Welcome to Take It or Leave It, an advise-ish podcast for parents brought to you by Grove Collaborative.
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In this weeks episode we discuss talking to our kids about active shooter situations, the mental load of marriage and motherhood, and the man cold. As always we enjoyed chatting with callers and discussing issues that face real Moms.
Meredith: You can download this podcast on iTunes and Google Play Music. Be sure to subscribe so you never miss an episode. Thank you to JessHM6Navy for her review and helping us feel better by letting us know that she has the same faults and struggles as we do. Please make sure to leave us a review wherever you download this amazing podcast, ranked number one across the charts. I mean in our hearts. I’m your host, Meredith, from That’s Inappropriate.
Tiffany: And I’m your host, Tiffany, from Juggling the Jenkins. This podcast will discuss all things marriage, motherhood, and everything in between. Please remember we’re not professionals at anything you may actually need, so any advice we give you, you can take-
Meredith: Or leave, because it might be crap. So welcome to Take It Or Leave It. On today’s episode of Take It Or Leave It, we are talking active shooters, the mental load of motherhood, and the dreaded man cold.
Tiffany: We’re here because we’ve all struggled as moms. Anyone who says they haven’t is a liar face. So let’s start the show with a mom fail moment. Every week we like to start off by showing you guys that you’re not alone in your weird awkward momness. So Meredith has a wonderful mom fail to share with us this week.
Meredith: Okay, so let’s see, mom fails personally happen to me per day. Just because I’ve got three kids so odds are good that I’m going to fail at least one of them at any given moment in time. This mom fail moment though has been more of an emotional one for me in terms of, I’ve struggled with this. So, my nine year old daughter is a competitive gymnast and she has really been struggling a lot lately with school, and gym, she goes to gym four days a week. On top of that, there are competitions and all sorts of stuff. And I feel like the pressure has just gotten to her.
Meredith: And to the point where she got a C on her report card in math. We’ve hired an additional tutoring program for her math, and I felt like it was just too much, and I felt like I failed her by not intervening sooner and saying, “Hey, time for a break. This has to stop.” And I think she wanted me to, and I didn’t take the reins on it til just this past week. And I finally said, “You know what? It’s time to take a break. You’re taking a full week off after this next competition. You’re going down to two days a week during the holidays, and then we will reassess the situation as of January 1st. But I feel like for a couple of months now, she has been so cranky, so out of sorts, and she needed me to step up and I didn’t. I think part of me was like, “You wanted to be a competitive gymnast, now you have to show up and do this.” And I forgot that my kid was nine.
Meredith: And I felt terrible about that. This one was a really, it was a hard pill to swallow for me to kind of say, “Oh, crap. I should have probably done this months back.” But I felt like she wanted to do this.
Meredith: She wanted this. She loves going to gym every day, and I should have reined this in sooner and I didn’t.
Tiffany: Well, it’s a learning experience. You live and you learn. And also, I can imagine how tough that would be when a kid loves to do something, you know what if you were to tell her to come out of it, and she didn’t really want to. And it’s kind of confusing. I don’t have kids that age so I don’t know yet. But I think it’s cool that you can admit that now.
Meredith: Yes. So I just, I felt like, “Okay, were done now. This has to stop. You need to take a break.” And when she looked at me and said, “I know mommy, I’ve wanted to take one.” I was like, “Oh,” my heart is crushed. Like I should have known that. You’re my kid. I should have known better. And so I beat myself up for a few days about it, and then I was like, “Okay, gotta let it go. Gotta move onto the next thing.”
Meredith: But I was glad that I stepped up and had that conversation with her and the coaches, and was just like, “No, no. It’s time now.” Otherwise, she’s gonna hate it eventually, and I don’t want her to hate it. I want her to love it, but it was a tough one. First time that that’s happened, so yeah. So yeah.
Tiffany: Well, good and this is giving you a little break, too, I’m sure. Four days a week is a whole lot of driving.
Meredith: It is back and forth. We do, I spend the majority of my days in the car, I think. You know, you do become an Uber, a parenting Uber. You do. Or Lyft, whatever your preference is.
Meredith: Okay, there it is.
Tiffany: Today’s Trending Parenting News is brought to you by Grove Collaborative.
Meredith: Uh-oh this is where Tiffany tells a terrible joke.
Tiffany: It’s a wonderful joke, you mean. That’s fine. You misspoke. What did the turkey say to the turkey hunter on Thanksgiving Day?
Tiffany: Quack quack.
Meredith: That’s terrible.
Tiffany: I don’t get it.
Meredith: Because then he’s a duck. And not a turkey.
Tiffany: Oh just [crosstalk 00:05:16].
Meredith: Oh, Tiffany.
Tiffany: You’d think I’d know this since it was my own joke.
Meredith: Right. These are actually my husband’s terrible jokes so we can thank the producer of the show, Dave.
Dave: We got a shout out in a review. Their favorite part is your joke.
Tiffany: Oh, my gosh.
Meredith: They did not say the favorite part, they just said they liked the joke, and it was like air quotes, like “We like your jokes.”
Tiffany: Dave wrote that review.
Meredith: Yeah. Dave wrote that review. He’s Sassypants6969. So if you ever see that on there, you know that’s my husband. Aka the producer of this show. Oh my gosh, all right.
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Tiffany: What scent is in your bathroom? I just washed my hands with it.
Meredith: Pumpkin. Pumpkin. Pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin.
Tiffany: It’s so nice.
Meredith: Oh. That’s me. It’s Monday.
Tiffany: That is your name.
Meredith: That is my name, Meredith. So in Trending Parenting News, I wanted to touch on this topic because unfortunately it has become a weekly occurrence here in the United States, but we need to talk about talking to our children about an active shooter situation. And I found an age by age guide on how to do that. But on Wednesday, November 7th, there was another mass shooting in California where 13 people were killed. And as a parent, it’s very hard for many of us to grapple with the whys, the reasoning, and then having the conversation with our kids. And as a parent in 2018, we are forced to have these conversations because unfortunately it has become a chronic occurrence in the world that we live in. So, I found this article on today.com and it talks to you about specifically how to interact with your child about that situation based on their age and what they could possibly understand.
Tiffany: I have a question.
Tiffany: It gives advice for how to talk to pre-school and kindergarten children for, that’s the first one, the first breakdown. Do you think it’s necessary to tell a child that young?
Meredith: After reading this article, what they basically said was, “If your child is going to come in contact with somebody who knows about the situation and potentially speak about it in front of them, you have to address it.” So if you’ve got day care kids that are one, two, three, or four, odds are they’re not going to run across somebody who is gonna have that conversation with them, nor do they have the capacity to understand it.
Meredith: So they said the first age where you would have to have that conversation is really like those kindergartners because of school.
Tiffany: That’s true.
Meredith: So that’s, that’s what they, these were the experts, the psychologists who wrote this stated that.
Tiffany: Okay, it says that this Gilboa person recommends that parents keep their stories simple. These stories should reinforce parents’ beliefs. Perhaps parents want their children to know that a bad man hurt people. Maybe parents want their children to know that someone with a serious illness felt angry and hurt people. I don’t know, that scares me to tell somebody that young.
Tiffany: Like I’m afraid that, you know I’m putting something unnecessary and negative in their head at that age.
Meredith: I understand.
Tiffany: But I worry about everything also, so.
Meredith: No, I understand what you’re saying and the fact that in today’s day and age, this is a conversation that we have to have with kids that age, just sucks the life out of me and makes me very … After this last shooting, we were traveling out of LA and it happened several miles west of where we were. I looked at my husband and I was like, “I just wanna run away today. I wanna grab our kids and I wanna run as far away as we can, and I wanna just hold up somewhere, because I can’t do, deal with reality at this moment in time.” But they basically are just saying, “If somebody can come in contact with your kid and has an opinion on this and will talk to them, you should be the one who is there to deliver answers,” because we have no control over what other people say to our kids.
Tiffany: So is this after or before?
Tiffany: Oh, after I understand.
Meredith: That’s what they’re saying. They’re not … yeah.
Tiffany: Okay, okay, okay. I understand that.
Meredith: They’re saying after one of those, after an issue happens, what do I do? Because I do have older kids in this grouping that we have here, and my kids have come home and said, “So-and-so said something about the shooting the other day.” And so then, you’re having a conversation about it. So what they’re saying is if that happens, before they go off to school again, have a conversation with them about it. The problem I’m having is, we’re doing it every week.
Meredith: You know, like this sucks. This sucks. So, elementary school children, it says, “Parents need to decide the takeaway message. Children in this age group will ask many more intense questions and parents need to decide how much they actually want to share.” They basically say, “Can you balance out the good and the bad and find some sort of a positive?” So, like there were heroes at this last shooting in California. There were off duty police who were in the bar during this shooting and they shielded people. They actually became human shields and kept a group of women who were in the bar, behind them, so they want you to talk about the heroes in that situation. So there were a lot of good people who worked as hard as they could to keep other people safe. So they say focus on the heroes when it comes to that age group. And that’s up to what? Elementary is probably up to 10, 11 years old? Yeah, fifth grade.
Tiffany: Yeah I like that focusing on the heroes part of it. Tweens I think are gonna, tweens and teens are probably in my opinion, the most important in this situation because mental health is so huge, and this is right around the age where you start to notice and feel differently. You know what I mean? You can process feelings. So if you’re feeling anxious or depressed, it’s gonna become more evident at this age. Which so I love that it says, “Listen to their feelings and start by asking if they’ve heard about it.” And if they have, listen to their feelings about it. If they haven’t heard about it, it gives you an opportunity to share your beliefs while gaining better insight in what they’re thinking about it.
Meredith: Exactly, and I think we can learn a lot from the Parkland Shooting, because those teens have literally now gone and created a tour to go around the country, voting, getting 18 year olds to register to vote. So they’re literally going city by city and registering people to vote, and saying, “Hey, if you wanna have a say in common sense gun law, go vote. Use your voice.” And so those teenagers are looking for solutions and taking steps towards that, and they’re looking for answers. And they’re making an impact. So I think it’s important to use them as an example for teens that are out there and say, “Hey, you know what can we do to help make it safer for you? And what actions can we actually go and put in place?”
Meredith: Because I think a lot of this, and I know this is a super heavy topic for the podcast, but it’s one that we deal with every single day. I think we have to really focus on how we can make change, and I think we have to just be honest with our kids, but it’s heavy to be a parent today in 2018. Super heavy.
Tiffany: It’s terrifying.
Meredith: It’s terrifying. I said to my mom the other day, I said, “You know, I’m kind of mad that you got to parent in the ’80s.” Like, it’s really tough to be a parent in 2018. It’s scary.
Tiffany: Yeah. I mean you have all this information in your pocket and it’s conflicting information. And you don’t know what’s right and what’s wrong, and what you should do and you shouldn’t do. Everybody’s telling you different things, you know and now, you’re getting this news stories with photos and behind the scenes videos of the actual shootings and things like that. I mean, delivered right to your face, and kids can have access to this, too. So there’s no hiding from it, so I think it’s good that they have these things in place to talk to them about it.
Meredith: Yeah, I mean I think the first video I ever saw of somebody recording was at the Parkland Shooting, where these kids were recording in the classrooms, and you could hear the gun going off. And I was just like, “I can’t, this is too much man. Like I have to sit down and talk to my …” Instead of a bedtime story that night, I was talking to my kids about what to do in an active shooter situation and how you have to, like steps you have to take in order to stay alive if somebody comes onto your campus with a gun.
Meredith: That blew my mind, the way that, that’s where we were. That’s where we were in parenting at that moment in time, and I just, I lost it. I lost it. And so I think the only thing that we can do, is continue to have open conversations with our kids, be vigilant about keeping them safe as best we can. Because once again, we can only control what we can control. Control is an illusion. It’s an illusion, so we have to do what we can. And I know that schools across the country are taking measures and steps. Our kids’ schools, you can’t even get in anymore.
Tiffany: I know, same with Aubrey’s school. If you wanna pick her up, the kids are behind a gate. You have to bring a little card in, like a debit looking card. You have to give it to the people. They take it, bring it back, and then bring your kid out to you. And in parent pick-up, you have to have this certain color thing hanging from your mirror or you can’t do it. So, like if the grandparents wanna pick her up or something, I have to literally meet up with them beforehand to give them this card, or this placard thing.
Meredith: Right. Right, so they are taking precautionary steps which is fantastic. I think it’s sad that this is where we are but they’re, everybody’s trying to make steps towards making it safer. But you can’t even go in, like when I have to take a kid in late, there’s a buzzer you have to buzz. They take your picture through a camera, then they’ll buzz you in, and that just gets you to the front of the school. Everything else is still locked down. And then, they’ll accept you or your student, once your driver’s license has been swiped, and they give you a sticker with your face on it that says why you’re here. So they are making steps to make this safer, but it still makes me sad, you know that this is what we’re parenting in. But we also have no other choice.
Meredith: So you have to do what you have to do. As cliché as it sounds.
Tiffany: No, and that’s what’s tough is none of, you know, you’re not equipped normally to deal with this so you have to kind of figure it out as you go, as a parent.
Meredith: Yeah, I don’t know. I don’t know how people become equipped.
Tiffany: I think you just take your kids and bring them to a secret island and just keep them safe forever. That’s what I wanna do.
Meredith: I did see that Drake’s island is for sale for eight million dollars.
Tiffany: That’s it?
Meredith: That’s it. I saw that somewhere on line. They were talking about private islands that were for sale. And I’m thinking to myself, “Who has enough money to buy a private island?”
Meredith: Well Drake, could be, is the name of the island, but Drake probably could.
Tiffany: Oh, it’s not Drake’s island?
Meredith: No, I think it’s like Drake’s, like Drake’s is the name of the island. I don’t think it’s like Drake’s the singer’s island.
Tiffany: Oh my gosh, I thought that was what you meant.
Meredith: I don’t think so, fact check that for me husband.
Tiffany: Because …
Meredith: Because I don’t think it is but I could be wrong.
Tiffany: I literally thought you meant, he’s selling his island.
Meredith: I thought that’s what it was too, but then I was like, “Oh, no. I think it’s just called Drake’s,” but that could … but I’m wrong a lot.
Tiffany: I’m just gonna let you know that if I did have a ridiculous amount of money, I would absolutely-
Meredith: Buy an island?
Tiffany: … buy an island. Without a doubt.
Meredith: Would you let other people come to your island?
Tiffany: I mean, if they’re invited. They have to have a little placard to hang on their boat and a card, and I have to verify it.
Dave: Named after Sir Francis Drake.
Meredith: I thought so, Sir Francis Drake, not Drank the R&B delightful singer, rapper.
Tiffany: Oh pirates. I didn’t think about pirates.
Tiffany: I’d have an electric fence. Anyway. So I don’t know how …
Meredith: Well you just go to the next segment. Just go to the next segment. What else are we talking about today?
Meredith: Let’s see, Parenting Crap is brought to you by FabFitFun Subscription Boxes.
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Tiffany: Yes. So, today in Parenting Crap, the mental load of motherhood. What is the mental load of motherhood? The invisible workload women carry in the household. Mental load is something that women experience when they bear the burden of household chores. It’s the white noise that’s constantly playing in the background even when you try to relax and get some rest. The never-ending to-do list running through the minds of mostly all of us that no one seems to care about or be aware of other than you.
Meredith: Yes. And the mental load is real. I don’t think it could be more real if you ask me.
Tiffany: It physically hurts my brain.
Meredith: Yep, yep.
Tiffany: It is the things that don’t occur to other people. So whereas my husband walks into the living room and sits on the couch, I walk into the living room and I’m like, “Oh my gosh. Caden’s sock is on the floor. I’ve got to go put them in the laundry room. Crap, the laundry room, I never switched the clothes. Clothes, what are they going to wear to school tomorrow?” It’s like that book You Give A Mouse A Cookie. It’s literally like that’s what motherhood feels like to me. My mind never stops racing ever.
Meredith: Never ever ever. And that leads to physical exhaustion. The mental exhaustion leads to physical exhaustion, and then because you’re physically tired, you don’t get x, y, and z done. Then you just beat yourself up-
Meredith: … and go through this washing machine of guilt, just this constant bang bang. The worst is when I’m laying in bed at night, and I’m worrying about all of the things that have to happen tomorrow.
Meredith: It’s like I can’t physically do it now.
Meredith: But I’m obsessing about it because tomorrow, I’m going to have to do it. Then tomorrow, I’m going to obsess about the 9 million other things that have to happen throughout the day. My husband gets super perturbed with me because he’s like, “Why are you worrying about something that you can’t even do right now?”
Meredith: I don’t know why I do that.
Tiffany: Well, we do it to ourselves. Honestly, if you think about it truthfully, we do it to ourselves. I think about that all the time how I could fix the problem if I kept a notebook by the bed, and every time a thought popped into my head of something I had to do, I just wrote it down. If I practiced understanding that the house is not going to explode if the dishes are still in the sink. But it’s like I beat myself up because when I go to bed, having not completed the things I need to complete, it makes me feel like a failure.
Meredith: You know what? I’ll fill you in on a secret about how bad the mental load is in my brain. I know we do this to ourselves. When I’m in the middle of a chore or a task, I will not stop to give myself a bathroom break until I finished it because I don’t deserve the bathroom break until I’m done with the chore.
Meredith: It gets intense in my head sometimes when I’m trying to plow through something. It’s like I can fold the rest of this, and switch that, and get those dishes done, and then I’m allowed to have a bathroom break.
Meredith: Then and only then may I urinate.
Tiffany: I’m the opposite. I’m afraid to have a bathroom break because I just don’t think I’ll ever come back to the chore once I sit down. I’m like there’s no coming back. I can’t. So, I always try to finish it.
Meredith: Yeah, no, no. I could see that side of it. But no, I’m like literally in my own head like, “No, no, no, no. No, you didn’t even earn it. You’ve earned nothing.”
Tiffany: Yeah. And I know we’re not alone in this, and that’s the thing. Some people are probably better at handling it than others somehow, maybe heavily medicated something.
Meredith: Well, I’m currently medicated for my anxiety.
Tiffany: Yeah, same. But I mean I’m still anxious.
Meredith: I am, I am. I should probably be taking more.
Meredith: Well, this was the first dose. This was the first … This 60 days was the first go.
Meredith: I have only like three pills left, so I have to call them today. Thank you for reminding me.
Tiffany: You’re welcome.
Meredith: But I’m wondering if I don’t have to go up a notch just because I’m feeling like right where we were when we started. So, I think [crosstalk 00:24:05]-
Tiffany: Well, I can tell you what they’ll say, but-
Meredith: What will they say?
Tiffany: They’ll probably tell you to give it time because it takes a while for the pistons in your brain to start shooting properly. Because I wanted … The addict in me was like, “Okay. This isn’t working. I need more,” and they made me wait. But I don’t know if … In my head, I’m like, “Okay. More medication would make motherhood easier.” It would make life easier, but realistically, will medicine be able to fix that part completely?
Meredith: That’s a really good point. But-
Tiffany: Do you know what I mean?
Meredith: Yeah. But I’m absolutely going to have the conversation with my doctor. Obviously, they’re the doctor, I’m not.
Meredith: So, I’ll be cool with it either which way, but I definitely was hoping for a much faster fix.
Tiffany: Right. Are we all though?
Meredith: Right. Right.
Tiffany: Right. I take this pill and then I’m just calm as a cucumber, and I don’t care about anything.
Meredith: Right, and that’s not the case whatsoever, but it has given me the time to pause and say, “Okay.”
Meredith: “What has to happen right this minute?” And my husband has actually been trying to help me with that by when he sees me … Because when I get worked up … I don’t know about you, but when I get worked up, something that I do is I repeat over and over again. I get in a loop, and so I repeat all of the things that have to happen.
Meredith: I just say them over. And I get stuck in a loop, and I just go, “Okay. Tomorrow, we have to email this person.” Then I’ll go off to the next thing and I’m like, “Remember tomorrow.”
Meredith: I actually fidgety and I, “Tomorrow, we have to …” It’s just this awful loop, and I’m in the loop until I complete that process. So, the worst is when something is like seven days away and I’m starting a loop. If I’m that nervous or that agitated-
Meredith: And …
Tiffany: That’s why I don’t make plans.
Meredith: I drive him nuts. I drive my husband nuts because I get stuck in that loop.
Tiffany: I would like to hear from somebody-
Meredith: Yes, yes.
Tiffany: … who maybe either found a way to combat that invisible workload that we carry, like what they do. Because I know that I can’t stop it myself, and I have tried. Somebody said Orbeez. That’s hilarious because I use those.
Meredith: I don’t know what this Orbeez is.
Tiffany: They’re water beads.
Meredith: Oh, yes I do.
Tiffany: And I just put my hands in them and they calm me. I have also found talking to my husband about what I need. He’s always the voice of reason though. He’s like, “Calm down. It’s fine.” I’m like, “No, it’s not fine.”
Meredith: “It’s never going to be fine again.”
Tiffany: “Don’t tell me to calm down. You need to calm up. You need to calm into this with me.” So, if anybody wants to call in, and either share their experience or what kind of caller should we take? Sing us a song?
Meredith: I think we definitely need somebody to call in who can tell us what their number one go-to to combat the mental load is. So, when you feel it coming on, do you have an … Does something trigger and you say, “Okay, I can talk myself down by doing x, y, or z.” Because I think that would helpful to everybody.
Tiffany: It doesn’t go away. At what age of child does it go away? Once they move out, are you done with the …
Meredith: Oh. I never even thought of that.
Tiffany: Because you have teenagers and you still … I mean you have younger kids as well, but for example, if it was just your teenager, would it still be that way, do you think?
Meredith: I think maybe empty-nesters is maybe when it starts to kind of ease of, but-
Tiffany: Really? That’s a far time away.
Meredith: No. You think it gets worst. My husband is saying it probably gets worst because your kids aren’t home with you anymore, so you’re worrying all the time.
Tiffany: Jesus Christ. This is not good.
Meredith: We are entering the pit of despair.
Tiffany: Wait a minute. I don’t know because I’ve talked to moms who are like, “Yes, life is good.”
Meredith: I have too [crosstalk 00:28:16]-
Tiffany: “I’ve gotten back to me. I’m living my life. My kids are off doing their thing.”
Tiffany: The worry-
Meredith: I want to believe that.
Tiffany: Yeah. That’s what I want to believe too, but I also know how much I love those nuggets.
Meredith: Your little chickens.
Tiffany: My little chicken nuggets. I love them so much. Okay. We have a caller. Oo. These are my people. Bethany, from Oklahoma. Hi, friend.
Bethany: Hello, Tiffany.
Tiffany: Hello. How are you?
Bethany: Hello, Meredith.
Bethany: I’m fine.
Tiffany: Oh, she said nice to you. I mean hi-
Meredith: She said nice to me? Hi. Well, she’s from Oklahoma. She has manners.
Tiffany: [inaudible 00:28:52]. Words are so hard today, Bethany. You have two kids. What’s up?
Bethany: Well, we’re still talking about things already in the worrying, right?
Tiffany: Yes, girl, forever it sounds like.
Bethany: Okay. So, the best way … I have general anxiety disorder, just for everybody to know.
Tiffany: Yes. Same.
Bethany: I struggle with that daily, and I am medicated. But I have to take things five minutes at a time. Sometimes I allow myself a few hours at a time because I obsess like Meredith does.
Tiffany: So what does that look like taking five minutes or hours at a time?
Bethany: Sometimes I even have to write down what I’m allowed to worry about for the next hour.
Bethany: Or for the rest of the day. If it’s yesterday’s business, that’s me obsessing over something. If it’s tomorrow’s business, that’s me worrying about something. Now, I mean if it’s still something like that, yeah, I need to keep that in mind.
Tiffany: Oh, I like that though.
Bethany: But [crosstalk 00:29:53]-
Tiffany: If you’re obsessing about something … because it already happened. So now, you’re just obsessing about it. If it hasn’t happened yet, you’re worrying, which is unnecessary.
Tiffany: So focusing on the present.
Meredith: I do like that.
Bethany: With kids, that’s very difficult.
Meredith: This was really good advice though. You’re right. Yeah. I like what you’re saying. I do. No, I’m just being honest here because that’s my bag. That’s the bag of tricks I have is my honesty. I am worried already that if I went to write these things down, that my list would be 20 miles long-
Meredith: … because I would just be like, “No, no, no. I can worry about the 2020 election today because it’s only 2018. I have two years to obsess about this.” I don’t know how I’d get myself into a good enough space to give myself that just list of today. But my list of things to do has crap on it that goes through Sunday already, and today’s Monday, on my list.
Meredith: Do you know what I’m saying?
Tiffany: That’s why I don’t commit to things that far in advance.
Bethany: Oh, I’m the worst-
Tiffany: Sunday’s very far.
Bethany: … about not committing to things because the day will come and I will be in bed, and I will be like, “Mm.”
Tiffany: That’s exactly how I am. Maybe once you saw it down on a piece of paper, the things that you are allowed to worry about, it wouldn’t seem that important. You know what I’m saying? Once you wrote it down and take a look at it-
Meredith: I’m willing to try.
Tiffany: Yeah. Well, awesome. That’s really good advice, Bethany. Thank you so much and thanks for being a part of the group.
Meredith: I really did appreciate that. Thank you for that call.
Bethany: Thank you.
Meredith: My husband’s going to make me do this now. Thank you.
Tiffany: Have an awesome day.
Bethany: Thanks, bye.
Tiffany: So, I like that. I like that. Five minutes at a time.
Meredith: I do like that.
Tiffany: It feels like there’s a movie on repeat in my head. The movie’s called, “All the crap you’re never going to accomplish in your lifetime.”
Meredith: And all of the things that you previously did, but you should be embarrassed or ashamed about, and your chronic living hell that walks with you day in and day out.
Tiffany: I think what it boils down to is we are so hard on ourselves all the time. It’s unnecessary. It’s not like somebody else is following us around barking out about the things we aren’t doing. So, why are we doing it to ourselves? You know?
Meredith: I just feel like we were taught from a very early age that women have to be everything to everyone all of the time, and when we can’t, a little piece of us gets chipped away. We don’t give ourselves any breaks because we’re worried nobody else will give us any breaks and then we will fail. So, I think it’s very hard to unlearn that lesson.
Tiffany: Do you think social media has anything to do with it?
Meredith: Like a ton.
Tiffany: Like comparing.
Meredith: Which is why my entire spiel, my entire thing is being filter-free. I’m unapologetically raw, and this is exactly what you get because I have nothing else to offer up for you, and I don’t want somebody to come at me and be like, “Well, you did this today and that tomorrow.” I’m not going to ride a wave just because it’s what’s trending right now. Me personally, I’m not into that. So, I just don’t. If you don’t like it, that’s fine.
Meredith: This is just not the space for you. I want other women to know that that’s okay too.
Meredith: Just be exactly who you are. Isn’t it exhausting to try to be somebody else?
Tiffany: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Meredith: I can’t do that.
Meredith: I’m exhausted just from being the crap hole that is me. I don’t have that. If we’re being honest, I don’t. You’re the same way. Your peeps in here absolutely know that, but sometimes when you meet somebody offline who you only knew them online, they are nothing, nothing like they were online.
Tiffany: Well, that’s what I say all the time. It’s like people online are showing you … It’s like a movie trailer.
Tiffany: It shows you the best, most exciting and wonderful parts to get you interested.
Tiffany: But there’s a whole other movie there with a whole bunch of other parts that you don’t see initially. So, it’s just that on social media. They’re showing you the best parts, and they leave out the parts where they look like swamp donkey.
Meredith: Yeah. But that’s the other thing too. Sometimes I’ll get so aggravated when I’m watching a movie, and the woman just woke up, and she’s like running to go and do something or whatever, and she’s in full hair and makeup. It’s like first of all, who the hell goes to bed like that? Second of all, who the hell wakes up looking like that. You’ve got some flaws in here. No woman goes to bed with her fake eyelashes on and wakes up looking like she’s ready to walk the catwalk. That’s not real life.
Tiffany: I always make sure to point that out to my husband too. I’m like, “Just so you know, that’s not real, honey. Okay? Women don’t really look like that in the morning. They look like me, so don’t get your hopes up.”
Meredith: Right. Eric and I were traveling for some event or something I was doing, and we shared a hotel room. So, he rolled over in the morning and looked at me, and he went, “Oh my gosh.” I said, “What?” And he goes, “This is what you look like in the morning?” And I’m like, “This is what every women looks like in the morning.” He’s like, “Do something about it. Aren’t you going to fix it?” I was like, “Fix it? This is what I look like.” He’s like, “Oh, that’s a hot mess. That’s a hot damn shame.” I was like, “Eric?” He was like, “I just … I’ve never …” Oh, for the love … Dave …
Tiffany: What? I have that effect.
Meredith: But anyway, the point of the story is no, 99.9% of the women do not look like that when they wake up or leave the house or go do things. I think that can be a really rough message to share on social media. Not saying you can’t get dressed up and look beautiful and take a selfie. Absolutely, go and do that. But that’s not everything. There are so many other things that we are.
Tiffany: We went off just now. We started off talking about a mental load, and now we’re like, “Screw perfect women. Light them all on fire.”
Meredith: Well, I just don’t think perfection exists. I think trying to strive or attain that is a losing battle.
Meredith: So for me, it’s just like, no, I’m not going to do that.
Meredith: I’m not going to do that.
Tiffany: Good. So, what can we take away from this? Be gentle with ourselves? Calm the F down?
Meredith: I really like what the last caller said, which is you’ve got to take it five minutes at a time because it can be extremely overwhelming, especially if you’re a person like us where you’re stuck in a loop until the task is either completed or whatever. I’m a loop person, and I feel terrible because my husband suffers as a result of me being a loop person. I tried to stop. I just have not been successful at doing it yet.
Meredith: So, I think it’s time. Be gentle with ourselves.
Meredith: I like the way you said that.
Meredith: And cross your fingers until they leave the house.
Tiffany: Speaking of your husband, love and marriage section is brought to you by Meredith and Tiffany because we are both spectacular wives. Meredith, I think you should take this one because you made a video about this, didn’t you?
Meredith: I did.
Tiffany: So, today, we’re talking about the man cold.
Meredith: Yeah, we are.
Tiffany: And why guys react differently to colds.
Meredith: Yeah. We are.
Tiffany: And why guys react differently to colds.
Meredith: Well, so here’s the thing about the man cold. I made this video back in 2016 and the story behind the video because a lot of times when people stop me out in public or whatever and they’re like, “Oh my God. You’re that mom from Facebook that made that video about the man cold. Oh my God. That was the best video ever.” And then my husband will be with me and they’re like, “That video was about you.” And they point at my husband, right?
Meredith: But, the reason I made that video is because we literally both had the exact cold. He actually, I think, got me sick. Right? Like, he had it first and then I got the cold a day or so later and he was laying down, whimpering, crying, just couldn’t do anything. I was doing dishes. I was folding laundry. I was vacuuming. I was making a meal and he just kept calling me into the room and he was like, “Can I get some orange juice and will you take my temperature again?” And I was like, “You’ve got to be kidding me. Like, we have the exact same cold. Why are you dying and I’m doing all of the things?” Right? And so, in the middle of that exact argument, I looked at him and I said, “Get out of the way, I’m making a video.” And he’s like, “What?” I’m like, “I’m making a video. Stop it.”
Meredith: So, I literally did and the tissue that’s in my hand, I was snotting into while making this video. I made that video and it just, it went insanely crazy.
Tiffany: Apparently a lot of people could relate to it.
Meredith: Well, that’s what I’m saying. So, then … about, I wanna say just under a year later, after that video came out, there was a bunch of research done on why the man cold is a real thing and in fact, men suffer much worse than women because women have more estrogen than men which can combat the symptoms of a cold, which I think is totally bull shiitake mushrooms.
Tiffany: Do you know what’s so interesting? I feel that the opposite is true in my house.
Meredith: Oh, are you guys opposite?
Tiffany: Yes. Drew, my husband, when he’s sick, like you would never even know. He’s just very stoic about it, I guess. He doesn’t whine and complain. When I’m sick? The world ends. I am such a baby and I want all of the love, I’m not kidding. If I get a cough, I’m like, “Babe, I got to sit this one today, okay honey? I’ll be in the room.” I can’t take care of the kids. I can’t do anything. I’m the worst when I’m sick.
Tiffany: I guess it’s just me, apparently, ’cause your video went super viral. I was like dang. Alright.
Meredith: I think absolutely personality has a lot to play in when you’re sick. Right? Like, some people just … you don’t feel good so you need to check out. Like, I need to be done. I totally understand that. But sometimes I just … and I’m pretty sure men did this study that found that women are just not as sick because of all the estrogen ’cause I called BS on that. I believe all men did this study and all of those men are liebaggers and I think sometimes it’s just like, buck up man. I don’t care that you have the sniffles. We all have things we need to do.
Meredith: Or the best is when as a mom, you’re in the bathroom puking all over the place, ’cause everybody’s got the stomach flu, right? So you’re puking all over the place and kids are still coming in like, “Mom, are we gonna eat? Are we gonna have dinner?” And it’s like, get the hell … I’m puking all over the floor. Do you really want me to cook your meal?
Meredith: And it’s like, “Well, Dad’s watching TV. Are you gonna cook something?” And it’s like, “No, no I’m not gonna cook anything. I need you to go away from me at all times while I’m vomiting into the toilet.”
Tiffany: That’s so funny.
Meredith: My husband will say he’s not a baby when he’s sick. Ask him right now.
Tiffany: Are you a baby when you’re sick?
Speaker 1: Not even a little bit.
Tiffany: Not even a little bit.
Meredith: We have confirmed lies on today’s podcast.
Speaker 1: I get scratched by a witch’s nail.
Tiffany: Listen, I-
Meredith: Okay, tell your story.
Tiffany: Okay, thank you, I’ve been waiting this whole show.
Meredith: Please. Please, please, please.
Tiffany: I got scratched by a ghost in the middle of the night last night. I’m not sure why it picked me but I woke up this morning with a very mysterious injury on my hand. It is a combination of rug burn and ghost nails. So, I’m gonna have to set up some paranormal video camera LED ultraviolet cameras in my room tonight.
Meredith: Did the ghost come in and rub carpet on your hand? What are we doing here?
Tiffany: When ghosts move really fast, it creates a burn, thank you.
Tiffany: So, probably flew past me and then was like, wait a minute. I gotta go back for a little scratch.
Meredith: That’s probably what it sounded like, too.
Tiffany: I wish the people listening could see it because it’s legitimate.
Meredith: I would like to interject here and let everyone know that this is in fact not an injury.
Meredith: It is not. You are being ridiculous. But, I agree with you, ghosts exist. I just don’t think that they’re scratching people.
Tiffany: They do when they’re angry. I somehow made them angry. I’m not sure what exactly I did, but Google it.
Meredith: Google ghost scratches?
Tiffany: Yeah, and you’re gonna be like, “Oh my God. I feel so silly. Tiff was right.”
Meredith: Do you really think that I’m gonna say that?
Tiffany: Do you think it’s crazy how you can’t see it but now you can? Disappears. There it is. What kind of scratch does that? Do you see? Gone. There. Gone.
Meredith: We can’t spend any more time on this. I can’t let this continue to happen. This is not okay.
Tiffany: See what I mean though?
Meredith: Seems legit. Look at you, get out of here! Seems legit.
Tiffany: When I get hurt, I get hurt and I’m for the count. If I stub my toe, we’re going to the hospital. I don’t care what you’re doing. That’s where we’re going.
Meredith: Oh my gosh. Well, okay. I’ll give you half. I’ll give you 50% of this story because I in fact do believe in ghosts. Like, I am not even gonna say that I don’t. I’m scared to death of ghosts.
Tiffany: Yeah, ’cause you can’t fight them.
Tiffany: Or shoot them.
Meredith: They’ll just fly through you.
Meredith: And make that noise.
Tiffany: That’s what’s weird is you can’t touch them but sometimes they can throw things around your house.
Meredith: Yeah. We’re gonna have to do a whole show on ghosts.
Tiffany: I would love to. And aliens. I would really love to do them.
Meredith: Those two, huh?
Tiffany: That has nothing to do with motherhood but we could find a way. We could talk about pregnant aliens. You know what I mean? We could talk about-
Meredith: This one got away from us. Recording an episode on a Monday seems to get away from the true reason that we’re doing these podcasts. But at some point, you will hear a podcast about pregnant aliens, so.
Tiffany: It would be the best day of my life.
Meredith: Alright. That’s fine. Ghost hunters mom edition.
Tiffany: Exactly. Stay tuned.
Meredith: We’ll make it happen. I’m not kidding when I tell you that, ’cause I am a sarcastic a-hole, but I totally believe in ghosts. Like I’m siding with you.
Tiffany: What makes you so confident? Have you seen one?
Meredith: I have. And, and, I’m not about to piss off an evil spirit. Believe you! It’s cool. I’m not inviting that in.
Tiffany: Right. They’ll scratch you.
Meredith: Get me some holy water and a priest. We’re blessing the house. Not a joke. Alright.
Tiffany: Okay, so anyway.
Meredith: Yeah, so, man colds exist. This study is a sham.
Tiffany: As do pregnant … aliens.
Meredith: Okay. Pregnant aliens are real. But I do totally believe that any man who is such a wimp in a situation, any man that is such a wimp in a situation when it comes down to cold, it’s like I question your ability to do other things.
Tiffany: Listen, so I would like to take a caller to see if, what it’s like, okay. I want to know if anybody’s like me. Are they the baby when they’re sick or is their man a little baby back beep?
Meredith: Baby back ribs?
Meredith: The McRib is back.
Meredith: My husband loves a good McRib.
Tiffany: McDisgusting. Do you like fish filet? Yeah, you would.
Meredith: You would. I just got judged by Tiffany based on your McDonald’s order. “Oh, you like a filet-o-fish? Gross.”
Tiffany: Does anybody baby their husband when he’s sick?
Meredith: Oh, that’s a good question, too. Let’s take a caller. Somebody who’s like, “No no, honey. I’m sure that you are so sick that you cannot get up to get the mail today. Or take out the trash. Or help me with the dinner or the kids. And I will now bring you orange juice and Tylenol and rub your feet.” Somebody out there has to exist.
Tiffany: I think that’s so sweet and it brings me back to my childhood when my Mom used to take care of me. That’s what I want when I’m sick. I want somebody to take care of me ’cause I’m always taking care of everybody else. So, this is my one time to shine.
Meredith: But see, I don’t, your one time to shine? But see, I don’t get babied when I’m sick so I kind of just, I’m like, screw it. Just get out of my way and I’ll do all of the things like I always do anyway.
Tiffany: But would you want to be babied if you had a choice?
Meredith: No, don’t touch me. Get away from me. I don’t want any of that nonsense. Get out of here.
Tiffany: Oh my gosh.
Meredith: I’m a terrible person.
Tiffany: You’re a cold hearted snake.
Meredith: I am. C-c-c-cold hearted … s-s-sn-snake.
Tiffany: I can’t believe you wouldn’t want to be babied. That’s so surprising to me.
Meredith: No. I’m not a fan. I just don’t like it. And I have to have surgery Wednesday. My uterus is getting evicted and I’m already like-
Tiffany: We should have a going away party.
Meredith: For the uterus?
Meredith: What do you do with a going away party for your uterus?
Tiffany: Confetti poppers. Cake in the shape of a uterus.
Tiffany: Sorry. Go ahead with your story.
Meredith: No, that was pretty much it. I already don’t want to be laid up for a week and a half.
Tiffany: Oh, I do.
Meredith: I don’t even want it. I’m like arghhhh. I’m so annoyed.
Tiffany: Maybe there’s something wrong with me but I would love to be laid up for a week and a half. Maybe not in pain, ’cause pain pills aren’t an option for me, so I just have to suffer.
Meredith: I really don’t take pain pills. They make me nauseous and because of the surgery I had years back, I do not have the ability to properly vomit.
Tiffany: Um, what?
Meredith: Okay, so I had this tumor.
Meredith: That was removed from my esophagus. When they took it out, they removed a large chunk of my esophagus so they had to kind of patch it back together into my stomach. Wait, I’m making a point. And so, I don’t have the thrusting ability to shoot the vomit out. So watch, I’ll show you how I puke, okay? I go like this. And then I spit.
Tiffany: Okay. Thank … you … for that.
Meredith: It looks like a cat vomiting up a hairball.
Tiffany: Literally never gonna get that image out of my head. Oh God. We have a caller, please God. Janeel!
Tiffany: Hi! How are you?
Janeel: I’m good. How are you guys?
Tiffany: I’m good. This is Janeel from Utah.
Meredith: Oh, I bet you’re having beautiful weather in Utah.
Janeel: We are having beautiful weather. There’s a tiny bit of snow on the ground, this very tiny but, but it’s leaves and sunny skies.
Meredith: I knew it. Gosh darn it.
Meredith: Utah is a delight.
Janeel: Yeah, it’s wonderful.
Meredith: Alright. What do you got for us?
Janeel: Well, this is kind of not exactly what you guys were asking or saying, but, I’ve just learned that you have to kind of be a whiner as a mom or else you are expected to keep moving.
Meredith: That’s true.
Janeel: For me, if I don’t say, “Leave me alone. I’m really, really sick.” Then I’m expected to still do the carpool, do this, do that. Everything. The guys get away with it. The kids get away with it ’cause they can sit there and not do anything, but sometimes we have to do that. Sometimes we have to say, “Hey, I’m really sick so stop bugging me” or whatever.
Tiffany: Right. Get out of my room.
Janeel: So, I feel like you kind of have to do that. And my mom, I remember her saying, the minute you get dressed then you’re back to doing the same thing so don’t get dressed until you’re ready to actually start doing the same stuff.
Meredith: All of that is true. Everything you said.
Tiffany: But I never get dressed and I still have to do things.
Meredith: No, I meant the part about like owning your complaints otherwise you are forced to do everything. Like, I agree with you in that respect.
Janeel: Yeah, you have to do everything. I mean, you’re pretty much are expected regardless ’cause you’re the mom, but if you don’t kind of stand up for yourself and say, “Hey, I really can’t.” Then you are gonna continue to do everything and you kind of have to pretend sometimes that you are a little sicker than you are or else they continue on with their, you know, expectations and …
Meredith: Absolutely, I agree.
Janeel: My friend also said, her mom told her, don’t ever mow the lawn because that’ll be your job for the rest of your life.
Janeel: I’ve mowed the lawn and gave that up a long time ago ’cause I didn’t know that that was the rule. But, I can see how that applies to this where as if you don’t, as soon as you put on your clothes, you’re back to normal or there’s all these expectations that … sometimes you have to just say, “I’m done. Give me a break.”
Meredith: I agree. And I took the lawn as well.
Tiffany: You took it?
Janeel: Yeah, I can say I’ve done all the work and yeah, I do all that but …
Tiffany: On a side note, my stepdad told me that if I mowed the lawn he would pay for me to go to Adventure Island with my friends and when I was mowing, I fell in the sewer and I scraped my leg up and I had to go to the hospital and couldn’t go to Adventure Island.
Meredith: So that was the one time and then you never again?
Tiffany: Never touched it again.
Janeel: Well good for you.
Meredith: That sounds like a severe injury. Not as intense as a ghost bite or scratch.
Meredith: Sorry, but yes.
Tiffany: She’s so convinced that it’s a bite. She keeps saying that the ghost’s teeth did this.
Meredith: It kind of looks like teeth but alright.
Tiffany: Anyway, thank you for calling Janeel.
Janeel: Okay! Alright.
Meredith: Have a great day, thank you.
Janeel: You guys, you too.
Tiffany: Have a great day. Bye.
Janeel: Okay, bye.
Tiffany: Oh, we dipped.
Meredith: Yeah, dip. And watch me nay nay. Oh, that’s a different song.
Tiffany: That’s, no, grandma.
Meredith: Alright, well. It’s all fun and games until you’re husband gets sick and then you have to call in the nursing begrade.
Meredith: Brigade. Mondays are the worst.
Meredith: Literally. Do you know actually I prefer Mondays in life because having kids, the weekends are always just filled with kid crap. And so, when they go back to school, I’m actually super psyched that it’s Monday because they’re gone at school again.
Tiffany: Right. Right, right, right, right. Right. Yeah. No, I hear ya.
Meredith: Like, we weekended like nobody’s business this past weekend with gymnastics and soccer and friends coming over and crap.
Meredith: Crap everywhere.
Tiffany: Yeah, so it’s kind of like your weekend.
Meredith: Right. So, I’m saying Monday is like, oh yay, Monday. But then it’s like, it’s Monday and it smacks you in the face.
Tiffany: Yeah. I wish I could take a nap but there’s so many kids I have to like watch, ugh.
Tiffany: I really do. I think, ugh. I want a nap so bad. I can’t. My kid’s school gets out in like 35 minutes and it’s an hour drive and …
Meredith: You know that clock is actually 1:20, not 2:20.
Tiffany: You swear?
Meredith: Yes. We didn’t set it.
Tiffany: Oh my gosh! I’ve been so anxious this whole time.
Meredith: I was gonna tell you ’cause you kept looking at it, I’m like, she thinks it’s 2:20.
Tiffany: You jerk face. You’re letting me suffer in silence. I’m like sweating and then I’m just like, uh huh, uh huh, okay. Alright.
Meredith: I did. Sorry. Sorry not sorry.
Tiffany: It’s so freeing. I feel like we could just have a sleepover now. I can breathe.
Meredith: Well, you still can’t nap but it’s alright.
Meredith: Sorry, sorry.
Meredith: Alright, so where can we find you on socials?
Tiffany: You can find me at Juggling the Jenkins dot come.
Meredith: Oh, and if you want to call in on a normal day that’s not a crap shoot like this one was, you can always go in and check us out at the filter free parenting community that we have formally known as That’s Inappropriate Parents, it is not being rebranded to filter free parents because we truly believe in the message of being filter free at all times.
Tiffany: Yes. Agreed with you.
Meredith: You yawned in the middle of my spiel.
Tiffany: Oh, I’m sorry.
Meredith: You’re dead to me. Alright.
Tiffany: My phone’s dying.
Meredith: Yes. But you can find me over at That’s Inappropriate dot come.
Tiffany: Yes, and I already said Juggling the Jenkins. Thank you guys so much for being here with us.
Speaker 1: We wanna hit a thousand reviews.
Meredith: Oh that’s right. Give us your reviews. We love reading them.
Tiffany: Oh. Yeah. Where can they put their reviews at?
Meredith: Any place you download it, so right on the website on That’s Inappropriate dot com forward slash podcast. On iTunes, Google Play Music. Join us next week for another episode of Take It-
Tiffany: Or Leave It. An advice’ish show hosted by two struggling moms-
Together: Who have no idea what we’re doing.
Meredith: That was so classy.
Tiffany: I’m gonna go take a nap.
Meredith: I can always count on you in a pinch.
Meredith: In a pinch!
Tiffany: Okay, you are literally a grandma today. I could count on you in a pinch, little whippersnapper.
Meredith: Oh my gosh.
Tiffany: Alright, anyway. Love you guys.
Meredith: I don’t know how you turn off the phone.
Tiffany: I don’t either. I can’t see anything.
Meredith: Like, that, it went to dark mode.
Tiffany: I love you guys. I’ll talk to you soon.
Meredith: I wonder if that’s the ghost.
Tiffany: The ghost is here to scratch my other arm.
Meredith: And it’s taking over your phone. Oh my gosh.