All of What's the Matter With Mommy?:
The Ten Parenting Commandments, Turned Up to Eleven
1. Thou Shall Not Judge
Thou shall not make hasty judgments of other people’s kids’ transgressions, lest the Parenting Gods hear you and instantly smite you with a child who develops an obsessive fascination with eating his nose nuggets.
2. Keep Thy Perspective... read more
Dear your name here, Happy Holidays!
Have you ever tried to write a family newsletter at holiday time? Did you look back on the year and the only positive thing you could say about it is that you got through it?
Never fear! This Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwaanza... read more
The New BoobTube
Welcome to BoobTube! Television that’s all about YOU! Print out this handy schedule of the daily program lineup. Tape to the inside of the cleaning supplies closet where your kids wouldn’t dream of looking for it.
12am-1am: The Cracked Nipples Power Hour... read more
Helicopter Parent Magazine
Never out of sight, nor out of mind.
“OK, listen up everyone. We’re here to plan the next issue. What have you got?”
“I’ve got this submission. Should be a good one. It’s from a 'family bed' mom who is agonizing about not being... read more
Furry? Curry? What Rhymes With Worry?
Enjoy the winning entries in the “Thirteen Ways of Looking at Motherhood” poetry contest. The contest was open to moms everywhere, in all stages of motherhood. Explore the wonder of motherhood through the magic of poetry!
Farmhouse in the Middle of Nowhere with a New... read more
Existential Housekeeping, or L'ennui de l'hiver.
It’s the kids’ eighth snow day of the year, and it’s only February. I think I may be going slightly mad. I find myself pondering things I’ve never noticed. Wrestling with demons heretofore unseen. And wondering why a mere 10 hours of dim daylight feels like 1000.
I... read more
Caroling with Mommy
"Fake Christmas Tree"
(sung to the tune of O Tannenbaum)
Fake Christmas Tree, Fake Christmas Tree!
I bought you today at Target.
Fake Christmas Tree, Fake Christmas Tree!
Just plug it in and forget it!
On sale today,... read more
Unless you’ve been living under a rock (and it may soon come to that, literally, for a lot of us), you’ve probably heard that our economy is in crisis. For the first time, some folks are waking up and smelling the coffee, seeing that it’s a latte from Starbucks, and thinking, “Have... read more
He blinded me with science.
This morning, my youngest woke me up at 6am. I thanked him for allowing me to get a jump on the day, instead of letting me waste another hour or so sleeping. He proudly showed me the book he checked out from the school library. “Can we do some of this stuff, Mom? Can we?”
I... read more
Welcome to the Seventh Grade Language Arts!
Dear Parents (and guardians, I suppose),
I am Mrs. Humorless, your child’s language arts teacher. Thank you for entrusting me with your child for this school year. I know you didn’t have a choice, but thanks anyway. I look forward to a wonderful year of diagramming sentences... read more
Loser Mom Syndrome
The most overlooked disease facing Mothers today is Loser Mom Syndrome. LMS is a constant threat, a dark storm cloud lurking on the horizon that threatens to undermine any fleeting feelings of control and peace a mother can create for herself.
You may think you are impervious to LMS. You... read more
We need more mom holidays, dammit.
Going into this long holiday weekend, I realized that the 4th of July did not revolve around mothers. Why not? You can keep Mother’s Day. I want no part of a holiday where I have to remind my kids to buy me a card. I shun the crowds at the Mother’s Day brunches. “Hey, Mom, sorry about... read more
Have you heard the latest Mom jokes?
“Whaddya mean, MOM WHO?”
“So these three moms walk into a bar…”
“Wait a minute! How did three moms manage to arrange... read more
Haiku for the Peri-Menopausal
Over lunch, we laugh
And share common memories.
What’s your name again?
It’s Good For You
Eight glasses a day.
I spend my days in the john
But my skin looks great.
... read more
The Tournament of Moms: A Very Special Edition of Jeopardy
Alex: Welcome to the special “Tournament of Moms” on Jeopardy this week. Well, at least we hope it can run all week . . . we didn’t find too many Moms who had any brain cells left, and of those who did, only a few could find someone to watch the kids for a few days.... read more
GigaMama - A computer class for moms.
If you have been at home for a few years raising kids, chances are your four-year-old knows more about computers than you do. And chances are you’ve also read all the articles in More magazine telling you to keep your skills current so when you are ready to leap back into the working world you... read more
You Be the Ad-Man! Or, Kelley’s Love Letter to Madison Avenue
Have you seen that vile commercial for the single-dose version of a children’s allergy medicine? The one where Loser Mom and Smug Mom are sitting on a park bench, and Smug saves the day by letting Loser borrow one of her single-dose packages? Isn’t it just wonderful the way they pit mother... read more
What Are You Going To Be?
I think there should be Halloween costumes for Moms. Here are the ideas I am going to send in to the Halloween Express catalog for their consideration:
Comes with vomit-encrusted fake beard, a busted geetar with a sound chip that plays “Baby Beluga”... read more
The Children's Learning Institute
Professor Emeritus: Dennis the Menace
Professors: Bam-Bam Rubble, Calvin and Hobbes, Eddie Haskell
Senior Lecturers: PigPen, Lucy VanPelt and Max from Where the Wild Things Are
Guest Lecturers: Everybody Else’s Kids
Course Offerings for the Fall Semester... read more
West and Rewaxation at Wast, or, A Taste of the Empty Nest
I recently found myself living the dream that kept me alive all those years when my children were small and ever-present. Those days when I couldn’t even sit on the toilet without a note passed under the door…“Mom can i hav gum e bears? Chooze 1 yes no.” Those days when I had... read more
Kelley the WonderMom’s School of Hard Knocks
Most of us went through Lamaze or some such class to prepare us for the miracle of birth. Dontcha think it would be more useful to have classes that prepared us for the real pangs of raising children? I think I’m going to start my own school. There’s a need for this! I’ll start by offering... read more
WHAT did you just call me??
The other night I was reading a book about starfish to my youngest. As we counted the starfish’s fingers or whatever they are, he corrected me.
“Mom, they’re not called starfish anymore. They are SEA STARS. Teacher said.”
“Really?” ... read more
What does one do with old, outgrown toys and other kid detritus? It’s great if you have a small niece or nephew around to hand it all down to, and it’s more than admirable to donate it to the Salvation Army. Another option, though, is to reuse and recycle. Remember, saving the earth begins... read more
Mommy Mensa (or How the Kids Ate My Brain)
A friend of mine told me that there is one month every year that you can take the Mensa test and, if you pass, join the eggheads of the world in their elite club.
I’m not sure what you would receive as a reward for achieving Mensa status. It’s not like you can go around bragging... read more
I was watching the Today show the other morning, and two mothers were discussing with Meredith Vieira whether or not it was okay to have a cocktail during a playgroup. I cannot believe this is actually a topic worthy of a debate on national television. One... read more
It’s the start of a new year, and that means it’s time for a fresh start. This year, O Mighty Being o’ the Clouds, I shall let the Evolved Woman/Smarty Pants/Total Babe Within shine.
La la la…where to begin? So many IMPROVEMENTS to be made! This is exciting!
I’ll... read more
I'll have an eggnog. And make it a double.
Well, the Halloween candy has been condensed down to one bowl, and all of the Fun Size Snickers have been picked out of it. You know what that means. It’s time for Christmas preparation.
Am I the only one who dreads this time of year? I make Scrooge look like Martha Stewart.
It... read more
Free association nation.
“Mom, do we have our own gravitational pull?”
“I don’t think so.”
“We just don’t…”
“I’ll ask Dad.”
“Are you studying gravity in…”
“Mom?... read more
Don't Even Bother: The Case Against Childbirth Preparation Classes
Do you feel that you were well prepared for childbirth? Were you able to distinguish the mucous plug from snot as you peered into the john for signs that labor was starting? Did you do your kegels while riding the subway to work, quite amazed that you could be doing something so intimate in such a... read more
"I Spy" for Parents
(With sincere appreciation and apologies to the creators of the I Spy book series)
I Spy: Laundry Hell
I spy despair... read more
“My Candle Burns at Both Ends” -- Poems by the great poets’ parents.
The Passionate Shepherd to His Son
By Christopher Marlowe’s Dad
Come drive with me and just be quiet,
And we will live on a junk food diet
That valleys, groves, road trips, and fields,
Woods, or rest stop yields.
And we will... read more
Need Guidance? Have Questions? Call 1-800-NUT-E-MOM!
“Welcome to the Parent Help Line. Dial one for our automated menu options. Para el español, marcar por favor dos. Dial three at any time to speak to an operator. Dial four to speak to an operator who has children and knows what she’s talking about. Dial five for an operator who... read more
Cheap thrills at the arcade.
“Can we go, Mom? Pleeeeeeeze?”“Um, alright, I guess so.”“YAYYYY!!!”The arcade here in this small country town is a different animal from the neon-lit, eardrum-busting hells that dot the New Jersey highways, where I used to live. This one is... read more
Hot rodent action.
When I was a kid I came back from a vacation to discover that my Dad had given my dog away. This would normally be something that would cause irreparable harm to a young child’s psyche, but I didn’t shed a tear. I guess you could say I wasn't an animal lover. Don’t get me... read more
Just say no...freaking way is parenthood for me.
I was fascinated by a recent conversation I had with a very lively fourteen-year-old girl about her "Family Living" class. That’s what they call "Sex Ed" (giggle) now. She told me about the new high-tech tool the schools are using to keep teens out of Abercrombie maternity... read more
Hey, mom, what's in your stars?
Kelley is taking a well-deserved vacation, so please enjoy a previous piece of hers that originally appeared in Brain,Child magazine. Kelley will return next month.
Today's horoscope by Skye Stargazer, noted astrologer and mother of five.
Aries (Mar 21-Apr 20): Resist the urge to... read more
Literature for Marginalized Mothers: 101
The Pleasantville Adult School Catalog
Sign up today! Classes now meet at the Middle School since that unfortunate plumbing incident at the VFW hall.
Course Number 123: Continuing the “Literature for Marginalized Mothers” series, this semester we are offering “The Classic American Short Story”.... read more
The screaming trees, or, a days worth of school flyers
Canned Food Drive! Let us share our bounty with the huddled masses and teeming refuse in the next town over. Please, no dented, expired cans of three-bean salad…be generous! This is not an opportunity to clean out your pantry. Cardboard boxes will be set up in the school entrance.
Join the Cub Scouts!... read more
I'm down with OPK (yeah, you know me).
I’m Down With OPK (yeah, you know me)
By Kelley Cunningham Cousineau
How I wound up as the stay-at-home mom of three kids is still a wonder to me. That’s what I get for having too much Merlot, an active imagination and Last of the Mohicans on video. It’s a slippery slope from “Oh what the... read more
Between Menarche And Matriarch: Fashion’s Death Zone
I don’t remember what made me search through my closet so frantically on that dark day. Maybe it was the horrific prospect of an upcoming high school reunion. Maybe I was a little unstable because I was still worried about Jennifer Aniston’s adjustment to life after Brad. All I remember is the bed was... read more
Summertime, and the
living is easy? Yeah, right.
Gershwin had no kids.
Waning summer brings
the autumnal rite…new socks,
Haircut and undies.
By September first,
spending time with the children
September at last.
The kids walk sadly to school
but Mom does a jig.
Ah…steaming... read more
Keeping it real.
Reality TV is just too contrived. Why drag people to Belize and make them eat tarantulas when the real horror and human drama is as close as your frozen food section? Every mother knows that these so-called tough contestants wouldn’t last a week in our shoes, so let’s have some REAL reality shows. For... read more
The "new and improved" "Zagat Survey for Parents".
The Playground by the Soccer Field
... read more
Mother's little cottage industries
You can run but you can’t hide. There’s a party invitation waiting for you in the mailbox. But it’s not for just any old party. This is a hideous mutant of a party. At this party you will sit through a presentation about potato peelers or candle snuffers or basket weaving. And then you must buy something... read more
Please don't call child protection services.
Heaven help you these days if you have a klutz for a kid. I had to explain his latest injury, a huge goose egg on his forehead, to the preschool teacher. He acquired this third eye from taking a flying leap toward a glass French door. He’s the only kid in the class picture who is wearing his band-aids... read more
Warped values: only $12.50 per child, cake included!
When did children’s birthday parties become more elaborate than the Trooping of the Color?
Birthday parties have nothing to do with kids anymore. It’s all about the parents showing off and pretending they’re doing it in the name of Fun™.
I’ve been to countless catered, well-planned preschool... read more
Wonder Momism: a study in acceptance and recovery
Newsweek recently published an essay about how today's generation of working women are chasing the myth of the perfect mother. While the author posed solutions to relieve corporate stress to allow mothers to spend more time... read more
If you don’t finish your kelp, you can’t have any acidophilus!
Please save us from the earnest Organic Moms. You know the type. They show up at the preschool party with tofu and seaweed muffins while the best you could do is slice and bake chemical tube cookies.
They have lots of instructions for playdates too. “Please don’t give little Logan any juice because... read more
Into the abyss -- fear and loathing on the road to preschool.
What is merely supposed to be an opportunity for our little darlings to break free of their sequestered plastic bubbles and interact with other creatures of the same height and lingering smell, sharing bacteria and ancient blocks (oops, I mean manipulatives), has turned into yet another... read more
I read a study somewhere that working mothers spend more measurable, one-on-one quality time with their kids than stay-at-home moms do. I didn’t react as I suspect the experts would have liked. I guess I should have dropped everything, grabbed my kids away from the clutches of Nickelodeon, and started... read more