Fistfights At Brunch

Two summers ago, I spent an inordinate amount of time making myself beautiful in a hotel room in Baltimore, Maryland.

I was there for a blogging conference with my friend Audrey. On our final day, before returning back home to Baton Rouge, we headed to a nice brunch with a group of smart, influential women. I wanted to make a good impression, and the best way I knew to do that was to walk into the restaurant looking like I just stepped out of a hair salon. Because that makes sense.

If you’ve followed me for awhile, you may remember that I attended a now-defunct blogging conference two summers in a row. The first summer, I loved it. It was one of those life-changing experiences that let me know I am on the right path as a writer. It made me feel like I was a part of something greater than myself: a community of creative, brilliant women who support each other.

The second summer, I acted like an asshole.

This is the truth: I have a chip on my shoulder that may take a lifetime of therapy to eradicate. There are reasons for my irrationalities that I could list here, blathering on for pages and pages, but none of it matters. Not really. On that day in Baltimore, when I was at the height of my alcoholic behavior, full of a dark anger and sadness that I couldn’t or wouldn’t acknowledge the origin of, I sat at a long table full of power players in the blogging world and pretended.

I pretended to be happy.  I pretended to be calm. I pretended to be sober. I pretended to be whole. I pretended to be strong and unafraid and confident — all of the things that people told me I was, but I knew deep down weren’t true, because do strong, unafraid, confident women have to drink in order to make it through an afternoon at the park?


The lie I’d worked so meticulously to create for myself was blown to smithereens in a very public way when a fellow writer called me stupid in front of the long table full of women. She was joking, she said, but something about her tone and the moment in which is happened sparked a rage that I’d worked very hard to keep under wraps. It was the deep bitterness I’d been ignoring for years, the one that fueled my alcoholism and my incessant need for approval. This was the heart of my need to control, my desire for perfection, my constant feeling of worthlessness, and my many insecurities.

Instead of acting like a normal member of society and laughing it off as a joke, I damn near got into a fistfight. Dead serious, it almost came to blows. Audrey told me later that in that moment, she knew we were probably going to end up in a Baltimore jail that afternoon, rather than in the airport.

Looking back, I wish that had been my low point. It wasn’t. So, I’m taking the experience of threatening to punch another grown woman in the face in front of people who now rightfully think I’m a lunatic and I’m using it as one of many examples of how addiction turns people into horrible versions of themselves.

It’s not an excuse, it’s a fact.

Recently, I was invited to keynote the 2018 Women’s Health Conference in Illinois. I honestly thought they were crazy to ask someone who has never given an hour-long presentation to KEYNOTE THEIR CONFERENCE, however, the clear insanity of the situation made me realize that this was clearly an opportunity meant for me. So, I took it.


Here I am, trying not to puke in front of hundreds of people.

During my speech, I talked about that day at brunch — how I justified my behavior, twisted the situation to make what I did make sense in my mind. How I refused to apologize or own up to my part in it, which strangely enough, is exactly what haunts me about my past. The women who wronged me have never owned up to it or apologized, even when pressed in a court room.

I’ve thought about that day at brunch a lot lately. I think about it when I catch myself judging other people who are acting like assholes. I think about it when I overhear someone talking condescendingly about her addict sibling who just can’t seem to stay sober. I think about it when I see a homeless tweaker standing under a bridge, or pushing a shopping cart full of trash.

I think about it when my son hops in the car and says “Mom? What’s a hoe?” And after I explain that a hoe is a prostitute and prostitution is selling your body for sex which is illegal, he thinks about it and declares prostitutes are bad people and I have to pull over onto the side of the road because I happen to know a few former prostitutes and they aren’t bad people at all.

The deal is, everything I once believed to be true actually isn’t, and all I know for sure is that I need to stay away from alcohol, I’ll probably never go to another blogging conference, and there is a God somewhere out there.

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Step Off.

Remember when I attended a blogging conference last month? It was awesome. Conversely, re-entry back into real life and motherhood was a cold, hard bitch.

Adulting wasn’t terribly difficult for me until it involved being in charge of other people. Currently, adulting feels very much like trying to run through Jell-O while being chased by three angry midgets who suffer from Tourette’s Syndrome and make me stop every few minutes to feed them.

Except that they hate food.

And Jell-O.

Despite the fact that it’s hard, I love being a mom. There is no arguing that it’s emotionally and physically exhausting and is by far the most difficult task I have undertaken and will continue to undertake every day that I’m alive, but I consider my role to be a higher calling. I actively CHOSE to be a mom. In fact, I actively CHOOSE to be a stay-at-home mom, which sometimes means looking out of my kitchen window to see my middle child standing butt-naked in the driveway watching his older brother wave the water hose in the air from the top of our car.

I also take motherhood seriously, which is why instead of screaming profanities at my children or beating them silly when they cram balloons down two of our bathroom sinks, I take a deep breath and only yell a fraction louder than the situation necessitates.

Okay … that was a lie.

But I do my best, I really do. And I try to enjoy it. Then, when no one is looking, I harness all of that angst and I channel it into humor. If I can’t laugh at my life — my maddening, insane, hilarious life — then I wouldn’t be a happy, functional, wife and mother. I would be a depressed, angry, pill-popping excuse for a wife and mother. I know this because that is what I was before I learned how to channel my emotions in a healthy way.

Some people don’t find my humor funny. Some people find it distasteful or downright offensive. I understand that, because humor isn’t supposed to be universally understood or accepted. The things I find the funniest tread a line between “completely offensive to Conservatives” and “marginally offensive to the average person.” I make a lot of jokes about alcohol and motherhood because to me, it’s funny.

Writing what I write is how I keep my sanity while shepherding three children under the age of 6. I joke, I exaggerate, and I drink, because I’m a 35-year-old responsible adult. Drinking is not for children. Profanity is not for children. This blog is not for children. My Facebook page is not for children. ALMOST THE ENTIRE INTERNET IS NOT FOR CHILDREN.

But you know what? Part of my job as a mom is to teach my children how to navigate the modern world responsibly, so that when they do become adults they are able to adult with more finesse than their mother. I like to think that I’m somehow able to walk through my life capable and self-aware enough to continue writing and joking and mothering appropriately all at the same time.

Circling back to the blogging conference. On Friday night I attended an event, and with a drink in my hand I was shown this video which is sponsored by (the organization that leads the fight to eliminate drunk driving and underage drinking and promotes responsible decision-making regarding beverage alcohol).

Essentially, the video says that our children are watching us and by making jokes about parenthood and drinking, we are perhaps influencing them in a negative way. We were then asked to consider refraining from making our usual jokes about alcohol on social media for a solid month, and given the opportunity to write a blog post outlining our honest reaction to the presentation for a cash prize.

The first place prize is $500. That’s a lot of money.

I have great respect for, and in no way wish to disrespect the organizers of the conference, the lovely woman who led the presentation, my colleagues who may feel differently about this topic, or my family of origin (who do not believe in alcohol consumption — nope, not at all), but as I sat there listening, a rage began to build up inside of me.


I say this with every ounce of Southern courtesy I can muster: I will say what I want, when I want, how I want. My writing is all that I have that is mine. The rest of me is constantly being given away to everyone else. If I want to make a joke about drinking wine out of my massive wine glass that holds 24 ounces, and no one finds it funny, I don’t give a shit. The one thing that is special about my writing is that it’s real. I’m not here to sell anything, win anything, trick anyone or perform for the masses. I am here because I am real and this is real and the people who enjoy what I write are real. 

I don’t want to win $500 by pretending to be something that I’m not.

So maybe I’m not so bad at adulting, after all.

Disclaimer: I’m submitting this piece for a writing contest sponsored by I’m not being compensated for this post. In fact, I probably black-balled myself by writing it. I think we all know I’m not going to win. All opinions are 100% my own … obviously.

In my aunt's pantry, hiding from my children. GIVE ME THIS MOMENT OF PEACE.

In my aunt’s pantry, hiding from my children. GIVE ME THIS MOMENT OF PEACE.

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What It Means To Be Seen.

I have struggled with other people’s assumptions my entire life.

I remember being in the principal’s office at the public school we were zoned for when we lived in the country, and her leaning in and asking me “Are you an only child?”

I was in her office because a boy had run up to me and grabbed me between my legs when our Spanish teacher was out of the room. I was so embarrassed — it had been a dare, I think, from the way his friends were laughing — and would never have spoken a word about it to our teacher. But my friend was appalled and dragged me to the principal and now there I was, sitting in front of her, mortified and sweating and wishing I wouldn’t have let my friend shove me into her office.

“Are you an only child?” She asked me again.


“Well, that explains it. You’re probably spoiled.”

The number of siblings I did or did not have had nothing to do with the fact that I was minding my own business, sitting on a windowsill talking about whatever 5th grade girls talk about, when someone shoved his hand in a place it never should have gone. But I was a white girl who was dressed nicely and got good grades, and now it was out that I was also an only child too, with parents who worked in the city.


This is when my shame began: the apologetic feeling. The I’m sorry for being who I am. The let me work really hard to make you feel okay about dealing with me.

I have spent almost my entire life dealing with a compulsive need to prove to others that I’m not an airhead because I smile a lot. I’M JUST A HAPPY PERSON, DAMN IT.

I have worked tirelessly for far too long to prove that I’m not bitchy because I’m a confident woman, that I’m not racist because I happen to be white, that I’m not closed-minded because I was raised in a Conservative Christian bubble, and that I’m not judgy because my house is clean.

I’ve spent my life feeling afraid of offending others with my presence, even when they were the ones offending me.

Fuck. That. Noise.

I don’t want to apologize anymore and I don’t feel like I have to, because I have experienced the elation of being immersed in a situation where everyone is just as screwed up and weird and talented as I am and it was AMAZING. It was such a moving experience to go to the Blog U Conference last weekend and feel completely accepted into a group of people who are not at all like me, but yet somehow completely like me.

We swept the Notre Dame of Maryland University campus with a quirky, maladjusted wave of awesomeness. The nuns probably all rolled over in their graves or crossed their chests or something.

I can’t wait to go back.

Somehow these people who I have never met in real life know and understand me better than people who have known me for 35 years. I don’t know how or why and I don’t understand any of it, but apparently this is what it feels like when you find your people.

This is what it feels like to not have to explain or apologize for being yourself.

This is what it feels like to be seen.

Being seen for who you are.

Before the “Middle School To The Max” party.

I never would have had this experience without the support of my amazing husband, who raised the funds for me to go, and without the support of my bomb ass friends and family who keep pushing me, reading my work, encouraging me and telling me I need to shut up and stop apologizing for the love of holy hot dog buns.

Go find your people.

It is so, so worth the wait.

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But First …

You guys. Please don’t give up on me.

I used to blog almost DAILY. Now I’m down to like one post a week. What the hell has she been doing?! I bet that’s what you’re wondering. If you’ve even noticed … and I’m pretending that you have.

What the hell have I been doing?!

What the hell have I been doing?!

I don’t know what the hell I’ve been doing. I guess I’ve been busy being a mom and a mediocre member of the PTA.

I was sick for awhile. I looked like this for so many days in a row …

I don't know why I watermarked this photo ... is anyone really going to want to steal it? No.

I don’t know why I watermarked this photo … is anyone really going to want to steal it? No.

… That my three-year-old drew a picture of me. There’s an uncanny resemblance.

This is what I look like, apparently.

This is what I look like, apparently.

It’s Friday, bitches! And that means that tonight I get to check out of my usual duties, have a big glass of wine, and have Virtual Happy Hour with YOU!

But first … I have to go get a vaginal ultrasound.

It’s gonna be a great day.

(If you liked this post, then you will LOVE I Still Just Want To Pee Alone! Click here to find out more!)

It’s Okay To Just Be Okay.

Sometimes people call me a “mommy blogger,” a term that makes my skin crawl ONLY because I get lumped together with women who claim to lead perfectly well-mannered lives with their perfectly well-mannered children.

You know, the very same women who shudder to be categorized with women like me.

It’s cool. I get it. “Mommy blogger” can mean a lot of things, which is why I prefer to simply think of myself as a writer who enjoys irreverent humor and the PBS show Peg + Cat because they do math at my (very basic) level.

Mom dating ad

It was interesting to note the people who sidled up to our table at the library on Saturday to get to know the “mommy bloggers,” presumably so we could partner together to repair this broken world.

I could see their wheels turning: Look at those sweet-faced mommy bloggers over there. I bet they would love nothing more than to pimp out my book and counseling services. Together, we can make a difference.

I hope they weren’t too disappointed when they got close enough to hear our riotous discussion of anal sex.

The thing is, I’m totally excited about making a difference in the world. I want to make it okay for moms to just be OKAY.

I have an obscene amount of trash in my van.


I wear makeup even when I’m not going anywhere.


I have an obsession with making sure my children have trimmed fingernails, but I refuse to clean baseboards.


I love my husband and kids but not my thighs.


I don’t want anyone to help or change me. I am fine just the way I am, and so are you. Sometimes the simple acknowledgement of needing nothing but acceptance is enough.

I mean … let’s not get carried away.

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My Best Half.

My marriage is not perfect.

As much as I would love to think of myself as the perfect wife, I’m not. At all. I have high standards. I’m demanding. My expectations are lofty — not just of my husband, but also of my children.

Sometimes Robbie will tell me that he feels like nothing is ever good enough for me, and he’s right. Nothing is. I always want more, because I am a goal-oriented person. I’m a Capricorn, a mountain goat who wants to climb because I enjoy it and I don’t have time for your whining or lollygagging so either get on board or get out of my way.

Yeah. That.

I expect my sons to open doors and say “yes ma’am” and carry their Fiestaware dishes to the sink. Yes, my kids eat on real dishes. I expect them to follow directions and behave in public and say “thank you” and “please” because manners get you farther in life than just being smart. I expect them to follow directions and I expect to be respected because I am their mother and I deserve it.

I expect my husband to be able to fix things and keep up with the yard and be emotionally present and provide for our family. I expect him to listen and communicate and deal with the kids at the end of the day when I just can’t anymore. I expect him to be serious and funny and my partner in all things.

I expect a lot.

My expectations can be difficult to live with, but I give a lot in return and I am more demanding of myself than I am of anyone else. It will be a lifelong process for me to inch slowly toward Robbie’s end of the spectrum, where nothing is a big deal, as he inches slowly towards my side, where everything is urgent. We are truly yin and yang, which on a good day means we bring out the best in each other … and on a bad day, I want to claw his eyes out.

He does things like buy me stress-relieving water. Want to know why I was stressed? Because he was taking too long in the store. I could see him in there, wandering around. What the hell is taking him so long?! We need to GO!

He was hunting for the perfect beverage for his wife, that’s what he was doing.

10801931_10155098744040508_622468002666916761_nSidenote: the water didn’t relieve my stress.

The thing about our relationship is the love that overarches all of the differences between us. I could have married someone else and been happy. Maybe. But I have never and will never love anyone like I love Robbie Hobbs, and that is the thing that grounds me in our marriage. That is the thing that makes everything else make sense.

And then, from time to time, Robbie does something startling that reminds me just how lucky I am.


In the blogging world, there are conferences that writers attend to learn how to be a success — whether that means learning how to make money through blogging, or how to go from blogging to authoring an actual book. I kept hearing about one conference in particular, BlogU, that I really wanted to attend. It’s supposed to be the best, and I think we all know how I feel about things that are the best. Why waste time doing something that is only marginally passable, when I can aim for THE BEST?

So back to the conference, Jill Smokler of Scary Mommy will be there. Jen Mann of People I Want To Punch In The Throat will be there. A ton of writers I am obsessed with will be there. I wanted to go so badly, tears would well up every time I thought about it.

I talked about it for months. Robbie wanted me to go, but we just don’t have the money for a trip like that. The airfare alone was ridiculous, and we are a one-income family of five. I felt guilty for wanting to go, but I’m a mountain goat. I can’t help myself. I WANT TO CLIMB.

I began looking into corporate sponsorships and devised a plan of action. When I sat Robbie down and presented it to him, he was on board … but quiet. Finally he said, “I think this is a solid plan, but you don’t have enough time to make it happen. I just don’t want to see you stressing out over anything extra. I’m going to figure something out.”

Then he stood up, and he took action. He set up a Go Fund Me. (You can view it here, it’s really cute.)

I cringed — hard — when he showed me his plan. I loathe crowd funding, and I dislike feeling like a charity case, but it was a huge success. People genuinely wanted to help. I feel really humbled by it (mostly because, if I’m honest, it really bothers me that I couldn’t afford to go on my own, without asking for help), and grateful to him because he knew I would miss out otherwise.

We had all of the money within one week.

So yes, I have high standards.

And that is why I married Robbie Hobbs.

Before we had children.

Before we had children.

House Guest.

Yesterday I had the pleasure of being the “House Guest” over at Housewife Plus, a blog written by a kindred spirit named Sarah. She lives in Maine, her husband builds boats, and she. is. hilarious.

Every Monday, Sarah hosts a House Guest and I was thrilled to hang out over there. She even used the word “y’all” to make me feel at home. Check it out here!

Like what you see? Don’t forget to follow her on Facebook and Twitter! She’s going to be famous one day and you’ll get to say you discovered her when. Just saying.

The Liebster.

Modern Mommy Madness has been nominated for a Liebster Award! Thank you for noticing me, No Such Fairytale! (Twitter handle: @nosuchfairytale)

201402-LiebsterNow, I’m kind of a Grinch and don’t usually participate in these things … which may explain why only a few hundred people read my blog. But first … are you confused about what I’m talking about? Because up until a few minutes ago I was completely clueless.

The Liebster is an award that only exists on the internet, given to bloggers by other bloggers, generally to bloggers who don’t have a massive following (yet!). The rules are pretty simple, from what I can gather:

1. List 11 random facts about yourself.

2. Answer the questions sent to you.

3.  Nominate 11 bloggers, notify them that they have been nominated, and ask them 11 questions thought up by YOU!

4.  Kick back with a drink. (I added this step.)

Whew! I’m worn out already.

11 Random Facts:

1. I’m left-handed.

2. I went to boarding school for grades 9-12.

3. Bible college was not for me.

4. I did not discover coffee until I was in my twenties.

5. My mother once told me she thinks Starbucks laces their coffee with cocaine.

6. I’m an only child.

7. I have very short eyelashes and was infinitely relieved when my children inherited my husband’s dark, thick lashes.

8. Home ownership was not for me.

9. I am very unclear on how to “bone” a chicken.

10. I used to write bad poetry.

11. Now I write essays.


Here are the questions I’ve been given to answer:

1. What’s your drink? What would you order at a bar if there were no repercussions – financial, health, or otherwise?

Very pricey red wine. But I don’t know what kind, because I’ve never been in the position to learn about pricey wines.


2. What is your dream vacation?

I have trouble thinking past what it would be like just to escape for a handful of days with my husband. I guess right now, anything would do.


3. Tell me about your best day.

My best day … ever? I’ve had a lot of best days. My wedding day, the day I gave birth to each of my three kids, my 34th birthday. Those were all best days.


4. What was your first car?

OH. I’m very proud of my first car. It was a 1989 Dodge Diplomat, purchased for $600 cash at the Louisiana State Auction. It was an old cop car — very fast, very beat-up, with no way to get out of the back seat.


5. Where did you fit in high school?

Ugh. I don’t want to talk about high school.


6. Are you a texter or a caller?

I am very much a texter.


7. Everyone is a work in progress. What thing would you change about yourself if you could snap your fingers and make it happen?

I’d choose to be a more relaxed person.


8. When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I think part of me always wanted to be a writer.


9. Now, what do you want to be when you grow up?

A success.


10. What time do you go to bed at night?

Between 10:30-11:00.


11. What is your worst habit?

Stressing. I’m a worrier.



Here are the 11 questions I will direct to the bloggers I’ve nominated:

1. What one thing do you love about yourself?

2. What is your greatest strength?

3. Who do you draw energy from or enjoy being around?

4. What types of activities drain you?

5. What kind of person is your alter ego?

6. Name your favorite comfort food.

7. Favorite place to spend a rainy afternoon.

8. What do you do after the kids go to bed?

9. What do you wish you could change about your life?

10. Do you believe in prayer?

11. What beauty product has never failed you?


I nominate:

The Outnumbered Mother

A Mom Of Steel

Family Snodgrass

Finding Fresh

Outsmarted Mommy

Southern Hope Blog

Nicole Decker

Abbie’s Babble

Interior Style by Kiki

You Have Six Kids

Three Monkey Chaos


Rock On!


Y’all rock on and on! If you are on Facebook, please make sure to “like” my page and select “get notifications” so you don’t miss any of the madness.

I thought something magical would happen when I reached 500 “likes,” like maybe Facebook would stop asking me to pay them $10 per day to promote my page, but no such luck. They’re still asking. I’m still saying no.

Thank you to everyone who reads my writing and reminds me that I am never, ever the only one.