Now that I’m a mom of two boys, I’m slowly starting to realize how gross they really are. In fact, I feel like I’m re-living my college days when I was in a relationship with a fraternity boy.  Even though there are not any Greek letters hoisted above my front door; the smells and mess you encounter when you enter – will definitely have you questioning whether or not an entire fraternity lives here.  Hopefully one day, I’ll have my own private bathroom and space that will be off-limits to those grimy little minions – or at least have a live in housekeeper as soon as I win the lotto.

Until then, here are 10 reasons why living with a toddler (son) is like living in a frat house:

  • They Are Proud Of Their Bowel Movements. Every time my son goes to the bathroom he has to show me. “Momma, look what I did – Ta Da!” You know you’re a mom when you actually go look and then react by giving a high-five.
  • They Have Sub-Par Hygiene.   I have to threaten my son to brush his teeth.  I usually tell him his teeth are going to fall out if he doesn’t brush them.  Mean, I know, but I can’t stand his rotten caracas breath.  He wipes snot on his arms, his feet smell, and I’ll spare you the details and not discuss his butt-wiping capabilities.
  • They Have Poor Aim. Pee is everywhere.  Riddle me this – how hard is it to pee into a giant hole when you’re standing less than an inch away from the toilet? Why is this concept so difficult for men / boys?
  • They Pass Gas Anytime – Anywhere. Usually any breaking wind is accompanied by giggles so I don’t mind this as much. If you’re a grown man –then it’s not cute.
  • They Like To Touch Themselves.  Even my eight month old immediately reaches for his boy parts the second his diaper comes off. Just last week, my toddler pulled his pants down to show my mother-in-law his privates.  Men and their pride – I guess it starts at birth.
  • They Pull All-Nighters.  My son is going through a growth spurt and he’s a night owl, which means sleepless nights for me too.  Even if he goes to bed late he’s up by 6 am. I can’t wait until he’s a teenager and sleeps around the clock.
  • Their Rooms Are Trashed. I clean my boys’ room  at least four times a day and it still looks like a tornado ravished it. To find a pair of socks my son insists on pulling every piece of clothing out first and then proceeds to throw everything on the floor.
  • They Sneak In Your Bed. Always when your not looking too.  Every night my son goes to sleep in his bed, yet every morning I wake up and he’s in mine. Secretly I love this because one day he won’t want to cuddle with me, and I’m not ready for that just yet.
  • They Are Vomit Comets.  Toddlers are projectile vomit machines – in case you didn’t know. It usually happens when you’re wearing a nice outfit and it comes out of nowhere.
  • They Have No Filter. Leave it to your kid to embarrass you every chance they get. Offensive language is just part of their daily lives. Honesty is a virtue, but when you have a toddler – it’s a curse.

While I try teach my son to mind his P’s and Q’s now, I’m hoping as he gets older his manners will be more prominent in our daily lives. But first things first – we need to focus on his aim.

frat

 

 

Is It Time For A Social Media Makeover?

As social media becomes more of a permanent fixture in our everyday lives, I think it’s important to understand some unwritten rules. Social media’s sole purpose is to share information by connecting with others. It can be a very powerful platform for social change and spreading awareness, but it has also been known as a place where people introduce us to their alter egos. If you portray yourself online the same way you do when someone cuts you off while driving – it’s time for a social media makeover.

I spent the last two weeks asking friends, colleagues, family and strangers what they dislike most about social media’s alter ego’s and what etiquette tips they would like to share. Below are some of my results.

You know you need a social media makeover when:

  • You post negative comments about your relationship, marriage or family problems. This, not surprisingly, was the number one complaint. It’s not necessary to air your dirty laundry on social media. It makes your followers uncomfortable and it’s depressing – save the drama for your momma!
  • You send endless app invites. Not everyone is interested in Candy Crush. I appreciate you thinking of me but after the first two denials, it’s best to just move on.

candy crush

  • Every picture you post is a “Selfie”. Yes you are fabulous, but we already know that, so try and diversify your picture taking skills.
  • You only post pictures that you look amazing in, and then tag all your friends who look less than appealing. If your friends do not look amazing too, ask for their permission before you start tagging them.
  • You never comment on or “like” any of your network’s posts, but the minute something slightly political is posted you take the opportunity to rant and insult their beliefs. If you’re going to rant on someone’s page at least you could wish him or her a Happy Birthday or say the picture of his or her kid is cute too. Trolling is not cute.
  • You post ambiguous statements like, “I can’t believe that just happened.” Then – crickets. Don’t leave your followers in suspense or allow us to guess through dozens of comments.
  • You take every quiz available and post your results. A few are fine, but do we really need to know what Disney character you would be? (P.S. I would be Belle. Duh.)

belle

While social media has allowed our voices to be heard, we can agree those voices still need to follow the Golden Rule we all learned as kids: Treat others as you would want to be treated – oh, and lay off the Farmville invites.

 

 

 

My New Obsession

I have a newfound obsession. Wait for it…..cloth diapers! I’ve been considering cloth diapering for a while now and always knew in the back of my mind it would save a lot of money and Miss Mother Earth. I’m not sure what my initial apprehension was besides admittedly being lazy.  With a toddler and a baby my time is money. I thought cloth diapering would be too time consuming and – for a lack of a better word – gross.

My only knowledge of cloth diapers was what our moms used on us back in the 70’s and 80’s. They used a tri-fold cotton rectangle fabric that was pretzel(ed) around our little waists and secured with safety pins – then topped off with some plastic under ware. This method did not appeal to me. Trying to put a regular diaper on a squirmy baby is sometimes torture, I couldn’t imagine having to pin it too!

Bebes40s-2

Wanting to learn more I reached out to a few friends to seek advice, but my curiosity eventually faded. It wasn’t until I actually saw a cloth diaper on a baby that made me immediately change my mind. Why did I change my mind? Because they are so freakin’ cute! The stylish girl I once had the time to be – had to have them!

Being an over analyzer, I did do some research before jumping into cloth diaper land. I wanted to make sure I had the patience (and stomach) to handle washing my own diapers, or if I needed to hire a service. I also wanted to calculate all expenses to make sure it was worth the investment. In the end, I decided to go for it and I haven’t missed disposable diapers yet!

In fact, since receiving my cloth diapers I’ve become very protective of my stash. It’s actually kind of weird. I count them everyday to make sure I know where they’re at. I also coordinate them by color and keep them on their own special shelf. My husband thinks I’m crazy, which is partially true, but I want to safeguard our investment since they have to last for the next few years.

In case you were on the fence regarding cloth diapering or didn’t know much about them (like me); I’ve complied a list of helpful tips below:

  • Watch Youtube videos! There are hundreds of tutorials on how to use and wash your diapers, along with reviews for all the different kinds of cloth diapers on the market.
  • Join Facebook groups on cloth diapering. They provide a lot information and there is always a live person to answer any questions. It’s like having your own personal customer service!
  • Try a couple from different brands to see what you like best before buying a full stash. I have G Baby, Bum Genius and Thirsites. So far I like them all. G Baby has cloth inserts and disposable inserts (which are flushable) to put inside a plastic insert. Bum Genius have pockets to insert the cotton insert or built in ones, and Thirsties you will need to by pre-fold inserts.
  • No blowouts with cloth diapers! This is amazing. I haven’t had any blowouts or leaks. They are a little more bulky than disposable diapers, but it hasn’t been a problem in regards to baby’s clothes fitting properly.
  • Buy a sprayer for your toilet. I have one made by BumGenius and it is very easy to install. You can use this to ‘spray’ off any residue from number 2’s, instead of dunking it in the toilet. It makes the clean up so much easier! They are $60 and worth it. Plus you can sell it later.

toliet

  • Buy some odor / spot remover. You’ll need this if you launder yourself. I use Babyganics.
  • Buy a wet bag to store the diapers in until you do your wash – usually every two days. Try to let air in the bag otherwise the diapers get stinky.  You can find these on Diapers.com or Amazon.
  • Regarding washing – I do a rinse cycle (cold water), then wash with ¼ cup of laundry soap in hot water. Then I line dry or lay out to dry to save their life span. For stains, either do the above twice or lay them out in the sun. The sun naturally bleaches! It’s like magic!
  • You’ll need about 16-20 diapers to complete a stash, otherwise you’ll be doing laundry more often. Be sure to buy the diapers and inserts.
  • My electric nor water bill has increased from using the washing machine.
  • You can use the inserts as wipes to save money too.
  • A Chicago diaper service I would recommend (if you go that route) is Green Diaper Babies. The owner is Shannon, she’s awesome!
  • If you get diapers with Velcro make sure to close them before washing, or they fray any other items in the wash.  I learned this the hard way.

Overall, I love them! My only regret is not starting earlier! Let me know if you have any other questions in the comments or share your tips for our readers!

Here’s to saving money and the earth!

alex diaper model

 

If you’re a parent you’ve probably learned by now that vacationing with kids is really not a vacation at all. As someone who loves to travel, I was blindsided once having kids with all the do’s and don’ts of vacationing as a family. Traveling is not always easy, and some trips you may find are more trouble than they’re worth. I admit in past excursions I’ve made serious rookie mistakes that cost my family’s temporary sanity, but each trip down has been another lesson learned. I’m not an expert yet, but there have been less tears and more fun infused in our recent vacations.

In lieu of summer break when families tend to go on their great adventures, I’ve compiled a list of survival tips when traveling with kids. You can thank me later.

traveling_with_toddler

It’s not about you – it’s about them. Once you realize this, you’ll enjoy yourself a lot more. Kids do not understand the concept of relaxation, nor do they care about white-sand beaches and exquisite food and wine. Choose a destination that welcomes and caters to kids. I love the Apps MiniTime and Trekaroo; they give you lists of kid friendly hotels, attractions, restaurants and shopping in any destination!

Lower Your Expectations. Expect the worst, hope for the best. Many of us build up these grand illusions of our vacations, only to be disappointed when real life gets in the way. There will be delays, fights, and snags in your plans. Accept it and prepare, that’s all you can do. When you set your expectations low, everything else will seem like a bonus!

Plan Travel Times During Nap Times. If you have a three-hour flight, try to plan it when your little ones usually nap. At first the excitement will take over, but once they feel the vibration of the plane – it’s lights out. Once your kids are asleep, that’s when your vacation really starts! Go ahead and have that glass of wine or dive into your book because this peace will not last.

Stay Away From Sugar. Don’t, I repeat, don’t give your kids any candy, juice, chocolate, etc., during travel times. You might think this is a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised. Once on a flight with my toddler, the flight attendant gave my son a piece of chocolate candy to try and deter him from yelling, “Wakey, Wakey” to all the sleeping passengers around us. In theory it may have been a good idea, but I still had two hours to tame the wild beast in him before we landed. I cried on that flight and luckily I had veteran parents around me consoling me. I vowed never to fly with him alone again – and I haven’t.

Pack Heavy. This mostly pertains to toys and entertainment. Young kids have the attention span of a dog. Any shinny thing in their line of sight will send them running. Take a whole suitcase of toys, extra batteries, chargers, and coloring books, really anything that fits. Don’t be the idiot who forgets to charge the iPad before you get on a plane too – like me. Download a lot of kid friendly Apps that don’t require the Internet in case your flight or car doesn’t have Wi-Fi. Some of my favorites are: MoonfryeKidsDoodlePBS Kids, and Puzzingo.

Make An Itinerary. Create a schedule of events and stick to it. Kids are creatures of habit; they like to follow schedules and direction. Fill their days up with activities so at night they welcome sleep. More sleep for them, more peace for you. Trust me on this – a bored kid equals a disaster.

Bring help. If possible bring guests on your trip. Parents, in-laws, friends and nannies make for great babysitters when you need a break. As much money as you spend on these vacations you deserve at least one kid-free dinner with your significant other.

Overall, the most important thing you need to remember is to let your kids be kids on vacation. Once you allow this, it might just bring out the inner-kid in you.

 

Six Reasons Why Vacationing With Kids Sucks

My family and I are planning a mini vacation (and by vacation I mean a three-hour road trip to visit some friends – not a real vacation), but as I sit here packing as if we were going on a trip to Europe, I’m already reconsidering our decision. You see, once you have kids – vacations are not really vacations any more.

I remember when vacations used to be fun. They were something I looked forward to, but now they have become quite the chore. Pre-kids my husband and I were fortunate enough to travel to white-sand beaches, stay at high-end resorts, and go on European adventures thanks to my job working for a global hotel company.

In Croatia – Living the dream..

In Croatia – Living the dream..

Nowadays, we are lucky if we have the energy (or money) to take our family of four anywhere. But to be honest with you, I’m not sure I care because traveling with young kids sucks – and here are six reasons why:

  • You need to take a whole lot of crap. Between bottles, pumps, clothes, diapers, diapers, and more diapers, wipes, toys, snacks, entertainment, strollers, car seats, travel beds, etc., you literally need an extra plane to carry all your belongings. A personal staff to help carry all your items would be nice too! My husband and I are usually sweating and exhausted before we even reach our flight gate, and the worst part is knowing we have to do it all over again when we get home!
  • Other travelers and TSA are not very family-friendly. Yes, we get it. Everyone is in a rush and needs to get where they are going. I know you hate my kids and me; I can see it in your body language as I unload all my items on the conveyer belt in the security line. I also notice the eye rolls when TSA demands to check my bottles to make sure they’re indeed breast milk. But please have a little compassion – especially if you have kids of your own. If you think it sucks for you, multiply that by ten to know how bad it sucks for me.
  • Apparently you now have to be a millionaire to go on vacation. To be able to afford a vacation with kids these days you literally need to save for years. I don’t want to eat Ramen noodles for breakfast, lunch and dinner so I guess our vacations will be stay-cations for awhile. Just a Disney cruise is over $4,000 and that doesn’t include flights, entertainment, drinks or souvenirs. Who wants to spend that kind of money just to see Mickey Mouse?  Does he do house calls? He totally should!
  • It’s the same chaos just in a different place. You still have to follow the same rules and schedules, except now your kids are amped up on adrenaline and excitement! Because of the new environment they don’t sleep or follow a schedule and essentially turn into living nightmares.
  • You can’t enjoy yourself. Unless you bring a babysitter, it’s not your vacation – it’s your kid’s vacation. The world still revolves around them no matter where you are.  The days of hanging out in the spar or at the pool are long gone my friends. I know – depressing.
  • You can’t drink (a lot). Unfortunately you still have to be a responsible parent even if you’re on the beach. Achieving a fun buzz isn’t so fun when you have to wake up at 6 am with screaming babies and crazy toddlers. What’s a vacation if you can’t have a few margaritas at the pool? Not one at all.

I long for the days when I don’t need a vacation from my vacation with my kids, when I can sit down for a nice dinner with my husband and listen to waves crashing, or read a book as I lounge on a white sand beach. Will I ever have a vacation like that again? Maybe once my boys get older? It will get easier, right? Here’s hoping for a miracle.

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Will it ever be this relaxing again?

 

Call us crazy – because we are.

Along with being a mom, a wife, Kari’s corporate job, my freelance work, this blog,  and our philanthropic efforts and volunteerism,  we decided to add another new role to our already very busy lives.  We joined the team at Rodan + Fields as Independent Consultants. Since we’ve always had success as a team, we knew we both had to join as a team! We also know a great opportunity when we see one.

Rodan + Fields are the brilliant doctors behind Proactiv® and because of their global success, they decided to create a multi-step anti-aging skin care line. Their line was originally under the umbrella of Esteé Lauder and sold in high-end department stores, where they achieved top sales in the skin care market.  During the recession they purchased the company back and made the products available only through Independent Consultants.  The goal was to make the products affordable and available to everyone without an appointment to the Dermatologists.  It was their best decision to date.  In just 5 years they grew to an $108 million dollar company, and are expanding rapidly to include a launch in Canada this August – and this is just the beginning!

Lately there’s been a lot of buzz in the media about this booming company that you may have heard. They recently won the Ethos award from the DSA for Best Product Innovation, they were featured in Forbes, the Harvard Business School, The Wall Street Journal, seen on the Today show, The Ellen Show and Fox Business News.  If you would like more information regarding the products or joining the team, you can message us at mg2sanity (at) gmail (dot) com or go to our websites: Holly or Kari. 

In honor of our new roles and having a very successful few months with the company so far, we wanted to thank all of you – our loyal readers for the past two years by doing a giveaway!  We will try every month to do a giveaway of free product!

This month the giveaway is FIVE free mini-facials!  We will draw five winners on Sunday, June 8.  To enter, leave a comment below and say “enter” or comment on this Facebook post “enter”.   Good luck! Next week we will continue with posts about how we try not to suck at being moms. XO- Holly & Kari.

R + F

 

 

 

Five Rules When Play – Dating

Since becoming a parent I’ve tried to focus on building my network of new-parent friends, but truth be told, it’s been difficult. Being a busy, working mom, I barely have any energy at the end of the day. When I pick up my kids from daycare the last thing I want to do is socialize and scout out new play-date potentials.  Because let’s be honest here, I’m really just scouting out the other moms to see if they are as cool as me – who cares if the kids get along, right?  Most toddlers don’t get along anyway.  They spend all their playtime fighting and tattling on who’s not sharing. I’m the one who needs the friend – and a drinking buddy.

Through this awkward scouting process I’ve realized that rules apply when setting up play-dates, just as they did when you were a participant on the dating scene.

To help you in your quest for the perfect partner, here are five rules you need to know when jumping into the play-dating pool.

  1. Always approach the other parent as a better version of yourself. You know… like you’re the perfect mom who does it all and has it all. Why wouldn’t she want to hang around you and be just as fabulous?

 

  1. Make the initial interaction seem spontaneous. Meaning – you’ve actually been scouting them for a while, however you don’t want them to think you’re some kind of creep-ster. Randomly approach them and start the conversation with, “I don’t normally do this, but…”.  They know you’re a liar – but at least it breaks the ice.

 

  1. Ask for their E-mail address not their phone number. No one likes phone calls these days.Who has time for that? If you do get a number, only text. Just like with dating you want to abide by the three-day rule. If you reach out the same night you met, you’ll seem like a stalker who doesn’t have any other friends. Also, when emailing make sure to stress how busy you are, but may be able to squeeze them in. This always makes you sound important.

 

  1. Ease into the ‘Friend Request’. Wait until after a few play-dates to build a Facebook, or any other social media, relationship. Again, you’ll seem way to eager. Plus, I would rather have a few conversations before you see pictures of me from college dancing on bars that my friends so graciously posted for Throw-Back-Thursday.

 

  1. On the play-date make sure your kid doesn’t do the first ‘asshole’ thing. You don’t want to be the first one to say, “He normally doesn’t act like this, he’s just tired.” Truth is – your kid does act like this most of the time, but you can’t blow his cover until after the honeymoon phase. Once the honeymoon phase is over, you can settle into a nice, real, relationship and start fighting over which kid left the toilet seat up.

It would be nice, like when dating, if moms could just cut to the chase. Aren’t we a little too old for games? Weren’t we tortured enough just trying to land our husbands? Either way, if you follow these simple rules above you’re sure to build your network of mom-friends. Off to scout more play-dates!

 

By now we all know that managing life, family, and a career can sometimes seem impossible. With the advancement of technology over the last two decades, work tasks have become much easier. However, these advancements have created an always-accessible work expectation. Having worked in corporate America for over a decade, the most important thing I’ve learned is how imperative it is to set boundaries not only for yourself – but for your superiors as well.

Setting boundaries and adhering to them promotes a healthy work-life balance. Working hard does not mean working longer hours or being plugged-in at all times. In fact, working longer hours has proven to be unproductive. The more time you allow yourself to complete a task, the more time you will take to do so. Before long you’ll find yourself overwhelmed and the quality of your work will inevitably suffer.

Working hard by working smart is the key to a successful balance. You must know your limits and know when it’s necessary to unplug. If you allow your colleagues to always interrupt your personal time – this will become habit. If you answer client emails at midnight – this will become their future expectation. Once these behaviors are set, there’s no turning back. I spent many years learning this the hard way. What started out as kind gestures, quickly turned into the status quo.  Eventually this environment I created took over my life.

Working after birth

(Picture of me the day after I gave birth – still working)

Accessibility can be beneficial if you know how to manage it. Technology allows you to work from anywhere, but it also allows you to always work. Here are some tips to assist you in learning how to manage your accessibility.

Each day periodically use the DND (Do not disturb) button on your phone.

If you are up against a deadline try to limit all your distractions for at least an hour. You’ll be amazed at how much you get done. Use this button on your cell phone once you get home too, even if it’s only a few nights a week. It allows you to focus on your family and enjoy your free time without constantly checking email or text messages.

Learn to say “No”.

Don’t get the reputation of always saying, “Yes!” Once the word gets out, everyone will bring his or her concerns and projects to you. You have enough on your plate, so it is perfectly acceptable to decline from time to time.

Vacation means you’re on vacation.

Answering emails and making calls while on vacation is a big mistake. It’s rare to even take a vacation, so why not enjoy it? If you seem available, work will make you available.

Prioritize your tasks.

If something can wait until tomorrow – do it tomorrow. I used to be that person who had to clear my desk before I went home. Once I learned how to delegate and prioritize my work in order of importance, I was able to manage my day and get home at a decent hour. Set a goal of what you need to accomplish and work toward it in your allotted time. Anything remaining will be there when you wake up – I promise.

Set your expectation early on.

Let people know your limits. Do not answer calls or emails unless it’s an urgent matter. If you do respond, let people know it was the exception. Don’t feel guilty about taking and enjoying free time – you and your family deserve it.

Earlier this week I was standing in line at Starbucks and frantically trying to entertain my fussy baby to prevent a meltdown.  Coffee was my life-line and at this point the only thing that was going to save me from my exhaustion. Through my cooing and peek-a-boo-ing, a man in front of me noticed my desperation (and probably the dark circles under my eyes) and gave me a smile that translated to: I’ve been there before!

After he ordered his drink he turned around and said, “I would like to buy you a coffee – because being a mom is the hardest job of all.”  I’m not sure if it was the sleep deprivation or just the simple gesture itself, but I felt like my eyes were about to unload an ocean of tears.  I muttered back with a crack in my voice, “That is so sweet, I needed that this morning. Thank you!”  His simple act of kindness made my day.  Then I, a firm believer in karma, turned around and insisted upon paying for the lady behind me, and she kept it going as well.  This kind gesture made it through the whole line and everyone left the store smiling.

I posted about my experience on Facebook as soon as I left Starbucks. Within minutes, Mary, a friend of mine reached out and proposed a phenomenal idea:

What if we start a movement?  Instead of (#FBF) Flashback Friday, let’s do (#PIFF) Pay It Forward Friday! We already have (#TBT) Throwback Thursday, which enables us to feed into our obsession of posting old photos and strolling down memory lane, so #FBF will not be too missed. If a stranger made me feel that good over just a cup of coffee – imagine the difference all of us can make!

So I’m asking you, friends, family and followers of the blog: Every friday post a #PIFF moment!  Even if it happened earlier in the week, wait until Friday to post. I invite you to post your #PIFF here on the blog or our FB page and send a picture if you want.  Moving forward, we will make every Friday about giving back. And while buying coffee for someone is a great gesture, let’s see how big we can go!  Spread the word and let’s start #PIFF‘s!

Five Things You Can Do To Pay It Forward:

  1. Donate!  Even if it’s just $5.  If you can afford Starbucks you can afford a $5 donation.  I invite you to post in the comment section your favorite charity or a family we can help. 
  2. It’s not always about the money, if you can’t donate money – donate time.  Again, I invite you to post in the comment section charities or organizations that need volunteers.
  3. Donate your belongings. It’s spring cleaning time!  Take all your old clothes to a shelter, or an organization that provides them free to people in need. Post in the comment section any shelters or in-need organizations!
  4. Donate blood or platelets! Blood banks need your donations!
  5. Take your leftovers from cooking at home or from going out and give it to the homeless.  OR see if you can cook a meal and take it to a soup kitchen or food bank.

You can still buy coffee for someone or hold a door or help as you see needed.  We want to hear about those things too!  A Facebook page dedicated to #PIFF is in the works.  I will post the link once it’s up and running.

Sometimes we get caught up in our stressful, overworked, underpaid lives and just a simple act of kindness can restore our faith in humanity.  Let’s go make the world a better place and document it along the way! Spread the love because love – is contagious!

Peace & Love to you!

XO

Holly & Kari!

PIFF

 

 

 

 

People told me when I was pregnant the second time around, I would feel like a professional and not stress near as much with this baby, but I was not convinced. Did they not know me? I, by nature, am a type A, anxiety ridden, crazy person.

Right before my second son was born I began reflecting and taking notes on all the things I did with my first son to try and prepare myself. Once I reached the end of the list, I could already feel the tightening in my chest from the anxiety. How was I going to keep up with all this and look after a toddler too? After closer evaluation I thought to myself: Is this a joke? What an idiot! Right then and there I decided it would be best if my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and I – parted ways. Moving forward I would have a go-with-the-flow type of attitude, or else I knew I would drive myself straight to the grave trying to keep up. So far this attitude has been working. Not only has this approach minimized my anxiety, but I actually enjoy parenting a lot more this time around. Who knew?

Below are just a few obsessive behaviors I demonstrated with my first son that I have completely abolished with my second. I won’t be mad if you judge me for being the anal retentive person that I was. Please feel free.

  • I had to have every latest-and-greatest piece of baby gear on the market. This is Chicago. Why did I fill my tiny condo with crap I barely even used, if at all?
  • He ate every two hours on the dot. There was no veering from that schedule no matter where we were or what was going on.
  • For two weeks after his birth, I made my husband take shifts with me where we would stay up 24 hours and watch the baby sleep to make sure he was breathing. The shifts were three hours each. Question: Why does my husband still love me?
  • I sprinted to the ER for everything! Scratches, rashes, coughing, eye goop – you name it, I thought it was an emergency! I’m sure the doctors rolled their eyes each time they saw me come in.
  • I dressed him to the nine’s – at all times. He looked as if he was attending an Oscar party just to go to daycare. What baby doesn’t need a sweater vest and designer jeans to finger-paint?
  • I had four strollers! One for the car seat to snap in, one for walking, one for running and one for travel.
  • I carried hand sanitizer and would make anyone who wanted to touch him douse themselves in it first.
  • When he went to sleep – our lives stopped. No movement or noises were allowed. Maybe that’s why it took over three years to have another baby?
  • Anytime I left the house, even if to only get gas, I would take the entire nursery with me along with a diaper bag.
  • I had several outfit changes for him at all times. If one drip of salvia touched his outfit, I would change him.
  • I dressed him like he was on the bomb squad just to ride his tricycle.

Helicopter moms: ante up! I see you and raise you by a million.  While most of my friends would still say I hover more than the average mom, at least they would agree I’m no longer holding residence at the insane asylum.

I'm holding on for dear life!

I’m holding on for dear life!