If you've had your eyes open at all since 1996, you know Steve Burns from Blue's Clues. But now he’s making music. And it’s awesome. “Foreverywhere,” a psychedelic children's album he made with with Seven Drozd of The Flaming Lips, is out in February 2017 so we’re talking music and whatever else rambled into the conversation.
There's no team and there's no backup. That ended when we went our separate ways. So how do we handle co-parenting discrepancies, difficulties and (unreasonable) requests? No, really. How? This high road is feeling pretty narrow and-- Oh shit. We just slipped.
On November 8, less than half of the popular vote made Donald Trump the President-elect. The nation responded with tears, protests, letters and a symbolic debate over safety pins. Now we're adding our voices to try and dissect what it all means to help preempt marginalized populations from losing more ground, and to try and figure out how to navigate the conversation at Thanksgiving.
We've spent most of our lives intentionally not asking for help for various reasons and it's a difficult habit to break. But if we want our kids to know it's okay to ask, it's probably time for us to demonstrate the action. Does that also mean accepting help when it's offered? Ugh.
It's conference season! You know what that means? Our kids get evaluated! Our parenting gets evaluated! Our flaws are highlighted! Time to crawl und-- Wait. She what?
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 So with outdated computers and old phones, we look at enjoying life with the voracity of a dominant alpaca.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.