Take it or Leave it Podcast – Episode 4 – Married Single-Parenting, Other People’s Kids and Is Your Marriage 50/50


Welcome to Take It or Leave It, an advise-ish podcast for parents brought to you by Grove Collaborative.

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Meredith [00:00:08] You can download this podcast on iTunes and Google Play Music. I’m your host Meredith from That’s Inappropriate.

Tiffany [00:00:20] 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 are not professionals at anything you might actually need, so any advice we give you, you can take.

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Meredith [00:00:34] Or leave because it’s most likely crap. So, welcome to Take it or Leave It. On today’s episode of Take it or Leave It, we have Brooke Wilkerson from Coffee and Chaos blog.

Find Brooke on Facebook, Instagram and Online

Meredith [00:00:54] We will talk mom fails, trending parenting news, other people’s kids, and is your marriage 50/50? Make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss previous, current or upcoming episodes like next week’s episode, where Tiffany and I get very personal, and open up about some things that we have yet to share publicly.

Tiffany [00:01:02] We are here because we’ve all struggled as moms. Anyone who says they haven’t is a big lie bagger, so let’s start the show with a mom fail moment. Hello, is Brooke there?

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Brooke [00:01:16] Brooke is here.

Tiffany [00:01:17] Hi, Brooke. Welcome to the show.

Brooke [00:01:20] Great. Thanks for having me.

Tiffany [00:01:22] Yes, this is Brooke Wilkerson from the Coffee and Chaos blog.

Meredith [00:01:27] We are so excited to have you here on the show today, and we though what better way to introduce you to everyone than have you tell them how you have failed as a mother?

Brooke [00:01:38] Just one? Because there’s so many.

Tiffany [00:01:40] Right.

Meredith [00:01:41] Yeah, I think we have time for one, though.

Brooke [00:01:43] Okay, actually I have one, just from yesterday.

Meredith [00:01:48] Oh, that’s recent.

Brooke [00:01:49] My daughter is five, and things have happened, and I decided I don’t want her riding the bus anymore. In order to make her not think she’s being punished, I decided to tell her that the bus broke down. “The bus broke down, I don’t know when it’s going to get fixed. I’m just going to have to take you.” I’ll be daggone if yesterday morning, the first day I’m taking her to school, we get directly behind her bus and the bus number, and she’s like, “Mommy, it’s fixed working.” I had to lie some more, and I was like, “Oh no, they’re just doing a test drive. They’ve got to test drive it to see what’s wrong with it. We’re going to get ice cream after school, by the way.”

Tiffany [00:02:32] Oh my gosh, that is so funny.

Brooke [00:02:34] She bought it.

Tiffany [00:02:36] That reminds me of when my dad used to tell me that the ice cream truck only played music when it ran out of ice cream.

Brooke [00:02:44] That’s so genius.

Meredith [00:02:44] That’s a classic. That one is a classic. I do feel like we’ve used that one, as well. Like, “No, no, that means they’re out.” So yeah, thank you for sharing.

Tiffany [00:02:58] Yes, you are definitely not alone.

Meredith [00:03:04] Sorry.

Tiffany [00:03:06] Sorry.

Meredith [00:03:07] As I’m trying to prompt Tiffany to, “page two, page two.”

Tiffany [00:03:10] I had one more cool thing to say, but whatever.

Meredith [00:03:13] Oh, sorry.

Tiffany [00:03:13] So Brooke, we have some questions for you. If you could tell us a little bit about yourself, what was it that made you decide to start the Coffee and Chaos blog?

Brooke [00:03:24] Ah, I’m originally from Kentucky, and we moved down here in 2017 for my husband’s job, so when we moved down here, I had closed my business that I had up in Kentucky. We had another baby, so I was a stay at home mom with three kids I’ve been under, and I was losing my mind.

Tiffany [00:03:46] Heard.

Brooke [00:03:46] Yeah, I wasn’t doing anything other than taking care of my kids. I didn’t have any friends, and I started dealing with postpartum depression. I started thinking about ways that I could get out of this funk that I was in, and I thought, “I’ll just start this blog. At least writing about these things will make me feel better.” And so, that’s why I started it, and it just kind of exploded from there.

Tiffany [00:04:16] Wow. I can relate so much to that. That’s almost exactly why I started as well, down to the postpartum depression and everything.

Brooke [00:04:23] Yeah.

Tiffany [00:04:23] Writing can be so therapeutic.

Brooke [00:04:25] Yes, absolutely.

Meredith [00:04:27] Yeah. I think every blogger that I’ve spoken to has had at least two or three parts of that story has been samesies, right?

Tiffany [00:04:38] Wow.

Meredith [00:04:38] Because we’re looking for friends. We’re looking for somebody to say, “Is this normal? What do you think this rash is? Is everything going to be okay?”

Brooke [00:04:44] I think what’s really cool is that, I started this blog, and all of these people come to me and they’re like, “Oh, thank you. You’ve helped me so much.” I’m like, “Well, if you guys could just realize how much you helped me, you have no idea.”

Tiffany [00:04:58] That’s awesome.

Meredith [00:04:59] Yeah, it’s definitely a two-way street, and I think sometimes, a lot of times, anyway, our fathers … our followers don’t realize how much they help us.

Brooke [00:05:10] Yes.

Tiffany [00:05:13] Agreed.

Meredith [00:05:15] I don’t know why she’s laughing.

Brooke [00:05:18] Because you said fathers.

Tiffany [00:05:19] You said “our fathers.”

Meredith [00:05:19] Our fathers. Our Father, who art in Heaven, please help me get through this podcast. Okay, first of all, it’s not my fault. I have rubber bands on my braces. I’m supposed to wear them all the time.

Tiffany [00:05:37] I’m sorry.

Meredith [00:05:37] So now, it makes me kind of hiss when I speak.

Tiffany [00:05:42] Okay, I’ve got to get it together. I’m sorry, I was going to let it go, but then I heard Brooke giggling.

Meredith [00:05:47] I heard it too, and then I was like, “Shit.”

Brooke [00:05:50] I heard Tiffany giggling, and then I couldn’t stop.

Tiffany [00:05:52] All right, so Brooke, what’s been your favorite part about this journey since you started?

Brooke [00:05:59] Probably my favorite part is that I’ve been able to give back to an organization that’s important to me called PCHA, Pediatric Congenital Heart Association. They raise awareness for congenital heart disease, and they fund research projects. All that’s important to me because my son was born with a heart defect, and he had open heart surgery when he was four months old.

Tiffany [00:06:25] Ugh.

Brooke [00:06:26] He’s doing great now. He’s doing exceptionally well for a heart kid, but there’s not a cure, and there’s no guarantee of what’s to come. It’s the number one birth defect in the US, 1 in 100 babies are born with it, so it’s just something really important that needs more funding and more research.

Tiffany [00:06:48] How cool that you’re able to use your platform to bring awareness to it. First of all, I didn’t even know about your son, and I didn’t know about your involvement with this organization, so I can’t wait to look into that a little bit more.

Brooke [00:07:00] Yeah, and so all of the events that I’m hosting, like the Mom Side Out event that I’m hosting, a portion of the proceeds goes to PCHA, so that’s pretty cool.

Tiffany [00:07:11] Wow, awesome.

Meredith [00:07:12] Yeah, when you told me that story about your son, I was like, “Oh!” It’s just, I think the one thing that I really learned when becoming a mom was empathy.

Tiffany [00:07:28] Yes.

Meredith [00:07:28] Because I can tell you, I have a child that has some … Well, I have three children, but I have one that has had some pretty serious issues, and things that we still deal with today. It is just easier, as a human being, to empathize with you now that I’m a mom. You can feel all the feels with that, and sometimes that sucks, but other times it’s like, “We can bond. We can go along this journey together.” So tell us, what has been the most surprising part of your journey? What would you say kind of made you go, “Holy cow”?

Brooke [00:08:05] I think probably just how many other moms out there need to hear the message that I send, the whole, “You don’t have to be a perfect parent” thing. It’s been really surprising to me to see how hard everyone is on their selves. I’ll think about the most mundane thing and everyone’s like, “Thank you for saying it.” It’s such a sigh of relief, and it’s kind of sad. I think that we hold ourselves to such a high expectation, and we feel like we can’t say certain things. That’s been surprising, but I am happy to be the one that leads the conversation.

Tiffany [00:08:47] Right? Isn’t it weird how us just being our normal, weirdo selves makes everybody feel okay, being people that need it.

Brooke [00:08:54] Sometimes I’m like, “I don’t know if you should be living your life according to me. I don’t know if that’s …”

Tiffany [00:09:00] I’m not the best role model. I’m actually a little [crosstalk 00:09:02].

Brooke [00:09:02] I don’t know, but I’m going to go with it.

Tiffany [00:09:05] That’s so awesome.

Meredith [00:09:06] But I think you’re right with what you said. We hold ourselves to a standard that’s just unattainable, and so the other thing I would have to say that I learned about parenting was, you have to lower your standards.

Tiffany [00:09:17] Yes.

Meredith [00:09:17] Just like in general, in life, with how seriously you take things and whatnot. Next five years, what’s your big goal?

Brooke [00:09:29] Oh my gosh.

Meredith [00:09:30] This podcast is serious, Brooke. Take it as such.

Brooke [00:09:34] Right? Is this an interview? Am I getting a job?

Meredith [00:09:36] In the next five years, get serious.

Brooke [00:09:40] I don’t know. I honestly don’t like to plan that far out, because so much is going to happen. My kids, it’s going to be a completely different season. I mean, the only thing I have on my list is that I want to finish writing my book, and get that published, so that’s really it. Just survive, and have happy, healthy kids.

Meredith [00:10:00] But that’s a really good goal, right?

Brooke [00:10:01] Yeah.

Meredith [00:10:02] Because you’ve started the book, so now you have to finish it. That’s like a rule.

Brooke [00:10:07] And I’ve got five years.

Meredith [00:10:09] And you’ve got five years. I’ve just given you five years, look at that. The gift of time.

Tiffany [00:10:13] With what we do here, there are things happening each day that I did not expect, that I did not see coming.

Brooke [00:10:20] Yes.

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Tiffany [00:10:20] And so, it’s almost impossible to plan, because as soon as you do, the universe is like, “No, we’re switching this up.” So I fly by the seat of my pants as well, which I don’t even know what that means when people say that. “I fly by the seat of my pants.”

Meredith [00:10:33] That sounds awkward, like you’re just holding on to your bum.

Tiffany [00:10:36] Here we go.

Meredith [00:10:39] Watch me bum fly.

Brooke [00:10:43] And I think, too, if I looked back at the last 10 years of my life, and how nothing went as planned. I’m not at the place now, at almost 30, where I thought I was going to be, so I’m kind of like, “How about I just don’t put all of this extra pressure on myself to plan that far out?”

Tiffany [00:10:59] Awesome, yeah.

Brooke [00:11:00] I’m not very good at it.

Tiffany [00:11:02] Same. That’s a good message, too, for people. Take it easy on yourself.

Meredith [00:11:05] Yeah.

Brooke [00:11:06] Yeah.

Tiffany [00:11:07] Brooke, where can people find you online. If they want to know more about you, and they want to watch your stuff, where do they go?

Brooke [00:11:12] So, Facebook is my playground. That’s where I’m at the most. It’s Brooke Wilkerson, the Coffee and Chaos blog, and you can find me on Instagram at TheBrookeWilkerson, and my website, www.brookewilkerson.com.

Tiffany [00:11:28] Very cool. What is your next big event coming up?

Brooke [00:11:32] The next big event is in Nashville, in a few weeks with you, Tiffany.

Tiffany [00:11:38] Woohoo.

Brooke [00:11:38] And PA, and Dinah Blizzard, we’re doing a little show.

Tiffany [00:11:45] Awesome. Very cool. Well everybody, make sure you go check out Brooke. She is amazing on a personal level, and what she does on social media. So, thank you so much for hanging out with us. I think, is she sticking around?

Meredith [00:11:56] Yeah, Brooke is going to play third wheel, and she’s going to be involved in all of the segments of the show. I can also tell you that I have slept in the same room as Brooke.

Tiffany [00:12:08] Whoa.

Brooke [00:12:09] That’s true, we were roommates.

Meredith [00:12:10] We were roomies on a trip one time.

Brooke [00:12:13] In the hotel.

Tiffany [00:12:13] I can tell.

Meredith [00:12:14] She’s heard me fart in my sleep. I’m just saying, we’re close.

Brooke [00:12:24] We are. We go way back.

Tiffany [00:12:26] Taking a sip of water and I didn’t see it coming.

Meredith [00:12:31] We’ll have to give Tiffany a second here, make sure she’s okay.

Tiffany [00:12:33] I was …

Meredith [00:12:34] But those are things that you, I’m just saying. When you’re close to somebody, they’ve heard you toot.

Tiffany [00:12:39] I don’t do that, so I don’t really know.

Meredith [00:12:40] Oh, all right.

Tiffany [00:12:43] Okay, so today …

Brooke [00:12:45] Let’s ask your husband.

Tiffany [00:12:46] He’s always asleep nine hours before I get in there. His head hits the pillow, and he’s out.

Meredith [00:12:52] I hate that.

Tiffany [00:12:53] While I’m up obsessing about things that happened in seventh grade.

Meredith [00:12:56] How did I know you were going to say that exact statement? Because that’s every woman. ” It’s time for bed. Why was that kid so mean to me in seventh grade?”

Tiffany [00:13:04] I looked so stupid at that dance.

Meredith [00:13:07] Yeah.

Tiffany [00:13:07] Anyway, today’s trending parenting news is brought to you by Grove Collaborative. Speaking of Grove Collaborative, I had a joke, which doesn’t go together. But today, it’s fall-themed. What did a tree fighting with Autumn say?

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Meredith [00:13:24] I don’t know, what?

Tiffany [00:13:26] That’s it. I’m leaving. Get it?

Meredith [00:13:30] That’s terrible.

Tiffany [00:13:31] Because the leaves fall, and it’s like … Anyway.

Meredith [00:13:36] I need that to stop.

Tiffany [00:13:37] I feel like, jealous.

Meredith [00:13:38] Whoever is giving you these jokes.

Tiffany [00:13:40] With your incredible unfortunate.

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Tiffany [00:13:58] This year, Ms. Meyer’s has released a brand- new seasonal fall scent, pumpkin. It smells exactly how it looks, clean, simple and cozy. The toasty scent is distinctively fall, but it smells so good I would be tempted to use it year-round. It’s funny, because I find myself purposely creating stains just so I’m like, “Oh, got to get out my pumpkin cleaner.”

Meredith [00:14:19] I used it this morning.

Tiffany [00:14:20] Sorry. The packaging is pretty neat, too. It looks like pumpkin pie filling. So, Grove has you covered for all your cleaning and organizing needs as you head into fall. Find an amazing selection of natural household products from brands like Ms. Meyer’s, Method and Seventh Generation.

Meredith [00:14:37] Be sure to order before October 25th. The seasonal scents will absolutely run out. If you’ve been thinking about trying Grove Collaborative, this is your chance. When you sign up using our link, you’ll get a free fall set, plus free shipping and a 60 day VIP trial. Go to grove.co/takeit to get started. That’s grove.co/takeit, not grove.com.

Tiffany [00:15:01] Oh, right. So today, in trending news, we have a story about, she’s a celebrity. Her name is Busy Phillips. I think she was in the movie White Chicks.

Meredith [00:15:14] Yeah, lots of stuff. She did that sitcom, Cougar Town.

Tiffany [00:15:18] I don’t think I saw that.

Meredith [00:15:19] Oh, it was good.

Tiffany [00:15:21] So she’s a mom, and she recently told a magazine, People?

Meredith [00:15:27] Parents, I think.

Tiffany [00:15:28] Parents. It’s a good thing one of us knows what we’re talking about. She told them that after her first child, she felt like she was parenting by herself, which I can relate to. However, the difference with her situation is that her husband at the time, who she’d been with a long time prior to having kids, was not understanding how to be a dad, and he didn’t even try.

Meredith [00:15:51] Yeah, that’s her quote. She said, in Parents Magazine, “He was uninterested in being a father.” Actually, when she said, “I want to have another kid,” he actually said, “Well, then you’ll have to do that on your own, because I’m not pitching in.”

Brooke [00:16:07] I can go do it on my own. Is that what you want?

Meredith [00:16:11] But it begs a very valid question in our marriages, and in our parenting. Obviously, in a delightful world, everybody would be pitching in all of the time, but in my own personal experience, my husband was not really pitching in with the kids until they were toddlers. No interest in newborns, no interest in getting up at night, no interest in feeding a bottle, no interest in changing a diaper. Nothing. I let him get away with that. I don’t know, were your husbands supportive, and they do all of those things?

Tiffany [00:16:52] Brooke?

Brooke [00:16:52] Yeah, my husband was always really nervous when the babies were new. Then once they got like six months and older, he would be really involved in … It just made him nervous, is all it was. It wasn’t like, I don’t know, this guy kind of sounds like he was a jerk about it. My husband wasn’t a jerk about it, but he just was very uncomfortable. It didn’t come naturally to him to be like, “Yeah, sure. You go do something, and I’ll hang out with this new baby.” It wasn’t like that.

Tiffany [00:17:21] Were you hovering over him when he did have the baby, and trying to tell him?

Brooke [00:17:25] No.

Tiffany [00:17:26] No, really? You were out of there.

Brooke [00:17:28] I was like, “Please, take the baby.” It’s fine. You’re fine, it’s going to be fine.

Tiffany [00:17:32] I was hovering.

Brooke [00:17:33] He was like, “No it’s not.”

Tiffany [00:17:35] My thing is, I can understand like a guy not really understanding how to be a dad, or feeling uncomfortable, worried he’s going to mess up. I try to take into consideration, for example if, my husband didn’t have a father growing up, so he didn’t have an example to look up to of what being a dad looks like. It’s all literally brand-new to him, and he has nothing to look back on. I can understand things like that. What I can’t understand is a man just saying, “That’s on you.”

Brooke [00:18:06] Yeah.

Tiffany [00:18:07] Now my question is, if you get with somebody, and one of you wants a child and the other doesn’t want a child, should they be obligated to be a part of the caretaking if they’ve already prior expressed that they don’t want to do this? That’s an interesting question.

Meredith [00:18:24] I don’t think that’s what it was, because she said he didn’t say that he didn’t want to have kids, but he said that if we continue to have them, that the brunt of the nurturing and parenting would be on my plate. That obviously is not the way to have a healthy marriage, or coparenting, right? You can’t parent together like that. Parenting together, I don’t know what it’s like to parent as a divorced couple, because I currently still am married to my husband, but I can tell you that even being married and parenting together, it’s not easy. You disagree over stuff all the time, but what Busy said was, she said that it took massive amounts of therapy, communication, talk therapy, marriage therapy to get him to understand that look, we both have to meet in the middle here with the kids.

Meredith [00:19:19] But I’d like to take a caller on this. I think we should ask out there, what was your experience first time with a baby? Your first kid. Was your husband all hands on deck? There could also be a situation where the mom was like, “You know what? I don’t think this is for me. I want you to take over.” I’m sure that’s happened. I’m sure there’s been a time where that’s happened.

Tiffany [00:19:41] Yeah. I mean, I could see it if the mother was having some mental stuff going on after having a child. There was a point where I would have let the lady at the gas station take care of my kids, because I was so depressed, but I feel …

Brooke [00:19:53] I have mixed feelings about this article, because I think it’s good that she’s talking about it.

Tiffany [00:19:57] Yes.

Brooke [00:19:58] But I also don’t like that she said, ” Oh, it took our second child to fix it.” Because she said the arrival of her second child, that’s what sparked it. I’m like, “You probably should have done some therapy before then. I would hate for people to think, oh, have another baby, that’ll fix it.”

Tiffany [00:20:14] Right.

Brooke [00:20:14] You know?

Tiffany [00:20:14] Right.

Meredith [00:20:14] No, I don’t think having more kids ever fixes anything, but I’m glad that they addressed the issue, in that she was honest about the issue and opened up and talked about it, because it is something that I think many, many, many marriages go through. I don’t think that it’s a lack, that the dad doesn’t love the kids, either. I think sometimes they don’t know how to interact, or they’re not exactly sure, and they’ll just step back and not be involved until they feel like they’re ready to.

Tiffany [00:20:41] Yeah, but it sounded like he wasn’t even willing, and that’s what annoys me. I would have some resentment if my man was like, “Hey, that’s on you.” You know what I mean? Then what do I need you for? You’re just taking up space and eating all my food, go.

Meredith [00:20:54] Right. Grocery bills out of control.

Tiffany [00:20:56] Yeah. If you’re not going to help, why are you here? What is your purpose?

Meredith [00:21:01] So let’s see. Let’s get some quotes here, though. When I told him I wanted to have a second child, he said, “Fine, but it’s all on you,” she recalled. That was so heartbreaking. However, something changed after the arrival of her daughter Cricket in 2013. I love her name is Cricket. Marriage is always hard, but especially when you have kids, you’re going to go through periods where you’re not into it, but there always has to be one person willing to fight, the 39-year-old said, “I went to Mark several times and said, I cannot do this anymore. Something has to change, and it’s you.” That’s the quote she said. “What needs to change is you.” She didn’t mince words, though, at that point. She said she wanted to fix things, and it was him.

Tiffany [00:21:41] Yeah, replacement.

Meredith [00:21:42] Replacement.

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Tiffany [00:21:43] Sorry. Okay, awesome. We have a caller. Hello, Sadie.

Sadie [00:21:52] Hello?

Tiffany [00:21:52] Hi. Welcome to Take It or Leave It. You’re calling from Indiana, [inaudible 00:21:56]?

Sadie [00:21:56] I am.

Tiffany [00:21:59] Where’s [inaudible 00:22:00] at?

Sadie [00:22:03] It’s Indiana.

Tiffany [00:22:05] Hello, welcome.

Sadie [00:22:07] Hi. I’m excited I got in.

Tiffany [00:22:10] Yes.

Meredith [00:22:11] So, what was it like after baby number one for you? Was it wonderful? Was it a crapshoot? What did you have going on?

Sadie [00:22:20] Wonderful. Wonderful.

Meredith [00:22:22] Well, tell us about it.

Sadie [00:22:24] Well, my husband is a firefighter, so he was able to take off a few shifts, which turned into the full two weeks. I was able to try breastfeeding for a while, and wasn’t producing, so that was hard on me, but he was so good. He did all of it, change them and get them ready, hand then to me.

Meredith [00:22:50] Oh my God.

Sadie [00:22:51] And take care of everything that I could sleep, or anything that I needed to do, he would just get him ready for me and hand him on over.

Tiffany [00:23:00] Does he have a brother?

Meredith [00:23:02] You’re married.

Tiffany [00:23:05] Oh.

Sadie [00:23:05] No, he doesn’t.

Tiffany [00:23:05] That’s amazing, to have that kind of support during that time.

Sadie [00:23:10] It was great.

Meredith [00:23:12] And how many kids do you have?

Sadie [00:23:14] I have two, a boy and a girl.

Meredith [00:23:16] A boy and a girl. What are their ages?

Sadie [00:23:19] Two and a half, and one.

Meredith [00:23:21] Bless your heart, you’ve got the toddlers. You’ve got a case of the toddlers.

Tiffany [00:23:25] I’m there with you, sister.

Sadie [00:23:27] Oh yes.

Meredith [00:23:27] And so is Brooke. Brooke, what is your age range?

Brooke [00:23:31] My oldest two, they’re going to turn six, three, and then I have a 15-month-old. You know, who thought that was a good idea to have them so close together?

Meredith [00:23:41] Alcohol? No. I don’t know. I don’t know that that’s true. Well, thank you so much for calling in. I’m so glad that you had a great experience with your babies, and with your husband. He sounds like a delight, and no, Tiffany, you can’t have him.

Tiffany [00:23:54] Boo.

Sadie [00:23:56] [inaudible 00:23:56], that’s for sure.

Meredith [00:23:57] You have a great day in Indiana. I bet you’re enjoying the fall weather.

Sadie [00:24:02] I am. All of the windows are open. We’re loving it.

Tiffany [00:24:05] You just need some Grove pumpkin scent cleaner. I’m just kidding.

Sadie [00:24:08] Oh, I use the Grove.

Meredith [00:24:11] She Groves.

Sadie [00:24:11] The smooth apple cider.

Meredith [00:24:13] Yes, I do love apple cider. Well, thanks so much for calling in. We truly appreciate you taking the time to reach out.

Sadie [00:24:20] Oh, I love it. My husband doesn’t like me watching you guys, I keep ordering stuff.

Tiffany [00:24:27] Oh my, oh my, oh my.

Sadie [00:24:28] He’s like, “What else is she going to order?”

Meredith [00:24:30] I don’t know. Check back next month. Well, thank you so much for calling in.

Tiffany [00:24:37] Tell your husband we love him.

Sadie [00:24:38] Thank you.

Meredith [00:24:39] Yes.

Tiffany [00:24:39] And to call us. I’m just kidding. I love you, Sadie. Thanks for calling. Bye.

Sadie [00:24:43] Love you guys, bye.

Tiffany [00:24:45] I always have to make it weird at some point. Sorry.

Meredith [00:24:49] This poor guy.

Tiffany [00:24:50] I know.

Meredith [00:24:50] And of course he’s a firefighter, too, so Tiffany is like, “Is his calendar out? When can I see him?”

Brooke [00:24:57] He probably has some good friends.

Meredith [00:24:58] He probably has some good firefighter friends.

Tiffany [00:25:00] I love my husband, I’m just kidding.

Meredith [00:25:03] I know.

Tiffany [00:25:03] But hearing about that kind of support is definitely attractive.

Meredith [00:25:08] It is. You know what, though? I think it just takes, because okay, let me rephrase this. Back when you were talking about how sometimes dads don’t know how to be dads, because either they didn’t have a role model or whatever was going on, I think it’s just as hard for moms to figure out how to be moms because I don’t really think any of us have any clue as to what we’re doing.

Tiffany [00:25:31] Right.

Meredith [00:25:32] However, I do think something innate comes from within motherhood, and takes over your body and it’s like, “No, I must take care of all the things now, forever in perpetuity, and this is my realm, and I will dominate.” I think sometimes that can be very intense to the husband.

Tiffany [00:25:54] Right.

Meredith [00:25:54] Where they’re probably looking at her like, “Oh my gosh, she’s going to scream again.”

Tiffany [00:25:58] That makes sense.

Meredith [00:25:59] I think sometimes we put out that vibe of, “If you put that diaper on wrong, I will cut you with a knife.”

Tiffany [00:26:09] Yes, I get it.

Meredith [00:26:09] I think sometimes that happens, but I can tell you that my husband eventually, when they started into that toddler sphere, he was kind of like, “Oh, they’re fun and cute. We could totally go play and hang out, and do things.” It is attractive when you watch them. We were at my nephew’s birthday party last weekend, and my husband was playing pool with about 12 kids. They were all gathered around him like he was the coolest thing ever, right? They were playing pool, and I was like, “That’s my man.”

Tiffany [00:26:34] “I’m going to do him right now.” Sorry.

Meredith [00:26:37] Oh my.

Tiffany [00:26:37] Not you specifically.

Meredith [00:26:38] It’s okay. It was a Saturday, so that was probably on the schedule already.

Tiffany [00:26:42] Was it?

Meredith [00:26:43] So anyway …

Brooke [00:26:44] I think the plus side. There’s an upside if you had more than one kid. Like, when I had second baby and third baby, my husband was like, “Oh, let me take the toddlers.” He would take them, and then it was just me and baby. That was all right. He was more than willing to get them.

Tiffany [00:27:01] I think that it’s important for moms who aren’t getting what they need, support-wise from their spouse, for them to communicate. Because oftentimes, especially after having a new baby, our hormones are out of control, like you said. I found that when I open up to my husband like, “Look, I know you’re not a mind reader, so I’m going to write this down and spell it out. This is what I need from you right now.” It changed things for me, to open up that dialogue. It’s okay to ask for help, it’s okay to deny help when you don’t want it. Just communication, I think.

Meredith [00:27:33] Yeah, she goes on in the article to basically say, “We’ve had a lot of serious discussions and counseling. He’s incredibly participatory now, in a way I don’t think he could have imagined before. We’re a work in progress, but trying our best, and that’s all anybody can do. That’s why I wanted to talk about this, because it’s not uncommon.” It’s like when we talked on last week’s podcast, when we were talking about, people fight. Couples fight. Married people fight. It’s not uncommon to fight.

Tiffany [00:28:00] Right.

Meredith [00:28:01] I think people sometimes obsess over it, and it’s like oh my gosh, we fight more than …

Meredith [00:28:00] … To fight. And I think people sometimes obsess over it and it’s like, “Oh my gosh, we fight more than everybody else the planet.” And it’s like, probably not.

Tiffany [00:28:07] Right.

Meredith [00:28:08] So that is … It’s good that they’re talking about this and I think it’s a good conversation to have. So, yeah. So, I’m glad they’re doing better. And I think if you’re struggling, take Tiffany’s advice. They’re not mind readers.

Tiffany [00:28:23] Get a firefight-

Meredith [00:28:25] No.

Tiffany [00:28:25] Okay.

Meredith [00:28:25] That’s not the advice.

Tiffany [00:28:26] Sorry.

Meredith [00:28:28] If you need a firefighter for an emergency, call 911. If you need your husband to pitch in more with doing diapers, ask him for help. I don’t think they’re gonna-

Tiffany [00:28:40] That’s what I meant.

Meredith [00:28:40] Right. Don’t call a firefighter to change a diaper. Okay? Maybe do that. I don’t know. That might be a good idea.

Tiffany [00:28:47] Listen. I called the police one time when my son had a bloody nose. They showed up and they said, “We don’t respond to bloody noses.”

Meredith [00:28:55] You did not. That’s not a true story.

Tiffany [00:28:56] I swear. [crosstalk 00:28:57]

Brooke [00:28:57] And then she told her husband, she was like look, I’m gonna need you to help because this is what is happening.

Meredith [00:28:59] Oh my gosh.

Brooke [00:29:02] I’m calling the cops.

Tiffany [00:29:04] I was panicking.

Meredith [00:29:06] That’s intense.

Brooke [00:29:10] What I like too in the article is I like that she told everyone that they went to marriage counseling because I feel like probably everyone could use that.

Tiffany [00:29:14] Yeah, absolutely. Getting an outside, unbiased opinion I think is a great idea because it’s hard to see the other person’s side sometimes when you’re in the “I’m gonna win this” argument mode.

Meredith [00:29:24] Right. We talked about that last week, too.

Tiffany [00:29:27] Yes. We’re gonna do a little bit more marriage talk in a bit but first we’re gonna be talking about some parenting crap which is brought to you by FabFitFun subscription box. FabFitFun is a seasonal subscription box with full-size beauty, fitness, fashion, and lifestyle products. One of the reasons I love FabFitFun is because each season since the Fall of 2015, they provided charitable contributions to a specific charity that support and empower women.

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Tiffany [00:30:07] Yes.

Meredith [00:30:09] In parenting crap, we’re gonna talk about a touchy topic: other peoples’ kids, which can get dicey because everybody thinks their kid is the best at everything and the truth is they’re not. We do end up interacting with other peoples’ kids. I was a teacher for 13 years so I can tell you that there’s plenty of turds out there. I had them in my class and there’s plenty of delightful, well-mannered, wonderful kids.

Tiffany [00:30:42] Mine.

Meredith [00:30:43] Yours. Here’s the thing. First of all, control is an illusion. We literally have control over nothing. We think we do, right?

Tiffany [00:30:52] Yes.

Meredith [00:30:54] Here’s my question to everybody and we’ll end up taking a call on each of these because I think that there are points to be made on either side. Here’s the question that was written in. “I don’t like my kid’s friend’s behavior. What should I do?” So we’re gonna pose this question. Everybody’s gonna get a turn to answer and tell me what they were gonna do and then we’ll take a caller.

Meredith [00:31:14] So Brooke, what would we tell this woman? She’s saying, “I don’t like my kid’s friend’s behavior. What should I do?”

Brooke [00:31:22] I think it depends on what the behavior is. If it’s just like they do something [inaudible 00:31:27] then I would probably just let that slide but if it’s something more serious where they’re like rubbing off on our kid and not being a good influence, I’m not gonna hesitate to cut that tie. That’s just me. I think it just depends on what it is.

Meredith [00:31:41] So you would remove a friend.

Brooke [00:31:46] Yeah if it was serious enough.

Meredith [00:31:48] Okay. Tiff?

Tiffany [00:31:50] It’s tricky. Two thirds of my kids are 2 and 3 years old and they don’t even know. They just punch each other and pull each other’s hair. You know what I mean? There’s nothing I can do about that but as far as Aubrey, I thought of two examples immediately. She has one friend who is a sweet angel and she’s so kind. She’s the kind of friend that doesn’t have a lot of friends because she’s so nice and genuine but Aubrey’s her friend and I adore her and I’m like let’s have a sleepover.

Tiffany [00:32:15] She has another friend who’s like a millionaire and so Aubrey is always like, “Jessica just got a new iPhone XS to call her friends. Can I have one?” I find myself like, girl, you don’t even eat your dinner. You won’t eat vegetables yet. You can’t call your friends whenever you want. I try to steer her in the direction of the poor friend.

Meredith [00:32:43] Oh good lord.

Tiffany [00:32:43] Mainly that’s what I go for. You know what I mean? It’s not comparing.

Brooke [00:32:48] The humble friend.

Tiffany [00:32:50] That’s right. I thought I said that. That’s what I meant.

Brooke [00:32:52] You did. It’s okay. I heard it.

Meredith [00:32:52] Right, right. Okay but here’s the thing. We all at some point are going to have to deal with a friend … We had a situation as well with my daughter where a friend handed her a party invitation and then my daughter said something to the girl about the party, asked her a question about the party, and then the girl said, “You know what? I changed my mind.” And she took the invitation back.

Meredith [00:33:23] I had to have a long conversation with my daughter about proper etiquette, manners, and things that are important in our friendships and how sometimes it’s just okay to not be friends with somebody. Don’t be rude. Don’t be nasty but you don’t have to be friends with everybody and if there’s an issue, come to me and we’ll chat about it. That was a tough conversation to have to explain to her that not everybody is gonna be super sweet to you, you know? Life is not a box of chocolates.

Tiffany [00:33:58] I just wanna keep my kids in the house forever and not let them outside.

Meredith [00:34:02] I know, in a bubble?

Tiffany [00:34:02] It’s hard not to drop kick kids when they’re being mean to your babies.

Meredith [00:34:06] I know and people frown on that for some reason.

Tiffany [00:34:10] It’s weird.

Meredith [00:34:11] So let’s take a caller. I’d like to take a caller and I’d like somebody to tell me a situation where they had to talk to their kid about their child’s friend’s behavior and obviously you don’t have to tell us names. We don’t wanna throw anybody under the bus but we’re just saying, tell us what happened and how you dealt with the situation. I do find it interesting because we like to think we have control over our kids and then therefore we have control over the people they’re gonna become friends with but that’s absolutely not true.

Tiffany [00:34:46] Mmm…

Meredith [00:34:46] I’m sorry Tiffany. We don’t.

Tiffany [00:34:48] This is depressing.

Meredith [00:34:50] Control is an illusion.

Brooke [00:34:53] I think our kids aren’t old enough for us to fully understand that.

Tiffany [00:34:57] Right, I get that.

Meredith [00:34:57] Yeah, I’m sorry.

Brooke [00:34:59] We do have control.

Meredith [00:35:00] You do. I guess you do, that’s right but my 13 year old, the control is fleeting.

Tiffany [00:35:08] It’s tough.

Meredith [00:35:09] It’s very tough.

Tiffany [00:35:10] This is probably a good thing for parents of teenagers to hear this conversation. If they’re feeling like, “I don’t know what to do about my kid’s friends” because I can’t really relate to this yet but you have experience in this area.

Meredith [00:35:23] Well, a tidbit. I’ve dipped my toes in it. Alright, we’ve got Kelly here from New York who has four children.

Brooke [00:35:31] Ooh.

Meredith [00:35:33] Kelly?

Kelly [00:35:34] Hello!

Meredith [00:35:34] Hey! Hey girl, hey! Hi!

Kelly [00:35:36] I got through again!

Meredith [00:35:38] Yay! Alright so Kelly from New York with four children who apparently needs to play the lottery because she’s a lucky duck, give me a sitch where you were appalled by your kid’s friend’s behavior.

Kelly [00:35:52] Let me start it off. I have a 21, a 17, a 14, and a 9 year old.

Meredith [00:35:56] That’s a gamut.

Kelly [00:35:59] Right now I’m dealing with my 17 year old who got his license and thinks he rules everything. It’s harder for me to keep track of where he is when I know he’s hanging out with certain friends.

Tiffany [00:36:12] GPS.

Kelly [00:36:15] It’s kind of like I’m chasing him and I know what he’s doing and it scares me to death. It’s hard for me to relate because I am the younger mom of the groups.

Tiffany [00:36:28] Right.

Kelly [00:36:29] I wanna call the parents but then I don’t wanna embarrass my son.

Tiffany [00:36:33] Right.

Kelly [00:36:34] That’s the hard situation that I’m in.

Tiffany [00:36:36] And he’s close to 18 so I’m sure he’s using that all the time. “I’m gonna be an adult in 4 weeks. You’re not the boss of me.”

Kelly [00:36:44] Then act like an adult. That’s my [inaudible 00:36:47]. Yep but my 21 year old, he did things but he did it quietly and didn’t get caught so I’m like I don’t have to know every tiny little detail.

Tiffany [00:37:00] Wow.

Meredith [00:37:01] It’s tough.

Kelly [00:37:03] One big thing I always wanna say is I’m always that mom who as soon as something happens I say “What did you do?” I’m not that mom who’s like “not my kid” because I’m the first one to sit him down. “What the H did you do?”

Meredith [00:37:19] What the H. What the H child?

Tiffany [00:37:22] Do you think it’s a product of his surroundings? Do you think it’s the people that hang out with him and influence him and if so-

Kelly [00:37:28] Absolutely. Absolutely but my 17 year old is very impressionable and he’s the popular one, the varsity football player-

Meredith [00:37:38] So in your experience though with 4, if you tell one of your kids, “You under no circumstances can hang out with that child,” is that going to make them want to hang out with them more and are you gonna catch them with that kid?

Kelly [00:37:56] Absolutely hang out more.

Meredith [00:37:58] Yeah that’s what I thought.

Kelly [00:37:58] I did it. I went through it as a child. My 17 year old friend that I could not hang out with and I was with him every day. So be prepared.

Meredith [00:38:05] Yeah. I think that’s the tough thing too is because sometimes we think that we can just be like, “I abolish this friendship! It is done! It is written in the books.” Then they’re like, “Okay mommy!” Out they go and then you catch them SnapChatting in the woods at a bonfire party. Shenanigans, shenanigans, shenanigans. I don’t think that banning ever helps.

Kelly [00:38:34] No.

Tiffany [00:38:34] Brooke, what are your thoughts? Are you dreading when your kids become teenagers?

Brooke [00:38:39] Yes. God, yes. For me it’s even harder because my brother is an addict and he is like the perfect example of someone who got mixed in with the wrong crowd and it just like completely altered his life. He went on a completely different course so it’s so terrifying. I’m like how do you keep that from happening? What do you mean I can’t tell him they can’t be friends with these people?

Tiffany [00:39:04] Right.

Brooke [00:39:04] You know? So it’s scary.

Meredith [00:39:08] It is scary to know that you really don’t have the control that you think you do. I think we just have to guide them by being the best role models that we can for them and then if they ask advice say, “Okay, well this is the choice I would make and here’s why and if you feel this way tell me why.” You know?

Meredith [00:39:29] One thing we learned, my youngest son is in therapy and my daughter at one point we were in family therapy and the therapist said something to me that from when she was a toddler to now, I think was brilliant advice. He said, “You have to remember that everything is a choice. Let them make a choice.” He goes, “It can be something as simple as she’s fighting you over what to wear to school? Lay out two outfits. You’ve already picked both outfits. Now let her make the choice. What difference does it make?”

Meredith [00:40:03] So he said, “No matter if it’s a small argument that you’re having with your child or a big argument, lay out the choices. You’ve already approved both of them. Then let them pick.” They feel like they’re driving the car when in fact you’ve already prepped the engine, right? I loved that advice. I try to remember that every single time we come to some big argument but I think that’s way better than saying “You can never see that kid again. That kid’s a turd. That kid is a total turd. We are not doing that. I am not going to be the one to go bail him out” type thing, right?

Meredith [00:40:36] I agree with you. It’s tough. [crosstalk 00:40:40]

Brooke [00:40:39] My parents were always really good about that. I felt like I had to bring forth a defense. If they told me no about something, they were like “Okay well why should we?” We had to have these long conversations with supporting facts and it was really irritating.

Meredith [00:40:56] In conclusion!

Brooke [00:40:56] I look at it now and I’m like that’s actually probably pretty good because they made me think in depth about everything.

Tiffany [00:41:03] Yeah.

Kelly [00:41:04] Well that’s what I was gonna say too real quick. I’m sorry to keep you but my 17 year old … I’m recently divorced. It’ll be 4 years this July and he’s the toughest one. He’s the one who’s not dealing with it well so this definitely is changing his decision making I think.

Meredith [00:41:22] Yeah.

Kelly [00:41:24] That’s gonna be even harder.

Meredith [00:41:26] I know. Deep breaths, deep breaths.

Kelly [00:41:28] Yep. I do.

Meredith [00:41:29] Relax. Nice long baths with bath bombs from Grove Collaborative.

Tiffany [00:41:34] Oh no you didn’t.

Meredith [00:41:36] Alright, just kidding but thank you so much for calling in. I really appreciate it. You have a great day. Enjoy your fall weather.

Kelly [00:41:42] You too lovely ladies.

Meredith [00:41:42] You too, bye.

Kelly [00:41:44] Bye.

Meredith [00:41:45] Alright so I’m going to pose one more question that we’ll take a caller on before we get into our third segment but how do you ladies feel about directly disciplining somebody else’s kid?

Tiffany [00:41:57] Never.

Meredith [00:41:58] Never. What about you Brooke?

Brooke [00:42:00] No.

Meredith [00:42:01] Can’t do it?

Brooke [00:42:03] I don’t even let them have things. I’ll be like, “What did your mom say?” I don’t wanna step on anyone’s toes especially with disciplining because it’s such a controversial thing these days.

Meredith [00:42:16] So what if you’re out and you’re at the playground. Obviously this is just a hypothetical, didn’t actually happen last week. You’re at the playground and your son who’s 10 is playing with another kid from his class who’s 10 and you see the other kid shove your kid down into the mulch, just face down. Are you going to go and attempt to discipline that child or are you just going to scoop your kid up and peace out?

Tiffany [00:42:46] How old is the kid?

Meredith [00:42:47] They’re 10.

Brooke [00:42:47] I would probably tell the kid, “Hey, not okay. Where’s your mom?”

Meredith [00:42:53] Where’s your mom? She needs to beat your butt. Where’s your mom?

Brooke [00:42:57] I’m gonna pass the buck here.

Meredith [00:42:58] Pass the buck. Alright well let’s take a caller on this though. Has anybody has to discipline another person’s child or is that just something that is so taboo you just don’t do it?

Tiffany [00:43:07] I know how I would feel if somebody else tried to discipline my kid, especially if I was there, so I would never want anyone to feel that way. If somebody pushed my kid though it would be really tough to keep my mouth shut. Here’s a stupid example. Yesterday we were at music class and Chloe went to grab this little ukulele and there was a little boy in there whose mother had just said, “You have to wait for the teacher,” so the little boy looked at Chloe when she grabbed it and said, “You need to wait for the teacher,” and Chloe broke down in tears. I could feel the rage welling up and I was like, “I will roundhouse kick a 2 year old right here, right now.” I wouldn’t really. It was fine but I looked at his mom like, “Please, please say something.”

Meredith [00:43:53] Did she say anything?

Tiffany [00:43:54] Yeah, I think she quietly said something to him but I hugged Chloe. Sorry. It made me so sad! That’s why I don’t want them to leave the house. I can’t take them hurting or people being mean to them. It terrifies me.

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Meredith [00:44:11] Yeah. Alright well we’ve got Katie from South Carolina. Hello?

Katie [00:44:15] Hi!

Meredith [00:44:16] How are you?

Katie [00:44:17] I’m doing great. I have a weird situation. I have three kids of my own and I look after three kids so I get it from both sides. My kids are really strong, independent boys. Really strong. So I’m usually the mom apologizing for my kid punching your kid because your kid pushed mine and my kid went all Hulk.

Tiffany [00:44:43] Hulk smash.

Katie [00:44:44] Yeah, went completely Hulk because he’s thinking he’s protecting himself and other kids. I recently had an incident where that actual thing just happened. We were at a playground [inaudible 00:44:54]. All the kids were pushing and shoving. I was wrangling my dogs and my foster dogs trying to get to him and he punched again. When I got there, I said, “Hey, how’s everything doing?” The parents came at me, verbally attacked me, and then threatened to physically attack my son.

Tiffany [00:45:13] What?!

Katie [00:45:15] Yes. It was insane. This really nice little grandmother stepped in because my dogs were freaking out at this point and I’m like, “You don’t want me to really [inaudible 00:45:23] I will.” She stepped in and she’s like “Ryan, apologize.” I said, “What happened?” “Because Lee pushed me so I punched him,” and I go “Oh God, not again. Not again.”

Katie [00:45:35] So let’s talk about this. We don’t need to take it this far. We don’t need to do this. He didn’t like the fact that I was talking it out with my son and when my oldest, who is now 15, was little, I would’ve just whipped his tail. I would’ve been like, “What is wrong with you?” Over the years and all the kids I’ve looked after, I have evolved and I’m like, “Tell me what’s going on.”

Katie [00:45:57] I don’t bubble. My kids don’t live in a bubble. They know bad things happen. They know we’re going to go to Wal-Mart and you are not getting that toy so you can just walk right past by that sign but I do like talking about stuff and finding out why they did it. He said the little boy pushed him off a ladder and it just flipped a switch and I said, “Okay. Can you go apologize because what you should’ve done is just be like ‘Don’t do that’,” but he’s 4. He’s still working on his verbal skills.

Tiffany [00:46:26] Oh, this was a 4 year old.

Katie [00:46:28] Yeah.

Tiffany [00:46:29] Oh.

Katie [00:46:29] A 6 year old pushed my 4 year old.

Meredith [00:46:31] Okay. These weren’t 14 year old boys swinging dukes.

Katie [00:46:36] No, no. Believe me.

Meredith [00:46:37] Oh my goodness. Okay. Sorry. I’m sitting here going, “Wow there’s this big brawl at this Autumn Festival.”

Katie [00:46:43] I’ve had that experience too. The 15 year old was punched out last year because he got to the classroom before someone. See, in my area, it’s all about parents being involved and I talked to him and I spoke it out but this father got in my face and was screaming and was so angry. I said, ” I am so sorry. We’re working on this. Can you please apologize?” I addressed it and I’m just like, you’re not understanding! You’re elevating this situation where your kid’s not gonna learn. If he pushed, that’s not okay either.

Katie [00:47:16] Everybody’s gotta wait. It’s like a [inaudible 00:47:18]. It’s gonna be there in ten minutes. It’s okay. We’re all gonna work this out but the problem is that kids aren’t taught respect. They’re just taught to take. My 15 year old got punched in the face because he made it to a class first and it was all on video cameras in the school and the school apologized and all this and blah blah. I’m like, really? I’m in the school talking to everybody but the other kids’ parents weren’t anywhere there.

Katie [00:47:43] I’m over here at the playground trying to defuse the situation and I’m getting screamed at and verbally assaulted by these two parents. I’m very sorry. Let’s try to talk this out and make it better and nothing was gonna make it worse. I mean I was called trash. I was told I don’t belong there. I mean, anything, and kids hear all this and they mimic it so when you’re talking about these kids who you don’t want your kid around you gotta look at the adults first. They mimic our behavior.

Tiffany [00:48:12] Yeah, all we can really do is make sure that we’re doing our best to raise decent kids who know how to behave, who know not to be bullies, not to pick on other people and also maybe teach them how to respond to people when they are hit or being picked on.

Katie [00:48:29] My oldest has got accommodations for helping a kid who is being bullied. He took the kid aside and protected the kid. My middle child actually stopped a kid in kindergarten from hitting another kid. He got in between and put his hand up so if there’s one good thing about my kids being physical, they’ll always be there to help out the little guy.

Meredith [00:48:51] You’re doing a good job. You’re doing a good job and you’re talking about communication and teaching them using that method to communicate and teach them how to defuse is good on you. That’s what you need to continue to do because you’re obviously doing a good job with that.

Katie [00:49:07] I tell my kids, I’m a failure every day but I get up and I start the day new and I learn something new. I learn how to do something better. I learn how to talk to you better. I learn how to [inaudible 00:49:18] and find my calm point because mommy’s about to lose her mind.

Meredith [00:49:24] That’s a good lesson for everybody out there, whether it’s with parenting or just daily life so I appreciate that. We wanna thank you for calling in.

Tiffany [00:49:33] Thanks Katie.

Meredith [00:49:36] Next time, just leave. Just be like, “Peace out.” Just don’t even hang around.

Katie [00:49:40] Well, you know, we were working on that. I just had everybody with me so normally I do that and we ended up leaving and my husband was there and I was like, “No, no, this is just gonna make the situation worse. Let’s just go. Let’s chill. Let’s have a good day. Let’s just look forward to what’s going on and we gotta use this as a learning experience,” because the main thing is I don’t want my kids seeing me go [inaudible 00:50:09] on people.

Meredith [00:50:10] Ape. Like going crazy. Hulk smash.

Katie [00:50:10] I need to stay cool and collected and look at someone and go, “That’s not how you do it,” because if I fight back with violence, it’s just gonna teach these kids to and I can’t show the ugly side of mom but if the kids are in the car, mommy’s gonna let the language fly.

Meredith [00:50:32] Well thanks for calling in and you have a great rest of your day.

Tiffany [00:50:36] Bye Katie.

Katie [00:50:36] You too. You guys have a good afternoon.

Meredith [00:50:36] Bye!

Tiffany [00:50:36] Thank you.

Katie [00:50:36] Bye.

Tiffany [00:50:47] So, in conclusion, tread lightly when dealing with other people’s kids.

Meredith [00:50:52] I think it is. I think it’s tough. It’s hard to do and I think that one thing you can do when dealing with other people’s kids is let’s say that a kid grabs a toy out of your kid’s hands. What you can do is go up to your kid and say, “Hey. We don’t take things from people. I’m sorry that that toy was taken from you but that’s not something that you should do.”

Tiffany [00:51:16] Right.

Meredith [00:51:17] Maybe just flip it.

Tiffany [00:51:18] Yeah. That’s good.

Meredith [00:51:19] Then you don’t have to discipline the other person’s kid if it’s something little.

Tiffany [00:51:23] They’d just feel bad. They’re just like, “Oh no, I did that.”

Meredith [00:51:26] Yeah. Brooke, are you ready for this third segment?

Brooke [00:51:31] Probably not.

Tiffany [00:51:32] We’re all experts. Sorry. We’re all experts on this next segment. It’s love and marriage. It’s gonna be brought to you by … words are really hard.

Meredith [00:51:43] Words are hard.

Tiffany [00:51:44] Love and marriage is brought to you by Meredith and Tiffany and Brooke today because we are all spectacular wives.

Brooke [00:51:51] Oh yeah. Yeah.

Tiffany [00:51:56] We’re gonna be talking about is your marriage 50/50 in light of the Busy Philipps interview.

Meredith [00:52:01] Yeah.

Tiffany [00:52:01] We touched on this a little bit.

Meredith [00:52:02] Yeah.

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Tiffany [00:52:05] I think that we’re all pretty open about our marriages and the truth about what it’s like. I’ve talked about before how there was a point where I felt like I was a married single mother even though my husband was there. He was working a lot or he didn’t know what to do when he was home and I had a lot of resentment towards him. It wasn’t until I told him, “This is exactly what I need in order to be happy. If you can’t do that then you need to skedaddle. You’re sleeping in the doghouse.”

Brooke [00:52:34] I’m gonna go find me a firefighter.

Tiffany [00:52:36] Hey. So what do other people do when their spouses refuse to pitch in?

Meredith [00:52:43] Right, so let’s talk about this. Brooke, why don’t you tell us, and you don’t have to get too involved if you don’t want to. My husband is physically holding up a sign right in Studio G that says “Husband of the century.”

Tiffany [00:52:56] With an arrow pointing to his head.

Meredith [00:52:58] With an arrow. Brooke, tell us if you will. Do you have a 50/50 split in your household? Do you guys meet in the middle?

Brooke [00:53:08] Okay so we do not because my husband works a ton. He usually works six or seven days a week and he also works second shift so we have a really jacked schedule. I think we’re just two different people. My husband’s very messy and it’s more important for him that the outside of our house, like we have some land. He’s more concerned that everything looks top-notch out there whereas I’m like, “Hey. Looks like a dumpster fire in here.”

Brooke [00:53:39] A lot of times he’ll just get up and he just goes straight outside and I’m like “Hey,” and I have to reel him back in but no, it’s not 50/50. I don’t expect it to be but that’s something we struggle with pretty often. I expect him to do a little more.

Tiffany [00:53:57] And you know what’s so interesting is as an outsider I’m looking at your situation and I’m like, “Oh my gosh. I would love for my husband to get outin the yard and do something.”

Brooke [00:54:04] Yeah.

Tiffany [00:54:05] That’s what’s happening in your life but you’d rather him be doing something else and so I think the grass is always greener.

Meredith [00:54:11] Well, but I think that also begs this first question and we can take a caller on this one. It’s priorities.

Brooke [00:54:18] Yes.

Meredith [00:54:19] So the question really is, there’s two of you in this marriage and you each have something that you prioritize that needs to be done and nine times out of ten, I think. This is a statistic that I did the Google with. Nine times out of ten your priorities … This has been professionally vetted. They are not the same. Brooke is saying, “I want more help inside because it’s a frigging dumpster fire,” and her husband is like, “Did you see the lawn?”

Tiffany [00:54:49] Did you tell him that you wanted help inside?

Brooke [00:54:52] Yes and he’s just a messy person so he just leaves stuff out and I’m standing in the corner giving him demon eyes.

Meredith [00:55:00] Right.

Brooke [00:55:01] It festers. It’s something like he has to be intentional about it. He doesn’t mean to be messy. He just is and it drives me nuts. He’s working on it.

Meredith [00:55:14] So let’s take a caller. Somebody out there tell me if you share the … What was the word I just used?

Brooke [00:55:27] Responsibility?

Tiffany [00:55:28] The Google?

Meredith [00:55:29] The Google word where I was talking about the Google.

Tiffany [00:55:32] I don’t remember. Responsibilities?

Meredith [00:55:34] Priorities! For the love of all things holy! If you share the same priorities in terms of the work that’s going on and if you don’t. I just wanna hear a little about your marriage because I’m nosy. Because personally, I can tell you nine times out of ten as vetted by Google, we don’t. My husband is a fantastic husband and I love him to pieces and he pitches in way more than he used to but our priorities are still absolutely not the same. I’ll be like, “Okay, I’m so-

Meredith [00:56:00] Absolutely not the same, ’cause I’ll be like, “Okay, I’m so glad that you helped with the dishes, but you didn’t clean off the stove, you didn’t wipe down the counters, you didn’t clean off the place mats on the table and there’s still like two pots…

Tiffany [00:56:12] Okay. And then he’s like, “Well nothing I ever do is good enough for you-

Meredith [00:56:15] Correct.

Tiffany [00:56:15] … so I’m not even gonna bother.”

Meredith [00:56:17] Right.

Tiffany [00:56:18] That’s what happens with me, so that’s why sometimes I take what I can get.

Meredith [00:56:21] Well, and that’s another thing that we’ll hit on, but let’s see what we’ve got here.

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Tiffany [00:56:26] Alright. So we have a caller. We’ve got Karen from Arizona, hi Karen.

Karen [00:56:34] Hi.

Tiffany [00:56:34] How are you?

Karen [00:56:35] I’m doing okay. How are you?

Meredith [00:56:37] Oh. This is my Karen.

Karen [00:56:40] Yes it is.

Tiffany [00:56:40] How do you know it’s yours?

Karen [00:56:43] I’m actually going to a dentist … I’m going to have oral surgery done today.

Meredith [00:56:47] Oh. I’m sorry.

Tiffany [00:56:48] Oh my gosh.

Meredith [00:56:49] Poopy doodles.

Karen [00:56:50] Yeah. It’s okay.

Meredith [00:56:51] So tell us, ’cause you’re a newlywed.

Karen [00:56:54] Yes.

Meredith [00:56:55] So, are the priorities shared and the same?

Karen [00:57:00] No, but my husband, he works for a uniform company and he works only four days a week. That’s usually typically either Monday through Thursday or Tuesday through Friday. He works 60 to 70 hours a week. So I typically, I’ve been a really good housewife. I make sure that he has lunch every morning or every day and I try to get up at 4 o’clock in the morning when he leaves for work and make him breakfast or get him something. I also have to take care of my grandma and get my kids to school. Then I clean and cook and do all the laundry and everything. I try not to make him do anything other than take out the trash ’cause I don’t like doing that.

Tiffany [00:57:46] Same. Wow. So you’re like a dream wife.

Meredith [00:57:49] My husband just looked at me and said “Can you take notes while Karen is talking? Because I’d like you to get up-

Brooke [00:57:55] I used to be like that, but do I get credit?

Meredith [00:57:58] Here’s my next question. And I’ll give this to Brooke. Okay, because, here, Karen is a newlywed and I mean newly wed, she was married a couple months ago.

Karen [00:58:09] No, just a month ago.

Meredith [00:58:10] A month ago, okay.

Tiffany [00:58:11] Congrats.

Meredith [00:58:12] So literally this is-

Karen [00:58:13] Thank you.

Meredith [00:58:14] … newlywed heaven. Brooke, how long have you been married?

Brooke [00:58:18] Almost, four years.

Meredith [00:58:19] So four years, which is a good … and how many Tiffany?

Tiffany [00:58:24] Same. Four.

Meredith [00:58:25] Four. I’m 15. Everybody’s like-

Tiffany [00:58:30] So add ours together.

Meredith [00:58:31] “Oh, wow, I had no idea she was that old!” So Brooke, do you think this is something that is going to be able to be maintained by Karen in terms of, do you think that it’s gonna still look like this in four years? And I’m not, look, I’m just asking, these are just questions. I love Karen, Karen knows that I love her, she’s a delight. But I’m just saying, do you think this is something that Karen can maintain for four years?

Brooke [00:58:57] Probably not, at least not, it wasn’t for me. I think it like-

Meredith [00:59:03] What starts to happen?

Brooke [00:59:03] …it’s like an unrealistic expectation, and then what happens is you have more kids, for instance that was my thing, so I had more on my plate so then I’m not able to do all these extra things. And then I’m kind of like “Hey, I need you to chip in a little bit” and they’re like “Whoa, this is how it’s always been.” So I don’t think it’s maintainable if you have more kids.

Meredith [00:59:27] And the only thing that I’m gonna interject, because I’ve had several conversations with Karen. This is something that I would say to everybody in here. I think you’re a fantastic wife and mom and you guys love each other and it’s so great you got married. And we wish you nothing but absolute luck. But what, Brooke’s point, was exactly what I thought she was gonna say, is sometimes unrealistic expectations can cause problems later on.

Meredith [00:59:52] Now, if you are just so damn happy to do all of these things and you love it with every fiber of your being, go do it girl. Go get it and love it and enjoy it, because that’s what makes you happy and that’s what makes you tick. I think sometimes as women, we set forth an expectation and then we assume that they’re gonna start to pitch in because they see how much we’re giving. And then we think they’re gonna give back and then when they don’t it’s like, “What the heck? Why didn’t you offer me any more assistance?” And then you can have some resentment. So-

Karen [01:00:23] So let me-

Brooke [01:00:24] Or feel like they don’t appreciate it.

Meredith [01:00:25] Then you don’t-

Karen [01:00:25] Let me add to that-

Meredith [01:00:27] … appreciation, yeah.

Sadie [01:00:28] So my husband … I suffer from chronic back pain, I’ve had eight surgeries on my back for something that has nothing to do with my back. So I’ve been doing so much, this past week I’ve slacked off with laundry a little bit, but I’ve been to the point where I haven’t had any laundry left over for the past month.

Meredith [01:01:00] Oh my God, Karen, God. Karen figured out how to get the laundry done. Holy crap.

Tiffany [01:01:00] Some people like that stuff-

Karen [01:01:00] And so for-

Brooke [01:01:00] I just rewashed a load this morning, so …

Sadie [01:01:02] My husband, if I’m in pain or anything, he’ll come home and he’ll cook dinner and he’ll do the laundry or he’ll do the dishes-

Meredith [01:01:11] There you go.

Karen [01:01:12] … only thing that’s been really annoying to me is, the dishwash … we have a dishwasher and I refuse to unload it. I have two children that I just got more custody to them than their father did and it’s a good thing. And I keep telling them, “I will give you chore money, if you guys do chores.” I would rather wash dishes by hand than unload the dishwasher. I don’t know why, but I don’t like unloading the dishwasher. So I will go and do dishes, and I will put the dishes away that are all in the dish rack and stuff, but I won’t do the dishwasher. And he’s gotten to the point where he’ll come home and take care of the stuff that I don’t want to do and it’s okay-

Meredith [01:01:57] Then I, you know what, I’d say that’s relatively, you’ve got a good split, a good meet in the middle there. He’s pitching in when he sees that you need the help or whatever. And like I said, I’m not gonna throw any type of judgment over anybody’s marriage. ‘Cause whatever works for you is what you need to do because the two of you are in that together. It’s not the two of you and his parents. It’s not the two of you and your best friend. It’s not the two of you and a firefighter. Wait-

Karen [01:02:23] And you remember the parents, don’t you?

Meredith [01:02:26] Yeah, well but that’s what I’m saying. So you have to remember that in the end, because I spent a lot of years arguing, having arguments over the two of us and the in-laws. Right? What the in-laws think of this, or what they have to say about that or blah, blah, blah. And it’s like no, none of that matters. There are two people that came into this union, those are the only two people that we need to worry about and communicate with. So thank you, Karen, for calling in, we appreciate it. And we wish you nothing but wedded bliss.

Karen [01:02:55] Thank you. I love you Tiffany, I think you’re amazing.

Tiffany [01:03:01] Thanks for including me.

Karen [01:03:02] I’m also, I just wanted to say one more thing. I’m almost 11 years sober and you’re a very inspirational person so …

Tiffany [01:03:09] Yes!

Karen [01:03:10] Thank you.

Tiffany [01:03:10] Amazing, great job!

Meredith [01:03:11] Congrats.

Karen [01:03:12] Thank you, ladies.

Tiffany [01:03:15] Thank you.

Meredith [01:03:15] Alright, have a good one.

Karen [01:03:15] You too, bye.

Tiffany [01:03:17] Sorry, what about, military families, for example, where the husband is gone a lot and the wife is home with the children all the time. I think that there’s this idea, on men’s part anyway, that this is our job when they’re gone. When they’re at work, they’re out in the hot sun, they’re doing their thing. It is our job to be in the air conditioning, cleaning, taking care of the kids. So those are the roles. And I know that that can be frustrating because they don’t realize how much work goes into cleaning and taking care of a little person at the same time. And I used to have to break that down. So I know somebody asked if we wanted a military perspective and I was just thinking about that. I know a lot of military spouses feel like married, single mothers and it’s tough.

Meredith [01:04:04] Well they have to be. Right? For the length of deployment, they most absolutely are married, single moms, or husbands, if the woman is deployed. But it has to be, because, and then I know, ’cause we do have a lot of military families in here, I know that what they say is that it’s also, there’s a hard adjustment period when they come home, when the spouse comes home. And so you have to deal with that as well. And especially if they’re a lifer, where it’s not one deployment or two deployments, it could be four deployments. So that has to be extremely taxing on a marriage and a relationship. We obviously thank you for your service because it’s not just your spouse that’s serving, you’re serving as well, because you got married and now you’re doing a lot of that on your own.

Tiffany [01:04:52] Do we have anybody who is in a military relationship that would be willing to call in and give us some insight or what your thoughts are on this? I know there was one person …

Meredith [01:05:02] Yeah, call in if you can, and if not we’ll talk about this in the meantime. So Brooke, what is your spouse’s definition of clean or proper? So if you go to do something, let’s say you’re gonna go clean a toilet, right? And you’re cleaning this toilet and this toilet shines bright like diamonds, shine like a diamond, and you then said to your husband, “I need you to go clean the other toilet.” If you handed him that scrub brush, would it look like your toilet? Or would it look like skid mark city when he was done cleaning it?

Brooke [01:05:41] It would probably be clean if I handed him the supplies because he probably doesn’t know where they are.

Tiffany [01:05:48] True that.

Brooke [01:05:50] I mean if I told him to, he would do it right. He’s that kind of person, he usually doesn’t half-ass anything-

Meredith [01:05:55] Okay, I respect that.

Brooke [01:05:56] It’s just a matter of like, he’s not gonna take the initiative to go clean the toilet.

Meredith [01:06:01] Right, but you’re saying, so your definition of clean and proper is probably the same as his when you go to give him, when you say “Hey, I need this done, could you help me with this?”

Brooke [01:06:10] Yeah, it’s just that he doesn’t care as much if everything’s clean and proper.

Meredith [01:06:14] And I think in our marriage, I would tell my husband, “I need you to go clean that toilet” and then I think I … there … no-

Tiffany [01:06:21] Your kids would graduate high school.

Brooke [01:06:22] You’d have to re-clean after?

Meredith [01:06:23] Right, it would be like, “No, there’s pee everywhere still.” Like it’s doodie, it’s doodie city.

Tiffany [01:06:28] What about? Are they? When you ask your guys something or you tell them you want something done, do they do it right away? Or do you find a week later you’re like, “What happened with the sink I asked you about?”

Meredith [01:06:39] Okay, so wait, I’m gonna tell you guys a short story. So my toilet has been broken for months, months, months, months, months-

Brooke [01:06:48] There you go, that’s the answer.

Meredith [01:06:49] My toilet has been broken for months. Four weeks ago now, we went to Home Depot and my husband said, “I’m gonna fix the toilet. I’m gonna buy the thing that we need to fix the toilet.” So I got really excited. This is how sick marriage is, I got so excited. I was like “Oh my gosh, I’m gonna get to flush a doodie and not have to look at it for six hours.” Because whatever’s broken in the toilet tank doesn’t let the water fill, so it only fills up sometimes, so you can only flush sometimes. So there’ll be like, my kids will dump on top of dumps and then it’s like a freaking Porta Potty in my house. So then as soon the water, as soon as I hear the water turn on and fill up, I run to go flush toilets in the house because I know I can flush the doodie now.

Tiffany [01:07:32] It’s time.

Meredith [01:07:33] It’s time. So I was sitting in there the other morning and I go to go to the bathroom and I lift the lid, there’s a big old doodie in the toilet, right? So I go to flush it. It doesn’t flush. I look down to the left and there is the toilet kit that he purchased four weeks ago from Home Depot that has yet to be placed into said broken toilet. And I said to him-

Brooke [01:07:55] But it’s next to it, right?

Meredith [01:07:55] It’s next to it. And I said to him, “You promised me that I wouldn’t have to look at doodie anymore!” And I even said to him, I even said to him, “If you tell me how to fix this, I will go fix it myself.” And he said, “No, I don’t want you to touch it, you’ll break it.” So I’ve been sitting-

Tiffany [01:08:16] That’s so funny.

Meredith [01:08:16] … with a doodie toilet for months and I can tell, if we could go into my bathroom, I’d show you right now it’s sitting next to the toilet.

Tiffany [01:08:23] I’m okay.

Meredith [01:08:24] I’m okay.

Tiffany [01:08:24] I’m good.

Brooke [01:08:26] So here’s the ironic part of my marriage is that my husband is an electrician and he’s a maintenance man at his job and I yell at him all the time because I’m like “Hey, can you maintain our house? Could you do that?”

Meredith [01:08:38] Hey!

Tiffany [01:08:39] He’s like “I do it all day at work I don’t want to do it at home” that’s what mine would tell you.

Brooke [01:08:42] That’s exactly it. I guess it’s like if you’re married to an auto mechanic, your car’s probably never gonna get fixed-

Meredith [01:08:48] I think you’re right.

Brooke [01:08:49] … but I have found if you offer to fix it yourself, they’ll usually get it done pretty quickly.

Tiffany [01:08:53] Or if you offer other things.

Meredith [01:08:55] Oh!

Tiffany [01:08:56] I meant money. What do you do? What?

Meredith [01:08:58] I was thinking sexual favors.

Tiffany [01:09:00] Yeah, no, that’s where I was going.

Meredith [01:09:01] Okay, cool, cool, cool.

Tiffany [01:09:03] I was just kidding.

Meredith [01:09:04] I was just kidding.

Brooke [01:09:04] Give him a cookie.

Meredith [01:09:06] I thought … no, it’s a nookie, not cookie, Brooke, it’s nookie.

Tiffany [01:09:10] It was nookie-

Brooke [01:09:10] We call it cookie.

Tiffany [01:09:10] … a very long time ago.

Meredith [01:09:12] Oh, you call it cookie. I call it, “the sex.” [crosstalk 01:09:20].

Tiffany [01:09:19] I call it, “dusting off the cobwebs.”

Meredith [01:09:22] Oh, that’s attractive. That is hot.

Tiffany [01:09:27] Did we have somebody?

Meredith [01:09:28] Oh, we do have a caller, okay awesome. Yeah, I think there’s a … we could also do a segment on just things people call sex.

Brooke [01:09:38] Oh yeah.

Tiffany [01:09:38] Could we?

Meredith [01:09:38] We could, I don’t see why not. We’ll have to add that on to next month’s agenda.

Tiffany [01:09:42] Can’t wait-

Meredith [01:09:43] Can’t wait.

Tiffany [01:09:44] … for that. I would like to one day introduce telling embarrassing sex stories or, you know what I mean? ‘Cause I’ve, we’re not gonna talk about mine, but it is horrific.

Meredith [01:09:56] Then we are gonna talk about it. Okay, we’ve got Christina from Georgia who has two kids. Christina, welcome.

Tiffany [01:10:05] I-

Meredith [01:10:05] Hello?

Tiffany [01:10:06] I hear her somewhere else in this room, but not in my ear.

Meredith [01:10:10] Hello?

Brooke [01:10:11] Far, far away.

Christina [01:10:11] Are you there?

Meredith [01:10:11] There you are Christina.

Christina [01:10:14] I’m sorry, yeah, it’s a little chaotic right now.

Tiffany [01:10:17] Oh, I hear it.

Meredith [01:10:19] So you’re a military mom. A spouse.

Christina [01:10:22] Yes, and I’m also a veteran as well.

Tiffany [01:10:26] Get it girl.

Meredith [01:10:27] This is an interesting dynamic. So, what … tell us a little about being a military spouse and being ex-active military about deployment and being … like what’s the deal? Is it just simply single parenting?

Christina [01:10:45] You experience two different types of stresses. You have all the stresses of taking care of the kids, the house and there’s always a rule where when the spouse is away, everything just breaks. And that’s happened all three times that my husband’s been gone.

Tiffany [01:11:03] Sounds like you’ve got an alien problem over there though.

Christina [01:11:06] Yes, we have to take that into consideration as well. So on the active duty side, I was deployed twice to Iraq. And you, it’s really, really weird because we have to, we kind of have to compartmentalize ourselves, and keep our minds away from home. Just to keep our mental state on the job itself, because if you just happen to-

Meredith [01:11:38] Yeah, I can’t even imagine that.

Christina [01:11:40] … if you just happen to get away from it.

Meredith [01:11:41] I can’t even imagine trying to like be dep … how do people? Okay, so you’re a veteran, were you ever deployed?

Christina [01:11:51] Yes, to Iraq twice.

Meredith [01:11:53] Okay, so what was it like? Just a snippet of what was it like being deployed with your kids back home. Were they with your husband? Was he taking care of them?

Christina [01:12:07] I was never married, both times that I was gone.

Meredith [01:12:09] Okay, okay.

Christina [01:12:13] But I’ve been deployed with a lot of people who have kids and of course, they talk about their kids all the time every day. The first time I went we didn’t have the technology that we have now to where we could Skype every day, if you wanted to see your kids. ‘Cause all we had at the time was letters, the first time.

Meredith [01:12:31] Oh my gosh, yeah. It is great though that we have the technology that we can now that these families can stay connected. I saw a commercial that made me cry where I don’t know if it was AT&T or one of them, or maybe it was Apple, they were FaceTiming and the guy was helping his kids with his math homework. And he had been deployed for like, there was a counter on the thing, it was like 189 days or whatever. And they were doing math together and then at the end he did this math problem where he gave the kid an answer and it said 4. And he goes, “You know what this 4 means?” And the kid’s like, “What?” And he’s like, “That’s how many days ’til I come home.”

Meredith [01:13:04] And I was like, “Oh my God!” I was just a puddle, right? ‘Cause I was like, “This is so moving, I’m gonna change my subscription to AT&T right now.” It was one of those things because you just, like we talked about earlier in the show, you empathize. And even though I have no idea what it’s like to be you or ex-active or a military spouse, I can tell you that as a parent, I empathize.

Christina [01:13:31] This past deployment we had … my son had just been diagnosed with autism, so that adds a whole different kind of crazy.

Meredith [01:13:40] Yes, I’m sorry, but please know that there’s so much that you can do in terms of therapy. And stuff at school with different types of OT and PT and speech. And family therapy works great in our house. And there’s all sorts of different things that you can do. ‘Cause my youngest is autistic. So please know that you’re not alone there and if you ever have questions or need support you can contact the page.

Christina [01:14:10] Of course, of course. But like I said, being over there is different because you have to keep your mental state there because you don’t know if you’re going to get shot at-

Brooke [01:14:21] That’s so scary.

Christina [01:14:21] … you don’t know-

Meredith [01:14:24] That’s what I’m saying, I can’t even, I just. There’s a very special person it takes to go and do that job. So we thank you so much for your service. And we applaud you and thank you for calling in and shedding some light on that. And we just appreciate that you’re here in the community. So thank you.

Christina [01:14:40] Well, I was gonna say one thing, even though my husband is active duty, he still helps with the kids-

Meredith [01:14:46] Oh good.

Christina [01:14:47] He helps with the house.

Meredith [01:14:48] That’s wonderful.

Tiffany [01:14:49] I wondered about that.

Christina [01:14:53] That was the point I was trying to make. Is that even though he’s the breadwinner of the house, I’m the one that gets up with the kids every morning and takes them to school and all that, but when he’s home he takes over everything.

Meredith [01:15:05] That’s wonderful.

Brooke [01:15:05] Wow, that’s awesome.

Meredith [01:15:14] I bet he just misses them so much.

Christina [01:15:14] It’s not a fifty fifty. It’s not a fifty fifty it’s a hundred to a hundred.

Meredith [01:15:15] I like that though, I bet it’s just he misses you guys so damn much when he’s gone, you know? And then it’s like he-

Christina [01:15:20] Oh yeah, he makes up for it.

Meredith [01:15:21] Yeah, that’s wonderful. Well, thank you and your family for your service, we truly appreciate you.

Christina [01:15:26] Thank you, and you have a great one.

Meredith [01:15:28] You too.

Brooke [01:15:29] Bye.

Meredith [01:15:29] Happy weekend.

Tiffany [01:15:29] Happy weekend.

Meredith [01:15:32] Yeah.

Brooke [01:15:33] Is that a thing?

Meredith [01:15:34] That’s a thing, happy weekend, it’s Friday!

Tiffany [01:15:35] You know what? Sorry, this is off topic. But I have mixed emotions about Fridays as a stay-at-home mom, because then there … my ki … I’m trapped in a house with them all day and there’s no relief. I wasn’t gonna say that out loud, I should have stopped before I started, but that’s why-

Meredith [01:15:57] That’s what everybody thinks.

Tiffany [01:15:59] You need to … like getting out of the house and taking them to do things seems exhausting, but it helps pass the time.

Meredith [01:16:05] Oh, it does. No you do need to do that. I think the first couple, with the first kid we didn’t understand that. ‘Cause we were all like “No, no, this is when the baby sleeps. No, no, this is when the baby doodles. No, no, this is …” And then we literally went stir crazy and then we realized no, we need to go. We need to go, you need to tuck and roll and go. And then we started to really do a lot of things outside of the house. And it does, you gotta kill some time man.

Tiffany [01:16:30] But it’s like it’s exhausting to think about leaving the house, but it’s exhausting to stay. So it’s a catch-

Meredith [01:16:35] It is.

Tiffany [01:16:36] … 22.

Meredith [01:16:36] It’s a catch-22. So Brooke.

Brooke [01:16:39] Yes.

Meredith [01:16:39] We loved spending time with you today.

Brooke [01:16:43] I had fun, thanks for having me on.

Meredith [01:16:44] There was a pause there.

Tiffany [01:16:46] Yeah, way to hesitate.

Brooke [01:16:50] I didn’t know if you were gonna say anything else.

Meredith [01:16:52] I was waiting for a compliment on the show and how wonderful you thought we were, Brooke! But it’s cool.

Brooke [01:16:59] Hey, I sent you a text when I listened to the first episode. Within like five minutes I literally LOL’d, which is a big deal.

Meredith [01:17:04] She did, and it was great. And then I was like alright-

Tiffany [01:17:06] Oh, you got the text?

Meredith [01:17:07] Yeah, well Brooke and I, like I told you, I’ve farted in front of Brooke-

Tiffany [01:17:10] Wow, okay.

Meredith [01:17:11] … we’re friends.

Tiffany [01:17:11] No, that’s cool.

Brooke [01:17:12] We go way back.

Meredith [01:17:12] It does solidify a friendship, okay?

Tiffany [01:17:14] I’m glad.

Meredith [01:17:15] I’ll let you know when I’m ready [crosstalk 01:17:16] to toot in front of you.

Brooke [01:17:17] … we give gifts now.

Meredith [01:17:18] Yeah.

Tiffany [01:17:19] Wow, why don’t you guys make out?

Meredith [01:17:21] I don’t do that, it’s gross.

Tiffany [01:17:22] Why? Oh yeah, that’s right.

Brooke [01:17:23] That’s right.

Tiffany [01:17:25] Brooke, is there anything that we missed, that you want to talk about? Tell us about yourself? Is there anything you want to put in last minute on the spot?

Meredith [01:17:33] You like caterpillars or …

Brooke [01:17:35] You know how like when people ask you, “What do you like to do for fun?” And then you’re like, “Ahhh, who am I? What do I?” That’s how I feel right now.

Tiffany [01:17:43] What else is there about me? I’m a mom, that’s it.

Brooke [01:17:46] I’m a mom. Do I do other things?

Meredith [01:17:48] Yeah, I know. You used to though. Didn’t you own a bakery?

Brooke [01:17:52] Yeah, I had a bourbon-

Tiffany [01:17:53] What?

Brooke [01:17:54] … cupcake company.

Meredith [01:17:55] It was really fun. It was a really fun job she had.

Tiffany [01:17:58] I mean are you guys best friends?

Brooke [01:17:59] I lived in the bourbon capital of the world. So like all of the distilleries are out there in Kentucky and I made bourbon cupcakes in a jar and shipped ’em all over.

Tiffany [01:18:07] Wait, were you on Shark Tank?

Brooke [01:18:10] I was not. I get that a lot though.

Tiffany [01:18:12] Okay, sorry.

Brooke [01:18:12] That wasn’t me. I make boozy cupcakes.

Tiffany [01:18:15] Okay, so you get down. That sounds great.

Meredith [01:18:17] She gets down. Yeah, but she’s a little baker.

Tiffany [01:18:20] I mean not the booze, I can’t, you know. But the fact … it sounds good for people who like … okay.

Meredith [01:18:26] Well, we absolutely loved having you on the show and just want to thank you again. And of course, I’m excited because although I am missing the Nashville event, I will be with you in April for the Louisville event.

Brooke [01:18:42] Louisville, yes. Louisville.

Meredith [01:18:43] I’m sorry, Louisville.

Tiffany [01:18:43] Get it right, Meredith, you’re embarrassing us.

Meredith [01:18:49] Louisville, here I come.

Brooke [01:18:51] Funny. It’s funny ’cause they make shirts of all the different ways that you can say, “Louisville.”

Tiffany [01:18:58] It’s Louisville? L U L V U L?

Brooke [01:19:01] Yeah, lulvul, and then other people say Louisville, Lewisville, but there’s only one right way.

Meredith [01:19:07] Lewisville.

Tiffany [01:19:08] Interesting.

Meredith [01:19:09] I’m coming to Lewisville. Alright, well we’re excited about that. And that’s coming up in April.

Brooke [01:19:14] It’ll be fun. Yeah. April 13th.

Tiffany [01:19:18] Yeah, see you then. I’m not going. Okay, any hoo. Join us, next week, when Meredith and I get very personal. Oh, I’m gonna get serious about this. Join us next week when Meredith and I get very personal and share some things that we have never shared publicly before.

Meredith [01:19:43] Yeah, so, Take It or Leave It is an Advice-ish show. Struggle … Oh, Jesus …

Brooke [01:19:48] Case in point.

Tiffany [01:19:48] Struggle.

Meredith [01:19:55] Case in point. Take It or Leave It is an Advice-ish show hosted by two struggling moms, “Who have no idea what we’re doing.”

Tiffany [01:20:04] “Who have no idea what we’re doing.”

Meredith [01:20:06] Oh man. Wow. That was intense.

Tiffany [01:20:10] Socials. We didn’t. I skipped that.

Meredith [01:20:12] We did socials, oh, our own socials.

Tiffany [01:20:14] Yeah, whatever, I don’t even care.

Meredith [01:20:17] That’s okay. We share socials all the time.

Tiffany [01:20:18] You know where to find us.

Meredith [01:20:19] But yes, but we also … What? I was wrong? I’m sorry. I moved.

Tiffany [01:20:24] What happened?

Meredith [01:20:24] I moved. I was dancing. But thank you, Brooke. We really do appreciate you coming on, we had a blast.

Tiffany [01:20:29] Yeah, thanks so much, friend. I’ll see you soon.

Brooke [01:20:32] Yeah, thanks for having me.

Meredith [01:20:33] Of course, any time. So just remember when you go to hang this up, leave it downloading ’cause we need to get your audio.

Brooke [01:20:41] Right.

Tiffany [01:20:41] What?

Brooke [01:20:41] Alright, I can do it.

Meredith [01:20:43] Alright, you have a good day.

Brooke [01:20:45] You too, see ya.

Tiffany [01:20:46] Bye.

Meredith [01:20:47] Bye. Alright so …

Tiffany [01:20:49] These people in the chat room got a real show today.

Meredith [01:20:51] Yeah, I tell you what, things-

Tiffany [01:20:56] Brooke, you’re still there, we can’t say anything bad about you.

Brooke [01:20:57] Okay, okay, you were still talking …

Tiffany [01:21:00] We were just gonna start talking crap about you.

Meredith [01:21:03] Oh, god, she’s still here? Oh my god, that’s embarrassing.

Brooke [01:21:05] Okay, you’re done with me.

Meredith [01:21:07] Bye.

Brooke [01:21:09] See ya.

Tiffany [01:21:09] No, literally.

Meredith [01:21:11] Alright, I don’t know how to, can you … so anyway, make sure next week that you come back and join us on Wednesday at 10:30 because you don’t want to miss the shit show that is the Take It or Leave It Advice-ish Podcast For Parents.

Tiffany [01:21:27] Yes, we’re coming out of our shells. I’m letting my freak flag fly from now on. How … Can we get in trouble though? Like, what’s the limit?

Meredith [01:21:36] I can’t believe I said, “fathers.”

Tiffany [01:21:38] Listen, I was trying really hard to keep it together.

Meredith [01:21:42] I think I peed a little.

Tiffany [01:21:42] Can I just say something really quick? The reason I was laughing when that girl was sharing her heartfelt military story is because I made a comment about their being aliens near and she said, “Yeah, we gotta deal with that, too.” But I don’t think she heard what I said.

Meredith [01:21:59] She didn’t. I loved it because she didn’t hear you at all and then when I heard her say we have to deal with that too I’m like, “Where do they live?”

Tiffany [01:22:04] I tried to-

Meredith [01:22:06] … they had aliens. And we weren’t, we were not making fun whatsoever.

Tiffany [01:22:09] No, I tried really … I reeled it in quick ’cause I asked for this kind of call, this is serious.

Meredith [01:22:15] No it was, and she was great for sharing.

Tiffany [01:22:17] I could have kept going for a long time.

Meredith [01:22:18] But I really, we though that there were aliens. But no, I think it was just the kids. I think the kids were just wrestling around.

Tiffany [01:22:25] I knew it wasn’t really aliens.

Meredith [01:22:27] No, I know. I know, I know, I know, I know.

Tiffany [01:22:30] Meredith’s like, “I think it was her children.”

Meredith [01:22:33] The aliens left last week. But yeah, so come back and check this out next week on Wednesday, but have a great rest of your day guys.

Tiffany [01:22:40] Yes. Thanks for hanging out friends.

Meredith [01:22:44] Bye.

Tiffany [01:22:44] Goodbye.


  1. As a military Mom, I not only am the military member working the crazy schedule but if I’m home it is mommy time. My son is 2 and has always been a mommy’s boy. I also have to make sure the house work is done on my days off. My husband also works and does great watching him when I’m not home but his chores are more outside but he does great taking care of dinner. I hope for 50/50 but doesn’t always feel that way. Communication has to be the key when things need done no matter the jobs we do. (Please don’t forget mom’s serve too, not just as the spouse)

  2. Just now listening to all of your podcasts because I fell in love with them. Married, mom of 2 (8YO Girl and 5 YO Boy), and I just wanted to comment about “other people’s kids” segment. What about nieces and nephews and punishing them? I have a nephew, 12, who listens fantastic most of the time, and helps out, and I have very little issues with him. He has his moments when he doesn’t want to listen, but he’s respectful enough to also know when we say stop, it’s time to stop. His sister can be a bully to my 8YO. She has no feelings about what she does because in her household, she never does any wrong. I’m told by her mother to treat her like one of mine, I’m a rather sensible parent and I think that is fair, but yet if you punish her, or even tell her no and explain why her actions were wrong or hurtful, she cries like your stabbed her and WWIII starts with her mother. My 8YO wants to play with her because she’s closest to her age and lives in our small neighborhood, niece is 9, but at the same time I just want to shut my kids away from her because I can’t be their protector and help fix the situation. I’ve had quite a few talks with my 8YO about how some kids just aren’t nice, and you don’t have to play with them or be their friend, etc, and I never dreamed in a million years I would be talking to her about “mean kids” this young. Let alone about a family member. Thankfully my 8YO realizes that it’s okay to love her, but she doesn’t have to play with her. My 8YO calls it giving her a “time out.” My 5YO will tell her no and walk away from her. Of course that makes my niece so mad. If someone else’s child is left in my care, or playing in my front yard, I have no issue telling them they need to stop this or that. In my neighborhood, I expect them to say the same to my child if they were being a pain. However, most of the time I let my children solve their own issues with other kids, within reason, so that way they can learn from it.


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