Welcome to Take It or Leave It, an advise-ish podcast for parents brought to you by Grove Collaborative.
Take it or Leave it is brought to you by Grove Collaborative. Visit http://grove.co/leaveit and grab you new fall scents and “Free” gift with order.
Meredith: Welcome to Take It or Leave It, an advice-ish podcast for parents, brought to you by Grove Collaborative. You can download this podcast on iTunes and Google Play Music. Be sure to subscribe and give us a review with your thoughts about the show. Thank you to Rizza Lou, a first-time mom and listener, for her recent review.
Meredith: I know, isn’t that nice?
Tiffany: It’s exciting.
Meredith: I’m your host Meredith from That’s Inappropriate.
Tiffany: And I’m your host Tiffany from Juggling the Jenkins. This podcast will discuss all things marriage, motherhood, and everything in between. Please remember, we’re not professionals at anything you may actually need, so any advice we give you, you can take.
Meredith: Or leave, because it might be crap. So welcome to Take It or Leave It. On today’s episode of Take It or Leave it, we are talking screen time, kids and cellphones, and keeping it spicy. I know. Make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss previous, current, or upcoming episodes like next week’s when we have.
Tiffany: CA Miljavac. CA!
Meredith: I love her. Tiffany, I’m friends, but you two are like-
Meredith: Yeah, soulmates. That’s exactly, that was the first word that came to my mind.
Tiffany: Okay, so we are here because we’ve all struggled as moms. Anyone who says that they haven’t is a big liar face, I switched it up. So let’s start the show with a mom fail moment. I have got one. I don’t know. I guess it’s kind of my fault. So everybody’s been talking about this Divacup situation. Do you know what that is?
Meredith: I do, I do. You stick it in your hoo-ha.
Tiffany: Have you ever used it?
Tiffany: Okay, me neither, but I was like, “I’m gonna try.” Because during that time of the month is a nightmare, so I was like anything to make it better. The whole concept freaks me out, but whatever, I’m down to try it.
Meredith: I think, tell them what the concept is though, because if they’ve not heard of what a Divacup is.
Tiffany: So basically it’s a little silicone cup that you fold and put up into your lady parts, and then it opens up and it forms … I don’t know what you would call it.
Meredith: A seal.
Tiffany: A seal, thank you. I was gonna say umbrella, but anyway.
Meredith: Kind of.
Tiffany: It forms a seal around your lady stuff in there, and okay, it catches your flow.
Tiffany: I’m trying to think of a nice way to say it. People are probably eating breakfast. Anyway, it eliminates tampons and apparently makes things easier down there. So whatever. I bought one off Amazon because I was gonna give it a try.
Meredith: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Tiffany: I hadn’t even had a chance yet, but I had examined it. Anyway, I am on a one on one call with one of my supporters, a video chat. It’s the very beginning and all of a sudden my son runs up to me and I’m not kidding, without hesitation, just shoves the Divacup straight in my mouth. It was like he picked the Divacup up in the bathroom and bee-lined holding it out in front of him and didn’t stop until it was down my throat and I’m like … And then trying to be normal. It’s my first time talking to this person. I was like, “I’m so sorry.” It was a girl, so she knew. She was like, “Is that a Divacup? No. But I felt like in that moment I failed because I should’ve put it probably where he couldn’t get to instead of in his toy chest.
Meredith: Also, it was brand new, so this is not like … It wasn’t gross like it had been used or anything, it was just out of the package because you were probably inspecting it I’m assuming.
Tiffany: Yeah, but how does the person really know that that’s the truth? You know what I mean?
Tiffany: I didn’t want to explain it.
Meredith: No, no, that person totally thinks you’re gross. But I’m saying now after the fact, you can basically just be like, “Hey. This is what happened.”
Meredith: And, “Don’t worry. It’s cool.”
Tiffany: It’s like when your kids find, I think we were talking about this maybe last week when the kids find your S-E-X toys and stuff.
Meredith: I love how you spelled it, like assuming what? That the children who are listening in on this podcast can’t spell? Which is fine. But yeah, no that happens. I think that happens quite frequently, because I’ve seen some feeds, and we have, on my website we have a spot for mom-fessions. Kids find vibrators all the time and take them out to the Sunday dinner. They’re like, “This one spins and lights up Mom, is this your neck massager?” And it’s like, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Give me that, kid.”
Tiffany: Yeah, they’re like little animals burrowing in our belongings for things they shouldn’t-
Meredith: Constantly looking for stuff. They love, I don’t know why they like our stuff so much. It’s like, you have your own stuff, don’t touch my things. So yeah. So that’s okay.
Tiffany: Sorry, I was distracted. But yeah, so that was, I don’t know, that’s not really my fail, but it’s … I feel really uncomfortable now that I told everybody the Divacup story because I feel like some of them don’t believe me and they think that I used it, which I did, but I didn’t want to admit that.
Meredith: Well now that you [crosstalk 00:05:08] Now that you’ve admitted it, it’s fine. We’re all friends.
Tiffany: No, I had to get it out. Okay, that’s the truth. Anyway, today’s trending parent news is brought to you by Grove Collaborative.
Meredith: Oh, this means it’s time for a joke.
Tiffany: It’s the greatest part of the whole show in my opinion. Why did the turkey cross the road?
Tiffany: Because it was Thanksgiving Day and he wanted people to think that he was a chicken.
Meredith: That’s terrible.
Tiffany: You know what I mean? Because they would’ve caught him?
Meredith: Eaten him because he’s a turkey?
Meredith: It’s terrible.
Tiffany: It’s tricky.
Meredith: It was not. It was terrible.
Meredith: So 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.
Tiffany: When you place your first order of $20 from Grove, you’ll get a free fall set in your choice of scents, apple cider, pumpkin, or mum. It includes Mrs. Meyer’s fall hand soap, dish soap, multi-surface spray, and more. Plus, if you spend $39 you’ll also receive a Grove cleaning caddy to organize all your favorite supplies.
Meredith: Be sure to order before the seasonal scents run out. If you’ve been thinking about trying Grove Collaborative, this is your change. When you sign up using my link you’ll get the fall free set plus free shipping and handling and 60 day VIP trial. So go to grove.co/takeit to get started, not grove.com. That’s grove.co/takeit.
Tiffany: Do do do. That was intense, I liked it.
Tiffany: I love Grove.
Meredith: I do too. I switched over to their delightful Method laundry detergent and fabric softener, and I’m in love. Love, love, love.
Tiffany: Why don’t you marry it?
Meredith: I’m already currently married. I had a dream the other night that I was getting married, and the entire dream I was like, “God, it feels like I’m already married to someone.” But.
Tiffany: Isn’t that weird?
Meredith: And then I was like, “I’ll just get married anyway.” Then my husband called and was like, “You can’t get married. You’re already married to me.” And I’m like, “Wedding’s already planned. I’m sorry.”
Tiffany: Dreams are so weird.
Meredith: But I never saw the person I was marrying either, just I knew I was going to get married. It was super weird. Anyway.
Tiffany: That’s actually sad a little bit.
Meredith: Well, it’s just because-
Tiffany: It doesn’t matter who it is, just anybody else but Dave.
Meredith: Well no, it’s because we’ve been watching this show 90 Day Fiancee.
Tiffany: I know.
Tiffany: Dave was telling me.
Tiffany: I know one of the people on there.
Meredith: Do you really?
Meredith: Oh my gosh. Well I’m telling you, we’ve been watching it, binging it at night, and I just keep having these random marriage dreams.
Tiffany: Maybe you guys should renew your vows.
Meredith: I don’t think that was it. Okay.
Tiffany: Why did Dave just laugh so hard?
Meredith: Yeah, well because it’s funny. All right, so in trending news, this was intense. I read this article earlier this week and it freaked me the F out. A dark consensus about screens and kids begins to emerge in Silicon Valley. A New York Times article discussed the people that are closest to technology are extremely wary of how we are allowing our children to use it. Technologists know how phones really work, and many have decided that they don’t want their own children anywhere near them.
Tiffany: Okay, you think that’s enough to throw your phone away? What do they know that we don’t know?
Meredith: Okay, so a weariness has been slowly brewing, and it’s turning into a region wide consensus. The belief of screens as a learning tool is apparently overblown, and the risks for addiction are stunting development, literally stunting our kids’ development. The debate basically is saying, “Look. We have to be honest and discuss the actual appropriate amount of screen time.” Because screen time includes TVs, computers, phones, iPads. If it’s a blaring visual in your face, there has to be a limit to it, and there’s a debate on what that is but we’re gonna go through this. But I’m telling you, I sat here and I read this article, and some of the quotes from these people that were … I’m talking these are people from Facebook, Google, GeekDad, these are big tech sites are saying there’s tons of scientific proof to state that we’re making really poor parenting choices and we’re losing years of our kids’ childhood to screen time.
Tiffany: That’s so scary.
Meredith: It is.
Tiffany: So here, doing no screen time is almost easier than doing a little, said Kristen Stitcher, a former social computing researcher married to a Facebook engineer. If my kids do get it at all, they just want it more. Athena Cha-
Tiffany: Chavarria, who worked as an executive assistant at Facebook and is now at Mark Zuckerberg’s philanthropic arm said, “I am convinced the devil lives in our phones and is wreaking havoc on our children.”
Tiffany: Hold on, this is executive assistant at Facebook.
Meredith: Yeah no, this is serious. So here’s the thing. I read through this article, and it basically stated that we have to be … Okay, so people are, these assistants or engineers or whatever at these tech companies are code writers, right? The code writer’s job is to get you to want more of it. So let’s use Fortnite just for an example because this has been a big sticking point with talking about addiction to video games and things like that. It’s actually been proven that it’s led to divorce in the last year.
Meredith: So here’s the thing. Coders will write into games these characters, these scenes, these scenarios, and they will force you … Like when you go and you have a kill or whatever you call this in Fortnite, because it’s a shooting game, you have this overwhelming sense of joy and excitement because you’ve beaten a level or beaten whatever, right?
Tiffany: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Meredith: So the coders are writing it in such a way that it lights up that part of your brain to make you have all of the good feelings, exactly like when you do drugs, or when you have sex, or when you gamble and you win money, or whatever. So those pleasure centers light up, right? The same thing happens when you watch a TV show and you laugh or do whatever, but apparently it’s way more intense on a video game for whatever reason. I guess because it’s more interactive than it is with TV which is passive.
Tiffany: Right, that makes sense.
Meredith: So they’ve been talking a ton about the fact that we have to learn to limit, our kids have to have a limit because their brains are … We’re kind of like a lost cause because our brains are not developing like our kids brains are developing right now. So we’re kind of like, “You’re screwed. It’s done for you. You’re old. Your brain is already getting wormholes eaten through it, whatever.” But our kids, they’re saying, “Hey. You guys need to be paying attention because this is causing not only addictive personalities in our children, but it’s rewiring their brain to only seek out pleasurable activities, which is really scary.”
Tiffany: It said on a scale between candy and crack cocaine, it’s closer to crack cocaine.
Tiffany: That’s Chris Anderson, the former editor of Wired. So okay, so we hear this. We’ve heard the warnings, but do you think people will implement it? Do you think it’s enough to scare people, and if so, how do you go about implementing when there’s a world full of technology everywhere you turn?
Meredith: Well, and we had this conversation … After I read this, I had a conversation with my husband. I had a conversation with Eric and Trey, because that’s our weird cohort of people. We basically decided that we are limiting, I basically read this next piece of the article. It says, “Chris Anderson, the former editor of Wired,” the same guy who basically said it’s basically like we’re feeding our kids crack cocaine by giving them unfettered screen time, he said what he did was he has five children and 12 tech rules. They include no phones until the summer before high school, no screens in the bedrooms, network level content blocking, no social media until age 13, no iPads at all in his house, and screen time schedules are enforced by a Google wifi that’s controlled from his phone. If the child has bad behavior, they are offline for a 24 hour period.
Meredith: So he’s set forth these, right? So what we decided to do based on what a lot of these individuals were saying, is our kids are now going to get two hours a day. That includes an iPad, a phone, a TV, or a video game. You get two hours. So when we get home, instead of going and running and sitting on the couch, get your ass outside and go play anything. Do something. Whatever. Ride a bike, play basketball, whatever. In the evenings, you have to pick how you’re gonna spend it. You wanna watch one 30 minute show and then go play an hour and a half of video games? I don’t care. That’s fine. That’s all you get though. You’re getting two hours. That is it.
Meredith: And so my youngest was trying to, he’s like, “Well YouTube’s not really,” and I’m like, “No, no, no. No, no, no. YouTube is.” Here’s the thing though, I can’t do the no cell phones before high school my kid walks to school, so I’m giving him a cell phone because has to walk there, and that’s an emergency thing or whatever. But when he gets to school, it’s shut off. When school starts, he turns it back on, and then I’m picking him up. He’s not calling other people and he’s not on that phone for anything other than this is a safety-
Tiffany: That you know of.
Meredith: That we know of.
Tiffany: I’m just kidding.
Meredith: You’re right.
Tiffany: But listen, here’s the thing, is I don’t have a kid that age, so I’m the mom who hasn’t gotten there yet, right?
Tiffany: Before I had kids I was like, “My kids will never have iPads. They’re gonna be brainwashed.” And now I’ve bought them 15 of them at least. They keep losing them and I’m like, “Oh my God, I gotta get another one. I can’t.” [inaudible 00:15:15] But so, I don’t have kids that age but it terrifies me. I think back to when I was in high school. I didn’t have a cell phone until I was 19, and I know things are different, but I went back to my old high school and apparently the kids in high school now are allowed to have their phones between classes, just not in classes. So all of them are walking through the hallways with their heads down.
Tiffany: Not even interacting with each other, and it makes me so sad.
Tiffany: Because I used to walk through the halls and be like, “What’s up girl? Let’s hang out.” Pass the notes.” Now everybody’s just in their own little world. It makes me sad.
Meredith: Well you made a really good point because the social connections, they’re not making these and it’s causing them to have issues where they’re actually feeling lonelier than people ever have. So we have this great thing which is social media and all of this ways to stay connected, but people actually feel more lonely because they’re not having those personal interactions throughout the day or whatever.
Meredith: Now we do not allow cell phones at the dinner table. I’ve been lax about letting the TV be on in the background, but that’s done now. It’s been taken. It’s done.
Meredith: We’re taking it away. No more TV. When we eat dinner, we have to talk to each other. We need to interact. We have to have a conversation. So the kids are all super scared because tonight when they come home we’re laying every single thing out in an actual like, “No, this is exactly what we’re doing. This is how it will be laid out in the future.” But I think there’s enough information out there now to say, “Yeah. We need to limit this. There’s some problems with this. It’s too much.”
Tiffany: I think that’s amazing. So far, how’s it going?
Meredith: Well we’ve had it one day.
Tiffany: We started this morning.
Meredith: Yeah, it’s been a day. We’ll have to do an update on this later, but it’s really, it’s crazy. I looked at, my nephew is two, and that child is addicted to his iPad.
Tiffany: Yeah, I believe it.
Meredith: And so Eric was like, “We’re done. He doesn’t get this anymore. If you want to watch a TV show with him at the end of the night before bed, that’s fine, but he is not getting this stinking iPad, because that kid will just constantly over and over ask for Paw Patrol, Moana, whatever. It was basically strapped to his face because it would keep him quiet.
Tiffany: Yeah, and that was what I was gonna say. And now it’s like, he’s like, “Nope, we’re done. Taking it away.”
Meredith: And so for the last two days when we, and we eat dinner together almost every night, he hasn’t had it. He’s fine. We’re just have to play with him. Who would’ve thunk it? You just have to play with your kid and then you don’t. I know it sounds, it’s easier said than done. Now some of these experts actually did talk about the act that they will allow an iPad or a video to be played during long car trips because you’re locked in together and you’ve got nothing else to do or whatever.
Tiffany: You have no escape.
Meredith: There’s no escape. But they said really they save them for those types of situations. But I thought we should take a caller.
Meredith: And see if anybody’s had either success with limiting screen time or-
Tiffany: Success, I’d like to hear success too.
Meredith: So let’s hear some success stories with limiting screen time.
Tiffany: If I’m being 100% honest, I always said that my kids would never have technology, but I find it as a pacifier, a way to keep them quiet so that I can have some alone time. What does my alone time look like being on technology? So I give them an iPad or whatever screen time so that I can check my emails and look through Facebook and just have a break. You know what I mean?
Tiffany: It’s like it is. As somebody who has been addicted to almost everything, it is literally a drug.
Meredith: Well, but here’s the hard part with us because we’re painted into a corner because this is what we do for a living.
Meredith: Technology is literally what we do all day every day, and we are constantly connected because of the podcast, our live shows, our videos, our whatever. Our blah blah blah. It’s tough because this is literally what we do. Of course my kids threw that in my face. They were like, “Mom, you’re on your phone all the time. And it’s like, “I understand.” And I said, “And when we are together, and at dinner or family moments or whatever, the phone is, I’m actually getting a box. Phones are going in the box.
Tiffany: I love that.
Meredith: You can have it back when we’re done and this is your time. If you want to use it for that, go ahead, but when you’re done you’re done. I am going to be a straight up enforcer. It’s not a big deal for, the only kid who this doesn’t really even affect is my daughter because she’s literally at gymnastics four to five nights a week. By the time the poor kid gets home, she has tutoring sessions and then she goes to bed. So she’s literally the only one who’s not hooked on it all the time because she has such a packed schedule with gym.
Tiffany: Wow, so maybe just keeping them busy is a good solution.
Meredith: Well, and the thing is is that several nights a week they’ve got soccer and flag football and gymnastics. So at this age, it is easy to keep them out of the house and busy. It’s the weekends that are tough because they’re sitting around on a Saturday and they just don’t want to turn off Camp KikiWaka or whatever the hell nonsense we’re watching.
Meredith: Yeah. So that’s, you know what I mean? That is the thing. Okay, so who do we got?
Tiffany: We got somebody who’s pretty close to us. We have Elizabeth in Tampa with two kids. What’s up Elizabeth?
Elizabeth: Hey ladies. I can’t believe I’m actually on with you.
Tiffany: You are here.
Elizabeth: Hey. I can hear my own voice in this call too, so forgive me if I’m a little hesitant.
Tiffany: Aw sorry, that’s okay.
Elizabeth: I have an 11 year old son who’s in sixth grade and a little girl who’s gonna be three next month. We run the gamut with electronic devices, but our son is not allowed at all during the school week to have any electronic devices.
Elizabeth: He can carry his phone with him. Excuse me. And he can, that’s about it. But he cannot sit on his phone and play with it. He can’t use his iPad. He can’t be on PlayStation at all.
Tiffany: wow, so what is he doing?
Elizabeth: Well he plays football and baseball too during those seasons, so he stay really busy with that, but he’s just used to it. That’s just how it’s always been for him, so he has, knock on wood, as of yet he’s not tried to fight it.
Meredith: Can I ask-
Elizabeth: Who knows what the future holds, but.
Meredith: Okay, so let me ask you this. On the weekend, is it a technology free for all?
Elizabeth: It can be, Meredith. It can be.
Elizabeth: But, because I think he’s not used to it being a free for all or having any use of it during the week, he’ll play with it for a little bit, he’ll go outside. He’ll play with it, he’ll go outside. He’ll rotate back and forth.
Elizabeth: Unless he’s been on it to where I’m like, “Geez, how long have I not seen him for?” I don’t really have to worry too too much about it. Where we have the issue more than video games is that dang iPad. He will sit in the bathroom with his iPad until I swear his whole innards are gonna fall out because he’s been on the toilet for so long with that damn iPad.
Meredith: Is he on the toilet or … No.
Elizabeth: I don’t know what he [crosstalk 00:22:49] He’s eleven now, so.
Meredith: He’s eleven [crosstalk 00:22:49]
Elizabeth: There, right?
Meredith: Well, I’m just saying, because I have a soon to be 13 year old and the door is locked.
Elizabeth: Yeah, I haven’t even thought about that.
Meredith: The door is locked, okay? And it’s like, “What are you doing in there?” “I’ll be out in a minute mom.”
Elizabeth: Oh, I have to start thinking about that. Here I am thinking he’s-
Meredith: Well, I’m just saying.
Elizabeth: Watching [crosstalk 00:22:58]
Tiffany: He’s playing Scrabble in there for so long.
Meredith: He’s, Words with Friends. No, but I had to have that moment myself where I kept wiggling the door handle and being like, “What the hell? Why did he lock the damn door again?” And my husband’s like, “Leave him alone. Leave him alone. The shower’s on.” It’s like, “Oh God.”
Elizabeth: Oh that’s too funny.
Meredith: So yeah.
Elizabeth: But I’ll tell you, my two year old, it’s a huge issue with her because we don’t let her have the iPad, she has his old iPad, hardly ever because it just hasn’t been a thing for her. But twice I have just let her have free reign with it, and taking it out of her hands, it has been a complete meltdown. It’s almost like she gets so isolated in that YouTube world that she forgets anybody else is there, so when you take it from her it snaps her into reality and she just flips. It’s kind of scary.
Meredith: Well that’s what they were saying. This one woman from Facebook was like, “If you give them just a little, it’s like you physically,” like you said, you can’t take it away from them or they just go ballistic.
Meredith: And that is what makes it so scary, because it just goes back to how much is actually okay? How much of this is actually okay? But I will say, if you are doing things in moderation, if you are watching what your kids are doing, if your kids have outside activities to go and do … I mean I’m a product of the ’80s. We were outside all the time. We didn’t come home until it was dark. We watched TV on the weekends, of course we played video games. We didn’t have the internet because it wasn’t a thing. We didn’t have social media or anything, but I’m telling you on a weekend, we were up until 12, 1:00 in the morning watching Chuck Woolery on The Dating Game or whatever ridiculous nonsense we were watching. And I’m like, we’re okay, right?
Tiffany: I’m scared to let my kids outside though. All this fear, we get all this fear from the phone and from the news, so thinking about breaking away from the phone and sending my kids outside where all the kidnappers and murderers are is horrifying.
Meredith: Oh Tiffany.
Tiffany: I’m not even kidding.
Elizabeth: I think that’s a real fear, but I honestly think we have to fear what’s in the internet as much if not more-
Tiffany: I know.
Elizabeth: Than what’s outside.
Meredith: I agree with that-
Tiffany: She’s right.
Meredith: Sentiment as well. I agree. Well thank you so much for calling in.
Tiffany: Yeah thank you Elizabeth.
Elizabeth: You’re welcome. Thank you. Thank you very much. You guys are doing a great job, I love the podcast.
Meredith: Oh thanks, enjoy your weekend.
Tiffany: Aw, thank you.
Elizabeth: Thanks, you too. Bye bye.
Tiffany: I’m not even joking though. I can’t. My kids … I can’t. I could … The thought of having my kids outside alone-
Meredith: Okay but your-
Tiffany: Gives me nightmares.
Meredith: But your children are still, they can’t be alone yet. You’re still in the trenches. You can’t just push them out the door and shut it.
Tiffany: But even my seven year old. Is seven too young, too? I can’t even think about-
Meredith: I think you’re on the-
Tiffany: Letting Aubrey out.
Meredith: I think you’re on the cusp. You’re closer with her.
Tiffany: She’s like, “Can I ride my bike over to my friends house?” And I was like, “What? No!”
Meredith: Well I guess it’s where is the friends house.
Meredith: Outside. In the danger zone? Where’s Kenny Loggins? I think he’s gonna come sing to us. Get out of here!
Tiffany: Okay, so you’ve mentioned Chuck Woolery and Kenny Loggins so far in this podcast grandma.
Meredith: Well, I .. Grandma?
Tiffany: I’m just kidding, we’re the same age.
Meredith: We’re not the same age! I’ve got at least five years on you. Okay.
Tiffany: Thank you.
Meredith: Okay, so let’s move on to parenting crap because it’s tied into this first segment. It’s brought to you by FabFitFun subscription boxes. FabFitFun is a seasonal subscription box with full size beauty, fitness, fashion, and lifestyle products. One of the reasons I love FabFitFun is because each season since the fall of 2015, they have provided charitable contributions to a specific charity that supports and empowers women.
Tiffany: My favorite thing about FabFitFun is that it’s only 49.99, but it’s always valued at between $200-300. So things that you wouldn’t normally get to purchase are included in this box. It’s pretty awesome. So if you use coupon code takeit, you get $10 off. That brings …
Tiffany: So if you use coupon code Takeit, you get $10 off, and that brings it to 39.99 for your first box, and that’s at www.fabfitfun.com.
Tiffany: In today’s parenting crapola, this goes with what we were saying, so when should your kids get a cell phone? It’s a rite of passage for parents of tweens, by the time your child is 10 or 12, she decides that she must have a cell phone, because if she can’t text and talk to her friends, her social life will be ruined. You may be skeptical about that, but the idea has some appeal to you. As she begins to become independent, you want to be able to keep in touch with her, especially if she has started traveling alone. But the prospect of the cell phone comes with a host of concerns.
Tiffany: There are some examples that we are going to give.
Meredith: Well, so here’s the thing. We’ll talk about this and then we’ll get into those parts and pieces. I gave my son a cell phone, 6th grade, because he was walking to school. Had he not been walking to school, I probably would have kept it until 9th grade.
Tiffany: Because you were scared of the outside world?
Meredith: Because he’s walking to school, alone, yes, I gave him a cell phone. Absolutely.
Tiffany: Because it’s scary out there.
Meredith: It’s a little bit scary, but you also … We have to remember, too, though, that the reason that it’s scarier is simply because we’re shown everything all of the time, and bombarded with it, because I’m sure there were plenty of kidnappers in 1988, but nobody knew because we weren’t being bombarded by this information. I also don’t think kidnapping is as frequent as we … Look, I know that this happens. Let me backtrack that. What I meant to say was, I think because we are inundated, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with news and news outlets, we’re hearing so much about this. Of course we have to take precautions with our children. Of course we have to be vigilant as parents. But we also can’t live by fear.
Tiffany: I know. You’re so right.
Meredith: We can’t live by fear. We have to be able to … We have to let our kids grow up and do things. Our job as parents is to raise children to become adults, and go out and do stuff.
Meredith: I know, it is. It really is. But we have to … we should take some precautions. Mine was giving my kid who walks to school a cell phone. That was one of the things I did.
Tiffany: Yeah, I agree with that.
Meredith: But what they’re saying is, there are a lot of things that come into getting a cell phone, like … What should we worry about, Tiffany?
Meredith: That’s a big one.
Tiffany: Listen, here’s the thing, that’s my point. I’ve bought my kids so many of those little kiddie Amazon things. You know what I’m talking about, the Kindles that are, like, 70 bucks, and they keep losing them. I’m like, “You guys begged me for this and I got it, and now you can’t find the chargers or the things to it, so why … ” They lose their underwear. They lose their books. They lose everything that’s not important, so-
Meredith: So that actually falls under what this other … this first article that we talked about in the first segment said, maturity level. Is your child actually mature enough to have technology? If they’re losing it all the time-
Tiffany: Then no.
Meredith: But, see, I lose stuff all the time.
Tiffany: I know, I’m such a hypocrite.
Meredith: I lose stuff all the time, so this is really a tough one. And you know who actually, in my household, loses stuff the most out of anybody?
Meredith: Dave. Dave loses … Do you know how many wallets my husband has lost over the last 15 years?
Meredith: Probably seven.
Tiffany: With money in them?
Meredith: Credit cards, money, drivers license, you name it.
Meredith: And here’s the best part, though; we’ll find the wallet eight months later, under a bed, in a drawer, but it’s like we … You know how many credit cards we’ve had to replace because he’s like, “Lost my wallet again.” It’s like, “Oh, my gosh.” But maturity level, right, is one of the big ones. Can you let your kid have a phone? Are they ready?
Tiffany: Faith said, “That is why the pay as you go track phone is great.”
Meredith: Well, and that’s what they … That’s another thing that they were saying, was you … overages can be the bane of a parent’s existence because they can chew through data and then you’re screwed for the rest of the month, or you’re paying that $15 increment, boom, boom, boom.
Meredith: So that makes sense, having a cell phone provider who does the pay as you go or whatever.
Tiffany: I have a cell phone provider where, if you don’t pay the bill when it’s due, they just shut the phone off until you pay it. It’s really great and it’s only 40 bucks a month.
Meredith: That’s fantastic because I’m not going to tell you what our cell phone bill is.
Tiffany: I don’t want to know.
Meredith: You don’t.
Tiffany: I’m sure it’s depressing.
Meredith: You won’t sleep.
Tiffany: But also, track phone, is it called a track phone because you can track it?
Meredith: I think you can track all phones now.
Tiffany: Because I might be down for that, giving my kids phones when they get into teens, if I can watch them as they walk around.
Meredith: Well, we do. We have that on ours, so we can actually pull it up and it’ll tell us where his phone is, right this minute.
Meredith: Yeah. And it’ll be at the school.
Tiffany: Oh, my gosh, that changes everything.
Meredith: Yeah. Like I said, though, at what age do they actually need it?
Meredith: So, yeah, you could also put a chip in your kid.
Tiffany: I’ve thought about it.
Meredith: No, I was kidding.
Tiffany: No. Okay, no. Nevermind. Me too.
Meredith: Oh, Tiffany.
Tiffany: Crossing the line. What if your child texts or posts something inappropriate or even sexually explicit? Mistakes can be damaging and permanent. Yeah. Like, boob pics.
Meredith: Boob pics.
Tiffany: If you send it to your crush, not having any concept … Why is that moving? Oh, the dog. Sorry, the dog’s moving the curtain behind you. It looked like a ghost. I was nervous.
Meredith: Yeah, it is a ghost. The house is haunted.
Tiffany: But, yeah, that has happened before. I remember when I was young and reckless, I would text pictures that weren’t always super appropriate.
Meredith: Well, and I think that goes to the fact that you could have … your kid could have a cell phone because you want him to be safe, but you don’t have to allow them access to social media. You could keep that off ’til high school. I mean, I guess it just depends. My soon-to-be 13-year-old is not on any social media.
Meredith: No Facebook, no Instagram, no nothing.
Tiffany: I feel like it’s so young. I feel like that’s young, like-
Meredith: Well, they were saying 13. The other article was saying 13 seems like a good age for social media, and he-
Tiffany: But why?
Meredith: I think, once again, it goes back to the checklist of, are they mature? Can they handle themselves? Are they going to be posting inappropriate pictures or things? So it’s every kid … Like we say in parenting all the time, every kid is different and you’re going to have to figure out what’s going to work best, but moderation is key.
Meredith: With everything that we do, moderation is key.
Tiffany: And it’s really easy for me to have an opinion about this because I don’t have a kid that age. You know what I mean? I don’t know what it’s like. I haven’t lived it, so …
Meredith: Well, yeah, and we’re just getting into it. We’re at that age now, where he’s … he wants to get on this stupid Fortnite game and meet up with his friends in there, and so I won’t let them chat on the game because then anybody can go in and chat, so I make them call each other-
Meredith: … on the phone, because it’s like, “No, no, no. You’re not going to chat with RobS6969. You are not chatting with that man.”
Meredith: So it’s like, “No, no, no.” So I’m watching what they’re doing, you know, but I think that’s also it.
Tiffany: And cyberbullying.
Tiffany: Cyberbullying’s terrifying.
Meredith: And the other stuff, too, the sexual predators that are creating accounts to … That’s what I’m saying, is it’s everywhere and things can happen, whether they’re inside your home or outside your home. So if you’re watching, if you’re paying attention, if you’re involved … Think about this, though. Let’s stop for just one freaking second because this has really gotten me all riled up, okay. Because we just did the Halloween video, the ’80s parenting video, okay. We did a first one, we’ve done the Halloween, and hold onto your ninnies people, we’re doing a Christmas one, okay.
Tiffany: Woop, woop.
Meredith: But listen, my parents had no freaking clue where I was. None. There was no way to track me, or tag me, or know what was going on. The streetlights came on, your butt better have been home, or they were starting to call around and figure out what house you were at, and you better get your butt home, right. Like, they didn’t come to all of my sporting activities. They didn’t show up to everything. They were … you know what I mean? It was like we were not … I had nobody being that involved in my life, and we survived, and we made it. But now we are forced to feel, as a society, that if we do not know that they are breathing, every second of every day, that we are failing as parents, and I think it’s crap. I think the social media and the phones and the technology play a big piece of that, a big component of that. That kind of just ticks me off because I feel like we got a raw deal.
Meredith: Us parents got a raw damn deal.
Meredith: Did your parents know where you were at every second of every moment?
Tiffany: Never. They actually never knew where I was, ever, to the opposite extreme. Like, to where I was like, “Dang.”
Meredith: Well, and I’m saying, once again, if we were to find some freaking moderation, we’ll probably be okay. We’ll probably be fine. Yeah, we’re all going to come across some crap and have to deal with some stuff. Like I just said last night to my husband, I was just like, “Should we put the cloning app on his phone so we can see what sites he’s visiting? Should we be doing that yet?” And he’s like, “Well, I don’t really want to, but we can,” and so we have to have a conversation about that, but do I really need that? I mean, am I just being paranoid? Do I really need to know if he’s looking at porn? Do I?
Tiffany: This is so hard.
Meredith: This is real life. This is the crap people are thinking about. I want somebody who has a cloning app on their kid’s phone. Call in. I want somebody who is looking at everything their kid is doing on their tech device, and I want you to tell me why you do it, and what you’ve seen as a result of it, and do you think it’s worth doing, or is this overstepping? Look, this is a massive parenting conversation to have here, and I know your kids are a little bit younger and I’m being way more vocal today because I feel like I’m in the thick of this-
Tiffany: Yeah, my kids are two and three, four, somewhere around there.
Meredith: Something, five … But I really, it’s really got my panties in a bunch because I feel like we, us individuals who are parenting in this day and age, we got the raw deal, man.
Tiffany: It’s horrifying. I’m so scared.
Meredith: Everything is horrifying. We’re told to be horrified all the time and it’s like, “No, I don’t want to be horrified.”
Meredith: I just want to hang out, gossip a little bit.
Tiffany: So do you ever, like … Because I know I have anxiety in general, and I’m a total helicopter parent. Like, my kids will never have fun a day in their life because I’m going to be hovering over them, making sure that they don’t. But are you ever like … because you always seem so … Our personas in those videos are close to what we are. You just seem cool as a cucumber and I’m always like, “Oh, my God, the air is too heavy, my kids are going to suffocate.”
Meredith: I was you in the beginning, and then I finally realized, I can’t, I can’t survive like this. I have to let some things go. And I’ve also, like I said, I’ve gotten my panties into the bunch, to the point where I’m like, “No, I’m not going to worry about that. No, I’m not going to do this. No, I’m not going to do that. No, I can’t hold onto those things,” and I’ve definitely relaxed a bit. Like, if you asked my husband who I was 15 years ago versus who I am today-
Meredith: … it’s completely … two completely different people.
Tiffany: Well, that’s reassuring.
Meredith: I was just so uptight about everything, but now I’ve realized, and I also just am angry because I’m like, “No. It’s bullshit. I’m not going to parent like that. I’m not going to be forced into this corner. I’m not doing it. I’m not doing it, I’m not doing it, I’m not doing it.” But I feel like I definitely need somebody to tell me, like, “Yes, I’ve …” You know what I really want somebody to tell me, “Yes, I’ve cloned my child’s phone and I’ve checked on everything and they were a delightful angel.” That’s what I want to hear. But the reality is, somebody’s going to call in, or somebody will say to me at some point in message, “Yes, I cloned their phone and checked in, and they were looking at boobies.”
Tiffany: But if they know they’re being cloned, it might maybe steer them away from making those decisions.
Meredith: I guess. Are you supposed to tell them that you’re going to clone them, or do you keep it a secret? Or is that wrong?
Tiffany: I don’t know.
Meredith: Are you a truly invasive parent if you do that? That’s what I’m saying, is this is so hard. There’s no roadmap, it’s exhausting.
Tiffany: Okay, we’ve … Erica has three kids. Maybe she could shed some light on this subject for us.
Meredith: All right.
Tiffany: Hello, Erica in West Virginia.
Erica: Hello, guys.
Meredith: So what’s the deal? What have you got rocking and rolling over there?
Tiffany: Chuck Woolery, rocking and rolling. Sorry.
Erica: With an oldest son of 26, to the youngest of 18, that is a rise in … you know, the oldest one wasn’t in this technology age when he first started, to where I think that stuff really became popular when the youngest was five. So we have run the whole thing up, one getting into it significantly older and making the other … the middle and the youngest wait. But I will tell you, when the two younger ones started, our middle son, when he started getting into the phone thing at age 13, 14, starting high school, he had a computer in his room, and my husband would check his history, of which, you know, the kids thought they were smarter than we were, and that they deleted stuff, but if you know what you’re doing, nothing is ever deleted, and my husband found porn sites.
Tiffany: At how old?
Erica: 14. Yes, it will be there … I can’t speak for women with girls, and to be quite honest with you, I wouldn’t want to have a girl in this day and age because that’s just a whole nother ball game.
Erica: But here’s the thing with the boys and whatever, and you’ve got to teach your daughters about this too, but … So we sat him down, and of course he tried to lie his way out of it because it was a computer that was given to him. It was given to him by his grandparents. He tried to lie and [crosstalk 00:41:30].
Meredith: Oh, the grandparents were watching the porn together, okay.
Erica: Yes, yes. And I was like, “Would you like me to call Grandad right now and let’s see what sites they visit?” Of course, when we did all that and I started dialing the phone, he was like, “No. No, no. No, no, no, no.”
Meredith: So it wasn’t hotgrannies.com?
Erica: Oh, no. No.
Meredith: That was not the site? Okay.
Erica: Yeah, so we had to just have the discussion of … you have to have a real discussion for what age your children are. We basically were like, “Listen, when you get older, sexual relations and with married people and things you love, yeah, it’s great. It’s great. But first off, you’re not old enough for it, and the stuff you’re watching, that’s not real life.”
Meredith: Yeah, that’s the hard part about that.
Erica: “That’s not what … ”
Erica: Yeah, “That’s not what real people really do in relationships-
Tiffany: They’re making it look bad.
Erica: … and you’re not going to watch it in my house.” So we just took the computer away. You know, he got grounded because he couldn’t be trusted, and then we fixed it so he couldn’t get on them anymore, which you shouldn’t have to do because you would think a 14-year-old would not be dumb enough to do it, but they are. They will try anything.
Meredith: Okay, and here’s the thing though, they just had a different way to get to it, because I have news for you, dirty magazines have been around for quite some time and you know that when we were growing up, boys had dirty magazines hidden underneath their mattresses or wherever, so they were looking at the same stuff. Not maybe as intense or whatever, but they were doing it too.
Erica: No, they were not near as intense. They weren’t near as intense in the ’80s. I can remember finding them in my parents’ drawers, because I’m older than you are. You’re 38, I’m 46, so I’m a little … I’m even more of an ’80s kid. I remember finding that stuff and thinking, “What the … What, my parents are crazy.”
Meredith: Dirty birds.
Erica: Yeah, that, you know-
Tiffany: What about trying to catch those channels that you don’t get, you know what I mean? Back in the day, when they would like, they’re-
Meredith: Squiggly lines?
Tiffany: Squiggly lines, trying to … and Skinemax.
Meredith: Yeah, “Oh, that’s a nipple. It’s a nipple. I think it’s a nipple, I think it’s a nipple, I think it’s a nipple.” Yeah.
Tiffany: I feel like I was doing stuff like that at that age, out of curiosity, you know what I mean?
Meredith: Well, I think it is a curious time.
Erica: Yes, we did, but what we had access to wasn’t what they have access today.
Erica: The stuff they showed in those dirty magazines is not what you can find on whatever, porn.com.
Meredith: Correct. Correct.
Erica: It is not the same thing.
Meredith: That’s what I’m saying, is it’s just that they’re introduced to it at an earlier age, I believe, and that they have so much more. It’s like a buffet of dirtiness and atrociousness or whatever. It’s just different. We had very limited … Like, okay, you want to look at a Playboy, or a … you know what I mean? And if your parents could afford HBO and Skinemax. Like, we couldn’t. We didn’t have that.
Erica: Right, yeah.
Meredith: So it’s just … it’s very different, and so I, once again, I pull back and I just have to hope and pray and believe that moderation is going to get us through, and we will survive parenting if we are paying attention and if we are making sure that we are moderating activities and what we’re doing. I have to believe that because the ulterior is to just constantly feel like your life is on fire, and I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to do that.
Tiffany: That’s how I feel at all times.
Meredith: Yeah, I know, but I want you to not want to feel that way.
Erica: Yes, and that is true, because with this social media and the things that … it’s just given parents one more thing we have to worry about. One more thing. Like we don’t have enough stuff to worry about with our kids, now we have to watch something else and keep track of everything. It’s exhausting.
Meredith: It is exhausting but I also-
Erica: I didn’t want to do it, either. That’s what I told my husband when this stuff came up. I was like, “I’m not doing this all the time. I’m not doing this all the time. Just block it. I don’t want to have to say, ‘Well, let’s just give them some trust.’ No, not doing it.”
Meredith: “You get nothing. You get nothing. I do not trust you at all, okay, goodbye.” Yes. All right, well, thank you so much for calling in. I assumed right where you were going with that story and it confirms a lot of things, and I think that it’s just … it’s the world we live in, and so we just have to be-
Erica: It is. It’s the world we live in, and we can’t expect our kids to not be curious about this stuff when we were. It’s just part of growing up. There’s a point and a time for everything.
Meredith: Correct, and-
Erica: And it’s not the stuff they see today.
Meredith: … you know, we were born with hoohas and dinglehoppers. Everybody eventually figures out what fits where. It’s just part of it. They are curious.
Erica: It is, it’s part of it.
Meredith: They are. Look at my husband, he’s shaking his head.
Tiffany: Hoohas and dinglehoppers?
Meredith: Okay, the dinglehopper is the boy’s part and the hooha is the girl’s.
Erica: Yes. I can remember when my son now that’s 21, that’s when they first kind of started, all the way back into middle school, making you sign this stuff for the sex education stuff and other [inaudible 00:46:29]. My son was like, “There was only, like, four of us in there.” People didn’t sign their stuff, and I’m like, well, as a nurse, first off, my children know way more anatomy than anybody else’s children, but there’s nothing wrong with teaching them correctly. There’s a difference in them getting taught what the body parts are, what they do, how people are conceived, and watching porn. Two different things.
Meredith: Wow, that’s a whole … We have to do a whole show on … We’re going to have to do a whole show on porn, because I have news for you, it does distort, and it can ruin marriages, and it causes a lot of problems because it distorts what reality looks like. We’re going to talk about this in our next segment a little bit. thank you for calling in, we appreciate it.
Erica: All right.
Tiffany: Thank you, Erica.
Meredith: You have a great day.
Erica: Thank you. Bye, guys.
Tiffany: Bye. I think the solution to all of this is, I’m not even joking, we just move to an island with no technology-
Meredith: Where are we going?
Tiffany: I don’t care. I just want to go somewhere where you can just live off the land and not have to worry about other people and technology and-
Meredith: You’re going to compound live somewhere?
Tiffany: I might start it.
Tiffany: I’m not kidding. I hate it. I dream about it. I dream about whisking my kids away, and just us … because that’s what’s most important, is your family, and the world screws it up. They ruin it. They make you work 60 hours a week, just to pay the bills, you’re away from your family the whole time. Don’t get me started.
Meredith: Well, but once again, there are a lot of positives that also come out of this. Our community here, the fact that we get to do this every day, the fact that we-
Meredith: So we have to find the moderation, make our way through, but let’s-
Tiffany: You’re right.
Meredith: So let’s have a little bit of fun here in this next segment.
Tiffany: Because I’m depressed, so we need to lighten this up.
Meredith: Let’s lighten the mood.
Tiffany: I don’t want my kids to ever have cell phones. It’s making me sweat to think about it. Like, I’m glad I have a while to go-
Meredith: I think it’s just warm in here today.
Tiffany: Is that what it is?
Meredith: I’m sweating, too.
Meredith: All right.
Tiffany: Love and Marriage is brought to you by Meredith and Tiffany because we are both spectacular wives. In Love and Marriage today, 15 tips for staying intimate … great, it just keeps getting worse … as parents, when you’re too tired for sex.
Meredith: You’ve said, time and again, that you’re too tired to have sex, so I went out and I found you 15 tips.
Tiffany: It’s perfect. I need these.
Meredith: Just say thank you.
Tiffany: No, thank you-
Meredith: You’re welcome.
Tiffany: … is what I meant to say.
Meredith: Correct. Correct. So let’s look at this. All right, so why don’t we … We’ll play a game, like we always do.
Meredith: All right? So I’ll say this, and then you can go ahead and tell me your thoughts on this, if you think you’d do this or whatever, you’d be into it, and then I’ll tell you mine.
Meredith: All right?
Meredith: So it’s not really just a game. It’s just a conversation.
Tiffany: So you lied.
Meredith: All right, I lied. But these are tips. These are tips from some article that I read somewhere.
Tiffany: No. Is this from an article of parenting, a parenting article?
Tiffany: Because, number one?
Meredith: Well, let’s start with number one. Surprise your partner with lingerie. Give your partner a little visual surprise before you settle down in your sweats. It will bring fire and excitement and a promise of a future rendezvous while still letting you both relax on the couch for the night.
Tiffany: No. What? Listen, I could tell you exactly how this’ll go, okay. I’ll squeeze my butt into some sexy lingerie, I’ll walk out of the bathroom, ready to go, and Chloe will be standing there, staring at me, like, “Water, Mommy, please,” and I’m like, “You’re ruining my moment Chloe, get in your room,” and by the time we finally get down into bed, I will have gotten seven cups of water, told 15 bed … No, this is a terrible idea.
Meredith: Terrible … So you’re out? Number one is out?
Tiffany: No. Easy access sweatpants, pull them down, get it done-
Meredith: Pull them down.
Tiffany: … you know what I mean?
Meredith: Yeah, well, I do. I don’t like lingerie at all.
Tiffany: Which is surprising because you have such a great body.
Meredith: I want nothing to do with it. I wear only full bottom underpants at all times. I don’t want anything wedged in my heinie. I just am the unsexiest person on the planet and I have no need or want for it. My husband would probably say he wishes that I would wear it more-
Tiffany: Well, of course.
Meredith: … but I want nothing to do with it. So I’m bad at this.
Tiffany: But if you know it would make your husband happy, is it something you’d be willing to do?
Meredith: I bought … Wait, stop it, you’re laughing … I bought, from Blush, which is a … I wear these bralets that I love, because I don’t have big enough boobs to actually need a bra. So they’re these little sport bra-y type things. I bought a nice nightgown from them and wore it for him, and I don’t think he thought it was sexy enough.
Tiffany: It wasn’t good enough for you, Dave?
Meredith: The green one with the polka dots. Was that okay? That’s as sexy it gets. It was basically just a nightgown-
Tiffany: Wait, green with polka dots?
Tiffany: That doesn’t sound really sexy.
Meredith: I thought it was … He’s like … That was my idea of, “Hey, I’m a sexy polka dot,” and he was like … It’s terrible. I have bad taste. It also boils down to, I have bad taste.
Tiffany: I think, for me, it’s a fear of rejection. He’s so used to seeing me looking homeless, that if I did come out wearing something else and he didn’t react like a Victoria’s Secret model just came in, I would feel stupid. Anyway-
Meredith: I can understand that. All right, next. Turn your phones on silent after 8:00 PM. You live with your phone on silent.
Tiffany: I do.
Meredith: You do.
Tiffany: How’d you know that?
Meredith: Because you don’t reply to my text messages and I want to beat you.
Tiffany: I’m sorry. It’s not just you, it’s everybody.
Meredith: I should be important.
Tiffany: You are important but my phone … Like I said, technology can suck it. I hate technology.
Meredith: So personally, we are very bad with this. My husband is the worst perpetrator in the house. He sits on his phone until the moment he shuts his eyes in bed, and I have to ask him, “Can you turn your phone off so we could watch a show together?” Or, “Could you turn your phone off so that I could not have the glare into my eye?” He’s very bad with this. Bad. I’m calling him out. Bad.
Tiffany: And you’re not?
Meredith: In bed, I’m not on my phone.
Tiffany: After 8:00 PM?
Meredith: No, no, no. Just in bed.
Tiffany: Okay, well, this says after 8:00 PM.
Meredith: Well, this is stupid. This is stupid.
Tiffany: 8:00 PM is right when the kids go to bed, so it’s your one time to sit and scroll, uninterrupted.
Meredith: Correct. Also, like I said, I am bad about this, but when I am sitting on the couch or whatever, and I want to watch TV and zone out, I don’t want my phone in front of me. I want to watch the stupid show-
Tiffany: Right, and escape.
Meredith: … and I want to zone out. I want to not think, I want to not do anything.
Meredith: And he wants to crush candy. I’m like, “Watch with me. We’re watching these stupid people on 90 Day Fiance. Watch this with me. I want to watch this. I’m entertained by this.”
Meredith: So that’s bothersome.
Tiffany: It’s the closest to a date night sometimes you can get.
Meredith: Correct. Write each other little notes to start your day.
Meredith: You do that?
Meredith: What does your note say, “FU”?
Tiffany: I’m like, “Why the F didn’t you turn the coffee pot on like I asked you, mother effer?
Meredith: Mother effer. I also am not sexy enough to think of something sexy to write in a note, so I would be like, “Hey, do you want me to touch your penis later?” Like, that would be awful and awkward and not …
Tiffany: Is this for them to take with them when they leave?
Meredith: I don’t know, maybe on their lunch bag or something, which would be-
Tiffany: Lunch bag?
Meredith: Like, their lunch. Like, maybe write a sweet note on their lunch bag or on their napkin in their lunch box.
Meredith: No? Does …
Meredith: … on their napkin in their lunchbox.
Meredith: No? Is that maybe-
Tiffany: Well I don’t even … My husband doesn’t take lunch bags. I’d be trying to shove it in his pants, while he’s walking out the door. He’d be like, “Get away. What are you doing?”
Meredith: Why are putting things in my pocket?
Tiffany: Trying to spice things up babe. Just let me …
Meredith: I guess it could be a text instead of a note.
Meredith: A sexy text.
Meredith: Or a loving, just a loving … I guess some people love each other enough to say loving things to them.
Tiffany: Listen, yesterday I got my hair down. I sent my husband a picture. His response was, “OMG! You look gorgeous babe. I’m so glad you got it done, instead of box coloring it like you were going to.” I’m not kidding. It made my whole day.
Tiffany: Usually we just text food orders.
Tiffany: Or, can you please do in the kids room and put the Alexa back on, or whatever. It’s never anything about us, or romantic. It made my whole day.
Meredith: See. Oh, you turned [crosstalk 00:54:55] our Alexa.
Tiffany: Oh, cause I said, Alexa.
Meredith: Yeah. Way to go.
Tiffany: I’m sorry.
Meredith: Yeah, no. That one is a winner.
Tiffany: Yeah. I’m down with that.
Meredith: We’re urging people to do that. Okay.
Tiffany: That’s doable.
Meredith: Take it outside.
Tiffany: I love this idea.
Meredith: Take your morning coffee outside and have sex on the porch.
Tiffany: Wait. That’s not …
Meredith: Oh, that’s not what it says.
Tiffany: It says, conversate outside, while the kids play in the yard or living room. A change of scenery and fresh air, even if it’s a bit brisk out, can really relax the two of you.
Meredith: I agree with this one. I think it’s a good idea. I love our patio. I love sitting outside with my husband and having a glass of wine, or … He doesn’t drink … We don’t both don’t drink coffee. I drink herbal tea now for health reasons and it sucks. I could totally [crosstalk 00:55:35] take my herbal tea outside, and he would sit with me. That would be good.
Tiffany: I like it.
Meredith: That’s two so far, that I’m like, “Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’m onboard.”
Tiffany: Five’s not gonna work for me.
Meredith: Okay. Remind each other why you got married. You’d have to remember first why you married them.
Tiffany: For me it would be like, “Remember that time you put this baby in me after we were dating for two months?”
Meredith: Oh, do you remember that time?
Tiffany: And then, you feel like you had no choice, but to marry me. It was so romantic.
Meredith: Wait. That could be an awkward conversation.
Tiffany: Right. We talk about how far we’ve come.
Meredith: Do you remember why you let him put a baby in you?
Tiffany: I mean, yeah. He was so hot.
Tiffany: I had been locked up for a while.
Meredith: Oh my … The romance is just overwhelming here.
Tiffany: I’m just kidding. I’m just kidding. I love him. I am amazed that he stuck around when he didn’t have to. That’s what I think of. He could have run and been like, “whoop,” but he stuck around and married me and he’s a wonderful dad.
Meredith: That’s solid, and a wonderful point and a good perspective to have. I say, “Yes. I send that. Remember that. Think about that. Tell him that.” I can guarantee you that he’s got wonderful things to say about you, cause you’re a wonderful person.
Tiffany: Oh, thanks. It’s true.
Meredith: You are. I like you lots.
Tiffany: Thanks. Same.
Meredith: I try to remind my husband why I love him so much. I’m probably very bad at this.
Tiffany: Well, let’s ask him. Dave, does she remind you? Oh, is he writing ’em in here? Dave went through to answer …
Meredith: Oh wait. I have him on a separate page. Hold on. Let’s see. What was that five?
Tiffany: Dave wrote what he thought she would say.
Meredith: Do you remember … Was that to me? Oh, [crosstalk 00:57:28] I would say, “Do you remember?”
Tiffany: And that’s exactly what you said.
Meredith: Yeah. I do. I did say that. Oh my God.
Tiffany: He knew.
Meredith: That’s freaky. Oh my God. All right. All right, all right, all right, all right, all right. Let’s move on, cause that just, that freaked me out.
Tiffany: I’m gonna get a Christmas card?
Meredith: Oh yeah, you’re on the list.
Tiffany: Oh my God.
Meredith: It’s a very short list.
Tiffany: I’m so honored.
Meredith: All right. Moving on. Number six. Take weekend getaways when you can. If you can take a getaway for a weekend, even if it’s a day trip, do something, even if it’s making an adventure at the park, even if it’s free, no cost, whatever, get away and do something with your lover. You don’t wanna do that, huh?
Tiffany: Mm-mm. (negative)
Meredith: You’re home bodies?
Tiffany: Yeah. We both are. We’re total homebodies. I love the idea, but the truth of the matter is, both of us would rather not get dressed and leave the house, if I’m being honest. Maybe that’s why we should though. Switch things up.
Meredith: Well, I am more of a homebody than Dave. Dave wants to go and be out all of, the time. I have to force myself into being out. If it was, he said to me, “Okay I wanna take you to Tampa for the night and take you out to dinner and stay in a hotel, I’d be like, “Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. Take me. Take me out to dinner.”
Meredith: Yeah. Then I literally have to do nothing. I don’t have to plan it. I don’t have to do whatever. I have to do nothing. He would just take care of it. That I would like.
Tiffany: Yeah, I like that.
Meredith: If I have to be involved with the planning or the preparation, I want nothing to do with it, cause I’m so exhausted from life, that it’s like, “No. No, no, no.”
Meredith: I’ll sit here in my red robe and do nothing.
Meredith: I’ll smell like this until Monday.
Tiffany: I’m right there.
Meredith: That’s tough, but they are saying that taking those weekend getaways not only benefit you and your marriage, but also your kids, because they should be spending time with other people, other than you.
Tiffany: I mean, I’ll let them do that anytime they want.
Tiffany: People walk by my house. I’m like, “Hey. Do you wanna take ’em?”
Meredith: And yet, you’re afraid of the outside world.
Tiffany: I am. I really am.
Meredith: All right. All right. Number seven makes me hivey getting ready to say it. You should kiss more.
Meredith: Do you guys kiss a lot?
Tiffany: Yeah. Not so much make outs.
Tiffany: Like muah.
Meredith: Are there kisses with tongue though?
Tiffany: They’re very short.
Meredith: Short tongue?
Tiffany: Yeah. Usually one or both of haven’t brushed our teeth. We’re trying to do the other one a favor.
Meredith: Dave wrote next to this, that I would say, “Gross,” Which he is correct. We kiss anytime we are leaving. If I’m going somewhere, he’s going somewhere. He does not like the way I kiss. Should I actually tell people what you say my lips look like when I go to kiss you?
Meredith: A butthole. He says that my lips look like an anus.
Meredith: And they do.
Tiffany: That’s how you come at him?
Meredith: Here’s the thing, I have tiny …
Tiffany: Green polka dots.
Meredith: I have no … Look at my face. I have no lips, literally none.
Tiffany: You have lips. You’re [crosstalk 01:00:48] just not doing it right.
Meredith: They’re super thin.
Tiffany: You’re supposed to push out from the inside, not cap butt hole mouth. That’s not … No. Jesus. It’s not it.
Meredith: I have none. It’s not my fault. I have no lips.
Tiffany: I don’t either. You work with what you got girl. You know what I’m saying?
Meredith: I could get some injections. No. It’s not gross. People are saying, “It’s not gross. Stop it.” No. Here’s the thing. We do kiss in that sense. I have been actively attempting to get better when we are making the love, to kiss. Would you agree with that husband? He said no. He was like, “Ah no.”
Tiffany: I guess.
Meredith: I felt like I was making an effort, apparently I wasn’t. Okay. Duly noted. Get in a quick massage.
Tiffany: Oh, there’s more. Yes.
Meredith: Giving each other a short massage can really help you relax and unwind from a stressful day, just touching each other, reminds you both of the connections you have.
Tiffany: An unprompted massage is sexy to me.
Tiffany: Not having to be like, “Baby. Can you rub my back?” Him, just being like, “Yo girl. Let me make you feel good.” You know what I’m saying?
Meredith: Does he says it like that, right before the massage?
Tiffany: He usually goes like this on my shoulder twice and then it’s like, “My turn.” That’s usually how it goes.
Meredith: My husband will touch my breasts, and then say, “Oh, I thought those were your shoulder blades.” And then I’ll say, “Stop it.” He’ll go, “You wanna do it?”
Tiffany: Oh my God.
Meredith: And that’s how sex starts at my house. Not a lie. It’s actively the truth. I am not a super duper fan of being touched. I’m not really a big massage person. I will rub his back when he asks for it, cause sometimes he just really has a kink or whatever. He doesn’t want a massage to be sexual, I don’t think anyway. I don’t. He just wants …
Tiffany: Yeah. He just wants you to rub his shoulders.
Meredith: I would more be like, “Don’t touch me at all.” I’m a terrible person. All right. Moving on. Try not to sleep after the kids go to bed. Just sit on the couch together, turn your cell phones off, and stare into each other’s eyes.
Meredith: It says, ask each other about your day and inspire hours of conversation.
Tiffany: Who wrote this?
Meredith: I don’t remember.
Tiffany: They’re liars.
Meredith: They’re liars. My husband wrote next to this, she would do this only to watch, to binge watch 90 Day Fiance. It says right on there, turn your TV off. All right. Have a day date. Yes. I do like to go out with my husband during the day and have lunch and do other things with him.
Meredith: I feel it’s better almost than date nights. We don’t get date nights often at all. Because the kids are in school, we can grab day dates. I recommend, if your kids are in school and you can grab your spouse, have a day date. Even if you go to Taco Bell for a burrito, have a day date. I recommend those, highly, highly, highly. You get to actually talk, and interact and be together. It’s good quality time. I’m a firm believer in that.
Meredith: It doesn’t have to be sexy or about a date, right, or do date things. Spending time with your spouse during the day, when the kids are not bombarding you is fantastic.
Tiffany: Okay. There’s a bunch of these. I just wanna …
Meredith: Yeah. Hit the rest of them.
Tiffany: skip really quick.
Tiffany: Have a little photo shoot. If you’re feeling a little awkward about getting intimate again, why not document it forever with photos, right?
Meredith: I totally disagree with that. I don’t want anybody taking my picture.
Tiffany: No. Me neither.
Meredith: I hate it.
Tiffany: Play games together. They don’t mean in the way that I thought initially. They mean literal games.
Meredith: Board games.
Meredith: Healthy competition will relax the two of you and it’ll allow you to be silly. No.
Tiffany: We should take a caller and see if anybody else has any ideas or things that work for them in their marriage.
Meredith: Yeah. We’ll wrap up the show with a caller on your best way of keeping it spicy. Best way of keeping it spicy, and love …
Tiffany: Okay. What happens if …
Meredith: What happens.
Tiffany: It has nothing to do with him. It has everything to do with me. What if you’re just not really super interested in it being spicy right now?
Meredith: I think that’s okay as long as you’re both on the same page.
Tiffany: Right. It’s not like I’m turning him down.
Meredith: Right. As long as you’re both on the … You’re in the trenches. I told you time and again …
Meredith: You’re in the trenches. This is really tough. This is a hard time. It’s exhausting. As long as you’re communicating that … When I was feeling that way, he was not. He wanted attention that I was not giving him. It caused a lot of friction and a lot of fights and a lot of stress in our marriage. It was very … We had a very difficult time. We are very honest and open about the fact that we almost called it quits.
Meredith: We were in such different head spaces, with what we expected out of our marriage, and what we were getting from our marriage and what we were putting into our marriage.
Tiffany: Right here. This is exactly the one I wanted.
Tiffany: What’s sad is, look at the extent women go to, to find ways to talk with, be with their man. Where’s the advice for the men, if that makes sense.
Meredith: [inaudible 01:06:04] it does make sense. I think that, that is definitely part of the issue that we were just discussing right this very second, is that we were in that spot. Nobody’s called in? Oh, okay. Well, that’s fine.
Tiffany: It’s so busy. So many people are trying to call at once. Nobody can get through.
Meredith: Here’s the thing, I think we are constantly always thinking about that and worrying about that. We’re also trying to compare our marriages to other people, and think that we’re failing, when in fact, most people are going through the exact same thing. They just don’t wanna be honest about the fact that they’re having a hard time, or they’re in the trenches in their parenting or their marriage, because they don’t wanna outwardly reveal their secret lives.
Tiffany: I think it would be cool if they had classes, or meetings for guys on how to be … I know, sometimes in churches they do. Marriage, how to be a good husband, and stuff like that. I would love for my … You don’t know what you don’t know.
Tiffany: If you just have what’s in your brain, and you don’t do anything to expand on it, then you’re never gonna know. We read articles, we talk to each other. Like Crystal said, “You know, we do so much to try to figure out how to make our marriage better, but the men don’t …” I’m not trying to man bash, I’m just saying, what are resources that … Guys won’t sit around and talk about this.
Meredith: No, no. Maybe some do. I don’t know. What I do know, is that they are not mind readers.
Tiffany: Oh yeah.
Meredith: I finally had to be very blunt and very direct with my thoughts and my needs and my wants. It was like, we call it the real fireworks of fourth of July. I’ve said this a couple of times. It was like, there was a serious come to Jesus meeting. I was like, “This is either, we’re gonna figure this out, or it’s not working.”
Tiffany: That was on the fourth of July, or that’s just what you said?
Meredith: It was. No, no. It was literally on the Fourth of July a couple of years ago. Yeah. Several years ago now. Four years ago? I don’t remember. A while. All right. We’ve got Gina from Texas. She’s got four kids and she’s gonna send us off here with her tidbit of marriage advice.
Gina: Well, acually I had a question for you.
Meredith: Oh. Just kidding. She’s got a question. What do you got?
Tiffany: Hi Gina.
Gina: Hi. Meredith, when you said that you and your husband were gonna call it quits at one point, I wanted to know what you guys did to work on it more.
Tiffany: Good question.
Meredith: I literally came into the room. I’ll never forget this day as long as we live. I was at my wits end. I had already tried to get the kids ready for this annual party that we go to. I was completely exhausted from work, trying to do the blog, cleaning, cooking, keeping up with everything. He was always at work. I looked at him. I started screaming, not yelling, screaming at him, telling him that I needed help. If he wasn’t going to be there for me and help me, that I didn’t know that I could do this anymore, because I felt alone and isolated, and I was at my wits end.
Meredith: I said, “I need you to help me. Do you understand me?” The look on his face was just shock and awe, and terror, because he didn’t know that I was feeling this way, or that I needed any of these things. And so, I, up to that point, had been a terrible communicator obviously, of what I actually needed or wanted. We didn’t speak again that day, literally. We went to this part, and stayed on opposite sides.
Meredith: When we got back home, he kind of looked at me and was like, “I don’t want you to go anywhere. I didn’t know this was how you were feeling. What do you want to do? What do we need to do?” We started having conversations every single day, about expectations and what I needed, what he needed. He was like, “Well, I need sex and you don’t have sex with me.” I was like, “I need dishes to be done and you don’t do dishes.” He would be like, “Well, I want blah, blah, blah.” I would say, “Well, I want …”
Meredith: We realized we were both just shouting wants at each other. And then, we kind of, in the middle of these conversations would say, “Okay. What do you need to feel like that I’m showing I love you? This is what I need to feel like you love me.” We started to break it down and we were literally having conversations about our wants and our needs. What, what are you saying over there? It was awful, he said. It was so much talking. He literally just looked at me and said, “It was awful and it was so much talking.”
Tiffany: It worked.
Meredith: He just looked at me [crosstalk 01:11:05] and he said, “No, no. It was really good, because we actually started discussing what we truly needed from each other.” I couldn’t carry the mental load and the physical load of all of the things that I was doing. I couldn’t. I couldn’t anymore. I was done. I was spent. It was just a lot of really hard conversations, things you don’t wanna say to your spouse. I had to look at him and say, “I don’t like you. I actively dislike you.” I never wanted to say that to him. I mean, he’s my best friend. He’s my go-to. He’s my ride or die. I didn’t like him. I didn’t like him.
Meredith: He didn’t like me. He didn’t like the person who I had become. I was gnarly man. I was upset all the time. I was angry. I was overworked, exhausted. And so now … We have by no means have a perfect marriage at all. I’m never gonna sell that to you. What I can tell you …
Meredith: the one thing that we do every damn day, we communicate. If he does something … This show is not for kids by the way, so if your kids are listening, this is on you.
Meredith: I say to my kids constantly, or I say to kid … I say to my husband constantly, when he is speaking to me in a certain manner, I’ll say, “You’re acting like a dick. I need you to reel it in. Don’t speak to me in that tone,” or if I’m being nasty to him, he’ll say to me, “Whoa, whoa, whoa. Back it up. We don’t talk to each other like this.” We have to remind each other, of how to communicate.
Tiffany: Does he call you names?
Meredith: Yes. We’re bad at that.
Gina: Well that’s like … That’s my problem with my husband, is that, when we say something like that to each other, it kind of ticks us off even more, and then we get to the point of fighting or no return or not even talking for the rest of the night.
Meredith: I would say, when you … When you get to that point, give yourself … Count. I’ll actually count in my head. I’ll go, “10, nine, eight, seven …” I try to bring myself down, so that I can continue to talk to him. If the conversation is not going to go anywhere, take a time out, and say to the other [crosstalk 01:13:19] person, “Nope. We’ve gone too far. We need a time out. We’ll revisit this.” You have to have the conversation. You can’t just let it go.
Meredith: You have to.
Meredith: The whole thing that we do is, we just … We are … We work together for crying out loud. We are constantly communicating. I’m not saying we agree all the time, cause we absolutely don’t.
Meredith: He is going to know by the end of the conversation, how I feel and why. I will ask him to be clear with me. “How do you feel and why?” I do care about him. I do love him. There are absolutely times where I don’t like him at all. I don’t like him when he acts a certain way or does something. Same thing with me. I’m spicy man. I am spicy. When he tells me, I have to remember … I’ve actually caught myself in a mirror, when fighting with him one time and I was like, “Ah. Oh, Oh. Oh my. That’s bad. Oh.” I caught myself and I was like, “Ooh. I need to reel this in real quick.”
Tiffany: That’s so funny.
Meredith: It does give you some perspective on it. I think it’s important, as long as we’re communicating, I think we’ve got a shot. You know what I mean? I think when the touching stops, the talking stops, the time stops, then you’ve got a problem, that you really need to find some, maybe some professional help. We’ve gone to a therapist. I do recommend that, if that’s something that you need. I’m saying …
Meredith: if those things are all gone, you really need to have a conversation. Then you’re just roommates. That can be, a problem. If you’re communicating, and you’re talking … Like, Tiffany was saying, “What if I’m just not in a space where I wanna be sexual right now?” As long as you’re communicating that with your spouse, and you’re working through that together with them, and like I said the phase [crosstalk 01:15:15] of marriage you’re in and parenting you’re in …
Tiffany: I think my medicine has a lot of to do with it too.
Meredith: It does. It does. Anxiety [crosstalk 01:15:21] and depression medication puts a real damper on your libido.
Tiffany: Yeah. It’s not him. Just wanna clear that up.
Meredith: Right. That’s what I’m saying. There’s a lot of things. If you’re communicating those things together, I think you’ve got a really solid shot.
Gina: Thanks Meredith. Thanks guys. That’s awesome.
Meredith: Well I … That was long winded, but thank you for calling in. I appreciate it.
Tiffany: By Gina.
Meredith: Have a great weekend.
Gina: Bye. You too. Bye.
Meredith: Bye. Well, this was a marathon of a, episode.
Tiffany: Wait. Okay. Are you gonna implement any of these then Meredith, that you’ve heard today? I’m gonna do the massage. I’m gonna demand a massage from him, and have him take pictures of me, and make sweet treats for my sweets.
Meredith: Awkward … You’re gonna have him take awkward pictures of you?
Meredith: That’s awesome. I think that’s good for … Yes. No, I’m gonna continue to implement day dates. Those are great for us. I am gonna hope that he puts his phone away in bed.
Tiffany: Okay. You hear that.
Meredith: To watch me watch TV.
Tiffany: Keep us posted next week. Let us know.
Meredith: I want him to watch me watch TV, so that I know that he loves me.
Tiffany: Yeah. I get it. It’s fun to have somebody to talk to about the show.
Meredith: I do. I love to chat about it. It’s a funny sh … It’s a very interesting show.
Tiffany: Okay. If you are interested in watching and hearing and thinking and feeling more of us, you could find me at jugglingthejenkins.com. It’s Juggling The Jenkins across all social meeds.
Meredith: You’ll find me over at, That’s Inappropriate. Please, if you’ve enjoyed this podcast, leave us a review. If you want to hear a certain topic on the show, you can go to [email protected] If you put in the subject line, podcast idea, we’ll read through those and then we can maybe have your stuff on some of, the future podcasts, maybe for next season or whatev’s.
Meredith: People have good ideas.
Tiffany: Yeah. If you like the show, then leave a review. If you don’t, then just, also maybe don’t leave a review.
Meredith: Maybe do something else with your time …
Meredith: other than reviewing our show.
Tiffany: Maybe just spend that time learning to love us is what you need to do. Okay, thank you so much everybody for being here with us. Join us next week, when Meredith and I host CA Miljavac.
Meredith: Oh, that didn’t work out at all. Dave, you wrote the [inaudible 01:17:49] wrong.
Tiffany: I could have checked it though. He told me to check it.
Meredith: We will have her next week. We’re so excited to have her on the show. You can …
Tiffany: Take it …
Meredith: Or leave it. And advice-ish show hosted by two struggling mom’s, who have no [crosstalk 01:18:05] idea what we’re doing to … We have to leave it. We have to leave it there, cause it was so bad. All right guys. We’ll see you next week for episode nine.
Tiffany: Yes. Wait. Yeah.
Meredith: Today was eight dude.
Tiffany: You’re right. Okay.
Meredith: All right.
Tiffany: I love you so much everyone.
Meredith: Peace. Bye.
Meredith: Bye, bye, bye.