Select Page
The Dark Days

The Dark Days

Motherhood is the single most rewarding thing I’ve ever done in my life, I’m happier than I’ve ever been and I don’t think it could get better. But y’all, in a moment of vulnerability and honesty, this is how I feel today: some days are dark — existentially dark — full of ennui and irrational dread. Knowing the dark moments are fleeting, I swallow as deep as possible to try not to miss one moment of discovery and sweetness in my life and without becoming a cloud over the joy. I worry about being a strong enough example, a good woman, a good human. I fret constantly about being a provider financially (don’t get me started on emotional, spiritual, and passive support worries). I worry that my past is too broken for my future to recover personally and how that will affect my brood keeps me up at night. I hope that I can inspire and encourage my girl to be strong and brave by being inspired and strong and brave myself, but on dark days, I just hope the dread passes quickly, the inspiration strikes clearly, and that I find the ability to fake it if I fail, all while pouring with a heavy hand.

A brighter tomorrow, friends.

Luxury Schmuxury

Luxury Schmuxury

Luxurious Substitutes for the Frugal Mom

I rolled my eyes at this too ‘your privilege is showing, ma’ let me preface this by saying that I know that this may come across as a little bougie but I’M TRYING TO BE HELPFUL SO GIVE ME A DAMN BREAK OR MOVE ON YOU RELENTLESS SANCTIMOMMY.

Babies are expensive and despite all of my ‘oh, I’ll NEVER do that’ talk pre-real-life-baby-human creation, it turns out my kid has sensitive skin, a picky palate, and little girl clothes are just too cute to not spend every dollar bill I have on them.  Saving money in areas I was once frivolous has been a lesson in humility and I’m still working on it.

Guilty Purchase:  Fancy Face Wash

Annual Savings $60

Philosophy’s Purity is the only skin care product I’ve ever spent any real money on (except that one time I got talked into a Rodan + Fields skin care system, which I really wanted to love and to turn me into a dewy beauty queen despite the hefty pricetag but y’all if I remember to take my eye makeup off it’s with Lubriderm and toilet paper so, I’m the wrong kind of girl, and that’s a story for another day). Purity smells like good self-esteem and I enjoy the sight of it on the edge of my bathtub. I buy about 2 of the medium sized bottles (24oz) per year, which run about $44 each. My husband and I use the same beauty products, so it’s easy to rationalize since I have to share, but still $88 a year is a lot for soap used only on my face.

Trader Joe’s $5.99 (8.45oz) All-In-One Cleanser  I lovelovelove Trader Joe’s but the stuff in this aisle I usually skip on my way to $3 wine, until in a moment of desperation, avoiding the mall, I decided to try this face wash (and her sister moisturizer). It’s mild and makes my skin feel just as smooth and clean as Purity. I also find that I use a more reasonable amount of cleaner with the pump than I do rationing myself with the pour top of Philosophy, but that’s my own issue with moderation. I go through about 1 bottle every 2 months, so 6 per year, which is a total savings of $52 per year.

Cetaphil $9.49 (16oz) is AHHHmazing for sensitive skin and is so gentle, I can use it on my sweet babe’s sensitive face to avoid the ridiculously expensive prescription skin creams she needs when she gets a rash. It can be used with or without water, which is totally weird to me, but it’s true. One of the 16oz pumps lasts between 4 and 6 months, so replacing my fancy face wash with this saves up to $60.  While you’re at it, buy the store brand.  IT’S FINE.

Your Baby’s Body Wash $1.78 (28oz)$8.92 (18oz)  taking a long soaking bath is my FAVORITE thing.  My peace, my creativity, my composure, all comes from the bathtub.  When my daughter hit 2, I got tired.  I started taking baths with her at bedtime and skipping my steamy lounge after bedtime, because about 64% of the time, I fall asleep in her bed anyhow.  AND THAT is how I came to only use my baby’s bath wash as my primary face cleaner.  I don’t really know how much quicker I’m using up the baby shampoo since we’re both using it, but I like to think of it as practically free since I’m buying it anyhow.  Plus the big generic pumps often BOGO at the big box stores or subscribe at Amazon or Target for a monthly discount.  is AHHHmazing for sensitive skin and is so gentle, I can use it on my sweet babe’s sensitive face to avoid the ridiculously expensive prescription skin creams she needs when she gets a rash. It can be used with or without water, which is totally weird to me, but it’s true. One of the 28oz pumps lasts between 2 and 4 months, so replacing my fancy stuff and sharing with my toddler also saves up to $60.  Again, buy the store brand, you snob.  IT’S FINE.

Guilty Purchase:  Expensive Mascara

Annual Savings $80

Benefit’s They’re Real Mascara is 100% the best mascara I’ve ever used and to be honest, I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to give it up completely.  They say you should replace your mascara every 3 months (LOL) so in theory, at $24 a pop, this mascara will cost you almost $100 per year.   Guys, that’s like half a year’s worth of fancy diapers for my kid’s sensitive butt. Does that mean I have to say goodbye to my gorgeous eyeball hair? No way! Make-up has come a LONG way, y’all.

NYX Super Luscious Mascara $7: If you don’t know and love NYX as a frugal  cheap SMART mama, let me show you the way. Started as a pro-only company, available only to professionals at trade shows NYX is now owned by L’Oreal. Cruelty free, PETA approved, and lawd, the price tag is delicious. So, let’s say you really do replace your mascara every 3 months, you just saved yourself $68 a year. If you’re like me and replace it only when it runs out and adding a little saline solution to the tube no longer works, you’ll still save yourself like $35 a year. That’s a BABYSITTER for a movie you’ll fall asleep in on an elusive date night.

Maybelline Great Lash $4: The pink tube, y’all. You had it when you were a teenager and it still makes all of the lists for pretty-OK mascaras. This one doesn’t do it for me as much as the NYX, however, with a little backup, it’s not too bad. Guys, get yourself a lash/brow comb and USE it. Clumps happen and for $4, just comb that shit out and move on. If you bought this cheapy every 3 months, you’d spend a whopping $16 a year on mascara, saving $80.

Guilty Purchase:  Salon Haircuts

Annual Savings:  $300

I know, I know.  DON’T CUT YOUR OWN HAIR.  I get it and sometimes you just can’t and sometimes you deserve a little pampering — we’ve got options y’all, relax.  I choose to wear my hair long and wild, partly because I am long and wild and partly mostly because I’m lazy.  A professional cut at my favorite salon runs at least $75 with tip and that’s only if I can say no to that scrumptious anti-frizz creme that makes my hair smell like heaven and look like spun gold.  Assuming I opt for a trim every 8 weeks in lieu of the recommended 6 weeks (as if anyone has the time for that), that’s $450 a year just to not look like a mangy lioness.  I’m okay with lioness but not mangy, I’m not an animal.

Beauty School ($25)  Check out your local beauty schools.  There is an Aveda Institute in New Orleans that offers student cuts for less than $20 and they’re supervised by instructors, so you’re probably safe.  If you still want that professional snip every 6-8 weeks, you’re cutting that $450 basically IN HALF, saving $225.  Now if you’re really brave and can do a little maintenance at home, like my lazy ass, you can push those visits to 3-4 months without anyone being the wiser, so now you’re down to $100 per year, the cost o a good pair of scissors, and a moderately marketable skill that will make you millions of imaginary dollars on your hypothetical YouTube channel.  Girl, you’re practically famous.

DIY bang trim (FREE) Get yourself a good pair of scissors, a glass of wine, and a little courage, you can do this.

Unplanned Pregnancy

Unplanned Pregnancy

and how to not respond like a judgey asshole.

We have to have a talk, guys.   Humans are jerks.  Yeah, I’m probably talking to you.   You speak before thinking.  You are coarse and hurt feelings, intentionally or not.  You think that when you believe something to be true, everyone should believe that thing to be true.  YEAH, YOU!

When it comes to babies, I’ve learned that the sanctimony is heavy and smells like shit (but not newborn shit, like full-grown nasty toddler shit). When the next person tells you that they’re knocked up, planned or surprise, take a minute before you spew your careless opinions on the hormonal human who likes you enough to trust you with some very important information about their future and be sweet, dammit.

Response # 1:  *whispers* They’re not even MARRIED

Trust me, I know.   You’re the ones I worried most about for the first 9 weeks, when I should have been celebrating the HUMAN BEING I JUST CREATED.   I sure do know what the Bible says about this sort of thing and thanks to my heightened senses, I can smell your disappointment from here.  I appreciate your concern for my soul and all, I do, but I’m good.  I know that this is very hard for you to hear because your faith is very important to you, but I don’t believe the same things that you do, and it’s okay.  I am good and kind and I am going to work really hard to make sure my kid is good and kind because that is what’s right, not because the Bible tells me so.  My soul is happy and while you may think that I have let you or your God down by taking a couple of steps out of order, I’m not asking for your opinion.  I’m asking for your support because I’m about to do the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but I’m not asking for your opinion.   Love me, pray for me, if you like, but please don’t judge me for this wonderful, amazing thing that is happening.

Response #2:  Have you considered *ALL* of your options

I UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU’RE GETTING AT AND NOT ONLY DOES IT SUCK BUT SO DO YOU.

I made the mistake of trusting you with the secret of the biggest decision of my life earlier than I should have.  My mistake.  I’m scared and worried and excited and just dying to tell someone this life-changing news and I picked you.  I’m a grown-up and a smart one at that, what makes you think that I’ve not considered my ‘options’?  Not so subtly implying that I am not capable or do not have the resources to care for this thing that I’ve created is impossibly careless.  Even more than that, assuming that I’m not intelligent enough to think this through and come to a decision I’m comfortable with before telling you, is downright insulting.  I am asking for your support because I’m about to do the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but I am not asking for your opinion.  Forget what I said about being good and kind, I am considering never speaking to you again.

Response #3:  You think THIS is bad?  Oh just wait

Yes, I do think I’m tired now.  Yes, I’m sure it gets worse.  Yes, I realize that labor will be hours of awful and then I’ll be up in the middle of the night, feeding, changing, cuddling, etc. right now, I’m so tired that I’d like to slap some common sense and empathy into you, but it seems way too hard.  I throw up after I brush my teeth every morning, I fall asleep before 8:00 PM most nights, I lost my taste for coffee and I’m freaking miserable about it.  I’m sure it gets worse, but shut up and just let me feel lousy instead of feeling guilty about feeling lousy because I’m allegedly going to feel even lousier in 3 months, 8 months, 1 year, until I’m 45, whatever.  Be kind and remember that the same hormones making my body revolt also make me cry over the dishwasher being full

PRO TIP:  ​DON’T MAKE THE PREGNANT LADY CRY, IT IS THE RUDEST THING.

Response #4:  HOLY SHIT CONGRATULATIONS

Most importantly, most of you said this and my goodness, thank you for it!  These were exactly my sentiments and exactly what I needed you to say.  Thank you for being sweet and supportive and helping me to carry this really weird weight that is suddenly on my back.  I needed you.

 

I’m having a baby.  GET OVER IT!

USFamilyGuide.com