Did you ever have one of those days? You know, the day where everything starts off going as it should and somewhere along the line the train jumps your perfectly laid out, planned to the minute tracks? A day when your school-aged child throws a tantrum and you basically throw your own shock-and-awe fit right back?
Note: I’m being age specific, not because I’m guilty (HA!) but because babies wouldn’t get that you were upset, they’d be selfishly crying, not stopping to appreciate the crazy scene happening right in front of them. Also, they won’t remember.
School-aged kids, they would stop, stare and remember.
They will remember so hard you will wish away that moment of pure embarrassment.
Then, hopefully, one day they will bring it up and instead of cringing and feeling bad, you will laugh right along with them. “Remember that day…” and you will realize that horrible moment doesn’t define you, in fact it has taught several lessons: we’re all human and make mistakes; when you feel you are reaching your breaking point – take a moment, in private; apologies can go a long way; people (especially children) forgive; and we are hardest on ourselves, allow yourself the grace to admit your mistake and to do better the next time.
After all, no mother is perfect, you just don’t see everyone else’s imperfection as much as your own.
Are you still with me? Are you understanding, nodding your head in agreement or thinking, “I have no idea what she’s talking about?”
If you’re the latter, “Yay you!” Keep on keeping on. Nothing more to see here.
For the rest of us, there’s a place for us.
A nice place where even if you are in your pajamas at 5PM nursing your 5-times reheated morning coffee scanning Pinterest looking for a simple (on Pinterest?) last minute meal, you can find other Mommas who just may be doing the same.
A place where there’s no judgement about doing your very best and still sometimes coming up short. A place where you can connect with other moms to find encouragement, honesty and support and, lest you think it’s all serious, you can find active, funny and joyful moms. All doing the same thing – looking for company and understanding on this motherhood journey.
I’ve written before about a book I love, Mother of All Meltdowns.Â In it you’ll find real moms telling their very real stories about situations that brought out their less-than-stellar side. It’s honest and hilarious, I related to more than my fair share of the stories.Â
The book was very successful and the informal community that formed around it has now become “a place,” the place I’ve been talking about. No Mother Is Perfect is a community for the perfectly imperfect mother! A place where you canÂ let your guard downÂ and talk about the meltdowns, struggles, and less rosy aspects of being a momâ€¦Â
In my review of the book, I told you about some of my favorite stories. Come byÂ tomorrow when I’ll be posting an interview with Kristen from Four Hens and a Rooster, who wrote my favorite story, along with my Simple Summer Sangria recipe and a review of Anew Riesling.
Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Jen Kehl. If you’ve visited me before, she may be familiar because I’ve talked about her blog and link-ups, she is the music guru and creator of Twisted Mix-Tape Tuesdays which is on hiatus until fall. Before you go all “is she doing this whole post to get me to listen to her music again?” don’t worry, I’m not. (but you could check out some music I love, if you wanted to)
I’m doing this because Jen is one of the authors of Mother of All Meltdowns and her story in the book is hilarious.
Well, it’s hilarious to me because I didn’t have to vacuum up glass from the backyard. Or get locked out of my house by my child, on purpose. You really should check it out.
Also, because I’ve said before one of the best perks of blogging are the relationships and friendships you create along the way.
I started following Jen about a year ago, right around the start of Twisted Mix-Tape and my own blog. I had no idea what I was in for with blogging and I certainly didn’t know I would meet all these great people. Who knew I would find a kindred-musical-spirit right out of the gate? Lucky me.
If you haven’t met Jen, she is a home-schooling momma to a beautiful son who is an active part of her blog, My Skewed View, and now has his own. If you have time for one of his videos you must see How Puppies are Born.
To know Jen better, her story in her words is way better than anything I could write here, so stop by and meet this authentic and very real mom, doing her very best, just like the rest of us.
My No Mother is Perfect Interview with Jen Kehl, author, Mother of All Meltdowns
You are the playlist guru, you are hanging out listening to music with your family: singing, dancing, being silly â€“ name 3 songs youâ€™d be playing.
We have a lot of playlists on our iPod, but what comes to mind is the list we call Izzeâ€™s Faves. Itâ€™s hard to pick three, but….
Knock Three Times – Tony Orlando and Dawn
Bad, Bad Leroy Brown – Jim Croce
Istanbul – They Might Be Giants
Do you live by a schedule or are you more relaxed? Do you enjoy the unexpected â€œside-trackingâ€ that comes with managing life with a child/children or are you prepared for the unexpected and keep up with the schedule youâ€™ve set?
Since I homeschool we have to have somewhat of a schedule. And because Isaiah has sensory processing disorder, he doesnâ€™t do well with transitions. So I try to keep things on somewhat of a schedule, but I often fail! I also donâ€™t do well with surprises, I have always wanted to be more spontaneous but thankfully I am the right mom for this kid and we try to have a plan. Also, if I donâ€™t eat regularly I get mean…so, thereâ€™s an incentive to stick to a schedule!
In MoAM you mentioned you prepare homemade mac and cheese. That is both one of my specialties and one of my kiddos faves. Can you share your recipe?Â
Iâ€™m gonna trick you into eating healthy mac nâ€™ cheese
- 1 pkg turkey hot dogs, sliced
- 12oz shredded parmesan cheese (2 6oz pkgs)
- 1 large head of broccoli
- 1 pkg macaroni or spiral pasta
- 2T olive oil
- preheat the oven to broil and place the oven rack on the top spot
- set the water to boil for the pasta, cook according to instructions RESERVE 1CUP OF WATER WHEN PASTA IS DONE
- steam broccoli until just done, do not overcook
- in large oven-proof skillet brown hot dogs in olive oil over medium heat
- add steamed broccoli to the skillet and turn heat to low
- add cooked, drained pasta to broccoli and hot dogs
- turn off heat
- mix well
- add 3/4 of the cheese gradually, mixing well, adding small amounts of reserved water to help cheese become a sauce using as much water as needed
- once mixed and “saucy” sprinkle remaining cheese on top and place skillet in oven for 5 minutes
- let stand 5 minutes and eat up!
And finally, do you have a recent meltdown you can tell us about or have you written about it and can share a link?
I did freak out at my husband a while back, the dogs had an unexpected meeting with a possum in the backyard. It was a pretty funny story so I had to write about it.
It was called Itâ€™s a Good Thing Weâ€™re Not Real SurvivalistsÂ Â Here’s an excerpt:
Hereâ€™s a lesson I learned
a while back tonight, about what would happen if the apocalypse came tomorrow. I learned that I would have no one to count on but me and my super-high-powered LED flashlight from Wal-Mart.
Yeah my husband talks the talk and walks the . Well what can I say? Judge me if you will, weâ€™ve got the â€œprotectionâ€, weâ€™ve got the go bag, weâ€™ve got the highest Lumen LED flashlight you can buy so you can blind any wacko wielding a gun and we may even have a few years worth of food and water stashed in some undisclosed location. Not to mention the various accoutrements like water purifiers in case of contamination, waterproof match containers, super high energy burners in a can (for cooking) and flares. Cause everyone needs flares.
But when judgement day comes, I learned tonight, that my husband is gonna be screaming â€œWhat should I do? What should I do?â€ like a little girl. Click here to read more…
Thank you Jen, for taking the time to share your story and recipe with me and the millions of readers who will now be checking out your blog, the book, and the community website. I know you are busy and I appreciate your participation.
Now, here is some love for everyone visiting today, to celebrate the launch of the new community, there is a fabulous No Mother is Perfect, But Every Mother is Unique Motherâ€™s Day Giveaway brought to you by The Mother of All Meltdownsâ€¦Enter between April 1, 2014 to May 11, 2014 to win one of three fabulous prize packages including a three-night stay for two at a destination spa!
Also, I would be crazy not to mention you can pick up your copy of Mother of All MeltdownsÂ today through Motherâ€™s Day for only $0.99 on Amazon! Motherâ€™s Day is Sunday, May 11th 2014, and we want moms everywhere to accept the meltdowns, stop chasing perfection, and embrace their uniquity. You wonâ€™t find this word listed in Websterâ€™s, but you will find it within every mother on the planet. Enter between April 1, 2014 to May 11, 2014 to win one of three fabulous prize packages including a three night stay for two at a destination spa!
TheÂ No Mother is Perfect, But Every Mother is Unique Motherâ€™s Day Giveaway is sponsored by The Oaks at Ojai, Cariloha, Wicker Central, Metropolis Coffee Company, Wind & Fire Jewelry, Chuao Chocolatier, Global Rose & Anew Riesling
Please Read (all the way to the end, if you want to be my friend): I received a copy of The Mother of All Meltdowns for my original review. I also bought 2 copies, after I read the copy I was given, because I enjoyed it so much. I did not receive any compensation for my ownÂ meltdown story (I actually had to pay the doctor.) All opinions about the book and community are my own. I received noÂ additional compensation for introducing the No Mother is Perfect community to you today. That link goes right to my profile, so when you stop by we can beÂ friends.Â
This was a long one, thanks for sticking with me! Now you have to let me know: did you read the book? Do you have a meltdown story? Did you check out the No Mother is Perfect community? Did you friend me? Do you like wine? Do you like chicken? If yes (especially to both!) stop back tomorrow, you are in for a treat!
I just had one of those days just yesterday and probably why I loved being able to contribute to this book, too. But yes I can relate and then some. And loved seeing Jen be interviewed her today and cant thank her enough for sharing her Mac and Cheese recipe, too!! 🙂
Yes, unfortunately that was written from my own very recent meltdown. It was awful – lesson learned.
Now I want some healthy mac and cheese! And that possum story – wow. I had a similar one as a kid.
We can definitely still be friends because I’m often still in my pajamas (or already in my pajamas?) at 5:00 pm.
Hee hee, I was thinking – do I clarify that I’m probably STILL in my pjs? Happens more often than I care to admit!
Love Jen Kehl, so was so happy to see her interviewed here today! She rocks! And honestly, any mother who says they have not had a meltdown is lying. I certainly know of many of my own that make the heat instantly rise to my face in embarrassment! Great post! :)-Ashley
I am just thankful they happen in the privacy of my own home. And that they don’t happen all the time. Just some of the time. **grace** and **deep breaths**
5pm in my pajamas nursing a cold coffee, that’s me! Jen, that mac and cheese sounds delicious!
Love this post!
I knew I couldn’t be alone w/the cold coffee thing! Or the pj thing!
I LOVE all of this Stephanie!!!! Girl, I am SO with you on all of it! I love Jen- and of course I LOVE the book!!! Thank you so so much for your precious support!!! I just lost it on my 8 year old this morning… flying to school LATE to run the school store (EVERY week I curse the day I volunteered for this gig) and my son realizes he FORGOT his backpack…and lunch…
Need I say more?
Chris I have a backpack in my car right now that was left behind after I chased the bus into the next neighborhood beeping the horn and flashing my lights. You’d think a bus driver would be more observant. You’d think my kids would remember the important stuff!
Do I ever have one of those days? The question should really be, do I ever NOT have one of those days?!
Of course, I LOVE The Mother of All Meltdowns and not just because I’m in it. It’s now my go-to gift for mamas-to-be, friends, and strangers on the street!
LOL, it is a great gift even for teens – its eye opening!
I think I’m changing dinner tomorrow night and making that mac and cheese… who cares if the Rooster doesn’t like hotdogs… And you know… you have an open invite to share your tween/teen stories with the Ten to Twenty readers… #justsayin…
Thank you Kristen! I’d love that. I never thought of making mac & cheese w/the pasta water – definitely worth a try. It’s got to be better for us than half ‘n half.
Love the interview! Thanks so much for the great review(s)!
Thanks Lisa! I’m glad you stopped by!
You are so right about older children – they don’t let you forget a meltdown. It’s often, “Remember that time when Mom….” No story that starts like that can be good.
Thanks for being such an awesome supporter of our book, Stephanie. I hope you win something in the giveaway!
They don’t forget…and they know all our buttons. No wonder I enjoy a glass of wine after they’re in bed.
Last night I said, to no one in particular, I’m going to shoot myself. Isaiah said, “But then who would clean up the blood?”
That sums it up, don’t you think?
This is a great post, we really aren’t perfect but we are the perfect moms we need to be. Thank you so much, this was great! I hope everyone likes the mac and cheese!
That totally sums it up. They appreciate us but not always in the way we’d like. Thank you for being willing to answer my questions and be a part of this. It was a lot of fun putting this whole thing together.
Loved reading the interview with Jen! And I’ll be back for Kristen’s.
But I have no idea what you are talking about. I never yell, or lose it. Oh wait, you know me in real life. Hahaha.
Thanks for reviewing our book and sharing our Mom’s Day giveaway! Someone is going to be very happy this Mother’s Day!
You mean me. I’m going to be very happy in Ojai this Mother’s Day.
And it is my pleasure – I wouldn’t write about it if I didn’t love it.
I’ve had more and more of those days lately. Feeling chaotic. Kids driving me crazy. I think it happens more when I don’t feel productive. Or my day doesn’t go as planned like yesterday. Forgot to put something on my calendar, and it pretty much cost me the whole day. 🙁 I loved Mother of All Meltdowns! Made me feel less alone.
I totally hear you. I think it happens more to me when I don’t feel productive as well – I’m really mad at myself but I’m short with the kiddos as a result. And I’d really look like a whacko if I started yelling at myself. (That might be a way funnier story though, huh?) I’m glad you stopped today April! Thank you.
I was at a school meeting last night and I mentioned something about my boys fighting at the dinner table. Some lady said something like, “only at your house, of course” and I wanted to punch her. Or throw a copy of this book at her, anyway! Geez, people! If your kids don’t fight, you’re lying or there’s something else wrong!
Don’t you hate that? You know it’s not “only at your house.” If it were, there would not be this widespread knowledge of how kids fight! Gimme a break. If you do end up punching her will you please share the story? That would be one heck of a meltdown. 🙂
Oh girl, I am so with ya! Of course my jammies are generally shorts and a tee, and while I don’t do coffee, I am on a luke warm Mtn Dew by this time! That Mac and Cheese sounds wonderful, I sure do wish my kids would eat it. 🙂 Lil miss doesn’t like melted cheese and lil man won’t touch veggies…crazy kids! Hope you are having a great week!
I don’t understand. How can anyone not like melted cheese. OMGoodness! That melted my brain just a little bit!
See, my imperfection is worth keeping if it’s one of the prerequisites of our friendship!! I knew I was keeping it around for something….my favorite (?!) meltdown has to be the day I was speeding out of my driveway to get my kids to school on time (or 10 minutes late more likely) while my husband and his brother were in Denver (saying their final farewell to their mother who was dying) and I proceeded to ignore my SCREAMING back up sensor and plow into the side of my brother-in-law’s Mercedes. It was the first time my kids heard (note: ‘heard’) me utter (YELL) the ‘f’ word. Ugh.
On a happier note, I always enjoy seeing Jen’s Twisted Mix Tape lists via your suggestion 🙂 and that Puppy video her son did is h-I-l-a-r-I-o-u-s!!!
I know, it is such a funny video. I think that is why Ella jumped out of the car though, I probably should have monitored it better but it’s not like she hasn’t heard that word – I think it was the licking. (Omgoodness, I am laughing at my own comment.)
Anyway, I would have lost it over the Mercedes, too. Afterward you handled it very well, if that makes you feel any better. And now your kids aren’t shocked when they hear me speak (anymore.)
I should really be getting a copy of that book. And I love how moms like you recognize that no mother is perfect and that we all have our meltdowns. 🙂 I’m learning to accept that everyday.
I just read this again. I don’t know why it pinged me again, and it was so much fun to have this flashback.
I miss the good old days…..