Ok, maybe the Addams clan don’t spring to mind when you think of model tv families. They’re a little more… murder-y than the Cleavers or the Dunphy’s.

But when you think about it, Morticia is kind of the ultimate mom role model. She would do anything for her kids, she was infinitely patient with her eccentric relatives, and she and Gomez had a marriage that was definitely fiery. Choosing her as our Monday mom crush was just a no-brainer.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a warm-weather, tankini-clad, floppy-hat-obsessed Scrooge. I love summer.

There’s the gloriously gorgeous weather. The maxi dresses and cute sandals. The perfect excuse to claim that pedicures are a necessity. Barbecues. Playing hooky on the perfect beach day. Fun field trips with the kids. Cocktails at sunset (and pretty much whenever else you damn well please).

But when your spending your summer with kids, things are a little more…complicated. And messy. And sweaty. And tantrum-y. Behold, the untold delights of summer with small children!

Sand.

No need to spend a day at the beach. Just head to the nearest playground. Millions of tiny grains from the sandbox will stick to your sweaty kid, as well as find its’ way into the abyss of their shoes and pockets. No matter how well you think you’ve de-sanded your kid, grains will magically appear all over your house a few hours later.

The crap you need to lug everywhere.

Trade in the bulky coats, gloves and hats for soccer balls, baseball bats and bubble machines, not to mention hats, water bottles, a change of clothes, towels, sunscreen and the like. You’ll have just as much crap, possibly more. The difference is that now you’ll be sweating profusely as you schlep it to and from the park.

Sunscreen.

You need to apply, then re-apply and then re-apply some more. If your precious little cherub goes home with more-than-rosy cheeks, you will be convinced that he’ll come down with melanoma in 20 years and it will be your fault.

Terrifying playground equipment.

Every year it gets bigger, higher, and more horrifying – at least from a mommy perspective. Despite the fact that my son is sturdier and stronger than he was last summer, he’s also more daring and that makes the threat of taking him to the ER with broken bones or a concussion a lot more real. I mean, what geniuses designed all of this playground equipment to be on concrete or padding that’s about as thick as a cracker?

Unexpected mom guilt.

The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, the flowers are making you sneeze, and you’re hungover. You could persuade your child to stay home and watch Frozen for the gazillionth time, but it’s just so damn nice outside. Remember when you were frozen a few months ago and wished for a day like this? Time to suck it up and hope that the sun doesn’t make your blood-shot eyes actually bleed.

Other a-hole kids.

They push, they shove, they cut in front of your sweet child who’s waiting patiently for his turn to go down the slide. They also usually have a-hole parents who are either not paying attention or who are trying to take pictures of said kids acting like a-holes. (That seriously just happened yesterday.)

Burgeoning independence.

I’m not a “free-range” parent, but I’m smart enough to know that I shouldn’t totally smother my kid. He’s started telling me to “watch from there”—way over there—and as long as he’s not doing anything death-defying, I respect his wishes. When I see him trying to make friends or join in the fun with some older boys, I back off. But wow, is it so hard.

Water, water, everywhere.

Which means having a change of clothes and water shoes. If you don’t pack these things, you may have a wet, shivering child with blue lips who either needs to walk too many blocks to get home or needs to get into a car seat. You’ll be praying that your car won’t acquire an eternally moldy smell. (Reality check: Most likely, it will.)

Bare arms and legs.

The hotter it is, the fewer clothes your kids will want to wear. The fewer clothes that they wear, the higher the possibility of scraped elbows and bruised shins. After just a few days, my rough-and-tumble kid’s legs looked like Courtney Love’s legs in the ’90s.

Epic meltdowns.

You haven’t experienced the meltdown of all meltdowns until you try to take your hot, restless kid out of a place where he/she is having a blast. It doesn’t matter that they are literally falling over because they are so tired or starting to get grumpy with his friends. It doesn’t matter if he’s hungry or if you want to move onto next fun thing. (Which, for you, would be a nap.) He…wants…to…stay! Good times.

So, yes, it’s complicated. But, hey, at least it’s not winter!

This article was originally posted on Dawn’s blog, Momsanity. Featured image via. 

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We recently bought a new minivan (my dream car actually, but I won’t brag) for our family vehicle.

Car shopping changes when you have kids. You need to think about things such as how car seats fit in a vehicle, space for strollers, and what kind of storage a vehicle has. It can get pretty complicated. Luckily, my husband and I had a list of what was important to us so that our new vehicle was able to accommodate our needs. We narrowed down our list to the specific vehicles we wanted beforehand, making things so much easier.

Here are a few tips that really helped us out in choosing our new minivan:

1. Do your car research BEFORE going to dealerships.

We knew we wanted a minivan and did a lot of online comparisons. We knew what kind of features we wanted our new vehicle to have and our price range ahead of time. We even knew what make and model of minivan we wanted before we got to the dealership. Literally, all we had to do was take it for a test drive, fill out our financial application, and drive away in our new vehicle. It was really easy because we were prepared and we had an awesome salesman!

2. Have everything ready to go when signing the paperwork.

After we test drove and came to the conclusion that we wanted to buy that van. We did everything online and by email. It made everything super easy and when we went in to pick up the minivan, all we needed to do was sign paperwork and we were off. We were lucky that we didn’t have the kids with us at the time, but if we did, since everything was done ahead of time, it would have been painless to bring them.

3. Think about whether you plan on expanding your family and how much room you’ll /want need for bags, car seats, strollers, etc.

Will you need to fit more than one stroller in the vehicle? A double stroller? Will you be using the vehicle for any road trips or other travel?

4. Try out car seats and booster seats in the vehicle you wish to purchase.

No joke. Bring them to the dealership with you when you test drive. Some sales people actually have car seats at the dealership for you to try out in vehicles as well. I can’t stress it enough about seeing how the car seats fit in a vehicle you are considering buying, leg room, etc. We’ve met a lot of couples who purchase a vehicle right before having kids, only to find their new car isn’t “kid-friendly” at all.

5. Get a cover for car seats on leather seats.

So, I actually hated leather seats and worried the kids would tear through the leather easily. Of course, our new minivan is fully equipped with all leather seats (and I’ll admit, it’s not as terrible as I once thought). We weren’t prepared for needing seat covers when we picked up the van, so we improvised with using towels. If you don’t have seat covers, I highly recommend using a towels or some kind of cover as car seats/booster seats can dig into the leather and completely destroy the material.

6. Work with a sales person who values your time.

Not only were we crazy busy when we bought our latest vehicle, but we had to work around nap times. Our sales person handled everything by email and had all paperwork ready to sign for us when we arrived. We were out the door driving away in our new minivan in less than 45 minutes.

7. Think about what features you want in your new vehicle.

We had special features we wanted our vehicle to have. DVD players were a huge plus for us, but not completely necessary since we already had a portable DVD player set. We also wanted “stow-and-go” seating. Luckily for us, we got a fully loaded vehicle and all of our wishes came true. Honestly, think about what you can and can’t live without especially if you spend a lot of your time in your car driving to and from work, daycare, school, appointments, road trips, etc. Since we’ll be using this vehicle for our upcoming road trips, we thought a lot about our past road trips and what we found ourselves wishing we had.

8. Figure out the main use for your new vehicle.

Is it driving to and from work? Long road trips? As a second vehicle? As a family ride? We needed a second vehicle to become our new family car and something we could take on our upcoming road trip adventures. Also, we needed a vehicle that will be sitting in our driveway during the days that I work from home. Because of this, we decided to purchase a used minivan that is few years old. This way, I didn’t feel quite as guilty for letting it sit and deemed it as something that will last us for our future family road trips.

Please share any tips or information you have for buying a new vehicle for your family!
This article was originally published on Ashlen’s blog, The Kid Sperts. Featured image via.

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Given the fact that the employees at my local grocery store see me more than my own family does, it’s safe to say that I have quite a bit of experience pushing a full cart around.

While I generally enjoy the experience because a) I love finding and checking things off of a list and b) food, there are a few simple things that would make it better for all those involved:

Thou shall not leave your cart in an empty parking spot.
As I’ve said before, there are two kinds of people in this world: 1) those who return carts to the cart corral and 2) a-holes. Leaving a cart to find it’s own way home often results in the cart camping out in a parking spot someone will inevitably pull halfway into before realizing the cart is there and angrily backing out, pissing off people behind them. The carts have a home. Help them find their home.

Thou shall not walk down the center aisle of the parking lot.
You do not have super-human pedestrian powers that override people in their cars trying to get past or around you. Pick a side—any side—and no one gets hurt.

READ MORE: The 5 Most Annoying Things About The Grocery Store

Thou shall travel up and down the aisle like a civilized person.
Up one side, down the other. If you’re barreling down the middle or the wrong side like a linebacker and clip my cart, I am not above throwing a shoulder. Also, try to refrain from doing a 180 halfway down a jam-packed aisle only to amble along as if you’re taking in the sights of the Louvre. It’s soup. Not the Sistine Chapel.

Thou shall obey the express line rules.
The sign says 15 items or less. It does not say, “Everything you can stick in the small-ass cart you chose instead of regular cart.” That does not refer to the number of item types, but the actual item count. For example, those 75 cans of soup that took you 15 minutes to pick out does not count as a single item. You are not a special snowflake. If everybody ignored this rule, it would just be a regular line.

Thou shalt not decide against the frozen pizza you picked up in the frozen foods section and then place it on the shelf next to the shampoo.
Really? Come on now, people.

READ MORE: 8 Reasons Costco Is Heaven

Thou shall respect the invisible checkout line bubble of personal space.
Regardless of how close you creep up or how many items you throw on the belt, you will be next—after me. If you continue to creep up, I will pretend to go through my coupon keeper for an extraordinary amount of time and chit chat with the cashier…unless you would like to pay for my produce. In that case, you have a deal.

Thou shall treat the cashier with respect.
This means not chatting on your phone while she’s ringing up your groceries or getting ticked when she won’t accept the four expired coupons you thought she’d ignore. If you get caught trying to sneak in an expired coupon, just let it go. It’s 35-cents off of dish soap. You’ll survive.

Thou shall not stop at the exit to go over your receipt.
Once given your receipt and all 300 extra pieces of paper that get pumped out of the printer with it, do not stop and read the receipt like it’s a treasure map. There is nothing on that paper that is that important that you need to throw on the brakes and cause a backup. Move it along.

READ MORE: 9 Items Moms Need An Advanced Degree To Purchase

Thou shall reconsider the self-checkout.
Know your limits. Can you find a bar code on a product? Match the picture of bananas on the screen to the bananas in your cart? Flatten paper money to insert into a slot? If you answered “no” to any of those questions, don’t be a hero. Go through the normal checkout.

Thou shall not stalk for a parking spot.
Finally, do not slowly drive behind me at 5 mph impatiently waiting for my parking spot that is often only two down from another available spot. Unless you’re going to get out and help me unload my groceries into the back, your insistence on sitting there, impatiently revving the engine on your minivan, will force me to do a full vehicle check—interior and exterior—before getting back in and leaving 5 minutes later.

Thank you for shopping with us.

Have a nice day.

This post was originally featured on Abby’s blog, Abby Has Issues. Photo via.

My house is a mess; laundry is piled up, no one knows where the iron is, and dinner is never ready by five p.m., if we even have dinner.

I think June Cleaver is what many people expect stay home moms to be like. It’s not like that in my house. My pastimes don’t include needlepoint or arranging tea roses. We never use our dining room; I don’t dress to impress, and the only house help I do have is helpful in giving me more to clean.

For me, staying home is a constant and endless routine of keeping the house clean, dishes done, laundry done. As hard as I try to stay on the up and up, I have days where I slide. Slack. Am indifferent. On those days I’ve:

1. Started the washer and dryer over and over to avoid having to finish laundry.

It’s the ultimate in procrastination. My record is one full week of drying the same load of laundry. If those clothes are dry, I have to fold them and some days I just don’t want to. Eventually, all our laundry does get done. Usually, when the only thing left for anyone in my house to wear is a pair of Rainbow Dash panties and a single Tinkerbell sock. A green one.

2. Hidden in the closet and eaten candy, so I didn’t have to share.

I don’t mind sharing. I share with my kids all the time. But, sometimes I get a box of my favorite pecan buds from See’s Candies. And no one knows but me.

3. Thrown a lap changing pad over pee at two in the morning to avoid changing sheets.

Unless the bed is so wet, with urine, that you can find Moby Dick breaching through the sheets, lap changing pads work pretty nicely at two in the morning.

4. Let my kids wear two different shoes to the store because I didn’t want to find the other one.

Call me lazy. Call me irresponsible. Call me efficient with time. Whatever. The wonderful thing about toddlers is they love to be creative, and no one cares how their shoes look, including them.

5. Used the cat to wipe water spills off the floor.

A gentle nudge and rub with the foot is all it takes. We both get what we want. She gets a pet, and I get to cross something off my list and move on to the next thing.

6. Thrown toys away to avoid putting them away.

Most of these are usually toy parts that belong to other toys that have been missing since the turn of the century. For example, I have no desire to try and find the Polly Pocket, who’s left, yellow rain boot has been haunting my kitchen counter for six months. The last time I saw Polly Pocket was about a year ago in the sandbox. No one in my house seems to be missing her. Why should I?

7. Read through a book at lightning speed just so I could sit downstairs alone for ten extra minutes.

I will purposely choose to not read Horton Hears a Who at bedtime. Daytime, yes. Bedtime, no. It would take me less time to find Moby Dick in my child’s pee-soaked bed than finish either of these books in under a half hour. Because, you know, we look at the pictures too as we read. Sometimes, pictures make a fast story too. Just saying.

I’m sure some out there will say I’m a terrible mom for admitting any of this stuff. I’m also sure that there are a lot of moms out there who have done the same things. So, to all the like-minded moms who have found themselves in a state of simply not caring anymore, these confessions are for you.

So, go throw 60 more minutes on the dryer, grab yourself some candy, and hide in the closet. You’ll need that rest for tonight when the search for the Great White Whale is on.

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1.) Whether you breastfeed your six-year-old

2.) Or never breastfed at all because formula just seems less gross than attaching a miniature person to your boob.

3.) What your baby’s hair looks like (looking at you Beyonce)

4.) Whether you circumcised your son

5.) How clean your kids are

6.) How clean your house is

7.) How stained your clothes are

8.) Whether you are a stay-at-home mom or work outside the home

READ MORE: Can We Stop Mom Judging?

9.) What kind of birth you had. The fact is you no longer have a human inside of you so kudos to you.

10.) How much unmicrowaved deli meat you ate while pregnant

11.) How much television you let your kid watch (or computers or video games)

12.) Whether you share a bed with your kids or they have their own rooms. Or their own houses.

13.) Your stance on childhood vaccination

14.) Whether your kid is a brat or hyper or not a good listener. I get it. There’s only so much you can do. They are their own annoying little people.

15.) How much junk food you give your kid

READ MORE: Are You Mom Enough?

16.) Whether you spend your whole trip to the park on your cell phone

17.) If you sometimes give your kids ice cream for breakfast. I mean, it does have dairy in it so it’s kind of healthy right?

Things I WILL Judge Another Mother On:

1.) Whether you’re skinnier and/or prettier than me. I don’t care how hard you worked to look like that. That shit is just unacceptable.

This post was originally featured on Eve’s blog, That’s My Apple