Take it or Leave it Podcast – Episode 7 – Step Parenting, Tricks or Treats and Love Language


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.

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Tiffany [00:00:20] And I’m your host, Tiffany, from Juggling the Jenkins. This podcast, we’ll discuss all things marriage, motherhood, and everything in between. Please remember we’re not professional at anything you may actually need, so any advice we give you, you can take …

Meredith [00:00:34] Or leave because it might be crap. So welcome to Take it or Leave It.

Tiffany [00:00:399] On today’s episode, we have a special guest. We’re going to be talking about Halloween. Right?

Meredith [00:00:46] On today’s episode, we do have a special guest. We have Kristina Kuzmic with us. Find Kristina at:

Tiffany [00:00:49] Yay!

Meredith [00:00:50] And she is a delight. She is wonderful. We’re going to bring her in in a second, but then I thought it would be really interesting to talk about stepparenting because I know we have a lot of stepparents in the community. I know that you are a stepmom and Kristina’s husband is a stepparent because she had two prior to them getting married and we’ll talk about that. We’re going to talk about Halloween because it’s coming up. And then of course, we’re going to talk love and marriage.

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Tiffany [00:01:14] Yes, I love the subject for love and marriage today. Well done. We are here because we’ve all struggled as moms and anyone who says they haven’t is a big fat liar pants. Our special guest today is because very special. A lot of you guys probably know her from her viral videos. Her name is Kristina …

Meredith [00:01:37] Kuzmic.

Tiffany [00:01:38] Kuzmic?

Meredith [00:01:39] Kuzmic.

Tiffany [00:01:39] We should address how to pronounce it for the world. Kristina Kuzmic, welcome to the show, Kristina.

Kristina [00:01:46] Hi.

Meredith [00:01:47] Hello.

Kristina [00:01:47] I’m so excited to talk to you girls.

Tiffany [00:01:49] Hey, could you tell us how to say your last name just for future reference?

Kristina [00:01:51] Yeah, it’s actually Kooz-Mitch.

Meredith [00:01:53] Mitch.

Tiffany [00:01:54] Neither of us were right.

Kristina [00:01:55] I know it doesn’t look like that, but that’s what it is. It’s Croatian, blah blah blah.

Meredith [00:01:57] So there’s no H, but it’s a hard H on the end. Mitch, Kuzmic.

Kristina [00:02:05] Kuzmic, like pretend it’s a CH, yeah.

Tiffany [00:02:07] Good to know.

Meredith [00:02:07] Like a hard H. Sorry, I went a little piratey there. Okay.

Tiffany [00:02:11] Yeah. Way to embarrass us in front of our guest. Geez.

Tiffany [00:02:15] Anyway, so welcome. We’re going to get into what you do in a little bit, but first we thought it would be fun for you to share a recent mom fail that you experienced because none of us are perfect, and so we like to show the imperfect side of motherhood.

Kristina [00:02:31] Oh God. This was just recently. They had this Be A Friend Day or whatever at my kid’s preschool and everybody was supposed to bring in a book, their favorite book, wrap it up, and give it to a friend. Of course, I overlooked it and so my kid was the only one that didn’t have a book, which means there was one kid sitting there that never got a gift because Kristina is dumb. The girl was really sad and she didn’t understand why everybody got a gift except for her. So then I spent the rest of the day trying to find the mom’s address so I could bring her a book and running around and buying 15 books because you gotta make up for the fact that you didn’t bring the one.

Kristina [00:03:10] Anyway, I just felt bad that my negligence actually hurt a child. Yeah, mother of the day.

Tiffany [00:03:17] That’s something that I would do, first of all. What did you do? Did you show up at their house that night with a stack of books like, “I’m so sorry”?

Kristina [00:03:23] Well, the preschool wasn’t allowed to give me the address because I sounded like a freaking stalker.

Tiffany [00:03:27] It was a preschool?

Kristina [00:03:28] So I just dropped off a collection of books for the preschool to give to … But it’s not the same because she missed out on that moment in front of her classmates and she was singled out.

Tiffany [00:03:39] Wow. I don’t even know if I could talk to her-

Kristina [00:03:42] And you know what? I am all about not feeling mom guilt. I’ve been working on this because I think it’s just such a waste of our energy and I felt … And you know what? I deserved it. I gotta say, there’s some guilt that’s appropriate. I actually deserved to feel a little guilty then.

Meredith [00:03:55] And that’s okay. It does happen and you owned up to it. You showed up with lots of books, so I think that’s all right. But it does happen. It’s hard to keep up with all of the theme days they have and all of the-

Kristina [00:04:09] Oh God.

Meredith [00:04:09] I mean every time you turn around it’s like, “I need a dollar for Spirit Day.” ” I need a dollar for whatever.” Today’s Hat Day. Today’s whatever day. It’s like, no, it’s go to school day. Get out of my house.

Kristina [00:04:19] You know what? Moms need secretaries. Every mom needs a secretary. I strongly believe this.

Tiffany [00:04:25] Yes. Agreed.

Meredith [00:04:26] I agree as well.

Tiffany [00:04:27] Well, that little kid won’t remember it, so it’s fine. You know what I’m saying?

Meredith [00:04:32] She’s not going to hold onto that for the rest of her life and then never read another book again.

Tiffany [00:04:37] I mean there might be some therapy of I always felt excluded in my-

Meredith [00:04:41] Oh lord. I think you’re safe. I think you’re safe. Oh my God. All right.

Meredith [00:04:48] We’re going to talk to Kristina now though and I think just ask you a bunch of random questions and force you to answer them. Kristina is energetic, funny, and obsessed with creativity. She has an in-your-face perspective on issues of parenting and life in general. In fact, you may have seen Kristina recently on your Facebook feed. She has become an Internet sensation with her mom-centric videos about raising kids and juggling all of life’s challenges.

Meredith [00:05:11] With over 900 million views across media platforms … That’s a lot. That’s a big number, guys. And websites worldwide and well over two million Facebook followers, Kristina already has a voice and a personality that has proven to be a hit with a massive audience. Welcome Kristina to the show. Yay.

Tiffany [00:05:28] Woo-hoo.

Meredith [00:05:28] Yay.

Kristina [00:05:28] Thank you.

Tiffany [00:05:30] It’s so funny because I used to watch your videos all the time and now we’re on the phone. It just feels so cool. I feel really cool getting to talk to a celebrity today.

Kristina [00:05:43] Oh my gosh. I am not a celebrity, A. B, we need to talk more often.

Tiffany [00:05:47] Yes, agreed. I’m on my way over. Why do I have to make everything weird?

Meredith [00:05:52] Southern California, we’re coming your way.

Tiffany [00:05:52] Why can’t I just ask the question? Okay.

Kristina [00:05:52] Yay!

Tiffany [00:05:56] I have a question for you, what is it that made you decide to start making videos and doing all of this?

Kristina [00:06:03] Okay, this is part of my story that I don’t talk about much, but basically after my life sort of got normal … semi-normal, I got discovered or whatever you want to call it by Oprah and she gave me a cooking show.

Tiffany [00:06:16] What?

Kristina [00:06:17] My whole idea behind then something that Oprah and I had talked about is that I wanted to do a cooking show that moms could watch and not be intimidated by. I wanted a messy kitchen. I wanted my kids throwing tantrums, like something very much what you don’t see on TV because every cooking show is intimidating, right?

Tiffany [00:06:31] Right.

Kristina [00:06:32] So we agreed. She went off to film the movie, The Butler. I got stuck with TV execs who decided to make me perfect. I looked perfect. I had a perfect kitchen. They rented this expensive house. Everything was opposite of what I wanted. Everything was something that a mom would tune into and be intimidated by. After that I was like, I am not cut out for this. I don’t want to do this. This is so fake, blah blah blah. And then a couple years later, more than a couple years later, I had my third baby and I was just … You know, it was the new baby thing. You’re struggling. It’s hard. It doesn’t matter if it’s your third. I’d been through it before, but it was hard.

Kristina [00:07:11] I was thinking back on what I wanted to do with my cooking show and I thought, I’m just going to … I don’t need the cooking show. I’m just going to talk about my own stuff. I started doing these videos and I didn’t really do them to get back in the entertainment industry. I almost did them more as … Basically, I always wanted to be for others what I needed when I was at my lowest. So I was like, okay, if I can be that mom for one person, for one of my friends who’s struggling too, great. And then it kind of blew up into something way bigger than even that cooking show was.

Tiffany [00:07:42] Wow.

Kristina [00:07:42] That was pretty cool.

Meredith [00:07:44] Do you just, when you’re out, do you just occasionally drop, “Well, when I was speaking with Oprah”?

Tiffany [00:07:48] I know. The way you just said it …

Meredith [00:07:50] Yeah, do you just occasionally throw that into conversation because I think there are only so many people who can be like, “I was just chatting with Oprah and we decided”? Because that’s kind of fantastic.

Kristina [00:08:00] No. But you know where’s great is Oprah gave me a car because apparently Oprah just likes to give away cars.

Tiffany [00:08:06] Are you kidding?

Kristina [00:08:06] So it’s the car … Yeah. It’s the car I still drive. This was back in 2010 or ’11 and I still drive it. My license plate says thankful, but in Croatian. A lot of times people will be like, “Oh my gosh. What does your license plate mean?” Or, “I speak Croatian,” whatever. And then I tell them the story of Oprah gave me this and I’m so thankful.

Tiffany [00:08:27] I had no idea.

Meredith [00:08:29] I knew all of this. How did you not know? Is it because Kristina and I are really good friends?

Tiffany [00:08:33] Maybe because you guys are besties.

Kristina [00:08:35] I’ll send you a picture where my hair looks crazy, like I just rolled out of bed and it’s my one good picture with Oprah. I’m like, come on, Kristina. Could you not look decent that one day?

Tiffany [00:08:46] Okay, so could I ask really quick? How did you get hooked up with Oprah to begin with? Not that I’m trying to get hooked up with her.

Meredith [00:08:52] Meet Oprah?

Kristina [00:08:52] Well, Mark Burnett, who’s the guy that does Survivor and all those shows, he and Oprah partnered up to do a show for her new network when she started OWN, her network, to do a show called … What was it called? Oprah’s Search for the Next TV Star. It was basically like a reality show and my husband encouraged me to enter because he was like, “You’ve always sort of been an entertainer and your degree’s in theater.” So I entered, had interviews with Mark Burnett, made it to the top 10. The top 10 competed on a TV show and then I freaking won.

Tiffany [00:09:23] Amazing.

Meredith [00:09:24] And she freaking won. That’s a mike drop moment right there.

Kristina [00:09:28] No, this is the best part of that story is that literally two years before that, I was sleeping on a floor, sharing a bedroom with my children. I didn’t have money to buy a bed.

Tiffany [00:09:36] Wow.

Kristina [00:09:38] And then two years after that Oprah’s giving me a show. She’s giving me money and she’s giving me a freaking car. It was just-

Tiffany [00:09:44] Unbelievable.

Kristina [00:09:45] … crazy.

Meredith [00:09:47] But it’s a wonderful story of hope and perseverance and it speaks to the person that you are, which is wonderful. You’re a wonderful person.

Kristina [00:09:55] Thank you.

Tiffany [00:09:56] Yeah, you-

Meredith [00:09:57] Can you tell … I’m so sorry, Tiffany.

Tiffany [00:09:58] So rude.

Meredith [00:09:59] Sorry.

Tiffany [00:10:00] I’m just kidding. Go ahead. It wasn’t that good.

Meredith [00:10:03] Well, but I wanted to know what’s coming next, in the next five years? Okay, you don’t have to tell me your next five-year plan, but what’s coming next for you and what do you want to do? Because I see you everywhere, doing all sorts of different things. What are you honing in on? What is coming next for Kristina and what should people be looking for?

Kristina [00:10:23] I’m finishing up my book, which will be coming out in 2019. I can’t tell you the exact dates yet. That was totally out of my comfort zone because again, English is my second language, so talking is fine for me, but writing was way bigger of a challenge for some reason. And then I have some stuff in the works that they tell me not to talk about which is so annoying. But I have a development deal for a TV show. That doesn’t mean there’s going to be a TV show, anybody listening to this who doesn’t know how TV works. That just means there’s a development deal and things fall apart all the time, so don’t get excited.

Kristina [00:10:55] And then I’m going on tour next winter, a 20-city tour which I know you ladies are going on too. Why don’t we just do a joint tour? We should just do a joint tour.

Tiffany [00:11:05] Right? It makes sense.

Meredith [00:11:07] Agreed. Where do we have somebody write that up? Because I feel like it would be way more fun to travel around with you two clowns and eat food.

Tiffany [00:11:15] Sorry.

Kristina [00:11:16] Even though our audiences are … We have some of the same audience. I think we all have our own audiences too, and it’d be fun to bring all those people together.

Meredith [00:11:26] Yes. I agree. I agree. So we just have to contact somebody about that.

Tiffany [00:11:31] Since it’s all the same core company, it’s probably just one phone call.

Meredith [00:11:37] You made that way more simpler than I expected.

Kristina [00:11:39] Yes.

Tiffany [00:11:42] We’ve decided to just combine this.

Meredith [00:11:43] Yeah. Can we just a threesies? Oh my God. We could be called the threesome.

Tiffany [00:11:47] I knew that was coming.

Kristina [00:11:49] Perfect.

Meredith [00:11:49] Yay.

Tiffany [00:11:51] Oh my gosh.

Meredith [00:11:51] That’s a little inappropriate. All right. Moving on …

Tiffany [00:11:54] Go figure.

Meredith [00:11:56] All right, you want to have the … Do you want to ask her another question? What do you want to do?

Tiffany [00:12:01] Yeah, sure. Yeah. I was going to say, wouldn’t it be fun if we had a caller call in and ask her a question? But I feel like that-

Meredith [00:12:07] We can do that.

Tiffany [00:12:08] Okay.

Meredith [00:12:08] Let’s do that. We’re going to give you the phone number and anybody who’s in here that calls in, you can ask Kristina a question. In the meantime, why don’t you tell us where people can find you online so that they’re absolutely following you for suresies mctorsies.

Tiffany [00:12:24] What? Sorry. That is such a mom thing to say. I love it.

Meredith [00:12:30] Get it together.

Tiffany [00:12:30] Suresies mctorsies.

Kristina [00:12:32] I’m on Facebook and Instagram and YouTube and it’s all at … and Twitter. It’s all at Kristina with a K and then last name, K-U-Z-M-I-C. I’m not on Snapchat. I’m not all those other things that people are on that I don’t know how to use yet, but some day I will be.

Meredith [00:12:52] I can’t do Snapchat because the moment I got a Snapchat account, two minutes later I was sent unsolicited penis pictures.

Kristina [00:13:01] Wow.

Meredith [00:13:01] So I do not … I closed it immediately. I didn’t realize that that’s a thing people do on Snapchat.

Kristina [00:13:08] Wow.

Meredith [00:13:08] It’s just like, “Hey, I’m going to send you a picture of my pee-pee.” It’s like, “No, no, no, no, no.”

Tiffany [00:13:14] I had Snapchat for like-

Kristina [00:13:15] Basically my teenagers will never be allowed to have Snapchat.

Meredith [00:13:19] Well, I guess it was very … I looked into it after the fact. And of course, I’m holding my phone and there’s a picture of male genitalia on it. My husband is like, “What is this?” I’m like, ” I swear to you, I don’t … It’s not even an attractive penis. I don’t know what to tell you, husband.”

Tiffany [00:13:36] I never got any.

Meredith [00:13:38] Really?

Tiffany [00:13:38] And I was on there for two years. What the heck?

Meredith [00:13:41] Well-

Tiffany [00:13:41] I’m just kidding. I don’t want them.

Meredith [00:13:44] I’m telling you it was literally once. Uh-oh. Uh-oh. You have to hit the … Dave.

Tiffany [00:13:50] Me.

Meredith [00:13:51] Anybody that could read. My phone is ringing in the middle of this.

Tiffany [00:13:54] We’re helpless. It’s like one more foot for us to push the button.

Meredith [00:13:58] One more foot. There we go. Sorry about that, guys.

Tiffany [00:13:59] Okay, so we have a caller who has a question for you. Welcome Kimberly.

Kimberly [00:14:03] Hello. This is just going to be a simple, silly question. But Kristina, you always wear your leather bracelet, your band.

Kristina [00:14:13] Yes.

Kimberly [00:14:14] And one time, long time ago, you said where you got it and I missed it. But I want to get one so badly.

Kristina [00:14:21] Okay, I have good news for you. It’s from Porter & Hazel.

Kimberly [00:14:25] Okay.

Kristina [00:14:26] Porterandhazel.com. But they’re actually doing a giveaway on my page next week.

Tiffany [00:14:31] Nice.

Kristina [00:14:32] And even if you don’t win, they’re giving like 20% off for, I forget, two or three weeks to everyone. I love, love that cuff.

Tiffany [00:14:44] We didn’t plan this call.

Kristina [00:14:44] It’s got my kids’ names engraved on it, but you can engrave anything you want.

Meredith [00:14:47] This was serendipitous.

Tiffany [00:14:48] I know.

Kristina [00:14:48] I know.

Meredith [00:14:48] This truly was.

Kristina [00:14:51] Nobody asks me that on podcasts. This is awesome, the timing.

Kimberly [00:14:54] That’s what I’d love, my kids’ names and just something underneath it, simple saying. But thank you so much. I love all three of you. You’re my three favorite girls.

Tiffany [00:15:05] We love you, too. Thank you so much.

Kristina [00:15:08] Aw, thank you.

Meredith [00:15:10] Yay. Thank you. Thank you, thank you.

Kimberly [00:15:11] Bye girls.

Tiffany [00:15:11] Okay, bye bye. Thank you.

Tiffany [00:15:14] Okay, so today’s trending parenting news is brought to you by Grove Collaborative.

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Grove Collaborative – Cleaning with a “Friend”

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Meredith [00:15:20] It’s time for a joke, isn’t it, Tiffany?

Tiffany [00:15:23] I have an important question though.

Meredith [00:15:24] Okay.

Tiffany [00:15:25] Why is Dracula so easy to fool? I need to know.

Meredith [00:15:29] I don’t know. Why?

Tiffany [00:15:31] Because he’s a sucker.

Meredith [00:15:35] That’s terrible.

Tiffany [00:15:35] That sounded like a real laugh. I’ll take it.

Meredith [00:15:37] All right. All right, all right, all right, all right. How do you know when it’s officially fall? For some people, it’s the changing leaves or the first day of school. For me, it’s the return of Mrs. Meyer’s fall seasonal scents like mum and apple cider.

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Tiffany [00:16:30] Kristina, have you ever used Grove?

Kristina [00:16:33] Yes. I love Grove.

Tiffany [00:16:35] Yes. Who doesn’t love Grove?

Kristina [00:16:36] You know what one of my favorite thing is? Do you know that little brush thing they have-

Meredith [00:16:39] Yeah.

Tiffany [00:16:40] Yeah.

Kristina [00:16:40] … that you keep by your sink?

Meredith [00:16:41] Yes.

Kristina [00:16:42] Oh my gosh.

Meredith [00:16:42] With the replaceable head.

Tiffany [00:16:44] Or the bubble up dish.

Kristina [00:16:47] Yep, yep, yep. Love it.

Meredith [00:16:48] Oh yes.

Tiffany [00:16:48] That’s my fave, too.

Meredith [00:16:49] I have both of those. Yes, yes, yes, yes. No, I do love Grove and I love mum. I am addicted to mum. It is the best scent.

Tiffany [00:16:56] Agreed.

Meredith [00:16:56] If you ask me. I do like the pumpkin pie though as well. I seem to use that one in my sink a lot.

Tiffany [00:17:02] I’m just saying, I specifically remember you coming over to my house and me being excited about mum and you being like, “I don’t even know what that is.”

Meredith [00:17:08] You got me hooked, man. I was like, oh my God.

Tiffany [00:17:10] I’m taking credit.

Meredith [00:17:11] Yeah, so it’s very good.

Meredith [00:17:13] In trending parenting news today, I figured we’d talk stepparenting, blessings and pitfalls. Because here’s the thing, I have no frame of reference for this, but we get a lot of questions on the page about it because we have a lot of people in our community who are stepparents.

Tiffany [00:17:28] Yes.

Meredith [00:17:29] So I thought, what better way than to have a discussion with you two because Tiffany is a stepmom and Kristina’s husband is a stepdad. These are two different perspectives as well. So I thought that was a really neat mix. I figured I would ask the questions and you guys could give the feedback and then it would be delightful and Oprah would call us for a show. I was just throwing that in there in case Kristina wanted to share with her good buddy, Oprah.

Tiffany [00:17:55] Oh my God.

Meredith [00:17:56] Do you like how slick that was?

Tiffany [00:17:58] That was pretty funny.

Meredith [00:17:59] That’s fine. She’s going to love it. All right. Let’s see. I actually found a really good article on Huffington Post and I’m going to basically just read a statement and then you guys will chime in with your thoughts.

Tiffany [00:18:14] Okay.

Meredith [00:18:14] Does that work?

Tiffany [00:18:15] Totes. Yep.

Meredith [00:18:16] All right. These are things that people don’t tell you about stepparenting. All right. No one tells you that being a stepparent will put your self esteem to the ultimate test. Is that true or false? And if so, what are your thoughts?

Tiffany [00:18:30] For me, I can see how they would say that because there are times when you question whether or not you’re good enough or the child says, “You’re not my real mom,” and then you’re like, dang it. Maybe I’m not doing a good job. I wonder if I’m doing a good job all the time. My stepdaughter, I call her bonus daughter just because I don’t know, I don’t want it to be weird when I talk about her. She came into my life when she was two turning three and she’s about to be eight. So I have a few years of experience on this subject. She’s with us full-time.

Meredith [00:19:05] What about you, Kristina? And this is obviously I would direct it towards your thoughts on your husband.

Kristina [00:19:11] Right. My husband actually wrote an article about this and he was … Because my kids see my ex-husband on the weekends and I’ve tried to create this environment where my ex-husband is always welcome here and he comes over for dinner. Last Christmas, he slept over at our house so the kids could have all of us for Christmas Eve. I know that’s weird to a lot of people and I wouldn’t be hanging out with him if we didn’t have kids. But we have kids, so we’re trying to do-

Tiffany [00:19:36] Amazing.

Meredith [00:19:36] I applaud that. I applaud that.

Kristina [00:19:36] … what feels right. Anyway, in that sense, my husband … A lot of men would not be cool with another dude that has a past, a history and has kids with his wife, to be showing up like that. So he’s definitely had to sort of ask himself, how much of this is just my own insecurities and my own stuff? I think after years now because he’s been a … Nine yrs now we’ve been married. It’s way easier. At first, it was an adjustment.

Meredith [00:20:11] Yeah, that kind of pulls into this next one. No one tells you just how much the ex can affect your relationship. You touched on that a little bit. But what else? Have you had arguments about the ex-husband with your current husband?

Kristina [00:20:29] Not really, but I have to say that that’s because … and this is probably my biggest piece of advice for anybody that’s not married yet but getting into that situation. My husband and I talked about this from every angle before we ever even got engaged because I was really blunt with him. I said, “Listen. I’m in love with you and all that. But I’m going to occasionally have to cater to my ex-husband and I’m going to do everything I can to not create any drama for my kids. And if you can’t play along, and by the way, I get it because I don’t know if I could play along. But if you can’t play along with that, I’m just not the right girl for you.”

Kristina [00:21:02] We sort of aired it all out. We actually went to couples therapy before we ever got engaged to talk about this specific issue. I think if we hadn’t done that, there’d probably be a lot of arguments. But we sort of made a contract between ourselves how we were going to deal with it before we ever got married. And I gotta say, it’s been so much easier on me. He’s the one that’s having to do the hard work and he’s been incredible. I keep trying to convince him to do his own thing, talking to stepparents but he’s just not a public kind of guy.

Meredith [00:21:34] Right, right. But I think that’s great that you were so proactive in having those conversations prior to, like you said, even getting engaged because I think that solved a lot of your issues before they came to a head. They didn’t have to come to a head.

Kristina [00:21:47] I think people, they’re in love and they want to get married regardless of circumstances, whether there are any kids involved or whatever. They just have this mentality of, “We’ll figure it out. We’re just so in love, we’ll figure it out.” I’m sorry, but love is not enough. I know that goes against every cute quote on Facebook, but it’s just not. You have to actually do some really hard work and be prepared.

Meredith [00:22:11] How about you, Tiffany? Has the ex affected your relationship, pertaining to the kids?

Tiffany [00:22:18] Right. I have made an effort to include her in as much as I can. I feel like for me in my situation, I had a choice on how I let her affect the relationship. I could either battle at every turn or I could be open-minded and willing to compromise. That has helped tremendously.

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Meredith [00:22:41] Well, I mean, geez you guys are-

Tiffany [00:22:44] We’re basically great people.

Meredith [00:22:45] You’re really, but I think you’re right because it is all about choices. I think in any parenting situation, whether it’s stepparenting or you’re parenting your own biological children, choices are a big part of it. Perspective is a big part of it.

Meredith [00:23:05] All right. No one-

Kristina [00:23:06] Hold on. Can I just say one thing? I don’t want anybody who’s listening to this and is really struggling with it to be like, “Oh my gosh. I wish it was that easy.” It’s not easy. I’ve said before publicly that being divorced and trying to co-parent with an ex-husband is the hardest part of my life and I’ve been through some hard crap. It is still the hardest part of my life. It’s not supposed to be easy. It’s freaking hard and if you’re struggling with it, amen sister. I’m there with you.

Tiffany [00:23:34] Can I say something in response or agreeance to what you just said? I had a lot of really weird emotions in the beginning when I first came into Aubrey’s life because she was only with us on the weekends sometimes. I felt in a weird way that I was just a weekend babysitter. So I didn’t know what I could say. Could I discipline her? Could I not? Where do we draw the line? I found myself, and this is 100% honest and probably doesn’t make me look too good, but I actually had resentment, misplaced resentment towards her where I was just upset that so many people were involved in her life and she didn’t have stability at the time. I was feeling resentful when she would come over.

Tiffany [00:24:28] We have this life and then she comes over and just disrupts it, but I can’t tell her what to do when she’s here and stuff like that. I was very confused in the beginning. And then I found out that it is up to me to create a bond with her. She’s just a little child and it’s not going to happen naturally. So I put a lot of effort into just adding to her life instead of being a replacement and it changed everything when I started working towards creating a bond and doing things alone with her. I felt differently towards her once I put the work in.

Kristina [00:24:58] That’s awesome.

Meredith [00:25:01] All right. Let’s do one more. No one tells you how hard it is to balance the demands of actually being a parent to someone who is not your biological child. What do we think about that?

Tiffany [00:25:13] Can you say it again?

Meredith [00:25:14] No one tells you how hard it is to balance the demands of your role for … this is not your biological child. You touched on that a little bit, but do you feel like … Because here’s the thing, I don’t feel like when I had my first kids that I was given a rule book or a guidebook and I had it figured out. It has to be probably doubly difficult when you didn’t even birth the child. That’s just my … I mean I don’t know. What do you think?

Tiffany [00:25:48] For me, it was a strange situation because I didn’t birth her. So I didn’t know, like I said, what the line was. I knew that I was supposed to love her because she was my husband’s child, but I didn’t know how to love her really because so many other people were involved. Sorry I lost my train of thought there for a second. I didn’t know what that noise was.

Tiffany [00:26:15] But yeah. The demands of the role. It’s like you’re at my house. You’re jumping on the couch. Am I allowed to scold you or not? Because you’re my stepchild, I don’t know what my role is. It just develops over time. You figure it out what it is. She’s with us full-time now so I’m her primary caregiver and so that took time and work. But in the beginning, I had no clue what I was doing and I was always so confused and full of resentment and frustration. I never took it out on her, but I would be dying inside trying to figure out what I was going to do.

Meredith [00:26:53] How did your husband deal with that, Kristina, with figuring out how to discipline the kids?

Kristina [00:27:00] The kids were, we had kind of opposite, they’re mostly with us and then most-

Kristina [00:27:01] We had kinda opposite. They’re mostly with us. And then, most weekends, just weekends with their dad. So, my husband decided early on is “I’m not looking at this as these are my wife’s kids. I’m gonna look at this as their my kids, like I adopted them.” But then he had to also learn to take a step back the minute their dad walked in.

Kristina [00:27:21] Like if their dad, all of a sudden, came for dinner, my husband’s role completely changed. And he went from the one that’s totally involved and doing all the dad duties to a step back. Almost like an uncle. “Now I don’t get to say go sit down. That’s their dad.”

Kristina [00:27:37] So, that’s something that is so hard. It’s like this dance that you have to perfect. And he would say it took him years. He’s great at it now. And even then he was great but he struggled. Outwardly it looked easy but he was really struggling. Especially because my ex-husband parents very differently than we do. And that’s always been a struggle for us.

Kristina [00:27:58] For him to put in all this work for an entire week and then the weekend comes and then it’s like it’s all blown because “This guy’s doing it completely differently.” The one thing my husband and I said early on, kids first, ego last. And I gotta say, I don’t know if I could do it as well as my husband does, just putting his ego aside repeatedly. I don’t know if I could do it.

Tiffany [00:28:20] Right,- [crosstalk 00:28:20]

Meredith [00:28:20] [crosstalk 00:28:20] That-

Tiffany [00:28:20] -’cause it is about the kid ultimately and I-

Kristina [00:28:22] Yeah.

Tiffany [00:28:22] -I had to remind myself of that. What can I do to give her the best life? Being angry at her mom or other people involved is not going to help anything. Yeah. So, it did take a lot of biting my tongue and stepping back. I love the dance analogy that you did ’cause that’s exactly what it is.

Meredith [00:28:39] But that’s something that I didn’t even think about is when the other parent is present. And you have to take that step back. Because, as our family, with no step-parenting, nobody takes a step back. -Because we both have to be on all of the time. And I wouldn’t even know what to do if I was told “You have to take a step back.” I don’t even know how-[crosstalk 00:29:04]

Kristina [00:29:04] [crosstalk 00:29:04]Right.

Meredith [00:29:04] -I would react to that. So, hearing what you said was like (verbal explosion). Oh, my gosh! That’s so true. When he walks in. And I don’t know anything about your ex-husband but, it was funny when you were talking, it reminded me of the movie Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell, Daddy’s Home. Because he’s the dad that kinda swooped in and did the fun stuff and then Will Ferrell played the step-parent who was always there.

Meredith [00:29:33] And it-[crosstalk 00:29:35]

Tiffany [00:29:35] Yeah,- [crosstalk 00:29:35]

Meredith [00:29:35] -[crosstalk 00:29:35] very-

Tiffany [00:29:35] -[crosstalk 00:29:35] exactly.

Meredith [00:29:35] -interesting thing to be like “Wait, a minute. They get to come in and do the fun stuff?”

Tiffany [00:29:39] Right.

Meredith [00:29:39] And I have to- [crosstalk 00:29:40]

Kristina [00:29:40] [crosstalk 00:29:40] Right.

Meredith [00:29:40] – do the daily grind stuff?

Kristina [00:29:42] Yeah!

Meredith [00:29:42] I think that would chap my rear side sump’en fierce.

Tiffany [00:29:47] Yes.

Meredith [00:29:48] That is intense. And-

Tiffany [00:29:50] Yeah.

Meredith [00:29:50] -not at thought that crossed my mind.

Tiffany [00:29:52] Kristina.

Kristina [00:29:53] Yes.

Tiffany [00:29:55] Was there ever a point where you felt like your husband … wasn’t parenting your children the way you thought he should or he did something that you didn’t agree with? And then did you feel the need to step in and say something? Or do you just kinda let him figure it out on his own?

Kristina [00:30:16] I didn’t step in, in front of the kids because I never wanted to undermine him in front of the children, especially because he was their stepdad. It’s like you’re already fighting that, right? You’re already kind of, in a way, feel under, it’s like my husband describes it, “It’s like being a dad but not quite a dad.”

Kristina [00:30:34] But then we would talk in private and I don’t wanna be like that nagging like “I know it all.” Even though, obviously I did know more ’cause I had experience parenting and he didn’t. He had never had kids before. So, when we were alone I would be like, “Okay, dude. Here’s why I don’t handle it that way. And let’s talk about it.” But never in front of the kids.

Tiffany [00:30:55] Awesome.

Meredith [00:30:56] Yeah, that has to be tough. The dynamics are just crazy intense. [crosstalk 00:31:02]

Kristina [00:31:02] [crosstalk 00:31:02] It’s honestly, again, we’ve been doing this now for nine years and it is still a challenge all the time.

Tiffany [00:31:09] And you know what else, too? Having the maternal instinct in me, whereas my husband, sometimes, like in the beginning, he wasn’t nearly as involved as I was in his daughter’s life. So, his daughter would come over and he almost didn’t know how to act or what to do.

Tiffany [00:31:26] And, so, I immediately started taking over and it’s so different, me being the stepmom and you having stepdad. But I think it’s so awesome when a man steps up to the plate and helps take care of the kids. When, sometimes, it’s even hard to get the real dad to be there when you-

Kristina [00:31:45] Yeah.

Tiffany [00:31:45] -need him. Not that I’m talking crap about my husband. I’m just saying-

Kristina [00:31:48] Right. [crosstalk 00:31:49]

Meredith [00:31:50] [crosstalk 00:31:50] I’m just saying

Kristina [00:31:50] And then I do have to say, so we had one together later. In know you guys had, Tiffany, kids together. And then there’s that whole other dynamic of ” Is this gonna change things? Is he gonna favor his biological kid to his step kids?”

Kristina [00:32:05] And, thankfully, my husband has been great about it. But there’s all these new dynamics now with bringing in another kid. It’s very- [crosstalk 00:32:14]

Tiffany [00:32:14] [crosstalk 00:32:14] Oh, so you guys do have a kid-

Kristina [00:32:16] [crosstalk 00:32:16] -complicated.

Meredith [00:32:16] [crosstalk 00:32:16] Yes, –

Tiffany [00:32:16] [crosstalk 00:32:16] -together?

Meredith [00:32:16] [crosstalk 00:32:16] -their third, yep, is-

Tiffany [00:32:17] [crosstalk 00:32:17] Oh!

Meredith [00:32:19] [crosstalk 00:32:19] -yep, yep, yep.

Tiffany [00:32:19] So, he’s locked in.

Kristina [00:32:20] He’s locked and loaded. He’s there.

Tiffany [00:32:23] So, do you notice a difference in the way he parents the kids or treats the kids?

Kristina [00:32:28] No, and I hate telling these stories about my husband because he literally sounds perfect and he’s not, you guys. He’s far- [crosstalk 00:32:34]

Tiffany [00:32:34] [crosstalk 00:32:34] So annoying.

Kristina [00:32:34] [crosstalk 00:32:34] -from perfect. But we decided when we got married that we would have children together. And then, all of a sudden, a few years into the marriage, he’s like “I decided I don’t want kids.” And I was like “What!” He’s like “No, we shouldn’t have kids together.”

Kristina [00:32:46] And after asking him, begging him to explain it, ’cause he kinda wasn’t opening up. He was, again, this is gonna make him sound way too nice but just know that he’s not perfect. But his mindset was “I don’t want Luca [phonetic 00:32:59] and Matea [phonetic 00:33:00]”, those are my older kids, “I don’t want Luca and Matea to ever wonder if I love my own kid more than them.”

Kristina [00:33:06] And it wasn’t even about his fear. It was like he, at that point, loved them so much and would do anything for them. And just the idea of them ever wondering whether his love for another kid is stronger than for them killed him. So, then I said, well, first of all, I just wanted to get knocked up and have more kids, so, I was gonna say anything.

Kristina [00:33:24] But I was like “Listen. The fact that you’re even thinking that way, means that you will never act in way that.” And, so, I think he’s kept that in mind. He’s kept their feelings in mind. And I don’t know. I’ve never had a step kind and a biological kid. I don’t know if it’s possible to love them all equally. Maybe it is. People adopt and he said, “It feels like adoption.” And they love their adopted kids as much as their biological kids. But he doesn’t show any difference.

Tiffany [00:33:51] That’s amazing. And I guess if he did you couldn’t really say it. I was thinking that after I asked the question.

Kristina [00:33:58] ‘Cause then I’d have to kick his ass.

Tiffany [00:33:59] Right.

Meredith [00:34:00] Well, I think we could just end the podcast now because Kristina and her husband have the most delightful relationship ever and- [crosstalk 00:34:05]

Tiffany [00:34:05] [crosstalk 00:34:05] Yeah.

Meredith [00:34:05] [crosstalk 00:34:05] -the rest are-

Kristina [00:34:05] [crosstalk 00:34:05] No.

Meredith [00:34:06] [crosstalk 00:34:06] -just shit.

Tiffany [00:34:06] [crosstalk 00:34:06] Yeah huge.

Kristina [00:34:06] [crosstalk 00:34:06] No, we fight much more than you guys. We fought this morning, you guys. We fought this morning. I thought I was gonna be late for the podcast because we were fighting.

Tiffany [00:34:11] [crosstalk 00:34:11] Oh, no.

Meredith [00:34:11] [crosstalk 00:34:11] Oh.

Tiffany [00:34:11] [crosstalk 00:34:11] You’re great.

Meredith [00:34:13] [crosstalk 00:34:13] I feel a little better now.

Tiffany [00:34:14] [crosstalk 00:34:14] I think it’s so good.

Meredith [00:34:14] Thank you for fighting. I’m just kidding. Alright, so, we’ll move into Parenting Crap. And today’s segment of Parenting Crap is brought to you by Fabfitfun subscription boxes.

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Tiffany [00:34:58] I don’t know why I made it weird in there like an auctioneer. I don’t- [crosstalk 00:35:03]

Meredith [00:35:03] [crosstalk 00:35:03] Eh, leh, leh, leh, leh, leh, going once-

Tiffany [00:35:05] [crosstalk 00:35:05] -leh, leh, leh, leh, leh, $39.99.

Tiffany [00:35:07] But, no, I love Fabfitfun and I love how many of the products cost more than the entire box. It’s a good deal.

Meredith [00:35:13] Oh, yeah, I got another great tote.

Tiffany [00:35:16] Did you?!

Meredith [00:35:17] I did.

Tiffany [00:35:17] In the editor’s box?

Meredith [00:35:18] Yep, yep, yep. You know I love- [crosstalk 00:35:20]

Tiffany [00:35:20] [crosstalk 00:35:20] I got the same one. So, –

Meredith [00:35:21] [crosstalk 00:35:21] -totes. Oh, well.

Tiffany [00:35:22] [crosstalk 00:35:22] -don’t try to brag.

Meredith [00:35:22] Fine. Alright.

Tiffany [00:35:23] Anyway. So, Halloween is fast approaching. Have you guys gotten costumes yet?

Meredith [00:35:30] Not yet.

Tiffany [00:35:31] Samesies. [phonetic 00:35:32]

Meredith [00:35:32] Uh, oh. How about you, Kristina?

Kristina [00:35:35] I don’t wanna talk about it.

Tiffany [00:35:39] Okay, good. I feel better. So, a couple of questions. Do you guys allow your kids to have as much candy as they want? Or do you monitor the candy intake? Like that video?

Meredith [00:35:52] Oh, yeah. Let’s see. So, the night of Halloween- [crosstalk 00:35:57]

Tiffany [00:35:57] [crosstalk 00:35:57] Free for all

Meredith [00:35:58] [crosstalk 00:35:58] -is a complete free for all. They can vomit. If they wanna eat every single thing that they get, in terms of like, they have a window of time. From the time Trick-Or-Treating starts until we get home and we’ve sorted, they can plow through candy.

Tiffany [00:36:15] Nice.

Meredith [00:36:16] Once that happens and they’re vomiting and there’s diarrhea involved, I then say “Alright, we’re gonna take a step back.” I bag the candy. And I have control of the candy moving forward.

Tiffany [00:36:27] And you eat it all.

Meredith [00:36:29] I take the things that I’d like.

Tiffany [00:36:31] Right. Chocolate.

Meredith [00:36:32] Correct. And I bag that separately. And then the ganky [phonetic 00:36:36] stuff, is all theirs.

Tiffany [00:36:38] Those weird orange wrapped things?

Meredith [00:36:40] Yeah. Yeah, I don’t want none of that.

Tiffany [00:36:41] What about you, Kristina?

Kristina [00:36:42] I basically have the same exact method as Meredith. That night, go nuts. Do whatever. But I will stay up late that night after they’re asleep and steal all my favorite stuff.

Tiffany [00:36:54] I was just –

Kristina [00:36:55] I also am not above taking notes on which house gives the best candy and noting in the note section on my iPhone.

Meredith [00:37:02] Ah!

Kristina [00:37:02] And making sure we don’t skip that house the next year.

Meredith [00:37:04] Well, you do have to write down like full size Snickers, 423- [crosstalk 00:37:09]

Kristina [00:37:09] [crosstalk 00:37:09] No, yeah.

Meredith [00:37:10] [crosstalk 00:37:10] -8 whatever, Burlington Drive. They give out the good ones.

Tiffany [00:37:14] Do let your older kids Trick-Or-Treat on their own?

Kristina [00:37:18] Alone, did you say?

Tiffany [00:37:19] Yeah, on their own. Like- [crosstalk 00:37:21]

Kristina [00:37:21] [crosstalk 00:37:21] Yes.

Tiffany [00:37:21] [crosstalk 00:37:21] -what age do you think is good to let kids –

Kristina [00:37:23] [crosstalk 00:37:23] Yeah,-

Tiffany [00:37:23] [crosstalk 00:37:23] -start going?

Kristina [00:37:23] [crosstalk 00:37:23] -we live in a safe neighborhood and they’re 13 and 15. And my only rule is you can’t be by yourself. Like you have to be in a group of three or more.

Tiffany [00:37:30] Ooo, that’s a good rule. Speaking of 13 and 15, Meredith.

Meredith [00:37:33] Yeah.

Tiffany [00:37:34] There is, did you find out what town that was in?

Meredith [00:37:36] There’s several towns. Did you print that for me? No, no, my husband didn’t.

Meredith [00:37:41] It’s up in the northeast. It’s in, what’s that called? New England. And there’s a bunch of counties, municipalities in New England that basically stated that if the child is 12 or older, and they are caught Trick-Or-Treating, they can be fined between $25 to $100 for being Trick-Or-Treating.

Tiffany [00:38:00] And be charged with a misdemeanor.

Meredith [00:38:02] And be charged with a-[crosstalk 00:38:02]

Kristina [00:38:02] [crosstalk 00:38:02] -This is bull crap, you guys!

Meredith [00:38:03] [crosstalk 00:38:03] -misdemeanor. Yeah.

Kristina [00:38:04] I’m not happy about this.

Tiffany [00:38:06] Isn’t that crazy?

Meredith [00:38:07] Yeah.

Kristina [00:38:07] Okay, here’s the thing, two things. First of all, I’m not happy about it because that means I get less candy because what is a four-year-old gonna pick up. Seriously, like he doesn’t have the experience that my older ones have.

Kristina [00:38:18] And, second of all, if any human, I don’t care if they’re 90. If you take the time to throw some makeup on and come up with a creative costume, you deserve candy. Like life is busy. Life is hard. If someone’s going out of their way to dress up, give them frickin’ candy.

Tiffany [00:38:32] Right, I agree. 100%. I was shocked. I didn’t think it was real when I first heard about it.

Meredith [00:38:37] The business manager passed this over to me. So, Portsmouth, Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Suffolk, Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Williamsburg, James City, York County have all put stipulations on Trick-Or-Treating. Nobody over the age of 12 and Trick-Or-Treating must transpire between the hours of 6 PM and 8 PM. At 8 PM it literally shuts down. You cannot Trick-Or-Treat any more.

Tiffany [00:39:03] How can you put a law on Halloween?

Meredith [00:39:06] Well, they did. Literally put a law on it. And then says, listen to this, “If a 12 year old is caught Trick-Or-Treating, they can face a fine between $25 and $100. On top of that, it’s up to six months in jail, if convicted.”

Kristina [00:39:19] Who is this Halloween Scrouge [inaudible 00:39:22] put this crap?

Tiffany [00:39:23] Listen, when you grow up and become an adult, all the fun stuff goes away. Why are they trying to take this from us? When you’re 12 and 13, you’re still into candy and fun time. Like why are they- [crosstalk 00:39:35]

Kristina [00:39:35] [crosstalk 00:39:35] All those teenagers come to my house, come Trick-Or-Treat. I don’t care how old you are. I don’t care if it’s midnight. You can get candy at my house.

Tiffany [00:39:42] So doesn’t-

Kristina [00:39:43] But not my favorite candy. I’ll give you the leftovers.

Tiffany [00:39:45] So, if you’re the “drug dealer” in this scenario, do you get charged also?

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Meredith [00:39:49] Yes.

Tiffany [00:39:49] If you’re handing out after hours?

Meredith [00:39:51] Seriously. Yeah.

Tiffany [00:39:53] Underage minors- [crosstalk 00:39:54]

Meredith [00:39:54] [crosstalk 00:39:54] But-

Tiffany [00:39:54] [crosstalk 00:39:54] -do you get in trouble?

Meredith [00:39:56] But this is just ridiculousness. Because these are kids. Twelve years old you are a kid. I don’t care if you’re 16. We Trick-Or-Treated in high school.

Tiffany [00:40:06] Right.

Meredith [00:40:07] I was a cow on year.[crosstalk 00:40:07]

Kristina [00:40:07] [crosstalk 00:40:07] I wanna say one more thing about this that pisses me off. So, when I was in high school, there was this girl, I think she wasn’t in high school any more. She was like 18 or 19. I’m not sure what her situation was but she had special needs. And she was not able to participate in a lot of things. I don’t think she was even verbal. And her parents used to decorate their house for Christmas in like October because it made her so happy.

Kristina [00:40:31] And people would complain. And then they would keep it up till like March. And people would complain and be like, “Oh, my gosh! These people are so lame. It’s not Christmas any more.” And they didn’t know the back story of this is like the one thing that made this girl ecstatic.

Kristina [00:40:43] And so I think about those kids. There are kids this is their thing, this is the thing that makes their life. They get to dress up. No one’s mocking them for how they look because they’re in a costume. And they’re not supposed to look however people expect them to look, all that stuff.

Kristina [00:40:58] And somebody’s handing them candy and people are being nice to them. People that maybe usually would be rude to them or judge them are being friendly with them. Don’t take that away. I don’t care if you’re 20. Come Trick-Or-Treat. Anyway, you get …

Tiffany [00:41:10] She’s gonna someone a letter- [crosstalk 00:41:12]

Kristina [00:41:12] [crosstalk 00:41:12] -That’s my other reason for being pissed off.

Tiffany [00:41:13] [crosstalk 00:41:13] -about this. The county.

Meredith [00:41:13] Well, I just think it’s ridiculous and excessive. And I think what their point was, or I believe their point to be, is that they don’t want people vandalizing, these kids vandalizing neighborhoods. But, here’s the thing, you’re not gonna be able to stop kids from going out and toilet papering houses and egging houses. That’s not going to happen by saying you can’t Trick-Or-Treat if you’re over 12. Because you’re just excluding a large group of kids who are probably not going to go out and do that anyway. And the kids who were gonna go out and do it are gonna find a way to go out and do it anyway.

Tiffany [00:41:50] And now the kids who weren’t gonna do it are pissed because they can’t have candy and they’re gonna go do it.

Meredith [00:41:55] I don’t know about that. [crosstalk 00:41:56]

Kristina [00:41:56] [crosstalk 00:41:56] Yeah.

Meredith [00:41:57] I found it ridiculous and we covered this story over on our website. And I was like “You’ve got to be kidding me. These are kids.” Like my son is 12 and he was like “I don’t think I’m gonna dress up this year. I think I’m too cool for that.”

Meredith [00:42:10] And I’m like, “No, you’re not. Well, no you’re not. We’re all going together. You are going to dress up. We’re going to have a good time and we’re going Trick-Or-Treating. We’ve gone Trick-Or-Treating every year. So, we’re going Trick-Or-Treating. It’s non-optional. It’s a family night.”

Tiffany [00:42:25] Amen.

Meredith [00:42:25] So, amen to that.

Tiffany [00:42:27] Do you have a problem with the overly sexualized costumes for young girls? I haven’t seen any.

Meredith [00:42:35] Ooo, I have. I’ve seen-[crosstalk 00:42:37]

Kristina [00:42:37] [crosstalk 00:42:37] I have.

Meredith [00:42:37] [crosstalk 00:42:37] -quite a few.

Tiffany [00:42:37] Really?

Meredith [00:42:38] And it makes my heart sad.

Tiffany [00:42:40] Like what?

Meredith [00:42:41] I saw a police officer for a girl that was a miniskirt. And it begged a couple of questions.

Meredith [00:42:48] Number one, never have I seen a female officer wearing a mini-skirt. They wear the exact same uniform that the men do. It is they’re police. That’s the uniform. So, I think that’s just ridiculous because if my daughter wanted to be a police woman, she should be wearing the same costume as a boy because it’s legitimately the same thing. Why do we have to put her in a miniskirt?

Tiffany [00:43:13] What age are we talking for these costumes.

Meredith [00:43:14] This was about an eight, nine, ten-yeah-old.

Tiffany [00:43:17] Really?

Meredith [00:43:18] Yeah, and it was in 10 I was looking at it and I’m hard pass on that one. Some of the kitty cat stuff that came together just made me like cringe because I was just sitting here thinking, “Oh, Sweet Lord! [inaudible 00:43:35]” [crosstalk 00:43:35]

Tiffany [00:43:35] [crosstalk 00:43:35] What do you mean “some of the kitty cat stuff”?

Meredith [00:43:37] It was like a package like cat ears and a tail and, once again, a tiny little skirt, and a crop top. And I’m like “You know, I’ve had a cat. I’ve had a cat. I’ve never seen my cat wear a crop top.” It wasn’t a style that my cat favored. My cat was normally fully clothed in fur. So, it just worked for her. But what do you think, Kristina? I don’t know. It makes my skin crawl.

Kristina [00:44:04] Well, again, my older two are 13 and 15. No, they’re not allowed to dress like that. But I see it like even more. You can image with 15 year old girls are wearing. And I’m not a fan. I don’t think anything good comes from it, let’s put it that way.

Kristina [00:44:28] So, my 15 year old is a boy. My 13 year old is a girl. I don’t want my 13 year of to think, in order to get extra attention you need to show your body. I just feel like it’s encouraging something that’s not necessarily healthy.

Kristina [00:44:41] I also think, when they’re adults, adults can dress however they want and I’m gonna stay out of everybody’s business. But like there’s certain things kids just shouldn’t do. There’s a drinking age and there’s a driving age. Let’s have a “when can you show off a ton of skin” age.

Tiffany [00:44:57] Yeah.

Meredith [00:44:57] Alright, why don’t we take a caller and see if somebody wants to give us their opinion on Halloween costumes for young girls. Because I think your point is very, it’s a very good point that you just made about the fact that we’re going to applaud them for dressing inappropriately to emphasize the fact that we think their physical appearance is what makes them important? I don’t want my daughter to ever think that her external beauty, is the right way to say it?

Tiffany [00:45:30] Sounds good.

Meredith [00:45:31] Sounds right. Is what makes her a good person. Because what makes her a good person is that she has a super sweet heart and she would bend over backwards for you and she loves to help out with my nephew Mason. She will babysit him while we’re here, obviously all still here at the house.

Meredith [00:45:47] But those are the things that make her a really good, good human being. Not that she has gorgeous hair. Or a pretty skin tone. That’s not what makes her a good solid person. I don’t want that to be her thought process moving forward. I don’t want her to think this is all about the way I look.

Meredith [00:46:09] That’s what gets me about this. Because when you look at the boys’ costumes, they didn’t make the policemen wearing short shorts.

Tiffany [00:46:18] They did. The Reno 911 costume.

Meredith [00:46:20] Well, that’s …

Tiffany [00:46:22] I love that one.

Meredith [00:46:23] That’s a-

Tiffany [00:46:24] So, is this really a problem? Are parents buying these for their children- [crosstalk 00:46:28]

Kristina [00:46:29] [crosstalk 00:46:29] Yes, yes.

Tiffany [00:46:32] [crosstalk 00:46:32] -and they’re walking the streets?

Kristina [00:46:32] [crosstalk 00:46:32] Yes, yes.

Tiffany [00:46:32] [crosstalk 00:46:32] Really?

Kristina [00:46:32] I mean like the stuff I’ve seen recently blows my mind. Not just for Halloween. The stuff I see when I pick my high schooler up and I’m like “Wow! That is a lot of, I see more skin right now than on the beach.”

Meredith [00:46:44] [crosstalk 00:46:44] Oh!

Tiffany [00:46:44] [crosstalk 00:46:44] Oh! In general?

Kristina [00:46:47] [crosstalk 00:46:47] And kids will, even if there’s like a code kids will go dress to school a certain way and then rip that off right after school. Speaking of sexy costumes, my 13 year old daughter, on her own this year, decided that she’s going to be Dwight from The Office.

Meredith [00:47:00] [crosstalk 00:47:00] Oh, my gosh! I need to see a picture of that.

Kristina [00:47:02] So, she has the glasses. She’s wearing the suit. And I’m like “Okay! Wow, she’s taking my no sexy costume to the extreme.”

Meredith [00:47:09] [crosstalk 00:47:09] I absolutely love that and you need to send me a picture of that. I have to-

Tiffany [00:47:12] [crosstalk 00:47:12] I will.

Meredith [00:47:12] [crosstalk 00:47:12] -see that. We were hard core Office fans.

Meredith [00:47:14] Okay, so Sammy from Iowa is here. Sammy has four kids and something to say about sessa [phonetic 00:47:21] Halloween costumes.

Tiffany [00:47:22] Hi, Sammy.

Sammy [00:47:24] Hello.

Meredith [00:47:25] How are you?

Sammy [00:47:27] I’m good.

Meredith [00:47:28] Alright. So, what’s your thought?

Sammy [00:47:30] So, my thoughts are, I have a daughter who is pre-teen and she’s special needs. So, I have always been really hard on letting her choose what she wears for Halloween. So, if she tries to wear something that’s a little more short or shows off skin, then I make her put on leggings.

Meredith [00:47:56] There you go!

Sammy [00:47:57] [crosstalk 00:47:57] “Okay you can wear this but you’re gonna wear leggings underneath it so you’re not showing off anything.

Meredith [00:48:01] Alright, that’s- [crosstalk 00:48:02]

Tiffany [00:48:02] [crosstalk 00:48:02] Solution.

Meredith [00:48:02] [crosstalk 00:48:02] -a good compromise. I like that because she’s still getting to wear the costume but you’re keeping her hiney [phonetic 00:48:07] covered. Nice.

Sammy [00:48:08] Yeah, because she’s special needs and she’s 19. So she still goes Trick-Or-Treating. She still does all that stuff with the family. And, actually, with our family, we all get together. All of the aunts and uncles and their cousins and stuff. We all walk around together. And, so, there’s always a lot of family and everything. But, yeah, I just make sure that she’s always covered. And, generally, because we live in Iowa, they always have coats on too.

Meredith [00:48:37] I always forget about the northerners who have actual weather this time of year.

Tiffany [00:48:42] Oh, yeah.

Meredith [00:48:42] You have to actually cover up because it is chilly. The dew point here today was 78%, meaning literally we could be under water. That’s how much humidity it is. And it was about 88, 89 degrees at 8 AM. So, I always forget that you northerners have actual weather to deal with. But that’s a great compromise. [crosstalk 00:49:04]

Sammy [00:49:03] Yes, it’s 45 degrees here right.

Meredith [00:49:04] Oh, my gosh! Okay.

Tiffany [00:49:05] Wow!

Meredith [00:49:07] That’s serious.

Kristina [00:49:08] Maybe that’s why I’m seeing more sexy costumes over here in southern California than other parts of the country, ’cause it’s actually warm enough for those.

Meredith [00:49:15] I think there’s probably a weather component, agreed.

Tiffany [00:49:19] Interesting! So in cold climates you can’t really wear sexy costumes ’cause you’re so cold.

Meredith [00:49:25] Well, you could but you’d be like- [crosstalk 00:49:27]

Sammy [00:49:27] [crosstalk 00:49:27] Yeah, like –

Meredith [00:49:27] [crosstalk 00:49:27] -I have to take off six coats to find it.

Tiffany [00:49:29] Right, right.

Sammy [00:49:30] Yeah, like this year she picked out a nurse costume. And, of course, she has to get it from the adult section, because she’s older. And, it’s like, “Okay.” So, we’re gonna put some pants underneath it to make sure it’s not showing anything.

Meredith [00:49:46] Yeah, and you made a really good point there. Because she’s older you are shopping in the adult section. And those always have a tendency to be skewed a little more to the sexy side. You have a different battle that you’re fighting with that as well. We have younger kids but she’s 19. So, yeah, she’s gotta wear something in the adult side. That’s whole different aspect to it.

Meredith [00:50:14] Well, thank you so much for calling in and I love your compromise. I think it’s a great compromise. You’re doing a great job. And you guys have a blast on Halloween.

Sammy [00:50:21] Alright, thank you.

Meredith [00:50:24] Alright, have a good day. [crosstalk 00:50:25]

Tiffany [00:50:25] [crosstalk 00:50:25] Bye.

Sammy [00:50:27] You too. Bye-bye.

Tiffany [00:50:31] I’m just excited for Halloween candy. That’s what I’m getting out of all this. We keep talking about Halloween and I’m really hungry.

Meredith [00:50:37] Me too. Why don’t we end this segment with favorite- [crosstalk 00:50:43]

Tiffany [00:50:43] [crosstalk 00:50:43] Candy.

Meredith [00:50:43] [crosstalk 00:50:43] -Halloween can- Well, I don’t have any candy.

Tiffany [00:50:45] [crosstalk 00:50:45] What kind of crap is this?

Meredith [00:50:46] But what don’t you tell us- Oh, I do! I have Dove chocolate right here.

Tiffany [00:50:50] This is the best day of my life.

Meredith [00:50:53] Kristina, what is your favorite Halloween candy, the thing that you steal, every year, from your kids?

Kristina [00:50:59] It has to be chocolate and it has to have a crunch to it.

Meredith [00:51:02] Oh.

Kristina [00:51:03] So, a Kit Kat is a really good choice for me. Last year or the year before, somebody was giving away Toblerone bars. Do you know what those are?

Tiffany [00:51:14] Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Kristina [00:51:14] Like little mini ones, which never happens at Halloween. That’s one of my favorite candies. So, neighbors, if you’re listening, thank you in advance. But, yeah, crunchy and chocolate-

Meredith [00:51:23] Okay.

Kristina [00:51:23] -I will steal.

Tiffany [00:51:25] Reese’s.

Meredith [00:51:27] My go-to is Reese’s as well. But you know what else I love that is a rare find in Halloween but I always get so excited because I would never just stop and buy these for myself?

Tiffany [00:51:37] Hundred Grand.

Meredith [00:51:38] Rolos.

Tiffany [00:51:39] Ooo, I buy those.

Kristina [00:51:40] Oh, no, that does nothing for me.

Meredith [00:51:42] That does nothing? I love Rolos.[crosstalk 00:51:43]

Kristina [00:51:43] [crosstalk 00:51:43] I’ll send you my Rolos.

Meredith [00:51:44] [crosstalk 00:51:44] I love them.

Tiffany [00:51:44] It’s something about getting your teeth ripped out of your gums-

Meredith [00:51:46] That they do-

Tiffany [00:51:50] -that’s so appetizing.

Meredith [00:51:50] -and I can’t- Oh, you know what I love and everybody makes fun of me?

Tiffany [00:51:53] What?

Meredith [00:51:53] Candy corn.

Kristina [00:51:55] [crosstalk 00:51:55] No.

Meredith [00:51:55] [crosstalk 00:51:55] I love candy corn and everybody’s like “That’s the grossest thing on the planet.” And I’m like “Shut up. This is the best.” I literally have been eating candy corn for two months since they came out on the shelf.

Kristina [00:52:03] By the way, you need to try this with your kids. I don’t know if you’ve already done it. Do you know that if you stack up candy corn in like a circle, it actually creates the shape. It looks like the shape of a corn.

Tiffany [00:52:13] What?

Kristina [00:52:13] Like it looks like a real corn. I need to send you, text a picture.

Tiffany [00:52:16] What?[crosstalk 00:52:16]

Meredith [00:52:16] [crosstalk 00:52:16] Yeah, I have no idea what you’re-

Kristina [00:52:18] [crosstalk 00:52:18] It’s really cool. That’s why it’s called candy corn ’cause if you put them together you can actually make it look like corn on the cob.

Meredith [00:52:22] Oh, because of the colors?

Kristina [00:52:25] Yes.

Meredith [00:52:28] Ah!

Kristina [00:52:28] I’ll send you a picture

Meredith [00:52:28] Alright. Send me a picture.

Kristina [00:52:29] Okay.

Tiffany [00:52:30] Have you tried candy corn M&Ms? Not to keep talking about food but have you tried them?

Meredith [00:52:33] No. Are they a delight? [crosstalk 00:52:36]

Tiffany [00:52:36] [crosstalk 00:52:36] You’re not even living your life.

Meredith [00:52:36] Oh, okay.

Tiffany [00:52:38] They are so delicious. You have to put all three colors in your mouth at one time.

Kristina [00:52:41] [crosstalk 00:52:41] Okay.

Meredith [00:52:43] [crosstalk 00:52:43] Oh, there’s rules to these?

Tiffany [00:52:44] [crosstalk 00:52:44] Yeah, that’s how you get optimum taste.

Meredith [00:52:45] Do you hate candy corn, Kristina?

Kristina [00:52:48] No, I don’t like it. My husband’s obsessed. He’s got like bags of it here and I hate it.

Meredith [00:52:51] I love the pumpkins.

Kristina [00:52:52] That’s what- [crosstalk 00:52:54]

Tiffany [00:52:54] [crosstalk 00:52:54] Oooo!

Kristina [00:52:53] -that’s what my husband gives my little one every time he-

Meredith [00:52:56] I love ’em.

Kristina [00:52:57] -poops on the potty. There you go, you guys.

Meredith [00:52:59] There you go. I’ll poop on the potty for some candy corn. I have no shame.

Kristina [00:53:04] Come to my house, Meredith, and if you poop on the potty my husband’ll give you a candy corn pumpkin.

Meredith [00:53:08] Alright, well, I don’t poop in public.

Kristina [00:53:10] That sounds so wrong on so many levels.

Tiffany [00:53:12] Yeah, it sounds real weird.

Meredith [00:53:13] I’m not a public pooper. I will keep my feces to myself but that’s fine. Alright, so let’s move on.

Tiffany [00:53:18] Yeah, let’s move on.

Meredith [00:53:19] Let’s move on for [inaudible 00:53:24]

Tiffany [00:53:23] Love and Marriage is brought to you by Meredith and Tiffany and Kristina ’cause we’re all spectacular wives.

Kristina [00:53:30] Nope.

Tiffany [00:53:31] Mostly me. In love and marriage, putting your spouse before the kids. Is that a reality. So, I read one time, online, there was this thing that showed you how to be a good wife. And basically it went through talking about how you make sure your husband has his food first. You make sure you take care of him before you take care of the children. And I remember being outraged. Like he doesn’t need my help like the kids do. He can get off his butt and make his own food.

Tiffany [00:54:00] … public, the kids do. He can get off his butt and make his own food. But, on the other hand, I understand how you have to nurse that relationship and continue making him feel special in order to have him around for the kids long enough. So it’s a very interesting idea. What do you … Kristina, are you always putting your spouse before your kids? Is it possible?

Kristina [00:54:29] No, I don’t. I don’t think it’s possible, I try, I also hate the whole … so, this question’s always geared at women. Can we just talk about that?

Meredith [00:54:38] Yeah.

Kristina [00:54:39] Men aren’t asked, “Do you put your wife first or your kids first?” I don’t know. Men just are asked different questions and it drives me nuts, but I think … my husband and I go on date nights. That’s really important to us and we decided early on like, “When we’re on a date night, we can’t talk about the kids. Because, otherwise, that’s all we’re gonna talk about and, then, we’re not gonna be connected.” Well, that lasted two dates and then, you end up talking about the kids, so that didn’t work. I don’t know, I hate the word balance because nothing is a perfect balance. But, I try to … we try to get away, we try to have our date nights. I’m sorry, motherhood is freaking hard. It’s all-consuming, it’s hard.

Tiffany [00:55:18] Right.

Kristina [00:55:18] Thankfully, my husband doesn’t need them to cut up his chicken, but my four-year-old does.

Tiffany [00:55:22] Right.

Kristina [00:55:22] That’s why I’m cutting up his chicken.

Meredith [00:55:24] Are you sure, though? You’re sure he doesn’t need your help with the chicken? Just checking.

Kristina [00:55:27] Well, I’ll check in with him.

Tiffany [00:55:29] What does it mean to put your spouse before the kids? What does that mean?

Meredith [00:55:33] Well, I read this article, I found this website and I found the name of the website interesting as well, it’s called Beating 50%, meaning over 50% of marriages now end in divorce, so they basically, they had this article and it gave tips on how to put your spouse first. The other interesting thing that I found out after I was reading this, was that the couple who were sharing this information didn’t have kids.

Kristina [00:55:59] Oh my gosh.

Meredith [00:55:59] So I was like, “I’m confused.”

Kristina [00:56:01] I can’t … ugh, this is one of my pet peeves.

Meredith [00:56:04] I know. But here’s the thing, some of these tips made sense in the ways that you could integrate them into your marriage, but you have to remember that life is a crapshoot, and when you have a bunch of kids you never know what’s going to happen each day. Right?

Tiffany [00:56:22] Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Meredith [00:56:24] So here was one of them that I’m super guilty of all the time. It said, you can show your spouse you love them more, by putting down your phone.

Tiffany [00:56:32] Mmm.

Meredith [00:56:33] I am guilty of this all the time. So it says, how many of you have asked your spouse to … my husband is gonna freak out when he hears me say this because I didn’t show this to him yet. How many of you have asked your spouse a question and their response was silence, then you look over and they’re staring at their phone. I do that all the time to him. He will talk to me, I don’t hear him at all because I’m engrossed in an email, or whatever, and he flips his crap.

Tiffany [00:57:01] Does he?

Meredith [00:57:02] Yes. That’s I think the thing that makes him the most mad at me. Is it? He’s shaking his head yes, he hates it.

Tiffany [00:57:07] Really, so you don’t do that? Like is it more so you doing it than him?

Meredith [00:57:11] I am the guilty one, he will crush candy like a fiend, but I just go over to his phone and I touch it and I go, “Ahh, I’ve got your candy.” And then he gets super ticked because I’ve touched his candy. But that’s how I get his attention, but when I’m ignoring him, he gets ticked. And I’m not purposefully ignoring him-

Tiffany [00:57:30] It’s working.

Meredith [00:57:31] … but I am because I’m not paying attention. So it’s a tough one. But I’m very guilty of that. Am I the only one here who’s guilty of that?

Kristina [00:57:39] No. I make it a … we have a rule where at dinner time everybody’s phones have to, not just be away, like they can’t even be near the dinner table because there is too much temptation. My husband and I do the same thing when we’re out on dates. We put our phones away and then if we really wanna, okay, let’s look up what the weather is, here, that’s fine but we put our phones away. But in every day life, no. And you guys now, part of this is because it’s our job. Our job is so much on the phone and not-

Meredith [00:58:06] Exactly. Yeah.

Kristina [00:58:07] And we’re working from home mostly.

Meredith [00:58:09] Yeah.

Tiffany [00:58:10] That’s my excuse that I use.

Meredith [00:58:12] That’s the excuse that I use-

Tiffany [00:58:13] I’m like, “I’m working.” He’s like, “You don’t work for Etsy.”

Tiffany [00:58:17] Mind your business.

Meredith [00:58:17] You don’t know my business. Yeah, I do. We just got a contract. But no, but I agree with that. We do not have phones at the dinner table, that is not allowed. I don’t take mine, he doesn’t take his and the kids can’t have an electronic. We have been lax and have to get back on not having the TV on during dinner because my youngest son is a YouTube fanatic. He loves to watch everything and anything on YouTube and so he’ll out it on the TV right before dinner starts and then I’ve noticed that we’re all watching these idiots on YouTube, that have a bazillion subscribers and a bazillion views and I’m like, “this is the dumbest thing ever.” And there were lost for 30 minutes because we’re shoving food in our pie holes and watching these idiots.

Meredith [00:58:59] So I have to be better about turning that off because we used to never have the TV on during a meal. But I agree, you have to have some designated no cell phone times because it is, especially with what we do, and how connected we are, I’m admitting, I have a problem. I’m bad at that.

Tiffany [00:59:21] I was just gonna say, realistically, in general, I feel like it’s an addiction.

Meredith [00:59:25] Yes, it is. I am addicted.

Meredith [00:59:28] The next one says, ” The little things. Saying I love you. I prioritize you and you are worth it, constantly.”

Tiffany [00:59:38] What?

Meredith [00:59:39] I’m laughing. My husband is laughing at me. I’m bad at this too. “Says a lot and goes a very long way for your spouse. Some ideas ” … I don’t know if I can read this with a straight face. “Examples of showing your spouse that you put them first and that you love them, include leaving notes in the bathroom mirror, a passionate love text” …

Tiffany [01:00:01] Did you snort?

Meredith [01:00:03] I’m sorry, I’m sorry, hold on. “A surprise gift.” I know what my husband surprise gift is. “Bring home their favorite desert, a back rub without requesting a return of a favor, filling up the car with gas, cleaning your spouse’s car or even just a hug or a kiss.” These all sound delightful.

Tiffany [01:00:22] I’m a terrible wife.

Meredith [01:00:23] But I’m emotionally stunted as a human being and I don’t know that I can do any of these things. Kristina? Save the female race here in this.

Kristina [01:00:33] Here is what I’ll say. So I’m one of those people, and I think most people are like this, early on in the relationship, we give it our all. We’re so in love, right? And so, I was doing like creative things for my husband. Okay, so I think after a while in marriage, none of that stuff comes naturally. Maybe I’m crazy but it doesn’t-

Tiffany [01:00:52] No.

Kristina [01:00:54] And so I do try to, you know, remind myself, hey, this is what you did early on. I keep thinking, the strongest marriages I know, for example, my parent’s in-law, my husband’s parents, are amazing and have been married for 50 years and I noticed, he will still, if he sees that her car is like getting close to empty, he’ll just take it and get her gas because she doesn’t like it. And I’m like, “Dude, if he can do it after 50 some years of marriage, I should be able to do little things that I know my husband would appreciate.” So, let’s put it this way. I was better at it early on, I think everybody is, and now I actually have to put in the effort.

Meredith [01:01:33] Yeah, I think it is-

Kristina [01:01:33] And I don’t always.

Meredith [01:01:34] I think it’s tough and in a way, and this is probably wrong, and some marriage expert is gonna tell me I’m wrong for the thought process, but for me, the way I show him that I love him, I do his damn laundry. And I clean the house. And I keep things organized and going. And in my brain, I’m like, hey, of course I love you because I’m doing these things that you don’t like to do. That you don’t wanna do and I’m taking care of it and that’s the way I show you I love you and you better love that I’m doing it. And you better love it now. And that’s my way-

Kristina [01:02:04] And can I say something about it? I do think that’s a form of showing love. I don’t care what marriage therapists say because again, we live in a world that’s a little weird. But in a lot of marriages, if a husband cooks a big meal and does the laundry for the wife and cleans the whole house, people go nuts [crosstalk 01:02:20]

Tiffany [01:02:20] He’s getting some.

Kristina [01:02:20] “Oh my God, he’s the greatest guy ever!” But women do it all the time.

Tiffany [01:02:23] It’s women.

Kristina [01:02:24] So yes, it’s a form of love.

Tiffany [01:02:26] Do you guys know each others love languages? Do you know you spouse’s love-

Kristina [01:02:30] Yes. And laundry is one. I don’t think officially, but-

Tiffany [01:02:33] I don’t know if that … One of them, but kind of.

Meredith [01:02:35] What is you husband’s love language Tiffany?

Tiffany [01:02:37] I don’t know.

Meredith [01:02:39] Uff, okay.

Tiffany [01:02:40] I just wanted to know if you guys knew.

Meredith [01:02:40] My husband’s is sex.

Kristina [01:02:42] Okay.

Tiffany [01:02:43] So touch?

Meredith [01:02:45] I guess. [crosstalk 01:02:46]

Tiffany [01:02:46] Touch, affirmations, gift giving. There is five of them. The five love languages.

Meredith [01:02:52] I would just say that my husband just, that’s his.

Tiffany [01:02:55] Just sex?

Meredith [01:02:56] Sex. He’s like show me you love me with the sex. No, I’m just teasing.

Tiffany [01:03:01] That’s not a bad thing.

Meredith [01:03:02] I’m just saying. I think sometimes you have people that are very physical, right? And then sometimes you have people who are not and I don’t … you don’t have to hug me, like, it’s cool. We don’t have to hug.

Tiffany [01:03:13] Aww, I want hugs so much.

Meredith [01:03:14] See and I’m not a hugger but you know what my husband is really good at?

Tiffany [01:03:18] Sex.

Meredith [01:03:18] No. He has. No, his for me is, he’s a gift giver. And he’s a fantastic gift giver.

Tiffany [01:03:26] Really?

Meredith [01:03:27] And so he gave me a weighted blanket for our anniversary because he knows that I’m not a super big fan of being snuggled or hugged but the compression of the weighted blanket helps me sleep at night. So that was a brilliant anniversary gift. And we’ve been married 15 years now and that was great gift. Some people are probably like, “oh, I can’t believe you got a weighted blanket”.

Meredith [01:03:48] Oh, we have them here, go ahead Tiff. Read them off.

Tiffany [01:03:51] So, he just printed the five love languages which super fast, by the way. So they say that everybody has their own love language. Things that they want from their spouse in order to feel the most loved. One of them is, words of affirmation. Physical touch. Receiving gifts. Quality time. And acts of service.

Meredith [01:04:14] That’s me, acts of service!

Tiffany [01:04:14] Yeah, but you’re giving that. So he would have to, that would have to be one of his love languages in order for him to accept that as love.

Meredith [01:04:24] I don’t think he cares at all about the laundry being done.

Tiffany [01:04:27] So what do you think yours are? What do you like on there? Getting gifts?

Meredith [01:04:32] I love getting gifts.

Tiffany [01:04:32] The old greedys?

Meredith [01:04:32] I’m a greedy, greedy grub.

Tiffany [01:04:32] Just kidding.

Meredith [01:04:34] I do like receiving gifts and I do like quality time.

Tiffany [01:04:39] Kristina, do you know what yours are?

Kristina [01:04:41] Mine would definitely be quality time.

Tiffany [01:04:44] Really?

Kristina [01:04:45] And again, everybody probably defines it differently, but I want quality time at my favorite restaurant-

Tiffany [01:04:52] So receiving gifts and quality time.

Kristina [01:04:53] My type of quality time. I wanna be eating really yummy food and yes.

Meredith [01:04:57] Yeah, alright. So I’m gonna throw it off over here to the business manager, you won’t be able to hear him say it but I’m gonna ask you, what are your love languages? Business manager? Husband?

Dave: 01:05:09] Physical touch.

Meredith [01:05:10] Physical touch. See. I told you. He wants the physical touch.

Tiffany [01:05:14] Mine’s words of affirmation.

Meredith [01:05:16] Yeah? This is you.

Tiffany [01:05:17] Yeah, hundred percent.

Meredith [01:05:18] So does he do that for you? Is he good at that?

Tiffany [01:05:21] When I ask.

Meredith [01:05:24] “Tell me I’m pretty.”

Kristina [01:05:25] “Tell me you love me.”

Meredith [01:05:27] “Tell me I’m pretty.” Yes. Does he ever send you a note or a text or a card that is unexpected?

Tiffany [01:05:34] No.

Kristina [01:05:36] Play this for him.

Meredith [01:05:37] Yeah, tell him to listen to this week’s podcast.

Kristina [01:05:40] Text me his number.

Tiffany [01:05:41] I can’t ’cause I was talking crap about him earlier.

Meredith [01:05:43] Oh well, we’ll edit that out.

Tiffany [01:05:45] So, definitely that and acts of service. For me as well. So you would be a great spouse for me.

Meredith [01:05:51] I ask every year for Christmas, I ask Santa for a wife. Every year.

Kristina [01:05:57] God, I would love to have a sister wife that’s not sleeping with my husband.

Meredith [01:05:59] Right?

Tiffany [01:05:59] Yeah, I think that all the time.

Meredith [01:06:01] Right? You know what I mean, here is the thing. I feel like as the wife, I do all of the things for my husband that he doesn’t wanna do and if I could have a wife like that, I’d be so organized.

Tiffany [01:06:11] Right.

Meredith [01:06:11] Right? But I’m a disaster because I’m not. But he also does a lot of the things that I don’t wanna do. So there is some give and take there. But we’re also polar opposites. What about you? Kristina, are you and your spouse polar opposites?

Kristina [01:06:26] Very. This is what our fight was about this morning. We’re completely different. We have like the same morals, the same values, the same way we wanna run the family and everything else is opposite.

Tiffany [01:06:38] Like everybody is putting their love languages.

Meredith [01:06:40] Oh I love it.

Tiffany [01:06:40] And it’s interesting how different they all are.

Meredith [01:06:43] Kelly says she gets a text every morning from her spouse. That’s a honey-

Tiffany [01:06:47] Hush it Kelly.

Meredith [01:06:48] Hush it Kelly. What about you, are you two opposites?

Tiffany [01:06:51] We text Taco Bell orders back and forth, that’s it.

Meredith [01:06:55] I’d say that a love-

Tiffany [01:06:55] Cheesy Cordita Crunch.

Meredith [01:06:57] That’s a love language.

Tiffany [01:06:59] Are we, what was your question?

Meredith [01:07:00] Are you polar opposites?

Tiffany [01:07:02] We’re actually very similar. Like too similar, probably. Like we’re both lazy. You know what I mean?

Meredith [01:07:12] There either has to be some differences.

Tiffany [01:07:15] Yeah. He, I mean-

Meredith [01:07:18] Has a penis.

Tiffany [01:07:18] Yeah, I was gonna say it but then I was like, that’s too far, I’m already pushing it today.

Meredith [01:07:22] Alright, I’ll cover ya. I got it.

Tiffany [01:07:24] But I’m sure there are differences in that he’s more reserved and I’m more outgoing. But not in a, he dims my light way, because he, once you get to know him, he’s really outgoing and I’m opposite. I’m absolutely obnoxious at first just to get it out of the way, so you know what you’re dealing with.

Meredith [01:07:39] You think that is a benefit?

Tiffany [01:07:44] I don’t have a choice. It’s just how it works. That’s so funny.

Meredith [01:07:47] I feel like I should bring in the laugh from the last podcast after that one.

Tiffany [01:07:51] Your count-

Meredith [01:07:51] Ha, ha, ha.

Tiffany [01:07:51] Choculla?

Meredith [01:07:53] My count Choculla laugh.

Tiffany [01:07:55] Yeah.

Meredith [01:07:56] Alright, why don’t we take one more caller?

Tiffany [01:07:58] Okay.

Meredith [01:07:59] Let’s take one more caller and you can tell us your love language and if you know your spouse’s love language and then that way we can just wrap this little ditty up nice and with a little bow.

Tiffany [01:08:08] Also, it’s probably too late. But I would also like to hear from someone who puts their husband before the kids and then hear how they do that because I’m very curious about that one as well.

Meredith [01:08:16] Oh yeah, we forgot about that.

Tiffany [01:08:17] It’s okay. Maybe next time.

Meredith [01:08:19] Well, I think, personally, I’ll tell you my thing. I will put him first when I can, which is probably the wrong answer. I will put him first-

Tiffany [01:08:29] When it’ convenient for me.

Meredith [01:08:30] When it’s convenient for me. That’s exactly the truth. I’m just being honest. But of course, my kids, like I still plate all of my kid’s food first and get them down. Like, I don’t plate his food.

Tiffany [01:08:41] Right.

Meredith [01:08:41] Like, you’re right, he can plate his own food. I don’t do that.

Tiffany [01:08:44] But it is nice to have your food plated.

Meredith [01:08:48] I guess. But I’m also doing the dishes, so I don’t. You know what I mean? I don’t know.

Tiffany [01:08:53] I can see though how it would be like a nice thing.

Meredith [01:08:55] Probably.

Tiffany [01:08:55] You know what I mean?

Meredith [01:08:56] I plate my own food.

Tiffany [01:08:57] But then they get used to it. And you have to do it all the time, so it’s-

Meredith [01:08:59] No.

Tiffany [01:08:59] Better to keep them disappointed.

Meredith [01:09:02] Keep them disappointed.

Meredith [01:09:03] What is your marriage advice? Keep them disappointed. And then they’ll know there is no getting better. That’s solid advice Tiffany.

Tiffany [01:09:16] Oh my gosh, that’s so funny.

Meredith [01:09:17] “You’ve been married forever, what’s your advice?” “Keep the bar low.”

Meredith [01:09:22] Oh my gosh, we’re being so loud that Dave can’t even hear the call.

Tiffany [01:09:25] Oh sorry Dave. That’s so funny.

Meredith [01:09:28] Oh my gosh. So sorry.

Tiffany [01:09:28] ‘Cause that’s exactly how I live my life.

Meredith [01:09:30] I actually, I was on a live earlier this morning and somebody was like, “Could you be quiet? You’re waking up dead people.” And I was like …

Tiffany [01:09:38] That is not nice.

Meredith [01:09:39] And I said, “you know what? You little Facebook troll? You can go watch something else, okay?”

Tiffany [01:09:44] “Or you gonna be one of those dead people I wake up.”

Meredith [01:09:46] Oh Lord, yeah, I’m just loud, it’s just part of who I am.

Tiffany [01:09:50] Same-sies.

Meredith [01:09:51] Alright.

Tiffany [01:09:52] We have a caller.

Meredith [01:09:53] Okay.

Tiffany [01:09:54] I thought that said Viagra, but it says West Virginia.

Meredith [01:09:56] It’s Virginia, where are we going.

Tiffany [01:09:58] Erica!

Meredith [01:09:59] Oh my.

Tiffany [01:10:00] With three kids. Hi Erica.

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Erica [01:10:01] Hi guys, hi Meredith.

Meredith [01:10:05] Hi!

Tiffany [01:10:06] Uh, hi Tiffany.

Erica [01:10:08] I was laughing at you about the West Virginia and the Viagra thing so I couldn’t say hi.

Tiffany [01:10:14] Okay, I’ll take it.

Meredith [01:10:16] So Erica, what is your love language and do you know your spouse’s?

Erica [01:10:23] Oh yes, I do. I am acts of service. And my husband is physical touch and words of affirmation.

Meredith [01:10:30] Alright. I like it. It sounds so much nicer when somebody says physical touch and not just sex. His love language is sex.

Erica [01:10:36] I was trying to be nice.

Meredith [01:10:38] I know.

Erica [01:10:38] It’s really just.

Meredith [01:10:40] I hear ya.

Tiffany [01:10:40] So he wants you to like do him and tell him he’s wonderful at the same time, that would be his dream.

Erica [01:10:47] Yes. Yes, that would be his thing.

Tiffany [01:10:49] He is physical affirmation, or affirmation and physical touch.

Meredith [01:10:51] I’m with you, I have to do that several times a week for my husband.

Tiffany [01:10:55] He gave you the side eye.

Meredith [01:10:55] “You’re the best!”

Erica [01:10:59] That would be great if my husband was home but see, he works away, just like now, I won’t see him. He’s been gone for three weeks, I won’t see him til Thanksgiving.

Meredith [01:11:07] Oh man.

Tiffany [01:11:08] That sucks.

Erica [01:11:09] That’s what I tell him all the time, when he’s like, “Don’t you miss me? I’m gone.” And I’m like, “I know you miss me. You’re at work, you’re working hard for our family.” So to me, I know you love me. I don’t need me to tell me every day.

Meredith [01:11:22] Right. But that’s fantastic. That’s great. I’m so sorry that he works away like that but I’m so glad that when you guys are together, it’s bouncin.

Erica [01:11:31] Well yes. Well, here is the thing.

Tiffany [01:11:35] What?

Erica [01:11:35] Here is the thing, that would have never worked when we had three children at home. Like when I was trying to work and being mom at home by myself. But we’re older now and they’re all gone. So, it’s alright.

Meredith [01:11:45] I think that’s awesome. I do. I think that’s fantastic and I think it’s best when were honest about it with our spouse, right? Like, I know exactly what he wants and there is no mind reading involved. And I think that’s a positive for our marriage because he doesn’t expect to get gifts from me, he doesn’t to get, you know what I mean, this overflow of emotional love or whatever, ’cause I can’t give that to him. And he knows that. So, it works for us.

Meredith [01:12:15] You’re dying over there.

Tiffany [01:12:16] I’m watching the replay. I’m sorry, Erica. [crosstalk 01:12:21]

Erica [01:12:20] I don’t know if it works or not but here is the thing. Even though you struggle with that stuff or whatever, I know that he’s into, you know, the words of affirmation. Sometimes you have to go out of your comfort zone and meet them where they’re at and show them a little bit and say the things you wouldn’t naturally say. Because that’s what keeps your marriage strong.

Tiffany [01:12:42] Right.

Erica [01:12:42] Don’t get me wrong, that’s not an every day thing, you know. But I try. Everything you guys had said today, is my life, which is what happens after you’ve gone through all the stages of marriage, divorce, remarriage, step kids, I mean I could have just said on the show with you.

Meredith [01:13:00] Yes.

Erica [01:13:00] Once you’ve done all that and you get remarried to someone and we have been married 15 years now, there are a lot of things you would do differently. Just like Tiffany talking about putting your spouse in front of your children. If you had asked me that when my children were three and six, opposed to 18 and 21, I would have been just like, “You guys are crazy. My kids will always come first.”

Meredith [01:13:24] Right.

Erica [01:13:24] But after 15 years of marriage and you realize that as they get older, they’re leaving you. They’re going to be gone and you’re gonna be here with this person for the rest of your life, which was the plan, so you better figure out how to make it work.

Tiffany [01:13:38] Oh my gosh.

Erica [01:13:39] [crosstalk 01:13:39] or you gonna be sitting across from each other and go, “who the hell are you?”

Meredith [01:13:39] Did you just realize?

Meredith [01:13:40] Yeah.

Meredith [01:13:42] Did you just realize that at some point your kids are gonna leave?

Tiffany [01:13:45] Wow.

Meredith [01:13:45] Tiffany just had the realization that her children are not gonna currently live at home with her forever.

Tiffany [01:13:50] I’m trying not to think about it because it’s sad.

Kristina [01:13:52] But it’s true.

Tiffany [01:13:52] What an amazing point she just made.

Meredith [01:13:54] But that’s true, that’s absolutely true. Kristina, what is your thought in that respect? Because you have older children and a toddler still, so what do you think? Are you finding ways … because I agree with you, I don’t think balance exists, I call it a four letter word. I don’t think it’s a truthful thing we can do in our lives ’cause being moms and wives is exhausting. But like, are you just trying to pull and like with your date nights and whatever, is that what you try to do to keep the him from being first in the marriage?

Kristina [01:14:31] I mean, yeah, the date nights for us … we didn’t have our date nights be so hard. ‘Cause I’m so busy, and he’s really busy and he has crazy work hours and then we got three kids. And we got the ex-husband. And we have in-laws that live a mile away that we help out with. So it’s like, life is crazy and if we don’t take that time out for ourselves, I don’t know, I feel like we would disconnect. The other thing we try to do is a couple times a year, we just go away for the weekend. And I know not everybody has that luxury because there is not babysitters around. We’re lucky that our in-laws live nearby. But just getting away for three days, we come back and we’re literally like, you would think that we’re newlyweds. I don’t know what it is. We just need that connection alone without any kids.

Meredith [01:15:10] Well I wanna thank you for calling in and sharing that. You just blew Tiffany’s mind.

Tiffany [01:15:17] You changed my life honestly.

Meredith [01:15:19] But thank you so much and I think that was a fantastic last call for today. Holy cow, that was great.

Kristina [01:15:24] Yeah.

Meredith [01:15:24] So thank you so much.

Erica [01:15:27] Thank you. And Kristina is right, and I think probably the way she thinks and I think is similar is because we both had relationships with other people and dealt with that. We’re just in a different place and if you don’t take that time, like when we got married, to make that time away from our kids and the exes and do that, you won’t last. Once you’ve had a marriage that doesn’t last, the second time you really kinda hope you get it right.

Meredith [01:15:49] Yeah.

Tiffany [01:15:49] I’m gonna leave and hug my husband right now. I take back everything I’ve ever said.

Meredith [01:15:53] Alright, well thank you for calling in.

Tiffany [01:15:55] Alright Erica, thank you.

Erica [01:15:57] Thanks. Bye bye.

Meredith [01:15:58] Bye.

Tiffany [01:16:00] I never thought about that though. Once the kids go then you’ve got this guy sitting in your house and if you haven’t been watering, yeah, the flower of marriage-

Meredith [01:16:12] What?

Kristina [01:16:13] Good lord.

Tiffany [01:16:13] Then it’s not gonna bloom. It’s gonna be wilted and dead. And you’re gonna be like, “I don’t want this dead flower.”

Meredith [01:16:19] Yeah, your husband is gonna be a dead potted plant.

Tiffany [01:16:19] That was a bad analogy.

Kristina [01:16:23] One piece of advice I got from someone who has been married forever and their kids are grown, was, once your kids start to become teenagers, and soon they’re gonna move out and you’re gonna be on your own with your spouse. Figure out a hobby that you guys wanna do together because basically your kids have been your work, right? Your kids have been the thing you had in common this whole time. And so, find something. And don’t wait until they’re all gone because by then it’s almost too late. Start that while they’re in high school so when they leave you already have this thing established. Whatever it is. Whether you play tennis together or you, whatever. So I love that.

Meredith [01:16:57] What is your hobby?

Kristina [01:16:59] What?

Meredith [01:17:00] That you two have?

Kristina [01:17:03] We don’t have one yet ’cause I got a four year old, so I have time. I’m buying time.

Meredith [01:17:05] Oh, you’re buying time. Okay. I thought you were gonna be like, “oh, we’re tennis pros in the local.”

Kristina [01:17:10] No, right now it’s dates and sex is what we have in common.

Meredith [01:17:14] Okay. Alright. Okay.

Tiffany [01:17:15] What? I don’t. …

Meredith [01:17:17] You’re still in the trenches sweetheart.

Tiffany [01:17:19] Why is everybody having sex?

Meredith [01:17:20] I promise you it will get better.

Kristina [01:17:21] We got time you guys. We have time.

Meredith [01:17:23] Yeah, it’s true. I’m telling you. We didn’t, yeah, it was non-existent when my kids were little little. And they’re not anymore so there is more time for that.

Tiffany [01:17:33] Right.

Meredith [01:17:34] It’s just a true statement.

Tiffany [01:17:36] Right.

Meredith [01:17:36] And it’s-

Kristina [01:17:37] Just think about the amount of time we’re going to have when all the kids are gone. It’s all I do morning to night other than work, this kid needs this and this kid needs this. You’re gonna have so much more time to do whatever hobby. You don’t have time to do now.

Tiffany [01:17:52] I know what hobby you’re talking about.

Meredith [01:17:54] Yeah, my husband is looking at me with the creepy face and he’s going, “Oh yeah.”

Tiffany [01:17:59] I feel like I’m not gonna want to by then, it’s gonna be like an old haunted house.

Meredith [01:18:04] You’re behind.

Tiffany [01:18:05] Yeah.

Meredith [01:18:06] It’s scary and what dark?

Tiffany [01:18:08] Cobwebs.

Meredith [01:18:09] Cobwebs? Oh my gosh. Well that went sideways. But thank you so much Kristina for being on this show and we can’t wait to read your book.

Tiffany [01:18:18] Let’s talk about it.

Kristina [01:18:19] The way I though of it as I’ve been writing is, and I know you guys can relate to this, I get all these emails. You guys get emails, I’m sure, from a ton of women and they’re asking for advice on this, so they’re asking, “How did you get through that?” Or whatever. And I don’t have time to answer everybody. So I feel like this book, will be me going in depth about things that I have shared about my life whether they’re funny or serious. It’s my giant email back to all those people that I couldn’t email that will answer all those things you wanted to know.

Tiffany [01:18:47] I love that.

Meredith [01:18:48] I love that. That’s fantastic. That’s fantastic. And the tour starts in January.

Tiffany [01:18:52] Yes.

Meredith [01:18:52] And so you’ll have tour dates up I would assume soon? On your Facebook and website?

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Tiffany [01:18:57] Yes, I will be announcing everything so follow me there. Some fun stuff coming up.

Meredith [01:19:02] Well thank you so much, we had a blast today. This was so much fun.

Tiffany [01:19:05] Thank you.

Kristina [01:19:06] Thank you ladies and come visit me in California, I’m serious.

Meredith [01:19:08] I love southern California.

Kristina [01:19:09] You can stay at my place.

Tiffany [01:19:10] Next time I’m there, hitting you up. Or maybe not just showing up, you know what I mean?

Meredith [01:19:14] We could. We could do a, what’s it called? Ding-dong dash?

Tiffany [01:19:18] Ditch?

Meredith [01:19:18] Ditch? Nevermind.

Kristina [01:19:19] Guys, I’ll just mail you a key. It will make it easier.

Tiffany [01:19:22] Perfect.

Meredith [01:19:22] There we go. Alright, well thank you so much for being on with us and per the use we had another great episode of Take it or Leave it.

Tiffany [01:19:29] Yes, thank you Kristina.

Kristina [01:19:32] Thank you guys.

Meredith [01:19:33] Bye.

Tiffany [01:19:35] So join us next week where we gonna be doing some cool stuff that involves inflatable balloon animals and goats.

Meredith [01:19:44] Oh.

Tiffany [01:19:44] That’s not true.

Meredith [01:19:45] That would be quite the show.

Tiffany [01:19:48] But we’re gonna do something awesome whatever it is.

Meredith [01:19:50] Alright.

Tiffany [01:19:50] Okay, join us next week on Take it-

Meredith [01:19:53] Or Leave it. An advice-ish show hosted by two struggling moms who have no idea what we’re doing.

Tiffany [01:20:01] who have no idea what we’re doing. I did it at the same time this time.

Meredith [01:20:03] You did. We got it.

Tiffany [01:20:04] Okay bye, love you guys.

Meredith [01:20:05] That was painful.

Tiffany [01:20:06] Bye.


  1. I positively Adore you both and this Podcast! I am a in a still new-ish Relationship with a Wonderful man and have a “Bonus-Kid” (read not “officially” mine yet cuz we not hitched yet, lol). And your Podcasts have been such a light in my life. They are everything I was looking for and didn’t know I needed. Thank you so much for letting me know I’m not the only one who has no idea what she’s doing. I’m not the only woman who’s a Hot Damn Mess half the time but still rockin it because you don’t have any other choice. Thank you for making me laugh out loud every single time I tune into your shows. You are such a blessing. Never stop what you’re doing. Keep bringing us all your wonderful stories, disasters, and happy moments. P.S. Love the BM Cameos. 😉

  2. These ladies brighten my day! As a mostly SAHM of two toddlers, I find myself missing adult interaction! (Like most had warned, many of my “friends” moved on with their lives once I settled down and started my family while they carried on with their careers or single lifestyle). My favorite day of the week is now Friday, where I brew a pot of coffee and tune into Meredith’s Live “Filter Free Friday”, and have the motivation to get my house in order after feeling as though I got to catch up with an old friend. Between that, “Winesday Wednesday”, and now the podcasts, I feel like I have friends again! Non-judgmental friends that ACTUALLY UNDERSTAND what it is to give yourself day after day to the kids, husband, and family. A friend that will not take advantage of your kindness. The best part is that she and Tiffany Jenkins work together! Tiffany is amazing. She is relatable and understanding, and I truly appreciate each of Tiffany’s skits that help us laugh at a situation we have, are, or certainly will go through. I am so proud of the work she has done in her recovery and love that she shares it with us. As someone who has helped both parents struggle through addiction my whole life I am glad to see her succeed for her kids. Her stories give me another perspective to understand what the addict goes through, feels, and thinks. I believe that everyone could benefit from their podcast. As a parent, friend, addict, loved one of an addict, etc. there is something to be learned from these ladies daily. 🙂


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