The Dirty Truth About the Holiday Season

PURELL® Multi Surface Spray (our new best friend)

The holidays are finally upon us and we here at Mommy Dearest Inc. couldn’t be more excited. Well, perhaps if our holiday included an all-expenses-paid vacation to Fiji, but we don’t think any amount of Santa lap-sitting is gonna make that happen!

Instead, we’re focusing on what we do have: friends, family and just a touch of Botox from time to time. Blessed. But as we all know, the holidays can be filled with their fair share of stresses as well. Some of them we can’t control, like the seemingly never-ending winter break from school, but some of them we can. And that’s thanks to our new best friend, PURELL® Multi-Surface Disinfectant Spray. We’ve partnered with GOJO, the makers of this brand-new product, to tell you about how we’ll be using it during the holiday season!

Theresa’s Story –

The holidays are the perfect time for family and friends to gather at your home to eat, drink (maybe a bit too much) and be merry. There are so many great traditions during this time of year and like many of you, one of ours is preparing a meal together. Each year, we spend the day eating while we cook so that nobody is even remotely hungry when the turkey finally hits the table six hours later. However, there is one part of these holiday feasts that I can’t get down with, and that is the poor turkey.

From the moment that large, whole, raw bird enters my fridge until it is fully cooked, I worry about how to protect us all from food poisoning! My husband is the official turkey cooker so while he is slathering the bird with herbs and butter, I am a one-woman army scrubbing away raw bird from my fridge, countertops, and kitchen sink – all the while praying our guests won’t be treated to a bleach-flavored meal.

Killing germs and bacteria. Like a boss.

When I heard that the PURELL® brand was introducing a multi-surface disinfecting spray that is approved for use on food prep surfaces, kitchen appliances and is worry-free around kids, pets, and food – I couldn’t wait to give it a try. My family has been using PURELL® Hand Sanitizer for years to rid our hands of germs while on-the-go, so it’s a brand that we know and trust.

This spray kills 99.99% of bacteria and germs in 30 seconds so that raw turkey juice doesn’t stand a chance!  And, since this product has an alcohol-based formula, it kills germs like bleach but doesn’t have those harsh and irritating fumes. Being someone with very high sensitivity to smells, I can honestly say that the scent is light and not at all bothersome.

Needless to say, PURELL® Multi Surface Spray will definitely become part of our holiday traditions as well as our cleanups around the kitchen and the rest of the house, year round. Keeping my family and home germ-free will be so much easier with this product on hand. I can even use it on all of those mangy, over-loved stuffed animals that my daughter loves so much – but that is another story altogether. Get your clean on this holiday season with PURELL® Multi Surface Spray!

Kelly’s Story – 

For me, the holiday season is filled with wonderful memories. Lazy mornings by the fireplace, listening to Christmas songs for a solid month and never getting sick of them, and of course, extra time with friends and family. But there’s one thing that comes with the holiday season that I absolutely dread. Illness. Before I had kids, I never realized the full extent of misery that comes with cold and flu season. Cut to last winter. I will spare you all the gory details, mainly because I gag just thinking about them, but let’s just say there was a moment while my husband and my two-year-old were barfing in unison when I considered just jetting off and calling it a day.

Alas, we made it through. But as the cold and flu season rears its ugly head this year, I can feel my anxiety rise to the surface once more. Enter this brand new product, PURELL® Multi Surface Disinfectant. 

I first learned that this product was coming onto the market several months ago, and I’m not exaggerating when I say I was stoked. I have PURELL® Hand Sanitizer in every diaper bag, purse and pocket of my car. So to think that I could have a surface disinfecting spray to use in my home definitely piqued my interest.

But, as an environmentally conscious Westside Los Angeles mom, I also hesitated to dive headfirst into the spray (metaphorically speaking of course) because I worried about harsh chemicals and odors. We’ve used an eco-friendly multipurpose spray for years and while I love that it doesn’t smell like a chemical factory, I can’t say with certainty that it’s actually disinfecting anything. 

With the PURELL® Multi Surface Spray, however, I feel like I’m getting the best of both worlds. It disinfects and cleans, and its alcohol-based formula kills germs like bleach without harsh chemicals and irritating fumes.  And, since it’s a no-rinse formula, you don’t have to worry about wiping down surfaces with water after you use it. Though I can’t guarantee your children won’t spray or dump water everywhere 30 seconds after you disinfect and clean, as mine typically do. 

I love his little hands and feet. Just not on my dining table!

So, as my two little tyrants, I mean angels, spread their germs all over our counters, tables and pretty much every other surface in our home, I’m taking comfort this cold and flu season knowing that I’m doing everything I can to kill those pesky germs with the help of PURELL® Multi Surface Disinfecting Spray. If you love PURELL® products as much as we do, you’re definitely going to want to check this product out at amazon.comwalmart.com, and jet.com

Happy Holidays to all, and to all a germ-free night! 

Why I’m Rejecting Working Mom Guilt

Anyone who has ever tried to work with a baby on their lap will appreciate the hilarity of this photo.

Working mom guilt. Just typing the phrase alone makes me cringe. Not for the reasons you might imagine though. I’d venture a guess that when you think about this phrase, you picture something like this; a mom in heels, running frantically from a school drop off to an important meeting, forgetting that her kid’s lunch is still in her purse. Or maybe you see a mom crying at her desk because the nanny just sent her a video of her baby’s first steps.

Perhaps you picture yourself and a moment in your own professional life that has shot like a dagger through your heart because you weren’t with your children for a particular milestone or celebration.

Am I right?

Those are all common images associated with this notion of working mom guilt, and they are very real scenarios for many women, but that’s not what makes me cringe. What makes me cringe is the saying itself – working mom GUILT.

The very definition of this word insinuates that working mothers, myself included, are doing something wrong. Not something hard, or something that can come with challenging moments or even sadness sometimes. Nope, guilt doesn’t mean any of those things; it means you’ve done something for which you should feel ashamed, like stealing money from your workplace or cheating on your spouse.

No wonder so many working moms feel negative about their experience. The very term used to describe what we go through suggests that we’ve made the wrong choice. When often, working isn’t even a choice for us at all.

Listen, do I feel sad when I have to say goodbye to my two-year-old in the morning, and he’s sitting on our front steps waving at me with the cutest damn face ever? Yes, of course, I do. Do I wish that I could volunteer in my first grader’s classroom regularly, so I have a better sense of how his teacher operates? Without a doubt.

no working mom guilt here
Getting a visit at work from my guys is simply the best.

But do I feel guilty about loving what I do for a living and providing financial security for my family? Absolutely not. What I feel can better be described as what I call the working mom anger.

I feel anger that most of the women I talked to about this topic told me they went back to work before they were ready because their maternity leave, if they ever had one, was too short. I feel anger that many of us end up apologizing to our employers if we leave early for something child-related, even though we know it will have zero negative impact on their bottom line.

One of the moms I spoke to explained this best when she stated, “I’m more likely to feel guilty for leaving the office early to take care of my kids than I am to feel guilty for leaving my kids. I think that is a societal/cultural issue.” Indeed it is. And it’s high time we demanded a change.

How will employers ever revise their policies if we keep acting like it’s our fault there’s an issue? The problem is not your guilt, ladies. The problem is that we haven’t been shouting from the rooftops about how unnecessary all the hoops we have to jump through in order to both work and parent, are in this country!

Why are we still accepting of the fact that all over the U.S., women are given zilch in terms of paid maternity leave? Even in our Government, as one of my friends who is a federal employee notes, “You simply have to use your annual leave/sick days. If you don’t have enough you can enroll in a program and hopefully get approved or get donations for six to eight weeks of paid leave, but nothing more than postpartum recovery (six-eight weeks). Everything else is LWOP (leave without pay) if you don’t have enough time in your bank and want the full 12 weeks.”

You guys, that is insane. We’re talking about six weeks to three months here – anyone who has ever had a baby or been around anyone who has ever had a baby knows that at six weeks postpartum you are still hormonal, sleep-deprived, peeing your pants and getting up multiple times a night to feed your child. I honestly just cannot fathom how any company, much less our FEDERAL GOVERNMENT can rationalize this.

Did you know in Canada, women can get up to a full year (and sometimes more) of leave? It’s true. One Canadian mom I spoke to explained, “We get a percentage of our wage. So, while we make less than when working, we save in other costs (i.e., childcare) and we can also split the leave with our husband so he can take time as well.” When I asked if she thought this led to fewer feelings of this so-called working mom guilt, she responded, “I don’t know if it helps alleviate the guilt because I think, working or not, we are so incredibly hard on ourselves. However, I’m more ready (both physically and emotionally) to go back as compared to others who go back much sooner.”

Can you imagine what a shift there would be in our own country if we adopted this policy? If working moms knew from the beginning of their journey that they were valued as mothers and employees, with the two not standing in opposition to each other?

My plea to all the working mothers out there is that you stop internalizing these feelings you’ve been led to believe are your own fault, your own “working mom guilt”, and start verbalizing what you want, what you need, and what you deserve, in order to function in both roles. Let’s start talking about change, not guilt. Lord knows it isn’t going to happen until we demand it!

Saving Money and Starbucks: A Parent’s Struggle

kissing starbucks cup
I don’t always match my straw…

If you’re anything like me, saving money is something that you think about doing a lot more often than you actually do it. Thanks, Target! I have recently realized however, that my kids’ toy cars are nicer than my actual car. So I decided it was time to really buckle down in order to buckle in to an upgraded vehicle. For this, I turned to the experts. Seemingly every financial Tom, Dick and Suze I read had the same advice: give up expensive coffee drinks if I want to get ahead on saving money. In theory, this seems reasonable. Buying these drinks isn’t a necessity, especially when I have a perfectly good coffee maker at home. How hard could it be?

But then I tried to do it. I failed miserably.

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This Is What Happens When You Lose Your Libido

In a different life, or perhaps it was mine but it was just so long ago that it doesn’t quite seem real, I was sexy and cool. I used to play the guitar for 3-4 hours each day, I was accepted into a top acting school in NYC, I would draw and write. I volunteered to walk shelter dogs and sew baby clothes. I read a zillion books, had lots of friends, was always up for an adventure. I was interesting, funny.
 
Now? What am I? Who am I? How did I get so lost? Let me explain. Ten years ago I got married. Six years ago I had a baby. I have heard legends about these magical, unicorn women out there who are able to maintain that sexy vibe all throughout those first years of being a mom. Well played in your sexy nursing bras and knickers! I applaud you, you sexy bitches. However, that ship sailed without me. My main focus when purchasing nursing bras was raw nipples, not making sure I looked hot in them. So with that in mind, my post-baby bras looked something like hideous, beige, padded, uniboob-creating nightmares. The sexiest I managed to get during that time was roaming the house looking for my phone with my tits hanging out through the nursing flaps. That was just the beginning of the decline. In the past six years, I became the lowest person on the totem pole. I forgot all about me. I forgot about all of the things I used to do and I forgot all about taking care of myself. What I had become was “Mom”. Period. End of story.

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Things My Mother Never Told Me About Motherhood

Mother’s Day is rounding the bend and I find myself reflecting upon not only my job as a mother but how my own mom has influenced my parenting. For those of us with a pulse, we can all agree motherhood wasn’t exactly what we had expected. For me, my bundle of joy came with a generous side of anxiety and fear, which was nice. Then truly experiencing things like sleep deprivation and a shift in your relationship with your spouse, also throw a nice fireball into the mix. All of this new love and new fear is just the beginning.

I’m not sure if it’s because my mother had six children, but I never really felt this anxiety from her that myself and other moms talk about these days. I imagine having six kids is like herding cats. It was chaotic to say the least but even in the chaos, she did not flip her shit like I do with my one and only. How? Maybe with six kids you learn a new level of disassociation. I’m not sure. I can’t ask her because she’s dead. Continue reading

My Kid’s a Thief. Now What the Hell Do I Do?

The funny thing about parenting (and running a funny parenting blog) is that you never really know what’s going to come next. You may think you have it under control, that you’re navigating the choppy waters successfully, avoiding all the circling sharks, but the next thing you know, bam! You cut your toe open on a jagged lego piece and the sharks move in the for the kill.

That’s a bit dramatic I’ll admit, but it’s exactly how I felt the day I found out my five-year-old son was a thief. Continue reading

Social Media Can Be A Tricky Thing

image via shutterstock

Social Media can be a tricky thing. It can make you laugh, it can make you cry and it can make you viciously angry. Chatting with my women-folk about the ups and downs of social media, we all agreed that the worst feeling social media brewed inside of us was the feeling of being inferior. Life isn’t perfect but some have the gift of portraying it that way. I am not one of those people. Here’s some insight to how to look past the perfection and be ok with the messy.

HOW SOCIAL MEDIA PORTRAYS LIFE

You’ve all seen it. The picture of the incredibly decorated cakes, sitting atop a counter that has absolutely no clutter whatsoever. The counter itself looks like it costs more than my entire kitchen (and probably does). The children are donning the latest fashion trends from the boutique you’ve never even entered because you can’t afford it. Their hair is coiffed in a fashion that looks professional. Everyone looks happy and in love. Continue reading

New Year, Better Moi – A Guide To Making It

Sweaty and eggplant in color. Me.

 

“New Year, Better Me” is my New Year’s resolution. Like most, I’m not great at keeping all my resolutions. I tend to fall off the wagon easily since most resolutions tend to, well, suck. My plan includes meditating more, journaling and (drum roll please) reshaping my Mom Bod. The first two items on the list are easy, it’s the third that will give me trouble.

People constantly say that you should love your body no matter how it looks. I am thankful for my body. But love it? Meh. It’s amazing that I gave birth and that my body was capable of that but damn, babies can do a number on a body! So for me, this is about being healthier and losing a few pounds (and allowing me back into all the clothes that I have outgrown). Continue reading

The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show: A Retrospective

I realize the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show aired several weeks ago, which in this day and age is equivalent to an entire lifetime, but with two kids, a job etc. etc. I will most likely never be the first to write about anything pop-culture related. I did have some thoughts while watching the show though, so I decided to share them with you today, a month later. We’ll call it a “throwback” post so it seems cooler. Some of my thoughts were fleeting; Is Bruno Mars really that short? Should I get hair extensions? Oh look, there’s Kylie Jenner, again. This sandwich could really use some mustard, just to name a few. But some stuck with me longer and here they are, in no particular order.

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How I Ruined Date Night with One Simple Mistake

My husband recently turned 37 and to celebrate I decided to take him to a restaurant in our neighborhood that serves a 96 ounce steak. We did not order this steak, but I just wanted you to know that there is a place on the health-crazed, kale-obsessed Westside of Los Angeles that will still serve meat in massive quantities, and for this I am thankful. I digress. The only problem with my plan was that none of our regular babysitters were available. In these instances we have one of two choices. Continue reading

Changing the Way You Drink About Motherhood

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