Valentine’s Day Guide to Keepin the Romance Alive after Kids.

Ok Momrades, I know what you’re thinking. You’re already tired AF from keeping the kids alive, now you have to keep the romance alive too? The ROMANCE?!? Well, fear not! Below is our 5 point guide to keeping the spark alive after kids, so take a break from taping 29 pieces of candy to 30 construction paper hearts (every.time.) and/ or googling flu symptoms and read on!

1)Spend lots of quality time apart. Look, you already have kids together. Chances are you have already gotten to know each other well enough-isn’t that what got you into this mess in the first place? What good can possibly come from more time together? Wanna go back to the days when your spouse was fascinating and endlessly attractive?

Avoid them at all costs.

2)Find a Show You Can Agree On: Last year, my husband and I embarked on a home renovation. It was expensive, time consuming, stressful, and required us to make character–revealing decisions together (backsplash) that threatened our marriage. Honestly, if we had been able to afford a divorce, we might have splurged on one. So what kept us together? HBO’s Big Little Lies. No matter what, we watched it together every Sunday night and it was ultimately my husband’s devotion to seeing Nicole Kidman get justice that kept us going. Find something you can sit down in silence to. Ahhhh romance.

3)When you guys actually DO go out on date night, have sex before the sitter comes over. Hand out the ipads and in less time than it takes mama llama to get baby llama to stfu and go to sleep, you can check Intimate Connection off your date night to-do list.

Why? No one wants to have sex after spending $200 on dinner and a sitter while you listen to each other complain about work/each other. When you get home, you will be too tired, too full, too broke, too drunk to go all the way. And even if by some miracle you are feeling each other when you walk in the door and turn the lights on in your toy-strewn wreckage of a home, there’s a good chance that you woke the kids up tripping over a lego and they’re in your bed waiting for you/crying/asking for a glass of water. So just go ahead and get it out of the way, I mean, fulfill each other physically and emotionally, before the sitter shows up and enjoy date night with zero expectations. Like marriage.

4)Don’t go to the movies. You’re gonna be asleep before your first popcorn refill and whatever movie it is, you can sleep through it for free at home in two months.

5)Lie. You look great in those glasses. I love the cookies your mom sent. Marrying you was the best day of my life. I don’t smell anything. You get the idea.

Ok! That about covers it. Follow these simple steps, and the romance should be spreading faster than daycare lice in December! Happy Valentine’s Day Mamas, we love you!!

Winter is Coming

10 Simple Steps for Dressing Your Kids in the Cold

I can’t have any more children. And it’s not just because my husband and I can’t stay awake long enough to find the end of Stranger Things 2, let alone locate our sexual chemistry (I feel like it’s under the laundry pile?). Or because after three kids my pelvic floor is so distressed that it’s beyond the hope of modern medicine and is a job for HGTV now.  No…none of these reasons are why I gotta call it at three. The real reason is: if we had another baby, it would probably live on earth and therefore require boots/coats/gloves/hats in the winter.  And I ain’t got time for that. No, I mean for real. There are only 24 hours in a day and it isn’t feasible to spend 19 of them trying to dress a child so that it doesn’t freeze to death.

In order  help my fellow mamas, I have created a step-by-step guide to getting your kids ready to go out on a winter’s day. See below.

1)Real quick, can you move to Florida?

2) Ask yourself: Are these children literally mine and/or my responsibility today? If there is even the *slightest* chance that your partner, a babysitter, your own mom, your mother in-law, or even Child Protective Services will be showing up soon, let them handle this and go back to bed.  Best of luck to them.

3)Make your coffee extra strong. If you are used to extra strong coffee, consider doing cocaine today instead.

4)Figure out who you are going to dress first, and how much time it will take. Work from oldest child to the youngest, because as a rule, the youngest child in your family can only be dressed by 1-3 phD educated adults working in perfect tandem like a well-honed circus act, but can UNDRESS herself without anyone’s help in the time it takes you to refill your coffee or do more cocaine. So like 45 seconds.

I know it’s not fair, she makes it look so easy

4a)As soon as the youngest child is seasonably dressed, YOU NEED TO LEAVE THE HOUSE RIGHT NOW.  As a guideline, it takes approximately 15 minutes per child to get ready for a winter’s day, but this time can vary and is usually much, much longer and never shorter.

5)Start with boots and work your way up. Remember what it was like getting your shoes on when you were 8 months pregnant? How you would bend down to tie your laces and  it was Thursday now? That is a 7 year old trying to put on boots AFTER her coat.  Don’t worry, it’s ok. This is the whole POINT of daylight savings. Our culture has chosen to build an extra hour of daylight into your morning with your kids, so that you can use this time together to hiss at her to PUT. HER. FOOT. ALL. THE. WAY. IN.

6)Ok, gloves. If only we could staple them to their tiny little fingers, things would be better. The obvious problem with any “pair” of gloves, is that there is only one glove present and your child probably has two hands. Multiply the number of hands  by the number of children with which you have been blessed, and the math is not in your favor. Once you have tracked down roughly enough gloves for your children, administer the gloves to their stubborn, unwilling, clenched little fists.  Disregard any feedback your children give you about “fingers, “ and instead put the glove on like a sock or a condom and move on.

7)At this point, you are probably perspiring lightly. This is a great time to take some deep, meditative breaths. Go ahead, you’re late now anyway. Inhale. Exhale.

8)Coats! The trick to your child’s coat, is: where is it? WHERE. Save time by *not*  looking on the coat rack, it’s not there. Places it could be:  your child’s cubby, the gym at school, on the school bus, slung over a park bench, or being currently worn by some other child who thought it was theirs yesterday and has been wearing it ever since and might have lice. Pretty easy to get on when you locate it, though.

9)We have arrived at hats!!! You made it to the top. Phew, it is hot in here or is it just you?  It’s you. But hats are the easy part! Just pop it on. A word of caution:  be very careful not to acknowledge to your child that this is happening, because for some reason, if they ever notice that they are participating in hats, they become very angry and then they rip their condom-gloves off and tear their hats off and then throw them in a corner that’s hard for you to reach.

10)Congratulations! One child is ready! Instruct your rapidly over-heating/whining child to sit on the couch.  AND NOT MOVE UNTIL IT’S TIME TO GO. Give her your phone. Move on to your next youngest child, completing steps 1-8,  until all your children are dressed for this 40 degree day. Go grab your keys, return to find them all huddled around your phone wearing only t-shirts and shorts and begin again.

Leave the house and feel the warmth on your face because it is April now. Come inside and spend a not-insignificant amount of  time looking for last year’s swim suits.

The Most Questionable Thing I did as a Young Mom

Lenny readers share their stories of navigating life with a tiny human.

Based on a Sundance award-winning short film, the new SHOWTIME comedy series SMILF takes a hilarious and unabashedly honest look at Bridgette Bird, a twentysomething single mom from South Boston who sometimes doesn’t get itright. Inspired by Bridgette, whose story is based on the life of series creator and star Frankie Shaw, we asked our readers to send in their most questionable early parenting moments. Here, they share tales of everything from that time they accidentally put a diaper on their baby’s head to bringing their four-year-old to an art-school rager.


Art School, Baby

When I was 23, I left my small Midwestern hometown, where I had put in three years of wholesome parenting. The most exciting thing I had done there was picking new recipes to try, so when I left my husband and moved to Chicago to attend art school, I went full force into freshman, single-mom-in-art-school mode.

I was shy and new to the city, but having a kid made me stand out. I brought my son everywhere: ragers (I just put him in a bedroom to sleep!), inappropriate nude performances (a little nudity never hurt anyone!), three-hour lectures (here’s an iPad!), late-night experimental-music concerts (use these noise-canceling headphones!). I have endless stories about my poor dating choices, questionable financial decisions, and extremely late bedtimes (he didn’t have one until he was seven). I don’t feel good about most of these choices, but they’re part of my story.

I truly believed that no-rules parenting would work as long as there was love. But as I gradually grew up and started to implement consistency and discipline, my son began to flourish. All I needed was a dose of reality: I traded in the whiskey shots alone at dive bars for cereal and kid-friendly TV. I swapped late-night binges for Sunday-night meal prep. I settled down with a man who is mature, owns a house, and has a job. And my son has transformed from a slightly depressive wild child to a fiercely smart and grounded kid.

Now, we live in a neighborhood where most of the bars have stroller parking and all the moms at the grocery store know one another. I’m 32, and even though my 27-year-old self would think our new life is boring, I’d tell her, “Don’t knock it till you try it.” Because being a mom — especially a good one — rocks way harder than an invite-only, art-house rock show.


When my first child was about three months old, my sister came to visit for the weekend. I hadn’t left the house since my son was born, but a nearby county was holding a carnival — we decided it was the perfect first outing.

At the fair, we browsed a few of the stands, but I needed to breastfeed. So we headed to the beer garden, the only place with available seating. I hadn’t had a drink since before I got pregnant, so after my son was fed, I had a glass of Chardonnay. The wine went straight to my head.

My husband left to get some poutine, and I challenged my sister to a water-gun game. Two water pistols, two women — who’s going to hold the baby? My husband returned to find his wife and sister-in-law sharpshooting a big target while a carnival employee held our firstborn son as if he were handling a large burrito. I’m not sure what my husband was more impressed with: my resourcefulness or my aim. A mom’s gotta do what a mom’s gotta do.

Five Simple Rules

When I found out that I was pregnant, I was 25 and had been very casually sleeping with my coworker for three weeks. Nine months later, I was still with the father, but when we brought our son home from the hospital, I looked up and realized, Holy fucking shit, I don’t know either of these guys. AT ALL. I was scared and I made a lot of mistakes in the first few months. Here are the highlights:

  1. I fed my son from a Dixie cup when he was just four days old because he wouldn’t latch (and also because we ran out of clean bottles). It worked, but it wasn’t pretty.
  2. I took my son to the doctor at a week old in part because his diaper rash was chilling. When the doctor told me to use Aquaphor, I nodded like that meant something to me and waited for her to write a prescription for it. Later I realized anyone could buy it the pharmacy.
  3. One night, I was so tired while I was changing his diaper in the dark that I accidentally put it on his head. I only realized what I’d done as I was trying to unstick his hair from the Velcro tab of a Pampers NB.
  4. When he was around three months old, I took him out for dinner. It started to rain, so I bundled him up in the stroller and raced home. But the stroller hit a curb as I was crossing the street, and he ended up in a puddle with his arms swaddled at his side. I had forgotten to strap him in.
  5. I did not realize that babies are supposed to wear shoes even though they can’t walk — it literally never crossed my mind. During his first two New York winters, he wore a hat, gloves, a coat, fleece pants, and two pairs of socks. His poor feet were probably freezing.

By the time my son was two and a half, I had improved a little. But I still wasn’t thatsurprised when his day-care teacher told me that my son had called one of his classmates a “juicebag” after his friend had refused to share a red marker. We pulled through, though. My son is ten now, his dad and I are married, and we have two more kids. Everyone is just fine.

These stories were submitted anonymously by Lenny readers.

School Daze

Dear Parents,

Welcome back to another school year! I am hopeful that everyone had a wonderful summer unspoiled by carcinogenic sunscreen, flesh-eating bacteria, excessive screen time, hormone –enhanced ice cream, or any of the other challenges discussed in our end-of the year bulletin!

As you know, the beginning of a new school year marks an exciting transition for children and parents alike! Please plan on taking at least 14 personal days this month in order to volunteer in your child’s classroom as we help our students become independent learners!

Welcome back, suckers.

The school year begins on Thursday the 17th with a Welcome Back Breakfast from 9am-11am, which we encourage all parents to attend. I have attached the snacks sign-up sheet below. As a reminder all snacks should be nut-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, PABA-free, cruelty-free, recycled, organic, kosher, sustainable, instagrammable, local, blessed by an angel, and non-GMO! Coffee will be provided, but please bring your own mug as we are a waste-free environment.

Our first day will be a half-day with pickup at 12pm. Please be on time for pick up, as several studies have shown that children whose caregivers are even three minutes late for school pickup are more likely to engage in risky behavior as adolescents!

Please join us on Friday for orientation! At orientation, each parent will have the opportunity to meet his or her child’s teacher and discuss each individual child’s one-of-a-kind learning style, unique strengths, favorite color, current philosophies about discipline, and indoor /outdoor/ food allergies. Teachers will discuss the protocol for alerting families of each lice outbreak, the first of which we typically expect the week before Thanksgiving. Orientation is from 9-12, with regular dismissal at 2:30.

Our first PTA meeting will be held on Monday morning after drop-off. We will be discussing the hidden dangers of fidget spinners and slime, as well as the fundraising goals for this school year. We are hoping to raise enough money to hire three salaried first grade teachers in order to bring the total number of first grade teachers to three. Many thanks to our wonderful 5th grade learning buddies who have been covering the first grade curriculum up to this point. It takes a village!

Finally, we suspect that last year many notices sent home in the children’s folders were going unread!!! In an effort to better communicate with families, we have developed an app that parents will be required to download. The School Daze app will allow your child’s school to send you important messages about volunteer opportunities, field trips, performances, and school events via email and text on your smart phone, ipad, laptop, car dash, watch, or desktop at any time, so you will never miss another chance to devote more time and money to your child’s development!

We are looking forward to another wonderful year, parents!


Your Kids School



This Mother’s Day, just Brunch me in the Fu*king Face.

Dear Husband,

Welp! Here we are again on Mothers Day!

No, my love. Thank you. You made me a mom in the first place. If it weren’t for you, where would I be? Worringly thin and stranded all alone on a desert barstool with no one to talk to but other adults. I could cry just thinking about it.

Fortunately, I am a mom and today is my day. The stretch marks, vaginal trauma, lost sense of personal identity, and the other 364 days a year are all for you and our sweet, sweet children. But today is all mine. #Soworthit #Blessed.

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Been looking forward to this all year!

Now, as we both know, Mother’s Day means Mother’s Day Brunch. On this sacred day, we take mom out to eat at a busy restaurant for a meal that falls between breakfast and lunch and naptime, with all of her hungry children. Genius. It is an honored and symbolic reminder of the daily patience, sacrifice, coffee, little piles of soaking wet napkins, shade from strangers, chicken nuggets, advice from assholes, puddles of ketchup, ignored vegetables, marital discord, ipads, attempts at adult conversation, choking hazards, diaper changes, lowered expectations, repeated requests for straws, stained shirts, meals made only of white carbs, eyerolls, public humiliation, and alcohol, that all go into the Mom experience.

Im gonna need a refill on that mimosa STAT

So honey, of course I want to go to brunch today. What mother doesn’t?!  Brunch with kids? Just a million yeses. I’m finding six sneakers, three jackets, a fistful of crayons and pre-feeding the children as we speak. Mother’s Day Brunch!! This *must * have been a mom’s idea. Why don’t we do this EVERY Sunday?? Come to think of it, what the fuck do people without kids even do at brunch?! If you’re not scraping $17 artisanal eggs and frisée out of your baby’s hair while you nurse him in front of an audience, what are you even doing??

But boo, if for some reason you can’t get that reservation today, I have some other awesome ideas. Here are some brunch alternatives:

We could push Mother’s Day back by 11 eleven days until I am on Satan’s period and then take all the kids to the beach. We can make bleach cocktails and catch the last 4 seasons of Calilou. We could wait until the girls are asleep and then hide all the Shopkins. We could all go to Costco. We can lurk on our childless friends’ Instagram feeds for hours. We could clean out the back of the car. We could test out gluten-free recipes of all our favorite foods. We could cut out coffee. We could go on the wagon. We could give up our phones and devices and ‘reconnect,’ to each other. You could use that pencil to get this dust out of my eye. We can put all the kids in the car and go look for parking in the city. I can try on all my pre-pregnancy clothes and ask you how I look. We can see how that $4 in our savings account is doing. Lice.

These are just a few suggestions. I know you put a lot of thought into today and I don’t want to ruin it by doing every single thing myself like every other day! Just one request: if everything goes according to plan and we end up at brunch, all that I ask is that I not be judged as I try find the bottom of the “bottomless” mimosa. And that next year I can have that sister wife I’ve been asking for.

Now go call your mother for an hour and let me help the kids with these mother’s day cards.

Love, the Baby Mama

The Momternship

Every time I hear someone say “Motherhood is the toughest job you will ever love!!” I just assume that that person doesn’t understand what jobs are, doesn’t understand what children are, and/or might be a dad (Kidding. Kidding. Mostly.). Because motherhood is NOTHING like a job. Unless your boss is following you into the bathroom and chanting in tongues and/or weeping in anguish about your bowel movements, in which case, please quit your job ASAP. No, motherhood is nothing like a job…it’s more like an unpaid internship. So read on and buckle up: you’re gonna be fetching a lot of coffee.

Now Accepting Applications

1)No Experience Necessary: Not only do you not need any experience AT ALL to be a mom, but it is actually better that you don’t know the first thing about giving birth and/or raising children before you get started! The ideal candidate for first time mother is totally enthusiastic and completely clueless. You’ll see why after your first day! (Evil laugh). Prepare to add some real depth to your Skills Section.

2) No One will learn your Real Name ever again: The good news is that you can go ahead and commit credit card fraud using your real name right now. I suggest just charging the shit out of diapers and wine. Why? Because after your baby arrives, you will be forever be known as Offspring’s Mom. Strangers won’t bother to ask your name at all, preferring to talk to you through the baby, “Did you tell Mommy you need a hat?!!?” Acquaintances will just be like “Look! It’s Offspring’s Mom!” and all your old friends will stop talking to you all together because they can’t take any more details about your new internship. Yes, they know your boss is both cherubic and demonic and pooped twice yesterday.

3)No vacations: This gig is literally every single day and night for the rest of your life. WHAT. Occasionally you may physically go to another location with or without your children, but the only vacation you are *actually taking* is a permanent vacation from the old you who looked awesome in jeans and stayed awake for Game of Thrones. Yay! Pack your bags!

4)No Pay: Jobs pay you. Motherhood does not pay anything. However, it will cost you! It will cost you everything. It will cost you your dignity, your sanity, your body, occasionally your will to live, and yes, your money. All of your money.

5)No Promotions:  I know!  You will bust your ass for YEARS and weirdly your feedback and performance reviews will get WORSE. Do you have a 6-month-old baby? She likely worships the ground you are about to collapse on. Have a 3-year-old kid?  Per your last evaluation (about 5 seconds ago), you are actually The Worst because HOW MANY TIMES HAVE I TOLD YOU THAT THE CHEESE MUST NOT TOUCH THE MACORONI ON MY MAC AND CHEESE!!! My 8 year old just asked if I could correct the mistake of having given him two sisters instead of a brother (whoops).

Not only will you never be promoted, but also ultimately, if you do a really great job-you will be gradually told that your services are longer needed. Ouch. Luckily, your time as a momtern will prepare you for literally anything. Anyone who can change a diaper while nursing a baby while driving a car while answering life’s greatest questions from a 4-yr old, while surviving only on coffee, goldfish crackers, and chardonnay, is qualified for anything.

Help with Bottle Weaning!

Hi! Quick Question for all the First Time Babies (FTBs!) out there!

Is it time to wean her from the bottle and how should I do it?  Help!

When I first brought her home from the hospital, it was very intense and overwhelming!!! It seemed like she was constantly crying.  The slightest thing seemed to set her off! Like if she couldn’t use the bathroom alone, or sleep for more than 17 minutes, she would just start sobbing uncontrollably!!  Well, the blogs all said that a routine was key!!!!!! So we started a little evening ritual of a bottle of chardonnay every night to help her settle down. And it totally worked! She went from being fussy, cranky, and “tightly wound,” (you’re not supposed to call them crazy right?!?) to the settled and smiley mother I knew she could be!!!!!!!!

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Just look how attached she is! How can I take it away?!

But that was two years ago and now I am wondering if I should wean her off the bottle!!?!?!??  Isn’t she supposed to be more on solids by now?! I am worried that between the 4 cups of coffee during the day and the bottle in the evening, she’s not getting enough to eat!!

Yes, before you ask, we have tried baby-led weaning! I usually just knock her glass over at dinnertime and offer her a few manageable, fistfuls of organic yogurt that I have already dumped cold water on.  Sometimes I can get her to eat half a day-old grilled cheese sandwich when I flick it from my highchair, but she doesn’t seem to enjoy it. I don’t know.  Am I doing it right?! My big brother who first had her as a mom a few years ago, assured me that no mom will starve herself.  He must be right because she does have the sweetest, chunkiest thighs! So precious!!!!!!!!

Someone in our toddler group suggested distracting her by mixing up our evening routine. I tried that too!! A couple of nights last week, I just went batshit crazy after dinnertime! Instead of having a bath and getting into my jammies, I just lay down totally naked on the floor in the hall and screamed as loudly as I could, while I started spinning around on my butt like a little compass pointing to rage!!

I didn’t give her any clues about what was coming next or when it would happen!! I thought the excitement and suspense would totally take her mind off the bottle, but it seemed to do the opposite! She she was popping the cork out before I had even had chance to rip all the cardboard bedtime books into shreds or dump the cat food out! She has the best memory!!!!!

I read somewhere that you’re just supposed to wear them out and make them so tired that they just drop at bedtime and don’t cry for a bottle. Ugh! I tried that too! I threw up all night when my dad was out of town and my sister had strep throat on the same day that my brother had a science project due, and even though she was practically falling asleep in the car on the way home (car naps are the worst!!!!! I’ll save that for another post!!!!), she still insisted on a bottle that evening!

A part of me thinks it’s mean to take the bottle away from her, and she is so much sweeter and more manageable with it! Fellow babies! What should I do!!?!

Love, an FTB with a mom on the bottle!





If You Give a Mom a Coffee

If you give a mom a coffee

She’s going to ask if you’re an angel from Heaven or a vivid hallucination caused by sleep deprivation

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When you give her a gaping blank stare

She’ll probably yell “Oh my god we’re LATE!”

When she’s finished her coffee

It’s only because she has been interrupted 14 times and called it quits at 4 gulps.

Then she’ll want to look in the hamper for everyone’s clothes today

When she looks in the hamper

She might notice her cell phone, keys, a tampon, a fistful of goldfish and everything else the toddler hid in there

She’ll probably ask if this is a fucking joke

When she’s finished deep sighing

She’ll yell at everyone to get dressed

She’ll start weeping

She might get carried away and weep in every room in the house

She might even end up washing the floors in her tears

When she’s done, she’ll probably want a nap


You’ll have to fix up a little pile of laundry

Made mostly of odd socks because it’s like socks only come as singles now

She’ll flop on top

Make herself comfortable

Then you’ll probably ask her to read you a story

So she’ll hand you her phone

And mumble for you to watch Daniel Tiger ,”or whatever”

When you watch the phone

You’ll get so excited you’ll want to jump up and down and scream

So she’ll take you to the playground

Until you start wailing that it’s time for dinner

She’ll stagger home to make you a dinner

That you won’t touch

Looking at the refrigerator

Will remind her that she is thirsty

So…she’ll pour a glass of wine

And chances are…if she pours a glass of wine

She’s going to want a coffee tomorrow morning

Lady and the Tramp Stamp

6 Ways my Kids are like my Shitty Tattoos

Sometimes I look at them and I’m like why? I looked way better in a bikini before I got them. Oh well! Too late now! I am talking about kids and tattoos: both permanently disfiguring and not exactly like you imagined…You guys were right, that last one did come out kinda weird.

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My baby  and my tramp stamp. Aww.

1) Great Idea when You are Drunk: You know how after 4 margaritas at Senor Frogs somewhere between 1999-2004, you thought that a tattoo of Tinkerbelle perched on your hip was like the BEST idea ever? Well, girl. I feel you. That’s the same kind of decision-making that turned a lot of us into parents in the first place. Fast forward about 10 months and you might wish Tink was the only thing perched on your (now stretched-marked) hip. Whoops!

2)Hurt Like Hell: Much like your sweet tramp stamp of the (incorrect) Chinese symbol for peace that you thought couldn’t hurt that much because people get tattoos every day, having a baby hurts like hell. Like being set on fire and eaten alive by a shark and then pushed off a cliff.

3)Does Not Look like you Expected: Before I actually got it, I daydreamed about what the owl tattoo on my arm would look like. (p.s OBVIOUSLY I have a bird tattoo on my arm. I mean O B V I O U S L Y). As the tattoo was finished, I was like WTF. Not what I pictured. Having a baby is basically the same. I thought I was getting a little doll miniature of me and my man. What I actually got was a screaming bright red baked bean that looked like my dad?? Um. Refund? Time machine?

4)Expensive: This shit was $400!! Even though it looks like something a fellow inmate gave me in exchange for some contraband smokes. And don’t even get me started on what the baby has cost us. Every last penny. Every one.

5)Permanent: In moments of regret, I have looked in to having my tattoos removed. Likewise, I have been in the aisles of the grocery store with three screaming kids and wondered…can I somehow throw them off my scent? Turns out tattoos and kids are both   F O R E V E R. But strangely…

6)You Want One More. Despite being the expensive, painful, permanent, and not instantly good-looking idea of a drunk chick….I still want just one more. Even though people are probably talking about how crappy the ones I already have are. Just one little Russian nesting doll on my shoulder and I will be done. And fine, just one more little beet red infant to scream at me while I try to keep it alive. Last one. Promise.

F*ck the Swear Jar

5 Reasons I don’t Give an Eff about Swearing in front of my Kids

by Kate Levkoff

Artwork by Wylder Levkoff, Age 8

Three years ago, my husband made a unilateral promise to our kids: each time he or I swore, we would put a quarter in the Swear Jar. If and when the jar filled up, the money would be theirs. First of all: WTF. And second of all: are you f*cking kidding me.

I dropped $10 into the jar and explained that I was paying ahead for the summer.  The kids were confused but they don’t understand human currency yet, and they think that all paper money = $1million, so they were excited.

My husband was truer to the spirit of the exercise and had almost wiped out our savings by the time the first leaves fell from the trees.

So after the kids cashed out, we reversed our policy decision.  It was back to saying whatever the f*ck we wanted.  And here are 5 reasons why:

1)    Because I am grownup. Okay, so being a grownup has fewer perks than my 11 year old self imagined that it would (I sort of saw myself settling down with Zach Morris and finally acting blasé about menstruation while I drove a golf cart on the beach, but whatever). But one of the true benefits of adulthood is being totally free to say whatever the eff I want, whenever I want, without getting grounded.  Boom! Soft benefits, baby!!

2)    Because they are kids. Look, I get that I need to be setting a good example. That is why I wear pants to drop them off at school even though under my winter coat, it is not *strictly* necessary.  But while I am on board with showing them the ropes as they grow up: they are not grownups yet and until further notice, it is ‘do as I say and not as I do.’ So they are not allowed to swear, but nor are they allowed to drive, use the toaster, cross the road alone, or drink watermelon martinis. Thems the breaks! I like to give them some sh*t to look forward to!

3)    Because with kids, everything is  baby talk, euphemisms, and indecipherable kiddie code.  Making a tinkle, doing a doodie, eating our trees, going night-night, minding our p’s and q’s, going bye-bye, using our words, ETC. I mean who knows what the hell I am even talking about half the time. I’ve lost track.  The benefit to (strategic) cursing is that it cuts through this gobbledygook. When our normally chill 8 yr. old son made his sister cry out of spite, I sat him down, looked him in the eye and told him straight: quit acting like a little sh*t to your sister.  A couple of big blinks told me he got my point: I was not effing around.

4)    Because parenting is a series of inscrutable WTF moments.  I need to give true voice to my feelings as I dig the embedded Lego Batman from my heel (ahhhgain), remove the sock from the toilet bowl (“but mom! It looked like a paper towel”), bake and frost 24 cupcakes at 1am for the class party at 8am, try to make sense of 3rdgrade math (just no), or switch lanes on the BQE while three kids argue to the death about which of them likes cheese the most (srsly. And it’s me). I need everyone to shut the f*ck up and calm the f*ck down, so mommy can figure this out.

5)    Because I have given up*t. already. At the altar of motherhood, I have already sacrificed sleeping, sanity, perky boobs, a knowledge of popular music, career opportunities, manicured nails, all of our money, fashion, an understanding of current events, the energy to complete even a TV marathon, slim fit jeans, I could go on.  Must I also give up my communication style and my preferred mode of self-expression? Oh, f*ck no, babies, no f*cking  way.

So if you, Mom, somehow managed to bring your sweet child(ren) into this world without howling/panting/shrieking every expletive that you know and have been able to maintain that decorum through sleepless nights, potty training, and the youthful revolts of elementary school, then congratufuckinglations. You might want to remind your little angel to put his earmuffs on before a playdate at my house, though, because he’s likely to hear some big girl words.