As a blogger, I’m constantly looking for interesting topics and things to write about. The advice many writers give and receive is “write what you know” and in my experience, this is true. My best writing is generally that which deals with material I’m intimately familiar with.
How to parent a six-year old human honey badger: check
How to survive a seventeen-day solo-parenting mission: check
How to make sure there’s dog hair on everything you own, every day, all the time: check
But sadly, the list of things I cannot write about is getting longer by the day. So long, in fact, that I decided it would make a good blog. And while I hope you’ll still turn to me for sage wisdom on the above topics, here is a list of subjects I will not be tackling.
- Pregnancy and childbirth: both my children are adopted and the closest I ever came to getting pregnant was my high school grad night (but that’s a whole other story). I can relate to stretch marks and weight gain but that’s because I love french fries, not because a tiny human came out of me. I have also never pooped on a table in front of doctors, FYI.
- Being a domestic Goddess: I’ve got zero game in this department. I’m a decent cook if your expectations are low (like, Trump popularity low), and my house is ALWAYS a mess. With two dogs, a cat, two young kids and two working parents, the battle is fierce and ongoing. Yes, I’ve considered outsourcing but it bugs me that I can’t manage it so instead of actually doing something I keep punishing myself by looking at filthy baseboards, dirty windows and the like each and every day, because I’m smart like that.
- Marriage: Yesterday it sucked and I wanted to change my name, board a plane to … anywhere … and sell cold soda to tourists on a beach for the rest of my life. Today it’s like baby unicorns are bursting forth from my heart into a magical world of eternal sunshine and rainbows where I am worshiped as Queen. So …. ya.
- “Reality” Television: Survivor, Big Brother, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, all of these shows make me irrationally angry. Seeing people so desperate for their 15 minutes that they’ll demean themselves in front of the world also makes me sad and uncomfortable. I should probably explore my rage with a mental health professional but that feels like letting the terrorists win so I’m just gonna sit here and stew. Maybe it’s like what Grandpa said about the internet: “Don’t get yourself worked up. It’s just a fad.”
- Fitness and Nutrition: I work out HARD three or four times a week for close to an hour. But I also love burritos, margaritas and Girl Guide cookies, often simultaneously. I can’t tell you anything you haven’t heard before so you’ll never find me blogging about “balance” or “mindfulness” when it comes to eating. If I want it, I eat it, then I work out. That is my regimen. Body by Chipotle.
- Sportsing: I like watching sports but I SUCK at playing them. Growing up, I tried dance (Jazz, of course, this was the 1970s), soccer and gymnastics before falling into competitive swimming almost by accident. And thank God because it’s the only thing I can do with a modicum of dignity. Sports that require hand-eye coordination are particularly embarrassing for me so if you’re looking for someone to recommend a new piece of equipment or tandem hang-gliding instructors, I am absolutely not your girl.
- Crafting with Kids: Every now and then I’ll get inspired (or deluded) and drop a wad of cash at Michael’s. I’ll get the kids excited, we’ll clear off the table, unload our supplies, and then ten minutes in I’m like “this is terrible, abort mission.” I once insisted my daughter’s party guests create paper plate jellyfish but despite my excitement (and provision of excellent supplies, I might add) not a single child took hers home. This scenario has been repeated enough times that my daughters now insist on celebrating in remote locations where glue guns are not allowed. Spoil sports!
- Bikini Waxes: Yup, it’s true, I’ve never had one. I haven’t sent out a survey and can therefore only rely on anecdotal evidence, but I’m pretty sure things are under control down there. Maybe I’m naïve, maybe I’m old school (once again, a child of the 1970s), but I’ve never seen the point of putting myself through that. And what’s with all the confusing salon lingo? If I don’t ask for the right thing will I end up with the flag of Uzbekistan shaved into my lady parts?
- Timely responses to emails, voice mails, friend requests, texts, direct messages, telegrams and notes delivered via carrier pigeon: I am generally very good at time management. I am a task-oriented list-maker who is organized to the point of being obnoxious. However, I am terrible at timely communication. Nearly every message I type starts with “Sorry for my late reply …” It’s a problem and I’m working on it. And by “working on it” I mean putting it out there so your expectations of me are sufficiently managed.
- How to get more “me time”: I’m extremely fortunate to have an army of people I can call on for help at any given time. And I do. Me time is an essential part of maintaining my sanity and without it, I get mean. If you’re like that too, you need to find yourself a good squad and use these people as much as you can. If the population of your village decreases by one when you check out temporarily, so be it. There’s only so much of us to go around. It’s okay to be bad at lots of things, but asking for help shouldn’t be one of them.
What could you never claim to be an expert on? Tweet me @wineandsmarties so we can compare notes!
Author: Jen Millard
Jen Millard is a proud wife and mother of two living in Markham, Ontario. After adopting both her girls at age four, Jen and her husband Daren became passionate advocates for older child adoption, foster care reform and LCBO gift cards. An avid traveller, Jen counts Hawaii, Edinburgh, Greece and Canada’s east and west coasts among her favourite destinations. Jen is happiest when she’s got her nose in a book, a glass of wine at her side and a nap on the horizon. Jen is at her unhappiest when she is talking to her husband about her credit card bill or contemplating working out. When she’s not blogging, Jen is busy cleaning up after three badly-behaved pets and working as a part-time College instructor and Stella & Dot Stylist. Jen and her family spend their summers on Prince Edward Island.