Saturday, July 27, 2013

Stuff that Bugs Me


I’m a pretty happy person.  I think people [usually] find me pleasant to be around.  I like to laugh and have fun as much as the next guy, but there are some things that annoy the sh*t out of me, mostly revolving around what people say about parenthood.   These pet peeves can wipe the smile right off my frantic mama face.

Here are some of them:

1.  When people say that they (or their kids) "don't watch much t.v."  B.S.

2.  When people (especially those without kids) ask me what I'm doing over the weekend. (uhhhh...taking care of my kids?  weeding? going to Target?).  Hey, I enjoy my quiet little life and all, but let's put it this way, the answer is rarely if ever: "Going out for a wild night on the town with my ladies!"

3.  People who cancel playdates last minute.  Look, I'm not all that crazy about them either-- it's not like you can actually carry on a complete conversation with the other parent, but still, it's on the calendar, I've planned the day or even week around it, so unless it's an emergency or there's green snot involved, please don't cancel.

4.  When people tell me to “treasure every second” with my kids.  Listen lady, I’ll enjoy as much of the baby years as I can, but try as I might, I simply can’t make myself treasure the baby’s poop on my hands this morning or delight in my son’s tantrum later this afternoon.  So no, I won’t-- I cannot--treasure every moment.

5.  People who say I’m “sooooo lucky” to have a babysitter.  First of all, it’s not like babysitters just fall out of the sky and magically appear when we need them.  If you aren't “lucky” enough to have family nearby who are willing to babysit, then you have no choice but to make the time and effort to find someone to help watch your kids occasionally (and pay them to do it).  (Speaking of sitters...need one?  Check out: And God Created Babysitters).  It is like a part-time job to find a dependable sitter you like and trust.  It is most certainly not luck.

Ok, I’ll stop my ranting before a bunch of my lovely readers think I’m just a crabby old hag. 

But, what are some of your pet peeves?  Please share or I fear I might be doing some of them!

~Frantic Mama

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Monday, July 22, 2013

Having a Baby? Create a Meal Registry!


A friend of mine just had a baby, and when I told her I'd like to bring her a meal, she told me she is registered with MealBaby.  How awesome is that?  A registry where your friends and family can sign up to bring you some post-baby nourishment.

You've heard me say it before-- it is surprisingly helpful when people bring food when you are slugging through the newborn haze.  These meal registries would be a very handy thing to check out prior to delivery.  The sites would also be great for helping a friend post-surgery, during a prolonged illness, after a loss, etc.

If you are like me and many other moms, asking for help can be hard to do.  These tools are a considerate way to make it easy for all your friends and family who truly do want to lend a hand.

Here are the two sites I looked into:*

MealBaby.com.  The mom registers with the site for days and times that would work for drop-offs (Thank God.  It's so hard when everyone wants to "drop by" at the witching hour after work!). The new parents can also list food allergies, aversions, and preferences.  There is even a link where out-of-town friends can send a meal to the couple.

MealTrain.com.  This site is similar to MealBaby, but it has a few more bells and whistles.

One of the nicest things about these sites is that they eliminate the time-consuming scheduling work for the tired, overwhelmed new parents; they both use real-time, interactive online calendars.  The sites also send out reminder emails to help everyone remember the plan.

Have you used one of these sites?  Have you heard of any others that are worth checking out? Please share your thoughts!

~Frantic Mama

*These sites are not sponsored!  They're just Frantic Mama Approved.

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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Do You Tweet?


After months and months of making fun of Twitter and all of those hashtags I see on t.v., I decided maybe it would be kind of fun after all, and I joined this past spring.

I have to admit, it has been kind of fun.  Twitter is an amusing distraction from writing when I need inspiration, and it's a nice way to zone out for 10 minutes if the children happen to actually be napping at the same time.

I'm surprised to say I even feel like I know some of my favorite Tweeps/Twitterers/Twitter Users.  I know, I know.  Sounds lame.  But truly, there is a sense of camaraderie on Twitter if you form the right network.  For instance, if you had a rough day, there is comfort in knowing dozens of other moms are online venting about their days.  If something funny happened and you Tweet it, people are excited to share in your fun.  If you need a laugh, there are some very funny people on there.

If you are on the fence and thinking about giving it a go, I'd recommend it.  Add people to your Following list and see who you meet.

Tweet, tweet!

~Frantic Mama

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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Interesting Phenomenon: I Miss My Kids


You know how staying home with little ones day after day can start to wear on you?  Yes, you love them.  You really, really love them.  But the days can be long.  So, so, so long.  Especially if you find yourself in the midst of a week with no mommy and me classes, no sunny weather, and no playdates (and you know me, I find playdates exhausting, but at least it’s contact with the outside world).

I’ve been there, my friends.  And to draw upon my Hoosier roots, I can honestly say, those days/weeks/months ain’t easy

So here’s my question:  how is it possible that I miss my kids, even our somewhat humdum routine, after about 20 minutes of travel? 

I suppose now that I’m a parent of two little ones who I adore on even our most trying days, it is that bittersweet, poignant realization-- that only comes with parenthood-- that I have so much to lose.  I know it’s morbid.  But really, I've given everything to these children in the past several years, and as a result, they (and yes, my husband) mean everything to me.  My family truly is my reason for living. 

So especially for someone who has always been a nervous flyer (yes, I know.  It’s safer than driving etc.), flights take on a whole new level of anxiety when I’m leaving the kids behind at our house, warm and cozy in their little beds, as I find myself dozens of miles above them. 


                                                               (Image from Wikipedia)

I also miss the little things almost immediately.  I miss my son (with his confused pronouns) shyly professing “you love me.”  I miss my baby daughter and her snaggletooth, gummy grin when my husband or I walk in the door.  I miss their wet, sticky kisses, their chubby little hands and feet.

However, everyone around me (even me before heading out) encourages me to take a break.  They remind me that it’s important to get a little space.  That it’s good to miss them a little. 

So, every couple of years, I do it.  For a couple of days, I venture out solo to visit a family member or meet up with an old friend, and I say a little heartfelt prayer to keep my children and me safe during my journey, so that we can continue our lives as a happy—if imperfect—family.

~Julia @ Frantic Mama

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Saturday, July 6, 2013

I Couldn't Live Without...


On a daily basis, there are certain things I rely on to keep me sane/less frantic/better.

Here are a few items I would rather not live without:

  • Black yoga pants.  The SAHM uniform.  I'm no exception.
  • Coffee.  Obviously.
  • My Laptop.  For all my very, very important [distractions] writing and networking.
  • Luna Bars.*  Preferably the Peanut Honey Pretzel, Vanilla Almond, or the harder-to-find Peanut Butter Cookie flavor.

  • The Best of the Wiggles CD.  A must for longer car rides (with children).
  • Sam Adams or Blue Moon Seasonal Variety Packs.  A surprise party in your fridge.
  • Mum-Mums.  To quiet a fussy or teething baby.
  • Z Bars.  To quiet a fussy or teething toddler or preschooler.  We keep a stockpile of these for times [often] when my son won't eat anything else.
  • Little Einstein's Mission Celebration DVD.  Not going to lie.  This DVD has saved my sanity more than a few times.


  • Undereye Concealer.  Need I explain?
  • My Kindle.  I love reading, and I never thought I'd give up actual books, but I'm hooked on Kindles.  (Bonus: The free preschool apps are perfect for travel or quiet time!).
  • Nars The Multiple Color Stick.  Helps me look like a shadow of my former self.  Expensive, but it lasts forever.
  • Dark Chocolate Mini Reeses cups.  No words, people, no words.

What are some of your sanity-savers?  Please comment and share!

*(None of these products are sponsored.  They are just good).

~Frantic Mama

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Monday, July 1, 2013

Considering Staying Home (Being a SAHM)?


Often, people ask me if I "like" being a stay-at-home mom (SAHM), and/or if they should do the same when they have a baby.

Many moms who left their jobs to stay at home (including me) tense up a bit when we are asked about staying home full-time, preparing for the standard, often annoying yet well-meaning, comments.  My personal non-favorite being:  You stay at home?  FUN!.  

As one mom blogger put it, (Glennon, from Momastery.com), there aren't any other challenging jobs, like motherhood, where you are expected to love every single second of every single day.  Social predicate has taught me that I'm basically not allowed to complain about a tough day to a mom who works full-time outside the home; she might resent me if I let it slip that I was lonely, or exhausted, or sick of having poop on my hands all day.

That said, yes, it is usually a choice to stay home.   I made this choice.  And I'm really, really fortunate and glad (most days) that I was able to have this choice.  But there I go again, having to reiterate just how much I appreciate it!  Because, God forbid, a SAHM should ever be ungrateful.



But remember, it's not like when one spouse stays home there aren't other sacrifices (besides, of course, the financial loss).  If your identity was tied to your career, well, poof, you better re-create yourself and figure out how to at least occasionally rise above the daily ins-and-outs of diapers, baby food, and naps so that your brain doesn't turn to mush.  And get ready for weird playdates, long days, obnoxious mom competition, making every meal and snack every day, and forming a close relationship with Dora the Explora.  The routine, the tantrums, the sibling competition...there are days when I have to force myself to get out of bed.

Here's the good part about staying home with your kids: You don't have to wonder what they are doing (because you always know), you are unlikely to miss first milestones, you don't have to get them dressed for daycare everyday promptly at 7, and you can take them out for ice cream at 3 p.m. [if you can muster the energy].  There is comfort in all of that, and even, yes, I'll admit it: fun!

I'm not sure if this post will help anyone who is on the fence about what to do post-baby; it's such a personal, complicated situation.  Try to remember this: you are never going to please everyone, and there are always going to be critics on either side of the mommy issue.  Personally, I don't think there is a right or wrong, one-size-fits-all answer.  In fact, he happiest moms I know are those who work part-time, akin to Switzerland.

Whatever choice is right for you, try not to judge moms who take other paths.  Let's not assume the grass is always greener on either side of the fence.  We're all in this together.

Please keep my readers and me posted: share your experiences as a SAHM, working mom, or anything in-between (click on "Comments" to add your thoughts).

~Julia @ Frantic Mama

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