Friday, November 22, 2013

TMI Fridays: Bad Parenting Moments

Are you reading the work of Bethany Thies? I met her through our mutual affiliation with the best selling anthology I Just Want to Pee Alone. Bethany won my admiration and affection with her essay titled "In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Penis". She is also the creator of Bad Parenting Moments and Room for Cream. Go there now. I'll wait.

This is Bethany.
Such a beautiful mind inside that pretty head.

See? Bethany is BRILLIANT, you guys. She's humble. And she's gorgeous, talented and she writes poetry. Real poetry, not shitty limericks. Not only does Bethany write with unbridled honesty from the depths of her soul, but she writes fearlessly with cadence, rhythm and panache.  Even her blog posts are insightful, flowing and poetic. How does she do this? My blog posts are messy and often feel like the scrambled, unfinished thoughts of a slightly insane person who has been unknowingly inhaling tiny amounts of poisonous gas and cat dander on a daily basis. If I was a jealous person, I would be insanely envious of her. Instead, I just want to be her favorite vacation buddy. Together we could have a girl's weekend on a beach somewhere tropical and warm. We would pass the time eating, sharing our innermost secrets over margaritas and trying on each other's favorite lipstick in between naps on the beach. Maybe if I use her hairbrush some of her talent would rub off on me...

Where was I? Oh yeah...

Bethany is an artist. Keep your eye on this one, folks. She's one to watch.

Did I mention that she accomplishes all of this writing success while parenting FOUR children? Dude, if you can do anything that requires brainpower and creativity while parenting four kids, you have my respect. It took me two months to get Bethany these interview questions; don't even ask me about the other stuff that I'm failing at in my life. In unrelated news, did you know that my 3 year old NEVER stops talking during waking hours? EVER? I'm serious. THE CHILD NEVER STOPS TALKING. I'm losing my mind.

Where was I? Oh yeah... the interview. Meet Bethany Thies:

>When did you first know that you wanted to write?
 I'm pretty sure I came out of the birth canal holding a pen and that is how my mother ended up with a perforated uterus.

> What was the birth story for Bad Parenting Moments?
After the birth of my third child, I was having a really intensely difficult time adjusting to the new level of chaos. With a 4 year old, 2 year old and newborn at home, I was drowning. I needed a home to explore the rarely to never picture perfect parenting journey I was on. Initially, this started as a very small, private support group called Bad Parenting Moment of the Day. It was a group of women who could do the online version of screaming into a pillow. It grew and grew and grew and...well, now we have Bad Parenting Moments, the public version of that still sacred group. I am still very much a part of that "secret" support group and I consider those women (and some dudes too...don't want to leave them out), some of my closest friends and allies. It's amazing what can happen when parents chip away at those perceived walls of perfection we try to hold up and start getting honest. When we truly listen and embrace each other's parenting paths, no matter how different; amazing, beautiful things happen.

> What is your ultimate goal/dream with your writing?
It's so cliche. I mean, I can hear the cliche pouring out of my fingers as I type this. I have many books living in my head and heart. I need to write them. I hope one day I'll have the opportunity to be a novelist. But, daily? Daily, my ultimate goal is just to connect. Connection and the shared experience is why I keep writing.

> What outfit in your closet makes you feel like you could take on the world?
I'm a firm believer that there is nothing a push-up bra, some Spanx, red lipstick and some 5 inch patent leather peep toes can't fix. 

But seriously, my Snuggie makes me feel like I could take on the world, while still wearing a blanket. The best of both worlds.

> Who inspires you creatively?
Oh, this is a good one. You crafty, little minx. Let's see...authenticity is my biggest motivator and there are some writers that are so beautifully honest that I never miss a post. Naptime Writing, Suburban Snapshots, Nicole Leigh Shaw, Hollow Tree Ventures, Full Metal Mommy and so many more. When a writer is honest, you can feel it on the page. I'm so fortunate to be surrounded by really creative, supportive women.

And, my biggest female inspiration is Dorothy Parker. She took on the "Boys Club" with humor, grace and ease. She was flawed and had a really difficult personal life, but, she was a genius and a true humorist.

> Describe your creative process.
 It closely resembles a trash receptacle being emptied into a Public Works trash truck headed to the dump. 
 I know, I have such a way with words.

> What foods do you find repulsive?
 If you'd take a close look at my ass, you'd notice that I've never met a food I didn't like.

> What life event had the most profound impact on you?
 The birth of my children. New life is the say the least.

> Marry, Fuck or Kill: Miley Cyrus, David Caruso, and John Tesh.
 Oh good GOD.
 Marry: David Caruso. This one was a no-brainer.
 Fuck: Ugh, do I have to? Ok, John Tesh. But, I'd have to put a gag on him. No speaky for YOU, John and if he  played one of his piano CDs, I'd have to put a bag over my own head.
 Kill: Sorry, Miley. Girl, you gots to go. She's like a race horse with a broken knee. It's a public service, really. 

> Would you rather hang out with me:
> In a rustic cabin in the mountains, where we hike during the day and grill fish and drink beer around a campfire at night
> In swanky downtown club where we are dressed all fancy and eat tapas and drink martinis while listening to live music and fending off the advances of men with my "Repulsive mouth" (Brock's words)?

 Cabin and beer. Preferably a non-haunted cabin. 

> How often to you move the furniture to clean under it?
 That's hilarious.

> What is the most disgusting thing you found in your car?
 A sippy cup of rancid milk with a banana shoved in it. I apologize to anyone who just vomited in their own mouth.

>Describe your perfect day.
I know I should say I want to spend a lovely day with my family but, that's not the case. What I'd really love to do, is spend the day alone... completely alone by myself, alone in my aloneness. I would write, read, and eat food that I did not prepare. If I had time, I would get breast reconstruction surgery. It would be painless and I would heal in 7 minutes flat. At the end of the day, I would sit around a kitchen table eating cheesecake with my best girlfriends a la the Golden Girls. Then we would have a Beastie Boys, margarita dance party and call it a night.

>Favorite essay in I just want to pee alone?
Honestly, I don't have a favorite. There is something so unique and wonderful about each essay that appeals to all 37 of my unique personalities. Shameless plug in 5, 4, 3, 2... If you have not purchased a copy yet, what are you waiting for? Its like crack for your funny bone. Obligatory PSA for the kids at home: Crack is whack, yo.
BETHANY THIES is a writer and the proud mother to four, young Vikings. She is the author of Bad Parenting Moments and the chronically unread poetry blog Room for Cream. She can often be found searching for socks, keys, discount non-perishables and a bathroom lock her children cannot pick. Bethany's work has been published in two bestselling humor anthologies, on several parenting sites and in old fashioned black and white in her local, independent newspaper. You can also listen to her pontificate on Vermont radio every month. Her children are unimpressed.


  1. Oooh, two of my fave ladies chit-chatting - it's like my nose is pressed up against the window as I peek in on your mom date in a totally non-creepy fashion! If you need a third for the cabin, I'll bring the Deep Woods OFF and the pillows (I'm assuming there will be pillow fights).

  2. That intro? I'm not worthy! Also, the best part of this interview is that I got ignore my own words and stare at your cows and chickens. Thank you for the lovely words, support and, you. Thanks just for you.

    1. Oh, but you are worthy. Everyone knows that I don't say things that aren't true. Thanks for participating in my interview series. You're a lovely person. xxoo

  3. This is fantastic - because although we share pages in a book and snarky comments in threads in our top secret Facebook group, I don't feel like I knew Bethany other than by her lovely tiny square photo. Can I please hang out with you guys in your mountain cabin? I won't eat the fish (unless they're red and Swedish), but I promise to bring my own booze.

    1. LET'S ALL GO TO THE MOUNTAINS!!!!! I can cook chicken, pork and red meat too. It makes no difference to me. Or we can all just eat bacon!