Posts Filed Under Things I shouldn’t say out loud let alone Publish on the Internet…

Dear Internet: Nobody’s going to put Ecstasy in your kids’ candy

by Janelle Hanchett

Okay, Internet. We have to talk. Again.

You must knock it right the fuck off with your timely and earnest warnings to “moms and dads” to BE ON THE LOOKOUT for Ecstasy pills that “look like candy” and may be put into their kids’ trick-or-treat bags.

What the hell is wrong with you?

Have you never done Ecstasy?


Okay. Clearly we have different histories. No worries. I’m willing to share. Take a moment to follow me here.

Nobody is going to put Ecstasy in your kids’ fucking Halloween candy.

First, that’s a waste of Ecstasy. Ecstasy is expensive. Nobody gets it so they can dose children. WHERE’S THE FUN IN THAT? The whole point of Ecstasy is to relax in a cuddle puddle of 3-12 dear friends smoking cigarettes, drinking vodka redbull, and expressing deep adoration while stroking each other’s forearms.


No but seriously. Please. Pull it together.

They are also not going to accidentally give it to your kid. Why? Because people with drugs know what they look like. Very, very well. Ever get a Valium prescription? Yeah. That shit’s nice, right?

Would you ever confuse your Valium pills with Sweet Tarts and hand them to a tiny lion on your doorstep?

No. Of course you wouldn’t.


Furthermore, people with illicit substances know where they are located AT ALL TIMES and therefore will never, ever have this happen:

Jane: “Honey, where’s the ecstasy we were going to take tonight?”
Bill: “Oh, shoot. Well sweetie I just don’t know. I brought it in from the car with the Lysol cleaning wipes and put them somewhere but it’s totally slipped my mind!”
Jane: “Darn! Well we need some candy for trick-or-treaters.”
Bill: “Let me look in the pantry……here…”(Comes back with Ecstasy pills). “Hand these out!”

Look. I get it. You were busy building a foundation for life while I spent time gazing into the eyes of my new girlfriend and dancing with glow-sticks. We all have our paths.

But still. There’s no excuse for this sort of fear-mongering weirdness. We don’t just get to MAKE SHIT UP to worry about. We can’t just invent things to post on Facebook because it’s fun to have The Super Critical Safety Message.

You know what I’ve found?

People are generally good. People generally do not want to maim my children or dupe them into taking psychedelics.

People in general want to smile at their costumes and hand them a Kit Kat bar, without even a razor in it.

People are generally good.

Even the monsters with Ecstasy.


Our general approach. ya?

P.S. I don’t do drugs. I don’t even drink. I did however take a boatload of substances for 10 or so short years there in my 20s. Unless my kids are reading this in which case I did not. In fact this isn’t even Janelle have a nice day bye.

Breaking: Crazy human somehow loses weight, shares secret

by Janelle Hanchett

You know I don’t give advice, but there’s this one area of life I have so mastered so fully (SARCASM MOTHERFUCKERS) I feel it would be a disservice to humanity to not share.

And that area is: LOSING WEIGHT.

Look, I don’t want to discuss feminism or women’s bodies or getting comfortable with my fatness or whatever the fuck else we all sit around discussing. I KNOW there are fat yogis balancing on their heads, powerful as hell. I KNOW there are women super okay with the rolls of their belly but I also know that those women are not me.

I am neither a fat yogi nor a woman comfortable with her belly.

I feel like shit. My back hurts. I look at myself naked and sorta want to puke. I KNOW I HAVE INTERNALIZED BODY SHAMING NARRATIVES OF SELF HATRED.

I’m not proud. I’m merely stating the facts: I am overfuckingweight and I don’t like it. I’m overweight because I eat too much and believe in the futility of eating one’s feelings yet do it anyway because THAT’S FUN.

Also, I don’t exercise enough.


I wasn’t always overweight. While they were trying to find what was wrong with me (during my active alcoholism), they gave me a bunch of psychiatric diagnoses and put me on 7 to 11 different psychotropic drugs at the same time. I gained 70 pounds in 3 months.


And I’ve never quite been able to regain control. But I can’t blame that completely. Sure, that’s how it started, but once it happened I began the spiral into Fuck It All I’m Already Fat and started eating with wild abandon.

I’m not particularly unhealthy. My blood pressure is low. My blood sugar normal.

But I feel like shit.

This is just me. This is not a statement on all fat women in the world, or America. Or even my town. Or even one single other person.

I’m sure if I were a better, more enlightened human, I would

A. get okay with my body as it is; or,

B. do something about it.

I’m working on B.


But I kinda suck at it.

Once, a few years ago, when I was about this weight, I got super pissed off and done with not changing and I lost 40 pounds over a year or so and felt amazing.

Then I got pregnant again and gained it all back that was nearly 2 years ago the end.

Nice story, right?

I hate that story. That story can lick donkey balls.

Sorry. I should be more feminine.

I should stop apologizing.



Okay here’s the deal: I’m trying to lose weight to feel stronger and more able-bodied and in less pain AND to feel more comfortable in my body and clothes.

Here’s how it’s going:

4am: Wake up but against my will. Nurse tiny creature next to me and beg him (in silence of course) to go back to fucking sleep

5am: Breathe a sigh of relief that tiny human fell back asleep, roll over to do the same

5:15am: Wonder why I’m not asleep yet

5:30am: Wonder why I’m not asleep yet

5:45am: Meditate with the vigor of a thousand warriors because JESUS FUCK I NEED SLEEP

6am: Fall asleep

6:30am: Hear alarm go off, want to die

6:36: Get out of bed after looking at phone for 6 minutes even though I know that’s a super bad way to start the day

6:40: Do 7-minute workout thing (dude it’s an app and it rocks and I’ve actually been doing it!)

7am: Eat a healthy breakfast because today is going to be a good clean eating day!

7-10am: Drink 47,000 gallons of coffee but without sugar

10:30am: Healthy snack

1pm: healthy lunch

3pm: Drive around 12 small nations to pick up kids

3:15pm: Realize I’m fucking starving

4pm: Realize I’m dizzy from healthy snack deficiency

4:30pm: Get home. Open fridge. Eat something healthy but wish there was something more filling and also healthy

5pm: Start making dinner



7pm: Realize I basically negated all my day’s efforts because it’s the night calories that REALLY matter and ohmygodJanelle you suck and you’ll always be fat and nobody likes you.

8pm: Get upset with myself for fat shaming body shaming self bashing and blatant lack of self love.

10pm: Resolve to do better tomorrow.

11pm: Go the fuck to sleep


Then, DUDE CHECK THIS SHIT OUT: I do slightly better tomorrow.

That is actually happening and it’s real. I’ve been making tiny changes and little nudges here and there and I’ve lost 10 pounds over the past 6 weeks. What?

Every day, I’m trying to be a little healthier than the last, and if I eat everything in a 5 mile radius during one meal, I try to get back on track for the next without mentally assaulting myself until I’m lying lifeless on a cold stone floor.

And I see now that a big part of this is realizing that I deserve health and attention and wellness and compassion (lord I sound like a fucking life coach), and tiny changes ultimately result in a new place entirely.

And that feels damn good.

So yeah, success. Or something. Fucking rock it.

Slightly more than yesterday.


Do you ever wish you could see yourself the way your kids do?

Do you ever wish you could see yourself the way your kids do?

16 Ways I’ll Probably Ruin Christmas

by Janelle Hanchett

I love Christmas. I love all of it. I love the gifts and the candles and the lights. I love the horrible music. I love the movies and eggnog and excitement and decorations. I’m slightly pathetic about the whole thing, actually. But it doesn’t matter how much I love it.

I’ll probably ruin it anyway.  Chances are good, at least. The more important the day, the more likely I am to fuck it up with my questionable behavior.

I made an infographic to visually summarize this phenomenon.


But this year I thought I’d give my family a nice, clear, fair warning about how I’ll probably ruin Christmas. I’m thinking this might help.

So here we go.

  1. I’ll probably stay up too late the night before wrapping the fourteen thousand seven hundred and fifty three gifts I bought for the kids because when I was a kid we were pretty broke, and my mom every year said “This Christmas is going to be small, kids,” and I smiled and felt a little pang but didn’t show it, but then on Christmas my big brother and I woke my mom up and trotted into the living room and the gifts were tumbling over themselves in a massive insane heap and it didn’t feel small at all. So now I do the same, and it’s shallow and materialistic and unenlightened but I couldn’t possibly give fewer shits about that. I freaking love it.
  2. But because I stayed up too late I’ll be irritable and you’ll be bouncing off the walls so I’ll probably snap at one of you. I’ll snap at you as I watch you in your Christmas pajamas and think about the next gift I have for you, that one you’re not expecting, because I know you’re just going to love it and it’s the little ones like that make my stomach flutter and Christmas becomes the same as when I was you. I’ll snap and feel immediately terrible and apologize and think “You can’t do that! It’s CHRISTMAS!”
  3. I will for sure say something stupid though. Once I opened a gift and said the first thing that came to my mind and it was the wrong thing to say and it made my mom’s face fall and I knew I ruined Christmas then.
  4. I’ll probably say “tits” at the Christmas table and regret that immediately too. On the way home I’ll ask Mac why I always have to sit by the classy people in the family and he’ll say “Right. That’s the problem. The seating arrangement.” And then he’ll tell me it’s not a big deal, Janelle, and I’ll be vaguely grateful it wasn’t an F-bomb.
  5. My mouth ruins a lot of Christmases.
  6. I’ll probably overbook the day because rather than learn from mistakes I like to keep doing them over and over again a few hundred billionty times because you never know it may work this time and then when we’re all wrestling ourselves off the couch and into nice clothes I’ll probably ruin Christmas by being angry and frustrated and kicking myself because I want to stay home and swore last year I wouldn’t do this again. I’ll wonder what the fuck is wrong with me.
  7. No. We’re staying home this year. I WON’T RUIN CHRISTMAS THAT WAY, KIDS.
  8. I used to ruin Christmas by drinking too much. Once I ruined it by not even showing up at all. There was one when I found myself alone for a moment in the bathroom after all the gifts had been opened and as I was getting up from the toilet after peeing I thought for the first time that my kids would be better off without me and it was my first and perhaps only real thought of suicide and it was shocking in its anticlimactic nature and the smoothness with which it passed through my brain. I thought about it like I might think about an item we needed from the grocery store. It was matter of fact and plain and clear. In that it terrified me. I went outside and watched my son who’s now 9 ride around on his new Hot Wheels in his footed Christmas pajamas. I poured some whiskey in my coffee and didn’t die.
  9. I’ll never ruin Christmas by not being there again.
  10. I’ll eat too much and practically bust out of my clothing though and that won’t ruin Christmas but I’ll feel like a cow.
  11. I’ll get mad at you for not looking at the camera.
  12. I’ll forget your tights. I always forget the tights. Damn tights.
  13. I’ll yell, probably, because really JUST LOOK AT THE FUCKING CAMERA FOR 12 FUCKING SECONDS KID. And then I’ll bribe you with See’s Candy and win at parenting.
  14. At the end of the day I’ll probably go out on the patio with your dad and I might start blaming him for the ways Christmas was ruined because that’s easier than realizing I ruined Christmas by being overtired and cranky and the stakes are just too high. And I’ll want to stop but I won’t because there was his pain and my mom and brother and I and my dad, and my grandmother who’s gone now, and the way I used to wrap presents for her every year, and the ache in my gut and brain and eyes to see her again and the wrinkles in her hands and tell her goodbye, mostly, or even thank you. And there are those thousand Christmases of them and me and you and those to come and I’ll feel it all right then. Through the lights strung on the porch that you hung badly. I got a little mad when it happened (because the neighbor’s are perfect) but laughed when I realized poorly hung Christmas lights are a fucking family tradition at this point. It’s our Griswold moment.
  15. And I’ll ruin Christmas when I lie down at night and think of you the oldest kid in your bed and you and you and look down at the baby, 6 months old, and watch him nurse and know he will be you, the first, 13 years old, so close to gone. And I’ll shut my eyes with the memory of snapping at you as we sat around the tree. And I’ll wish I could go back there. This year’s gone already. Next will be later still. Further still.
  16. I’ll ruin Christmas because it’s never enough. I’m never enough, for you. For this. How could I be? How could I be the light to make a day perfection? The mother bustling about the tree. The one with the gingerbread and sugar cookies. Oh these stakes are just too high.

Damn you, Christmas. The perfect, ruined day, every year. You just keep getting better. In my mind, my heart, you get that much better every year. And you, kids.

I can’t wait to see your faces.


I don’t want more kids, but I’ll never be done

by Janelle Hanchett

There’s something wrong with me. I’ve suspected it before but now I know, fully.

I’m okay with it. I think. I mean there’s not much I can do, really, is there?

My husband, right now, as we speak, is getting a vasectomy. I cleared it with him before announcing this on the internet.

If you’re new here, we have 4 kids. Ava, 12. Rocket (Charles), 9. Georgia, 4 and Arlo, 5 months.

We quite clearly don’t need any more children.

We aren’t like rollin in the dinero wondering which private school we should send our kids to (because none of them quite live up to our expectations).

There is a 5 x 4 foot pile of laundry in the “laundry room” (garage). I haven’t seen the floor of our car in approximately 4 months. It smells vaguely of apples and mold.

But most importantly, every day, at least once, I throw my hands up toward the heavens and cry out “MY GOD WHY ARE THERE SO MANY OF THEM?”

More often, I whisper under my breath “God damnit I’m never having any more kids.” And I mean it, man. I MEAN IT.

Occasionally this sentiment takes new and exciting forms such as “What the fuck were we thinking?” or “Is this really as good as it gets?”

My 4-year-old actually literally frightens me. All of us, really. She comes barreling at us from across the room with this wild look in her eye and every single time I’m sure she’s going to headbutt my groin. I sort of bend over and cover the area and hope for the best. Sometimes, on the way to school, when she sees the donut shop, she demands a donut and when I say “no,” she whines for 10 solid minutes. Then she gets mad and takes the toy from the baby in the carseat as a form of displaced retaliation, so now the baby who was finally not crying is now doing that hold-the-breath-then-squeal thing. Chances are he won’t stop. While he cries and she whines about motherfucking pastries, my 9-year-old makes strange popping sounds and asks about something I can’t follow while my 12-year-old wants to tell me about the new project in history class, which I totally want to hear about, but can’t, because I haven’t slept more than 4 hours/night in the past week and I just realized I forgot Rocket’s IEP paperwork AGAINNNNNNNNNN and the noise the noise the NOISE.

In other words, I have my fucking hands full.

That’s clear, folks. Logically, there should never ever be another baby added to this mix and every single fucking day I am reminded of this fact in seemingly endless forms.

And yet, right now, my husband is getting a vasectomy and all I can think is “Wait. It’s over?”

It can’t be over. I’m not ready for it to be over. I’m 35! I have 5 more years in me! WHAT IF I WANT FIVE????


“Janelle, we barely want 4.”

Mac is right.

On every cognitive level of my brain I know 100% that we are done. But the problem is I just can’t seem to GET DONE. To FEEL DONE. To really deeply in my bones BE DONE.

I realize there are people out there who “just know” when a baby is their last and others who say “one and done” and they’re all stable and secure and confident in that decision, or at least they pretend to be. They seem so grown-up and decided, you know, like “This is right and I am unwavering and there is no gray area for me.”

There is always, always, a gray area for me. I am never sure of any damn thing. It all feels a little right and a little wrong. I kind of do things and see what happens. Not because I’m trying to live on the edge. Rather, I can’t seem to do it differently. I make decisions because they seem vaguely better than the other ones.

IMG_1825Look, I’m not recommending this as a life philosophy. I’m merely telling you what’s up.

I don’t want any more children. I can’t stand the thought of not having any more children.

I told you. Something’s wrong with me.

Please don’t give me family planning advice. I think we can all agree (based on my past experience) that I won’t use it. I just want to talk about the side of me that will never, ever be done. The side that will never be done with the moment your baby is placed in your arms and you feel that warm body and lock eyes with this tiny being you’ve known forever but just met. The smell, the tiny suits and sleeping gowns and tufts of hair. The anticipation. The moment of birth.

And then, a little bigger,  the fists.

The smiles and coos and laughter.

I will never be done with that.

I still have it with Arlo. I won’t have it for long.

I know this because I watched it leave me in the dust with three other children.

The Last Baby.


The end of him as a newborn is the end of me with newborns. He’s through that now. He rolls onto his belly, pulls his legs up, pushes up with his arms. Soon he’ll crawl. I don’t need to go through this list, you know it already.

And I’ll never be “okay” with it. I’ll never be done.

It’s the end. But I’ll never be done having kids.

I don’t need to convince myself otherwise. It’s alright I guess to hover in this nonsense, wanting it to end but never, ever wanting it to end, dying for the day I get my “life back” and wondering if I may die the day I get my life back, encouraging the little fella to do whatever new thing he’s trying, then turning around and feeling a sting that he succeeded.

I’ll never be done with you, kids. You’ll go, and I’ll let go, but I’ll never be done. These are the days I wish would end but beg never to end. The clock is ticking through my series of “lasts.” It doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t need to.

He sat up the other day on his own, as they do.

It felt to me like he did it too soon, but I cheered him on anyway and laughed with the other kids, feeling the firsts and the lasts roll on beneath me, carrying us relentlessly right on through, toward the only end that will never quite come, the finish that will never find me.



I don’t hate you, but I’ll probably ignore your parenting advice

by Janelle Hanchett

A few years ago, when I started this blog, I created the tagline “Join me in the fight against helpful parenting advice.”

This is, of course, a joke. But like most jokes, it’s also true. I’m pretty sure my special talent is the ability to shoot down parenting advice in midair.

This is not because I think I know everything. I haven’t known everything in at least 10 years.

It isn’t because I’ve never received helpful advice. My midwife suggested I set one goal each day (clean my bedroom, do the laundry, etc.) and just do that first. The rest I’ll get to if I can. I tried this. It worked. I still do it.

And it isn’t that I think you know nothing. I watch you. I see you succeeding. I know you know all kinds of things. Well, some of you. Some of you are are not succeeding. Like Matt Walsh, for example.

There’s some ego involved. When I share some story about my kids, particularly if there’s a hint of negativity in it, and Other More Knowledgeable Parents share their “how-to tips” with me, I often respond (in my head) with a tween-like “fuck off” for no reason beyond I don’t like being told what to do.

Maturity. It’s my jam.

Who the hell are you to tell me how to parent? You know nothing about my family. I wasn’t writing for help. When I want help I’ll ask for it.



And the reason is pretty simple: IT NEVER WORKS.

Or it might work, but probably not. And if it works, it probably won’t work with the next kid, or in 6 months, or tomorrow. And after I hear your advice, and try it, and it doesn’t work, I’ll spend a while feeling shitty because the advice isn’t working, but there’s a chance I won’t be able to face that fact, because IT WORKED FOR YOU so it “SHOULD” work for me so now I feel like a failure for not applying advice correctly so I just keep trying and trying and trying until I say FUCK THIS NOISE and start a blog.

Because I’m tired of the bullshit, the idea that there’s any uniformity to this insanity, that parenting philosophies will work for all, or even most, or anybody for that matter. I’m tired of people creating road maps for that which cannot be tracked.

Hey parenting books, you’re applying your map to my land and my land has never been seen before. So fuck your maps.

Oh come on. I know I’m not the first person in the world to have kids. I know my kids aren’t some never-seen-before uniquely gifted snowflakes. They’re kids. We’re a family. Pretty standard.

But the fact is that the shit that makes my family really difficult, the parts that are tough and unclear and gray and rugged – the problems for which I really wish I had solutions or “advice” that works – cannot be “solved” by something that worked for you. I listen to your ideas. I think about them. I try it out. But the brutal truth is that just like anything else in life, there is no silver bullet. There is no “sure fix” to the shit that isn’t working in my life.

But we don’t want to admit that with parenthood because the stakes are too fucking high. We can’t accept “don’t know shit” as the pinnacle of our parental credentials. We don’t want to accept “flawed human” as the CEO of young lives.

It’s too hard. There’s too much happening. There are babies and kids and tears, trust and reliance and broken sprits and wild kid joy, there’s innocence and vulnerability and memories to be made, reformed, forgotten and recrafted through a lifetimes of what the hell will my kids remember?

When I yelled? When we laughed? When I lost it and screamed in her face? That camping trip in Tahoe? The crystal blue? Or the dark and cold?


I couldn’t stop yelling at my older daughter. She will be 13 in a month. Every day, I couldn’t stop. It was like everything she did was an affront to something in me.

We battled over and over and over and over again.

I’d lie down at night and wonder if there were any moms meaner than me. Secretly I knew they’re weren’t.

Sometimes I would try to blame her. She can be annoying, you know. She’s got a very strong personality. Rigid, at times. If she would just.

No. Not it.

I’d conclude I’m unfit to be a mother.

Why did I have all these kids?

What the fuck is wrong with me?

I’m the only one who treats their kids like this.

On and on like this. Days, weeks. Maybe months.


It’s exhaustion, from the newborn. The stress of lack of money.


Wake up, drink some coffee. Try again today. Fail again today. Tell them you love them.


Until one day I lost it. It built and built and built. I could feel it coming, rage, a voice in my head, “Janelle, stop now. STOP NOW.” But I didn’t. I couldn’t. I saw red, screamed and swore at my daughter. Not the kind of yell you tell your friends about. The kind of yell you pretend didn’t happen because you can’t face it in yourself. The kind you want to run from, hide from, forever. The kind that terrorizes and destroys, leaves you wrecked and shaking from shame.

After, I collapsed in my room. My fury made my body shake. My heart pound. My whole body seemed to writhe and push and pull against something. I was furious. I wanted to punch, hurt things.

And after there was utter sadness. Desperate sadness. The surrender kind of sadness. The kind that knocks you breathless and pounds your gut, consumes you at once, spits you out and leaves you for dead.

I saw myself, a monster, screaming. I felt it all again. I saw her face, her eyes. In my mind I looked deep into her gorgeous young face and realized I was not yelling at my daughter at all.

I was yelling at myself.

I was yelling at my fear.

I was yelling at my terror that she would turn out like me, make the mistakes I did, walk a path so dangerous she may not survive at all. She was entering her teenage years, the years when I got lost, when it all began for me. I was furious that she was like me, and terrified that she would not be better than me.

And there is nothing I can do about it.

It wasn’t her that was driving me nuts. It was my hatred of myself being reflected back to me through a child with very similar characteristics.

I told her that. Every word. Our relationship was reborn.


There is no book to tell me to look there, in the part of me I don’t even know exists. There’s no parenting advice called “Surrender to the most fucked up parts of yourselves so you can face the truth and move on and become better for your kids.” There’s nobody who can do that work for me. There’s nobody who can make me braver, more willing to see the truth. There’s nobody who can break me for me, stand wild-eyed with love in the gaze of these beings so entwined with my own heart, mind, past and memories.

This fucked-up path is mine, world. The victories too.


So please, sure, tell me how you fixed that clogged milk duct, or what food you started your kid on, or how you got your 6-month-old to sleep through the night or your 4-year-old to obey, and I’ll listen, and I’ll file it away as potentially useful information. I’ll give it a shot and see how it goes.

But understand that my vacant stare is because I’ve accepted that all the words in the world can’t make this gig easier. Some kids sleep. Some don’t. Some are built for school. Some aren’t. Some fit some don’t some listen some don’t some write some build some are like nothing that makes sense and some are just “right” in this world.

I have a little of this and a little of that. It’s gray and weird and shifting and relentless.

And the only one who can navigate it, in the end, is me. Them. Us.

Maybe a little of you.

I don’t really need your advice.

But I think I need you. Tell me how you keep walking your path, the unknown, as the world looks on shouting useless direction. That’s some shit I can seriously use.

We had to enter the next place, and I didn't want to go. We're there now.

We had to enter the next place, and I didn’t want to go. We’re getting there now.