Stephanie Blum Sun, 04 Jun 2017 23:06:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Confessions of a Daughter-In-Law Thu, 25 Feb 2016 19:50:25 +0000

[As seen in Child Magazine & Mrs. Muffin Top]

As a stand-up comic, I’m always looking for new material for my act.  Fortunately,  I have a mother-in-law.  She is, to say the least, somewhat critical of me.  Our ideas on child rearing differ rather significantly, and she isn’t afraid to let me know it.  When my son Noah was 1, she tried to force me to take him to the doctor because, according to her, he wasn’t blinking enough.  So I said, “Maybe he’s blinking when you’re blinking–and you’re missing it!” Unfortunately, she doesn’t amuse easily.Motherinlaw-daughterinlaw

Don’t get me wrong.  I love my mother in law and she loves me.  She totally adores my three kids.  That said, I have to admit that spending time with her can be a challenge.  Her never-ending questions don’t help: “Why are his naps so long?”  “Why isn’t she wearing a hat?” “Why is he always rubbing his nose?”  “Why does her belly button stick out so far?”  “Why is he screaming and throwing his food?  Did you teach him that?”  Why, yes, we did!  We enjoy nothing more than shrieking at the dinner table while hurling food about.  Of course, I would never say that to her — I’ve learned to repress my responses.  And when I do make a serious attempt to explain that certain types of behavior may simply be due to low frustration tolerance or an innate character trait, she offers a vague accusation: “He must be getting it from somewhere…”

Considering all her doubts and fears, I sometimes wonder how she managed to raise two children of her own without having a nervous breakdown.  How can she not recall how stubborn and occasionally out of control kids can be?

Then again, I believe that my husband has successfully traversed the Neuroses Zone and I’m thankful he turned out normal.  Not that that helps me much.  He’d gladly defend me against his mother’s criticisms, but he honestly doesn’t notice unless they’re directed at him.  Otherwise, he’s content with not being her immediate target.  Using humor neutralizes certain situations, I’ve found.  For example, my mother-in-law’s house is entirely kid-unfriendly, which causes stress for both of us.  She keeps her home like a museum.  She’s not at all thrilled with me when my kids take a dive into her antique pillows…with chocolate all over their hands.  These are the same pillows that her adult guests aren’t even permitted to sit near.  She’s visibly shaken if crumbs accidentally drop.  She once boasted that before we arrived, her kitchen floor was so clean you could eat off it.  So I responded, “You can eat off mine, too, because there’s food all over it!”

mil4saleLuckily, I’ve had years of experience laughing off my own dysfunction.  Like when I was pregnant and my doctor told me to exercise a little less than I normally would.  “For me that would be a coma,” I replied.  Then there’s my father, who is such a a hypochondriac that we actually had to stop him from watching ER, after one episode led him to believe he had a cyst on his ovary.  I told him, “Dad, remember, you don’t have ovaries — they were removed when you had your hysterectomy.”

Sometimes, I reach my boiling point with my mother-in-law.  But I diffuse my anger when I think about how much pure joy my kids get from being with their grandma and how much pleasure she experiences from her grandkids.  I see how much my kids enjoy her affection and doting.  They get to taste the homemade chicken soup handed down from their great-grandmother’s Eastern European recipe.  On warm days, the kids and their grandma hold hands and search for “Mama Rabbit” in her garden. They ask to go to grandma’s house to bake cookies and have sleepovers.  And we go because we can.  They have the benefit of experiencing a link in the chain of their heritage I hope they will always treasure.

Ultimately, I’m learning to endure the criticism from my mother-in-law because I can see that I’m helping to create beautiful memories and an eternal bond between my kids and their grandmother.  Plus, I know I’ve been blessed with the kind of family that will never let me run out of new material.

13 Facts of Life After Kids Thu, 25 Feb 2016 00:48:02 +0000

[As seen on Parents Magazine & Mrs. Muffin Top]

When I was pregnant, my friends with children warned me: “Your life is never going to be the same!” But it wasn’t until after my kids were born that I fully understood what those words meant. Here’s a look at how things really change once you become a mom:



BEFORE KIDS: You can sleep as late as you want

AFTER KIDS: You can’t even sleep through the night

Doctor Visits

BEFORE KIDS: You visit the doctor for an occasional checkup

AFTER KIDS: You rush to the doctor whenever your baby doesn’t seem to be farting enough


Rainy Days

BEFORE KIDS:  You’re thrilled to have a rainy day to relax, watch movies, and doze on the couch

AFTER KIDS: You dread a rainy forecast because if you have to watch Frozen one more time…someone’s gonna get it

Social Skills

BEFORE KIDS: You spend your time engaged in intellectually stimulating conversations with your colleagues

AFTER KIDS: Conversation? What’s that? Nowadays, you spend your time trying to persuade your children to stop picking their nose in public

Your Purse

BEFORE KIDS: You slip lipstick and a credit card into a sleek handbag on your way out to the mall

AFTER KIDS: You stuff diapers, wipes, animal crackers, sippy cups, band-aids, coloring books, crayons, Thomas the Tank Engine, and a bottle of aspirin into your diaper bag on your way out to the playground


BEFORE KIDS: The kitchen floor is so clean you can eat off it

AFTER KIDS: You can eat off the kitchen floor because there’s food all over it

Sex Life

BEFORE KIDS: You and your husband consistently enjoy hot sex

AFTER KIDS: You and your husband occasionally enjoy a hot meal


BEFORE KIDS: You coordinate the perfect outfit to wear for a night out dancing

AFTER KIDS: You grab something out of the laundry basket and pray that no one at the indoor playground will notice the breast-milk stain


BEFORE KIDS: You get to take long, hot showers and have time to shave your legs and smooth on kiwi-scented body gel

AFTER KIDS: You spray on some deodorant and call it a day


BEFORE KIDS: You save money and treat yourself to a Kate Spade handbag

AFTER KIDS: You save money to treat your kid to a Star Wars backpack with original, collectible memorabilia


BEFORE KIDS: You dine on low-calorie, low-fat lunches at trendy new restaurants

AFTER KIDS: You wolf down someone’s leftover pizza and cake at a Chuck E. Cheese’s


BEFORE KIDS: You can easily finish a great book

AFTER KIDS: You’re barely able to finish a simple thought


BEFORE KIDS: Your idea of bliss is being with the love of your life

AFTER KIDS: Your idea of bliss is tucking the love (or loves) of your life into bed each night

10 Things Nobody Told Me About Pregnancy Fri, 24 Apr 2015 20:58:41 +0000

1.Nobody told me that my areolas would grow to the size of helicopter landing pads.


2.Nobody told me how my feet would become the size of Sasquatch’s and never return to their previous size.

 3.Nobody told me that I may question my choice to have a baby. Don’t judge me.

10 Things Nobody Told Me About Pregnancy


4.Nobody told me that morning sickness is really “morning, noon and night sickness.”

10 Things Nobody Told Me About Pregnancy


5.Nobody told me that I would be so constipated at times that I would miss important social functions.

10 Things Nobody Told Me About Pregnancy


6.Nobody told me that I would need an army of people to get off a couch.  And the toilet.

10 Things Nobody Told Me


7.Nobody told me that my heartburn would be so bad that I would throw up in my mouth several times a day.

10 Things Nobody Told Me


8.Nobody told me that my belly would get so big, I could no longer see my privates.

10 Things Nobody Told Me About Pregnancy


9.Nobody told me that I would crave foods that I don’t even like.

10 Things Nobody Told Me About Pregnancy


10.Nobody told me how fatigued, smelly and gassy I would be.  Sexy huh?


All this did not deter me… I have 3 kids.  What do you wish people would have told you about pregnancy?

10 Things Nobody Told Me May Happen When I Had A Baby Fri, 24 Apr 2015 20:42:08 +0000

As seen on Ms. Muffin Top

1.  Nobody told me that I would be so tired that I would sometimes hallucinate


 2.  Nobody told me that I would sometimes hate my kids and my husband…not necessarily in that order.  And not all day, either.


 3.  Nobody told me that I would never be able to finish a thought or a conversation.

4.  Nobody told me when I passed an airport that I would fantasize about getting on a plane. I would come back…maybe.

5.  Nobody told me that I would not take a shower for days and not care if I offended others with my stench.

10 Things No One Told Me About Having a Baby

 6.  Nobody told me that rough sex would mean not shaving my legs.

 7.  Nobody told me it would take 6 days to watch a 2 hour movie because my baby needs me. Babies are so selfish.

 8.  Nobody told me I would never be able to find a shirt that did not have some sort of questionable stain on it.

10 Things No One Told Me About Having a Baby

 9.  Nobody told me I would be so excited to go to the supermarket by myself.  By the way, apples are beautiful.

10.  Nobody told me to be naked as often as possible before having a baby… body parts will never look the same.

How about you?  What surprised you about becoming a mom?