The “I Wish I Was Invisible” Woman

Kim Kinzieaging, humor, older parents6 Comments

This is the second in a three-part series on aging and motherhood. It all started the day my first son was born. I felt the urge to pee so I stood up to walk to the bathroom. Upon my foot hitting the floor, my bladder released – completely – as I had absolutely no control.   Since no one told me this could happen, I felt no remorse at the large puddle of urine the nurse came in to clean up (a warning would have been nice!) I truly hoped this would not be my new normal. My body has fortunately bounced back in many ways since that day, but the former steel-like control I held over my bladder is gone, and it’ s not coming back. Why just the other day I took my boys to an indoor bounce place.   The urge came upon me, so I made my way to the ladies’ room. Midway I had to sneeze but, since it was the Friday of April vacation, I was slightly exhausted and spacey so I forgot to stop and close my legs. Achoo goes the nose; Swooosh goes the urethra.  Ugh. Time to go, kids! I constantly wet myself. Any cough, sneeze or extreme laughter unaccompanied by a hearty leg cross will result in, at the very least, a large … Read More

Life’s Paths: Respecting the Choice to Not Have Children

Dawn Michaelfriendship, non-judgmentLeave a Comment

I remember the quote, “You’ll never regret having children, but you may regret not having them.”  I thought of that when I read an article in the March issue of Bazaar magazine called “Opting Out of Motherhood.”  The author, Meghan Daum, had concluded that children were not something she pined for.  She preferred the calmness of drinking her coffee while listening to the birds chirp.  How come I hadn’t foreseen that my coffee moments would be in the car driving my children here, there, and everywhere?  Had I not given thought to what I’d someday sacrifice?  We are fortunate to have the choice whether to reproduce or not.  The author remarked how there were many times to doubt herself for not having children, but at her present age, she no longer had an option. Do I think she’s missed out?  I’m not sure.  Having children is a very personal decision.  I don’t look down upon women who don’t have children as “selfish.”  Rather, I see them as selfless.  It takes a lot of courage to say no to societal pressure.  Imagine having so much conviction in your belief that you won’t have a child “just to make sure you haven’t missed out on anything.”  Kudos to those who knew their limitations and opted out of procreating. For me, I’m thankful … Read More

Taking Back Mother’s Day: Time to Start Some New Traditions

Kim Kinziehumor, self care8 Comments

I wrote this piece last year for Motif Magazine and it stirred a bit of controversy.  I’m reposting it because I still think the message is important. It’s slightly different (i.e. less offensive) than my original post, but I think I’ve made my point. Hope you like it: Invariably when I ask my fellow moms what they’re doing for Mother’s Day, I receive one of two responses: (1) we’re spending the day with my mother/mother-in-law or (2) we’re going out to brunch/lunch/dinner as a family.  Correct me if I’m wrong but Mother’s Day is supposed to be a celebration of women who are mothering children; to honor their hard work and give them a break. It is not a day to torture these women, right?   Then why, oh why, are they engaging in such dreadful activities? Don’t argue with me here. Please don’t try to tell me that going out for brunch with your family is “fun.” It’s not.   “But” you insist, “my partner made a reservation at my favorite brunch spot. Of course it will be a great day!” Perhaps you’re picturing yourself, dressed in grown-up, party clothes, enjoying a mimosa as you dine on delectable food. You glance over at your partner with a smile of appreciation on your face. You don’t have to cook or clean a thing. He feels smugly satisfied … Read More

Meet the Invisible Woman

Kim Kinzieaging, humor, older parentsLeave a Comment

This is the first in a three-part series on aging and motherhood. Last week a video clip from the Amy Shumer show went viral. It featured some of my favorite middle-aged women -Tina Fey, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Patricia Arquette – discussing the fact that, since they’re in their fifties, they’re now unf**kable by Hollywood standards. I have very sad news for these ladies, however. While Hollywood deems you unf**kable in your 50s, you’ve long outlasted those of us who don’t have access to personal chefs, three-hour fitness training sessions and endless plastic surgical procedures. For the lowly average gal, becoming unf**kable starts much, much earlier. It happened to me in my late ‘30s. After 18 years in Boston, where I could always turn the heads of, at the very least, a construction worker or man in his late 40s, I’d grown quite used to men giving me the once-over. This wasn’t because I was some drop-dead beauty, or wore revealing clothes; I was simply a woman of a youngish age, with a decent enough look. Most men would have done me, because, let’s face it, they’re just not that selective. At 37, however, I moved to Southern California where there’s an abundance of ridiculously gorgeous women in their 20s, traipsing around in a state of semi-dress, baring their perfect tans, fake breasts … Read More

“Conscious Eating”

Dawn Michaelhumor, kids in public, UncategorizedLeave a Comment

I love Chipotle!  It’s my last minute go to dinner place.  I always order the kid’s steak quesadilla meal.  Each time, I’m warned that the steak is the spiciest meat they offer.  “That’s okay, ” I reply, secretly knowing the steak is for me to eat.  What a deal!  I get a complete tasty  and somewhat nutritious meal for a mere $4(wonder if that fits in with Gwyneth Paltrow’s challenge to live on food stamps?) As I wait in line, I stare at the plastic enclosed case of rice(white or brown), beans(pinto or black), and a plethora of meats from chicken to pork to shredded beef.  I ignore the colorful vegetables as they don’t complement my immature food palate.  After making my selections, I side step to the register.  While deciding between apple juice and chocolate milk, I notice the black uniform clad worker gingerly unwrapping the tinfoil off my quesadilla.  “Hey, can you please leave that wrapped?  It will stay warmer that way.”  Apologetically, she responds,  “Sorry, I can’t.  We need to remove all of the foil.”  Thoughts of a burn victim (circa 1998 when McDonalds got sued for failure to warn the coffee was hot) flash through my head.  This wasn’t the case however.  Apparently, some child had eaten the tinfoil and the parents called Chipotle to complain. … Read More

With Friends Like These, Who Needs Enemies?

Kim Kinziefriendship, non-judgment, our book2 Comments

As a long-time subscriber to the Huffington Post and mom of two, I’m a big fan of their parenting section, with contributors like Glennon Doyle Melton of Momastery and Jill Smokler of Scary Mommy. With each click, I’ve always felt confident I’d be reading something interesting, thought provoking, or, at the very least, having a good laugh. I’ve therefore come to consider Huff Post Parents a reliable and professional source of information.  That is, until yesterday. A post entitled “Parents ‘Demanding’ Invitation to Baby’s First Birthday Goes Viral” popped up on my Facebook feed. It seemed to be getting a lot of attention so I clicked in because, admittedly, I’m human and immature, and sometimes enjoy laughing at stupid shit like this. The article highlighted an email sent by an anonymous parent who’s planning her 1 year-old’s birthday. She apparently emailed some family and friends with some birthday gift edicts. I use the term “friends” loosely, as clearly she has some frenemies – you know, those people you thought were your friends but clearly they can’t stand you – as one of the recipients passed the email around at work and it went viral. The result: the writer of the email is now the subject of mockery and scorn. As I scrolled through the contents of the email, I didn’t see the … Read More

Please Be With You

Kim Kinziehumor, kids in publicLeave a Comment

Throw-back Thursday!  I wrote this piece a few years ago when I took my son (then age 5) to a Catholic Church for the first time.  Since communion season is now upon us, I thought you all might enjoy this read:  Do you take your kids to church? Did you go to church growing up? I grew up Catholic but that didn’t mean we went to church.   We were those “holiday Catholics,” also known as Creasters or CEOs.  Regardless, religion played a large role in my upbringing. My grandfather was a Eucharistic minister and Grand Puba of the Knight’s of Columbus. I received my first communion, was confirmed with the name “Rebecca” (oblivious to the fact that Rebecca is a traditionally a Jewish name – should have been a sign) and my first marriage was conducted by a Catholic priest. I never intentionally ate meat on a Friday during lent, though I was known to forget occasionally…but only with chicken, I swear! At some point, however, the Catholic Church and I had a mutual break-up.  They no longer wanted me due to the fact that I got divorced and had broken every commandment. (Hey, don’t judge me; you probably have too. Read the fine print!).  I, in turn, no longer wanted them.  Between the sex abuse scandal, the opposition to … Read More

The School Bus Rush

Dawn MichaelADHD, our book, School issues1 Comment

I don’t enjoy school day mornings.  The chaos that encompasses them is relentless.  Though I get my children up in plenty of time for the bus, they are always rushing around, scrambling to get out the door.  The patient bus driver and bus monitor sit parked in front of my house, waiting for my two cherubs to board. I still have trouble fathoming why such a simple thing as getting ready in the morning takes so damn long!  My children are free of dress choices as they wear a uniform.  However, they still manage to fight about personal items.  Like rabid dogs, they lunge at each other, “That’s my headband!”  “She’s wearing my North Face jacket!  Take it off now!”  As an anxious negotiater, I offer a trip to Claire’s if they agree to share their accessories for the day. Breakfast is always a challenge because they’re never hungry in the morning.  The problem is they need to eat something so that their ADHD meds don’t upset their stomachs.  They sit at the table, staring off into space while I circle around them, stuffing pieces of cantaloupe in their mouths.  I repeatedly check the time, my voice rising an octave with each progressive check.  My youngest responds, “Mom, stop.  I know what time it is!”  Stubborn as the day is … Read More

Eight Years Old and All Washed Up

Kim Kinzieathletics, the '70s18 Comments

My son played baseball for the first time last spring. Given that he was only 7 years old, the atmosphere was low pressure: coach pitch; no strikes; no outs; 3 innings – short and sweet. My son walked away with a new appreciation for this age-old american pastime. Jump ahead 1 year and it’s a whole different ball game. After registering my son for another season of baseball, I learned that, given his age, he’d moved from coach pitch to a more competitive style of baseball. We would therefore need to attend a skills assessment. or, as they were known in my day, the dreaded “try-outs.” So on a chilly Saturday morning last month, I woke both of my sleeping children up from a sound sleep, ran them through the Dunkin’ Donuts drive-thru, and drove to the local high school for 8AM skills assessment. I was relieved to see that the trials were indoors, as it was snowing outside. Once we checked in, my son found some familiar faces and soon got ready to display his skills (or lack thereof). First up: pitching and catching. I can tell you without an ounce of guilt that my son probably has not thrown or caught a baseball since the season ended last June. (I’m not actually convinced he’s ever caught a baseball with his glove, though not for lack of … Read More

Who Made Me the Judge?

Kim Kinzieour bookLeave a Comment

A few weeks ago my 5 year old started swim lessons at the Y. As he headed off with his instructor, I watched a gaggle of new moms and their babies head for the pool for the “mommy and me swim lessons.” I remember doing the same with my sons. Even though I knew he wasn’t truly learning to swim, it was something to do to alleviate those endless hours at home. I soon noticed that the women were grouped according to looks: the cute, skinny, young moms in one group; the chubby, older moms in another group; and the average but smart looking moms in a third. I listened to their conversations, which all centered around nap times and eating solids. They weren’t asking one another for advice; just sort of doing that “this is what I do” game. You know it; it’s the game where you talk about something you’re doing because you think you’re doing a great job at it, but underneath you’re really insecure and just want validation in the form of another person’s praise. It’s something we parents start the moment our children are born and it never ends. In the beginning it’s about sleep and breast-feeding; later it morphs to topics like screen-time limitations and eating habits. We speak up when we think we’re doing … Read More