What Fresh Hell: Laughing in the Face of Motherhood

a podcast with Margaret Ables and Amy Wilson

Month: August 2017

Episode 24: Finding Good Babysitters

Babysitters: whether you have a full-time nanny or a college kid two Saturday nights a month, finding and maintaining good childcare is an ongoing process.

You find someone your kids adore– but he’s graduating this year and moving to Southeast Asia. You have someone your kids used to adore, but she has no idea how to help with 5th grade math homework (we mean, who among us does).

As your needs shift, so does the sort of childcare you’re looking for– but doing the right groundwork on the way in can prevent starting all over again in a month.

In this episode we discuss:
  • whether Margaret’s “fog on a mirror test” is an effective way to choose a caregiver
  • the virtues of a “someone at home, someone on the move” system
  • heeding the warning signs that someone is not working out, even if they were once terrific
  • why you should check a caregiver’s social media as part of your research
  • the three types of caregivers as laid out by Tammy Gold, in her book Secrets of the Nanny Whisperer


Friday 12/1/17  at 8 pm

Chappaqua Performing Arts Center, Chappaqua, NY

Tickets $18.50! Grab your mom friends and come laugh with us.

Tickets available here: https://bit.ly/WFHlive


Episode 23: Back to School


Back to school: while some psychologists say we parents must “maintain a positive attitude about summer ending,” we say the end of summer sucks for all concerned and we might as well admit it.

Do you try to impose some order on the countdown to school in your house? Or do you just run hard until the night before and take the pain all at once? As the first back-to-school photos creep into our Facebook feeds, these are the questions we are here to answer.


In this episode we discuss:
  • back to school shopping
  • the batching of unpleasantness (haircuts, dentist appointments) into those last precious moments of freedom
  • all the summer reading and math sheets our kids haven’t done yet
  • how we really better start moving bedtime a little earlier now
  • and the one great upside: the return of “Mom office hours”
Here’s some links to resources discussed in this episode:

How are you managing the back-to-school transition? Join us on our Facebook page and show us your happy (or not so much) back-to-schoolers!

We’re proud to be sponsored by SmartyPants Vitamins. SmartyPants makes a 1-for-1 nutrient grant to Vitamin Angels , which helps expectant mothers and children around the world get the life-changing nutrients they need.
That means that every bottle of SmartyPants you buy improves your children’s health– and the health of children around the world. And SmartyPants has just passed the four million mark: 4.2 million women and children helped! Find out more here

Episode 22 – Birthday Parties – If You Must

Birthday parties: must we really? Every kid, every year? Can we skip the goody bags? Can we ban slumber parties now and forever? Is it possible to spend less than four figures on a fete for a four-year-old?

In this episode we discuss ways to make birthday parties easier:

  • stopping “The Great Crap Exchange” (Margaret will die on this hill)
  • how to manage size of your guest list
  • the right budget for a party  (with special dispensation for parties in the winter)
  • the crucial-ness of the backup activity
  • how Etsy can make your kid’s party Pinterest-worthy for less than a trip to Party City

In the end, it’s Mom’s loving effort that will be remembered more than the result. Right? Amy sure hopes so, because this is the LEGO birthday cake she made for her 8-year-old (stop laughing)


and here is the Lightning McQueen cake Margaret made once (SHOW OFF).

Here’s some interesting/helpful/horrifying links to further reading on this topic:

Thanks to everyone who entered our SmartyPants Vitamins giveaway on our Facebook page! Your birthday party worsts were truly horrible- so bad we turned them all into haikus.  In addition to featuring them in this episode,  we’ll be sharing them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram over the next two weeks, with identities obscured to protect the innocent.

The winner of a SmartyPants Vitamins Family Pack, including their Men’s, Women’s, and Children’s multivitamins, is Heather! Enjoy some #smartyhealth!

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