Posts Filed Under Uncategorized

This Mother’s Day, you’ll find me talking shit about motherhood.

by Janelle Hanchett


Do you know why?

Because motherhood can take it. Because there is nothing stronger.

I can tear it up, brutalize it, make fun of it in every way possible, tease the darkest corners, shed light in the most covered places…and yet she stands undiminished, untouched. She barely hears me. She raises a disinterested brow for a moment, maybe, but then goes on, being her.

The queen.

Like the friend with whom all barriers are broken, motherhood and I have gone the lengths. We’ve already beaten each other, or tried: She won. We’ve stood face to face in the firing line.

I’ve fought her in a million rings. She wins every time.

I’ve told her to get out. I’ve laughed in her face. I’ve sworn I would force her out.

She sits like a ghost in the easy chair. Never moves a muscle.

You know she’s dished out more than I can ever give with my words, on this blog or a thousand blogs.

She made me a woman I wasn’t ready to become. She throws me every day into the mercy of the universe: through pregnancy, birth, parenthood – my whole existence begs for my kids to keep living, for their hearts to keep beating, for their feet to find loving ground, from the moments of their births I’ve been enslaved. To her. To them.

And yet not.

For I am myself still, independently, and I’ve got this mind and heart and ambition, and it appears I’ll never fully reconcile the two.

There’s nothing gentle about that.

You think a mother’s love is gentle?

Think again.

My love will kick your ass. Don’t believe me? Try to hurt my kid.

My love is a muddy soldier charging enemy lines. Why? Because there is no other choice. This is where we are. This is what we’re doing. It doesn’t matter that I’m tired and broken and somewhat disinterested. It doesn’t matter that it’s Saturday or I’m alone or my last baby passed away.

You get up. You move your feet. Motherhood wins again.

sweat and blood and work. grit and dirt and bruises.

I’m dragged through the mud crying, but begging for it never to change.

Please don’t leave me, motherhood. I’m nothing without you. But I wish, sometimes, you’d kindly go fuck yourself.

My love is the struggle of a drowning man catching air. My tenacity will amaze you.

My love is woman offering her breast to a starving child, knowing there’s no milk.

My love would kill me in an instant, for my baby.

And it would kill you too, for my baby.


Do you think she gets hurts feelings when I make fun of her, when I belittle her, when I voice my little fears and agonies and jab at her ribs?

You think she cares?

No. She doesn’t. Because motherhood has nothing to prove. She’s the one with the power and she knows it. WE BOTH KNOW IT. The one with the power sits back and relaxes. No bluster or fear.

I’m like an annoying puppy nipping at her heels. She kicks me aside without a word.

She knows I’ve got nothing on her, and I’ll kneel at her feet in adoration at any moment, because she’s given it all to me: my heart, my future, my life, in separate souls, these babies who caught me up in their gorgeous little hands and touched my head, with a kiss: “Mama.”

And I’ll fall at her knees to hear that voice again, to hear it always, to know it’s still me.

And I’ll fight whatever fight’s necessary to make her keep on loving me, motherhood. I’ll fight for you, you sick twisted fuck.

Knowing you are eating me alive, each day as I wake up exhausted without any answers, lying on the floor searching for peace, to know how to give the girl what she needs, and the boy eyes to read, and the baby. I’m just gone too much.

And I’m just so in love.


So yes, world, this Mother’s Day, you’ll find me talking shit about motherhood.  You’ll find me laughing my ass off. You’ll find me dripping with sarcasm and saying things I shouldn’t  in an unfeminine and unladylike manner. And you’ll say I’m diminishing a mother’s value.

But I disagree.

I just want to know: Why do I bother you so? My tongue, my attitude, my rugged irreverence?

What about the grit, the incredibly HARD WORK of my life makes you so uncomfortable?

Does it not fit your marketing, your Hallmark card? Does it make your Lifetime movie seem irrelevant? Do you have to rethink your own mother?

Or are you afraid? Are you just simply terrified?

To see us as we are….or can be…?

fierce, mouthy warriors,

fighters and shit-talkers.


Burly and ripped and sweaty and so goddamn powerful, the toughest motherfuckers you’ve ever seen,


offering the softest breast to a petal mouth seeking, a feather brush on a newborn’s cheek, the most delicate pink, a baby’s soft spot, a “hush” from a loving mouth, she enfolds a tiny creature of perfect vulnerability into stone security, a broken little being —

catching the exhausted of the world in muscle-ripped arms,

pulling small falling hands into her own calloused palms,

and kissing them a thousand times, sending them on their way, to build their own.

the mother.

Is it too much for you, that we exist like this, in perfect contradiction? Is it too much for you that we are all of it, right now, at once?

Then go. Good riddance.

If you can’t take our heat, get the hell out of our kitchens.

Your bellies aren’t the ones we’re living to fill anyway.

And honestly, motherhood doesn’t have time for this shit.

And we aren’t going to write a new story for you, because it’s more palatable, more pleasant. We aren’t going to invent something to soothe your desires.

This is us. This is it.

This is Mother’s Day….



the softest, fiercest mama love…


27 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized | May 8, 2013

FTM Friday: DIY Face Wash (and make-up remover!)

by Janelle Hanchett

Yay, FTM Friday on a Saturday! I love you!ftm

I’m happy to back. I hate studying for comprehensive exams. I’m never reading another piece of literature. ever ever as long as I live. I hate literature.

And…I’m baack.

So good to see you.

Soon, as you may have noticed, the FTM situation is a little different on the blog. The FTM posts now publish on a separate page, which you can access in the menu on the left. It’s a long story, but I thank my friend Katie, who blogs here, for making that story happen.

And now. Face wash.

Check it out, one of the things that threw me into the world of renegade body products (Where do I come up with this shit? I mean seriously, renegade body products? I embarrass myself.) is the fact that face wash is SO expensive, and it just seems to result in the need for MORE products. Ya feel me? I mean you need one product to remove mascara/make-up. You need another product to wash your face. You need moisturizer. BUT, if you’re like me, your skin is always changing; read: sometimes I have acne. Other times it’s dry like the damn Mojave.

So you end up with like seventy five products, all of which are expensive.

But not now. Now I have 2, maybe 3 products, but I rarely use them all and they are cheap. Cheap. Cheap.

When I tell you this you may freak out, and that’s cool. This is freak-out safe zone. We’re all friends here.

I wash my face with a mixture of olive oil and castor oil. And it works. It works as well as the expensive stuff I bought. Maybe better. But definitely as good and it’s chemical free, and probably an 1/8 of the price.

So I read this post at Crunchy Betty (she’s like amazeballs, by the way) and I’m all “Wow, that sounds weird. That chick’s weird.” But I had already determined to get all hardcore up in here, so I made a mixture of 1/2 olive oil and 1/2 castor oil, then I threw in some tea tree because I have acne-prone skin, and I starte

d using it at night.

I lightly wet my face. I put about a quarter-sized amount of the wash in my palm then massage it into my face while running the super hot water. When it’s hot, I wet a washcloth completely, wring it out a bit, and lay it on my face for 20 seconds or so, then I gently rub the oil off my face.

ingredients, sans the boy

ingredients, sans the boy

My face is clean, moisturized, soft, and it removes my eye make-up.

Apparently this is called the “oil cleansing method.” I would like to call it the “Fuck Yeah Cleansing Method.”

I do this at night, when I really want that “deep clean” (to remove make-up, dirt, sweat, depression and general malaise). When I’m washing my face quickly (because yes, sometimes 1 minute is too long of a face-washing commitment), I use a coconut body/face wash I’m going to share with you next week. PROMISE.

So people, try it. But first, read the post by Crunchy Betty (yes, I linked it TWICE). It explains all the different types of oils you can use and the benefits of each for different types of skin. I use olive as my “carrier oil,” and the castor oil is critical – you have to have it. I buy mine on Amazon. But you can use jojoba, almond, avocado, and many more. But you have to use the castor. That’s what’s really cleaning your face.


And you adjust the ratio based on your skin type: more castor for oilier skin, less for dryer skin. So I’ve actually made a couple variations to use during different times of the month, when my, um, fucking horrible hormones ruin my mood, body, skin, and

So here you go. Try it. You’ll love it. Or you won’t. But if you do you’ll have found a chemical-free, inexpensive, super effective  make-up remover/face-cleansing method. (Also, did you know you can just use coconut oil or olive oil to remove eye make-up? I will NEVER buy make-up remover again. Ever. Oil works so much better.)

“Fuck Yeah Face Wash”

Oily skin: 2/3 castor oil in whatever container, 1/3 olive or other carrier oil (almond, jojoba, grapeseed, etc.)

Dry skin: 1/3 castor oil; 2/3 olive oil (or other carrier)

“Normal” skin: ½ and ½ baby!


Not gonna lie, I feel like I’m going something nice for myself when I do this. It feels like a mini-facial. Only cheaper. And more green.

Whatever. It’s rad. Try it.

Let me know what you think.




10 Comments | Posted in FTM Friday, Uncategorized | April 13, 2013

This week…”I’m just pooping” (and other good news)

by Janelle Hanchett


  1. I’m not sure if you know this, but Georgia (the 2-year-old) wakes up in the morning, removes her clothing and diaper, launches herself out of the crib and goes about her business. Now, her business used to involve running down the hallway screaming “Mama! You gotta get up!” but it’s evolved, apparently.
  2. Today I heard her bedroom close the door behind her all efficiently like she always does, even though she’s like a toy-spewing tornado on meth the rest of the day (Why does she always shut her door? Who the hell knows why? Because toddlers are insane.) and I waited for her to come into my room. I waited and waited and waited, hoping she’d come in at any moment so I didn’t have to remove myself from my bed. After enough minutes passed that I started getting worried, I asked Rocket (Mac was off RUNNING up hills or doing some other insane shit healthy people do) to get up and see what Georgia’s up to (YES, I made my 7-year-old get up to check on the toddler while I laid there and checked my phone…WHAT?). So he comes back a couple minutes later and says “She’s on the potty.”
  3. We keep the toddler potty in the living room. Because we keep it classy. So I figure she’s fine and get up like 20 minutes later (don’t hate, Rocket was with her), and when I get into the living room she’s still on the potty, which means she’s been on there for like 40 minutes at this point. We make eye contact and she like read my mind when she answered “I’m just pooping!” and I swear there was an eye roll. I mumbled that she clearly inherited the pooping-for-eternity trait from her father. I probably shouldn’t say those things on the internet. I mean seriously, is there nothing sacred?! (no, no there isn’t)
  4. Anyhoo, I’m slightly less traumatized about my exam in 3.5 weeks. It may be because I’ve been studying my British lit like a madwoman, or it’s because I’ve resigned myself and pretty much no longer care. I guess we’ll find out after the exam. Whee! Livin’ on the edge.
  5. Speaking of “exams,” Rocket made the announcement, and my heart nearly shattered: “I’m the only one in my class who can’t read.” And his head fell onto his arm, face down on the table, and it’s true, he’s 7 and a half and isn’t reading, and can’t seem to recall many words or letters, and it’s getting a little rough. We’re having him assessed on April 2, just because I want some insight into how to work with him, how to make these scribbles on the page come alive to him.
  6. It’s a strange feeling to have this kid who isn’t on the “curve” and you’re stuck between wanting him to be free and confident and young while also wanting him to read, because you value learning, but then again what is learning? And how do we know learning is synonymous with reading and school?  IS IT? What if it isn’t? What if there are other ways? And what if I get him a label of “dyslexic” or whatever and then he’s that forever and his curiosity fades into a vague understanding of his own deficiencies, and he gives up altogether.
  7. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: It ain’t easy having one of “those” kids.
  8. Today I went to a luncheon for my lovely friend who looks better than most people even though she’s 8 months pregnant and I was sitting there cracking up with this group of women, listening to them tell it how it is, uncensored, witty, real. And I thought to myself this is what it’s like hanging out with real women, strong and smart women.
  9. It isn’t competitive. It isn’t one-upping. It isn’t female pissing matches shrouded in paper-thin decorum. It’s wild, it’s loud, it’s funny. It’s empowering and nourishing and fucking hysterical.
  10. And it revives the woman who’s wondering about her boy, the one who isn’t reading, who can’t remember words 5 minutes after he learns them, because he got up to go to the bathroom and now they’re all gone and he looks at you like “I’m trying.”

And I wonder if he knows the teachers say there’s something wrong, but more importantly I wonder if he knows there’s nothing wrong. Nothing at all. And there never will be.

I knew that today when I was hanging out with these women.

I mean it. I have incredible friends, and it appears the circle is just getting wider.

Here’s what we’ve been up to…

Ava making fun of "duck face" in her new dress

Ava making fun of “duck face” in her new dress


and I wouldn’t trust this guy in the park


or any of these people, to be honest.


well, at least she’ll stay warm


Daisy. Do you know her? She’s a good one.


it’s been 80 degrees all week…


mesh caps and child care – it’s how we roll


after he made the reading comment, I kept him home from school, just to hang out with me


and Laser, who just wants to cuddle


and then at lunch the mother’s heart exploded


my lovely nephew’s 7th birthday party…

Have a great week.

With love,


35 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized, weeks of mayhem | March 17, 2013

This week…I’m doing it and thriving! (and by “thriving” I mean “drowning!”)

by Janelle Hanchett


  1. I haven’t written one of these “week in review” posts in so long I barely remember how to do it. Seriously it’s been like three weeks. Somehow I think you all have survived, though I, for one, have missed it. Where the hell else am I going to record the trivial events of my life and share misguided, slightly ridiculous musings?
  2. So first I think we should address the elephant in the room. Oh yeah, that’s the one, that post I wrote that “got big,” or at least for me. The “dying to live” post. Check it out: before I wrote that post my busiest blog day was 2,500 visits. The day after I wrote that post, 35,000 people came to the blog, and in the days that followed 250,000 more came. TRIP OUT. Let me just say “welcome” to the new people. Thank you for sticking around. We’re glad to have you.
  3. The good news is that the post brought a lot of new readers, the bad news is that post brought a whole shit load of crazies who called me all sorts of names all over the internet and accused me of being all sorts of things, including but not limited to: melodramatic, anti-feminist, anti-gay/male/adoptive parent, a whiner, etc., and I was feeling all weird and violated for a minute, like “DUDE. I just wrote about a FEELING. How can a FEELING be attacked?” And I wanted to crawl back into my safe hole with you people. But then I remembered that only about 5% of the feedback was negative, and most of the people who read it were like “thanks for saying it,” and that made me feel like maybe I was of some use to some women, and that’s an amazing feeling.
  4. But isn’t it weird how a huge percentage of feedback can be positive, and yet your mind focuses on the negative?! More proof that my brain is unreliable, and quite possibly out to destroy me.
  5. In other news, pretty much my whole house smells funky. It’s sort of this weird aroma not totally unlike vomit, though not quite there. Ask me what I’m doing about it.
  6. In the last two weeks, my kids have had rotating illnesses – colds, norovirus, ear infections, yay! – but never on the same fucking day. One gets sick, then better, then it moves to the next one. They can’t all be sick on the same day. THAT WOULD BE TOO EASY.
  7. On April 13 I’m taking the comprehensive exam for my Master’s program. It’s no big deal, I just have to somehow pull from the recesses of my already struggling brain sufficient information to write 3 essays in 6 hours based on pretty much any text since the beginning of English literature.
  8. Okay I’m exaggerating a little. There’s actually a 2-page, single-spaced reading list that I must know. But there’s British literature on it. I don’t know British literature. I ONLY DO AMERICA DAMN IT. Fuck Keats. [I don’t mean that. Please don’t send me to hell, literary gods. I’m just frustrated. It’s not you. It’s me.]
  9. In short, people, I’m terrified. I can’t fail this exam.
  10. On a completely unrelated, actually happy vein, the other positive fallout from the “big blog post” is that I may have a couple opportunities to write for some online magazines, which means you’ll have more places to read me! Try to contain your excitement. No really. Do it. Stop pole dancing. OR DON’T.
  11. Anyway at the risk of sounding sentimental, I really want to tell you readers, old and new, how much I appreciate you. I started this blog a couple years ago because I felt like an outsider in the mothering world, and I thought I was this weird island of ineptitude. That feeling has not vanished, because DUH I STILL HAVE KIDS, but at least now I know there’s a whole crap load of mothers just like me – struggling and loving and getting pissed and trying really hard not to destroy the whole gig. You and your brilliant comments, every one of which I read (even if I don’t always have the time to respond), make this ridiculous feat of mothering way, WAY better, and I mean it. I know that if I could hang out with most of you, and it would be like we’ve been friends forever.

Anyway, here’s some Instagrammed glory of our lives. These pics make my life look so hipster-cool-happy.

So please keep in mind while you look at these, MY HOUSE SMELLS LIKE VOMIT.

And I’m doing nothing about it.


We went on a trip and Rocket forgot socks and underwear, but remembered this stuffed dog.

We went on a trip and Rocket forgot socks and underwear, but remembered this stuffed dog.

It's been sunny in 77 degrees...

It’s been sunny in California…like 77 degrees…


Don't worry. It'll rain this month.

Don’t worry. It’ll rain this month.

my husband shaved off his beard but is growing a porn-star 'stache. Yay.

my husband shaved off his beard but is growing a porn-star ‘stache. Yay.


still trying to train this lil bastard

still trying to train this lil bastard

dressing up, making period-appropriate faces...

dressing up, making period-appropriate faces…


Seriously, Keats. WHAT ARE YOU SAYING?

Seriously, Keats. WHAT ARE YOU SAYING?

And how is that dimple so big?

And how is that dimple so big?

Have a great week.


48 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized, weeks of mayhem | March 3, 2013

This week…I’ve been a SAHM for 40 days and it may not be going well.

by Janelle Hanchett


  1. So I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for 40 days. The jury’s still out on how it’s going. It may be leaning more toward “she sucks at this,” although I feel like I’ve had a few winning days. Or hours. Or moments. Let’s keep it real and go with moments.
  2. The truth is I feel a little lost, like I’m not sure what to do with myself. I mean DUH I can clean and cook and take care of kids and all that stuff, but I’m used to getting up and going places and doing things and having forty-seven thousand things to do each day to torment and terrify me – and now, I have like a few very simple things. NOT EASY, simple.
  3. And I’m like WHAT THE FUCK AM I DOING HERE and where am I going and what’s it all for and how do I pass my time? So, like a damn border collie, since nobody gave me a clearly discernible job, I made one up for myself. In the past few weeks that I’ve been off school (and pretty much work) I’ve replaced virtually all the body products I used with inexpensive homemade versions. It started out as a financial thing (read: we’re fucking broke and can’t afford $7.00 aluminum-and-paraben-free deodorant so I buy the regular stuff but then feel like I’m giving myself breast cancer plus that natural shit doesn’t work anyway) but as it’s evolved I find it so easy and fun that I’m pretty much sold, and frankly, feel like a bit of a schmuck for paying what I did for something I could make in my kitchen with very little brains or effort.
  4. Anyway, y’all expressed some interest in the recipes I’ve been using and such, so I think I’ll do like an 8-week thing where once a week I post a recipe for some granola shenanigans I’ve been up to.
  5. That way people who want to kill me in my sleep for writing a post resembling helpfulness (cause we don’t do that here, damnit!) can just ignore me on those days, and hopefully stick around on the other days to talk shit about women who throw baby sprinkles.
  6. Although I’m 100% convinced that one can be a shit-talking renegade mama AND make homemade stuff. In fact, I feel incredibly empowered by this whole process – like I’ve really said “fuck you” to the man in a whole new way. Like all the sudden I feel way less victimized by American materialism and marketing and its insistence that I need companies to make me beautiful and my house clean. More on that later.
  7. I suppose if we’re having a day of the week (please God let me actually stick to this) and a theme and whatnot we should have some sort of name for it: Crunchy Mondays? Hippie Hump Day? Wipe butts and make lotion? The Angry Amish? I have no idea where that last one came from.
  8. Help me. I’m struggling with the naming our little series cause it isn’t just about enviro stuff (conservation, chemicals, etc.). It’s also about finances and what I was mentioning before: becoming more independent – feeling a sense of accomplishment and ownership over more areas of life.
  9. So anyway, back to the week. You know it’s occurred to me that I think I really depend on the rushing to fill something in me, like if I’m moving super fast I don’t have ever really look at my life, or face anything. I’m just going, running at whirlwind paces, too damn busy to open my eyes. Do you ever experience that?
  10. And on the 28th I’ll go back to school, and undoubtedly I’ll feel a pang of regret that I didn’t enjoy my time with my kids more fully, hang back and chill out as all these things happened, with me around.

By the way, this blog will be two years old next week, on the 26th. Trip the fuck out.

I never knew when I started writing this thing that such an incredible group of people (women mostly) would come together and teach me so much and help me see that not only am I not alone in feeling like a bit of a jackass in this mothering world, but there are plenty of women out there who feel exactly the same as I do, and will admit freely!

I do love you people. I do.

Thanks for keepin’ it real, and for sticking around.

Anyway, here’s some pictures of what we’ve been up to the last couple weeks (since I didn’t write last Sunday – bad blogger!), featuring my kids doing cute shit, and my husband sticking his tongue out. Somehow these people ruin my life and make it perfect, at the same damn time.

Pretty fancy if ya ask me.


I took Ava to a “high tea” and it was amazing.

Last Sunday I took the kids to see a Tibetan monk do a sand painting (mandala).

Here was Ava’s prayer flag and mandala.

Georgie’s been reading naked under side tables…

and not being afraid of the water…

and melting my heart by making faces like this when I pull her against me.

Rocket’s been tying things together.

They’ve all been watching T.V. and eating ice cream at Nana’s house.

Lately this has been the sleeping arrangement.

and then there’s this fool and his damn beard.

The kids have been “sneaking around” together.

And I’ll never get enough of the cloth-diaper/wool nighttime ensemble…

No really, I won’t.

Have a great week, everybody.

24 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized | January 20, 2013