The 2016 Chicago Marathon was Heather's third marathon and John's first. It was marked by perfect weather, an amazing group of people from Every Mother Counts, and a great weekend overall. There was also pain, excitement, regret, no regret, a lost FitBit and profanity at mile 15.
Over the years, we've both decided that experiences are better than things. So with outdated computers and old phones, we look at enjoying life with the voracity of a dominant alpaca. Sort of.
Marlo got sick and, out of love, shared it with Heather. Yes, kids really are fun! We could have cancelled the recording, but there'd be no adventure in that. So we plowed through and rambled on. You're welcome. COUGH. Or we're sorry?
Cooking for one can be tricky. Cooking for one times two or three or more can be downright maddening. But if everyone is happy, well fed, and gathered around a table together, that has to count for something. Right? Fine. Microwave your own damn burrito.
Here is John's Crowdrise fundraising page for the 2016 Chicago Marathon as referenced in this episode. Heather is signed up to run it, but her psychiatrist, therapist and primary care physician all told her she'd never make it out alive if she tried. Instead, she's going to cheer from the sidelines while eating a bowl of banana nice cream.
Introducing a new relationship is one thing, talking to your kids about this new person is something else entirely. From the high road and the cheap seats, we're talking about what to say and not say when kids ask questions, apply labels, and hurl insults (that make you laugh).
We both have 12 year olds and that means hygiene is becoming a topic of interest. From shaving legs, to applying deodorant, to a discussion regarding the delicacy of John's nipples, this week is all about physical self care. Oh, and school lunch. But don't worry, it comes full circle.
Another school year already? How many two pocket poly folders? How about a nice Trapper Keeper? Is this really be happening? What grade? All this and more will be left unanswered in this week's back-to-school spiral. Grab a Lunchable and enjoy!
Oh! We talk about The Path in this episode. A must read. Something to do with all that free time you have.
Heather is an atheist, John is an agnostic and their kids are little horned heathens. Just kidding. The kids are doing fine. So how do they raise kind, balanced humans without religion at the center of everything? Carefully, respectfully, and with the memory of funeral potatoes and Dan Quayle.
It's funny how time away from our kids lets us step back a bit to reflect on past relationships, homework strategies, and being promiscuously Mormon. Even more amusing is how it all spirals into a lament about student loans (Heather doesn't have any and John isn't AT ALL bitter about that).
This week we're happy to be joined by Assistant Professor Hillary Hyde. As a single - or, rather, solo - parent with considerable professional experience working with children and families, she's got a lot to add to our ongoing conversation. And she's got a theory as to why some of this is so difficult. But just some of it.
Photo Credit: Matthew Kulisch Photography
Yes, we're white. And yes, we're probably wrong about a lot of this. But we need to be talking about race and we need to be talking to our kids about race and we need to try to do be better. To say things better. To be better.
Things we promised we'd link to in this episode:
Homework for White Parents of Students
Mental health is important, but it's difficult to maintain and "easy" to ignore (for a while). From deeply entrenched social stigmas to concerns regarding how to address things like anxiety and depression with our kids, it's a lot to juggle. But mental health is one ball we won't drop beca—oh hell. We dropped it. Five second rule!
Is there difficulty and contentment? Yep! But there's also a whole slew of misplaced frustration, resentment, and GUILT when you're trying to do "what's best" - whatever the hell that means - for your kids. Maybe that's what happens when life is a bit like trial and error and error and error and "UGH! Why do you have to work!?"
Deciding what to share in the social space (blogs, social media, PODCASTS) can be a big decision. When you have kids, that decision grows. When you get divorced or separated, it grows again. We've crossed our share of hurdles - and, ahem, mediators - to get to our current sharing state, but it still isn't necessarily easy.
Burnout is real and so is summer break. This week we're talking about how to tackle the day to day with our kids home for summer, lamenting the "good ol' days" of being an unrestricted kid, and teaching Heather how to use the "Do Not Disturb" function on her iPhone.
As our kids have gotten older, it's become easier to travel with them but, in some ways, harder to travel without them. This week we talk about passports, travel permission letters, trashed hotel rooms, and when to remove - or NOT remove - your shoes.
Sometimes this podcast is the only way we manage to catch up between travel, kid chaos, and texting random bits of insanity back and forth. This is one of those times. But mostly we just talked about cleaning, Tinder, the simple sexual expectations of men, and banana “ice cream.”
We separated because we just wanted to be friends with our exs. Okay, that's not entirely true, but we both think that staying on the best possible terms with them is in the best interest of our kids. So how do we make it work? Well, it's gotten better, but we're still figuring that out (one glass of bourbon at a time).
(Heather gets a little teary-eyed in this one, forgive her for having just run 26.2 miles and being a little wiped out. Also, you're really gonna want to listen to this one.)
This episode is a bit of a rambling spiral about Heather's experience in Boston (one hell of an experience!), John's decision to run the Chicago Marathon because Heather suckered him into it, and what these sort of endeavors mean to us as people and parents. Yeah, they mean we're crazy, but it's more than that.
You've been emailing and we've been reading! We definitely have more stories to share, but this week we're sharing a few humorous and poignant listener stories while also taking a few minutes to share some non-four-letter words on the “Pain Olympics.” In short: We're winning! But that's not the point.
(A huge thank you to everyone who has emailed us about sick kids, loneliness, running, dating, or simply their take on this crazy world of single parenting! If we don't end up sharing your story, please know that we read it and appreciate it and we try our best to respond.)