Category Archives: Moms Like Us

The kind of Mother’s Day post that should be read BEFORE the day

You may have noticed that I rarely—if ever—do guest posts. Not to mention: my Mothers’ Day posts have been unconventional, to say the least.

This year, I was (virtually) introduced to Krissy Dietrich Gallagher, who has written for us the kind of Mother’s Day post that should be read BEFORE the day so that you can ACT on it. And I suggest you do it in time for next Sunday, because any mother who recieves something like this will treasure it all her days.

(Krissy Dietrich Gallagher is a Cleveland mother of two boys, Braedan, 8 and Austin, 5 (who insist on being identified as 8 ½ and 5 ½). In July 2007, at the age of 10 months, Austin was diagnosed with bilateral Wilms tumor, a solid tumor cancer in both kidneys that occurs in a mere 20 children nationwide each year. The Gallaghers were thrust into a world of chemotherapy, hospital stays and four abdominal surgeries before Austin was declared cancer-free eight months later. But after one glorious year, the cancer was back. More chemo, radiation, overnights and enough surgeries to cost him his entire right kidney and half of his left. Today, Austin is a relatively healthy, extremely happy and remarkably normal five-year-old (ahem, 5 ½ year old) despite living with Stage 3 renal failure. He is one of five St. Baldrick’s Foundation 2012Ambassador Kids. The post below was adapted from one Krissy wrote for Mother’s Day 2010, when Austin was still in treatment, on her blog The Luckiest.)
Moms do things selflessly. We sacrifice our free time, our career goals, our neat homes and our hot bodies for the sake of our children. We sometimes do it begrudgingly, but we do it nonetheless. And we rarely get thanked for it, nor do we even expect to. But after watching this 2010 video from Kelly Corrigan, author of The Middle Place and Lift, about the Thank You note that moms really want and deserve from their children on Mother’s Day, I couldn’t help but add a few of my own. Of course, I will keep doing all that I do whether I get thanked or not, as will we all, but it sure is nice to imagine….

krissy1Thank you, mom, for taking care of me day and night. For holding me and rocking me back to sleep at 3 o’clock in the morning when I’m woken by some stranger taking my blood pressure. Thank you for sleeping with me in my (very narrow) hospital bed even though it means you can’t roll over or you’ll get tangled in my IV lines. And thank you for learning very early on how to silence the IV pump machine when it beeps, usually just as soon as I’ve dozed off to sleep. Thank you for remembering all my medications and making sure I get just the right dose at just the right time of day, and for turning it into a game or a race so it somehow feels fun, like when you take a Tums right along with me before I eat my phosphorous-filled cheesy meals so we can be “Tums buddies.”

Thank you, mom, for always (or at least, often) packing the right lunch and snacks and books and toys to keep me fed and entertained through hour after hour and day after day in the hospital.  Thank you for never failing to flush my PICC line every eight hours, even when that eight-hour mark comes at midnight and you’ve just crawled into your warm cozy bed. And speaking of that bed, thank you for scooting over so I can squeeze in between you and dad when I feel scared in the night. Thank you for treating me like a regular kid and letting me climb the rock wall and fall down and get hurt even when my platelets are low and my legs are already covered with purple welts. Thank you for not letting me get away with everything just because I’m sick and for laying the foundation for my future because you fully expect me to have one.

Thank you, mom, for not forgetting about me, your healthy son. Thank you for making sure I always have fun play dates when you’re at Austin’s appointments and for giving me veto power over whose house I go to, no matter how desperate you are. Thank you for emailing my teacher at the last minute so I’m not too surprised by who’s picking me up from school on unexpectedly long hospital days. Thank you, mom, for waking up early to bake homemade bread for the Teacher Appreciation Brunch, even though you have a perfect excuse for not participating in any PTA events. Thank you for running back home to get my library book on library day so I can check out a new one. Thank you for patiently explaining to my kindergarten classmates how cancer is like a weed in a garden and then listening, also patiently, to their endless – and completely unrelated — stories about pulling weeds with their grandmas. Thank you for arranging for friends to secretly take me swimming all summer even though Austin can’t get his PICC line wet. And for sneaking yogurts into my lunchbox so I can eat them away from the watchful and (understandably) jealous eyes of my brother, who follows a ridiculously limited diet.  Oh, and speaking of jealous, thank you for listening with respect and not getting too mad when I whine and I say I’m jealous of him because he gets to ride a tricycle around the hospital hallways when I have to go home and go to bed. Thank you, mom, for letting me know that I matter too and for making sure I’m remembered and heard and loved.

krissy2And thank you to my mom for always managing to fit in a several-hour visit to the hospital every single day we’re there, no matter how busy you are. Thank you for canceling fancy overseas bike trips with dad so you can both be close by to support us. Thank you for shooing me away from eight-hour blood transfusions and sending me home to shower even if Austin is screaming in your arms as I leave. Thank you for reassuring me that he will be okay in my absence and for always telling me how okay he actually was when I get back. And thank you for valuing my daily workout as much as I do and making sure I have time to go for a run. Thank you for having Braedan sleep over and getting him off to school and making your home feel like his home. Thank you for loving every second you spend with Austin in your arms and for making it seem like I’m giving you a gift when you’re really doing me a favor.

Thank you, mom, for taking care of me when I’m sick.
And thank you, mom, for taking care of me when my brother is sick.
And thank you, my mom, for taking care of me when my son is sick.

Thank YOU, Krissy for the inspiration.

If It Was Easy They’d Call the Whole Damn Thing a Honeymoon

I woke up to this video (no it wasn’t playing on my ceiling) and thank rainbows I did because the day was already going in a bad direction. Then I showed it to Guy, and he laughed, which is a *good* thing. That could have gone either way.

If it Was Easy They’d Call the Whole Damn Thing a Honeymoon: Living with and Loving the TV-Addicted, Sex-Obsessed, Not-So-Handy Man You Married (Berkley Books, October 2011) is written by Jenna McCarthy, one of my favorite authors. I have never actually wanted to be anyone else, but I might want to be her. She is what’s playing in my head all day long, only I can’t dispense it in quite the way she does.

Plus, I probably could have used this book when I was married.

Jenna sent along a guest post, which I love, because I can say she once worked for me. Or did me a favor. Whichever. Guess who I’ll be writing for a blurb for my upcoming book?

7 Steps to a Happy Marriage

by Jenna McCarthy

I have a remarkably happy marriage, and people ask me all the time how I got so lucky. (Not as often as they ask me about autism, vaccines and Jim Carrey, so let’s get something straight before we go any further: Not. Her.) I used to wonder if it had something to do with pheromones or having relatively low expectations, but after eleven years of wedded bliss I am pretty sure the key is some combination of kindness, respect and my ability to read a road map upside down divided by my husband’s skill at tuning out my nagging.

Okay, fine. We got lucky.

Busloads of studies have attempted to figure out why roughly every other marriage fails miserably. Turns out, the success stories share a few similarities beyond the obvious stuff like “they don’t have sex with other people”.  Here, then, are seven scientifically proven* steps to marital ecstasy.

  1. Be thinner and better looking than your husband. I have no idea why this works to create nuptial delight but I’m guessing it’s because if you’re fat and ugly you probably never want to have sex, which makes him grumpy and mean because sex was the one and only reason he got married in the first place. (Well, that and pie. Think about it: Most guys will never bake a pie in their lifetimes and from what I’ve seen, they really like pie.) Of course, I don’t know many women who are dying to have sex with fat, ugly men, so this one remains a bit of a mystery.
  2. Make sure he does more chores than you do (well, duh) and try to talk less than he does. I have to admit, if you asked my husband the top three things I could do to make him happier, “shut the hell up for five lousy minutes” would probably be on the list. (But not at the tippy-top. Ahem.)
  3. Don’t watch a lot of chick flicks. Seems that after sitting through Gnomio and Juliet (or any other rom-com) relationship dissatisfaction tends to skyrocket. Apparently this is because maybe it could happen to you but you realize that it hasn’t and it probably won’t and that fat bastard never sprinkled rose petals on your bed, dammit. At least you’re thinner and better looking than he is.
  4. Don’t win a best-actress Oscar. I included this one because unlike getting hotter or having your jaw wired shut, it’s actually pretty painless and doable. Personally, I am going to make this a priority in my marriage.
  5. Limit your booze consumption (both of you). No comment.
  6. Become or urge your partner to become a farmer, nuclear engineer or optometrist. Evidently every career choice has its own unique divorce-risk profile, with these three being on the lowest end. Dancers and choreographers are pretty much screwed. You can’t make this stuff up.
  7. Prefer having the car windows down. I haven’t technically seen a study on this, but do you not fight about this every single time you ride in a vehicle together? And doesn’t he get all pissed when you want them up and accuse you of being more concerned about your hair than his precious need for non-recirculated air? If anyone bothered to study this, I’m confident the results would back me up.

So there you have it. I do not suggest trying to master all seven steps at once. For instance, if you stop doing housework altogether (to try to tilt his portion of the ratio toward more), you’ll have a lot of extra time on your hands which you may want to spend drinking alcohol. Remember, there’s no rush here. Till death do us part is a really long time**. 

 

*I may have bastardized the language a bit in some cases but the facts are mostly accurate.

**I stole that line from If It Was Easy They’d Call the Whole Damn Thing a Honeymoon: Living with and Loving the TV-Addicted, Sex-Obsessed, Not-So-Handy Man You Married, which I wrote (and please note that it says the blah-blah-blah man you married, not the one I married. My husband likes it when I point that out). You can find out more about me, my books and how I survived tanorexia on my website.

/Jenna

*Housekeeping*

The publisher asked me to add: Don’t forget to google Zestra after you watch it… or better yet, check out the link on Jenna’s homepage, http://www.jennamccarthy.com/.

Mommy Bloggers Interviewed on BYUTV!

On this week’s episode of Fresh Take, we’re excited to introduce you to some of our favorite bloggers. We’ll get to see and hear from them in “real life” from our studio!…These moms know what they’re talking about! We’ll introduce you to Mindy Roberts, Daphne Brogdon, and Kadi Prescott. Two of our guests, Jennie Westenhaver and Kacy Faulconer, have been cyber buddies for a while now and they will meet each other for the first time in person with us in the studio!

Here’s the teaser on YouTube.

Update: I found the entire episode!

It’s long, just over 50 minutes, I come in at about 8:04 (eight minutes and four seconds) and then again at 40:55, when all of us come back to talk together.

BONUS: The last word of the interview is me blurting out “panty liner.” AWESOME.

 

Calling all pregger ladies/new moms in the Bay Area, CA!

I’ll be at the HealthTap.com offices in Palo Alto this Thursday evening for a talk with Dr. Greene, and would like to extend the invite to new and expecting moms to join me!

What: Q&A with Dr. Greene!

When: Thursday, October 28th from 2pm-4pm in Downtown Palo Alto

Where: HealthTap Offices, 575 High Street Suite 310, Palo Alto, CA 94301

Stop by, meet other pregnant women and new moms, enjoy some afternoon snacks, and chat with Dr. Alan Greene, founder of DrGreene.com. Come alone or bring your little one. We will have baby-friendly food, changing facilities, and a play area.

  • Get answers to your questions from a medical expert and father of four
  • Meet other pregnant women and new moms
  • Come alone or bring your little one
  • Enjoy some afternoon snacks
  • Participate in a drawing for Dr. Greene’s books

HealthTap helps pregnant women and new moms make better decisions about their health and well-being using data. We are growing a dynamic, exclusive community of local pregnant women and new moms, and this event is the first of many in our TapMommies Speaker Series at HealthTap’s offices.

Please rsvp here, and let us know if you have any friends who would be interested in also attending.

We’re looking forward to meeting you!

If you decide to come, shoot me an {encode=”[email protected]” title=”email”} to let me know you’ll be there so I can say hello!!

See you there!

Mindy Roberts

P.S. Read more about Dr. Greene here:

Let’s Talk About Coping with Postpartum Challenges, Sadness and Depression

Just opened this email, and think it’s pretty important. You just have time to hop on if you like.

Let’s Talk About Coping with Postpartum Challenges, Sadness and Depression

It used to be that no one talked about postpartum depression.  Thankfully those days are behind us and we have amazing professionals – and each other – to help.

Join a group of top mom bloggers and a clinical psychologist who have LIVED this topic, having gone through it themselves and blogged about it extensively.

We’ll talk about how to get through PPD or help someone else get through it, issues on your mind (there’s been a lot of talk about breastfeeding while on medication, for example) and give each other all the love and support we possibly can.

TODAY, Wednesday, at 1:00 pm ET (10:00 a.m. PT) in TheMotherhood.com: http://themotherhood.com/talk/show/id/62052

Leading the conversation will be Katherine Stone, author of Postpartum Progress, the most widely read blog on postpartum depression.

Co-hosting the chat are:
Shoshana Bennett, Ph.D., Dr. Shosh, Clinical Psychologist

Lauren B. Hale, My Postpartum Voice

Amber Koter-Puline, Beyond Postpartum
Alexis Lesa, Depressions and Confessions
Victoria Mason, The Mummy Chronicles

Bring your questions, share your experience and find out about the great new resources that exist.  It’s all text – no phone, video.

1:00 pm ET in TheMotherhood.com: http://themotherhood.com/talk/show/id/62052

We hope to see you in TheMotherhood.

Cooper & Emily

Co-Founders
TheMotherhood.com

P.S.  If you can’t be there when the chat is live, head on over now and post your questions or thoughts and come back later to see the responses.

P.S.S.  On Twitter, the hashtag for the conversation is #TheMotherhood.  You can follow us at @EmilyMcKhann @CooperMunroe @TheMotherhood @alexistlesa @atlantamom @DrShosh @postpartumprogr @unxpctdblessing @veamason