Thursday, May 13, 2010

Times They Are A Changin...

When I'm not out changing the world one ridiculously long winded blog at a time, I spend my time cooped up in the house tending to my young son. I am also currently in the process of trying to build a website to promote my brand and while I do this, I obsessively think up new and stressful ways to spend my time. Recently, I thought to myself "How can I make my life more difficult and financially sound?" My response was an instantly overwhelming, "Go back to work!"

Lucky for me, I have some close friends still lingering in my old line of work and it was easy to find a door to stick my foot into. In an effort to not drag out the boring parts, I'll make a long story short and tell you that after a quick interview and a few handshakes, I landed a gig with a great company in the field of health care. Now I'm left to start a new chapter of my life as a working mom and while I'm beyond stoked to start this new venture, it does have me questioning some things about life and balance. Like how am I going to survive the guilt I feel for dumping my kid at daycare all day and how am I going to balance writing, working and being a mom..

A few weeks ago I hopped up on my soap box and gave a speech about following your dreams and taking risks. Looking back now, I can see that it was one of the biggest turds I have ever dropped on this website and I would like to apologize now for the hypocrisy that is about to ensue. It all started when I decided to take this new job. I have always been satisfied with the direction my life has taken. Well not really satisfied... I look at my place in life the same way as I do cleaning- if the mess is easily hidden when company is around, it's good enough.. But to settle and make do with the cards I've been dealt has never been hard for me, especially recently when I started writing. It wasn't until this opportunity fell in my lap that I realized - much like 99% of the world- I would sacrifice my dreams and aspirations for a pay check and a 401K plan. It is true, like the rest of you I am a slut like that. So, here are the meat and potatoes-my new soap box rant- if you will.

The truth...

-In life we have to sacrifice. And the reality is that one sacrifice leads to another. Then before we know it the only thing we've really given up on is our happiness and the things we love the most.

-There is no way you will ever be able to give 100% of yourself to 100% of the things you want, need and love. However, you will try to anyway. The only things in your life that you will ever be able to give 100% to are the time you are stretched too thin, overwhelmed and outnumbered. You may not feel this way right now, but know it's only because you're use to it.

-Money cannot buy you happiness, but it can keep the lights on, put your kid in a great school, and buy you things to fill the void that was left behind when you settled for the job you have now instead of the one you really wanted.

-Everyone has a price. You may think that you would never trade what's most important to you for money, but know this- given enough zeros behind a dollar amount- priorities change. You too would sell your passion to be Oprah rich. Quit kidding yourself.

-When people say "I'm self motivated" what they are really saying is- I have a car I can barely afford and I'm one lost paycheck away from losing my house. The truth is that nothing drives a person like the idea of losing everything to the repo man. But there's really no acceptable term for that kind of motivation, is there?

-You should have finished college and if you did finish, you should have picked a better major... Getting a bachelors degree in psychology is like having degree in burgers 101 and working for Chik-Fil-A. That type of degree is practically useless and will never set you apart from someone who specialized in the career you wish you had. As for the many like myself who didn't finish college- congratulations! You have just insured that you will always feel inadequate and underpaid. You really should have finished that psychology degree.

- Unless you're making millions with that side project you're doing, it will always be a hobby. No one respects a blog writer, knitter, stain glass maker or bedazzler. In life the work that makes you happy will almost never make you rich. It is a fact. You can Google it.

That said, I am going to try hard to keep running efficiently. Though I can't promise I'll post every week, I can promise I will do everything in my power to do the right thing by my readers and bring the funny as often as physically possible. However, I want you all to realize that by selling out and going to work for "The Man," I have given up a part of me that I promised I would never- full disclosure. In order to keep and maintain this job, I will have to try hard to never write about my company. Also, because of HIPAA laws, my patient stories will need to be kept at a minimum. That is unless they fire me...Then it's game on, Bitches!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Happy Mothers Day- The A+ Parenting Way!

With Mother's Day around the corner I thought it would be nice to pay tribute to those with the dirtiest job around- Life maker...

Motherhood isn't easy. There are a lot of ups and downs and for 99% it's not exactly the career move we always dreamed of. Think about this- how many stay at home moms did you see on career day? The answer is none and that's because from day one we are told how empowering it is for a women to get out into the work force and make their own money. We're taught that a title will open new doors and that working moms are hero's. But what about the moms that forfeit the success and fortune to get down in the trenches with their child? What about the ladies who spend everyday- 24/7- caring for our future presidents, garbage men and executives? For that 1% who are willing to take a step back and live like it was 1952- I would like to say: THANK YOU!

When I was 8 I decided that above anything else, I wanted to be a mother. I got this spark by watching my mom. She was nurturing, loving and absolutely frightening, but more than anything proud to be a stay at home mommy. It was from her that I learned the ropes and kindly, she never sugar coated anything. She practiced what I like to call "A+ Parenting." It's a form of mothering that is imperfect and honest. It at times can seem neglectful or even mean, but it allows for mistakes and individuality and above all celebrates the fact that even as moms, we are only human. I would like to share with you some "A+ Parenting" secrets. Though I can hardly be considered an expert- after all, I only have one kid and I pawn him off every chance I get- I have taken the liberty of compiling my own mothers' life work in the field and find that it's not only useful, but accurate. Happy Mother's day to all! This is a gift from me-to you.

The Guide to A+ Parenting
-By Jennie Nadler Milechman
With contributions from the always dysfunctional- Nadler family Women.

There is no cure for a colicky infant and only A+ parents will tell you the truth about that. No matter what family members, old ladies at the grocery store or friends may say your baby sucks at this point in his new life and there is nothing you can do to fix him/her. The best thing- and probably the only thing- you can do to make life bearable is self medicate. I find that the right combination of booze, cigarettes and anti-depressants numbs the pain -of your new and ungodly situation- enough to get you by. I also recommend that you allow the little monster personal space to cry it out in. His personal space could be a swing, crib or relative’s home, but never a dryer, microwave or dishwasher. Postpartum tells us that the latter is a good idea, but trust me, in the end you'll be thankful you opted out of a life sentence in a rape-me-with-a-plunger type prison,though I am aware that a daily raping would seem like a spa day compared to what you’re dealing with right now.

At some point you may accidentally drop or maim your new baby. It's not uncommon that a tiny head cradled in your arms may accidentally find its way into a door frame. Nor is it rare that baby may somehow make its way to the floor with the grace of a lead balloon. There is really no solution for this, so it's best not to dwell on your carelessness. An A+ parent always keeps these types of incidents quiet. Unless there is an injury that requires immediate medical attention, what's the point of sharing your misadventures with anyone? It's ok to be shitty at parenting when you first start out; it however is not cool to have others confirm it. Always remember that the key to being an A+ parent is much like belonging to a secret fight club... The first rule is to never talk about it.

Germs are everywhere and there is absolutely no way you'll ever keep Junior away from all of them. When you first bring home your monster you'll be consumed with cleaning and washing and hand sanitizing and boiling- but know this, in a few months those things will become like taking the long way home, on foot through the snow and over Mt. Kilimanjaro. An A+ parent learns quickly that removing dog hair with your fingers from objects that are to be used orally, never killed anyone. You can clean a binky with your jeans and sometimes the 5 second rule can be extended to the 30 second rule or even the 3 minute rule depending on what end of an object or food product hit the ground first.

* Return Policy
Guess what there is no return policy. You're stuck for life with this little one. Let that sink in for a moment... A+ parents often have moments of "buyers" remorse in the first year. Hell, even good parents feel this way…Don’t feel guilty. You are only human and being overwhelmed is natural. Think about this- we are one of the only animal species that find it unacceptable to abandon or eat our young. The fact that you will eventually push through these feelings is a miracle. You really deserve a pat on the back…

*Stop apologizing
So what -your house is a mess, you’re a little overweight and your kid- at times- is a complete dick. This is a problem for every mom, the stay at home and working class hero varieties alike. For the longest time after becoming a mom, I started every sentence with “sorry”. “Sorry the living room’s a mess,” “Sorry for the tantrum,” “Sorry for the screaming.” Then I realized (with the help of my mother) that there are certain things you can’t control. Your kid’s going to cry during a nice dinner, some days you won’t get to the laundry and though genetically that little nightmare is half you- you can’t control what his underdeveloped mind instinctively tells him/her to do. A+ parents make no excuse and never give out false apologies. They live their life with the knowledge that some things are what they are and accept that “crazy”is part of the job description.

Dr. Phil warns that spanking is ineffective. You know what A+ parents say?.."Fuck Dr. Phil!" Now while a full on UFC match with your kiddo is a terrible idea, a whack on the tushy and a tap on the hand never killed or emotionally scarred anyone. I can guarantee that one day when your child is draped across a therapists' couch- and he will be, all A+ parented children are- the tap on the hand you gave him for trying to plug keys into a light socket will never enter the conversation. Children are fearless and suicidal creatures who need consequences that shock and sometimes sting to keep them out of harm's way. People today don't always understand this method of thinking because this new age-negotiate-with-a-toddler-who-has-no-concept-of right-and-wrong bullshit is all the rage and that's fine. A+ parents care less about the trends and more about what's best for their children. They also tend to hate Dr Phil....

*Giving in
Caving into the demands of a three foot tall poop factory can make you feel like an ass, but the serenity you receive once the tantrums cease is downright euphoric. A+ parents realize that a $2 toy or a pacifier in a three year old mouth can sometimes be a necessity that negates the consequences you'll have to deal with later. I have tried on many occasions to take my sons pacifier away and after a few hours of unmerciful screaming I always cave and return it to him. Why? Because as an A+ parent I have come to realize that sanity is priceless and braces are about 3 grand. It's worth the money later to keep from going postal today. I use this method of reasoning anytime I am bullied into purchasing toys at Target or terrorized into that second, third or fourth pack of fruit snacks.

*Potty Training
This is the nightmare of all nightmares for parents. We all ask ourselves when the right time to start is. We all get pressured by family members and pediatricians to get it over with. We all realize that until the poopy monster is ready there is absolutely nothing we can do to make them function on a potty the way they rightfully should. Now while this training can be stressful, it seems to be less so for the A+ parent. Why? Because as an A+ parent, you are smart enough to realize that your munchkin will not be walking down the aisle someday, one hand on his bride and the other holding up his Huggies. You're also sadistic enough to know that if he does- it will then be his wife's problem.

A+ parents realize that kids change and learn at their own rate. We give them credit for their personal victories and swell with pride at the sight of their advancements. However, we accept that- besides the love we feel for them- they are pretty much like everyone Else's kid. We understand how boring and obnoxious it is to constantly hear how "smart" the other little "Timmys" are and refuse to play the my-kid-is-better-than-yours game. Of course you think your kid is special and smart, we all feel that way about or own. People who ostentatiously talk about their children are much like men with small dicks that drive shiny red sports cars- it's simply a way of making up for your own short comings by distraction. The kid and the car are just glorified penis enlargers and no A+ parent gives a shit about how much bigger yours may (or may not) be!

*A+ Failures
Nothing in life is ever perfect and those that claim they have perfect lives, kids, jobs,families etc are full of crap! As an A+ parent we laugh at life's challenges and the mistakes we make along the way. We find comfort in sharing our stories of misadventure with our own kind (other A+ moms and dads) and realize that every day is another chance to try again and succeed or fail. (A+)er's never dwell on past mistakes, but find a way to turn the crummiest of times into the funniest of memories. Always remember this: if your kid is alive and well at the end of the day, there's no way you can be a failure. Screw ups happen every day and it is what creates character.It's best not to beat yourself up over it.

Remember all the stupid shit your parents did with, to and for you? Now is your chance to pay it forward...A+ parents have forgiven their parents for being idiots when it came to bringing up children because they too have become idiots by having their own. (A+)er's use the term "you didn't come with a manual" frequently when talking to their kids and have gained appreciation for the widespread coverage of therapy on most insurance plans. We sometimes think a therapy fund maybe more lucrative for our little monsters than a college fund. I personally recommend starting both; worst ( or best, readers choice) case- your kid wont use one or both of them and then it's "Hello Hawaii!"

***Have something to add to the A+ Parenting Guide? Just add it in the comment section below...And to all my moms out there, Have a happy and healthy Mothers Day. XOXOX