19 things you must know about me

by renegademama

So I’ve been noticing that other mama bloggers often have an “about me” list – you know, little fun-facts about philosophies, approaches, overarching beliefs, etc. Some of them are really serious. The list might include things like: “I’m a natural birth advocate;” “I had a successful HBAC (homebirth after cesarean);” “I am a vegetarian;” “I kill animals for fun;” “I tandem nursed for 8 months;” “I defend my right to formula feed;” “I am a radical unschooler.” After reading these lists I decided that I need a list– a nice, clear, honest one about me and my family, so you can really get to know us, and quickly see where I stand on important issues. Because I do “stand” places. I do.

So here are the 19 things you must know about me.

1. I only practice positive discipline and gentle parenting techniques. Then, if those don’t work, I yell, bribe and make empty but intimidating threats until I get my way.

2. I am a staunch unswerving advocate of natural, unmedicated birth. For me. I don’t care how your baby exits your body.

3. My dream is to get a PhD in English Literature so I can sit in classrooms discussing deconstructionist theory with a bunch of hung-over 20-year-olds acting wildly interested, dropping Derrida quotes they really don’t understand, solely to earn participation points.

4. We eat natural, healthy, homemade foods exclusively. Unless we’re at Costco. Then we eat polish sausages and drink sodas (for one dollar and 50 freaking cents each I might add).

5. I have breastfed all three of my kids. This may be the only unquestionably positive thing I’ve done for them. Well that and introducing them to the Grateful Dead.

6. I used to think the purpose of a play date was to distract the children long enough that the parents could get a good buzz going through uninterrupted beer drinking.

7. I don’t drink anymore, possibly due to #6.

8. For reasons still unclear, I keep putting the cheese in the freezer after I make lunches in the morning.

9. If I had my way, I’d be a rampant cigarette smoker. But I don’t have my way. (I never have my way. Damn it.) Apparently they cause cancer. I know they’re disgusting, but I love them. I feel James Dean cool when I smoke them. These are not facts I will share with my children. And if they ever ask me, I will lie.

10. When my computer stalls, I bang on it.

11. When my kids stall, I don’t bang on them, but I want to.

12. My husband’s idea of “getting dressed up” is shaving his forearm so his tattoo shows up more clearly.

13. Speaking of tattoos, I have four. I want twenty. (See above re: not getting my way.) This is not because I’m cool, but rather because I got a small one a few years ago and now I can’t stop. I believe it’s a disease.

14. When I’m in a good mood I do interpretive dance moves around the house while singing 80s songs. When I’m in a bad mood I sit on the couch and yell at people.

15. I believe women should stop distancing themselves from one another due to differing “philosophies” and join together in one united front against men, who are obviously the problem.

16. No I don’t really think that.

17. When I hear things like “radical unschooling” the first thought that crosses my mind is “How is that radical? White trash meth addicts in the high Sierra have been doing that for years.” I can’t help those thoughts. They just come.

18. When I attempt to summarize myself in lists, the whole task almost immediately degenerates into random tidbits of useless information and I find myself reminded of why I don’t try to summarize myself ever, whether in list form or not, because how the hell can a person be bullet-listed, characterized in nice, neat one-liners? I mean how do I know what to include and what to leave out – what if I leave out the single, key piece of info that would complete your picture of me? More importantly, should I be honest? Who’s reading this list? Do I attempt to maintain my act or do I let you in on the chaos, the confusion, the contradictions of self and soul and philosophy? And even if I want to tell the truth, how do I do that? What is the truth? There is no truth. There are only variations of the story as “true” in my mind at that precise moment and situation and in a few more moments it won’t be true anymore and then we’ll be back to lies again.

19. I’m confused. I hate “about me” lists. I’m going back to cleaning the garage.

oh, I forgot the 20th thing: My kids are infinitely cooler than I am. Always.

  • Christina

    Are you this funny when you talk or just when you write???

    BTW I do believe that you have include some very important key points about yourself, such as the cheese in the freezer and your husbands shaved arms. And I now feel that I know you completely and a little intimately.


    • renegademama

      Well I usually think I’m pretty damn funny, but others may just find me offensive, or wonder if I have some sort of mental defect. Thanks for the compliment. I appreciate it. 🙂

  • Luella Shapiro

    I wish you lived close by me. I think we would be friends in real life. and I’m picky about people.

    • renegademama

      Totally! I thought the same thing when I read your blog. Oh well, we shall be cyber friends. That came out sounding a little more creepy than I intended. Blog friends? Better.

  • Kimberly

    #12 made me spit out my fifth cup of coffee.

    • renegademama

      delighted that a fifth cup of coffee is a reality for somebody other than me. cheers.

  • Scott aka This Daddy

    This list to too damn funny.

    • renegademama

      Ah, thanks. Really enjoying your blog — well done!

  • Laura

    Oh, thank you! This list is too funny! It makes my list look like crap. Now, I feel all pressured to go and redo mine. But, I won’t because I’m lazy that way.

    • renegademama

      It’s not crap! – enjoyed your whole blog, will definitely be back. Cheers. (and thanks for the compliment!).

  • Lanae (@Hungrigyrl)

    Following you from Bloggy Moms. I find your blog extremely entertaining! I’m in Northern CA too…Have a great weekend! (in my mind Friday is already here)

  • Helen

    OMG. Inspired. Loving point number 17. I want to be like you when I grow up and have kids! (I’m in my 30s. Maybe I’ll grow up soon.)

  • Stefani

    #s 7, 11, and 14. Me, too.

  • Erika

    I like #17. I found your blog because I was in a really bad mood after a bad week and googled, “I hate Homeschooling.” Reading your blog made me feel a little bit like I’ve gone to therapy. I enjoy the crass-ness of it, it’s oddly refreshing. 🙂

  • Lauren

    I just stumbled upon your site and, damn, you are funny and insightful. My blog is far more boring so expect to see me here again for a conspiratorial laugh. Plus, I have a PhD in Classics (literature and philosophy): if you want to talk about deconstructionism as it relates to parenting texts, I’m your girl ;).

  • JL Spohr

    Just read your Beautiful Catastrophe article on Blogher. You hit the nail on the head. And now I’m uncomfortably addicted to your blog. And while I don’t put cheese in the freezer, I do put my phone in the medicine cabinet. Thanks for spilling yourself for all of us to nod and cry and laugh with.

  • Athena

    Where have you been my whole life? No. Really? Where? I’m pretty sure we’d absolutely be friends in real life and take turns talking about all those horrible things we’ve done to our children because we totally thought we were being funny and it WAS funny until they for hurt. I’m kidding. Sort of. Okay not really. But I mean it. You’re absolutely hilarious and I love your writing. Parenting is fucking hard, and I’m surprised on a daily basis that I still have a voice left for yelling, that my kids haven’t run away (due largely to the fact that they wouldn’t know where to run TO), and that I have any hair in my head still.

    But then, oh but then, it’s so bloody wonderful, too. And knowing how awful and atrocious and fucking ridiculously difficult it is (while still being TOTALLY THE BEST THING EVAR!!) is what sort of makes it awesome. And clearly also hilarious.

    Cheers, stranger sister friend.


  • arabella

    I think I’m in love. Really. Because…all of the above…but THIS:

    “When I’m in a good mood I do interpretive dance moves around the house while singing 80s songs. When I’m in a bad mood I sit on the couch and yell at people”

    YES YES YES YES YES. This is me. I do this. But really yes to all of it because thank god I’m not the only one.

  • Andrea Martin

    This is great.
    I’ve recently started putting things in the freezer, too, so there’s something I can put on my list. If I get around to writing one.
    Damn it. Now I’ve gotta write one.
    Anyhow, I enjoyed this. Keep going!

  • Elizabeth

    Dear sweet 8 lb 6 oz baby jesus… I laughed so hard I scared the baby and she tried to rip my nipple off. The boys on the other hand think I am losing my mind as they build and destroy all the mine craft things. Please write a book. I don’t care what book it is or what it is about but I guarantee you will sell one at the very least. Which I will purchase. This is so much more my speed. I needed to hear how there is at least one other mom out there that believes that sometimes sitting on the couch yelling is the best way to go. Which is what I will be doing when you publish your book and I buy it.
    Thank you. Thank you.

  • Phillipa

    I really like it here…..it feels like home.

  • Lisa

    My kids are now grown but I love your attitude! I’d much rather have the chaos and contradictions than fakery and lies, so rock on, lady!

  • Annie

    Um, i think we may be kindred spirits. Your blog is so awesome. This quote in particular made me gasp in recognition:”When I’m in a good mood I do interpretive dance moves around the house while singing 80s songs. When I’m in a bad mood I sit on the couch and yell at people.”
    Also, now all my blog posts sound like crap to me. I must go read all your posts.

    • FedUpMom

      Amen Annie.

  • courtney

    I love your number 3. I started a PhD program in English literature and dropped out during the dissertation phase. I did teach college kids for 5 years and it was a mixed bag. Sometimes really fun and stimulating and other times super annoying. 20-somethings are not really kids anymore and not really adults at all. Anyway- ran across your blog and love it.

  • Anne

    A co-worker just forwarded your blog and I fucking love it and, quite possibly, you. I was ranting to her that no Mom writes a REAL blog that says REAL shit, not made-up pretending-to-be-perfect self important bleb bleh bleh when we all know parenthood is a crazy total hot fucking mess. And she said, “well, there’s one…” and sent me yours. And, I love it.

    Anyway. I don’t know if you read (not of you CAN read, if you DO read) but if you do, you may dig “Let’s pretend this never happened” by Jenny Lawson who is insane and hysterical and wildly inappropriate. Which led me to my other question: Would you consider putting all this into a book because I love it and I’m lazy and can’t click between all these posts and I want to read it all in bed in my comfy’s not at the office. Anyway. Nice to meet you. You seriously rock as a writer and a Mom and as a Real Person.


  • Kate

    I used to be witty and write stuff. Now I just do comments sections. You are awesome; I just revisited your blog after linking the no-drama friendship manifesto for a new mom. Damn you are good, I favourited your blog on my tool bar so I come back more often.
    As for putting the cheese in the freezer, my biggest habit lately is taking the bus home and realizing halfway there that I DROVE to work. ergh. I’ve only actually done it once, but I’ve almost done it a few times, and I think I might need a bracelet with my address on it soon.

    Thanks for being hilarious and accurate.

  • Casey

    I love that more and more Mom’s are talking like this…to each other… about the strange and ugly yet wonderful things that happen while we are all learning how to raise a family. I, like all your fellow readers, thoroughly enjoy your honesty, humor, love and crazy for your family. Being a Mom, Wife, Friend, Grown-up…is hard and overwhelming at times, but you remind us that it is very Human to have doubts and stuff that is just uncontrollable…and that’s ok! Enjoy the ride and Renegade on!

  • tinti

    I think you’re awesome. In fact, if we knew each other, I’m pretty sure we’d be friends. Anyhow, just wanted to say I LOVE your blog, and have read it on and off for some time. I wrote a response to “I Became a Mother and Died to Live” (posted under Parenting from the Heart on my blog) because it moved me to tears. You’re fucking great, and thank you for sharing you.

  • JBC

    I found you by way of a Facebook post and I’m so glad I did! You are the funniest write I’ve read in a long time, maybe ever. Your style and point of view is so refreshing!

    Thanks for sharing yourself and keep up the great work!!

  • Renee

    hey, I found your page because I am tired of being “fucking fat.” Lol. My middle name is Janelle, and I am from Sacramento. weird. I am a decade or so older than you and I now live in the South. I am going to try to eat like a thin person, or a Californian. Thanks and keep writing!

  • Jocelyn

    After a particularly challenging day I knew I needed a dose of “renegade mothering” to feel understood, to cry and then to laugh. You have challenged me to be more honest in my life and in my writing. Thank you for being raw and real and awesome. Thank for making me laugh when I want to scream. I hope you write a book someday so that I can curl up in bed with it and dog ear my favorite pages.

  • Jen

    You make me think that maybe I could do this, because you make it seem like it’s okay not to be June Cleaver and that is something I need to hear. Thanks.

  • Kate

    Thanks for doing what you do! I’m lucky enough to make a living writing, and reading great work is what keeps me on my game. I also have a 15 month old kiddo, so I spend the requisite 20+ hours/week skimming parenting blogs looking for ‘answers’. Your blog saves me lots of time: I get writing inspiration, and answers to questions I didn’t realize I had. Your style reminds me a little of Bill Bryson, my go-to guy when I need to find the flow. If you have time, I’d love to know who some of your favorite writers (online or not) are. Thanks!

  • Wendy

    your writing is so refreshingly honest and funny. it cracks me up. i’m too serious. i need to laugh more. thanks for helping with that. i wish i lived near you so we could be friends.

  • Trackbacks

  • Trackback from this is my serious face | renegade mothering
    Thursday, 24 March, 2011

    […] myself to Ghandi. In this one I said I wanted to beat certain women with blunt objects. And here I stated that I want to bang on my children for “stalling.” And please let’s not forget this […]

  • Trackback from this is my serious face - renegade motheringrenegade mothering
    Thursday, 14 April, 2011

    […] myself to Ghandi. In this one I said I wanted to beat certain women with blunt objects. And here I stated that I want to bang on my children for “stalling.” And please let’s not forget this […]

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