The Three-Way

Parents are always in a three-way.  What I did. What I should have done. What I will do next time. It’s the trickiest game of seduction. Imagine walking up to yourself at a bar. “Hey, hot stuff. Do you like kids?”

In every moment, with every decision, there are the three versions of myself I’m trying to please, appease or ignore. The perfectionist, the nihilist and the wine swilling, Spanx wearing woman wondering if she can make her grandfather’s sweater vest relevant by belting it.

Lucky for me, I’m lazy and refuse to harp too much on pleasing all three of myself.  I have enough trouble unhooking my own bra, thankyouverymuch. I guess I’m just old-fashioned. Sorry ladies of me, two of you are just going to have to wait your turn.

The Perfectionist:  One word? Annoying. Always signing up for school committees and buying themed cupcake wrappers. Who ARE you? As we inch ever closer to holiday-palooza, she likes to pretend she’s in charge. She starts looking at Pinterest with actual intent instead of malice. She thinks about monogramming stockings and buying pants that fit. She tries to find local gardening courses in preparation for Spring. She buys yards of fabric to make Muumuus for my inevitable life flight rescue out of our partially removed roof after having eaten my way through every holiday shape of peanut butter cup. I love her. I hate her. I want her to knock me into a coma until she’s ready to relinquish the reins in mid-January. I do dig her love of jet black liquid eyeliner. I hear that look is timeless.

The Nihilist: Always ready for everything to go to hell in a hand basket. This chick has issues. I don’t pretend to understand her schedule and I never know when to expect her. I’d make cookies to ease her transition, but, I already ate all of them and she doesn’t give a shit about cookies, or bathing regularly or Tyrannosaurus expired RX under the bathroom sink. She’s not lazy; she just assumes she’s going to mess it up, so, why do it at all. Certain failure is her game and she’s constantly in check-mate. The kids dig her because it means lots of chicken nuggets, chaos, television and white flag waving when the family-size box of fruit snacks come out because, 1) There IS carrot juice in them and 2) She’s busy wondering just how much therapy the children are going to require. The upside is that she’s kind of arty, writes poetry and reminds me that failure isn’t as chronic as how often I seem to run out of wine.

The Wine Swilling Spanxonista: If you dug Mary Poppins’ measuring tape out of her bag to see how this version of me measures up, it would say: Practically Mediocre in EVERY Way! She makes rarely to nearly palatable food, seldomish forgets an appointment and makes every effort to not drink before 5:00 p.m. She showers, semi-frequently, and will throw on mascara in order to stop the screaming of toddlers and the tears of childless 20-somethings upon seeing her face. She cares about looking presentable, but, in an approachable, “I’ll wear a knee length, maternity tank to elongate my non-existent post-partum waistline!”, and not in the, “I wear yoga pants because I actually do yoga.” way.  She flirts with her husband and then pisses him off by falling asleep mid-sentence every night. She’s a real piece of work in the entirely unemployable way. Thankfully, she doesn’t take herself too seriously because that would be a waste of time…and seriousness.  At the end of the day, she’s perfectly comfortable in the flannel pants she possibly or certainly wore all day, but, she owns it just like she owns every Disney movie ever made on VHS because, “Tape is a lost art!”. Listen, she’s a little weird, but, it’s not contagious although there has been voiced concern about exactly how much 50% of DNA contributes to offspring personality.

It’s exciting to see who is going to show up for which life-changing and highly important event in my children’s lives. These saucy three-way Madames don’t seem to play by any rules, but, that’s alright because rules are meant to be broken, or avoided, or not even bothered with at all. And, hey, therapy is expensive so why not just dig your heels in the crazy and see which cliff it drops you off of . I think that is a direct Dr. Phil quote (No, it’s not.).

Perfectionist: “If you’ll excuse me, I have a mini-brownies with strawberry Santa hats recipe that requires pasting into my Holidays Forever book!”

Nihilist: “Are you fucking kidding me?” *Rolls eyes*

Spanxonista: “Did somebody say brownies?”


  1. Love this!! You had me at brownies!


  2. Awesomeness, start to finish! But I can’t help but feel a little called out about grandpa’s sweater vest – can we not belt it? Paired with a maternity tank, it really sets off my flannel pants. 😉

    • All the cool moms are wearing belted sweater vests. If you count my 3 personalities and your personalities…well, that’s like a full group of women wearing belted sweater vests. It’s trending on Twitter.

  3. OH yeah, this is funny. Now you’ve got me thinking of all my personalities.

  4. Hey, how are you reading my mind? I thought those personalities only lived quietly (or not so quietly) in my brain. LOL Change a couple situations to match my life and I could have written the exact thing. IF I ever wrote anything down, that is! Thanks for being you!! (and you and you)

    • Kristy, how do we not know that one of us is actually another one of us and that THAT one of us actually wrote this? Mind. Blown.

      Seriously, thank you for reading and for the multiple personality love. I love you and you and the other you too.

  5. Your personalities + my personalities = epic block party.

    Cyn A.D.D.Music Mamma

  6. That was my 5 mins of adult reading before I fall asleep in mid sentence. My mom is arriving for a visit tonight and the damn OCD decorator/cleaning woman personality failed to emerge. Do you think she’ll notice the faint smell of pee that is my bathroom fragrance? Someone just said fuck it.

  7. OMG this is brilliant! I’ve never thought about the three competing personalities before–but I’m pretty sure I have them too. Except instead of the Spanxonista I have an old lady component who likes doilies, wants to wear purple shoes, and make cookies for everyone. She also has arthritis and needs a lot of naps.

  8. Darling, our perfectionists and (beer) swilling spanxonistas really should get together…
    You are funny and clever and if you would just stop writing and posting I could finally stop missing you. 😉

  9. Totally loved this and how did you know how to describe me!! Seriously, I sometimes think if I truly had split personality disorder we would really be in trouble, lol!! Great job and could very much relate!!

    • I think every mom has to have a pinch of this “disorder” to survive. How else would everything get done? I don’t know how it would. I guess I should ask my other selves to clarify. 😉 Thank you for reading, Janine or whichever one of your personalities is reading this right now. xo

  10. You had ME at Mary Poppins. And wine. Love it! We are multi-faceted women, we are.

  11. I’m upset because the voices in my head like you better than me!

  12. So, what you’re saying is it’s NORMAL to have split personality disorder when you’re a mom? Sheesh. I sure am glad I read this tonight. No, I’m not. Yes, I am. Not I’m not. Guys, don’t fight!

  13. Oh crap. After reading this post, I’m going to be playing favorites with my own personalities. Spanx-y wino Mommy had me with her yoga pants, but if she’s stashing up those VHS tapes and falling asleep mid-sentence? My kind of gal. Off to try and crush the other personalities so I can officially hole up with my 5pm wine 😉

  14. Love. I so just posted this on my FB page. Allllllll my mommmy friends need to read this!

  15. This is awesome. You described me perfectly. Except you left out the psycho bitch – she’s the one who made an appearance today. *sigh*

  16. LOVE this. I think we can all relate. I have a love/hate relationship with my Perfectionist self- sometimes feeling frustrated that I’m too much of a perfectionist, but then the perfectionist tells me I’m not enough of a perfectionist. And then I get lazy. Are there any brownies left?

  17. Perfect, perfect. And what did you say about brownies again?

  18. Love this line: ” she’s constantly in check-mate.” I know these ladies, too.

  19. This is awesome! I am the wine one through and through, except I actually exercise! 😉

  20. OMG! You’re me! No, I’m You! I found your blog at Find The Funny, and I’m glad I did ’cause clearly you are my sista from anotha’ motha’. You can check out the craziland that is my life at, and feel free to add your site to my “add a link” page. I love finding and sharing hilarious momma drama… makes me feel just that much closer to normal. We are normal, right?

  21. I can’t seem to get the 3 of them to get along!!! I should start drinking! I think you have inspired me. With my 8 kids and multi personalities there is just to many people in this house!!

  22. I love you!! I just can’t seem to get them all to get along!! You have inspired me I should start drinking!!

  23. Lady, I am new on this scene but I have been looking all over and this is the best written piece of brilliant I have seen so far. You have raised the bar so high, I might have to reconsider my choice to have children so that I can devote all of my time to improving my writing. A most excellent read, each sentence a total hit. Thank you!

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