Design

Have a Great Weekend.

What are you up to this weekend? First of all, thank you so much for all the amazing comments on this post. I loved reading them so much. :) This weekend, we’re visiting my mom for Mother’s Day. Hope you have a great one — sending a big hug to mothers, mothers-to-be, and mothers-at-heart — and here are a few fun links from around the web…

6 smart moving tips from a woman who moves all the time.

Lovely affordable art.

If Seinfeld had been set in the Midwest, haha.

How to be mindful while taking a shower.

I’ve mentioned the show Catastrophe, but have you seen the third season? It was so good I finished it in two days… and then immediately went back and watched the whole thing again.

Is an open marriage a happier marriage?

This tiny trick will help you get more organized.

How to beat jet lag.

A beautiful vacation dress.

25 famous women on their mothers. (So good.)

And a hilarious, dead-on tribute to moms everywhere — a.k.a. the people who notice that we’re running out of toilet paper.

Have a good one! xoxo

Plus, three great reader comments…

Says Molly on the best dating advice: “When we put our real selves out there, it’s a lot riskier than putting out an ‘easier’ version of ourselves, but it’s the only way to make real connections with people – friends, lovers, partners, anyone. When I started to date after my husband and I separated, I felt this horrible need to apologize for the ‘complications’ of my life. After contorting myself to downplay everything, I thought to myself, ‘Wait. If I’m hiding who I am from the person I want to love me, who are they really loving, anyway?'”

Says Alina on Melissa’s week of outfits: “Nippies are THE BEST pasties — reusable, invisible, you don’t feel them and they actually stick. They come in different shades to match your skin tone and in a larger size if you’re bustier.”

Says Laura on kids calling adults by their first names: “My husband and I live in Nairobi, Kenya, where it’s common for parents to be identified by their first-born child’s name. We don’t yet have kids, so some of the youngest kids get a little lost on what to call us. However, we do have a labrador retriever named Rum, whom all the kids love. At a street party, one of our youngest Kenyan neighbors came up to me and asked ever so politely, ‘Mama Rum, can I please have a soda?’ It was so earnest and sweet.”

(Photo by Frole Models.)

  1. ellie says...

    Loved the links as usual! Thought I’d correct the mindful showering piece for mother’s day. :)

    Bring all your electronic devices to this side of the bathroom door, close enough to protect them from your three years old’s obsession with the sink/float episode of Blues Clues.

    Resign yourself to running down the hall naked when you realize all your towels are in a wet heap on the floor of your tween’s bedroom.

    Bring to your mind that you are about to cleanse the crusted cream cheese out of your hair for the good health of everyone who has to look at you.

    Listen to the water as it hits the tub and tile walls, and take a moment to be grateful that you have plausible deniability about hearing the chaos outside the bathroom door.

    Notice if your thoughts are dwelling on the toddler banging on the door to be let in.

    Remember the post you read on Cup of Joe about mindful showering. Briefly calculate the odds that if you change the order you wash your body, you’ll forget to wash your left armpit.

    Surrender to temporary peace. Let your toddler climb in with several boats in tow.

    The timing of your shower is not important. Your children will need permission slips signed at that exact moment no matter the time of day.

    Drown in the sweetness of a toddler gazing up at you with water in their eyelashes.

    When finished, leave the bathroom in whatever condition you feel like. I guarantee no one else will notice.

    Love to all the mommas on this site!

  2. R.S. says...

    Thank you for sharing the NYT article, Joanna. I’m in a monogamish relationship right now, and it’s absolutely wonderful. My boyfriend and I have an incredible connection and I also really admire the relationship he has with his fiancee. It seems funny to say that sometimes – like rubbing your stomach and patting your head simultaneously, but it’s true!
    I feel that every couple has to approach commitment in their own way, and as long as there is open communication between all parties, an open relationship or marriage can thrive! I feel like I’ve grown so much as a communicator, lover, friend, and human since choosing to enter into this relationship.
    If you ever write a post on open relationships, I’d be glad to weigh in. =)

  3. Donna says...

    Catastrophe … I can’t even. I started watching when it first came out, and I love it. This last season … I could not stop thinking about it. I’m still thinking about it. And I’m not even a television watcher. :)

  4. Cristina says...

    As a mom of boys, I would love to see more adult men’s perspectives on their mothers – not just women. One of my big fears is them growing up and being distant. While I loved the quotes, it feels like articles like that – without a counterbalance – just reinforce that stereotype.

  5. Kile says...

    Season 3 of Catastrophe tore me to bits. I’m married to a recovering alcoholic. In season 1 and 2, Sharon and Rob felt like the only role models I had about how to build a normal (if a little yell-y) relationship with alcoholism in the mix. I saw in those characters a reason to think: we can do this, we can still laugh and have kids and dinners out and fights and sex and love each other, and he won’t drink and I will and that will just be ok. But alcoholism is a ghost I live with and my house will always be haunted. That last scene, the whole story arc this season, it scared the shit out of me!

    • Nadine says...

      Hello Kile, sending you a big hug your way

    • B. says...

      “Alcoholism is a ghost I live with and my house will always be haunted.”

      Made my heart sink. I am in a relationship with a recovering alcoholic. 8 months sober. I am scared to watch Catastrophe because it takes so much mental energy every day to stay positive despite the looming ghost. So I am glad to hear the show made you feel empowered.

      We are about to move in together and his recovery is strong (I have never been more in awe of a single human being) so maybe in a few months I will be in a better space to watch the show.

      Jo, alcoholism in a relationship would be a welcome topic on the blog. It’s hard to find good content about it.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      sending so much love your way, kile and b. a post on alcoholism in a relationship would be a great idea. lots of love xo

  6. Love your blog! Just getting started as a Mom blogger!

  7. Lisa says...

    That moving article is spot on. I’ve recently moved and totally agree on everything. In my twenties I moved a lot, and I now refuse to not hire moving people. It adds so much stress doing multiple trips, having to carry everything, dragging friends and family along. My ideal is a service my cousin used – they pack everything up, move it all across and unpack it (even to the extent of putting your toothbrush out).
    My grandmother’a tip (and she moved tons, including I think at least 5 intercontinental moves) was to (if possible) put all the boxes in one room, so if you need to you can close the door on it, and to make up your bed as soon as possible, so when you’re tired you can just get straight in (rather than trying to find bed linen, make it etc when you’re exhausted). If you’re moving with a baby – don’t put fresh linen in their cot (which seems counterintuitive), but it is supposed to help them settle more easily as their bed smells like normal. And for cats – put butter on their paws. A cat feels settled once it’s cleaned itself, so once they’ve licked off the butter they’ll clean the rest of themselves and settle in (I did contemplate seeing if this also worked with babies, but chickened out).
    What helped me declutter was thinking “do I REALLY want to pack this, carry it, unpack it and then find somewhere new to put it?” Unfortunately when this thought process really kicks in is mid move, but it does help while you’re decluttering.

  8. Lauren says...

    Have a Happy Mother’s Day to you Jo, and all the other moms here!

  9. Amy P says...

    That “noticing” article – oh man. It’s so true in our house. My husband does have things that he’s in charge of noticing, and he does a great job of keeping on top of them, but the burden of noticing generally falls to me as the stay-at-home parent and my head feels stuffed some days with all the things to keep track of! It is legitimate Work.

  10. Swift says...

    (1) Ditto to the above commenter’s remark that it’s nice to see notable comments in the weekend round-ups! I’ve always liked the curated list of links; the additional comments are a great addition.

    (2) Would you ever do a post on open marriages/otherwise non-monogamous relationships? I’m in one and I feel like the more they get talked about in blogs like this, the less explaining I’ll have to do in my everyday life (though I do find more and more people have some basic understanding or at least the good manners to be polite and friendly about the topic).

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      for sure, swift! thank you so much for your note!

    • L says...

      Seconding your second point. I’m in a monogamous marriage, but reading all the comments below from people who think all marriages need to look like theirs made me a little sad. I think it’s wonderful that humans are unique and diverse and have different wants and needs, and the idea that someone who is not me should have to have a relationship that looks like mine (whether that be regarding gender, number of partners, living situation, children, etc.) is ridiculous to me. I love hearing about people who have lives that are different from my own and would really enjoy a post on open marriages here.

    • Swift says...

      Hurrah! I’d be happy to provide a little input if that helps (there are *lots* of different ways to do non-monogamy–the NY Times article chose to focus on just one).

      Thanks for keeping this space open-minded!

    • D says...

      Yes, I’d love this! I’m also in a semi-open / monogamish marriage and sometimes I feel like I’m stuck in a bubble. It has been largely wonderful for my husband and I, both individually and for our relationship. But sometimes it’s a tough conversation to navigate with friends who are less open to understanding how anything but “normal marriage” could even possibly work. There are a lot of people to whom I don’t or can’t reveal that part of our life, which me feel like I’m forced to keep a secret. I’m glad to see non-traditional marriages and relationships being brought up more often, though I think we’re a long way off from open marriages being normalized. Thanks for posting the link and for being up for the possibility of a more in-depth post! (and I’d be happy to participate!)

  11. Jo, it is amazing how many of these links each weekend lead to articles that benefit my life. You are so dead on as a blogger helping your audience navigate the heavy flow of information out there on the web to those pieces that resonate the most with us.
    Thank you.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that is the nicest comment, jennifer! thank you!!

  12. I says...

    We’re heading into graduation season! Any advice for hair, make up or dresses? Those stupid hats make for a tough hair situation.

  13. I says...

    Thanks for the moving link! I’m neck deep in boxes and rapidly losing hope. Ha.

  14. Brianna says...

    Amen to number six in the moving article. Not only does it not wipe away your problems, but it often creates new ones and then an entire city collapses in on you, making you feel the urge to move again, even though you know that won’t solve anything, except that maybe it will create more job opportunities because your current city is too damn small and everyone knows everyone and you can’t hide and people have big mouths.

  15. Angela says...

    Maybe I sent my husband the TP blog with the note: Why I am tired and sometimes forget that you need more chipotle tobasco at work.

    Maybe I did that.

  16. Rebecca says...

    Watched all three seasons of Catastrophe in the last 2 weeks! Really loved it and really loved Sharon’s wardrobe!!!

  17. That picture could be me, like right now, in this moment. My hair in a frizzy “nest” sitting high up top my head. I’ve been beating myself up most of the day, telling myself I need to find time to do my hair (because I have a curl halo and the curls have been rubbed and rubbed by my sheets and pillowcase). But seeing that picture on top of this post quieted all of that. She’s my skin tone, her hair is the same texture as mine, and she’s damn beautiful. So, thank you for posting that…

  18. Frankie says...

    Ha, when I finished season 3 of Catastrophe the other weekend I went back and started season 1 again! It’s amazingly hilarious and heartbreakingly poignant at the same time. Such a beautiful gem of a show.

    This weekend: Master of None season 2 whoop!

  19. My BIL is the director of Catastrophe so I LOVE how many shout outs it’s gotten on this space. I have a little grin on my face every time it happens!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      omg that is awesome!!! it’s SUCH a good show.

  20. Megan E. says...

    Jo, I thought you’d like this (http://lithub.com/in-motherhood-i-became-a-fire-breathing-female-monster/) excerpt from a new book by Marianne Leone, Ma Speaks Up. The last passage in particular is really moving:

    “I could be fierce about a child,” I wrote in my feckless twenties. Then I had a child and had to fight for his right to be regarded as fully human despite his disabilities. I became a fire-breathing female monster because I was re-birthed in the place being a mother can take you, the place you can never, ever imagine before you go there, but when you are there, it is as familiar as the walls of the womb where you once lived.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you so much, megan. that is so beautiful. can’t wait to read more.

  21. Seeing Carrie Fisher in the 3rd season of Catastrophe was heartbreaking (especially her at the funeral!?!). At the same time, though, it proves TV/movies are magic!

  22. Ainsley says...

    One of my favorite recent changes to this site is the addition of curated comments at the bottom of your Friday roundup posts! I’ve always looked forward to this post, but the comment gems you select make it even better. :)

  23. Jenny T says...

    Someday I’ll be able to mindful in the shower. At the moment, it’s more like “Ohthankgod for five minutes where I don’t have to wipe anyone’s bum, make a meal while a toddler tries to climb all over me, or answer to anyone else’s needs.”

    • Laura C. says...

      AMEN sister!!!

    • Rachel Simmons says...

      Yes and amen.

    • eg says...

      I really thought this was a satire piece at first. Still a little skeptical…

  24. Lindsay says...

    I have to say, reading that NY Times story on open marriages made my heart sink. One of the people interviewed admits at one point that her life is basically completely about pursuing her own individual pleasure. I can’t think of a worse, more empty way to orient one’s life. That’s also a really good reason not to marry in the first place. If all you care about is satisfying your own endless pleasure, of course you’re going to tire of your spouse and find him or her lacking and seek excitement elsewhere. Because it’s all about you. And if both people are driven by that same individualistic impulse, then why even marry? What does it mean anymore?

    • Sarah King says...

      My close friends have an open marriage and they really adore each other. I think different things work for different people. To each their own!

    • Paige says...

      Thank. You! I couldn’t agree more with your comment. The whole time I was reading the article it just made me depressed that people seem to be completely losing the idea of what marriage is supposed to be about.

    • I completely agree. Marriage is a wonderful thing, but if you are hoping for it in any sense to be your fulfillment, you will be very disappointed. In this case, completely defunct and tragic. Only when your joy comes from some higher purpose and your goal is to love and out-serve each other can it be truly satisfying.

    • Angela says...

      Agreed.

    • Paula says...

      I so agree with you. This drive to constantly satisfy pleasure and pursue the newness of someone else doesn’t sound appealing to me at all!

      The article hit close to home for me. I met someone recently who seemed to be too good to be true – and we hit it off immediately, we are completely smitten with each other. Everything about this man is wonderful – except that he’s not sure permanent monogamy is for him. It breaks my heart, because I have never felt this way about someone, yet I’m not sure I can be the “cool girl” who goes along with this. I’m not a jealous person at all, but this thought of sharing him with someone really pushes my boundaries. Of course married people have “crushes” or feel infatuated with others at some point in their marriage, but the thought of sharing someone on principle somehow unnerves me. He’s been in monogamous relationships before but now says he’s not sure that model is sustainable over a lifetime for him.

      Joanna, maybe you could do a separate post on this topic? I would really love to hear input from the readers of this site, whose opinions and experiences I so enjoy and respect hearing about!

    • Laura C. says...

      I completely agree with you, Lindsay. An open marriage doesn’t seem to me a marriage at all.

    • Sharon says...

      I could not agree more. It made me feel so sad for people to think that their spouse wouldn’t come to them to try and work on their problems. It seems so short sighted to think that problems will not come up and that you won’t have to make sacrifices because you are committed to the partnership. I couldn’t help but think, if they had put this much focus and attention on their “primary relationship”, it would probably meet all of these new desires as well…

    • Sasha says...

      I didn’t have quite that reaction, maybe because her affair happened after her diagnosis, it seems harder to judge her. Truly, I don’t care what other people do in their marriages. But, for me, this kind of marriage is incomprehensible. The times when things were really hard, sleeping with someone else would not have fixed that. It would hurt my husband immeasurably. Who has that kind of time and energy anyways? One man is plenty for me lol. The people I’ve known with open marriages are either divorced, or just plain unhappy. The comment in the story about how when you have two kids, you don’t love the first less….It’s just not the same at all.

    • Rachel Simmons says...

      Agreed. Why didn’t they consider counseling? It’s so sad. Sex with your spouse is an investment in your marriage. We call it “marital glue”, so in that way, what does it mean for an “open marriage”?

    • Sarah K says...

      I agree with you. I couldn’t keep reading after about halfway through…it just made me so sad. You put into words what I was feeling but wasn’t sure how to express. I still believe marriage is a sacred and exclusive commitment, otherwise it’s meaningless.

    • Savannah says...

      Amen to you Lindsay! Well put. An open marriage is not marriage. Why be married if you’re not interested in your spouse. This seems like another thing that society is trying to push down peoples throats to dumb down marriage.

    • Charli says...

      Hi. I’m in an open marriage. He’s my partner in life. We adore each other. We tell each other everything. We work well together. We’re looking forward to starting a family. We have sex. We go on dates together. We also date and have sex with other people. And it’s added so much more to our marriage than I thought it could.

      I wasn’t a huge fan of this article. So many articles about open marriages start from some sort of problem or feature a couple that chooses non-monogamy after an affair or because of deep unhappiness. My husband and I decided to open our relationship when we were engaged and long distance for a year. We closed our relationship after I moved to be with him and during our first year of marriage. Now we’re open again and both dating women.

      I don’t think there is one model or definition of marriage. It has changed over time. It looks different in different cultures. If you prefer a monogamous marriage, that’s great. But my relationship is still a marriage. We bicker about cleaning the house, we do our budget together, we trade off which family we visit at the holidays, we make plans for the future. Our marriage is intimate, trusting, supportive, and loving and it works for us.

    • Paula says...

      Charli, thank you for your perspective. Your arrangement sounds so special and trusting. I have to ask, how does jealousy factor into it? I am not against open relationships on principle, I just wish I could get to a place where my partner having someone else on the side doesn’t make me feel like I’m not enough, where I could manage my emotions better. How have you managed your feelings?

    • Anonymous says...

      For such an open-minded community, it is interesting to find such fast judgements on open marriage here. Keep in mind, if you are not religious, sex can definitely just be a wonderful, pleasurable experience and doesn’t need to have anything to do with your commitment to your spouse and the life you’ve built together. If the only thing defining your marriage is that you and your partner only have sex with each other, well THAT seems to me, a very empty marriage.
      Communication and talking about needs and desires brought me and my partner closer than ever, at the same time that it made us realize an open relationship could be fun. The idea was not born out of problems, but from us exploring and being curious and having really fun, intimate conversations about our thoughts and feelings. We tell each other much more than many of my friends share with their partners, because there are no ‘taboo’ topics in my relationship. We still have boundaries, but they are boundaries that WE set and continuously decide on together – they are not boundaries that society has defined.
      For those of you in monogamous relationships asking about jealousy, a good place to start: are you jealous because you feel threatened and your relationship is on shaky ground? Probably not time for an open relationship. Or are you jealous because society tells you that you should be enough sexually for your partner for eternity, even though you feel totally secure in your partners love and commitment? This might just mean that you avoid people who tell you that your partner doesn’t love you if they agree to this – this is often an insecure projection.
      These conversations have brought me closer to my partner, making me even more secure in our partnership. However, an open relationship will not help a failing relationship. It should not be an excuse to play the field and leave your partner when you find a better fit.

    • Paula says...

      Anonymous, what an awesome perspective – THANK YOU. I like what you say about sex not
      being what defines a marriage, but my issue I think is more with my partner having an actual steady girlfriend/permanent second person on the side. If it’s just about casual sex with others, why not; I’d be down for that too.
      You nailed it on the head with your observation about the partnership needing to be 100% trusting for an open arrangement to work. I really appreciate your insights.

    • Charli says...

      Hey Paula! Thanks for your kind words. Jealousy and trust are two things I think about a lot. I think what has helped me the most with jealousy is to recognize that I will feel this way from time to time and that talking through it with friends or with my partner will help me manage it. He and I are on the same team, and if one of us is feeling jealous that means we need to talk about what might be causing it and what we can do to support each other and our relationship. I have to echo a lot of what anonymous just said too – having these very intimate and frank conversations about jealousy and insecurity with my husband has brought us closer and strengthened our partnership.

    • Sarah says...

      I think there are many ways to live a life, and monogamous lifetime marriage as the only acceptable goal means many many people are destined to fall short. I find infidelity heartbreaking. Two people honestly allowing each other to explore other options outside of monogamy is refreshing. I’m monogamous and in a relationship with a man who also prefers monogamy. Why would I judge another couple who agrees to another arrangement? Why assume my relationship is more special and intimate? I’d also read up on the history of marriage; when you do you will see that it traditionally has been much more about forming alliances between families and property exchange, not sacred spiritual fulfilling unions (which only seems too current when you consider trying to buy a house on one income these days…)! I think the goal of our modern traditional marriages is beautiful and I applaud those who follow their spiritual path through it, but I’d encourage those who do, no to view other arrangements a threat on marriage!

  25. Lindsay says...

    Omg Catastrophe!!! I tore through the first season, thinking my husband and I would watch it together. But he has a terrible cold and passed out next to me while I devoured the show.

    I felt guilty when I began the first episode of Season 2 in the same night and somehow summoned the self control to stop and wait til he feels better. Gotta let the guy catch up to where I’m at.

    Happy Mama’s Day?