TRANSCRIPT One Bad Mother Ep. 353: Are We There Yet? Plus, Trying To Be A Superhero with Courtney Enlow

Biz and Theresa want to know when all this will be over. Are we there yet?? In this stay-at-home “journey,” all we want to know is, how close are we to being done with this? Just like a road trip to Grandma’s house, we want to know how many more songs we need to play until this trip is complete. Plus, Biz is wallowing, Theresa is back, and we talk with Courtney Enlow about trying to be a Superhero during these times.

Podcast: One Bad Mother

Episode number: 353

Guests: Courtney Enlow

Transcript

biz ellis

Hi. I’m Biz.

theresa thorn

And I’m Theresa.

biz

Due to the pandemic, we bring you One Bad Mother straight from our homes—including such interruptions as: children! Animal noises! And more! So let’s all get a little closer while we have to be so far apart. And remember—we are doing a good job.

music

“Summoning the Rawk” by Kevin MacLeod. Driving electric guitar and heavy drums. [Continues through dialogue.]

biz

This week on One Bad Mother—are we there yet? Plus, Biz is wallowing; Theresa is back; and we talk to Courtney Enlow about trying to be a superhero during these times.

crosstalk

Biz and Theresa: Wooooo!

biz

Wooo, wooo, wooo! Oh… I know the sound of that wooo. I love that wooo!

theresa

Mm-hm.

biz

That is the wooo… of a Theresa.

theresa

That’s me!

biz

In the wild. [Laughs.] [Theresa laughs.] It’s—hey! It’s me!

theresa

It’s me! I’m back!

biz

[Zingy radio-announcer style voice] It’s me! Wow! Yeah!

theresa

[Deep voice] Hey guys, what’d I miss?

biz

Uh— [Laughs.] [Theresa laughs.] We’ve been on vacation! Alright. Before… we catch up with Theresa, let’s just… take a moment. To take a breath. [Laughs.] That I feel like I need to start adding breathing into this. Everybody? You’re doing a great job. This is incredibly hard. Thank you… to everyone who is an essential worker. You are all amazing. Everyone in the health care industry; everyone at grocery stores; everyone delivering food; restaurants; teachers, teachers, teachers, teachers… and for all of you who are still… staying home to help prevent the spread of covid. You’re all doing… a good job. And we see you. I am so happy to see Theresa! [Laughs.] [Theresa laughs.] Theresa?

theresa

On FaceTime!

biz

Even though I—

theresa

Not in person.

biz

Just seeing you on FaceTime. Not in person! Don’t worry! [Theresa laughs.] How… are you, Theresa?

biz

I… thanks, Biz. I’m really happy to be back. This week. Um, I missed you. I missed all of you. Um… I… look forward to this every week and last week I—it was just physically not possible. Y’know. We have three kids. They have a lot of needs. One of our kids has had about… ten days of hell. Like, basically just… a lot of… y’know, panic attacks and sensory meltdowns and just emergency-level freaking out. Just… hour after hour, day after day. To the point where… Jesse was unable to work. I was unable to do anything. Like, we—it was just truly… we were just… fully immersed in keeping our family safe. For a few days there. It really sucked? I’m really— [Laughs.] Glad to report that even though things continue to be challenging, we are… definitely on the other end of that. And… it seems that way. And things have been a little calmer in the last couple of days. And we’ve been able to… kind of get—get back to paying attention to some other things, like, y’know, our two other kids. I—I just felt it worth sharing that… I really feel that it’s important to stay positive right now? As much as we can? But that being said, like… every time we’re kind of, like, laughing and trying to stay positive? I think… I just… I’m also aware that for many people, there’s moments where it’s just really hard to stay positive? Um, and that we’re trying to stay positive in the midst of like, real, genuine struggle and sometimes trauma? And I— [Laughs.] Like, I’ve heard a lot of people saying… recently… that they’re—that this experience of sheltering in place and this emergency and this pandemic have meant for a lot of people—like, a lot of just real ups and downs. Like, a day of like feeling like, yeah, I can do this! I can do it! I’m on it! I can get through this! And then, like, the next day feeling like… crushed by the weight of all of this. And… I just wanna say. [Laughs.] That I just came out of having… probably… six days in a row. Of the crushing weight of it. Where there just was not a time where I felt any sort of can-do spirit. I just felt completely at a loss. Of how to continue forward. And I know that I can’t be the only one. So I just wanted to share that. I’m here, and I’m really happy to be here. And we’re okay. And we’re—and we’re… we’re doing it. Y’know? But… that experience of… like… hearing about ups and downs and not being able to experience any ups? Is… is kind of a creepy feeling. So if anyone else is feeling that way? You’re not alone. And… I—I just… really grateful for this community and this place to be here with you all. Today.

biz

You are doing a very good job, Theresa.

theresa

Thanks, Biz.

biz

And I know. I hear you. Like, I… I see you… I see you hard, if that’s a way to— [Theresa laughs.] Be seen? [Laughs.] If you can see somebody really hard?

theresa

Your vision is just slamming up against the wall of me right now!

crosstalk

Biz: Yeah. I am slamming against you! In fact— [Laughs.] Theresa: Yeah. You are just power-seeing me right now. [Laughs.]

biz

When I close my eyes it’s just silhouettes of you… as if I was staring into the sun.

theresa

Yeah!

biz

Yeah. I see you.

theresa

Thanks. How are you?

biz

[Long pause.] Yeah. This is… this is really hard!

theresa

Mm-hm.

biz

Uh— [Laughs.]

theresa

Uh-huh. Yeah.

biz

This is the hysterical… [Theresa laughs.] —laughter. Last week was awful? I—I… y’know, out of all—I think I texted you it once. I see you. And I appreciate you’re awful, and I know you won’t be mad if I say I am also having an [though laughter] awful time. Like, it’s not—there’s no awful competition here! I hit—the week before, I had been, like—I said it on the show! Things feel kind of normal all of a sudden. Like, I feel okay. Like, normal in a sense of… I’m in it. I’m here. Look at us! Getting through it! And then this past week, it just… uh… all hell broke loose inside my mind. [Laughs.] Like, there was… definitely by the end of the week I was having like full-on anxiety attack. And… the kids—you could feel the sadness starting to really seep out of the kids and Stefan and I mean, we were… all bad. And… I was talking—luckily, it was the same week I had therapy and we were just talking about, like, grief! And that, y’know, uh, another… thing to be aware of—you know how I like to like— [Laughs.] Thanks to years of therapy, identify what may be happening. ‘Cause that helps me… at least acknowledge it? Even if I can’t work through it at the moment? I say “wallowing” because it’s a little like… y’know, Theresa, you and I are trying to come up with the topic today and part of me really just wanted to spend the entire time talking about what a fucking shitshow this is. And how sad I am. How low I feel. How tired I feel. The guilt—oh, god, the guilt. That I am drowning in. Right? Like… I… it—ah! Ahh! The—and—and even—I’ll say it. I’ll admit it. Even… the voice that knows better. That says—get me out of here. [Laughs.] [Through laughter] Even the voice that knows! That I am doing the right thing by staying in this house. That devil voice comes right on is, as like, get out! Like, go to the park! Right? Like—this can’t be real! Right? And I know we’re gonna actually probably talk a little bit about that in what we’re gonna talk about today, which is… a question I never thought I’d be asking from the front seat of this car. [Laughs.] And that is—are we there yet?

biz

Banjo strums; cheerful banjo music continues through dialogue.

theresa

Please—take a moment to remember: If you’re friends of the hosts of One Bad Mother, you should assume that when we talk about other moms, we’re talking about you.

biz

If you are married to the host of One Bad Mother, we definitely are talking about you.

theresa

Nothing we say constitutes professional parenting advice.

biz

Biz and Theresa’s children are brilliant, lovely, and exceedingly extraordinary.

theresa

Nothing said on this podcast about them implies otherwise. [Banjo music fades out.] [Biz and Theresa repeatedly affirm each other as they discuss the weekly topic.]

biz

Theresa? Some people… will look back and compare this historic event as a journey. A journey… we all went on [though laughter] together. [Theresa laughs.] A journey straight to—[adopts elderly Southern accent] I remember back in the day of the covid-19 when we all got in a car and went straight to Hell! [Laughs.] [Theresa laughs.] And every time—all of us were just cheering on the way to Hell! Are we there yet? Are we there yet? [Laughs.] [Theresa laughs.] [Regular voice] Here we are, driving off the cliff together, and I—like—the sense—like, the embodiment of that statement “Are we there yet,” that is cute when you’re a kid and you’re yelling it over and over again and your family on a car trip. Now I find myself asking all the time. In the most serious of questions. Are. We. There. Yet? When will this be over? What do we tell our kids? What is summer? Are we at the end of school yet? Are we not at the end of school? Like—it—are we there yet? Just sort of… is every question? Rolled into one? And—and none of those, by the way—FYI—spoiler alert! There are no answers to [though laughter] these—to these questions!

theresa

We don’t have, like, a GPS app— [Biz laughs.] —telling us the estimated arrival time.

biz

Yeah! Put your pad and your paper away if you were thinking you were gonna get some helpful notes on this one. [Theresa laughs.] See—see my earlier statement about wallowing! Theresa, are you there yet? [Laughs.] [Theresa laughs.]

theresa

Yeah. I’m—I took a time machine into the future. So that I could, like…

biz

What’s it like?

theresa

Go outside and— [Biz laughs.] —get a vaccine, and… [Laughs.] [Biz laughs.] And then I—and then I came back just to hang out here ‘cause this is fun, too!

biz

Well, you like learning experiences.

theresa

I do. [Biz laughs.] Yeah. I do. Well, also, I didn’t wanna like really alter the time-space continuum or whatever that thing is? If you use a time machine? I hear that that is a risk.

biz

It’s tricky.

theresa

Yeah. Yeah. I don’t have it down yet. I haven’t figured it out. So I wanna play it safe. So here I am.

biz

Alright. Welcome back!

theresa

Thanks. [Biz laughs.] [Through laughter] Um—no. I just—one thing that dawned on me in the last few days is… I just started to feel like—suddenly I felt like we’ve been doing this for so long now? Like, there was like a timeframe where we were all like—what?! This can’t be happening! And then it was like—wow. We’re really doing this and we don’t know how long it’ll last and this is different and this is new and let—we gotta find the new normal! And now we’re a little past that to where we’re like, we’ve been doing this for a really long time. Maybe—like, I saw somebody post something somewhere—I think maybe we’re at the halfway point! Or I think maybe we passed the halfway point! And when—do you know what I’m saying?

crosstalk

Theresa: And then people are like, it’s week seven! Biz: I—I am—

theresa

Or it’s week—y’know, like, they’re—

biz

The weird smile, like, the weird creepy smile that just came upon my face? When you said—we’re at the halfway point?

theresa

Yeah.

biz

Was the weird smile of—and how did that make you feel? [Laughs.] [Theresa laughs.] Is this cup half full? Or half empty?

theresa

Well— [Biz laughs.] Okay. I’ll be honest—honestly—even if that’s a rhetorical question I will honestly say that when I read that… I—it cheered me slightly. Because I just liked the idea that someone out there has a thought about this end— [Biz laughs.] Like somebody knows—maybe knows something that I don’t know. That there is actually a timeline. Like, that there is actually an answer! And so even though I know that that’s not actually true? When I read that, I was like, oh, maybe that’s true! And then maybe so—if we’re halfway there, like, we just have to do this again. Y’know. I don’t know. It made me feel a little better? Even though it was—it was baloney. [Biz laughs.]

biz

Baloney has a place in your dietary needs. Don’t worry.

theresa

It’s true. And then… so then—I also just think that naturally—and maybe this is where that was coming from on the person who wrote that. We naturally have this tendency to like… now enough time has passed… that like… none of us humans are really okay with the uncertainty of just hanging out here and not knowing what’s next. Like, our brains don’t really operate that way without, like… lots of practice?

biz

Yeah.

theresa

But… we’re naturally thinking, like… okay. We must be like almost there. Right? Like, ‘cause we’ve been doing this for a really long time now! Like, I feel like we’ve like done this. We know how to do it. It sucks. Can we be done? Have we done it? Like…

biz

Yeah. I like the—are we done yet? Like, that’s—that—that’s definitely…

theresa

Like, did we do it? [Laughs.]

biz

Be, like, the feeling like… this next step, I’m not gonna step on a rock! It’s gonna feel real good! I’ll have made it to the sand part of the beach and it’s gonna be nice! But… the, like… physical feeling that that conjures up in me? Is the like… mmmm… but are ya gonna step on a rock? Right? Like— [Laughs.] Like, is this that—like—that… that… I mean, I—surprise! We’re halfway there gave me an initial jolt of—fuck. I want us to be 2/3 of the—I want us to be 10 minutes away. Right? Like—all we need to do is listen to four more songs and we’re there! Right? Like, I… that’s where I would like us to be? And yeah. For me, personally… I… hate the waiting. I think, actually, this leads to the next part of this, which is—I also hate not having clear answers? For… myself. Or for my children.

theresa

Yeah!

biz

Right? I don’t… like when the kids—and I—I don’t know if it’s good or if it’s super sad that my kids just don’t ask that much anymore? I’ve been pretty straightforward with them from the beginning. They are… six and ten. And I’ve just been… very much like—we’re staying home to help stop the spread. Y’know. I mean, like, their teachers have iterated this and—and we are reiterating it and so when they do ask now, the best I can really answer is—I don’t know.

theresa

Mm-hm.

biz

Y’know? I don’t—we know that we need a vaccine. We know that there’s a lot of stuff we don’t know about—how weather affects it or how, y’know, if you’ve already been exposed to it or—right? Like, we don’t have enough information yet to know that it’s safe for us to return… to even an abnormal life. Right? Like… that’s—you cannot have a playdate and I am really sorry you cannot physically see your friends. Like, that sucks. So I—that’s about all we have for them. Right? Like… and I—I wish I could give them more? And I… I think… there’s an unspoken in my—in my own brain—acknowledgment that that probably ads to my anxiety or sadness or frustration. That I feel. That I—when I have my ups and downs. That that’s probably part of that? Because I like to be able to answer questions. Right? I’m not—I love questions! I’m not afraid of questions! I— [Laughs.] Y’know. I’m happy to be wrong! I’m happy to learn! I’m happy to go dig for answers! And there are no answers really. So that’s… I’ll turn it to you. I mean, y’know, your kids are a little younger or exactly the same age. Are they asking?

theresa

So… we have—it’s kind of interesting. Like, Oscar and Curtis—the two youngers—are pretty used to things being the way they are right now? They both have moments of… if we talk about a particular person? Like, a friend or a teacher? Where they really do say, like, when—can—can we have a playdate? Or when can I see them or when—oh, I kinda really miss school! And like, things like that? But if those people don’t come up, they’re really used to staying home every day. To the point where like, if we’re going for a drive— [Biz laughs.] —they’re like, what the—what—you’re—you’re expecting me to go somewhere? We don’t wanna go for a walk! We don’t wanna go in the car! Um, and I think that… we can come back to this. But that plays into… added anxiety for me, because I feel like the longer I don’t have a plan of what to tell them of when this will end? The more ingrained this like staying home thing will be? And the harder that will be to switch gears back to being out in the world and regular routines of school. For Gracie, she… it’s like—it’s like physical pain for her to have to be home every day. It’s—

biz

Yeah.

theresa

Making her—it’s making her—and she’ll say that. She’ll say, this is making me… insane. Like, she just—she’s so done with it. She needs to be out in the world. She cannot—it’s like… it is! It’s a physical… ongoing… [though laughter] suffering that is happening to her. [Biz laughs.] That is like a totally different—so—and she does ask! It’s every—it’s every day. It’s constant. So it’s a very different experience that I’m having with her than the one I’m having with the younger kids. One part that’s been really hard for me and in how I relate to them about this timing thing—I think is the timing of summer. So I think that… I think that I’m… Grace’s summer starts soon. It’s in, like, three weeks or something. And… that’s a good thing because the distance learning is really hard. But the weird thing is… I’m so used to… at this time of year… getting the kids excited about what we’re gonna do in the summer? And getting the summer plan set up! And figuring out what it’s gonna be. Are there gonna be camps? Which ones for which kids? What are we gonna do when we’re not doing camp. And I have, like, a summer calendar that I work on! And right now, it’s like this weird feeling of—I keep feeling that impulse to do it! I gotta set stuff up! I gotta set stuff up! There’s nothing to set up.

biz

I know.

theresa

And I know—I know people are doing like Zoom camps and stuff. But Zoom doesn’t work for my kids. It doesn’t. So I’m not doing that! So it doesn’t—it’s not—and it—they do it, ‘cause they have to do it for school. But when it comes to summer we’re not going to be doing much of that. And so there isn’t—there aren’t really other options! There’s no, like, social distancing camps that I know of.

biz

Like, summer holds so much… summer holds so much… unknown… that I think is, like, scarier than the unknown of what online learning was gonna be? That… I don’t know how to answer that question for myself or my kids.

theresa

But I think that’s—like—we can talk about—we’ll have plenty of time to talk about summer! But like… my point is, I think that’s messing with our sense of time right now? Because there’s this feeling like… like, there was all this talk about how long this would last and then it was a really big deal when they were like, the schools aren’t gonna reopen. And it was like, okay. So we’re doing this through the end of the schoolyear. But then nobody talks about, like… and the camps won’t open. Or and summer activities are gonna look totally different. Y’know. The public pool won’t be open. Y’know… like, stuff like that. That—and I know nobody’s saying that, but the fact that nobody’s saying that and that there’s no—and that—y’know, the different government bodies are saying different things, but it’s like… July, maybe July! Maybe by August!

biz

Yeah! That’s it!

theresa

That kind of means nothing! It just like means nothing to me! And I don’t even know what that would look like when… do you know what I mean? So there—it’s-

biz

Yes! Because—it—it’s just like the schools! It’s like when they said—May. It’s gonna be April 15th. And then… that got moved to May. 5th. And then… like, that got to, you know what? We’re just not gonna open up. And you know that they were waiting—it always, like, came out… just so close to when it was gonna be. Right? Like, so you know they’re waiting. We have gotten… the first of the camp emails from camps we didn’t even sign up for? We’re just on a mailing list? Saying—we’ve come to the hard decision. We’re not doing a camp. Right? And so I’m just waiting… for more of those to—like you said!—start rolling in. But I’m sure that everybody’s waiting… for June!

theresa

To be really sure!

crosstalk

Theresa: To be really sure! Yeah. Biz: To be really—really sure.

biz

And that’s… the—I’m with you. That—I—I—again! There is a logical brain still left in my head. [Theresa laughs.] And it—it does work. Sometimes. Especially when I’m talking to another adult. I’m like, I understand! But then there’s that other part of the brain that’s like—ugh! Just say it already! Just get it over with! I would rather just go into this. Knowing… that nothing is on. [Laughs.] [Through laughter] Everything is closed. And then you can surprise me. All of this! What will summer be like? What will… when will it be—I—here’s the worst part of it? And the—is that—it—if you were to—if tomorrow… all the news channels—all the, like, people in charge started saying—guys? Good news! Summer… is saved. [Theresa laughs.] We know that you can go back to school… on this date. And that camps are cool. And that playdates—ohh! Have so many playdates! I don’t know how to answer the emotional question of—are we there yet? In terms of—when will any of us feel okay… to do it. It’s just like your kids—you were saying they’re so used to being home now? I’ve seen the fear of, like, getting in a car. And going somewhere. For us. Already. Right? Like, I—the idea of… trying to work our way back in and feel okay ever again—I mean, going forward, even when they say—such-and-such is open and you can go. I joke that if they called tomorrow and said school is open, I would go right now and camp out in front of the school. ‘K?

theresa

And you wouldn’t check the news. You would just drop your kids off.

crosstalk

Theresa: You’d just be like, it must be okay! It’d be fine. I—I guess they know! I guess they know better. I guess they know. Here we go. Bye, guys! [Laughs.] All better. Biz: Oh! I would—I would—exactly. I would look for no supporting—yeah! No supporting evidence. Yeah. [Laughs.]

biz

No supporting evidence. I’m just gonna go and leave them there. You got it! [Laughs.] [Theresa laughs.] I don’t… that’s like a real question that I think we’re gonna have to get our heads—I don’t wanna fucking prepare for it now. I’m too tired to like prepare for this? But that’s there. That is also a—a place we’re gonna stop. On this journey. That we are all on together. [Theresa laughs.] Are we there yet? No. [Laughs.] [Theresa laughs.] Halfway. Halfway!

music

“Ones and Zeroes” by “Awesome.” Steady, driving electric guitar with drum and woodwinds. [Music fades out.]

music

Laid-back acoustic guitar plays in the background.

theresa

One Bad Mother is supported in part by Billie! Self-care and routine are always important. Whatever you’re using to get ready for the day should make you feel amazing.

biz

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theresa

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theresa

Hey, you know what it’s time for! This week’s genius and fails! This is the part of the show where we share our genius moment of the week, as well as our failures, and feel better about ourselves by hearing yours. You can share some of your own by calling 206-350-9485. That’s 206-350-9485.

biz

Genius fail time, Theresa. Genius me!

clip

[Dramatic, swelling music in background.] Biz: Wow! Oh my God! Oh my God! I saw what you did! Oh my God! I’m paying attention! Wow! You, mom, are a genius. Oh my God, that’s fucking genius! [Biz and Theresa repeatedly affirm each other as they discuss their respective genius moments of the week.]

theresa

So, it’s been a really long time since I’ve given anyone a haircut? But it was time? And everybody was pretty shaggy. Well, Curtis we’re just leaving shaggy. That’s fine. ‘Cause he likes to be Elsa and so it just works better with long hair. And Grace is not a big deal ‘cause her hair’s really straight and cut straight across? But—so I’m really talking about Oscar, I guess. He was getting really shaggy. [Biz laughs.] He looked really funny. And I had trimmed his bangs in a really awkward way? So it was just terrible. [Biz laughs.] But it didn’t really matter? But I actually like cutting hair. I think it’s fun. So… I started pressuring him to let me give him a mohawk? Because I haven’t ever given somebody a mohawk and it just sounds really fun? And… [Biz laughs.] Who cares? Because we’re at home? And… at first he was like—you just—please enjoy all the totally inappropriate parental pressure that I applied on my child? Because at first he was like, no, I don’t want that. And I was like, let me show you pictures of mohawks! [Biz laughs.] And I showed him pictures. He’s like—that looks weird. I don’t want that. I’m like, okay. It’s pretty cool. And then I told Jesse, so then Jesse started bringing it up with him? Oscar, you’d look really good with a mohawk! And then… [Biz laughs.] [Through laughter] And then I… told him that it was time to get a haircut. And I think what it turned out was that he just didn’t want a haircut. He—so—once he knew he had to get a haircut, then he was like—uh, you know what? I want a mohawk. Just give me a mohawk. It’ll be fun. And I was like, okay! Let’s do this! And the reason this is a genius is because… [Biz laughs.] It was just fun. Like, I had fun doing this. It was like, I didn’t have to worry too much about it looking perfect or like it came out of a salon. It was just a fun thing. It looks great on him? It totally suits him. He likes it. [Biz laughs.] Y’know, we’ve been doing, like, sticking it up with gel and stuff. And… yes. I—it—I felt like I did a good job that day.

biz

Good… job! After a very bad week, it was Sunday! [Laughs.] It was Sunday and… we were all up. We had done our normal Sunday morning routine stuff that we’ve been keeping to and… Katy Belle has been really struggling and so here we are. Sunday morning. And… I’ve got a little spray bottle to spray the plants with and… she had it in her hand and I saw the gleam in her eye as she looked at me to spray it. At me. And… I said, don’t even think about it. And then Ellis started laughing. And then she sprayed me. And I said—don’t. Do that. Again. And she did it again. And then she gave it to Ellis! And Ellis did it. And there was this moment with the first squirt where I said—whatever I do next is putting a spin on this. For all of us. Forever. And so? I went with it. And I said—whoa ho ho ho ho! Remember… I’m gonna get you back.

theresa

Yeah.

biz

It’s coming. But I’m not gonna tell you when it’s coming. And then they screamed and ran off. And then I filled up two water guns. [Laughs.] [Theresa laughs.] And then I hid in her bedroom. [Theresa laughs.] For so long? For so long! That they, like… they clearly thought I was never coming outside, so they came in. Let’s just go back to our room and we’ll—and they—and I jump out—Ahhhhh! And they’re—Ahhhh! And then this led to like a hour-long water gun/spray bottle, full costumes all over the yard, through the house extravaganza that we all really needed. And… I needed it, like, real bad. And so did she. And… I will not start crying! It was… it was really good.

crosstalk

Biz: So yeah. Thanks. It was—thanks. Theresa: That’s so good. It sounds so fun. Good job. Yeah.

caller

[Answering machine beeps.] Hi, One Bad Mothers! I have a quick genius, uh, pandemic related. Which I kinda actually hope this doesn’t go away ‘cause it’s a great idea. Since all of these kids’ birthdays and everything are getting canceled and everyone has started doing the drive-by birthday parades? I have discovered that Magna-Tiles hold banners on cars very well. So—put Magna-Tiles on your car! Spell out her name. Hold a banner. Works great. Thanks guys! We’re doing a great job.

theresa

Oh my god! [Biz laughs.] Thank you!

biz

I—yeah! This is such a great, like… discovery. This feels like the discovery of like—oh, I could use this lightbulb to light my house! [Laughs.]

theresa

Yeah! Yeah!

biz

It’s like—Magna-Tiles holding banners onto cars. I like—I—I heard this? And I actually ran outside and took Magna-Tiles to see how well they stuck on the car! They stick very well. You are… a genius!

theresa

Yes, you are.

biz

You’re a genius. Failures!

clip

[Dramatic orchestral music plays in the background.] Theresa: [In a voice akin to the Wicked Witch of the West] Fail. Fail. Fail. FAIL! [Timpani with foot pedal engaged for humorous effect.] Biz: [Calmly] You suck! [Biz and Theresa repeatedly affirm each other as they discuss their respective failures of the week.]

biz

Fail me, Theresa.

theresa

Okay. So… Jesse had a birthday. It was like the week before last, I guess. And… he does not like cake. He likes ice cream. So I did what I had done the year before, which was—I ordered a box of ice cream from this really delicious ice cream company that delivers. And… it comes packed in dry ice. And… I had remembered that last year, when we did this, we had friends over to eat the ice cream and I unpacked it right there. And it was so frozen that none of us could scoop the ice cream and even after it’s sitting out for a while, we still couldn’t scoop the ice cream. And… we ended up having to like microwave it for a little bit to get it softened up? Which, like, isn’t the best? Like, it’s good but it’s like not as good? So this year, I remembered that. And… the ice cream ended up getting delivered the day before his birthday. And our freezer is kinda, like, full right now. So I told him—don’t worry about it. Just leave it there. It’s gonna be fine tomorrow. Like, trust me. It’ll be totally fine tomorrow. [Biz laughs.] And he was like—it’s gonna be like 36 hours. Are you sure? ‘Cause, y’know, the box says open immediately! And I was like, yes. I am sure. Like, I—like I just— [Biz laughs.] I had this like in my—I was so confident. I was so confident. And… so we did! We left it overnight. Just in the kitchen in the box. And… when it came time to get ready to have the birthday celebration with him and the kids and I’ve been talking up the ice cream and everything—it was soup! I mean, it was—it was soup. It was… we could not have it. It was not… it was not ice cream. Anymore. It was soup. [Biz gasps.] Yeah.

biz

Oh. That is awful.

theresa

I felt so bad. And so stupid.

biz

Yeah! [Laughs.] Yeah. No, that’ll do it! Nope, that action will leave you feeling like that. [Laughs.]

theresa

Yes.

biz

You’re doing a horrible job. [Laughs.]

theresa

Yes. Thank you. [Laughs.]

biz

I am… eh. Look. This is—it’s more of a… like… more of a… emotional mental fail—and it’s just—and I know we’re all struggling with this? So I’m talking about it like a fail? To sort of hopefully… try not to think about it like this? But I mean, just the guilt. The guilt of failing at everything, even with all the, y’know, water guns and we’re getting through school and like—y’know—I mean, like, there are a lot of successes. Do not get me wrong. And I see them and I hold on and cherish them. But… I am still struggling at, like… it’s still not being enough or, y’know, when I look at Ellis, who has just regressed—has regressed 100%. When it comes to like… me as his emotional regular and, like, I mean—sometimes I’m like, have we gone—like, two years back? Like, where—wow. Right? Katy Belle—I understand she can’t see her friends? Right? I understand she needs to be out and… I understand that this kind of thing—this sort of experience can cause depression? But it still doesn’t make me not feel like shit for having to focus so much on Ellis and not her? Right? Like—did I lead to this because I’ve just been leaving her to do her own thing? Right? I mean, y’know, like—no! Okay? Like, I get it. I understand. There’s the logical side and then there’s the not-logical side. And that’s why it’s a fail. But, like… ‘cause I should give myself a break. And I know that. And we all should give ourselves breaks. [Laughs.] But like… that’s… that’s—I’m just—I hate that I feel that way.

theresa

I do, too.

biz

Yeah.

theresa

Yeah.

biz

Yeah.

caller

[Answering machine beeps.] Hi, One Bad Mother! This—this is a fail. I want to say that it’s a genius, but I think because it involves giving up… uh, it’s mostly a fail. [Biz laughs.] Um, my second kiddo, who’s about one year old—one years old now—is a—kind of a picky eater. But in a gourmand way. That he’ll only eat, like, fancy flavored foods and not just like easy shit that I can just throw at him. [Biz laughs.] But! What I’ve discovered— [Laughs.] Is that he will also eat… food off the floor no problem, even if it’s the food he like just rejected. That I put on his high chair. So… what I’ve been doing [though laughter] is not cleaning up right away? And when it seems like he’s all done eating? He won’t eat any more of the food I put in front of him? I dust him off and put him on the floor and then he eats the food from the floor that he just threw off the high chair. So… definitely a fail because… [Biz laughs.] I’m not cleaning under his chair after every meal or anything! But… at least he’s eating. [Laughs.] Thanks. Love the show. [Biz laughs.]

theresa

As long as he’s washing his hands. [Laughs.]

biz

Yeah! As long as he’s— [Laughs.] That’s right! As long as he’s washing his hands, this is fine.

theresa

Make sure it’s—yeah.

biz

I—it’s not even— [Theresa laughs.] I just wanna point out that it—the fail—that there’s more to this fail that you haven’t been aware of. And that is that forever, your child will think it’s okay to eat off of a floor. And one day you will be in public again. People will come to your house to visit for dinner—like a relative? Or your friend? Or your boss? And, uh, you’re going to—your child’s just gonna be 13 years old, eating off the floor! And—and then you’ll be like, huh. That’s… that’s on me. Well, you’re [though laughter] doing a horrible job making sure that your child eats food. Oh well! [Laughs.]

music

“Mom Song” by Adira Amram. Mellow piano music with lyrics. You are the greatest mom I’ve ever known. I love you, I love you. When I have a problem, I call you on the phone. I love you, I love you. [Music fades out.]

theresa

We have a Jumbotron this week, Biz!

biz

[Makes noise sort of like shooting a laser gun] Whew! Whew whew whew!

theresa

[Through laughter] This message is for Kevin Sullivan from Cheryl Sullivan.

biz

[Singing] Da da da daaaa! [Inspirational music—the type that might play in a sports film as the underdog team makes their final, heroic play—begins to play in the background, or that suffices as an introduction to the Olympics; symphonic music heavy on brass and strings.] You are amazing! You are an amazing father to our overly-energetic and spirited kids. Thank you for everything you do to keep our crazy kids alive and happy, and for making us laugh with your silliness. I feel like the luckiest person in the world because you are my life partner. You are doing… an awesome job. And I love you. [Theresa laughs.]

theresa

Yayyyy! So awesome!

biz

Yayyyy! Good job, Kevin!

theresa

Good job, Kevin! Good job, Cheryl! [Clapping] Yayyyy!

music

Laid-back jazz piano.

biz

One Bad Mother is supported in part by KiwiCo. Both of my kids get boxes from KiwiCo? And they have been… actual lifesavers during, uh, this time at home. We are on screens so much for school? And the KiwiCo and their different hands-on science and art projects that get delivered every month? Have been… amazing.

theresa

This is something we can do to actually encourage our kids to be innovators and creative thinkers while they’re at home. And each project helps build confidence. There are different crates for kids of all ages, so there’s something for every kid on your list. There’s no commitment, so you can pause or cancel any time.

biz

KiwiCo is redefining play with hands-on projects that build confidence, creativity, and critical thinking. There’s something for every kid—or kid at heart!—at KiwiCo. Get your first month free on select crates at KiwiCo.com/badmother. That’s K-I-W-I-C-O.com/badmother. [Music finishes.]

biz

Hey, Theresa! Let’s call someone today!

music

Short clip of upbeat guitar with choral voices.

biz

Theresa. This week we are speaking with Courtney Enlow, who is the associate editor for SYFY FANGRRLS. She has written for Vanity Fair, Glamour, Huffington Post, RiffTrax, and Bustle, among other outlets. She currently cohosts the sci-fi fangirls podcast Strong Female Characters and cohosted Trends Like These with Travis McElroy and Brent Black. [Singing] Welcome Courtney!

courtney enlow

Hello! Thank you so much for having me!

biz

Thank you… for joining us from a distance.

courtney

Yes. [All laugh.] This is very safe. Very social. We are more than six feet ever so slightly. [All laugh.]

biz

Courtney, before we, uh, get into whatever we’re gonna talk about today— [Theresa laughs.] I wanna— [Laughs.] [Courtney laughs.] I wanna start with—I wanna start with: who lives in your house?

courtney

So there’s me. And then, uh, two small humans. Jack and Julianne. They are four and seven. Almost eight. She’ll be eight in two weeks. And then, uh, two dogs.

biz

Yeah. What—

crosstalk

Courtney: Oh, and then my—actually— Biz: Uh, well to—

courtney

Oh my god. I’m such a bad person. My friend Betsy is living with me right now! Forgot about Betsy. Betsy’s gonna listen to this and she’s gonna be real mad about it. Sorry, Betsy! [All laugh.]

biz

She’s standing right behind you. [All laugh.]

courtney

[Through laughter] Yes.

biz

Well, tell me about the dogs!

courtney

Okay. So there’s two dogs. There’s Annie, who is about 11/12 years old. She is a cocker-lab mix. She is going a little slow these days. Because of those cocker spaniel hips that don’t work great. And then Aggie is a golden-doodle who just turned one, and she is bonkers bananas.

biz

[Through laughter] Yeah! I was gonna say! [Laughs.] How’s—how’s Annie feeling about the new dog?

courtney

[Laughs.] So Aggie is obsessed with Annie? She will not go outside without her. She is just… constantly all over her. Annie… very sweetly tolerates it. [Biz laughs.]

theresa

Awww! That’s so nice!

crosstalk

Biz: It’s kind— Courtney: It’s kind of similar to my human children.

courtney

Because Jack is obsessed with Julianne and Julianne pretty much just puts up with it?

biz

Yeah. [Laughs.]

theresa

Awww.

biz

That’s good.

crosstalk

Biz: That’s good, though. Theresa: That is a way…

theresa

That is a way that can work. I feel like. [Laughs.] Like, that is like a way for two beings to have a relationship that can totally work. [Laughs.]

courtney

Yes.

biz

In fact—in fact, I feel like that may just be the perfect definition of what motherhood is to me. [Laughs.] [Theresa laughs.]

courtney

Pretty much, yeah. Just a lotta people coexisting and tolerating each other gently. [Theresa laughs.]

biz

Tolerating. So much tolerating. So… I’m just gonna start with—how—how are you? And feel free to be as honest as you would like or lie as much as you would like.

courtney

Has that always been the hardest question to answer or is it just more so lately, where it’s like—[whispering] I don’t know?

biz

I think “I don’t know” is a fair answer. I sometimes—when people ask me, I’ll say—do you want the playground answer or the, like, real answer? Like, which—which do you want me to tell you? ‘Cause it’s hard to answer! [Courtney laughs.]

courtney

There are moments where I’m like, I’m thriving! [All laugh.] And then it’s like, no, I’m just in crisis mode and my brain has gone numb and yeah. [Biz laughs.]

biz

Well I think that’s it. We were kind of talking about that at the beginning. Just that like… it’s… the—there’s a real up and down to this? And sometimes the downs are… really long?

courtney

Yes!

biz

And then… sometimes the ups are also really long and I don’t know which one is worse? Because… when I’ve gone for the long up? It is crushing when the down comes. Right? Like— [Laughs.]

courtney

Yes.

biz

That feeling of “I’ve got this figured out!” And then you’re like, so why am I crying right now? Right? Like—yeah.

courtney

I have that long-held—like, trauma response? Where it’s… I have no choice but to be okay, so I am okay! And you just like emotionlessly go through all of the motions and you actually can trick yourself into thinking, like, I actually am feeling fine! I’m doing really well! And then all of the sudden, you realize, like—oh, I haven’t, like, cleaned the house in three weeks. I haven’t consumed water in three days. And— [Biz laughs.] I maybe am not fine.

biz

Yeah. That is a really… like… almost—that’s a good way to put it. This, like, the survival mode of… every—I—I have to—this has to be fine. Right now. Like, if I’m not fine… then… uh-oh. [Laughs.]

courtney

Yeah!

biz

Big—big uh-oh. Sorry. I now have a cat in my lap. Who’s helping? Hold on one second. [Courtney laughs.] I wanna ask about—you’ve shared that your kids are both neurodivergent. What has, like, distance learning or just even having to stay home been like for you and your kids?

courtney

Well, with Jack, luckily—his—his program that he’s in was determined, uh, medically essential? So he actually still has been going to what we call school everyday.

biz

Wow!

courtney

So it’s been—and they’ve been so great. Y’know, they take temperatures at the door. Um, one day he had a temperature of, y’know, 99 and he did not go to school. I immediately freaked out and called the covid hotline and they were like, does he have any other symptoms? And I’m like, no. It’s just this one but I just read an article— [Biz laughs.] —where someone only had a fever and they died! So— [Biz laughs.] So yeah. It was a lot of that. Um, but it’s—it’s that thing where, um, he—even though his routine hasn’t super changed? He… clearly knows that something’s different? And… he is getting more and more verbal but he’s largely nonverbal? Aside from like a few, like, different words and phrases? And so it’s like—he knows something’s wrong. He can’t necessarily communicate it, so what he does instead is just break stuff.

biz

Yeah.

courtney

Yeah. Which frankly—same. I would also very much enjoy to break stuff sometimes.

biz

Oh, yeah. No. That—I feel that often. The—the—I’m like, I wonder what everyone will think, standing in the kitchen, if I just take this glass and smash it into the ground.

crosstalk

Courtney: Well, Jack knows exactly what’s that—what it’s like because my god has he broken so many wineglasses. Biz: Will they—yeah! [Laughs.] [Theresa laughs.]

courtney

It’s like—he’s like—this is the thing that brings you joy and I’m gonna break it. Um—I tricked him and bought, uh, really durable ones and he tried and I was like—ha! Got you! [All laugh.] I dare you do it again!

biz

I love it.

courtney

Please don’t do it again.

biz

Is Jack older or younger?

courtney

Jack is four.

crosstalk

Biz: Okay. Jack is four. Courtney: And then—

courtney

Julianne is gonna be eight in two weeks and she is having—so they both are on the autism spectrum, but they are very different in the way that it manifests. I never realized how different it could be. I mean, that’s why it’s a spectrum, obviously, but Jack is very… I guess… the classic… understanding of what I pictured autism to be? And Julianne it more—it manifests as, uh, really severe anxiety? And, um, some OCD tendencies. So with—for her—she’s just really anxious. Just really, really anxious. Her routine has been completely thrown off and she’s just—she cries a lot? And it’s that thing where I—I want to… to, y’know, console her and be there for her but it is the same crying every day and it’s at a certain point—I don’t know what to say to you anymore? My tiny homegirl? I don’t know what to tell you. So it’s a lot of that. It’s a lot of everyone crying and yelling at me and me needing to lock myself in the bathroom for a few minutes and [though laughter] just… like, can everyone just stop yelling at me, please?

biz

So let me ask you again—how are you? [All laugh.]

courtney

I’m not locked in a bathroom, but I am in my office in the basement where no one can get to me. So you know what? Thank you. Thank you for giving me this chance to lock myself in my office. [Laughs.]

biz

As I’ve been currently telling guests, if you would like to just… uh, pretend that this show goes for like an hour? [Theresa laughs.] Or an hour and a half? You are welcome to do that! And then just… stay down wherever you’re locked in. Your closet. Bathroom. Basement. Wherever. And just… just have a little time! That’s fine. [Laughs.]

courtney

Yeah. We’ll finish up and I’ll just stay down here and play Two Dots and drink my wine!

biz

Yayyyyy! [Laughs.] Works for me. [Courtney laughs.] I wanna ask about… the SYFY FANGRRLS—not just the podcast. It’s… the whole relationship of… women and sci-fi. Happy May the Fourth, by the way.

courtney

Yes!

biz

Um… I be— [Laughs.] My husband’s like, “Everyone for at least one minute has to talk about Star Wars today!” [All laugh.] It’s like—

courtney

It’s so wonderful, because that’s my whole job! Is talking—it’s—it’s my literal dream job. I just talk about Star Wars and superheroes all the time! It’s awesome! [Biz laughs.]

biz

I must say, I am incredibly jealous. And I—I—this question’s gonna be a long setup for a question. On my wall is a panel from… a DC Comic with the Black Canary in it, and she is fighting these shadow… shadow demons. Shadow people. And there’s a scene in which she’s been cut in the side. With a piece of glass. And she says— [Laughs.] She says, “I’ve got to keep going.” You know like, even with this glass in my side. And for me? [Laughs.]

crosstalk

Courtney: That’s the most relatable thing [though laughter] I’ve ever heard in my life! [Laughs.] Biz: That is the most relatable thing!

biz

That’s why it’s next to my bed. Because in parenting, in—in life, in all the different situations that have been incredibly difficult to get through, I think about her forcing herself to get up… and take the next step. And so—as a lover of all things science fiction, I guess I actually have two questions. One, how has that—has that been help to you during this, and two, is there an escapism, uh, aspect to it that— [Laughs.] Maybe you can share with us? [Laughs.]

courtney

Y’know, it’s—it’s always, like—the stuff that I love most and it’s really the whole idea of what SYFY FANGRRLS is about—is, y’know, the female heroes really influenced me from a young age. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Similar to that Black Canary scene, there’s a—in Captain Marvel, that moment where you just see like the montage of her as a little girl, as a young adult, and as a pilot—like, holding her fist and just getting up after falling down.

biz

Mm-hm.

courtney

That just… like, I—that movie came out, uh, shortly after I went through my divorce. And it was very—like, my entire divorce? And actually, y’know, a lot of my marriage, was that feeling of—there is glass in my side and I have to keep going. [Laughs.] Like, it was like—that’s just what you have to do! ‘Cause you’ve got these—these small humans. That you are—you are keeping alive. And… what else can you do? You just have to do it!

crosstalk

Biz: Yeah! Which is hard! Courtney: And so having all of these—

courtney

These— [Biz laughs.] So many of like the heroes that I most connected with? Like, ever since I was a kid? Are the ones who… they did not choose this? They do not want to do this, honestly. They wanna just be like normal teenagers. Normal people. But they have this… uh, this duty. To save the world. And… it’s—yeah. Maybe that’s—y’know, as I say it out loud, it’s like, y’know. Calm down, Court. But yeah! [Laughs.] [Biz laughs.] But yeah! It always just—it always just helped me. But in a weird way that like there’s some escapism in what I do? But then I find—like, my biggest, uh, areas of—of what I write about are, uh, y’know. Intersectional feminism and, uh, mental health. And… so I find a lot of the, y’know, stuff to write about from that. So like some of the stuff I write about is a big, big bummer. And then some of the stuff— [Biz laughs.] —I watch—I watch Volcano and Dante’s Peak back-to-back and just make fun of it!

crosstalk

Biz: That’s nice. Courtney: So it’s really—

courtney

It’s nice to have both those things. To really give like the full spectrum of [though laughter] my personality as a human.

biz

Well, let me ask you about that intersection right there. As we go through—Theresa, one of the reasons I like hosting this show with Theresa is we aren’t the same person. And that’s a delight. We get to be friends and different and… see the world differently. And I remember—something that’s always stuck out from one of our conversations on this show was… when Theresa, you were talking about this notion… of having to… pull yourself up! And get through it! Also—

theresa

I was saying—I was saying that—that that is a cultural idea that like, it’s every person for themselves. It’s up to us alone. Like, it’s up to you. Alone. To do this for yourself. Right. And that that’s not—and that that’s not just a fundamental truth about life. It’s more of an ingrained cultural belief.

courtney

Mm-hm.

biz

And I had a hard time with that, because… I understood what you were saying. However, I am also, like, the—the Buffy. The Captain America. There’s glass in my side. I’ve gotta keep going. I’m not gonna wait— [Laughs.] I’m not gonna wait for these shadow monsters to kill themselves! I’ve gotta get up and keep going! Right? Like, so as somebody who has been writing about it and exploring this notion… I’ve never felt more of that pressure… than I do right now.

courtney

Mm-hm. Yeah.

biz

In this situation that we are in. And… so I guess I—I would totally… enjoy talking about that. That sort of conflict between… pushing through sort of what those messages are in sci-fi and the comic world; versus how healthy that is for us in a time like this.

courtney

Let’s—I feel like it’s funny, the way that your brain can work. And you really do tell yourself, like—I—I am fine. Because I—I am choosing to get through this and stay optimistic and stay positive and this is totally a choice. And not just a lot that I have been, um, encumbered with. But then also you’re lying to yourself? But also, you really believe it? And also maybe you’re not lying to yourself, but you totally are lying to yourself. And that is just basically— [Biz and Theresa laugh.] —the state I constantly find myself in. Where I am very convinced of my own bullshit. And then it comes around and I’m like—oh, god. No. [Biz laughs.] But either way, you just have to get through it? So. Yeah. Y’know? It’s hard to—it’s hard to be a person. And that’s… that’s generally what [though laughter] I’m experiencing right now. Is all the various ways it’s hard to be a person.

biz

Yeah. Wouldn’t it be nice if we were superheroes? [Laughs.]

courtney

Yeah!

crosstalk

Biz: Not painful! Courtney: I’ve watched enough!

courtney

I’ve watched enough of [though laughter] these shows and movies to know—they have problems, too.

biz

Yeah. Yeah.

theresa

No. I just—I feel like there is something more to this? That like… [Laughs.] We can’t—we probably just really can’t solve? But I feel right now— [Biz laughs.] —a lot of anger towards… like, our culture in general. That—that so much weight is being put on individuals right now? Without acknowledging that, like, systemically… there are things that could have been done or could be done to lessen that load. I’m not saying I’m like the worst-off person, personally. I’m just saying, a lot of people are really suffering individually and that’s been—that’s been… something that has gone on in our country for as long as our country has existed. This idea that it’s up to each person alone. To better their own circumstances and to survive their own situation. And I think that, like, superhero idea—and I love Buffy too, by the way, so just gonna throw that out there— [Biz and Courtney laugh.] Buffy’s the best! Uh, but like… like, that idea that… like, sort of glamorizing the idea of… being able to… survive anything and keep going. Even as we suffer. Is… it’s really fraught! Like, I agree with you, Courtney, that like, yeah, we’re lying to ourselves. But also, that’s how we’re surviving! So like, can’t really knock that.

courtney

Exactly.

theresa

Like, we can’t, like, obviously we need to tell ourselves something to keep going. That’s the choice that we have. But I also… I just hate that it’s left up to us alone as individuals sometimes. Like, I feel like that’s—that… that… makes me mad. [Laughs.]

biz

Hmmm.

courtney

I think my entire, um, like, point of view on this? Is because—I’ve talked about nothing but it in therapy for—for years and years and years? [Biz laughs.] Is because, um, I—I have, like, serious like codependency issues? I was in a very long, uh, relationship and marriage with an addict. And so that feeling of—the world is going to fall apart if I don’t personally handle everything? Was very much… real? And… it’s—it’s… permeated everything that I’ve done since? And so right now, it’s—what I’m literally having to like be a teacher and— [though laughter] and all of this. Like, it is that feeling all over again where it’s just like—I am the only thing keeping this world together. This little tiny world that is mine. And if I don’t, then everything’s going to fall apart. But also that feeling of… but I am coming to it from a place of privilege. I know that I don’t have it as bad as a lot of people and so I shouldn’t feel bad about it at all. And then it’s just this compounding feeling! And I feel like we’re all dealing with so much at once that we’ve never had to deal with before. And it’s like our brains don’t know how to process it all. It’s just this constant feeling of… feelings? [Theresa laughs.] And there’s so many feelings that sometimes you feel nothing? Yeah.

theresa

Yes.

biz

Yeah. Yeah. No, that’s… that’s interesting. I—the icon of the… “do it alone.” The—like, this other theme that happens with the—I think of Buffy, and I think of… uh… just… almost… every show that I enjoy. And that is—I have to do it alone. And all the friends are like, no, no. We’re gonna come with you. We’ve got your back. And it’s like—no. No. I don’t wanna put you in danger. I don’t wanna—I have to do this!

crosstalk

Theresa: Yeah. Courtney: Mm-hm!

biz

By myself. I can’t ask for help because by asking for help, I will… lose everything that I love. Which is exactly what you’re saying, too, Courtney! This idea of like… I have to be all the things to keep the world together. And of course, many times the lesson is learned, uh, that—yeah! Having people help is helpful. [Laughs.] Like, will—

courtney

I—I am nodding furiously. You cannot see me. But I am nodding furiously.

biz

Yeah! Right? Like—if we— [Theresa laughs.] —if we actually let people help us, the Hellmouth will close. Right? Like, we will survive the Hellmouth! And so like… I… I—it—isn’t that funny! And I think, like… what I’m—what I think that the… this sheltering-in-place is shining a light on… is—is how bullshit the “I can do it all”—I mean, now we really have to do it all by ourselves. And it’s fucking impossible.

theresa

Yeah!

courtney

Mm-hm!

biz

And I—I really—what I would not give for a babysitter or a relative or… a school. Or— [Laughs.] Or like, any of those—those things right now. And… y’know. Maybe we’ll all come out of this a better superhero. [Laughs.] By learning that we’re not doing it by ourselves. I don’t… I don’t know. Sometimes I just wanna sit down and watch 20 hours of Supernatural? Just… all day.

courtney

Yeah. I just wanna like… I just wanna sit. And no one talk to me.

theresa

Mm-hm.

courtney

And that sounds like an actual vacation.

crosstalk

Theresa: It does. Yeah. Biz: Yeah! Courtney: Yeah. Yeah.

biz

It does. Can we convince our kids that they are superheroes and that their superpower is… quiet? [All laugh.]

courtney

If you—if you figure out that way—I would—

biz

The only way. [Laughs.] The only way we’re going to save the world today is to be very quiet.

courtney

My daughter can be just like… quiet and happy playing by herself for hours. Until I get on a conference call. [Laughs.]

crosstalk

Theresa: Mm-hm! Yeah. Biz: Yeah. Oh.

courtney

And then she’s like—mom! Mom I need you! Mom! And then I mute it and I’m like— [Biz laughs.] —what do you need? And she’s like, I have to go to the bathroom! I’m like, you don’t have to ask! You live here! Just go!

theresa

Yep. Yes. [Biz laughs.]

biz

Yeah. [Inaudible] I’m like—you just do whatever you need to do. We are—

courtney

Just go! I’m not walking you in there! You are too old!

crosstalk

Biz: That’s right! Courtney: Begone!

biz

Oh my gosh. I could talk about this… all day. With you. ‘Cause I love talking about superheroes. This has been an absolute delight, having you on, Courtney. And I just want you to know that we see all the hard work that you are doing. At home. ‘Cause it’s… a lot. Um, we’re gonna make sure we link everybody up to SYFY FANGRRLS and where they can just find out more about you? Thank you so much for joining us!

courtney

Thank you so much! It was so nice to be on this podcast. I love this podcast! You guys are wonderful! Thank you so much.

music

“Telephone,” by “Awesome.” Down-tempo guitar and falsetto singing. Brainwaves send a message: Pick up the phone (When you, I call) Arm is moving now, no longer stone (When you, I call) Hand reaches out with a will of its own (When you, I call) [Music fades out.]

promo

Music: Bouncy music. Jackie Kashian: Hi, I’m Jackie Kashian. Laurie Kilmartin: Hi! I’m Laurie Kilmartin. Jackie: And we have a podcast called The Jackie and Laurie Show. Who are you, Laurie Kilmartin? Laurie: Oh my god. So much pressure. Uh, I’ve—standup, I’ve been doing standup since 1987. I’m a writer for Conan. I’ve written a couple books, have a couple CDs out, have a special out. Who are you, Jackie? Jackie: [Chuckling.] Well, I too am a standup comic, since 1984. And I do the road like a maniac and don’t have a cool writing job, but I have four albums out. Working on a new album. We talk about standup. We talk about all the different parts of standup comedy. So, that’s The Jackie and Laurie Show and you should subscribe, on MaximumFun, if you wanna hear that. Laurie: [Laughing.] And I would encourage you not to! [Jackie laughs.] [Music fades out.]

promo

[Background music.] Speaker 1: I listen to Reading Glasses because Brea and Mallory have great tips. Mallory O’Meara: You're a comics reader and you wanna use a library-connected app, you can try out Hoopla. Speaker 2: I listen for the author interviews. Speaker 3: I'm mad at myself that I waited as long as I did to start reading Joan Didion. Speaker 4: They give me reading advice I didn't even know I needed. Mallory: If you go in person to an event, and go up to an author or a filmmaker, or anybody, and tell them what they—you don't like about their work, you're a trash baby. Brea Grant: I—look. I understand you didn't like Heroes season three, that's fine. [Mallory cracks up.] I like—I don't actually need to know that information. Brea: I'm Brea Grant. Mallory: And I'm Mallory O'Meara. Brea: We're Reading Glasses, and we solve all your bookish problems. Every Thursday on Maximum Fun. [Music ends.]

biz

Oh my god, what a delight. I just like hearing the voices of other people. Especially people like Courtney. [Laughs.] She was a delight. You should really check out, uh, SYFY FANGRRLS. It’s—it’s just great! I—as a woman who… uh, has always loved sci-fi and comics, it is… nice to hear from others. Who do as well. [Deep breath.] You know who I also like to hear from? That’s… other mothers— [Laughs.] Having a breakdown.

caller

[Answering machine beeps.] Hi. Biz and Theresa. [Sighs.] This is a mom having a breakdown, probably. And it probably sounds like everybody else that’s calling with a rant or a breakdown, but… I—I am so done. [Inaudible] some days but I’m doing okay. I’m doing fine. [Sniffs.] And then there’s other days—like today—where I just… I can’t! I’m just too overwhelmed. Have zero patience. [Sighs.] I just want things to go back to the way they used to be. I’m sure everybody wishes that for obvious reasons. [Sighs.] I don’t even know where to begin. I don’t even have the energy to list all the things [tearfully] that are making me feel this way. It’s just so fucking hard. And I feel… guilty for having such a rough time. Because there are definitely other people out there who are struggling a lot worse than I am. And have… much worse circumstances. [Sighs.] God. Nothing is making me feel better than going outside. My exercise, food and drink, self-care. Nothing. I don’t know. I just don’t know. [Sniffs, then sighs.] Thanks for letting me not really talk. [Laughs.] Tell me that I’m doing a good job ‘cause sure as hell doesn’t feel like it. Thanks. Bye.

biz

Yeah, you are. Correct. That you are—your call… is like almost every other call we get. Because… you are not alone? And this is… really… difficult. Okay? This is… we were talking about this in the interview. This is—even though we’re being asked to do this by ourselves, that doesn’t mean you have to do this alone? There are— [Laughs.] This is an experience that makes us not okay. Okay? Like… this is… yeah!

theresa

And you—you don’t have to have like a reason or an explanation of why it’s hard. ‘Cause like—yes! It just really is! Like, you don’t have to—I feel like… it’s just hard for everyone! Like, you’d—no matter what your circumstances are. Yes. There are people who maybe have it worse than you. Everybody has a different set of circumstances? But none of—like—nobody needs to explain… why their particular situation is hard right now. It just is hard.

biz

Correct. And… y’know, there are… definitely resources out there? Uh, in which people can… offer some help? Uh, if—if that is a place that you feel you are at? This is really… overwhelming. We’re all feeling it. Our kids are feeling it. No one is… like… totally… great. [Laughs.] Like, you know that—how like—like when we’re like, this is the week that I’ve gotta be on top of it! Right? Like, this is great! No one is like on top of it the entire time.

theresa

No.

biz

We… are all in this together. You are not alone. You are doing a good job. Okay? You’re doing a great job.

theresa

Yeah. You are.

biz

‘K? What did we learn today? I’m just gonna skip the learning part? [Theresa laughs.] I just feel like… what we need to get right into? Is… what is probably… should not be the hardest lesson to learn right now, but given… given how we have been wired to think over all these years—this is not okay. What we should be learning is that we are struggling. Okay? It is hard. Uh, everyone is having a hard time to whatever degree that is. Mm-kay? And every day, every week, sometimes every hour, looks completely different than the one that came before it? And… I just… cannot emphasize enough that you are not alone. If your child is… y’know, breaking things every day. You are not alone. You are not the only person whose child is doing that. Um… every time Ellis sits on me the entire day, I know that I am not alone. I know other people are having, uh, separation issues with their kids right now. We are all having sleep issues at times. We’re all having eating issues. No—self-care is hard. You are not alone? And I hope… that brings some comfort ‘cause it brings comfort to me? As always? In our show notes during this time, we are going to have links to websites and phone numbers of… resources like—the Suicide Hotline. Crisis Centers. How to find a therapist during this time for remote therapy. Domestic violence. All of these things we have these links. They’re in the show notes. Um, these are resources to use. No one is doing a bad job? By needing to call one. It’s like the Poison Control Center! They want you to call! [Laughs.] Okay? They really do! You’re all doing a remarkable job! Ugh. Blech! Theresa? You are doing a good job and I am glad that you were able to join us again this week.

theresa

Thanks, Biz. You are also doing a really, really good job.

biz

Thank you. And we will talk to you guys? Next week.

crosstalk

Biz and Theresa: Byeeeee!

music

“Mama Blues” by Cornbread Ted and the Butterbeans. Strumming acoustic guitar with harmonica and lyrics. I got the lowdown momma blues Got the the lowdown momma blues Gots the lowdown momma blues The lowdown momma blues. Gots the lowdown momma blues Got the lowdown momma blues You know that’s right. [Music fades somewhat, plays in background of dialogue.]

biz

We’d like to thank MaxFun; our producer, Hannah Smith; our husbands, Stefan Lawrence and Jesse Thorn; our perfect children, who provide us with inspiration to say all these horrible things; and of course, you, our listeners. To find out more about the songs you heard on today’s podcast and more about the show, please go to MaximumFun.org/onebadmother. For information about live shows, our book and press, please check out OneBadMotherPodcast.com.

theresa

One Bad Mother is a member of the Maximum Fun family of podcasts. To support the show go to MaximumFun.org/donate. [Music continues for a while before fading out.]

speaker 1

MaximumFun.org.

speaker 2

Comedy and culture.

speaker 3

Artist owned—

speaker 4

—Audience supported.

About the show

One Bad Mother is a comedy podcast hosted by Biz Ellis and Theresa Thorn about motherhood and how unnatural it sometimes is. We aren’t all magical vessels!

Join us every week as we deal with the thrills and embarrassments of motherhood and strive for less judging and more laughing.

Call in your geniuses and fails: 206-350-9485. For booking and guest ideas, please email onebadmother@maximumfun.org. To keep up with One Bad Mother on social media, follow @onebadmothers on Twitter and Instagram.

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