My kids watch a lot of screens. But they also do a shit-ton of other stuff. And I make zero apologies.Summer! Time to get out of the house and ride bikes and take nature walks and make bucket lists and catch worms and have lemonade stands.

…Or watch a hell of a lot of TV and iPad.

Do you fall into one of these two categories? What’s your “policy” on screen time? Do you even have one?

Well, I thought I was doing okay with our regulations until I chatted with a few camp moms recently about this very topic. One mom proudly declared that her kids are limited to one hour of screen time per day. Not to be outdone, a chipper sanctimommy super-dedicated mother scoffed at the one-hour limit and retorted, “My kids don’t watch screens. We are far too busy being active outside and using our imaginations.”

Are you fucking kidding, lady.

Ain’t no place for this slacker mom in that circle, so I bowed out pretty quickly. Because here’s the cold hard truth. My kids watch a lot of screens on days off from school. Often our time consists of a rotation between Minecraft, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Star Wars Rebels, and Barbie cartoons. (I could list those in order of most to least painful, but it’s really just one continuous circle of hell.)

But you know what else we’ve done so far this summer? Gone to the zoo, gone to Legoland, swam in pools, gone on walks, gone on bike rides, played in the sprinklers, gone to the library, read piles and piles of books from the library, written Continue Reading

Despite the family calendar, multiple marker boards, and post-its everywhere, I still forget where we need to be.We’re late! Let’s go! We are late. AGAIN. Hurry up! You can go potty when we get there. Tie your shoes in the car!

This was me, this past weekend, as I realized at 1:38 p.m. that my daughter was supposed to be somewhere at 1:40. And that somewhere was 20 minutes away. Shiiiiiiiit.

While driving like a bat out of hell across town and silently chanting “Are you fricking kidding you mother fricking what the frick…” every time we hit a red light or got stuck behind some grandpa doing the damn speed limit, I looked in the rearview mirror and saw three frightened faces. Mommy doesn’t usually drive like this. Mommy is mad. Mommy is frustrated. With us? No. Mommy is frustrated with herself, which is far worse for her to deal with than when we screw up.

Because Mommy is a perfectionist. Mommy doesn’t make mistakes. Mommy doesn’t forget to pick us up and she knows which day is library day and she makes us eat fruit with lunch and brush our teeth extra when we eat candy and always makes sure we have clean underwear. Mommy knows the schedule because she has a giant family calendar and 3 marker boards (one for each kid) and an intricate system of post-it notes all over the house for extra reminders. And her phone dings at various times throughout the day to make sure she gets it all done.

So how did she mess up? How on the earth is it possible that she forgot? Well I’ll tell you. As I was praying for green lights Continue Reading

I run this motherfucker like Cleopatra. Until my kid shits everywhere. Then I'm dethroned.They say bossy girls get shit done. And I agree. I have always thrived on being the boss. To be honest, few things in life give me more pleasure than telling other people what to do.

Growing up I, like lots of little girls, often played house (of course I was always the mom, telling everyone else what to do). When I grew tired of house, I transitioned to playing school (where I was obviously the teacher, also telling everyone what to do).

As an adult, I achieved my childhood dream by becoming a real life grownup teacher—the giver of As through Fs for 100 students. With a stroke of my red pen, I could determine a walk across the stage at graduation. Or summer school. I was drunk with power.

Well into adulthood, my obsessive compulsive tendencies were allowed to flourish. Saturdays were for laundry and scrubbing the apartment spotless. Sundays were for grocery shopping and cooking. No deviation from this plan was permitted. Towels were color-coded in the linen closet, folded into perfectly symmetrical rectangles. Shoes were lined up on the shoe rack immediately upon entry. The bed was always made. Nary a speck of dust could be found. If it sounds a little OCD, it was. But I was the boss, so it was okay.

Then I had children.

You know where this is going. Continue Reading