Category Archives: Husbands

A Father’s Guide to Mother’s Day

Today’s post is a win-win for everyone: Moms & Dads. Declaring myself the official spokeswoman for mothers the world over, Dads, I offer you this much-needed insight and guide for Mother’s Day.

What is Mother’s Day? Is it a day of epic failures and unrealistic expectations? Is it a day of miserable crowded brunches? Is it a day of breakfast in bed and afternoon spa time? Is it a day of unfulfilled dreams and hopes? It could be all or most of those things, depending on who you ask. So let’s cut to the chase.

Funny as it is, we don’t want this, really ever:

We probably wouldn't turn down a date with JT, however

We probably wouldn’t turn down a date with JT, however

Turning to TV icons and brilliant ideas, however, I can pretty much say we all loved this guy and what he had to say – especially the “Here are two tickets to that thing you love…and now those tickets are diamonds”

Let's bring this guy back, shall we, Old Spice?

Let’s bring this guy back, shall we, Old Spice?

So, while I’d discourage you from showing up on a horse on Mother’s Day, I would encourage you to take my guide to heart. It is a low-cost, win-win way to approach Mother’s Day. Best part – it’s a weekend filled with ideas. My advice – get started on this immediately:

  1. Initiative. This is what she wants for Mother’s Day. Are there dirty clothes in the laundry basket? Then go wash them. Then fold them and then put them away. Quietly. Don’t ask questions. Don’t ask for recognition. Oh, and don’t forget to treat the stains on the kid’s clothes. Are there any other unfinished projects around the home? Now is the time to do them, this includes light bulbs that might need to be changed, any batteries swapped out, any kid toys that need repair, outstanding yard work, piles of kid crap on the kitchen counter that needs to be sorted and put somewhere. The same goes for your work shoes on the floor.
  2. Planning. While you are eating breakfast, ask yourself what is for dinner. Wonder this alone in your head. Do you not know? Neither does she but someone has to figure it out and guarantee she’s already started thinking about it. So be the decision maker and take something out of the freezer and commit. How about lunches for the week ahead for the kids. Need to stock up on grocery items for them? Grab the kids and head to the grocery store and stock up, brother. Don’t ask for a list. Take inventory before you go. Are there any upcoming kid birthday parties? Does someone need to purchase a gift for those parties? Maybe knock that one out while you are out getting the groceries…with the kids.
  3. Intervention. Are the children fighting? Does someone need to step in before it escalates? Be bold! Go forth and do that. All weekend long.
  4. Foresight. Are you all heading out the door to go somewhere? Like maybe brunch or dinner with your mom or her mom? What time do you need to leave? Work backwards from that time to assess when you need to start corralling the children: getting them on the potty, getting their shoes on, are you bringing a gift or a bottle of wine, do you need to bring coloring books or crayons or anything to keep the kids occupied in the restaurant? Snacks for the car ride? You’ve got this covered. Quietly. These things are just getting done while she is getting ready for said departure.

Guess what? Now you really are this guy:

Wasn't that easy?

Wasn’t that easy?

It goes without saying that flowers, a card, home-made cards from the children and really any other gift recognizing her is pretty much welcome, as well. But in the meantime, you’ve got this amazing low-cost guide that will guarantee you measurable results: a very happy wife.  What did I forget, Moms? Speak up…and be sure to “Like” and weigh in on the WM Facebook page.



Dad or Alive Will Make You Laugh Out Loud

I am excited about today’s post for a number of reasons. First and foremost, I love people who are funny.

Two, I’m enamored with Dads who are open about fatherhood and are willing to write about it. Maybe because Mr. Wired Momma excels at many, many things but writing and being overly communicative about adjusting to life as a father, isn’t one of his things, so I find it really intriguing when another Dad offers up a confession or two.

FINAL DOA BOOK COVER PER PENGUINThree, I’m writing today about a friend and local blogger. Adrian Kulp, hilarious talent behind the widely read blog Dad or Alive, also holds the distinction of being the only DC man who can call himself a Listen To Your Mother DC cast member, and today can add published author to his resume. Adrian has a brand new book out: Dad or Alive: Confessions of an Unexpected Stay-At-Home Dad. Not only is he is living my dream of being a published author, I like him a ton – so I’m just super excited to share this interview with him and spread the word about his must-read book on fatherhood.

First about the book. Adrian’s publisher sent me his book last month. It arrived the day before I had to fly to Pittsburgh for a work trip. I was super excited to sit alone on the plane and just read and I knew from reading his hilarious blog that it was going to be a great read. Let me first say, what I didn’t expect was to be LAUGHING OUT LOUD on the plane.

When it comes to humor, there is the more normal kind of funny when reading – the one where you sorta just quietly laugh or smile – and with that, I feel the writer has succeeded; they make you feel better for just having read what they’ve written. And trust me, I respect that kind of writing because I know how hard it is to write humor.

But then there is the kind of funny where you bust out laughing. You might even be snorting. And you don’t care because it’s that funny. There were parts of Adrian’s book, which took about 2 seconds to suck me in btw, where I was likely snorting. On the very quiet plane, let’s not forget.

And while we are talking about emotional extremes, he also made me tear up. Note: I don’t love crying, so I don’t always come by that one as easily as maybe I would a giggle or a small laugh.

When the book first arrived, I admit, I chalked it up as a book for Dads. Mr. Wired Momma himself said “I think I’m going to read it” – which also intrigued me because he is a man who generally doesn’t read about parenting (it’s safe to say I’m not sure he even reads this brilliant and world renown site on parenting) – but he could tell it appealed to him. But I had the first go at it because I wanted to share it with my readers (see how you come first?).

What I didn’t expect was how genuinely fun and interesting it would be, as a mom, to read a book written strictly from a dad’s perspective. All too often, we are reading other women’s blogs or books about parenting or a pediatrician’s guide. If you are anything like me, you probably haven’t read a ton written strictly from the dad perspective. Adrian nails it – both in his honestly and his ability to recount small but important details that bring you back to that moment in your transition to parenthood.

Honestly, one of my favorite parts of the book was the chapter on the delivery of his daughter, particularly the level of detail involved in setting the scene, including his likening a doctor to Randy Jackson and coming ill-prepared without his birthing play list. He not only transported me back to that moment in my own delivery (though we had no one even remotely similar to Randy Jackson in our delivery room) but I also enjoyed rehashing those moments from a Dad’s perspective.

Look, I want to get to my actual interview with Adrian, which he rightfully noted didn’t give him a chance to be funny because I instead asked him serious (and totally nosy) questions. So let’s cut to the chase. This book is a no-brainer gift for Father’s Day. It is not just a book for “new dads” because any dad can related to what Adrian shares. It’s also a book for moms. Especially nosy ones like me, who enjoy hearing from a man’s perspective, and also for anyone who loves to laugh. The other thing about Adrian’s book is this – his life hasn’t gone as planned. Has anyone’s? It takes courage to put it all out there and share the roller coaster of emotions that come with becoming a parent for the first time, hitting career bumps, adjusting to life in a totally different way than you’d ever imagined, and being able to laugh at yourself along the way. So please, read on to hear about life as a Stay-At-Home Dad but also – let’s support this fabulous local blogger and author – and pick up his book on Amazon right here for $11. You absolutely will be glad you did.

With that, let’s hear from Adrian:

WM:  How did you pull off writing a book while being at home full-time?

ADRIAN:  This was really tricky.  It took some major sacrifices from me, and my wife.  I had almost a year to write the book, but spent the first six months ‘percolating’ about it.  The second six months were spent writing on paper towels at naptime, falling asleep on the toilet and staring at my computer screen with bloodshot eyes at 2am.

WM:  Is the fascination and intrigue with SAHD’s waning as we are seeing more and more men around during “business hours” – whether it be because they have flexible work arrangements, work from home, or are SAHDs? Or no?

ADRIAN:  I hope not, otherwise I might not sell a second book!

Truthfully, I think that while full-time stay-at-home dads are more prevalent (we’ve doubled in the last decade) these days, our numbers are relatively low.I don’t know that the fascination and/or intrigue is waning perse, even though it’s been thirty years since Mr. Mom came out.  I think we’re still struggling (as a group) to defeat the stereotype that pegs us as ‘bumbling and aloof’.  Kind of a shame.

WM:  Can you really call yourself a SAHD when you authored a book and maintain a blog?

 ADRIAN:  I don’t know what I am anymore… some kind of freak, maybe.  I’m sure that there are plenty of other parents out there that are taking care of their kids full-time and also pursuing an interest or career on the side.  I wonder how they classify themselves?

For the longest time, I was introducing myself ONLY as a stay-at-home dad, because that’s my job for ten hours a day.  It wasn’t until a few months ago when my wife interrupted me and said, “You’re not just a SAHD, you’re a writer.  You get paid to write.”

I guess the bottom line is, these days when someone asks me what I do, I have to tell them all of it.  Being a stay-at-home parent for two toddlers won’t ever get ‘glossed over’ in conversation just because it doesn’t sound glamorous or pay big bucks – it’s one of the toughest jobs I’ve ever had.

WM:  What was the adjustment like for you – transitioning to being home after such a demanding career in LA?

 ADRIAN:  I actually talk about this in my book.  I didn’t do so well.  Perhaps it’s because I’m a guy… I don’t know.  My position was eliminated unexpectedly when my daughter was only a few weeks old.  I didn’t see it coming.  My life went from 150 miles an hour to 2, in a flash.  My pride, self-esteem and self-worth were all challenged.  It took me awhile to understand the importance and value of what I was doing.  And I’d be lying if I told you that I didn’t find myself a little depressed while I was trying to figure it out.

 WM:  Do you find the balance of work at home is shared between you and your wife? Women tend to gripe that their husbands don’t do as much as they do on the home front – whether they are full-time working moms or part-time working moms or SAHMs…so I’ve often wondered how it plays out in situations where the dad is home.

ADRIAN:  Are you trying to get me divorced… or killed?  What kind of question is this?

It’s difficult to say where my job starts and stops.  I don’t get in my car and go to an office.  The whole house is my office.

Sure, I gripe.  I sometimes feel like I do the same freakin’ thing – week in, week out. I’m constantly doing laundry, dishes and picking up after people.

Do I think the balance of work at home is shared?  Yes.  Do I think it’s shared ‘equally’?  No.  But I wouldn’t expect that.  My wife works A LOT.  Is the work shared equally when we’re both home?  Yes. I do as much as I possibly can during the day, so the little time that we have together at night when I’m not writing, can be spent relaxing and hanging out together.


Thank you Adrian for your honesty and indulging my questions. Here’s the bottom line – Adrian’s book is an excellent, honest, hilarious and entertaining read. Please pick one up for the dads in your life. Be sure to follow Adrian on his blog Dad or Alive, or find him on Facebook. And as always, I’d love for you to hit “Like” on the old Wired Momma FB page while you’re at it.


Friday Buzz…..Lean In, Sister

I have been quiet this week on the blog because work has been so hectic. My apologies!! Remember…I am taking guest posts now and would love and welcome any submissions from my fabulous readers! Just email me at

So let’s roll up our sleeves. If you aren’t on the WM Facebook page, not only are you totally missing out, but you definitely missed some of the most interesting conversation I’ve seen yet this week. I was thinking this week was all about Sheryl Sandberg…it really seemed that way…..but then this piece from the Atlantic dropped on our laps.

And suddenly many of us were all sorts of pissed off.

Moi Included.

Suddenly I was thinking, screw the office, let’s LEAN IN at home, ladies. And tell our husbands to lean the hell in too, while they are at it.

The author, Alexandra Bradner,  took the time to write down this very thorough bulleted list of things that need to be done when you have children….and asks what percentage the moms do and what percentage the dads do.

Suddenly my head was about to blow off my neck because I was thinking we had it somewhat split chez moi and as it turns out, we don’t, and as it turns out, it’s what one of my readers and friends called “the invisible work”, that’s so time-consuming…and we get no acknowledgement of doing, no credit, no offering to help. Do we even realize we’re doing it half the time? No matter, it’s still very time consuming. And have I mentioned, thankless.

So here’s the list Ms. Bradner details, I copied it directly from the site – see what you think:

“What percentage of this work do you do? What percentage of this work does your partner think you do? Record your answers and compare notes.

  • Childcare management and communication
  • Cooking and meal preparation
  • Dishwashing
  • Laundry, ironing and mending work
  • Grocery shopping
  • Home decorating (garage sales, picture hanging, etc.)
  • Yard work
  • Afterschool lessons, weekend activities, and summer camp planning and coordination (researching, driving to, waiting during, and equiping)
  • Communication with extended family (calling mom, mailing gifts, etc.)
  • General household cleaning (sweeping, vacuuming, garbage removal, window washing, etc.)
  • Making travel arrangements and packing
  • Party planning and holiday preparation (cards, meals, decorations, cleaning)
  • General social outreach (setting up playdates, interacting with neighbors, making plans with friends, etc.)
  • Monthly financial chores (bill paying, health claims and tax prep)
  • General shopping and consumer research (for clothing, gifts, technology, media, etc.)
  • Putting kids to bed and waking up with them in the middle of the night
  • Getting kids ready for school, dropping them off, meeting the bus in the afternoon
  • School-related tasks and communication (contacting teachers, delivering forgotten items, volunteering, attending conferences and shows)
  • Staying home with sick kids
  • General family scheduling
  • Coordinating and completing home repairs
  • Documenting family history (taking and organizing photos)
  • Disciplining kids (establishing and enforcing consequences for misbehavior)
  • Managing and picking up the pieces after major upheavals (moves, home sales, funerals, job losses)
  • Pet care (walking the dog, checking out kennels, etc.)
  • Emotional work (resolving playground disputes, offering advice, proactively keeping the peace among siblings)
  • Long-term financial planning (for retirement, college tuition, etc.)”

I intend to evaluate it again this weekend and see where we can do better….get Mr. Wired Momma (who is a very nice and supportive man, btw) to LEAN IN.

Take that, Sheryl…..Your book is motivating me to yell at my husband to lean in at home.

For more fun, be sure to “Like” the Wired Momma Facebook page because you are actually missing out if you haven’t…..#NotKidding

Oh….two more things…the next WM Book Club book will be “Lean In” and we’re going to meet at the Ritz Carlton Tysons Corner on Wednesday April 10 at 8pm. And finally, if you have some time on Sunday, come find me on the Expert Panel at The Baby Affair at 1pm! Would love to see you there!


Moms & Time: Good Enough is the New Perfect

I am re-posting the below piece that I first published in March 2012. Sure, the news survey is almost a year old but the idea is still the same and fits nicely into our 2013 commitment to finding more Moi-Time because it’s a reminder that we need to just relax and putter….


Earlier this week, Real Simple magazine and the Families and Work Institute  (FWI) issued the results of a new survey they conducted on moms and time. Here’s the topline results:

  • At least 50% of women say they don’t have enough free time.
  • 60% feel guilty spending what little time they do have on themselves.
  • Interestingly 68% claim that work doesn’t interfere with their personal lives.

Ellen Galinsky, president of the FWI, this week during a panel discussing the survey results, said “Its like the new clean plate club. In addition to working and taking care of the kids, women feel they can’t relax until all the household chores are complete. While the average husband’s to-do list encompasses two main jobs: repairs and yard work, the average wife’s list contains at least eleven items from cooking, to cleaning, to managing household finances. “Your husband isn’t going to say, ‘You look really busy, you should have some free time,'” adds Galinsky.Wait – your husband didn’t do this?

Hmm…so of course, back in reality-land, as I read about this new survey, I started wondering what 11 items are on my to do list.

Might it be comprised of such things as, oh I don’t know, putting away summer clothes that barely fit my 6-year-old at the end of last summer?

How about those random stray Halloween and Christmas decorations and books I keep finding that never got put away properly in October and January?

My insanely terrorized closets?

Is my list just 11 items long? I doubt it.

But look, this is the year of Moi Loves Moi. We are awesome. Do we really need to subscribe to this ideal of perfection? Ultimately, that is the unspoken expectation in all of these surveys: that as mothers, we hold such a high standard that we expect perfection, and then are stressed out because we don’t have enough free time.

I say enough of it. It isn’t realistic and it’s a waste of precious emotional energy that is better spent elsewhere. I’m good with good enough, it’s a central tenet of Moi Loves Moi. Until I plan to host an open house to sell my current house, what difference does the inside of my closets make?

None. It makes no difference. And what delights a three-year-old more than finding a small stuffed pumpkin in the playroom in March? See, I do it for the children.

Have I organized my Kindergartener’s artwork dating back to when she was in the 2s room in preschool, into the new nifty organizers she got for Christmas?

Mais non!

Does this keep me up at night?

Of course not.

Do I think in a million years, if wild horses were dragging me by my toes, my husband would take the initiative to get these things done?

I am not on crack.

But does this bother me? No.

Look, coming home to this would be amazing but it’s not likely to happen, at least chez moi:

Don’t hold your breath, waiting for this day. Photo Credit: Porn for New Moms

So what can we do? I think we work a little harder at not worrying about “getting it all done” and instead accept that it’s never going to get done. Make your peace with it. The laundry is like bunnies in the spring time, the husbands are unlikely to ever take the initiative or keep running lists in their heads, and no one you are friends with actually cares what the inside of your closets look like. If they do, probably best to break up with them. I think we need to relish in the rare moments we have the house to ourselves, and like Lisa Miller writes in NY Magazine, just putter. Puttering in the sheer silence of your own home is a gift, a true gift. Isn’t it?

For more on how my husband insisted I take a year off to lounge around my house to recover from child birth, and other wild facts, be sure to “Like” the Wired Momma page on Facebook. I often post other great articles and links just there for when I don’t have time to blog.

Good enough is the new perfect. Moi loves Moi. Forget the lists.