some of these ideas out of my noggin and onto video. Help me, I’m scared.

And right on cue, in chimes that bitch self doubt again saying, girlllllll, they’d only tell you to record videos because they want to laugh at you, not with you. STAY SAFE, give the people something to pin on Pinterest, people lovvvve that shit!  Talk about your crafts and your home décor hacks, and your stupid diet that isn’t working. Show people all the shit you’ve done from Pinterest, don’t do the weird stuff!

I will say this, we have already made serious progress, friends. I actually started a blog numerous times over the past 10 years and always kept it private before ultimately deleting it. This is my first public blog, hazzaah! Maybe in another 10 years I’ll post my first video, and by that time I’ll be in my late 40’s so it will likely be about menopause and how to make a mean casserole.

Narrator: Stay tuned to the next episode (aka blog post) to find out if Stacey decides to post that funny video, or talk about something truly exciting like home décor. Bom bom bommmmm. Spoiler alert the next episode is about watching paint dry.

One day, maybe we’ll rip that Band-aid off and do the weird stuff.

Tips for Surviving the First 3 Years with Twins

So you’re pregnant with twins? Congratulations, what a blessing times two! This is a very exciting and magical time where your body will grow to accommodate not one, but 2 tiny miraculous humans.

And while it is a life changing experience that you will undoubtedly cherish, it also comes with its share of challenges. Which is why I have comprised this handy list of  a few of my personal recommendations for surviving the first 3 years with twins.

Do: have a baby shower and start preparing a list of necessities including bouncy chairs, swings, a double stroller, a baby carrier (or two) and all the latest trendy baby gadgets.

Then throw that list away and ask everyone to bring you diapers, booze, and babysitting vouchers because you aren’t going to need all that other crap as much as you’ll need vodka and a nap.

Do: start stocking up on yoga pants and a shit ton of dry shampoo ASAP.  Say goodbye to your real clothes and hello to crotch showers. Baby powder isn’t recommended for babies anymore but you can douse yourself in it and no one will even know how long it’s been since you’ve seen a loofah and hot water.

Do: learn how to nap with your eyes open. You’ll desperately need sleep but you must never take your eyes off these children. I repeat, NEVER.  I blinked one time and one of my twins was swinging from the chandelier while the other was throwing knives at him.

Don’t:  stress yourself out and spend a ton of money creating the nursery of your Pinterest dreams. By the time they are 18 months old, they will find a way to make a shank out of a decorative pillow and you’ll need to strip the entire room down to mattresses and padded walls. As a bonus you can keep the extra money you saved on an expensive nursery to invest in booze. I mean, diapers.

Do: invest in a dual video monitor. And 3 back up video monitors. As well as motion detectors, a security team, and interactive baby gates that can be controlled with your mind to accommodate all dimensions and areas of your home on command. Hopefully they will have invented baby gates with these capabilities by the time you give birth.

Don’t: RSVP to any important functions until they are 4 or 18ish.  You won’t have the energy, the time or the will to attend, and the process of getting out of the house will take you longer than the time you’re actually going to spend at the event.

Don’t:  attempt to take them anywhere in public by yourself between the ages of 2 and 3.5.  I repeat, do not attempt this, unless you enjoy frantically chasing and attempting to capture two writhing naked suicidal toddlers in a public place for 45 minutes while bystanders film it on their cellphones.

Do: ask for help anywhere you can find it. If you don’t have family support there’s always Craigslist or sweet old people strangers at the grocery store. Trust me, they love kids, it’s cool.

Do: be prepared to shut down the annoying and repetitive cliché phrase “YOU HAVE YOUR HANDS FULL” with this response: “Yes, I would love for you to lend a hand. This one has a shitty diaper you can change.”

Do: join a helpful mom Facebook support group or those specifically for moms of multiples. And by do, I mean don’t. Unless you enjoy voluntarily subjecting yourself to pictures of weird rashes and the insides of kid’s mouths and buttholes.  When in doubt, consult with the Google Doctor, or you could try one of those real doctor thingies. I hear they know stuff about things, and are qualified to look at your kid’s butthole.

Don’t: forget to set aside some time for self care. And by ‘set aside some time’ I mean lololololol. And by self care I mean parking the minivan in the driveway with the kids strapped in (read: not able to escape) and happily watching cartoons on the DVD player while you scroll through your phone laughing at memes.

Don’t: let me scare you. Every child is different, every situation is different and my best advice is to learn to laugh at life and any of the challenges that come your way whenever possible. I hope you got a chuckle from this piece, because it was highly exaggerated and completely unrealistic  accurate.  Besides, I know you’ll be awesome at this parenting thing and you’ll have 2 absolutely beautiful little munchkins to shower with love and affection.

But seriously, register for booze.

 

10 things I’ve Learned from My Facebook Detox

It’s been nearly two months since I gave up Facebook, and I don’t have any plans for a return as of yet, but here are a few things I’ve observed so far.

1. I don’t know anyone’s Birthdays. Without Facebook I don’t generally keep track of 500 random people’s Birthdays and I’m not about to start now. Sorry not sorry.

2. I no longer have the play-by-play on what Susan is going to cook for dinner every night. (And I no longer have to care!) Yay.

3. My anxiety is 200000000% better. I’m not sure how many “scare tactic articles” I’ve avoided, but I’m definitely not worried that I have cancer or a rare terminal illness quite as often as I used to, which is a bonus. I haven’t been click baited into reading any stories about children or animals being harmed or killed, and that has legitimately improved my mental health.

Side note, who wants to read these heartbreaking stories anyways? Ugh. Apparently me, because I always get drawn into clicking on them, like a kid who’s been warned not to touch the stove and does it anyways. And then does it again because they didn’t learn the first time. And then they are burnt and crying and scarred for life, and that’s how I feel after reading that stuff. 😞😞

4. NO MORE GAME INVITES.  EFF YOU CANDY CRUSH!!

5. Sales spam, be gone! Look, I respect the hustle, times are tough and it’s expensive to live. I GET IT. I am a small business owner myself with 3 kids at home, and we barely scrape by most months. I really do my best to support and encourage those who run small businesses.

But I feel a bit disappointed when I think I’ve made a new Facebook friend, only to receive an invite be added against my own will to their sales group within 3 seconds of accepting their friend request. Then I get a message another 3 seconds after that and they’re soliciting me to buy or sell something. And here I truly thought Brenda and were going to be new Facebook friends, I feel so betrayed rn. *cue ugly cry*

6. People are throwing shade at me for leaving Facebook. I probably made this one up in my head but I seriously feel like some people are judging me for it. I’m sorry if you feel like I’ve committed a social sin by leaving Facebook, but it’s not you, it’s me. I’m breaking up with Facebook for my own sanity, and I still love you boo. I just don’t really need to know how much laundry you did today because it makes me feel super shitty about the growing pile of dirty laundry that I haven’t touched in a week. Text me pics of your cute kids tho, k? (Just not every 5 seconds, save some for the family scrapbook. Muah, love you!)

7. My anxiety is 200000000% better. Did I mention that already? Well I’m mentioning it again, and this time I’m crediting it to avoiding 5 million notifications a day. Kudos to anyone who can keep on top of all these Facebook groups, and run several business pages, and keep their kids alive, and shower every day, and respond quickly to every message from every human in their business and their life, and cook Pinterest worthy dinners, and kill their workouts, and get to places on time and not want to smash their phone with a sledge hammer. I am not one of those people. (Clearly.) 😳

8. I get into way less imaginary arguments with people in the comments sections. Listen Susan, just go back to posting about your meatloaf, because at least it’s slightly less offensive than your rants about breastfeeding in public. (Looks kinda gross though, tbh)

9. I don’t receive any more chain letters. Woo hoo, I am no longer at a risk of death if I don’t share your post in 6 minutes, stand on my head, tag 14 friends and do the chicken dance.🙃

10. I don’t have 500 “friends.” I have maybe 20, and half of them are family. Yup, I haven’t had any interaction with majority of my Facebook friends and I’m pretty sure most of them haven’t noticed my absence. Which I’m not mad about, I’m just making a point about the loose term “friends” on Facebook. Facebook is the new Days Of Our Lives, and a lot of people are there for the show.

I realize that most of these issues are my own issues, which brings me back to #6 -it’s not you, it’s me. And I swear I’m not bitter, I’m just kind of in a disagreement with Facebook right now and the two of us aren’t tight at the moment but I still got mad love for social media. *First bump to the chest*

I love that we are connected more than ever to the world through technology and I realize that there are SO many amazing benefits to social media, but at the same time, it can be completely overwhelming and have negative side effects too.

We can feel alienated by subconsciously comparing our lives to other people, comparing our followers, our bodies, our hair, our dinners, and our relationships. And most of the time we are only seeing the highlight reel, or the staged version of people’s lives, not the bigger picture.

We fire passive aggressive missiles at each other through inspirational quotes and vague status updates instead of actually communicating. And we lose sight of what is real.

Nobody’s life looks like a perfectly color-coordinated Instagram feed. People don’t live in a black and white reality with occasional pops of the colors blush and champagne. Because that would be weird.

I crave a simpler time, like the 80’s and 90’s, where you could eat poptarts with reckless abandon and no one judged you. Your parents sent you outside to play with the neighbourhood kids until it got dark and you always came home (mostly) in one piece.

You would occasionally talk to people on a phone that was attached to your wall, but you didn’t live inside your phone, you lived in reality. You didn’t do everything for a perfectly staged picture for social media, you did it just to live it.

So no, I’m not missing Facebook yet, and disconnecting has enabled me to simplify my life and manage my own anxieties.

If you need me I’ll be over here with my Walkman and fanny pack on, sending handwritten letters to my penpals, like the good ol’ days, not ever knowing what Susan cooked for dinner and somehow still surviving.