Hey Mamas, Let’s Keep it Real, OK?

If you can’t tell, I love when other moms keep it real. Show the good and bad that comes along with motherhood. Like, don’t just tell me about the perfect day you had taking your baby for a stroll in the mall while she slept soundly and didn’t make a peep while you perused aisles of gorgeous shoes in Nordstrom…because we all know you’re leaving out the diaper blowout that cut your shopping splurge short. Tell us that too, because it’s hilarious and relatable.

bethenny

Check out my fresh new post for The Morning Kvetch and let’s cut the Facebook Fanstasyland bullshit, ok?

TheMorningKvetch-Logo

Thanks!

xo

Rachel

A is for Allergies…and Assholes

New today on Suburban Misfit Mom!

Screen Shot 2016-01-14 at 1.22.32 PM

 

My daughter has a peanut allergy. We found it totally by accident while doing some testing for another suspected food allergy. That one came back clear and then the doctor said, “Oh, but she IS allergic to peanuts.”

4 T UMAX     Power Look 2000  V1.8 [5]

4 T UMAX Power Look 2000 V1.8 [5]

It might be hard for some to imagine how we couldn’t have had an inkling since she was 5 when we tested her…plenty of time to witness a reaction, right? Well…she’s also a very picky eater (like basically on a hunger strike, picky) so she had never eaten peanuts, peanut butter or peanut butter cups for that matter (which used to be a staple in my diet).

We went from zero to epipen in 60 seconds. They are in our home, her grandparent’s homes, my purse and school.

epipen

It sucks for her because the reality is that peanut butter runs rampant around children and there are peanuts in so many things you wouldn’t even think about.

The thing that blows my mind is what assholes parents of kids without allergies can be. I’m literally sickened by articles I see, written by moms just like me, and reading the comments from morons who say shit like, “My kid should be able to bring a peanut butter & jelly sandwich for lunch and we shouldn’t have to change our meals because of your kid.” I’m not making that up…some people really think like that AND say it out loud. Yet, I know with every fiber of my body that if THEIR kid was diagnosed with a food allergy they’d be just as flustered by parents like them.

asshole

I just don’t get the disconnect. I can’t tell you how many times people have said things like, “Well, it doesn’t have peanuts…it was only made on equipment that has peanuts.” OY!

I’ve even had people come into my home…MY HOME, and bring pastries or cookies or treats in unmarked boxes and say, “I don’t THINK there are any nuts…I don’t see any or taste any”. I mean, are you effing kidding? Do you also enjoy a lively game of Russian roulette? Why would you even chance it. When in doubt, throw it out.

Listen, you jerks…it’s not that complicated. There are kids in your child’s school who could very well have an anaphylactic reaction just by breathing in peanut fumes. So if you really can’t wait for your kid to get home to have a PB&J sandwich, you’re basically a monster.

It’s easy not to care when your child is not the one affected. But I just wish all parents could have some consideration, compassion and common sense for that matter. Just pretend for one moment that it IS your child and take the same precautions you would take to protect them because I would protect yours just like mine.

No PB&J is worth it. Period.

 

 

Kvetch Your Heart Out

Every Jewish girl learns the art of “Kvetching” (yiddush for complaining) at a young age. It’s just part of our shtick. And guess what…many Jewish men are far worse than the women. Like MASTER kvetchers.

So it’s only fitting that I have a new project writing for an awesome morning show site called The Morning Kvetch! 

Check out my debut article (rant): Dads Don’t Babysit, So Cut The Shit

Babysitting Post

 

 

I Pity the Fool – NEW From Lifestyle Magazine

Being a mom means being bombarded with TONS of advice. Some good, some bad and some just downright annoying. The worst of it though, is the unsolicited advice.

I have a picky eater, who won’t take medicine, and still wakes up multiple times a night to come and get me to lay with her. And there are always those women who think they are going to save me. They seem to think they have all the answers and will not stop shoving them down my throat.

preach

Please for the love of god, just stop.

My child is never going to let me hide meds in chocolate pudding or applesauce – because she won’t eat those things on a regular day. She’s also not going to stay in her bed because I make a glittery sticker chart. I’m well aware of areas that need to be worked on, but would love a little support instead of passive aggressive “suggestions”. I know i’m not alone!

This is such a hot button topic for me, that it’s what I wrote about in my April Lifestyle Magazine column. BTDubs, That’s me channeling Mr. T…get it?

pity-the-fool-740x835

 

 

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

An Open Letter to Marissa Mayer

working mom

Dear Marissa Mayer,

First of all, congratulations on your recent announcement that you are carrying twins. How exciting to be growing your family and welcoming two little girls in the near future.

Now that the niceties are out of the way, let’s get down to business. I’m a little pissed at you. Actually, no,  I’m A LOT pissed at you. And I know I’m not the only one. I’m not a big wig CEO. I don’t work for a high-profile public company. I’m not currently pregnant, but I do work full-time and have a small child. And I certainly do not have access to a generous maternity policy when/if I do become pregnant again, like you do.

On paper you have done a lot right. You are a strong woman in a visible power position and show that there is such thing as legit girl power. You were instrumental in getting a good maternity policy in place at Yahoo, so that employees could at least have some silver lining when it was time to go out on leave.

But, I have to be honest. You REALLY effed up with your latest move.

Let me be clear that I understand you have more on your plate than the average full-time working mom. I commend what you do and can’t really pass judgement on how YOU choose to spend the time with your babies when they are born. But what I am NOT ok with, is you making the rest of us working moms look like assholes who can’t get it together to get back to work 5 minutes after we squeeze a baby out of our vaginas.

The message you are sending is kind of passive aggressive. It’s like you’re saying, “No, no Sally in accounting…you take all the time you need. You be with your baby. I’m just gonna pop mine out, put on some lip gloss and head into the office…like a boss. But you?? No, no…you don’t have to.” It’s a lot of pressure.

I don’t want to get on the whole soapbox of women vs. men in the workplace. But you have just set working women back again. By being an overachiever during one of the most exhausting and emotional times of a woman’s life.

I took a full three months off when I had my first baby. I did not have full-time help. Her father was working crazy hours in a residency program. I was on maybe 3 hours of sleep a night, waking up every two to breastfeed, my body was a mess, my nipples were impossibly sore. I was frequently peed, puked and pooped on. I couldn’t get laundry done fast enough sometimes to have clean onesies for her when I needed them. When I couldn’t get her to stop crying, I often cried too. I had to pull her bouncy seat in the bathroom so I could shower. And when it was time to go back to work, I had to dig through clothes to find something without spit up or breast milk on it. I cried that whole first week – partially out of exhaustion and partially out of guilt from leaving my baby girl – my world. I knew in my heart I was setting a good example for her. Showing her that mommies went to work too and could have strong careers and juggle it all. But you know what the truth is?

Juggling is fucking hard.

So when you act all easy breezy and blow off the maternity leave meant for the “rest of us” it does in fact send a message whether you want to believe it or not. It belittles the ideal that women CAN and SHOULD take some time off to bond with their babies. They grow up so fast and these moments are precious and you can’t get them back.

Let’s be real – there were other options here. You could work from home a little, no? As smart and instrumental as you are, I highly doubt Yahoo would go out of business if you took a REAL maternity leave. I think they’d be just fine.

Being a woman in the workforce is no picnic and we NEED people like you to continue to go to bat for us because YOU have more influence than someone like me…and the rest of us normal folk. If people saw someone like you say –  “You know what Yahoo? It’s been real, but I’m gonna take a few months off (yes I will be checking email and available via phone if anyone needs me) because my kids are my priority. Peace out.” – it would send a message than benefits working women everywhere. Especially those of us who would KILL for a maternity policy like yours. and THAT to me is the picture of a powerful female CEO. One who can be vulnerable, realistic and kind of like other working moms.

You may not exactly be one of US, but maybe you should consider what it’s like for the real women in “other” trenches before you make a statement like this.

Respectfully,

Rachel Sobel

Club W

Mommy Meddlers

ecards6-636

I have written many a rant about the annoying types of mothers you encounter when you are in the throes of mommyhood.

I’ve also written about my own child’s picky eating, challenging sleep habits and overall strong-willed personality.

But when you combine the two…Oy to the effing Vey.

And with my child being sick over the last week, the mommy meddling was driving me to drink.

It’s hard to find mom friends you actually like (versus having an obligation to hang out with because your kid likes theirs.)

Thankfully I have been blessed with mom friends who would be my friends even if there were no kids in the equation (That’s the trick I think).

I definitely have strong opinions (about everything, I’ll admit it), however, I do not preach and make moms feel like shit for not doing things the way I do. If you ask my opinion I will gladly give it, but I am not the end all be all and I know that. So when mommies start to meddle and tell me all the things I should absolutely be doing because there’s just no other way, I tune them out like I tune out every sales person who tries to sell me some kind of bullshit extended care warranty.

Fact: My kid is the pickiest eater on the planet. It’s not fun for me and I don’t enjoy it. The struggle is real. So when you tell me it’s because she wasn’t exposed to enough or I just need to keep putting new foods on her plate, I want to punch you in the throat. Especially if you don’t have children and haven’t had to endure the harrowing tactics of getting food in their body even if it involves bribing them with money – like take a tiny bite of that carrot and I will give you a dollar. I’ve even resorted to trafficking live animals to bolster her protein in take. “Try mommy’s meatball and I’ll buy you a pet fish”.

And for the record, the child used to eat avocado and hummus by the fistful, yogurt, bananas, grapes, strawberries and other “good stuff”. Then she basically turned 3 and staged toddler coup which included a food boycott with no warning and no explanation.

So, when she’s sick, or needs meds (which obviously she won’t take willingly because she loves to torture me), I literally have nowhere to hide them. And fewer things rile me up more than a mommy meddler spouting things like:

“Just hide it in applesauce!” (What a great idea!!!! How come I didn’t think of that?? Oh, I know! Because she doesn’t eat applesauce on a regular day, much less when I need to use it as a conduit to hide something)

“They make gummies you know!” (What the what?!?! You’re kidding!! Oh wait…my child doesn’t like candy!)

“Mix it in chocolate milk! She’ll never know!” Really?!! Because a) I’m not sure what part of picky eater you didn’t understand and I’ve already told you my daughter drinks water and plain milk, no deviations, about 30 times but for some reason you won’t believe me. b) I recently did a jig in the medicine aisle when I saw they made unflavored pedialyte, only to find that to my child, it did in fact have enough of a flavor for her to refuse it. Once, I hid a drop (no exaggeration) of fruity tasting antibiotic in her drinkable yogurt (which she used to easily throw back 3 a day of) about 3 years ago. She took one sip, looked at me, shook her head no and has not had one since.

And please stop feigning shock when you suggest things that your child will gladly eat or drink, but mine won’t. It’s exhausting.

Maybe not to you and your perfectly nutritioned kids, but to the mother of a picky eater, we just want you to STFU and go bake some zucchini millet muffins I’m sure your child will devour while mine sticks to plain white cheese sticks, “but only the kind with nothing on the label and only white mommy!”

And I also don’t want to hear about how my child is not sleeping all night because of X, Y and Z.

I love my child fiercely and EVERYTHING I do, every decision I make is done with her best interest in mind. I know this little girl like the back of my hand – what she’s gonna say, what makes her tick, what’s going to make her smile. I do a lot of things right as a mom and a lot of things wrong too.

But here’s what I am NOT going to do to combat my child’s sleeping patterns, no matter how much YOU think it’s a great idea and keep trying to convince me of all the things I do wrong.

1) Lock my 6 year old in her room. (She’s 6, not a baby in a crib, that’s basically false imprisonment at this point, not parenting)

2) Play human barricade and hold her door shut until she just gets tired of trying to escape and gives up (see above point)

3) Let her cry it out. Again, she’s 6. There is no “crying it out”. She will get up and come to me. So if you really think that’s a viable option you either do not have children, or at the very least, they are still at the age where the “cry-it-out-for-3-days-then-you’re-golden” is a silver bullet to everything. God I miss those days.

4) Bribe her. Let me be clear that this is not because of my unwillingness to partake in this behavior, it’s because it doesn’t work. She doesn’t want a new toy or gadget in return for staying asleep all night. She wants her mommy because for 6 years of her life, in 3 different states, a divorce and 5 different houses she’s always had me tuck her in and lay with her until she’s asleep and even spent time in my bed when I got too tired to usher her back 5 times, up until I moved into the MoneyPit and SLS moved in.

5) Make a sleep chart with stickers. My kid does not give a shit about documenting her sleeping success on a sleep chart.

I also do not send my kid to school sick (even with a runny nose), I don’t helicopter parent and I don’t get into discussions about vaccinating children. That I have SUPER strong opinions about (In the interest of full disclosure, I believe in them and there’s not a single mommy meddler who is going to change my mind.)

I’ve noticed as I’ve gotten older with every year of parenting that passes, I don’t maintain friendships with moms who get all preachy and have extremely different beliefs and worst of all, are mommy meddlers. I don’t purposely weed them out (well, sometimes I do) it just happens organically as it would with lots of relationships. While my current roster of mommy friends is not completely homogenous in our beliefs, when it comes to the really big stuff we’re more or less all on the same page. There are places we certainly differ, but we have enough respect for each other to keep our pie holes shut and let each other do what works without judgement. Everyone doesn’t have to see things my way and vice versa. The differences in opinion are important because everyone needs a sounding board. But I can’t use a sounding board if its core goes completely against mine.

Yes, differences are good and keep us from turning into a village of robotic Stepford Wives, but there has to be enough commonality with the stuff beyond what stroller you prefer and what kind of diapers you use. It’s not so different from a dating or marital relationship. You can like different TV shows or different flavors of ice cream, but if you don’t come together on the really big stuff, like how you are going to discipline your child, you’re EFFED!

Life is crazy and chaotic and I just don’t have a reserve of patience for mommy meddlers. I prefer honest, candid, down-to-earth, non alarmist mommy friends. I guess you could say I like my mom friends to be like my boobs – 100% real.

 

The Qtip Incident

I’m an independent girl. I have always savored alone time. When I traveled for work I reveled in having an entire hotel room to myself and even enjoying some solo meals. I LOVE having a partner, but I’m not a clingy, let’s do everything together kind of person.

I’m just not that girl.

Post-divorce I lived for 3 years with just my daughter and got very used to that routine. But obviously with impending nuptials comes cohabitation. So the time came for SLS to move into the house. And I was equal parts excited and freaked out. He’s wonderful and amazing and so very good to me, so it had nothing to do with him. But it’s very hard when you get used to YOUR space, to learn how to share it again.

Frankly, I really wanted him to just throw everything he owned out (most of it I hated anyway) and come to the living situation with his clothes…like a hobo with one of those stick/bag thingys. But obviously that’s not reality.

hobostick5

I’m not as Type A as my mother who balks at throw pillows and refuses to keep toilet paper in plain site, but I absolutely like order and a tidy home. I make my bed minutes after getting out of it. Rarely do I leave dishes in the sink and never will you find my clothes on the floor. I like things the way I like them.

So SLS moved in the weekend I was away with my girlfriends for #Rachelorette. It wasn’t planned that way on purpose, but it was definitely best for everyone. You see, having moved in almost a month before, I was completely settled and the idea of going through it again made my chest tight. I (half)jokingly told SLS to call me before he put anything away and begged him to please make sure the collateral damage was minimal when I walked back in on Sunday afternoon.

He’s a little bit scared of me so he lovingly obliged and he really did a phenomenal job. There were maybe 2 unpacked boxes but everything else was put away.

And then I lost it…over something ridiculous.

I was putting away my stuff from the weekend and when I opened the bottom bathroom vanity drawer, I saw it. A tattered plastic bag with cheap, generic Qtips – the kind that basically bend the second you touch them to your ear. I lost my cookies. Seriously. Snotty, ugly crying which prompted SLS to come in the bedroom to see what was wrong.

qtip1

As I sat there on the edge of the bed barely able to get the words out through my tears and anxiety, I heard myself talking and I knew it sounded insane.

“And I opened the drawer and your stupid cheap Qtips are just thrown in there on top of all my stuff and I can’t take it!!!!!!!”

One thing about SLS is that he basically has a PHd in handling my Rachelness. He looked at me (clearly trying not to laugh), stood up, retrieved his dumb Qtips and threw them out immediately. He did this knowing it was never about the Qtips. It doesn’t take a professional to realize that I was having a freak out about actually having to share my space, that manifested in a tantrum over generic ear swabs (which beeTDubs, SLS, if you ever by those again you’re in trouble).

The Qtip incident was the culmination of all of my fear and anxiety about a MAJOR life change.

I went from having a little routine with me and a 6yr old, to living with a man and his two dogs. At 38 years old, it’s not such an easy feat to change gears like that. It’s a HUGE change, and while a wonderful milestone, you’re kidding yourself if you think it doesn’t throw you for a loop.

And the freak out didn’t end there. Already on edge from the previous night, when I walked in the very next day after a long day at work with an exhausted child who still needed to do homework, eat dinner and be bathed, I was effing livid to find that the Chihuahua (who I already kind of hate for a lot of reasons…he may be cute but he can be a major asshole) marked his territory on my brand new wood floors and brand new dining room table leg. While I would NEVER harm an animal, I have never wanted to punt something across the effing yard so bad.

I grew up with dogs my whole life but something happened to me when I had a child. And I don’t hate dogs now, but I just don’t have patience for the responsibility that comes along with a dog (and now I have TWO).

I tried to take deep breaths, and to channel George Castanza – SERENITY NOW!!! But they were futile attempts.

It’s got to get easier, right? I mean it’s Week 1.

No. Such. Luck.

That little shit gave me a 1-day reprieve before he took a turn on the other dining room table leg. I seriously turned into the HULK, bulging veins and all. I was so beyond mad that I probably could have broken a wooden plank with one punch. I sent SLS a rage-filled text detailing my thoughts on viable options on how to deal with this, poured myself a glass of wine and gave the dog bitch-face dirty looks until SLS got home.

He shortly thereafter contacted a trainer and we are in the process of trying to de-assholeify the dog.

Another good part about my relationship with SLS, is that we are solid. So even despite these anxiety-inducing instances, there’s never a question in my mind that we are forever. (There is however a question in my mind if the Chihuahua will have the privilege of remaining an inside dog or if he himself will don a price tag for our garage sale. Until then, the little shit has to be crated until a trainer can get him with the program.)

It’s interesting how your perspective changes with age and life experiences. When you are young and naive, you think all of these life moments are going to play out like fairly tales. But that’s not life. THIS is life. The craziness, the chaos, the clumps of dog hair I find blowing around like small tumbleweeds across my beautiful bamboo floors. It’s real and it’s mine and I wouldn’t trade it for anything…except maybe a dog that DOESN’T pee in my house and bark when the wind blows.

Thank god SLS is worth it.

 

Things that Annoy Me: The Social Media Edition

Unfortunately I am old enough to remember a time when Facebook (and all social media) did not exist.  The closest thing to it was when AOL hit the scene and me and my girlfriends would hang out in creepy chat rooms engaging in fabricated conversations with what I’m sure was the next person with a starring role on “To Catch a Predator”.  My screen name BTDubs was Bitesize98 – Bitesize being a nickname given to me by some of my brother’s friends.  It was a cute, ghetto euphemism for calling me petite.  (Interestingly enough that was followed by another size-based nickname. This one from the owner of the entertainment company I worked for when I had to deal with bar mitzvah boy boners every weekend. That one was “Lil Bit”)

Anyway, I digress.

When Facebook became open to the masses and not just hungover college students, I was working in tech PR in Boston.  Our agency principal insisted we all have Facebook accounts because social was blowing up and bleeding its way into business.  I so did not want it. Was adamantly against doing it actually. But, we all did. (Same thing happened with Twitter btw, which I still don’t like for personal use, but totally get for business.)

So here I am, with a stupid Facebook page, and my only friends are other agency folk who I literally see every day.  So dumb.

But then, something started to happen.  All of a sudden, people from all periods in my life – from elementary school to college to camp to jobs I forgot I ever had – started to emerge and send friend requests. It was CRAY!

And just like that, I changed my tune. It was incredible catching up with people. Seeing pictures of their families, their kids.  Getting updated on what everyone was doing with their lives. Seeing ex boyfriends get fat. It was like a life reunion.

And I still love it. But… there are things that go on that make me want to rip every hair out of my head.  So here they are.

1) SELFIES

Ladies and Gents - the Queen of the Obnoxious Selfie

Ladies and Gents – the Queen of the Obnoxious Selfie

Let me be clear. I know almost everyone takes selfies. I’ve dabbled myself. But there’s a difference between an occassional solo selfie, or a selfie with your friends or kids.  And then there’s that thing where your entire Facebook feed is literally selfie, after selfie, after selfie…of just you, standing in the bathroom mirror…wanting to show everyone how hot you are. We get it. You have a great body and are super pretty. Now fill your feed with some variety and throw some guests in those pics.  I’d like to see what else you have going on in your little world instead of how many shades of lipstick you’re experimenting with every week.

2) ALL OF THE THINGS I CAN’T EAT

danger

Jesus Effing Christ. I can’t take it. I don’t even know what I can eat anymore.  Everything is contaminated, or bad for you, or will shave 5 years off your life.  Don’t eat carbs. Wait you can eat carbs, just not white flour.  No cow’s milk unless it’s organic. Wait don’t do that. Have almond milk instead. But only this one brand because the rest is bad for you and contains ingredients you shouldn’t have.  Stay away from Soy because it makes men grow boobs.  Oh, and don’t use shampoo because it gives you cancer.

Every damn day, I have countless posts about all of the things to stay away from and I start to feel like the overwhelming majority of my friends list must work for the CDC based on the information they are publicizing.  And before you attack, I am not talking about posts related to food allergies so relax, slow your roll.

3) MY KIDS ARE BETTER THAN YOURS

mama

I already have issues with people on Facebook who have selective sharing. You know who I am talking about.  The ones whose lives, in the form of status updates, look like something straight out of fantasy land.  We all have em’ and this isn’t the first time I’ve voiced my disdain.  Post after post about how their kids ate something from every food group for every meal, dressed themselves in perfectly pressed clothing, shared their homemade, not from concentrate, hand squeezed orange juice with the homeless, got 10 straight A’s on their homework and have a viable plan for world peace.  Cut the shit and balance that goodness out with a post about the diaper blow out your youngest had at the mall and how your husband hated your haircut.  Seriously.

4) VACCINES

vacc

I can’t even elaborate on this. And yes everyone is entitled to their opinion but some people are so effing ignorant in what they choose to post that it gets me crazy.  I get that Facebook is all about freedom of speech, but I think stupidity should be a caveat.

5) CELEBRITY DEATHS

celeb

Every time a celebrity dies, I feel a pinch of anxiety knowing that The Book is going to be flooded with RIPs. I know people are showing their respects, but it’s like a shiva that will never end.

6) SENDING ME GAME REQUESTS

office game requests

I don’t want to be in your mafia, I don’t want to work on your farm. I don’t want to give you candy.  Just stop. It’s never going to happen. You have a better chance of getting me to pop bottles in Miami.

So for the love of god, I know Facebook is ours to do what we want with. But just try not to be as asshole ALL the time.  Everything in moderation people.