It’s 10pm. My husband and I are sitting on the couch. Maybe we’re watching TV, maybe a movie, or even just surfing the internet- but by that time, we have FINALLY unwound from the day. The children are safely tucked in bed and fast asleep. A sense of calm washes over the house, and then, like clockwork-
Cue the deep sigh. We know exactly what the thump is.
It wasn’t our pets, they are soundly asleep next to us. It wasn’t any kind of paranormal activity shit, and no intruder had broken in. Well, no intruder from the OUTSIDE world anyway. Definitely an intruder, though. An intruder of quiet unwinding time. An intruder that MUST be stopped.
“GO TO SLEEP”- my husband calls up the stairs, just like he does every. single. night.
And then we hear it. A very familiar, and very irritating sound. Only, it’s not a sound. It’s a voice. The voice of a miniature human. A miniature human that we happen to know very, very well.
“But… but… but…!” and then comes the list of excuses from NOT asleep, NOT in his bed Parker, about why he can’t/won’t sleep. His list is a mile long and we’ve heard it all before because he pulls this shit every. single. night.
Every. Single. Night, we tell him the same thing, just like other parents with kids that seem to think that sleeping is overrated-
NEWS FLASH, CHILDREN! YOU AREN’T MISSING ANYTHING! If you go to sleep, you will NOT be left out of whatever fun you think we’re having. We’re not. Have you EVER gotten out of bed to find that a party is going on without you that you didn’t know about? Or found that we were gone, that we left you all alone with no parental supervision so we could go out and do fun things without you? Have you EVER walked downstairs to see that our skin was merely a costume and that we are lizard people and that you are an alien? No. NOTHING IS HAPPENING.
You are not missing out on the “fun”
We aren’t partying.
We aren’t going Trick or Treating, or hunting Easter Eggs.
We aren’t opening Christmas presents, or wrapping birthday gifts.
We aren’t playing with your toys, or watching your favorite cartoons.
There are no food fights, roller coasters, secret vacations, or sorcery that happen ONLY after you go to bed.
You cannot catch is doing whatever the hell it is you think that we do once you’re in bed because the real truth is that we aren’t doing ANYTHING.
We are UNWINDING. Do you know what that means? Obviously not. It means that we are sitting on our asses and watching shit that would bore you to death, because we are old, and we enjoy this shit. It is of no concern to you. GO THE FUCK TO SLEEP. DO NOT MAKE ME CALL SAMUEL L.
Sleep as much as you can, because one day, you will have a little kid who refuses to fucking sleep and you’ll look back on this time and think “Damn. My parents were right. Sleep is awesome. I wish I’d gotten more of it while I could!”
It is also important to remember that the day WILL come when you WANT to sleep- probably in your teenage years, and payback is a bitch.
Each day when I open up my laptop, I check my e-mail, and in between the spam mail insisting it can give me a bigger penis (why thank you!), coupons from Pizza Hut, and random business-type stuff, there is at least one e-mail from a reader of mine asking for advice on blogging. I guess I’ve been doing this for so long that it all comes pretty natural to me at this point, so I can’t see that from the outside, just how much of an undertaking it is. I’m still learning every day, and I still struggle- so I’m definitely no expert, but I think I’ve learned a thing or two.
I’m incredibly flattered that people who want to start blogging would think of me when they want advice on how to do it- but I simple don’t have the time to respond to each of these e-mails individually. Still, I think the question- HOW do I do this?- merits a good response, and I think blogging is incredibly valuable no matter what you’re looking to achieve with it, so I figured the best way to answer would be with the reason people come to me to ask- a blog!
Thank you to everyone who thinks of me, and I hope this blog answers some of your questions!
Now, if you’re looking just to write for yourself, and not gain a following outside of friends and family- that’s AWESOME, but you may not need the advice below. Just dive in! Blogging is a great tool that can be used as a sounding board, therapy, memory, or even just to put your thoughts in order. You don’t have to blog for anyone but you!
If you ARE looking to branch out beyond the friends and family that you’d probably have to annoy the hell out of to even get them to click a link, here are my top tips (after picking a title and which platform you want to use. I’m of no help there. I didn’t even name THIS blog. Thank my husband for that):
1. FIND YOUR GROOVE – it took me a long time to figure this out. I’d written personal blogs before, so I went into writing Holdin’ Holden the same way- which got me basically nowhere. It wasn’t until I stopped writing about the day-to-day and started telling stories that people started coming back for more- and at the same time, I grew to love blogging as more than just something to do.
2. Write for YOU- but keep your audience in mind- Once you find that groove, things feel like they’re falling into place when you sit down to pound out another entry. While I consider Holdin’ Holden a humor blog, NOT all of my blogs are funny- but it’s not just the humor that keeps people coming back. It’s the style that I write in. I always try to keep that in mind. I can’t FORCE funny, and you shouldn’t try to force out an entry just to make other people happy. Make YOU happy in your own groove, and people will groove with you. If you build it, they will come!
3. DON’T GET DISCOURAGED- The internet has changed from when I started so many years ago. Facebook isn’t the amazing tool it used to be in increasing reach and readership. I’d never call it “easy”, but it definitely wasn’t as hard as it is now. I’ve known more than a handful of bloggers to instantly take off and have thousands of readers in what seems like the blink of an eye, but for most of us mere mortals, we have to work for it. There will be times that you’ll write something AMAZING, but not a damn soul will read it. Not even the family you’ve been bugging so much to share your links. Don’t let that bring you down. Keep writing, and share that amazing entry again later. It’s hard to get eyes on your blog, so it’s important never to give up on a piece after the first try.
4. NETWORK- Get yourself out there. Whether it be forums of other writers/bloggers, or Facebook groups full of people who you think might be interested in what you have to say (example: if you write about horses and there is a group called HORSE LOVERS that isn’t some kind of code for weird animal porn, it might be a good place to start chatting people up)- get yourself out there. It’s like sticking a toe into the dating pool. You aren’t sure if there are going to be any bites, if you’ll get a drink splashed in your face, or attract creepers- but you’ll never know if you don’t try. Don’t be afraid to contact other bloggers (but don’t spam them with your link, especially on their Facebook page. This is just bad form and might get you banned) and say hello, ask for advice, etc. If the blog accepts submissions for guest blogs, get on that! (I am ALWAYS accepting submissions here on Holdin’ Holden). Going viral isn’t as easy as it looks on The Walking Dead. If you want people to know about you, you’re going to need to be loud.
5. TROLLS- It doesn’t matter if you’re writing about happy dancing unicorns with bubble gum hair that poop Skittles. Your blog could be the happiest, sweetest, most well-written, harmless blog on the internet, and it will still get trolls. It’s inevitable. They have a knack for getting under people’s skin- but just remember- they took the time to leave a comment on your blog, out of all the blogs they could poop on, they chose yours. Pat yourself on the back. They found it important enough to waste time being shitty to YOU- that’s a milestone!
Most importantly (so much so that I’m not even giving it a number) DON’T GIVE UP. You’ll probably want to, possibly even often, but trust me- you’ll regret it. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is a popular blog with a large following. Give it time, KEEP WRITING, and enjoy the journey. It’s definitely been an interesting one for me!
Any more questions? Leave them in the comments and I’ll try to answer them all!
Something happened the other day at school that I can’t seem to shake. It’s been randomly popping up in my brain when I least expect it, and I haven’t been able to figure out why. I’m not mad, or upset. This doesn’t bother me enough to DO anything about it, so why can’t I stop thinking about it?
When the scene played again in my mind just now, it all clicked into place. It’s not MY reaction that I’ve been thinking about. It’s another parent’s that I can’t get past, and it’s because it was ALL wrong.
It was the end of the school day, and I, like many parents, was waiting with Parker in the cafeteria. Once Holden showed up, we left through the designated exit for parent pick up, and waiting outside of the door was the parent of one of his classmates with their brand new puppy. An adorable golden, peppy little thing. My kids couldn’t resist- they went running for it. Immediately, I halted them and told them to ask permission, which they did. The dad, of course, was keeping a watchful eye, since a crowd was forming, and that’s when it happened.
Parker had been sticking his hand directly in the puppy’s face (something he knows not to do) and the puppy, being a normal puppy, was playfully attempting to nip it. The dad wanted to nip it in the bud, so he very quickly (and gently, might I add) took Parker’s hand and moved it away from the puppy’s mouth. Totally acceptable, right? Well, not to him. Upon realizing what he’d done, he sheepishly apologized. Not sure if to me, or to Parker, but either way, I was kind of confused. Why was he apologizing to ME? My kid did something that needed to be corrected, and it was, in just the right manner. So….. what’s the problem?
STUPID ASS “PERFECT” PARENTS AND THEIR PRECIOUS PERFECT SPAWN, that’s what!
He felt the fear that strikes through all of us when someone else’s kid acts up/out/a fool, and our first instinct, as a parent, is to correct said behavior- BUT- HOLY SHIT- What if this little nugget has one of those kinds of parents? The kind that thinks their precious perfect spawn can do absolutely NO wrong and HOW DARE YOU reprimand MY child?! WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE???
Er… Um… but… they were just…. and I…
Yeah, there’s really no winning when you encounter one of those types of parents, and these days, we live in a world FULL of them. Which leads to a lot of little assholes running around, and it’s a damn shame.
I am not one of those parents, y’all. I mean, yeah, I’m a kinda-asshole, but if my kid is acting a fool and I am not close enough/fast enough/there to correct it, I have no problem with another parent or responsible person doing so- as long as they are not nasty/breathing fire/a total asshole. Shit, chances are, they’ll listen to ANYONE else better than they’ll listen to me telling them! PLEASE! DO IT! I’M GIVING YOU THE OKAY! There is NOTHING wrong with it! I PROMISE!
It’s not that I want a village raising my child, nor do I think I need it- but I think in order to raise well-rounded children, we need the people around them all the time to keep a watchful eye. Nip shit in the bud. Pull hands out of puppies’ mouths. My kids are not perfect. They will make mistakes.
EVERYONE NEEDS TO ACCEPT THIS ABOUT THEIR OWN CHILDREN.
YEAH, I’M LOOKING AT YOU, “PERFECT” PARENT.
GET THE FUCK OVER YOURSELF.
It wasn’t even a few weeks ago that I had noticed one of the neighbor’s kids had been ignoring Parker. Blatantly. I was actually scared to approach his mom, A FRIEND OF MINE, about it. Not because she’s a PP, but because I have encountered SO damn many that it makes me never want to have to approach someone else’s kid or their parent about their behavior ever again.
She was extremely kind about it and even thanked me for coming to her and bringing the behavior to her attention, which restored my faith in humanity a bit, but I still don’t think it’s going to make inevitable future encounters any easier.
Do I think we should let people trample all over our kids? Oh HELL no. Do I think adult interception is always needed? Definitely not (pick your battles wisely)- but you’d better believe if I catch your kid shoving my kid to the ground, I’m going to come over and tell them not to do things like that because it isn’t kind, and it’d be nice if you didn’t bite my damn head off. I hope you’ll do the same if the situation is reversed, and I promise- no biting on my end.
Is that really so much to ask?
If we were all a little nicer to each other, and a little less delusional about how amazingly perfect our kids are, and MORE willing to accept that they are just miniature humans with the same asshole tendencies as us adults, there would be fewer assholes in the world. IT’S TRUE AND YOU KNOW IT!
Sometimes I think if I don’t make logs of the insane, weird, and hilarious shit my kids say, when they grow up and become “too cool” to laugh with mom, I will have proof. PROOF!!
Once upon a time, you said this shit. Don’t deny it. I have many more where this came from!
Love, kisses, and eternal time-outs,
(here is a collection of the best of the best of the words that fall out of my kids’ mouths over the past few months. Enjoy!)
Holden: *hops in car after school* I got a big bag of candy for Valentine’s!
Me: Got any Reese’s?
Parker: *whisper-yelling* Don’t tell her! She’ll just eat them!
Damnit! They know me too well!
I told the kids they aren’t allowed to fight for the rest of the day and Holden was like “okay, I guess I just won’t talk. That’s the only way to prevent fighting. ”
I mean… at least he’s honest with himself.
*Parker and Husband are play fighting*
Husband: I’m gonna punch you right in the buns!
Parker: Well I’m gonna punch you in the PENIS!!!!!!!
Husband: *runs away*
Parker: 1, Husband: 0
Me: *playing game on tablet*
Parker: *walks up behind me*
Me: *sniffs* Dude, did you fart??
Parker: *smiles evilly* Nooooo…
Me: Man, get outta here! You stink!
Parker: *slowly backs out of room*
Parker: *whispers* I’ll be watching you
Shit like this is why I sleep with one eye open.
The awkward moment when your precious child runs up to you all excited, insisting you try this new delicious (imaginary) food, and to make them happy, you do, and you make a big deal out of how yummy it is… aaaaand then they laugh hysterically because you just ate shit.
Why did I have kids again?
I feel the need to apologize to anyone recording their first grader singing at the 1st and 2nd grade concerts who captured the Little loudly announcing “I JUST FARTED ON YOU! ” to the Husband in the middle of one of their songs. My bad.
Parker announced that he wanted a salad for lunch today. Who am I to say no to such a healthy request?
I gave myself a good ol’ congratulatory pat on the back, and go to whip it up for him. Just as I’m finishing, he comes skipping in and is all “Hey Mommy! Wanna know why I asked you for a salad? So I wouldn’t miss the end of my show!”
What the?? Salads take longer to make than sandwiches! Sneaky little …You win this round, sir.
Parker: 1, Mommy: 0
Random things that make me happy: Parker can’t pronounce “funk” correctly, so any time he sings Uptown Funk, it sounds like he’s dropping F bombs.
In related news, from now on, any time I want to threaten someone with bodily harm, I will tell them “I’m gonna Uptown Fuck you up!”
Me: *breaks apart a piece of chocolate to share with the Little* Ohh, it smells good!
Parker: *smells his piece* Mmm!
Me: The Snozberries taste like snozberries!
Parker: *clearly not amused* What the HELL is a snozberry?
He’d be in trouble if I wasn’t laughing so damn hard!
“No! You STAY in there! Don’t you come out!”- Parker, to his fart during breakfast.
While I admire his dedication to being polite at the kitchen table, if you’re having to verbally command your fart to stay in your ass, you’ve pretty much already lost the battle.
Holden decided to be a sour puss about being asked to pick up some sticks in the back yard. Pouting, he said “if I were a stick, I’d be one in the mud!”
Can’t argue with that!
Parker: *loud honking fart* When I fart one time, it means I’m hungry, but when I fart TWO times, it means I’m not.
Have kids, they said. It will be fun, they said!
The awkward moment you’re helping your kid do preschool workbooks and they say “I don’t know if I can do the little d!” and you try not to laugh because your twisted adult brain can’t hear anything the right way anymore, but it’s hard. It’s so hard!
Me: *playing game on tablet*
Holden: *hovering* I think that’s your last life
Me: Your FACE is your last life!
Whole table: BUUURRRRRRRRRN!
Holden: That doesn’t even make sense.
Me: Your FACE doesn’t make sense!
Whole table: Buurrrrrrnnnnn!
Parker: *whispers* Mommy! This is where you say “Do you want some water for that burn?”
It finally happened. The Little is cooler than me.
Me: *playing game*
Holden: that’s a good score!
Me: Nah, that’s a crappy score.
Holden: *slaps hands over ass* I have to go crappy! *runs off to bathroom*
Husband: what just happened?
Me: *shakes head*
And that’s how a typical night around here goes. No wonder I’m crazy.
Parker: Mommy, what do you think the meaning of life is?
Me: I don’t think there’s an easy answer for that.
Parker: …. I think it’s throwing potatoes.
In no way shape or form am I embarrassed to admit that I love the internet. I wouldn’t go as far as to say I am ADDICTED to it, but it’s a necessary tool in my life. For work, for leisure, for news, for time-wasting. What? Time wasting is important! Isn’t watching drama unfold on the internet better than the “good ol’ days” of watching paint dry, or aimlessly staring off into space wishing for the seconds to move by faster?
Much like watching Real Housewives is a guilty pleasure for some people, mine is watching people go at it on the internet. DON’T BE PERVY! I mean with WORDS, not with their genitals! As someone who loves the internet, I see it happen often. Very often. Like, all the damn time, often. Shit, sometimes I click on Facebook posts JUST to see what kind of shit is being thrown in the comments. Is it just solid turds being lobbed across the net, or a messy diarrhea spraying fight where NO ONE wins and everyone ends up smelling like shit? I must know!
As a blogger, I may be privy to more of this poo-slinging than the average internet user. Let’s just call it research. Yep, I’ve done YEARS of research on internet assholes, trolls, jerks, judgy twatbags, and just about every kind of d-bag this side of the cosmos, and one thing has become strikingly clear: most people just aren’t doing it right!
If you want to be a Grade A Internet A-hole, you could at LEAST put some effort into doing it the best. Go big or go home, right??
Look, if I can’t STOP this from happening, I might as well educate, right? Here are some tips on being the best you can be. You’re welcome.
1. First, sit yourself down for a pep talk. You can’t adequately rip into a stranger on the internet without a completely inflated sense of self-worth! YOU are the most precious, unique flower, and you have more to offer the world than ANYONE. Anyone who disagrees is wrong, and it is YOUR job as the best person on the planet to let them know.
2. Even if they didn’t ask. ESPECIALLY if they didn’t ask! Why give advice to people who have asked for it? The best kind of advice is the kind that no one wants!
3. There’s nothing more fun than a troll who spouts off about something almost completely unrelated to the point of the post. If it’s a photo of friends posing with wine glasses, criticize one person’s top! If it’s a post about children’s homework being tough on the kid, go off on the mom for being a terrible parent instead of offering helpful tips on how to power through. The best is when you don’t really know them, because if/when they lash back at you, you can just walk away and giggle for crapping on their day without repercussions!
4. Instead of making a blanket statement like “LOL u suck!”, “you are wrong and stupid and I hate you” or “Your the worst person ever”, maybe even an “Ugly!” – try being more specific about things you know absolutely nothing about. “Your going to die alone with 5,000 cats because of your post saying you aren’t going to cook dinner tonight. you should be ashamed!” It makes you sound totally smart! And don’t worry about spelling or grammar. No one cares about that kind of stuff on the internet.
5. Make shit up. Who doesn’t appreciate fiction? If anyone can just up and edit a Wikipedia article and claim it to be fact, you can claim a picture of someone’s dog is proof that they are, in fact, committing bestiality. Doesn’t even have to be a human in the photo. They hump dogs. Oh! Or maybe they’re Bigfoot! EVERYONE knows that the breed of dog someone has determines the exact kind of person they are, so why can’t a person be Bigfoot? Yep. Definitely Bigfoot.
6. TYPE IN CAPS. IT HELPS
YOUR HAPLESS VICTIMS PEOPLE ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE SCREEN HEAR YOU BETTER!
7. Forget the facts. Remember that lady who didn’t cook dinner? Yeah, so what if she said she was ordering her husband’s favorite take-out. She didn’t cook from scratch, so CLEARLY she is Satan’s mistress and she must be flamed for being a failure of a wife! That mom who posted about her kid having trouble with homework? Sure, she was reaching out for support and maybe even a little bit of insight, but you don’t have that. What you DO have are fingers, and a build-up of asshole, so take it out on her. She should just automatically KNOW how to help her kid. Shit, she should just do the homework FOR them, and since she’s just sitting around posting on Facebook instead, she is wrong. Take her down! Don’t forget to make fun of that picture someone posted of their kids drawing because it’s misspelled and their an idiot! Never mind the fact that they’re 4. And it was a long word. And they had no help. Pffffff, dummy!
8. When in doubt, blame. Doesn’t matter what the post is about. Blame someone for the downfall of society/religion/the future/the country/public education/you being totally, completely, and utterly wrong/ THE WORLD. Someone has to take the blame, damnit!
9. Logic and reason? The fuck are those?
10. Post and walk. Because why should you have to defend anything you say online, even if it’s completely wrong?
Wait… you already do all of those things? Well. Then. You suck. Turn off your computer and set it on fire. Immediately. You’ll be doing the entire world a favor!
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