Welcome to Take It or Leave It, an advice-ish podcast for parents brought to you by Grove Collaborative.
Tiffany [00:00:13] You can download this podcast on iTunes and Google Play Music.
Meredith [00:00:17] I’m your host, Meredith, from That’s Inappropriate.
Tiffany [00:00:19] And I’m your host, Tiffany, from Juggling the Jenkins.
Meredith [00:00:22] This podcast will discuss all things marriage, motherhood, and everything in between.
Tiffany [00:00:27] Please remember, we are not professionals at anything you may actually need.
Meredith [00:00:31] So any advice we give you, you can take it …
Tiffany [00:00:33] Or leave it because it might be crap.
Meredith [00:00:36] It’s probably crap.
Meredith [00:00:37] Welcome to Take It …
Tiffany [00:00:39] Or Leave It.
Meredith [00:00:42] Welcome to Take It …
Tiffany [00:00:43] Or Leave It.
Meredith [00:00:46] So yeah, welcome to Take it or Leave it. I figured we’d start the show each week with a mom fail moment because I don’t know about you, Tiff, but I have … I don’t know a bajillion. So I thought we’ll just take turns. This’ll be my week, and then you could have next week.
Tiffany [00:01:06] Great.
Meredith [00:01:07] And then so on and so forth and it’s as scheduled, as scheduled. As scheduled?
Tiffany [00:01:12] Perfect.
Meredith [00:01:13] Right, okay. Mom fails happen and I’m going to go back a few years to one that I still can’t believe I did, but it was like I’d gone too far so there was no turning around. I was yelling all morning for the kids to get into the car and to get on their shoes. My youngest has sensory issues. He’s autistic and he hates wearing shoes. He hates wearing underwear. He hates wearing clothing. He just wants to be a nudist.
Meredith [00:01:42] I’m screaming at him to get on his shoes, “Get on your shoes. Get on your shoes. Get on your shoes.” I finally just said, “All right. To the car.” We get in the car. We get all the way to drop-off at the day care. I open up the car and the child has no shoes on. He got himself in. He got himself buckled. I never looked at his feet and I took him to day care with no shoes. Then I realized that I’m already here, so I’ve committed to the fact that I am here. I have already told him that he was going to, in fact, go to school whether he had shoes on or not. So I walked him in and I dropped him off and I said, “I’m sorry, but I have to go.” And I left him with no shoes.
Tiffany [00:02:24] No.
Meredith [00:02:24] I did it.
Tiffany [00:02:25] Is that legal?
Meredith [00:02:26] Probably not, but I left him there with no shoes and I spoke to the owner of the day care. I said, “Listen.” I said, “Here’s what happened, but I feel like I need to commit and I have to show him that I’m serious.” So comes to find out, she sent one of the workers down the street to Walmart and they bought him flip flops and that’s what he wore that day at the day care. I committed.
Tiffany [00:02:54] I respect that.
Meredith [00:02:55] What was I supposed to do? Was I supposed to drive home?
Tiffany [00:02:57] They’re probably still talking about you there, just so you know.
Meredith [00:03:00] I know. Well, of course they are. Who does that? Who drops their kid off to school with no shoes and then just says, “I’m sorry, but this is what we’re doing today.”
Tiffany [00:03:08] Literally nobody.
Meredith [00:03:09] I did. I did. I did. And that’s okay.
Tiffany [00:03:12] I think it’s great.
Meredith [00:03:15] To me, that was just it is what it is. All right. I think it’s nice that mom fails happen and we can share them.
Tiffany [00:03:27] Yeah, because none of us are perfect and chances are, most of us are messing up. So the more of us that talk about it, the better we’ll feel when we do it.
Meredith [00:03:34] Right. I think anybody who says they’re perfect is a lie bagger. I think they’re full-on lie baggers, if you ask me. I just don’t think that there’s any truth in that. We’re all liars and we all fail.
Tiffany [00:03:49] Well, I don’t know if we’re all liars, but …
Meredith [00:03:51] I mean, you know I mean.
Tiffany [00:03:53] I know what you mean. No, none of us are perfect.
Meredith [00:03:56] Right. So if you claim to be perfect, that I think is … it’s not just an awful lie to tell, but it’s not good for you either because you shouldn’t have to feel like you have to be perfect.
Tiffany [00:04:07] Exactly. Agreed.
Meredith [00:04:09] Let’s start the show.
Tiffany [00:04:10] Yes.
Meredith [00:04:12] All right, all right, all right, all right.
Meredith [00:04:15] Today’s trending parenting news is brought to you by Grove Collaborative.
Tiffany [00:04:19] I have a joke for you.
Meredith [00:04:21] Okay, I really can’t wait to hear this.
Tiffany [00:04:23] It’s an amazing joke. How do you fix a broken pumpkin?
Meredith [00:04:28] I don’t know.
Tiffany [00:04:29] A pumpkin patch.
Meredith [00:04:31] No. No, that’s terrible. That’s awful. That’s absolutely terrible. Who gave you that joke?
Tiffany [00:04:39] Your husband, technically. Technically.
Meredith [00:04:41] There you go. Now we know. Here’s the thing, I love puns and I love terrible jokes, but my son loves them even more. So they circulate in our home frequently. We are Internet joke grabbers, just so you know.
Tiffany [00:04:56] I’m ready.
Meredith [00:04:57] All right, so how do you know when it’s officially fall? What are your thoughts on that?
Tiffany [00:05:04] Mine are scents, pumpkins, leaves falling-
Meredith [00:05:12] Yes.
Tiffany [00:05:12] … from the sky, the trees.
Meredith [00:05:12] Maybe from a tree.
Tiffany [00:05:13] Trees.
Meredith [00:05:14] But yeah. I don’t know about you, but I know that everybody here for me knows that I’m in love with Grove Collaborative and their new fall scents are out. You guys do need to be aware that they do have a pumpkin. What’s your favorite?
Tiffany [00:05:29] Mum.
Meredith [00:05:30] I knew it was coming.
Tiffany [00:05:31] I didn’t even that that was a thing until my box came and I smelled it. Everything in my house smells like mum.
Meredith [00:05:37] Yes. Yes. I just opened my mum. That sounds dirty, it’s not. I just opened my mum and I started using it this morning because I was using Clean Day. Clean Day had been my go-to before the fall scents came out. So now that they’re here, I have pumpkin, I have mum, and I have apple cider.
Tiffany [00:05:59] Yes.
Meredith [00:05:59] It’s fantastic.
Tiffany [00:06:00] I love it. It gets me excited for this time of year. Sweaters, even though it’s 10]  degrees where we live, but I like to pretend sometimes.
Meredith [00:06:09] Yeah, I was talking about that earlier over on Filter Free. I think we have to pretend. I think we have to pretend because it’s so hot here, but we also want to get into the mood with you Northerners. We have to get in the mood.
Tiffany [00:06:22] Yeah. We want to be included.
Meredith [00:06:23] What if I want to wear a scarf to Publix? What if I want to do that with my life? I’m just saying. I’m just saying.
Tiffany [00:06:30] Yes. It’s nice that it comes right to your door. You don’t even have to leave. You could just pick out what you want and the prices are amazing. I just really love Grove.
Meredith [00:06:41] I do, too, so be sure to order before October 5th because the seasonal scents do run out. You want to make sure to hit the link that we’re going to show you guys. It’s grove.co/takeit. So go take yours. And there’s a bunch of free goodies right now with the Mrs. Meyer’s scents when you spend 20] bucks. Go check out the deal. Order your stuff up, because I’m telling you, they will run out. It does happen. It happened after one of your live streams.
Tiffany [00:07:07] I believe it.
Meredith [00:07:08] It did. It was like, oh my gosh. Everybody was just all over the Grove.
Meredith [00:07:13] We’re going to talk a little bit in this segment about trending news, parenting news. Trending things that are happening and then we’ll take some callers. But I wanted to get your take on something that came out this week.
Tiffany [00:07:26] Okay.
Meredith [00:07:26] Okay. A school in Georgia has reinstituted paddling as a form of corporal punishment for their students. Okay? So get this. There are still 19] states in the US who have paddling on the books.
Tiffany [00:07:45] What?
Meredith [00:07:46] 19.
Tiffany [00:07:47] In the US?
Meredith [00:07:48] In the US that say they can paddle if you give permission to do so. Here’s the thing. The school in Georgia sent out a letter to the parents. 33% of the parents signed and agreed, yes, paddle my child.
Tiffany [00:08:06] Are you serious?
Meredith [00:08:07] Yeah. What do you think?
Tiffany [00:08:08] I’m shocked that that many people signed it, to be honest with you. I’m shocked.
Meredith [00:08:13] Really?
Tiffany [00:08:14] Yeah. Okay, I don’t know. It makes me feel like a fiery rage for some reason, to think about somebody other than me paddling my kid when I’m not there. But I’m also a helicopter mom and I like to be in control of every single thing that ever happens to my child. But I feel like that’s extreme. What are the ages? What group of kids?
Meredith [00:08:35] This was a middle school. But here’s the thing. Okay. They were very descriptive with how it was that they were going to paddle your child. In this letter they stated that your child, after the infraction took place, would be walked into the principal’s office, the door would shut, the child would get onto all fours, hold the back of a chair to receive their three whacks. How do you feel about that?
Tiffany [00:09:02] I feel a fiery rage. I can’t. I can’t. I cannot imagine it.
Meredith [00:09:09] Well, it’s happening.
Tiffany [00:09:10] No.
Meredith [00:09:10] It is.
Tiffany [00:09:12] I’m so surprised. I’m truly surprised. I’m surprised that so many parents would be like, “Yeah, go ahead.” I’m not judging. But never.
Meredith [00:09:19] Well, to each their own. Of course, they start this article from CNN talking about if you spare the rod, you spoil the child. But does that take place in school, is the question? Some parents absolutely say, “Yes, go ahead. My kid did x, y, and z.” Here’s the other option you had. You could be called and come in and you could stand in the office while your child got paddled, if you wanted the school to be the one to deliver the discipline. Or you could just say, “No. You’re not touching my kid. I’ll take care of it. I’ll deal with it on my own. I’ll deal with it at home.”
Meredith [00:09:52] I don’t know. We talked about this on Winesday and it was a solid split in there.
Tiffany [00:10] :03] Really?
Meredith [00:10] :03] Some people were saying, “Absolutely,” and others were saying, “No.”
Tiffany [00:10] :06] Well, my kids are two and three years old. At this age, it’s hard for me to be able to justify taking a paddle to them because I feel like they’re just starting to navigate the world and figure things out. Yeah, they know right from wrong, but their bodies are just so little that I just can’t imagine it. Maybe when they get older and they start wilding out and getting crazy-
Meredith [00:10] :27] Wilding out.
Tiffany [00:10] :28] I’ll feel different maybe.
Meredith [00:10] :29] Are you wilding out right now?
Tiffany [00:10] :31] Totally becoming there.
Meredith [00:10] :32] Let me get my paddle. No, I think it’s a touchy subject. But I also think it was very … I just thought it was interesting from a news stance to see this and read the reactions of people and kind of go through. We have a story on thatsappropriate.com about it, but the comments on Twitter and all over the place were just insane. It was very interesting.
Meredith [00:10] :55] But I myself, I discipline at home. I discipline the heck out of my children at home.
Tiffany [00:11:03] At home.
Meredith [00:11:05] I’ve taken off a flip flop several times. But that’s my job.
Tiffany [00:11:11] Right.
Meredith [00:11:12] That’s my job.
Tiffany [00:11:13] Exactly.
Meredith [00:11:13] I just found it very interesting and I think your deal is your deal, man. You go, you do you. You want to sign it over to the school, sign it over to the school. You don’t? You don’t.
Tiffany [00:11:22] Right.
Meredith [00:11:23] But parenting is taking place either way.
Tiffany [00:11:27] It’s not that I am against, per se, spanking and things like that, but I feel like to imagine my child going into a room on all fours while I’m not there and getting paddled by a stranger, it makes me sad.
Meredith [00:11:43] Yeah, well let’s see. Why don’t we take some callers on this topic?
Tiffany [00:11:47] Okay. That’s fun.
Meredith [00:11:48] Let’s see. Why don’t you call in and you can tell us your thoughts on paddling in schools, if you would agree to it or disagree with it and why? Let’s kind of figure out. If you have kids around that age, middle school or later elementary school or high school or whatever, just tell us your thoughts because I do agree with you, Tiffany, it’s gotta be hard in the mindset of having a two and a three-year-old, to have that thought.
Tiffany [00:12:14] Exactly.
Meredith [00:12:15] Because I do not a middle schooler.
Tiffany [00:12:17] Right and so you can imagine.
Meredith [00:12:20] I can. I can imagine because I also taught middle school.
Tiffany [00:12:25] There it is. You want to be the one doing the paddling to other people’s kids.
Meredith [00:12:28] Well, I’m just saying. I’m just saying, I taught history and PE in middle school. And let me tell you-
Tiffany [00:12:39] I just found that out the other day. I’m so surprised.
Meredith [00:12:43] … middle school kids, it’s like they’re not even human beings because they’re just puberty-riddled, emotional basket cases.
Tiffany [00:12:50] Really?
Meredith [00:12:51] They are. Wait for puberty.
Tiffany [00:12:52] Good times. Thank you.
Meredith [00:12:54] Just wait for puberty. I know it’s so cliché for people to say, “Oh, just wait,” but let me tell you, puberty will throw you for a loop.
Meredith [00:13:02] Okay, all right. I think we have a caller. I think they’re going to throw one over to us.
Tiffany [00:13:08] That’s exciting. I’m interested to hear what people think about this because, of course my knee-jerk reaction is to mama bear pounce and be like, “You’re not touching my kid,” but I could be wrong. You know what I mean? Maybe I’m wrong.
Meredith [00:13:22] All right. Well, it looks like we have Kelly (Caller) from New York and Kelly (Caller) should have some interesting things to say. She has four kids.
Tiffany [00:13:28] Four.
Meredith [00:13:29] Hello.
Kelly (Caller): [00:13:30] Good morning, ladies.
Tiffany [00:13:31] Hi, Kelly (Caller).
Kelly (Caller): [00:13:33] How are you?
Tiffany [00:13:34] Excited. My first day on the job.
Kelly (Caller): [00:13:37] I know. Congrats.
Meredith [00:13:38] I know, right? Well welcome to the show, Kelly (Caller). What do you think?
Kelly (Caller): [00:13:44] My range by 21, 17, 14, and a nine-year-old, and I watch six kids a day. There’s no way that another human being should put a hand on a child, or a paddle unless you are in a bedroom and you okay it, if you know what I mean.
Meredith [00:14:07] Right, right, right. Right. Your child … oh, oh, oh, Kelly (Caller), oh.
Tiffany [00:14:12] Wait. I just got it, Kelly (Caller). You dirty bird.
Meredith [00:14:15] Kelly (Caller), it took us a minute. I was like, yes, yes, Kelly (Caller). I know what you mean. I did not.
Tiffany [00:14:20] I did not either.
Meredith [00:14:20] Pardon me.
Tiffany [00:14:21] I’m like, okay.
Meredith [00:14:22] I do now. I actually turned in my seat. Oh, okay. But agreed, Kelly (Caller), I think that that is a good point that you kind of own that kid, right?
Kelly (Caller): [00:14:33] Right. Exactly.
Meredith [00:14:34] Yeah, I agree. I agree. I know Tiffany’s on team Kelly (Caller).
Tiffany [00:14:38] Yeah. I’m team worry wart.
Kelly (Caller): [00:14:41] There’s no way. We don’t live in a day and age or a country that has corporal punishment. That’s just crazy to me.
Meredith [00:14:49] Okay.
Kelly (Caller): [00:14:50] I don’t understand it.
Meredith [00:14:52] Yeah, I found it very interesting and the knee-jerk reaction to all of the interweb was, “What? What are we doing? What year is this?”
Tiffany [00:15:02] But it’s already happening. I didn’t even know about that.
Meredith [00:15:05] I also didn’t know that 19] states still had it on the books.
Tiffany [00:15:08] I thought for sure Kelly (Caller), with four kids, was going to be like, “Do it, please.” I thought that’s why she was calling.
Meredith [00:15:13] Right. Well, thank you, Kelly (Caller).
Kelly (Caller): [00:15:17] No problem. Thank you very much.
Meredith [00:15:18] I really appreciate it. Thanks for calling in on the show.
Kelly (Caller): [00:15:22] I’m so glad I got through.
Meredith [00:15:23] Yay.
Tiffany [00:15:23] Aw, bye Kelly (Caller).
Meredith [00:15:24] All right. You have a great day.
Kelly (Caller): [00:15:26] You too, guys. Thanks.
Meredith [00:15:27] All right. Yeah, let’s take another caller. Let’s see what some other people think. But the interweb really, it was … I wouldn’t say on the Internet it was an even split from the comments that was reading.
Tiffany [00:15:40] It was more so people against it?
Meredith [00:15:42] Yes. It was.
Tiffany [00:15:44] But 33% so far of the parents at the school have signed it.
Meredith [00:15:48] That was, I believe I saw the story on Tuesday. So it’d be interesting to see a follow-up piece to what happened over there in Georgia at this school since the Internet had its heyday with it.
Tiffany [00:16:01] I’m sorry. Did we say already what age the kids were that they’re looking to do this?
Meredith [00:16:05] Middle school.
Tiffany [00:16:06] Middle school.
Meredith [00:16:07] Middle school. So that’s anywhere from 12, 13, 14.
Tiffany [00:16:11] Okay.
Meredith [00:16:12] Could be 11, sixth grader could be 11. My sixth grader was 11. So it could be very well be.
Meredith [00:16:18] But all right. We’re going to see what the next caller has to say and go from there. See if we have somebody, I’d like to hear from somebody who would allow a paddle.
Tiffany [00:16:30] Me too. I’d be interested.
Meredith [00:16:30] I would.
Tiffany [00:16:31] Just to hear their thought process because I’m open.
Meredith [00:16:35] I’m absolutely, I think that we should. I think we should hear that. Let’s see who’s next. Who do we have?
Tiffany [00:16:39] All right. We have Kimberly from New Hampshire. She also has four children.
Meredith [00:16:44] Those Northern states have something in the water.
Tiffany [00:16:46] What you guys got going on up there?
Meredith [00:16:49] Hello.
Kimberly (Caller): [00:16:51] Hello. How you guys doing?
Tiffany [00:16:54] Hi Kimberly.
Meredith [00:16:55] Great. How are you, Kimberly?
Kimberly (Caller): [00:16:58] Still battling with pneumonia.
Meredith [00:16:59] Oh, you poor thing.
Kimberly (Caller): [00:17:00] But I’m alive.
Meredith [00:17:02] All right. So tell us, what are your thoughts on this?
Kimberly (Caller): [00:17:05] Well, I’ll tell you, I was raised in California and both my sister and I grew up in a state that allowed paddling. Now, I was paddled once by the principal who informed me, “I’m a principal, but I can be your prinici-pal. It depends on your actions.”
Tiffany [00:17:29] No, he didn’t.
Kimberly (Caller): [00:17:29] I got spanked once. However, he didn’t leave any marks or bruises. It was just a swat because I hit another kid in the head with my lunchbox. My sister, who went to a Christian school, came home with welts and bruises and she couldn’t sit down for two or three days.
Meredith [00:17:52] Ouch.
Kimberly (Caller): [00:17:53] She got in the wrong bus line. I think it depends on the kid, too. If you know your kid’s a little wild and they do stuff like my eldest that’s really inappropriate at school, call the parent first. Let them know how extreme their action was to deserve this. But yeah, I would let him get paddled. If I knew what the paddling was … This getting down on all fours is a little too much. We used to just have to bend over a chair or the principal’s desk. But getting down on all fours? That puts a whole new twist on it. It sounds weird.
Meredith [00:18:41] It was odd. Yeah, you know what, Kimberly? When I read that, I found that part odd. But I’ve also never been paddled, but we did have a paddle. There was a paddle in our elementary school. It was hung on the principal’s wall.
Tiffany [00:18:53] As like a warning?
Meredith [00:18:56] I didn’t even check to see if Florida is still one of the states that has it, but I know that you could. When I was in school, you could paddle. You could be paddled and it did hang on the wall of the principal’s office.
Meredith [00:19:10] I really do think to each their own and it’s your choice, your parenting choice, your parenting style. But I would always … Here’s the one thing that I’m going to end this segment with, I would always want to be called from the school any time anything happened with my child. I should be the first to know. Before anything else takes place, you need to call that parent and say, “X, y, and z took place with your child today. Now we need to have a conversation.”
Tiffany [00:19:39] Agreed.
Kimberly (Caller): [00:19:42] Right. That’s right.
Meredith [00:19:42] That’s the whole thing because this whole nonsense of “Well, give us consent and we’ll take of it.” No, no, you need to call me either way. No matter what, you need to call me.
Kimberly (Caller): [00:19:53] Yeah. Here in New Hampshire, they don’t do it. I mean there’s times when my eldest probably should have got whacked for … He had a girlfriend break up with him and he was actually the morning announcer and gave what’s on the lunch menu. He did all the announcement in the office. He got up in the middle of class, walked into the office, turned on the PA system, and decided to recite the 10] things I hate about you to his ex-girlfriend to the whole school.
Meredith [00:20:25] Gosh. That’s epic. I think he probably should be been rewarded. That was so …
Kimberly (Caller): [00:20:31] He actually got cheered on, but the principal made me take him out of school until a therapist said it was okay for him to come back.
Tiffany [00:20:37] I love him.
Kimberly (Caller): [00:20:39] It’s like huh. He probably should have got his butt whacked. I had to keep a straight face and not laugh my ass off when I had to go to pick him up, because she sort of deserved it. But again, they did that call. There isn’t paddling here in New Hampshire.
Meredith [00:21:03] Yeah, no.
Kimberly (Caller): [00:21:03] I just take it on my own and go from there. But I couldn’t keep a straight face because it was just hilarious.
Meredith [00:21:10] That is tough. But well, thank you so much for calling in, Kimberly. We hope that you have an absolutely fantastic weekend.
Kimberly (Caller): [00:21:16] Thank you, Tiffany. I love you guys both so much.
Meredith [00:21:19] Thank you.
Tiffany [00:21:20] Aw, I love you too, Kimberly. Thanks.
Kimberly (Caller): [00:21:22] Okay, bye bye.
Tiffany [00:21:23] Bye.
Meredith [00:21:23] Bye. All right. I think we got one of each. We got a for and we got an against. I’d say that’s pretty solid.
Tiffany [00:21:35] That’s so interesting to me. Somebody said we should bring the dunce cap back for middle schoolers, if we’re bringing things back.
Meredith [00:21:41] If we’re bringing things back, yeah.
Tiffany [00:21:43] Put them in the corner and embarrass them.
Meredith [00:21:45] Yeah, well, they do have, at least at my son’s school, they have lunch detention where they have to sit at a desk in the corner of the cafeteria and they can’t sit with the other kids when they do something wrong during the lunch period.
Tiffany [00:21:57] Interesting.
Meredith [00:21:59] They’re isolated in the sense that they’re still in the cafeteria, but they’re not allowed to socialize and everybody knows that’s the detention seat.
Tiffany [00:22:06] That’s a good idea.
Meredith [00:22:07] They do that.
Meredith [00:22:13] Okay, thank you, husband. All right. This next segment that we are going to go into is called parenting crap. This segment is brought to you by FabFitFun subscription boxes.
Tiffany [00:22:28] Listen, FabFitFun is a seasonal subscription box with full-size beauty, fitness, fashion, and lifestyle products.
Meredith [00:22:37] It retails for $49.99, but you always a value of over $200.
Tiffany [00:22:42] Yeah, here’s the thing. There was a long time when I didn’t want to do the FabFitFun box, mainly because it had the word fit in it. I was like, this isn’t for me. You know what I mean? But then I found out there’s some products that you can customize in there. My boxes lean more towards the fabulous side really.
Meredith [00:22:59] Yes, as they should.
Tiffany [00:23:01] And many of the products in there, like one individual product-
Meredith [00:23:01] … As they should.
Tiffany [00:23:01] Many of the products in there, like one individual product costs more than the entire box.
Meredith [00:23:06] Yeah, that happened in this last one that I got. I got the tote, and it was amazing.
Tiffany [00:23:14] You’re in love with that tote.
Meredith [00:23:14] I’m in love with it.
Tiffany [00:23:15] You told me that last night.
Meredith [00:23:15] So very much so, and I feel fabulous when I wear it, and I also feel like people should speak to me with a French accent when they see me with the tote.
Tiffany [00:23:25] True.
Meredith [00:23:25] Because that’s how frigging fancy I am when I’m using it.
Tiffany [00:23:29] Yeah, it’s stuff that I would never buy for myself that I get to try.
Meredith [00:23:35] That’s why I love it.
Tiffany [00:23:36] Yes.
Meredith [00:23:36] You hit the nail on the head there.
Tiffany [00:23:37] Yes.
Meredith [00:23:38] Once again, it shows up to my door.
Tiffany [00:23:41] No pants.
Meredith [00:23:42] No pants, and I have to do actually no work whatsoever. It just shows up because it’s a subscription. You can use coupon code: Meredith, for $10] off your first box at www.fabfitfun.com. We are lifers over there, we love it.
Tiffany [00:23:59] Yes, they’ve probably all seen me dancing around about my box. I always get really excited when it comes.
Meredith [00:24:04] Who doesn’t love to dance around about their box. Let’s just be honest.
Tiffany [00:24:09] Touche.
Meredith [00:24:10] Let’s just be honest. All right. This segment of the show, known as Parenting Crap, can really deal with anything that we want to talk about that’s in the realm of parenting, but I thought this week we would discuss our kids schedules. Are, our, I always say are are, are our kids too scheduled? Are afterschool and extracurricular activities too much for our kids. Now, we’re going to have, I think, some different opinions on that this because of the ages of our kids.
Tiffany [00:24:40] Right.
Meredith [00:24:41] Do you feel like your days are jam-packed? Is that your kids fault?
Tiffany [00:24:46] I do feel like my days are jam-packed, but it has nothing to do with afterschool activities. I do have a seven year old bonus daughter, and that girl has done everything from horseback riding to synchronized swimming. She always wants to try something new, and I don’t want to stifle that passionate flame of exploring, but I’ll tell you what, some of the parents in there get really into it, and have their kids lined up back to back, to back, to back with activities. While I think it’s good that they’re not sitting at home staring at a TV all day, I also feel like it’s a lot. Sometimes they should be playing and having idle time because they are so scheduled. They go to school, then they go to a thing, then they come home, it’s time for homework, and dinner, and bedtime.
Meredith [00:25:32] What was the last activity she did?
Tiffany [00:25:35] She is currently doing piano.
Meredith [00:25:36] Piano.
Tiffany [00:25:37] Yes.
Meredith [00:25:37] How many days a week is piano?
Tiffany [00:25:39] It’s only one, but for some reason I’m like, “Oh, it’s piano day.”
Meredith [00:25:43] Yeah.
Tiffany [00:25:44] You got to sit there for an hour while they do the piano, either in the lobby talking to other moms who you don’t know, trying to do the small talk thing, or you’re in your car.
Meredith [00:25:53] I would be in the car.
Tiffany [00:25:54] I’m whining about one hour a week. I’m dreading when they get older, there’s three of them, it’s going to be a nightmare.
Meredith [00:25:59] Yeah, I can tell you about the nightmare that three is. Right now, let’s see, my daughter is nine, she is in gymnastics four nights a week, from four-thirty to seven-forty-five at night. By the time she is picked up, the poor child eats dinner in the car, comes home, showers, we check homework, and she is in bed by eight-forty-five.
Tiffany [00:26:23] Wow.
Meredith [00:26:23] I get less than an hour with her at night before she goes to bed on those four nights a week because of competitive gymnastics. When I say competitive, I’m positive that the people at my daughters gym are selling organs to not only pay for the competition leotards and the monthly fees, but they’re probably out there … They might even be selling plasma, blood, sperm, see, I don’t know what they’re selling, but they’re selling some things because it’s outrageous.
Tiffany [00:26:49] The price?
Meredith [00:26:51] Everything about it. I just feel like it’s so … Now, I say that in one breath, and the next breath is, it’s so competitive because that’s what it is, it’s a competitive level. It is supposed to be, at some point, like your kids in the Olympics, but I just don’t know that I want to be on board with that.
Tiffany [00:27:09] Right. What is it that … Side note: What is it that you think that parents want their kids in all these activities for? Is it so that they can grow up and become a professional baseball player, or whatever the activity is, or is it to pass time?
Meredith [00:27:23] That’s a good question. We should take a caller and ask, but I think, personally, for me, she has been asking for years and I told her no. I was like, “No, no, no. Number one, gymnastics is dangerous. You’re jumping all over stuff. Number two, it’s super expensive. Number three, I’ll be required to put on pants and talk to people.” I was just like, “There’s a lot of reasons not to do this.” This child continued on and on and on, and then when the Olympics, a couple of years ago, when the Olympic … We were watching the Olympics, she’s like, “Mom, just please. Mom, just please let me do it.” I tell you what, I put her in there, she’s a state vaulter for the State of Florida for her age group at her level.
Tiffany [00:28:05] Wow. Really?
Meredith [00:28:06] I was just trying to stifle her creativity and her love and her passion. Look at me killing spirits.
Tiffany [00:28:11] Dream killer.
Meredith [00:28:12] I am the dream … That’s my title at home is dream killer. That is a true story.
Tiffany [00:28:20] Yeah, if the kids passionate about something, I totally understand that, but I know some grandparents who are pushing … I’m not speaking from personal experience …
Meredith [00:28:28] Of course not.
Tiffany [00:28:31] They want the kids in all these activities and I’m like, “Man, did we ask her if this is something that she wants to do?” I can understand if somebody’s asking, but I’ll never understand the ones where the kids don’t want to, or they want to stop halfway through. They aren’t even into it.
Meredith [00:28:46] That’s a whole other conversation, do you let them quit once they’ve started.
Tiffany [00:28:49] Right.
Meredith [00:28:49] Right? So then there’s that because I know at the beginning of every season, I’m always like, “If we start, if I pay, if I write this check, if I write this check, you are going to go to every practice, and every game, and every everything,” but yeah, so somebody needs to call in and tell us what they think. Are you an over-scheduler? Are you an under-scheduler?
Tiffany [00:29:13] If you are an over-scheduler, I’m curious, genuinely, like what it is, is it to keep the child occupied, keep them busy so they’re not getting into other things, or is it something that they want to do? I really am curious for when I get there, so I can have some …
Meredith [00:29:28] Right. Right, because I’ve had my kids do … I’ve done both. They’ve genuinely asked to do something, and there are times when I’ve been like, “You should try this.”
Tiffany [00:29:36] Right.
Meredith [00:29:36] Already my oldest has taken piano for a couple years, he just quit. He’s at the age where it’s like, “Do I force him,” because he is going to be 13, and should I be forcing him at this point to continue with piano. I think he should continue to take it because I like listening to him play.
Tiffany [00:29:54] Right, but if his heart’s not in it …
Meredith [00:29:56] He doesn’t want to do it.
Tiffany [00:29:56] Right.
Meredith [00:29:57] I also like his piano teacher. She’s a delightful woman. She’s a friend of mine, so it’s like we could just go to her house and hang out and I could listen to them play piano, and it was nice.
Tiffany [00:30:06] He’s ruining your dream at this point.
Meredith [00:30:07] He’s ruining my dream of being a classical pianist. That’s what I thought he was going to be. No, I didn’t. I didn’t actually think that, but he’s actually pretty good, so to me, it’s like, “Why wouldn’t you want to keep going? You’re pretty good.” He’s like, “I don’t like it. I have no interest.”
Tiffany [00:30:21] That’s another thing, is my bonus daughter changes her mind all the time. One week she wants to be a drummer, and then the next week she wants to be a ballet artist, and then a rockstar, so we’re … I’m following her around trying to explore these avenues, but if I ride it out for a week then we can save some money when she changes her mind again.
Meredith [00:30:40] Or at least find a coupon code for something. All right, we’ve got Monica, who lives in Canada, and she has three kids. Hello, Monica.
Monica (Caller): [00:30:48] Oh my God, hi, guys. I’m so excited.
Meredith [00:30:51] Oh my God.
Tiffany [00:30:51] Hi, Monica.
Monica (Caller): [00:30:52] I’ve been trying to call in and I couldn’t.
Tiffany [00:30:54] You’re here.
Meredith [00:30:55] You’re in. What part of Canada are you in?
Monica (Caller): [00:30:58] I’m actually close to Niagara Falls. Saint Catherines.
Meredith [00:31:02] Okay.
Monica (Caller): [00:31:02] If you know that.
Meredith [00:31:03] We were just there last summer. We saw the Falls. It was beautiful.
Tiffany [00:31:07] How nice.
Meredith [00:31:07] It was.
Monica (Caller): [00:31:07] That’s cool.
Meredith [00:31:08] It was. We took a family trip. I had a conference up there and I tell you what, I had never in life seen the Falls, and I said if I’m going to see the Falls, the kids are going to see the Falls. It was a blast.
Monica (Caller): [00:31:19] Yeah, I like it there, and actually been there way too many times.
Meredith [00:31:23] I bet. When you live there it’s kind of like, “Yeah, those are the Falls.”
Tiffany [00:31:25] Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Meredith [00:31:26] It’s not that impressive.
Monica (Caller): [00:31:27] Yeah.
Meredith [00:31:29] Tell us, are you an over-scheduler or an under-scheduler?
Kelly (Caller): [00:31:34] Currently, neither. I was. My daughter, I have three kids, so she’s the 12, and then ones seven, and now I have a two year old, 22] month old. The oldest was the over-scheduled child. First, it was soccer and gymnastics, but to be honest with you, I think it was more hard on her afterwards, just like how you said over your daughter at gymnastics, the timeframe basically, there’s no time for us-kind-of-thing, and then there’s schoolwork, and we’re now at the age there’s too much schoolwork going on. They have literally no time for themselves.
Monica (Caller): [00:32:17] Me, basically, my husband and I, just asked her what would you like to do because she actually ended up losing interest in the gymnastics, then in the soccer, and so I think it was just too much for her. I agree with Tiffany when she said when there’s talent involved, then I think it’s okay, but then with my middle child, we gave her the options and so one point she was just in gymnastics, the other one, she was in dance class, but it was just one activity at a time.
Meredith [00:32:53] Yeah.
Monica (Caller): [00:32:54] Then now with my son, he just wants [inaudible [00:32:56] all over the place.
Meredith [00:32:57] Right, but I think that’s part of it, too, is there’s only time to do one thing at one time.
Tiffany [00:33:05] Right.
Monica (Caller): [00:33:05] Yeah.
Meredith [00:33:05] Right, but that’s my whole thing. When you have three kids, you’re doing one with each of them, and they overlap. That’s where it starts to get a little hairy and a little crazy, but thank you for calling in, Monica. I appreciate that and I feel you.
Monica (Caller): [00:33:20] [crosstalk [00:33:20]. Okay, thank you. Can I just add one more thing?
Meredith [00:33:24] Go for it.
Kelly (Caller): [00:33:26] Tiffany, I want to say to you that I am literally in the same shoes as you, not the exact, but I was there, and watching your videos and everything like that makes me feel like a human. I really want to thank you for all this. I’ve battled addiction for about maybe two, three years. I am a year and a bit clean right now.
Tiffany [00:33:49] Wow. Congratulations.
Monica (Caller): [00:33:54] You make everything possible and you make … Even my husband watches the videos and you make everything just realistic.
Tiffany [00:34:02] That makes my heart so happy. Thank you so much, Monica. I really appreciate it.
Monica (Caller): [00:34:07] Okay.
Tiffany [00:34:08] I’m so proud of you.
Monica (Caller): [00:34:09] Maybe one day I will be in Sarasota.
Tiffany [00:34:11] Yes, then we’ll have to meet and hang out.
Monica (Caller): [00:34:14] Yeah, I think my children and yours will fit in perfectly.
Tiffany [00:34:17] Excellent. Thank you so much for the compliment. I hope you have an amazing day.
Monica (Caller): [00:34:22] Thank you, Tiff. Thanks, Meredith.
Meredith [00:34:25] Bye, Monica.
Tiffany [00:34:26] Bye.
Monica (Caller): [00:34:27] Bye.
Meredith [00:34:28] Isn’t that just so sweet?
Tiffany [00:34:29] So sweet.
Meredith [00:34:31] Just gives you the warm fuzzies.
Tiffany [00:34:33] Yes, when she said she was in my same shoes, I was like, “Oh, the ones from Target.” We were just talking about this.
Meredith [00:34:39] We have those.
Tiffany [00:34:40] Meredith and I have the same shoes. Anyway.
Meredith [00:34:41] Yeah, but that’s the other part of this that I love, is that we get to call and talk with all of these amazing people on this podcast that literally just we’re all connected.
Tiffany [00:34:54] Yes. I love it so much.
Meredith [00:34:56] We’re all connected.
Tiffany [00:34:56] We have a lot of mutual audience members, supporters.
Meredith [00:35:00] Yeah, I would think so. I would think so. Yes. Yes. Christina is saying, from the feed, from the livestream, is saying, I think kids are way too over-scheduled these days. I think there is … I think it became a habit a couple of years back, I think it was the trendy thing to do to have your kids in origami lessons, and teach them Mandarin Chinese, and then you go to soccer, and then you go to pickle-ball, and then you go to how to serve high English tea, or whatever other nonsense. It’s like, “Who really needs to do these things?”
Meredith [00:35:36] Then there’s the parent like me, who I get the email from the soccer team, and it’s a recreational meeting, this not competitive, and they say, “Thank you so much for signing up your son, Brian, who is eight years old. Our season has now gone to a full year, meaning there is a nine month season of games and practices.” I was like, “No. I will pay for the whole thing, but we will be quitting halfway through the season.” It’s just like not a … It’s not a conversation.
Tiffany [00:36:10] Right.
Meredith [00:36:11] I’m just going to introduce myself to the coach and say, “Hi, we’ll be here for three and a half months. Then we’re going to quit.” That’s the exact conversation I’m going to have with him or her.
Tiffany [00:36:22] At least he’ll be prepared. I feel like that’s extreme. That’s a long commitment.
Meredith [00:36:26] It’s excessively long. There’s absolutely no way that I am doing that.
Tiffany [00:36:31] Yeah.
Meredith [00:36:31] Am I wrong?
Tiffany [00:36:33] It’s recreational, it’s not like they’re traveling the globe and competing with other countries.
Meredith [00:36:37] The Globe Trotters. Yeah.
Tiffany [00:36:41] I’m not good at commitment in general, so to lock myself down for that long terrifies me.
Meredith [00:36:45] Let’s take another caller, but this caller I want them to ask. This is the question I want you to answer for me, this next caller. Is it okay to let your child quit during an activity? You’ve signed them up, you’ve paid the money, do you make them stick it out to learn a lesson, or do you let them quit? I want a caller whose going to give me that answer. What do you think, Tiffany? Can they quit once they’ve started?
Tiffany [00:37:09] I think it’s important to talk to them and find out what it is behind the idea of quitting before just telling them no or yes. I would probably urge them to continue, but if there was some unknown reason, something crazy was going on, but some of the people have been saying that grades have a lot to do with it. If the kid has an activity that they’re interested in and their grades are good, then they let them in and do the activity, but if their grades drop, then they take them out at that point. I think if the kids grades are being affected by the activity, because they’re tired or it’s too much, then I would take them out if they wanted to.
Meredith [00:37:48] Right. Right. I do think you’re correct with saying, “Hey, why do you want to quit? What’s the problem?” What if it’s like, “Well, the coach smells”?
Tiffany [00:37:56] Right, then it’s like, “Too bad.”
Meredith [00:37:58] Yeah. Some people smell, so you’re going to have to go to practice.
Tiffany [00:38:01] Right.
Meredith [00:38:02] All right, we’ve got Stephanie from Utah, three kids, one on the way. This is been like the show of [fourvies [00:38:08].
Tiffany [00:38:09] We need to be careful.
Meredith [00:38:10] I’m fixed. All right. Welcome, Stephanie.
Stephanie (Caller): [00:38:15] Hi.
Tiffany [00:38:15] Hey, Stephanie.
Kimberly (Caller): [00:38:15] Hey. I am the under-scheduler. I don’t do any of the different activities. My son is in trumpet at school, he’s middle school, he’s 13. We do that because he can do it in school and we have a couple concerts a year, but it’s just too much for me to try and get to all the activities. If they showed interest in something that they really, really loved, I might do it, but my kids just don’t really … They’re not really caring about doing any of that stuff. I just haven’t really gotten into doing activities like that.
Meredith [00:38:55] What do you think? Am I wrong for telling the coach that I’m going to have my kid quit halfway through the season because we don’t want to participate anymore? Are you on my side?
Stephanie (Caller): [00:39:07] Yeah, I’m pretty much on your side.
Meredith [00:39:08] Yes.
Stephanie (Caller): [00:39:08] That’s way too long to be doing soccer and things like that. I think they get burnt out if they’re doing it all the time.
Tiffany [00:39:17] Right.
Stephanie (Caller): [00:39:20] I had a conversation not that long ago with my older sister, she has a daughter whose super duper talented, she sings, she dances, she does theater, they have a class in school where they do musical theater, and it’s pretty strenuous, but it’s not too bad, and then there’s also the stagehand class, but you have to pay $200] to do it, and the only kids who get the really good parts in the play is the kids that are in stage. She asked her daughter, she’s like, “Do you want to do this?”
Stephanie (Caller): [00:39:52] Her daughter was reluctant because she was like, “I don’t want to spend the $200] because it’s too much money, mom,” and all this stuff. She’s like, “Well, if you really wanted to do it, I’ll find the money, and we’ll do it.” She said, “No, I don’t really want to do that. If you want, we can be … I can do the musical theater and then we can do … ” My sister suggested she find a community theater in the area to do it with. Yeah.
Meredith [00:40:19] Yeah, and that’s true.
Stephanie (Caller): [00:40:20] We can do it that way.
Meredith [00:40:21] That’s true because there are a lot … Even our tiny little town has community theater and you can go there and do those types of things because you better bet your bottom dollar I’ve thought about it.
Stephanie (Caller): [00:40:29] Yeah.
Meredith [00:40:30] Go out there and do some community theater. Here’s the thing: I can’t remember lines, so they’re not going to let me play.
Stephanie (Caller): [00:40:35] Yeah.
Meredith [00:40:35] But, I’m just saying I agree with that. There are ways around finding activities that are so expensive, as well.
Tiffany [00:40:44] Right.
Meredith [00:40:44] You can find other things to do.
Tiffany [00:40:46] Throw them in the backyard and lock the door.
Meredith [00:40:49] Correct.
Tiffany [00:40:51] Is my activity of choice.
Meredith [00:40:51] I need you to leave and not come back until I’ve regained some sanity.
Tiffany [00:40:55] Right.
Meredith [00:40:56] Yeah.
Tiffany [00:40:56] That’s the thing, too, is …
Stephanie (Caller): [00:40:57] I think …
Tiffany [00:40:58] Sorry, go ahead.
Stephanie (Caller): [00:40:59] I think it depends on the kid’s personality, like you said. I have a nephew, super talented in musical [inaudible [00:41:06], so all these different things, but I find that … It just seems like parents right now are way overboard with it. Cheerleading, and music, and all of these things. Let your kids be kids.
Meredith [00:41:24] I agree. I agree. Your kids need to be kids, and that’s what I’m struggling with with my daughter because she’s nine, and she’s in gym four nights a week, and I don’t see her as often as I should be seeing her. She’s my nine year old, and her math grade has dropped a bit, so we’ve had to spend a lot of extra time working on homework, and going over … We literally go over homework assignments at night, and then again in the morning in the car because we’re that short on time. That bothers me, and we’ve had several conversations, but the moment I say to her, “Let’s scale it back to two days,” she breaks down into just tears and she becomes a puddle.
Stephanie (Caller): [00:42:04] Bless her heart.
Meredith [00:42:04] I can see how much she loves it, but also as the parent, I’m stressed like, “This is a lot for a kid your age and your mental capacity.”
Stephanie (Caller): [00:42:12] Yeah.
Meredith [00:42:15] How many nervous breakdowns do you have a day, Tiff?
Tiffany [00:42:17] 40-ish.
Meredith [00:42:18] Yeah, that’s what I’m saying, it’s like I have a lot. I can’t imagine being nine and dealing with that kind of stress.
Tiffany [00:42:24] Right.
Stephanie (Caller): [00:42:24] Yeah, I totally agree.
Meredith [00:42:27] Thank you so much for calling in.
Tiffany [00:42:29] Yeah. Thank you.
Stephanie (Caller): [00:42:31] Yeah, thank you. I’m glad I got through.
Meredith [00:42:32] All right, you have a great rest of your weekend. Or wait, we didn’t even start that yet.
Stephanie (Caller): [00:42:36] Thank you.
Meredith [00:42:36] Friday.
Stephanie (Caller): [00:42:38] Thanks, bye.
Meredith [00:42:39] [crosstalk [00:42:39] Bye. I know, what year is it? What day is it? What is happening right now in this universe that we live in?
Tiffany [00:42:47] I feel like I spend enough time in my car as it is. I live in my car. I’m always running around, so I’m not trying to add to it by adding more activities to it.
Meredith [00:42:58] Yeah, what’s your average time in the parent pickup line? What would you guess?
Tiffany [00:43:02] Seven hours, probably.
Meredith [00:43:06] A day?
Tiffany [00:43:06] Yeah. I’m just kidding. It’s about an hour, probably, from when you get in there and get out, but it’s gotten better. They put some special lifty bars up that allows people to go through and different secret tunnels.
Meredith [00:43:21] Oh Lord.
Tiffany [00:43:21] It has gotten better.
Meredith [00:43:22] You go into the catacombs and you hang a left and then it’s like, “Oh, there’s the toll.”
Tiffany [00:43:26] Exactly.
Meredith [00:43:27] Yeah. No, I, myself, am the same. I get into the parent pickup line and I’m probably in there a good solid 40] minutes, and then I have to drive to the other school, because they’re in two schools, and I pick them up, and then I have to drive and drop another kid off, and then blah-blah-blah-blah. It’s like forever. By the time I leave the house and then get home, it’s Thursday. It’s like, “What happened?”
Tiffany [00:43:48] Yes.
Meredith [00:43:49] I know. My car is such a disaster, and I always feel bad when you have to open the door, and there’s a teacher standing there.
Tiffany [00:43:57] It’s so awkward. I make an excuse every time. I’m like, “This just happened this morning. It’s crazy stuff. Usually it’s clean.” I know exactly what you’re talking about, stuff falls out onto the floor, bottles, and dirty diapers.
Meredith [00:44:10] Yeah. Honestly, though, a couple weeks ago, we opened the door, and the teacher audibly gasped. There was an audible gasp from this man’s lips. He went to say good morning, and he was like good wah. Hah. I just looked back and I looked at my husband and I was like, “Shut the door. Shut the door. Shut the door.”
Tiffany [00:44:31] Get out of here.
Meredith [00:44:31] Do it faster. He is looking at our mess. I was so embarrassed. Then he looked me, and locked eyes, and just was like, “Should I report her? I don’t know what I’m supposed to do right now.”
Tiffany [00:44:43] He’s like, “Blink twice if you’re in danger,” to your kids.
Meredith [00:44:46] Right. Right. It’s just that we live in the minivan.
Tiffany [00:44:49] Yeah, I get it.
Meredith [00:44:50] It’s a lot of crap. What do you want me to do? What do you want from me?
Tiffany [00:44:53] Yep.
Meredith [00:44:54] Really. It’s like, “This is all I have to offer.” Then I’m screaming to the kids, “Tuck, roll, get out now. Faster. Go faster.”
Tiffany [00:45:03] Yep.
Meredith [00:45:03] All right.
Tiffany [00:45:06] Okay, so we’re going to switch gears, Love and Marriage is brought to you by Tiffany and Meredith, because clearly we’re both spectacular wives.
Meredith [00:45:17] Obviously.
Tiffany [00:45:18] We are experts on this subject of marriage.
Meredith [00:45:23] Yeah, I would clearly … Clearly, I’m an expert. Yeah, clearly. I’m staring at my husband.
Tiffany [00:45:31] Right as he just rolled his eyes.
Meredith [00:45:32] I’m staring at my husband as we say this here in Studio G.
Tiffany [00:45:35] Yes. It’s a nice set up.
Meredith [00:45:37] It is a nice set up here in Studio G, but I’m obviously an expert because I’ve been married … It’ll be 15] years next month, but I have known my husband longer than I’ve not known my husband in my years of being alive on earth, I mean.
Tiffany [00:45:53] Wow. Wow, and you guys are together almost all day, every day.
Meredith [00:45:57] All the time. Can I emphasize that any louder on this podcast? We are together …
Meredith [00:46:03] … that any louder on this podcast, we are together all of the time.
Tiffany [00:46:06] Yeah, I mean I’m surprised that you guys do get along the way you do, because we wouldn’t even be able to look at each other.
Meredith [00:46:14] How long have you been married?
Tiffany [00:46:16] It’ll be five years in February.
Meredith [00:46:18] Five years.
Tiffany [00:46:19] Yeah.
Meredith [00:46:19] But that’s a good chunk of time.
Tiffany [00:46:21] Yeah, but we’re not together nearly as much as you. In fact, it’s the opposite. We don’t really see each other too much, which is both good and bad for many reasons.
Meredith [00:46:31] Like ships passing in the night.
Tiffany [00:46:33] Yeah.
Meredith [00:46:33] That’s so cliché. Okay, but let’s talk this segment about something that people always ask me about. People come to my page and they ask me all the time, they say, “Meredith, you are so freaking smart.” That’s how they start off their messages every time they message my page. They’re like, “We think that” … obviously because there’s groups of them that message me, so it’s, “We think-”
Tiffany [00:46:58] Right.
Meredith [00:47:02] “… you’re so incredibly talented and smart, how do you keep your marriage spicy? How do you keep the sheets hot and heavy?”
Tiffany [00:47:09] Okay, that is graphic.
Meredith [00:47:11] That is what they ask me. I didn’t make that question up for this podcast at all. These are the messages I get. So, I’m asking the audience, I’m asking you-
Tiffany [00:47:23] Look at how red my face is getting.
Meredith [00:47:24] What are you red for?
Tiffany [00:47:25] Listen, I usually don’t talk about this stuff, but I’m glad that I’m doing this podcast because I feel like I’m going to be able to more. I feel better about it.
Meredith [00:47:31] Well, let’s break it down. Let’s talk about the nookie. So, how do you bring back the spice, like, because if you are ships passing in the night, right, or even if you’re just a couple who’s literally together 24] hours a day like we are, you have to make it interesting.
Meredith [00:47:47] My question is, that I’m going to pose to the audience, and they can call in or obviously to you, is when you are so busy, like we are, what do you do? Spontaneity is probably gone. At least in our marriage it is, because there’s three kids and you’ve been together forever. So do you schedule it, because there are some people that are like you can’t schedule sex. You can’t do that. If you schedule it, then it’s not true-
Tiffany [00:48:12] Romantic.
Meredith [00:48:17] … meaningful time. My question is do you schedule it? Do you know in your brain it’s been a couple of days, he’s probably going to ask? Like what’s your thought process?
Tiffany [00:48:25] Well, for me it isn’t so much as like time, it’s more so like energy and I’m in this season right now, I think because of the ages of my children, and because of work and things like that, we’re both so tired all the time that by the time it’s bedtime, we’re both totally cool. You know when you get hints when one or other wants something to happen?
Meredith [00:48:49] Right.
Tiffany [00:48:50] Those hints are not happening at all. In fact it’s like cold shoulder, both of us, see you in the morning, love you. I say, “Okay, I love you, goodnight” really quickly so that there’s no room for insinuation, but I worry about that too on the other hand, but I keep telling myself when the kids are older, when this season passes … so I’m not good at being spontaneous.
Meredith [00:49:12] Well, let me reassure you from somebody who’s already been in and out of that season, totally normal.
Tiffany [00:49:17] Okay, good.
Meredith [00:49:18] Completely normal.
Tiffany [00:49:20] Thank you.
Meredith [00:49:20] There were times where we, you know, cobwebs probably grew in places because it was like you just were too tired.
Tiffany [00:49:29] Right.
Meredith [00:49:30] If you look at me, the anger and rage in my soul could have overpowered that man into … And it was tough, because I think, like his urges and needs were not being met and he was getting a little frustrated with me and so that’s when I started picking up on the fact that we have to have a conversation about this, but let’s talk with Erica from West Virginia and see what she thinks.
Tiffany [00:49:53] Oh, yay. Hi, Erica.
Erica (Caller): [00:49:54] Hi guys.
Meredith [00:49:54] Hey.
Erica (Caller): [00:49:55] It’s me again.
Meredith [00:49:57] All right, so tell me, what do you think? Schedule it, don’t schedule it? How you keep it spicy?
Erica (Caller): [00:50:02] Well, I think when your kids are younger, now that ours are 18, 21, and 26, you can do whatever you want, whenever you want, but when they were little and all home, and you had two working parents, you had to schedule it or it was never going to happen.
Tiffany [00:50:18] Right.
Erica (Caller): [00:50:20] As my husband used to say, “Pencil it in the book.”
Meredith [00:50:23] I was waiting for somebody to say that. I’m glad it was the first caller. So my husband’s remark would always be, ” Can you schedule it for tonight?” He would physically say to me, “Can you schedule it in?” Early in the day because he was like really hoping, like is it going to happen tonight? Are we putting this in pencil or pen?
Tiffany [00:50:42] Right. Pencil, so you can erase in case things change because who knows what’ll happen between then and bedtime.
Meredith [00:50:48] Right, but I hear and agree with you Erica because for us it’s been something where it’s like we gotta schedule this in. We gotta make time for this because I could see that I was frustrating him and I knew … now, mind you, it is tough with toddlers, and so I don’t think I even picked up on that or acknowledged that until my youngest was probably four.
Tiffany [00:51:13] Wow.
Meredith [00:51:14] I’m just being honest, like I ignored him for years.
Tiffany [00:51:19] For me … 10] .
Meredith [00:51:22] 10] . He said 10] years, I ignored him for 10] years.
Tiffany [00:51:24] For me though, my husband’s not giving me hints either, you know what I mean? It’s not like he’s trying and I’m turning him down. It’s like both of us just like look at each other and we’re like, no? Okay, cool. I’m not going to shower then, that’s fine. I’ll talk to you tomorrow type situation.
Meredith [00:51:37] Well and you’re on the same page then.
Tiffany [00:51:39] Yeah.
Meredith [00:51:39] And I think that’s great, where as in ours it was two totally different things.
Tiffany [00:51:44] Was it?
Meredith [00:51:45] Yeah, but I remember the season vividly and that’s tough. I agree with Erica, I think sometimes scheduling has to happen, but I also like that you’re telling me-
Tiffany [00:51:56] Yeah, there’s hope.
Meredith [00:52:00] … there’s … and not only that but like you’re doing it on a kitchen table, dirty bird aren’t ya there?
Erica (Caller): [00:52:04] Well, no because just like everybody else your dining room table just catches all the crap as your kids come up to ever really see it.
Meredith [00:52:11] So Erica’s thought about it, but she’s like, “Can’t do it on the crap collector, so over to the couch, the doormat.” I don’t care where you’re doing it Erica, but I’m glad you’re doing it, and I’m glad that your kids are pretty much grown and you’ve got some creativity back in there and can do, you know, your thing.
Tiffany [00:52:31] Yes.
Erica (Caller): [00:52:31] Yeah. Well I think part of this too is in a relationship, as funny as we want to make it and sound, it’s just a guy saying he doesn’t get any, you know? It’s actually part of your marriage and any counselor would tell you that the sexual aspect is important to the marriage. It’s not about just the physical act, it’s about the two of you, your emotional connection and on and on.
Tiffany [00:52:56] That makes sense.
Meredith [00:52:57] Yeah. I agree. Well, thank you for calling in.
Erica (Caller): [00:53:00] All right. Talk to you next time.
Tiffany [00:53:02] Bye.
Meredith [00:53:03] All right, bye. So yeah, so you know, I have to … I agree and I’ve been there. I’ve been there time and time again, but we’ve been to couples retreats, and I remember at this couples retreat that we went to, I was pregnant at the time with my second child. I remember the woman who was giving the talk and she said, “No matter what ladies, you have to remember to always put your husband before your children.”
Tiffany [00:53:31] I heard that.
Meredith [00:53:32] And I looked at her and I said, “Blasphemy. I have little kids who physically can’t take care of themselves. It’s my job to take care of them. Why on earth should he come first?”
Tiffany [00:53:42] Right.
Meredith [00:53:43] And it angered me actually because I thought, “Stupid. Nonsense.”
Tiffany [00:53:47] Right, you forget though.
Meredith [00:53:49] You forget. And then I realized after years how right this woman was because we had to be on the same page in order to take care of the rest of the household, whether it was the kids or things that were going on, and sex … I always joke because my husband’s love language, you know how they’re like, is giving or gifts or whatever.
Tiffany [00:54:07] Yeah.
Meredith [00:54:07] My husband’s love language is sex.
Tiffany [00:54:10] Really?
Meredith [00:54:10] That’s his love language. He’s just like, “Let me give you the sex. You’re going to feel better.”
Tiffany [00:54:14] Wow.
Meredith [00:54:14] “You’re going to love me more, and I’m going to be happy.” It’s basically like, you know, most people when they admit to things they’re like, “My love language is holding hands because it’s so comforting people.” My husband is just like, “No. It’s penis. I have sex for you.” And it’s like, oh my gosh, maybe that’s not your love language, and maybe you just want to have sex, and he’s like, “No, that’s my gift to you. That’s my gift to you.”
Tiffany [00:54:39] You are welcome.
Meredith [00:54:41] Oh, don’t get me started on that because every night after that, I get a, “You’re welcome.”
Tiffany [00:54:46] Wow.
Meredith [00:54:47] Wow is right. How many heads just exploded out there on the interweb? You’re welcome.
Tiffany [00:54:52] Listen, I think it’s great that after all this time he still wants to do it with you.
Meredith [00:54:56] Yes, I agree and I always take a lot of flack when I do a video about how I need to be more sensitive to my husband’s wants and needs. Don’t worry guys, he’s taken care of. These are jokes. This is satire. This is comedy. These are for laughs and it is something that is happening in marriages across the globe, but I like to joke about stuff, right?
Meredith [00:55:17] Let’s take another caller and you tell me is there something specific, you don’t have to … Let’s not be too specific, unless you don’t want your business all over the internet, but what do you do to keep it spicy? I love the show the Modern Family, and I love that the couple on there, Claire and Phil Dunphy-
Tiffany [00:55:41] Yes, my fave.
Meredith [00:55:45] … they will, on Valentine’s Day every year, they pretend to be other people.
Tiffany [00:55:47] I saw that.
Meredith [00:55:47] They meet up at a bar and they have personas and they go. I’ve never done anything like that. I think it looks so fun, but I don’t know that we could keep a straight face when looking to each other.
Tiffany [00:55:59] It makes me so uncomfortable.
Meredith [00:56:01] Could you do that?
Tiffany [00:56:01] I couldn’t. I’m weird about it and you know what I think also plays a huge part in our lack of at the moment is the way I feel about myself. When you have kids and stuff, and you gain weight, and your stomach gets stretched out, and you’re tired, and you don’t get dressed up as much, it’s hard to feel sexy. At the end of the day, I don’t feel attractive. I don’t exude any attractive energy, so that’s something that I would like to try to work on as well.
Tiffany [00:56:31] I bought this corset off Amazon thinking if I could just hide this spot, I will feel better about the rest of it and maybe be more open to the idea of getting down Charlie Brown, but now, it’s like lights off, you know what I mean? I don’t feel at my best at the moment so I think that affects it.
Tiffany [00:56:50] All right, we have Tabitha from Idaho who has three children. Hi Tabitha.
Tabitha (Caller): [00:56:58] Hi Tiffany. Hi Meredith.
Meredith [00:56:59] Hi.
Tiffany [00:56:59] Hi.
Meredith [00:57:00] So tell us. What do you do? Keeping it spicy?
Tiffany [00:57:05] What’s the sitch?
Tabitha (Caller): [00:57:06] My husband is the same as Meredith’s husband. Every time we watch videos, his love language is sex. Everything is sex and he’s the same way. You’re welcome. This will make you feel better.
Meredith [00:57:21] I have something for that. You have a cough? I have something for that. You have a rash? Oh wait, no, not a rash.
Tiffany [00:57:27] No, not a rash.
Meredith [00:57:29] But I agree with you big time and that can be tough because you feel like, all right … because I always say, “Do you want to cuddle?”
Tiffany [00:57:38] Oh.
Meredith [00:57:39] Like, “Do you want to cuddle? Do you want to just maybe sit here and cuddle, like we could just lay next to each other,” but then it’s like what’s on my back? Stop, stop, stop. But the cuddling, like … Or he’ll say to me, “I’ll give you a back rub.”
Tiffany [00:57:53] It’s never just a back rub.
Meredith [00:57:55] That’s the catch, it’s never. It’s usually … And then I’ll get the joke, you’re rubbing my front, that’s not my back, and he’ll say, “I couldn’t tell the difference.” How sweet is he?
Tiffany [00:58:05] Oh no he didn’t.
Meredith [00:58:05] Yeah, he did. Yeah, he did. But yeah, so I think-
Tabitha (Caller): [00:58:08] My husband always says … I was complaining the other day, I got a cold, and he’s like, “I got something that would make you better. I got some stuff that’ll loosen up your throat, make you feel a bit better.” I’m like-
Meredith [00:58:18] For the love of all things holy.
Tabitha (Caller): [00:58:22] … no, no, no. Yeah, he literally bugged me all day long. He’s like, “How you feeling? How about now?”
Tiffany [00:58:25] Isn’t it weird?
Tabitha (Caller): [00:58:25] I’m like, “No, I am sick. No.”
Tiffany [00:58:26] How about now? How about now? How about now?
Meredith [00:58:32] Do you need a lozenge? What can I do for you? I think yeah, you could … Oh my gosh.
Tiffany [00:58:37] Okay, so you have three kids. Are you in the season of not having time to do that or do you guys make time?
Tabitha (Caller): [00:58:46] Yeah, no, I have to make time. Yeah, because I’m definitely in the season for me where it would be … because I have a five year old, a three year old, and a 19] month old, so it’s just whenever, like sometimes we’ll just literally lock the kids out-
Tiffany [00:59:03] Good for you.
Tabitha (Caller): [00:59:06] … because I don’t like to do it at bedtime. I want to go to bed, I’m tired. I’m exhausted. I’m telling him, like, “You have to catch me at some point during the day or it’s not happening.”
Meredith [00:59:14] I agree though, I am a fan of afternoon delight.
Tiffany [00:59:18] Are you?
Meredith [00:59:18] Yeah, and I’ll even on a Sunday afternoon if it’s like, hey, let’s be honest three minutes, three minutes is all we need-
Tabitha (Caller): [00:59:27] Yeah, exactly. Yep.
Meredith [00:59:31] … when you do it properly, three … I don’t need romance. I don’t need roses.
Tabitha (Caller): [00:59:33] No. Right?
Meredith [00:59:34] Chocolate strawberries wouldn’t hurt, but I’m saying three minutes when you know what you’re doing is all you need, and lock the door. But see, you can’t do that yet Tiffany, because if you lock the door, your kids will burn your house down.
Tiffany [00:59:48] Yes, lives are in danger.
Meredith [00:59:49] Correct.
Tiffany [00:59:50] In the afternoon it’s so bright out.
Meredith [00:59:52] It’s so bright out.
Tiffany [00:59:54] I can’t.
Meredith [00:59:55] You need black out curtains.
Tiffany [00:59:56] Yes.
Meredith [00:59:57] Call it a day. I’m just saying, because I agree with Tabitha, I don’t want to do it before bed. Like, leave me alone before bed.
Tabitha (Caller): [01:00:04] Yeah.
Tiffany [01:00:04] Interesting.
Meredith [01:00:05] Or catch me in the morning before the day starts because then I know I get to go to bed the next night without being bothered.
Tabitha (Caller): [01:00:15] Yeah.
Tiffany [01:00:15] The morning?
Meredith [01:00:15] Yep, sure. Why not?
Tiffany [01:00:16] You can’t even look at me in the morning let alone put anything near me.
Meredith [01:00:18] What is that on your shoulder?
Tiffany [01:00:20] Yeah.
Meredith [01:00:21] Tiffany?
Tiffany [01:00:23] Listen, if I haven’t had my coffee …
Meredith [01:00:27] All right.
Tiffany [01:00:27] Wow.
Meredith [01:00:27] All right, well, thanks for calling Tabitha.
Tabitha (Caller): [01:00:30] Thank you. Bye guys, have a great day.
Tiffany [01:00:31] Bye Tabitha.
Meredith [01:00:32] Bye, you too. Yeah, I don’t know, I think you don’t … Here’s what I’m going to tell you, Tiffany.
Tiffany [01:00:38] Yes, give me some advice.
Meredith [01:00:39] I’m going to say to you that I have been you. I have been in that spot. I have had that just utter exhaustion for that activity. Don’t feel like you’re the only one, you’re not. It’s just something that happens because you just are emotionally exhausted, physically exhausted, mentally exhausted. Your kids are on you, need you.
Meredith [01:01:02] I think when I was in that stage I remember just thinking, if one more person tries to touch me, I’ll blow a gasket. So, don’t think that that’s abnormal. I did and I used to try to explain to my husband like, I need you to understand how I feel like somebody is always trying to be in an orifice of mine-
Tiffany [01:01:20] Yes.
Meredith [01:01:22] … and I don’t want you in an orifice right this moment. I think it takes time to kind of have that conversation, and it sounds like your husband is just as tired and so that’s a blessing.
Tiffany [01:01:32] Yeah, I mean I’m hoping that’s what it is.
Meredith [01:01:33] Oh, of course that’s what it is. So I think it’s just, it is, it’s overwhelming. Plus, you have our own business, which just amplifies it. I did not have that. I was working outside the home, but I didn’t have the business that you’re running when I had a two and a three year old.
Tiffany [01:01:48] Right.
Meredith [01:01:49] I can’t even imagine in that sense. Don’t worry about that, you guys are doing good. I think it’s good that we talk about this because there are so many women out there who are also saying, “Oh that’s how I feel and I’m worrying and blah, blah, blah.” You know what I just say, my only advice would be, just have open communication about it.
Tiffany [01:02:07] Yes.
Meredith [01:02:07] Just be honest with each other about it and say, “Hey, how are you feeling? Are you wanting to do it and you just haven’t mentioned it because you see how tired I am?” As long as you have that conversation and that dialogue because that’s something that we weren’t having. I was not telling him that.
Tiffany [01:02:23] That’s good advice, because I am, I’m afraid of rejection. I’m afraid if I were to try to make a move and he’s tired, that I would feel foolish, so I kind of wait for him and then he doesn’t because he’s so tired, it’s just become this thing now where it’s a surprise if it happens. It wasn’t like that in the beginning clearly, I mean I got pregnant after only dating him for two months.
Meredith [01:02:48] Oh, I didn’t know it was that soon.
Tiffany [01:02:50] Yeah, it was the first time we ever …
Meredith [01:02:54] No?
Tiffany [01:02:54] Ever. Yeah, and I know that for a fact because I only spent the night with him one time, and then two weeks later I was pregnant.
Meredith [01:03:03] Wow.
Tiffany [01:03:05] Yeah. Fertile Myrtle. Maybe that’s what it is, secretly I’m terrified of having another child.
Meredith [01:03:11] Are you open to that?
Tiffany [01:03:12] No, not even a little.
Meredith [01:03:15] Oh, okay.
Tiffany [01:03:16] I mean, no offense. I just-
Meredith [01:03:18] Is anybody fixed?
Tiffany [01:03:19] No. I’ve been trying to tell him. We have a doctor offering free services, but he’s so scared, and with women there’s so much more that goes into that procedure and I tried to explain, I’m like, “You just put some ice packs on your boys and you could be back to work on Monday.”
Meredith [01:03:36] So I had the same conversation with my husband and he demanded that I get my tubes tied because he said to me, he said, “What if I’m in there and they clip something they shouldn’t and I can never pleasure you the way you deserve to be pleasured again?”
Tiffany [01:03:53] I mean dang.
Meredith [01:03:54] And he said to me, “No one on this earth would ever be okay in their lives if my penis doesn’t work properly.”
Tiffany [01:04:04] Wow, he loves that thing.
Meredith [01:04:05] He does. That is the-
Tiffany [01:04:06] Yes.
Meredith [01:04:08] And I said to him, “You realize I have to go to a hospital, go under anesthesia, have them go into my organs, tie things, burn things, scorch earth, and then I have to have a like six week recovery period,” and he goes, “That’s okay. I’m willing to do that.” I’m willing-
Tiffany [01:04:29] He said I’m willing?
Meredith [01:04:29] “I’m willing to let you tie your tubes,” is what he said to me.
Tiffany [01:04:34] Wow, what a nice guy.
Meredith [01:04:35] Isn’t he a blessing?
Tiffany [01:04:37] That’s so funny and then when I threaten him, I’m like, “Hey, you’re going to have to take care of the kids while I recover.” He’s like, “Well, hold on, we’ll talk about it later.”
Meredith [01:04:44] Yeah.
Tiffany [01:04:44] I’m like, yeah, that’s what I thought.
Meredith [01:04:46] Yeah, but I think I do think that a vasectomy is a much easier procedure for a man to go through than a woman for … and I had my tubes tied the day before Thanksgiving, and then I had to cook for the entire family.
Tiffany [01:05:00] Oh no.
Meredith [01:05:00] And I was like … The whole time I was making that turkey, I was like, “I hate him so much. I hate his face. I hate his body. I hate his penis.”
Tiffany [01:05:10] You’re stuffing the turkey like punching in its hole.
Meredith [01:05:13] I was. I think I called the turkey Dave and I hit it with a bat. The entire time I was like, “I hate my husband.”
Tiffany [01:05:24] Oh man, but you did it. Good for you.
Meredith [01:05:24] But yeah, I did it because I knew I couldn’t have any more babies from my vaginal cavity I meant. I mean like I’ve always talked about maybe adopting in the future.
Tiffany [01:05:33] Me too.
Meredith [01:05:34] But I just cannot birth another thing from my body. I was bad at being pregnant, but that’s another show, but well, you know what I mean, well that’s a topic for another day. Let’s see, why don’t you tell everybody where they can find you. Where are you socially?
Tiffany [01:05:51] I am on … Basically you could just Google Juggling the Jenkins and find me because it’s the same all across the board. Instagram, YouTube. I do not have the Tweeter. It’s too much.
Meredith [01:06:04] Your Twitterer is broken?
Tiffany [01:06:05] I had it for 11] minutes and I gave up. So, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTubes. Juggling the Jenkins.
Meredith [01:06:12] Yes, and I’m assuming you have a website because I’ve been there. What is that?
Tiffany [01:06:16] I do. www.jugglingthejenkins.com.
Meredith [01:06:20] Very good, and you can find me over on Facebook and the Twitter, which I’m very bad at. I’m a bad Twittererer, but I am over there at Twitter and Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram, and at filterfreeparents.com. You can also right here on the That’s Inappropriate Parents page on Facebook where we do the Take it or Leave it podcast each and every week. Episodes are downloadable on Sundays and if you subscribe, you will get them directly to your subscribe box. I don’t know if that’s right.
Tiffany [01:06:54] Is that a thing?
Meredith [01:06:55] No, I don’t know. I lie a lot. All right, so join us for another episode of Take it-
Tiffany [01:07:03] … or Leave it, an advice-ish show hosted by two struggling moms.
Meredith [01:07:05] Who have no idea what we’re doing, so we’ll do it together.
Tiffany [01:07:08] Yes. How exciting.
Meredith [01:07:10] All right guys. Have a great day.
Tiffany [01:07:12] Thanks for hanging out.
Meredith [01:07:18] Thank you for spending some time with us and our questionable advice.
Tiffany [01:07:21] You can download this podcast on iTunes and Google Play Music.
Meredith [01:07:25] You can find me over at filterfreeparents.com, on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.
Tiffany [01:07:30] You can find me at jugglingthejenkins.com.
Meredith [01:07:33] Join us next week for another episode of Take it-
Tiffany [01:07:39] … or Leave it, an advice-ish podcast hosted by two struggling moms.
Meredith [01:07:41] We have no idea what we’re doing, so we’ll do it together.
Tiffany [01:07:44] So we’ll do it together.