Yo! Momma: I Want To Do More Around The House

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Hi, my name is Rachel and I am super Type A and have a hard time relinquishing control of mundane household and kid-related activities…

So when my brothers from another mother, Pete & Mark from Daddy Mind Tricks tackled THIS reader question…I was ALL over it!

Check out the latest installment of Yo! Momma, about pitching in around the house.

Oh, and got a question you want to submit to get the he said/she said take? Send it our way (see info at the end of the post to submit).

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Welcome to our monthly joint venture we like to call, Yo! Momma. We open up the mailbag to answer the questions from our most faithful readers and bring definitive resolution in the age-old battle of the sexes.

We do so in the only way we know how: with zero filter and 100-percent brutal honesty.

Last time, we took on the topic of sensitive boobs and how to navigate around a perennially sore subject.

In the latest edition collaboration of the best parenting bloggers on the Internet, we’re discussing the tactful approach for men to get more involved around the house, even when wifey isn’t too keen on the concept.

You ask. We attempt to answer … and then Rachel from Whine & Cheez(Its) drops some knowledge on your ass to provide the feminine point of view that we all truly need in our lives.

Welcome to another edition of … Yo! Momma.

Mommy wants to get everything done around the house and won’t let me chip in to help  – admittedly, I’m awful at just about everything outside of boiling water, so I need her to Yoda me. But, I want to have a bigger role, so how do I respectfully tell her that I’m game for more stuff without hurting any feelings or getting in the way?

Pete: Okay, my dude. Time to play a little tough love. You’re going to have to suck it up, put the big boy pants on and learn how to get some shit done around the house – at least learn how to cook a damn meal because that’s some ridiculous shit.

I do applaud that you recognize this flaw in the gameplan and would like to call an audible here to get more involved. Here’s a three-step plan for success that will help ease the transition from bumbling dude to super dad.

First, time to have a chat with wifey. Teammates gotta talk to one another. LeBron James and Kyrie Irving communicate to each other in practice, on the sideline and most definitely on the court. Let your partner know that you want to contribute some more and that you are going to try to improve. Maybe offer to start small and take over a task here or there – like boiling some water to make some pasta at least once a week to cook some dinner.

Second, probably time to learn how to get some things done around the house. Ask wifey to show you some of the smaller things to establish the trust. In all likelihood she’d love to have some assistance in the day-to-day, but just gets caught up in getting it done herself because it’s easier than having to teach someone else and go through the growing pains. Be sure to reinforce that it’s okay if it doesn’t come out totally her way, as long as the kids survive, the house doesn’t burn down, and everyone still has their sanity.

Lastly, read more of this website. Starting with our New Rules to Fatherhood. Take that shit to heart and be ready to step up to the plate to be a fucking father worth crushing the competition by this time next year. Hell, make it part of your New Year’s Goals to find some measurable traits where you can improve.

Your wife will thank you.

Rachel: Wait, did you write this about me?!?! Because this is a real struggle of a Type-A chick. We want to do everything a specific way and can be a royal pain in the ass (guilty). It’s really not that we don’t WANT help from you, it’s just a little challenging to relinquish control after growing a tiny human in your uterus and then pushing it out. Since we did that part totally by ourselves, I think there’s this weird thing that happens that makes us feel nobody could possibly do things the way we would or want to. Yes it’s crazy unrealistic and a little dumb, but it happens.

I think the fact that you even want to have a bigger role and are not just sitting scratching your balls while she’s pumping, or nursing, or washing bottles, etc, is HUGE. When it’s time to feed or bathe the kid, don’t “ask”, just say…”Babe, let me give her a bath and you go sit down for a while.” Or if she’s REALLY a control freak (guilty), tweak it to, “Babe, I want to do bathtime with you…let me help.”

Sure, the first couple of times, she may shoot you down. But if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Eventually, she will take you up on it. The worst thing you can do is to just give up and get laser focused on fantasy football while the black circles under her eyes grow to epic proportions. I promise that once she sees you pitch it (and do it well), she’ll let that, “I’m just going to do everything” schtick a rest and be happy to have you on board.

Now it’s YOUR turn. Do you have some more questions for our crackpot team of experts? Drop us a line in the comments section, or hit us up on email at DaddyMindTricks [at] gmail.com and maybe we’ll feature your question in the next edition of Yo! Momma.

Let’s Talk About Sex…

Particularly what happens to sex after you have children.

married

On our latest episode of The Parental Advisory Podcast, We’re going there.

We are tackling everything – from porn, to sex rooms, to scheduled sex, to quiet sex and everything else (between the sheets).

Just head over to our iTunes page and look for Episode 4. And if you haven’t checked out the first three installments, today is a GREAT day to binge listen.

Direct Link HERE>>> bit.ly/iTunesPAP

xx,

Rachel

 

 

 

My Husband is NOT My Best Friend – New for The Huffington Post

So I have a confession…my husband is not my best friend. And we are both totally cool with it.

Read all about it in today’s article for The Huffington Post!

BFF

Almost Paradise Island

This weekend, we took a quick (and much needed) mini vacation to the Atlantis Paradise Island Resort in the Bahamas. While my husband has been there a couple of times, it was my first. I don’t know if we have a black cloud following us when it comes to expensive hotel stays, but we are now 2 for 2 with some ridiculous shit. More about that in a minute.

I did the usual rigmarole of packing and mental prep to get on a plane. That’s right folks…I am THAT passenger. And let me be clear that the flight to Nassau is like 25 minutes from Ft. Lauderdale. But that does not matter. To me a flight is a flight and I need to be medicated.

medicated

At the airport, and with my pre-flight regimen kicking in, an announcement is made that the whole airport is now “closed” due to weather. We have now been in the airport more than 3 times the duration of our actual flight with no indication of when we are leaving.

As if I am not already annoyed, I have an abnormally loud woman asking her baby over and over and OVER, “Are you my baby?” in that stupid babytalk voice. It was never-ending. I was waiting for the infant to yell, “Obviously, I’m your effing baby, have you lost your everloving mind, woman?”

shut up

I was going to need another Xanax if she was on my flight and anywhere near me.

The weather started to clear and when Jason pointed out a rainbow, I was hoping it was a sign.

rainbow

Finally we board, have a bumpy flight, arrive safely and the flight attendant says, “If you look out the left side of the plane, you’ll see a Jet Blue flight (also from Ft. Laud allegedly, which is NOT what an already nervous flyer needed to know) that made a crash landing just  a few hours ago.” She said it like we were at Disney on a guided tour. (Everyone on that flight was fine FYI.) The plane’s front landing gear apparently crapped out and the nose of the plane was directly on the ground and all I wanted was to nosedive into a glass of malbec at our hotel. We arranged for transportation through Atlantis, found our shuttle and got in. The driver tells us he needs to wait for the entire airport to “clear out” to make sure there are no other people waiting for him. WHAT THE WHAT?!?!

And he proceeded to get out of the van and shut the door, but not before LOCKING us inside with gospel music about needing a little more Jesus, blasting at full volume. No sir, I do not in fact need a little more Jesus…I need you to kindly get your ass back in the van and get me to my hotel. For the love of god (pun intended).

This was right before the lock in.

When we realized we were locked in, Jason was literally banging on the doors, having a valid meltdown and nobody heard (prob because of the stupid music), until he started blowing the horn a million times. Some other guy let us out and put us in another van. He was super nice and apologetic, but after a 20ish minute ride, I know WAAAAAAAY too much about his life.

  • He was allegedly one of Anna Nicole’s drivers and gives the official Anna Nicole Smith tour in Nassau.
  • He has 6 kids from 3 baby mamas
  • He was headed to a date with a “real exciting lady” after dropping us off. I told him to be careful or he’d have 4 baby mamas, but he assured me he uses “prophylactics” because he’s just “making ends meet with the ones he has”.
  • His grandfather was deformed in a moonshine explosion and he’d never seen him in person but spoke to him on the phone. (This is my fave fun fact of the evening)

When we arrived and got to our room, the craziness continued as we were greeted with a bathtub filled with water, a non-working TV and the piece de resistance…what appeared to be bullet holes in the wall. Two to be exact. I know what you’re thinking…Rachel, cmon, they probably tried to hang something and it went awry. But I’m familiar with that look…I have a husband who likes to try to hang TVs and other large objects and puts a handful of holes in our walls before he’s willing to admit defeat and call in a professional. These were NOT that. And here’s the thing…when Jason called to talk about these issues, nobody was phased by the sentence, “there are what looks like bullet holes in our wall”. Not only were they unphased, they couldn’t/wouldn’t do anything to any part of the situation.

This guy wasn’t happy about it either…

grumpy fish

Thankfully, we woke up to this…

usview

The next morning, before breakfast, we went down to talk to the front desk and they offered to switch our room but we would need to hang out for an hour or so and then go inspect the room, etc. Listen, we are pretty reasonable, but we have ONE full day here and you are insane if you think I’m going to spend a couple of those hours inspecting rooms to meet our approval. So on we went to try and enjoy our limited time.

After carb loading at breakfast, I was ready to flaunt my post-breakfast buffet bod (thank god one-pieces are in right now) at the pool. The minute we headed down the (not so) lazy river, we were giddy and finally in vacation mode. Maybe from here it’s smooth sailing.

Nope.

Because when we got out to get a drink for 5, some tiger mom told security we were hoarding tubes and her kids wanted them. For the record, Jason and I got down there at 9am and the tubes were plentiful. But when the kids invaded around lunchtime, it was like vultures circling every time you passed lounge chair areas, asking if you were done with your tube. And some of them were aggressive…did I need a shiv? OMG…is this where the bullet holes came from??? Was there a falling out over the tubes that took a turn? Moral of the story – Atlantis, you desperately need more tubes if you are going to fill your hotel to capacity and then make people crazy searching for them.

Anyway, the security guard starts harassing us, telling us we need to give the tubes to these kids, and he’s sure we understand. Let me tell you what I understand…we got out here early to enjoy the pool, lazy river, slides – all that require tubes. If you think we are turning them over after we just spent $25 dollars on pina coladas/rum runners while we step out of the water for literally 10 minutes to reapply sunscreen and knock back our drinks…you are crazier than the driver who held us hostage with gospel music. An onlooker (there with 5 kids of his own btw) was hearing the whole thing and gave us a brilliant idea – go sit at the edge of the pool, IN your tubes..finish your drinks and that’s that.

We did exactly that while we got glares from the pissed off tiger mom. And when we were done, decided to give the tubes to some really sweet and non-abrasive kids waiting patiently, instead of going back in ourselves. Right in front of her. When you tattle on me to security instead of maybe asking nicely if you can have our tubes…you lose sweetheart. Honey = More bees.

From there we went to Dolphin Cay to hang with some dolphins, and I was literally jumping out of my skin with excitement. Only two downsides – 1) a wetsuit is not really a flattering look…for anyone. 2) There was a crazy 20something, obnoxiously loud girl in front of us asking the group of tweens she befriended if they knew how to dab and trying to connect with all of them on every social network possible. I just kept saying, please god don’t let us get grouped with her. Please…haven’t we been through enough?

We weren’t and could breathe easy and enjoy one of the most magical experiences I have ever had. We got to interact with the dolphin, touch her, KISS HER. It. Was. Everything.

dolphin selfiedolphinkissdolphingroup

I know it’s not cheap, but if you EVER have the opportunity to do this, save your shekels and make it happen.

I was elated, but so ready to get out of the wetsuit. I was already thinking about how many people wore it before me and wondering if any of them peed in it while in the water – yes that’s where my head goes and yes I’m aware I’m turning into my mother.

It was such a great ending to the day after such a rocky start with hotel staff. Please let the TV be working or my husband is (rightfully) going to lose his shit. So, the good news is that the bullet holes were patched (my only regret is that I didn’t get a picture before, because that shit probably would have gone viral, accompanied by some crazy title dripping with alliteration like, “Blogger Goes Bananas Over Bullet Holes at Bahamas Resort”.)

But, the TV was a no-go. And I could see Jason’s forehead vein pulsing. At this point it wasn’t about the lack of TV intake, it was totally about principle. How hard is it to swap out a TV when we have been gone for HOURS. Do you have the same problem with TVs that you do with inner tubes? He calls downstairs again..they tell him they can fix it Monday (guys, it’s Saturday and we leave Sunday). Finally they tell us they are switching our room and will call in 10 mins to arrange. At 30 mins and counting (with a dinner reservation rapidly approaching), still no call so he calls back. They tell him that a bellman came up and knocked but we weren’t there…he’s barely holding it together at this point and I can see he’s about to foam at the mouth. They say they are sending someone up. Just FYI, it’s now 740 and we have an 8pm res.

Bellman knocks. We are ready to move and he says 8 words that I thought might give my husband a coronary.

“You have the keys for your new room?”

Are. You. KIDDING??!?!?! Do you effing think if we had the keys to our “new” room, we would still be here?!? Jason called the front desk…again…they woman gets nasty with him and says, “We sent someone up and you weren’t there the first time!” To which he replied, “That’s bullshit! We have been here the whole time!!”

She hung up on him.

I’m no customer service expert, but I’m pretty sure that is NOT what you do. He wasn’t being abusive toward her. He didn’t call her any names or act in a disrespectful way. At all. This is the kindest, most docile man I have ever met. I mean he deals with my special kind of crazy on the daily and loves the shit out of me, so if he’s fired up, there’s a reason. All he did was say this was “bullshit” because it was exactly that…BULLSHIT.

We all took a field trip together to the front desk, bellman and bags included, Jason politely told a different Atlantis manager what happened. He handled it the right way, took our stuff and we went off to dinner to get really drunk and eat overpriced (but yummy) Sushi. Yolo.

nobu.jpg

On the way, I basically destroyed the skin on my heel on my loubs (I mean it’s my fault, they really are curb to car shoes and not run around Atlantis shoes). Lesson learned (not really though – I’m still gonna wear them all the time). I scored Band-Aids from our waiter (I’m sure people have asked for weirder shit) and rectified the situation.

Our new room was bullet hole free, with an empty tub and working TV, PLUS a cool view of the sting rays.

view2rays

And we did Sunday morning pretty much the same way. Starting with bingeing at the breakfast buffet like it was our last meal before a trip to the electric chair. We did not get into any fights over tubes and I even chuckled as we walked by families with literally PILES of tubes hoarded on their lounge chairs. No doubt prepping for tubepacolypse.

After getting our stuff together, we made the decision NOT to take the transportation we booked from the earlier company, asked for a cab instead, and up rolled the most ghetto fabulous stretch white limo with leopard floor mats and all I could do was smile. Dreams do come true.

Was Atlantis amazing? Absolutely. The grounds are beautiful. There is so much to do and I already want to go back. And in the interest of full disclosure, after nonstop annoyances for 2 days, a manager did review everything and give us a nice credit, which was the right thing to do. The problem is, we shouldn’t have had that level of aggravation at all and it should have been addressed when we first brought it to their attention , especially during a two night stay. If I wanted that level of customer service, I’d stay at a Motel 6.

So please Atlantis…I want a do-over. Because we want to come back and be superfans. We really do. All I want is NOT to be held hostage with gospel music in a van booked through you, a clean room sans bullet holes or bathtubs filled with water, a working television, to be left alone about how/when we choose to use our tubes at the pool/lazy river and not guilted into giving them to children (adults like to have fun too and FYI as a mom myself, I would have handled it totally differently), bellmen who have the right keys and front desk staff with a little bit of empathy that we have spent A LOT of hard earned paychecks to visit your amazing resort and would like to enjoy it instead of dealing with ridiculousness.

Let’s try this again real soon because it was almost paradise.

xo

Rachel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

C*&kblocked by a Chihuahua

Like many couples, we celebrated Valentine’s Day with a dinner out. We went a little early to beat the crowds, avoid the hoopla and be back home early enough to climb into bed and watch Shameless. The makings of a perfect Valentine’s Day…for us.

The universe however, had different plans.

Perhaps some of the mishaps at dinner could have been viewed as foreshadowing, but we were enjoying the company of our friends who joined us too much to care. I mean, there were enough red flags to send anyone’s radar up.

We went to a newish steakhouse/fondue place that has been getting good reviews so we were optimistic (I give it a year tops before it closes). But after we waited like 10-15 mins for our table (with a reservation) in an EMPTY restaurant, things started to snowball and fast. Here’s a brief highlight reel.

*Ordered a bottle of wine listed on the menu. “Sorry we don’t have it. Only by the glass tonight.”

“But if you have it by the glass can’t we just buy the bottle?”

“We only have 2 glasses left but I can offer you this bottle (note: more than double the          bottle we asked for).

“Forget it…we’ll just take the two glasses.”

* Ordered cheese fondue that literally looked as if it was the leftover uneaten portion from another table. Then the burner went out which made the already measly portion congeal.

*We got our meal 20 mins before our friends and didn’t eat it because we’re not assholes. On top of that, it was cold when it arrived at the table. So that had to go back and we finally got sloppy plates back 20 mins after our friends got their meal. Gordon Ramsay would have been PISSED!

ramsay

*Then another burner on our friend’s fondue went out leaving their food soaking in a vat of cold broth.

There were a handful of other mishaps but I just can’t keep going. It was frustrating to say the least but I will say the manager did the right thing and profusely apologized, comped part of the meal and gave us dessert. However, we will not be back.

So we head home feeling a little ahead of the game that we didn’t overpay for a mediocre dinner shrouded in a shitty experience.

And then walk in to one of our two dogs (the Chihuahua) greeting us with a giant red balloon looking situation on his undercarriage. It was like the Franks & Beans scene from Something About Mary.

franks and beans

Jason immediately Googles “My chihuahua’s penis is swollen like a balloon, what do i do? (I love the interwebs). And apparently based on the search results, this is a thing. Most common advice given was to ice it.

ice

ICE ICE BABY

So we did, while Jason called the vet who told us to come in ASAP before it got worse. All I could think was, it could get worse?!?!

Thankfully it was empty so we got seen right away, but here’s the thing about emergency vets. They really know how to eff you. They took him in back and told us it would be a pretty easy fix. We were there for a looooonnnng time though.

The doc comes out and starts to give us a detailed account of how she used KY Jelly and pain meds to “manually manipulate his penis back into place”. I was dry heaving and feeling the mediocre fondue come up. (We  surmised that he had his own plans for valentine’s day and most likely humped his bed so hard he broke his penis.)

She then utters, “Did you notice he has a hernia?” and starts poking around his tush showing us where there is “most likely impacted bowel” and other things that we need to spend money on “right away”. (BTW, the dog is healthy, functional and fine, but both times Jason has taken the dogs to this particular vet they list a million things that are wrong and possible diseases they have. It’s unreal.)

paperwork

WHAT’S MORE ROMANTIC THAN SPENDING VALENTINE’S EVE FILLING OUT CONSENT FORMS TO HAVE YOUR PUP’S PENIS PUT BACK IN PLACE?

Finally we get to the front desk to check out and the tech says, “That will be $250”

“What?$?$? Two fifty for a doggie handy? We could have gotten him 10 at the nondescript “massage” (read: happy ending) place down the street on Federal Highway.

She proceeds to read us the breakdown of the bill.

$100 for the visit (fine)

$40 for the lube (it’s a Chihuahua penis! I’m pretty sure $40 worth of lube in one shot is not even possible on a human penis.)

$40 for the injection to help with pain/numbing (so he didn’t even get to enjoy the happy ending he received?)

$30ish for the dextrose that apparently helps the swelling to get it back in (guys, that’s basically sugar. Next time his junk will be shoved in a bag of sugar at home that costs $3.99)

$30ish for the pin-sized dot of antibiotic ointment (FML)

Oh and $12 for the cone of shame (You really couldn’t throw in that piece of shit cone after the $40 you upcharged us for puppy penis lube?)

cone

CONE OF SHAME

And if I had to hear the woman at check out say “penis” one more time I was going to lose it. I am done talking about it. Can we please just leave???

We were finally home in bed a little after midnight and couldn’t even stay up to watch Shameless.

And that my friends is how we got cockblocked by a chihuahua on Valentine’s Day

 

 

REAL advice for a Happy Marriage

It’s Valentine’s Day weekend (aka the time of year when 90% of dating couples get engaged).

I thought it appropriate to ponder the question of what makes a happy marriage. And with any big question in life, I turn to the people I love and respect most. My family.

You should know (and probably already do if you are a regular reader) that my family is…a little different. We’re not buttoned up, reserved and quiet. We are quite the opposite. Loud, opinionated, intrusive (in the most loving way possible) and effing hilarious.

We are also all VERY different from one another. Kind of like snowflakes. Really awesome and dysfunctional snowflakes.

I put out a call to action to my family and MOST sent me vids in hours. Those of you who didn’t are assholes and cut out of the will when I make it big. The direction I gave was to be real and skip the cliche bullshit, like “never go to bed angry.” Because you know what? I think it’s normal and healthy to maybe go to bed just a little pissed off sometimes. We are all human and a genuine apology the morning after is better than a forced one before your head hits the pillow just because we’ve been trained to think that way.

So, without further adieu, here is advice from my family on how to have a happy marriage!

  1. These are my cousins Nadine and Jared. They are THE couple from my post, My Big Fat Brooklyn Dumbo Loft Wedding. They are “newlyweds” so to speak, and offer a fresh (and fizzy) perspective on the matter.

Nadine and Jared advice from Rachel Sobel on Vimeo.

2. These are my cousins Karyn and Jeff. Karyn was my older female cousin in a sea of male beast cousins who tortured the shit out of me growing up for their own amusement. I idolized her but now she looks up to me….literally, because she’s the only adult in my family I am taller than and I’m just over 5ft tall.

 

Karyn and Jeff advice from Rachel Sobel on Vimeo.

3. Next up are my cousins Gary and Alison. Gary actually did two vids and they were both so great and SO him, that I had to use both. Bless your heart Alison!

Alison advice from Rachel Sobel on Vimeo.

Gary advice from Rachel Sobel on Vimeo.

Gary more advice from Rachel Sobel on Vimeo.

4. Pay attention to this next couple because they’ve been married for 50 years! My Aunt Sharon (my mother’s middle sister and also Gary’s mother) and Uncle Tony started dating in high school. My mom was 8 when they started courting and literally used to go on dates with them, frequently sitting in between them at the drive through. Talk about the original cockblocker.

Aunt Sharon’s advice from Rachel Sobel on Vimeo.

Uncle Tony’s advice from Rachel Sobel on Vimeo.

5. And of course it wouldn’t be a family video round-up without my parents. This blog is filled with my mother’s antics. For good reason. She and Bob, or as my child dubbed him, Paca, because she couldn’t say Grandpa, were high school sweethearts. They reconnected after they both divorced and have been married for a decade already. Time flies when you are having fun!

Bob’s advice from Rachel Sobel on Vimeo.

Mom advice from Rachel Sobel on Vimeo.

P.S. I’m already failing one of my mom’s cardinal rules, because this is what my husband is currently looking at and I can assure you it is NOT fly. It’s downright unfly. But the coconut oil in my hair makes it pretty and the mask on my face diminishes wrinkles. I turn 39 next weekend and am trying desperately not to look like it.

unfly

6. And lasties not leasties, some advice from me and Jason aka SLS. This is a second marriage for both of us and we are also newlyweds, celebrating our first year of wedded bliss this coming April.

So there you have it. Some gems from my family to yours!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Rachel and Jason advice from Rachel Sobel on Vimeo.

I Made it On Scary Mommy!

Scary Mommy

 

If you are a mom and have the internet you know Scary Mommy...because it’s an AWESOME resource filled with no-holds barred stories and articles from women everywhere. They are honest, raw and real.

Check out my new article, ‘Dear Undivorced Person, Stop telling Me What to Do With My Kid.”

It’s not easy being divorced with a child. And while most people in my life get it, there are times where I encounter pushback and ignorance. The reality is that I won’t get a sitter if it’s my weekend (unless it’s a major event, like you are getting married or dying). Every time my child is not with me (which is half the time), there’s a part of me missing and I hate it. It’s unbearable actually, but I try to make the best of it. So when I do have her, I want to be with her every second instead of dumping her with a sitter. I always find it amazing how people can’t recognize that. To me, it’s so simple so I have a hard time when people try to shame me about not changing plans, etc.

And since Scary Mommy is a site with a bazillion readers, I knew there would be comments. OYYYYY the comments. Even amidst the support from women who exude positivity, I had to stop reading because my brain hurt from seeing how ignorant some people could be. Everybody is entitled to their opinion and certainly does not have to agree with me, but I will never understand the nastiness from complete strangers when I put a little bit of myself out there and discuss VERY difficult things to try to shed some light on subjects that are not common for everyone. I totally get why celebs don’t Google themselves.

Anyway, eff the haters….because I’m published on Scary Mommy and that makes for a great Monday!!

today was a good day

You Should Totally Leave Your Husband – NEW from Suburban Misfit Mom!

Divorce is a slippery slope and friends need to be careful what they say when they know people in the thick of it! Check out my new story on Suburban Misfit Mom!

 

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That Time I Quit My Job

Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you that the last thing I am is a quitter.

Until now, I have only quit one job. It was after two days of being the “Snack Cart Girl” at the golf course in Gainesville while I was in college. I had visions of a cushy gig with nice tips for my stellar service but the reality included driving around in a caged golf cart (so I didn’t get hit by rogue golf balls) scoring maybe a quarter as profit for a melted snickers. It sucked and I hated it so I quit. (Note: This is also the worst type of job for someone with zero sense of direction – I must have circled the same putting green 20 times before finding my way to the next hole).

I have also never been fired. Every other job I left was solely because I was moving to a different city or state and in fact, on more than one occasion when I gave my notice, instead of accepting it, the employers basically created situations where I could keep working from wherever I was going. I am certainly not perfect but I can tell you with confidence that I am the type of employee who throws myself into what I’m doing and goes above and beyond to make my superiors happy. I’ve always been a pleaser. Not a pushover by any stretch because I am most certainly not a “Yes Woman”, but definitely a pleaser.

But yesterday, I quit my job.

When I was minutes away actually doing it, I wanted to throw up. I was dreading the conversation. Wasn’t sure how it was going to do down, and just wanted to blink my eyes and have it be over. But, it could not have been a better interaction if I scripted it myself. My boss was beyond understanding and could not have been nicer. We were totally on the same page and while it’s always awkward to have difficult conversations, this one was smooth sailing. And I am beyond thankful to him for that.

Let me rewind a little…

When I first moved back to Florida a handful of years ago, I had a small child I focused my time on instead of jumping back into work, full-force. Instead I chose to freelance (mostly Public Relations type writing) because I need & want to have some sort of paycheck. When my child was in school more full-time and I was coming out of a divorce, it was time. Resumes went out, recruiters were contacted and I began the search.

I loathe interviewing. It’s kind of like one awkward first date after another. It’s total bullshit because the reality is that both sides are on their best behavior and making sure there are no cracks in the facade. Until you are in the trenches you really don’t know how it’s going to go down. I had a bunch of interviews pretty quickly but didn’t love anything. And then, because timing works in mysterious ways, I found something that fit like a glove, and felt familiar and right. So I thanked the other pending opportunities in the wings and signed an offer letter in a matter of days.

I was enthusiastic and hopeful in the beginning. I felt like I made a good decision.  But, after several months and some negative experiences, I just didn’t feel as comfortable, didn’t feel as secure and lost that fire I had in the beginning. The Honeymoon period was over for me (less than a year in) and I was crushed. I struggled, had conversations with people I respect, looked for ways to turn it around in my own head and truly didn’t know what to do. I was disillusioned, and could feel myself checking out and turning off.

While I was struggling professionally, to add a whole different layer, I was also struggling with some personalities I also had to deal with there. You should know I have been in PR my whole career, which means I have always been surrounded by a lot women, and have thrived because I am totally a girl’s girl. This is not to paint the picture that I was chummy or grabbing post-work manicures with everyone, but there was always mutual respect. Always. Also, I was also in a sorority so I am no stranger to an abundance of estrogen and mood swings.

But what I wasn’t used to, was not feeling empowered and motivated by women who surrounded me. Instead I was treated to overall nastiness and a barrage of dirty looks on the regular (guys, they were baaaaddd…like to the point that I thought I must have been being filmed for an episode of Punkd), which is not very encouraging.  I found myself asking, “Did that really just happen?!” on the regular.

I’m not a kiss ass and I’m not fake, so dealing with women who had a blackbelt in bitchface and staying quiet was a nearly impossible feat. If it were in the wild, I could have (and would have) opened my mouth and called them out, but in the workplace, that would not have gone over well. I was beside myself because the reality was these weren’t JUST looks. They were looks pointing to deep-seeded mentalities that I wanted nothing to do with and I was sick of it.

bitchface

I 100% just stopped engaging. Kept my head down. Spoke to the few people I had respect for and tried to just go about my day without saying something that would get me fired.

I felt more detached with each day, which had never happened to me at a job before. All of the bullshit that used to make me want to scream, just made me numb. I was basically one frustrating episode away from filleting a fish at my desk like Peter in Office Space.

office space

Meanwhile, because I like to torture myself and take on more than I should, during the whole tenure of my “day job”, I was coming home at night and still churning out freelance work because I had made the decision never to give up those contacts. I said yes to everything I was asked for. It’s dangerous to say “no” to freelance work because eventually they’ll stop asking. I was exhausted and overworked. Plus, my blog was getting so much more attention and I had work to do there. It was just never-ending.

There were two defining moments (other than the fact that I actually had a pang of jealousy every time someone left) that served as the old nail in the coffin for me.

  1. Every morning on my regular coffee run, I was finding myself literally being envious of the Starbucks barristas, I knew I had a problem. I’m not even kidding. I would watch them and say “Their life must be so great. Sure they have to deal with some real pain in the ass patrons – I mean we are in Boca – but what I wouldn’t give to sling caramel macchiatos all day.”
  2. Then, another low point was when I had a dream about one of the mean girls. In the dream, when she barked something nasty at me in her entitled bitchy tone, I literally pounced on her, pinned her shoulders down with my knees and told me she would NEVER talk to me that way again.

mean girls fight

Yep, that’s how done I was. And let me be clear, neither of these things made for proud moments. They made me cringe actually.

I needed to face reality. I started to really dig into my freelance time/numbers to see where I was. Could I really ditch my day job? Do this full-time? Not be stressed about money (who am I kidding, I could make 3 million dollars a year and I’d still stress about money). Jason and I discussed me leaving, what it would look like, how it would work logistically. And after a few months of me consistently bringing in what was pretty damn close to my full salary, I said, eff it, I’m done.

Although I did realize that my income would most certainly fluctuate, because that’s what freelancing means, the tone and work with my own clients was night and day from what I was experiencing. I was in such a groove with them it felt like the right time to make a bold move.

And thankfully, I have this amazing man who not only loves and supports me, but believes in me. I told him my plan (over and over because I needed to keep saying it out loud to make sure I wasn’t insane) and all he kept saying was “Do it babe! You’ve totally got this. We will figure it out. Don’t worry.”

And so I did. I quit my job. Left behind the idea of a steady paycheck and am taking a risk. Because I know what I want, and what I want is to be my own boss…which is saying a lot because I’m not always so easy. Nobody will ever be harder on me than me.

A while ago, I got this fortune after a chinese food dinner with my parents. It was around the time my blog was growing more rapidly than I thought and I started to question if it could really lead to a different career path for me.

fortune

I have kept it in my wallet ever since and just couldn’t throw it away.

And I am taking that big step and I’m excited but definitely afraid. Down right scared, actually. The vomit-inducing kind of scared. But I’m taking the risk because I have to. My home office space is set up, I have a bunch of amazing clients I am thankful for, and I can wake up everyday, drop my daughter at school, and go to work in my yoga pants. I’m literally living the dream, right?

I can also focus on things that have been on my bucket list for too long (like my book).

Thank you to my supporters (and to my haters – you guys are the ones that push me even harder to succeed).

Now let’s get this party started!

 

 

 

 

Dating after Divorce : A South Florida Tradition – NEW from Lifestyle Magazine

Any gal (or guy) with a PR background loves nothing more than some ink (that’s a story – NOT an ad –  in a magazine, newspaper or blog for the non-PR peeps).

So, I am beyond ECSTATIC to bring you article number TWO from Lifestyle Magazine – Boca/Delray.

This time I’m talking a little about dating post divorce. Check it out and let me know what you think!!

You can see it on page 70 of the print version if you get it, or the digital version. Thanks again to Kevin Royale Photography for the pics!

xoxo

Rachel

 

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Club W