TRANSCRIPT One Bad Mother Episode 387: Bodies Are Cool! with Tyler Feder

Podcast: One Bad Mother

Episode number: 387

Guests: Tyler Feder

Transcript

biz

Hi. I’m Biz.

theresa

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, bodies are cool! We talk to author-illustrator Tyler Feder about her inclusive, body positive picture book for preschoolers. Plus, Biz enjoys her ramen.

crosstalk

Biz and caller: Woooo!

caller

I’m so happy today. My hospital that I work for received the vaccine and they have begun vaccinating the frontline healthcare workers. It feels great. And I just wanna say thank you to everybody who got a shot as part of testing these vaccines! You guys are all heroes. Thank you for the show. It’s gonna be over soon. Woooo! [Biz laughs.]

biz

Woo indeed! I love this. By the way—we had a number of woo calls celebrating the news of the vaccine. I am so glad that you called to share your woo. You’re doing—you’re doing a really good job? Thank you so much for being part of the entire frontline experience working at a hospital. And yeah. I’m with you. I am glad people allowed themselves to be poked so that we could all get poked. And I know that I will be here waiting to be poked when the poking comes to town. For me. So you’re doing an amazing job. Thank you for calling in and wooing with me! And making it so easy to segue into all the thank-yous! It’s 2021. Nothings’ changed. We still have so many people to thank. Let’s start with our frontline medical workers! You guys are doing it. You’re doing—you’re doing it. You’re doing an amazing job in really terrible circumstances. [Laughs.] Guys? Terrible! COVID cases are really, really out of control. Okay? And hospitals are emergency rooms and clinics are completely overrun at this moment. And you medical professionals are trying to juggle COVID as well as—y’know—people still having heart attacks. People still got cancer. People still get the flu. People are still breaking legs. I cannot tell you how many times I’m like, “Stop running. We can’t take you to the emergency room if you take a leg.” I mean, obviously we would. But you know what I mean? Like, that’s— [Laughs.] Now that’s in the line of thinking. You’re overtired. You’re overworked. I see you. And I am so thankful to you. Doctors, nurses, RNs, ENTs, y’know, all the people doing the intake of—assistance and secretaries and intake people and the people who come and go cleaning and sanitizing and I mean just all of you! Thank you. Thanks for just being there, really. And thank you to all the other essential workers. People working in stores. Grocery stores. Delivering food. I really, really appreciate you. Postal service? Good job. You did it. You got through [through laughter] the holidays. You did it. You got all my packages! I appreciate all that you are doing and that you did. And finally? Thank you, thank you, thank you to all the Georgia voters who went out and voted and especially to all the poll workers in Georgia who helped make it a safe and secure election in Georgia. You are all doing an amazing job.

biz

I do really wanna tell you kind of a remarkable thing that happened to me involving ramen. But! Before I do! [Deep breath.] When you do a show as long as we have, y’know, I—I’ve said a number of times that while this is supposed to be timeless, y’know, a timeless show. It could be happening any time rather than timely—and we really do try to be mindful of that as we make it—things do happen that we feel require us to say something. So on Wednesday, January 6th, a mob of Trump supporters stormed and took over the U.S. Capitol. And it was a long and scary day where there were any number of images that could’ve caused difficult feelings and responses as we watched it unfold on the television. There is— [Laughs.] So much to talk about regarding this, including how we help our children understand it, process it, and learn from it. But I do want to share two things that I have found the hardest to process. The first being that even acknowledging the deep systemic racism that permeates this country, I am stunned by the fact that people of color get shot for getting out of their cars and this mob of mainly white men invaded the U.S. Capitol committing numerous federal crimes and for the most part walked away. Grabbing some to-go food from Chili’s, too, as they got on their planes and went home. There is no room in my opinion—in my opinion, there has never been any room. But now there is really no room to deny that racism is a deeply embedded part of America. Second, the image of that man sitting in Nancy Pelosi’s chair with his feet on her desk, going through her drawers and mail, was violating. It’s just gross. I hope that you find some way to find peace and care for yourself and for each other. And as always, as always—when we feel helpless, we really aren’t? Because we are the frontline for our kids. We have a chance to show how words are important and how racism exists. How to be anti-racist. And really how to speak up even to powerful people. I know it seems hard, but we can do hard things. Now—back to the timeless portion of this show, and my ramen story.

biz

Okay. So six— [Laughs.] Six years ago, Stefan and I had come across this recipe for ramen in a Bon Appetit. And we called it “Project Ramen” because it required three days to make. Stefan really wanted to make this ramen. At that time, we had other projects happening. One being Ellis, who had just been born, and Kat, who at the time was four years old. Oh, man. Stefan wanted to make that ramen and I really did not want him to make that ramen? I was so haggard and broken at that moment that the thought of him having three days to do anything made me pretty mad? I didn’t want resentment ramen, guys. Just gonna put that out there. I wanted ramen. I remember even looking at the picture of the ramen? Being like, “That’s disgusting.” Like that’s where I was. Okay. Fast-forward. Six years later, and we’re deciding what to make for Christmas this year for our meal. And I suggested the Project Ramen. And on Christmas, we had it. And guys? It tasted like joy! Joy that we’d reached a place where the only thought that crossed my mind was how glad I was that Stefan was making it. Joy that I wasn’t broken and haggard… as much. Or at least in the same way. [Laughs.] That I had been. And really the joy that I was aware of all of this. I mean, like, it was a weird “light shine on you” moment sitting at that table. How good I felt and how much I was really enjoying everything about where we were in that moment. And I will say that sometimes I feel like I shouldn’t share some of these really good moments with you because I feel like my role in One Bad Mother is to share the really hard stuff and normalize it, right? And when people are in the middle of the hard stuff—when we are in the middle of hard stuff, ehhh, we don’t always like [through laughter] hearing things that are nice. But then I remembered that we always encourage you guys to share it, and I dunno. It was just such a miraculous moment that I wanted to share it. And I wish for all of us those moments of joy and I know for me the lesson was—it can take a while. [Laughs.] It’s not my favorite lesson I’ve learned, but there ya go. Speaking of joy, today we are going to talk to Tyler Feder about the joy of bodies.

music

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 Tyler repeatedly affirm each other as they discuss the weekly topic.]

biz

Tyler Feder is a Chicago-based author, illustrator, artist, whose work explores big feelings, feminism, and pop culture. Her debut solo book is Dancing at the Pity Party, a graphic memoir about the premature death of her super-cool mom. Her next book is Bodies are Cool, a colorful and inclusive body-positive picture book for preschoolers, which comes out this summer. Tyler also runs the Etsy shop Roaring Softly where she sells prints of her illustrations. [Singsong voice] Welcome, Tyler! [Laughs.]

tyler

[Singsong voice] Hellooo! [Laughs.]

biz

[Singing] I’m gonna make you sing! Make ya sing! Woo! [Both laugh.] Before we get started, I would like to know—who lives in your house?

tyler

Well, it is me and a very sweet cat who just had surgery three days ago and is quarantined in my bedroom so my bed is in the middle of the living room so that he can have his space. [Laughs.] [Biz laughs.]

biz

You have to quarantine the cat?!

tyler

Well he’s having some poop issues and I really don’t want to be sleeping amongst the poop?

biz

I’m not sure that’s quarantining. That’s protecting. That’s— [Laughs.]

tyler

Yeah. [Laughs.]

biz

It’s not a risk. I have three cats in this house?

tyler

Oh man.

biz

And so—yeah. One has a very delicate stomach and is aging. So yeah. I understand—I understand poop issues. [Laughs.]

tyler

Yeah. I’ve been really washing my hands even more than earlier in quarantine. [Laughs.] [Biz laughs.] They’re very dry.

biz

Oh yeah. Poor baby. Can I ask what your cat’s name is ‘cause I love cat names?

tyler

Yeah. His name is Mitzvah. My dad named him.

biz

Mitzvahhh!

tyler

Yeah. He’s a white fluffball. He’s delightful.

biz

Just a baby! I love cats.

crosstalk

Biz: I like all animals. Tyler: Me, too.

biz

But I’m a cat fan—I mean, if I had a dog right now I’d probably be a dog fan. But cats? I just… I just—come to me! Come to me, all cats! Lay on me like a giant cat blanket!

tyler

[Laughs.] I wish it was easier to see more cats in my life? Because you see dogs everywhere when you walk around. But I only sometimes see a cat like in someone’s window and that’s very exciting.

biz

I know. Well, before we leave, I will take the computer around and show you all the cats. In this house.

tyler

Oh yeah! [Laughs.]

biz

Okay?

tyler

It’s my favorite when that happens on a Zoom call.

crosstalk

Tyler: I wanna see everyone’s pets when they’re at home. Biz: Just all adults—I know!

biz

I also wanna comment—y’know, in the olden days—[with Southern drawl] in the time before the COVID—[regular voice] we used to do these as phone calls, these sorts of interviews. But now I get to see inside everybody’s house! And I gotta say—I am so impressed. Am I wrong? Did you do your bookshelf color by color?

tyler

I did. I’m one of those people. [Laughs.]

biz

It’s glorious!

tyler

Thank you! I’m like a super visual person and this is actually helpful for me to find a book. I know sometimes people are like, “How do you find anything if they’re not alphabetized or whatever?” But I’ll be like, “What’s that one book? It has a yellow cover?” And now I can just look at the yellow shelf and find it. So. [Laughs.]

biz

Let’s just let the word “visual” lead us right in to your work! Because your illustrations are amazing. And why I was like, “Get this person on this show!” was I had seen a little—somebody had actually tagged us in a Instagram little preview shot of your book that’s coming out in the summer for preschoolers called Bodies Are Cool! And I wanna start by saying—as stated in your bio, right? You find that your work tends to explore big feelings, feminism, pop culture. And those three concepts, I think, seem to intersect perfectly. [Laughs.] Whether I’d like it to or not when it comes to body image.

tyler

Yes!

biz

I wanna talk about this a little bit before we specifically get into the book itself. Talk to me about that and in general your work.

tyler

Sure! So—

biz

Or just in general. Talk to me about the bullshit of…

tyler

Just talk to me! [Laughs.]

biz

Just talk to me! I don’t—this is—the cats don’t want to talk about feminism and pop culture? Much to my dismay? [Laughs.]

tyler

Yeah! So I grew up in a very, very diet-y household. My whole family went on Weight Watchers together when I was in seventh grade. Or eighth grade. It was after my Bat Mitzvah. So eighth grade. [Biz laughs.]

biz

“Today, you are an adult. Get—enjoy dieting!” [Laughs.]

tyler

[Through laughter] Basically what it was! That’s so depressing. But yeah. [Laughs.] [Biz laughs.] And I’m in a family with—it’s three girls, and there’s history of eating disorders. One of my sisters is currently in recovery from an eating disorder; the other one recovered a few years ago and we’re all just like kinda in that world. And so I feel really strongly about body positivity and fat acceptance and just… loving the skin you’re in? And I have this really vivid memory of when I was like—I dunno. Like, five or six years old? And I was in the basement with my dad and he was working out. He was just like doing sit-ups and stuff and I was sitting on the couch next to him. And he told me that he wanted his stomach to be hard? Like, abs-hard? And I remember being like… horrified? Like, why would you not want it to be soft? It’s so nice to be soft and huggable— [Biz laughs.] —and I just think about that time and how little judgment I had about bodies? And it was just, “They feel good and it’s nice to hug people” and I thought the grown-ups in my life were beautiful and then, y’know, as you get older, especially during adolescence, it’s just the hammer of, like… the diet culture just beats you down. And so with this book I really wanted to slide in there before people’s kids start having these negative feelings about bodies and be like, “No, wait! No! They’re good! Please! Stay how you are!” [Laughs.]

biz

Can I tell you though? That—I think… that actually might work. I—my kids are—I mean, eh. I’m a bit of a… jaded pill. And yeah. I’ve been working on that for years. Eh. Mm. Learning to not be, as such. But my kids are eleven and seven. And they—because of remote learning, I hear everything that goes on in classrooms and schools. And the school that the kids are at has worked very hard when it comes to teaching and promoting and having the kids talk about, like, anti-racism as well as gender diversity, as well as—I mean, it’s like—I’m in California, dude. Everything is very… open and… spoken. And we do that in our own house. Right? But you don’t know… what effects that has. Except I’m starting to get to see it. Like, I’m listening to these six- and seven-year-olds have conversations about, “Y’know, but some people might be born with male body parts but feel like a girl and we have to just listen to how they feel and totally be okay with that. It’s cool that, y’know, they wanna be called ‘she.’” Or, “It’s not okay. There are lots of colors of bodies.” Where like all this stuff—and I’m like, “Oh my god!”

tyler

Yeah! [Laughs.]

biz

Maybe if you do tell ‘em early enough—

tyler

[Through laughter] Children are our future!

biz

Then children actually could be our future! And so that—I just wanted to tell you that. [Laughs.] Because I can see this book—Bodies Are Cool!—100% being read to my kids’ classes in this house. And that it really can have a powerful impact. And I—we do get messages early on. And I think regionally that plays into it as well? I grew up in the deep South, and, y’know, I mean, kids were on—diet pills were put in lunchboxes. Y’know. By parents. Y’know? By mothers.

tyler

That’s so crushing.

biz

It’s so crushing. Not mine. Mine was like, “Here’s a salami sandwich!” [Makes Cookie Monster-style enthusiastic eating noises.] Right? So—just 18 Little Debbie cakes! Yesss! I don’t know. Talk to me more about this! I mean like… your work tends to be very much in the church of feminism. Which is a place I like to go and worship every day. And…

tyler

Me, too! [Laughs.]

biz

It’s a happy little place. And… I feel like even within that world, there are still, y’know, discussions and debates being had about body image. And bodies. Where are you with all that? How do you—how have you seen that unfolding over time?

tyler

Well I think it is kind of sad how in some of these really social justice-minded groups, people still fall back on these like tired fat jokes that aren’t even funny? And it’s like these people are so progressive and they’re still just like talking about Trump’s body. And it’s like, Trump has so many things wrong with him. [Biz laughs.] You could complain about him all day long and never say anything about his body. And when these people say things like that or post things like that, it’s like, “Trump’s not gonna see that.” But the people in their life who have a body like that are gonna see that? And be like, “Oh, I guess that’s what my friend thinks about me.” Y’know? It’s not helping anyone. And yeah. I just—I wish people could be a little more liberal and open-minded with body things. The way that they are with so many other topics.

biz

Yeah. I think it’s interesting, the jokes. It’s an easy joke. I mean, it’s a real easy joke. And… I think… I think there are definitely—I think there are definitely moments that I’ve had to come to terms with where I didn’t think I had certain issues or certain, y’know, concepts about bodies until I found myself in situations where it was either my body or someone else’s body, right? And then being like, “Oh. Wow. That’s a—wow! Did I just think that?!” You know what I mean? And you have to be like, “Ahh! Okay! Let’s think about it. Process it.” And it’s so—again—as a parent—what’s so interesting is you hardly ever see the word “fat” in kids’ books. In new kids’ books. In old kids’ books—‘cause I read some Richard Scarry, which is—yeah! Love Richard Scarry, right? But there’s Fat Hilda. She’s a hippo. Fat Hilda? She’s in there!

tyler

I don’t even remember that!

biz

And it was so funny. The first time I was reading it to my kids and I was like, “Here comes Fat… Hilda.” And like, there’s this pause. And they’re like, “What?!” It’s not—I mean, she’s a hippo. Like, it was very much like, “Ehhh…”

tyler

It is used in a negative way to—

biz

No, but it wasn’t. And it was—

tyler

It’s just a descriptor?

biz

It was just a descriptor. And Richard Scarry, it was totally just a descriptor. There are—y’know—and I guess it’s true in lots of books? Where it’s like, “Big ones! Fat ones! Little ones! Skinny ones!” Right? But like… then as you get older, there’s, y’know, the notion in pop culture of the fat kid who has to be funny or is also a slob or is… yeah, somehow dirty? [Laughs.] Not sure how that ever became a archetype?

tyler

I know. It’s just every negative thing anyone could wanna be gets attached to a body type which—for no reason! Y’know?

biz

Yeah! [Laughs.]

tyler

Has nothing to do with it at all!

biz

I know! Oh, I know! ‘Cause it’s been very disappointing as I’ve walked through life meeting people with different body types that they didn’t’ match these personalities I assumed they would have!

tyler

Yeah! Wouldn’t it be nice if you could know someone’s personality just by looking at their body? [Biz laughs.] You’d know who to avoid? Like— [Laughs.]

biz

That’s right! “Whoaa!”

tyler

It’d be so convenient! [Both laugh.]

biz

Yeah! Well let’s talk about the book. Because I wanted to talk a little bit—beforehand—about imagery in books. In fact, actually, not only do I not see the word “fat” in a lot of children’s books now—I’m not sure I see a lot of bodies that are that different. Right? Like… I feel like… everybody’s kind of like… “neutral” body shape.

tyler

Yeah. Like a stick figure. It’s just everyone is the same. They have different hair colors or whatever.

biz

That’s right! That’s right. Your book—that is coming out—and I wish it was out right now. But it’s coming out. In the summer. Bodies Are Cool! Is so colorful and fun and like… it has an actual rhythm to it? That I can’t avoid when I’m reading it? And then we’re gonna talk about how intentional that was. But I’m like putting it to music. I can’t not—

tyler

Oh cool! [Laughs.]

biz

I can’t not almost sing it as I’m reading it? And that—combined with the illustration—it is really hard. I’ve bene talking about joy throughout this whole episode. Who have I become, everybody? Like, it’s like a joy to read? There’s an actual… I had an actual physical response to it, and I’m gonna—like, I’m gonna give an example of how fun I think this book is. Mm-kay. And I’m sorry—I can’t do it without making it have a beat. “Round bodies, muscles bodies, curvy curves and straight bodies! Jiggly-wiggly fat bodies! Bodies—are cool!” [Laughs.]

tyler

“Bodies are cool!” [Laughs.]

biz

Sorry! And then—where’s my other one. I have a lot of favorite ones. But I like this one, too. Okay. “Let hair, armpit hair, fuzzy lip & chin hair, brows-meet-in-the-middle hair, bodies—are cool!” Okay. I—this is how the whole book reads, guys. I can’t—I can’t stop reading it like this. Tell me… about… writing this book. And creating it. I know why ya did it now. But talk to me about— [Laughs.] And again, none of us are idiots. It’s obviously we need this book. But talk to me about… creating the illustrations and the wording to go with this. And am I a genius ‘cause I’m singing it? [Laughs.]

tyler

Yes, you are a genius. But also I hoped that is the vibe that people get when they read it ‘cause I really wanted it to be very celebratory and just like happy to read? I—y’know, I wanted it to—I wanted kids to see people in all different kinds of bodies where they’re all having a great time and no one is being singled out for looking different or not having fun. They’re all just coming together and they’re hanging out at the pool or at a birthday party. This—I worked on all the illustrations for this during quarantine?

crosstalk

Biz: I was wondering! Tyler: Like, I didn’t start— [Laughs.]

tyler

So I’m just—I’m sitting isolated at home and drawing people at a pool party together and just longing for that community. [Laughs.] [Biz laughs.] But in terms of the—I almost want to call them “lyrics.” But the words. When I was little, my mom used to read me and my sisters this book—I think it was called just, like, Goodnight or something. I’ll have to find the name of it somewhere. So I have two sisters and it’s like I was in my room and then both of my sisters were in their room. They shared a room. And my mom would sit in the hallway and read the book to us every night? And it had that kind of, like, singsong… sound to it? It wasn’t necessarily super rhyme-y, but it had this rhythm. And I found out later that my mom memorized the book by accident? And she wouldn’t even read the book. She would just say it and then we would go to sleep. [Biz laughs.] And then—

biz

She’s a witch! She learned the spell! She learned the magic spell! Love it.

tyler

And I loved listening to it and I have such fond memories of that. and I also wanted it to be, like… y’know, each page ends with “Bodies are cool!” And I wanted it to be almost like a chant that these little kids can sing as—it’s like a mantra that they’re remembering that and they can remember it in their lives, even when they’re not reading the book. [Laughs.]

biz

Uh, done! You have achieved it! I’ve been marching around the house all day—“Bodies are cool!” [Both laugh.] Sorry. There’s so many good things! Did you find it, like, were there any moments in which you paused, wondering if you had chosen the right words or included the right illustrations? Y’know—

tyler

Oh, yeah. Definitely.

biz

‘Cause it’s a very inclusive book.

tyler

Yeah. My goal was—of course—to make it as inclusive as I possibly could? And that—I mean, that’s what I always try to do with my illustrations. But it was extra challenging because I didn’t just want each page or each spread to be inclusive, but I wanted the whole book to be inclusive? So I didn’t want it to be, like… every time someone is Black they have the same hairstyle or like every fat person is a certain race. Like I had to make sure that I had every combination of traits? So I made this huge spreadsheet— [Biz laughs.] And I— [Laughs.] It’s ridiculous. And I asked on Instagram if people would tell me, like, parts of their body or physical traits that they wish that they had learned to love when they were little and I made a huge list. I mean, I got more comments in response to that than I think anything I’ve ever posed, which is really sad to think about. But I made a big, long list and I tried to include everything. I think hopefully I included everything. I’m sure that when the book comes out there’s gonna be people that are like, “I don’t see my combo of traits in there.” I just hope that those people are able to feel the message and the intention behind the book and that it’s, y’know, even if their specific look isn’t in there, the book is still for them and they would be included if I had a million, y’know, infinite pages. I’d want to put every person in there so they all feel like they’re part of it.

biz

Oh, there are a lot of bodies in this book.

tyler

There are a lot of bodies. [Laughs.]

biz

There are a lot of bodies. A lot of body parts. There are a lot of heads. There are a lot of bellies. A lot of bellies are magnificent?

tyler

Oh, thank you! That was the body part of mine that I struggled with the most throughout my life so I really wanted to like shovel a lot of love into that spread. I just want these kids to be like, “Round tummies are cute!”

crosstalk

Biz: They are! They’re so cute! Tyler: It’s just good! It’s just good. Yep.

biz

You got like tummies on tummies on tummies. I love it. I love these tummies. The images themselves are—are really fantastic. You do feel the joy in them. I’m looking at them right now. You feel the joy. You feel… it definitely makes me miss people? And—

tyler

Oh, same.

biz

—getting to be in public spaces and I want to be living every image? That’s in this book? I want to be at this backyard party. I want to be at this beach. I wanna be in that pool. But one of my favorites is towards the end, and it’s at night, and it’s—it took me a second to catch on, but it’s the people in the first image are the same as the people in the second image. They are just older. And it goes, “Growing bodies, aging bodies, features-rearranging bodies. Magic ever-changing bodies—"

crosstalk

Biz and Tyler: “Bodies are cool!” Tyler: I like the “Bodies… are cool!” Biz: I know. “Bodies… are cool!” [Both laugh. Someone clapped in time.]

biz

And it is. It’s like… them—it shows this change in how, y’know, they were younger and now, y’know… these are two girl twins. And now one of ‘ems got really short hair and may be identifying as a boy for all we know. And the other one’s got long hair. And there’s people who had babies who now have kids. I, myself, developed vitiligo over the last couple of years. And you—I enjoyed seeing the vitiligo in the pictures.

tyler

Oh, thank you.

biz

Yeah! It’s just… it’s just… wonderful.

tyler

Thank you! I hope that people can look at that spread and feel the joy in seeing your body change? ‘Cause I think there can be a lot of emphasis on loving your body the way it is right now. But then, like, God forbid you gain weight or you get a disability or you have some kind of change to your body and then—or you age or whatever it is.

biz

You have a person come out of it?

crosstalk

Tyler: You have a person [through laughter] come out— [Laughs.] Biz: I gotta tell ya. The, like, messaging—

biz

The messaging… towards… women involving childbirth and getting your pre-baby body back… is… grotesque, in my opinion. And—

tyler

Yeah. It’s just ridiculous!

biz

It is. It’s ridiculous. And… it does all sorts of things to your body. And y’know, aging—I am, oh, I am right in it. I am in the “Oh! Everything has decided to start doing something different! Right now!” stage of my late 40s. My partner Stefan and I made an agreement early on. We were just like, “Let’s just get weird and old.” Right?

crosstalk

Tyler: [Laughs.] I love that. Biz: I just wanna get weird and old ‘cause it ain’t gonna—

biz

I’m not gonna—that’s not where I’m gonna be putting my energy. Alright? [Laughs.]

tyler

My next book will be called Weird and Old.

biz

Weird and old. Stefan said that last night he had a dream in which all he was doing was apologizing for his weird, old face to me. “I’m sorry my face has got weird and old. My old, weird face!” And I was like, “I love your old, weird face. I’ve been to family reunions. I know where we’re headed.” I’m like, “Don’t worry.” Tyler? This book—you have done such a good job. I—

tyler

Well thank you!

biz

—am so excited for this book to come out this summer. You can pre-order this book right now, everybody! Pre-order this book! Right now! So that you forget you did it and then you’re gonna get this little book of joy in your mail? Like— [Laughs.] In a couple months?

tyler

As soon as you start getting bikini body ads.

biz

Ugh.

tyler

For the summer.

biz

Just stop watching things, everybody. I will say, also, as a parent—I really enjoyed the swimming pictures because that’s the first place I think women are told they’re supposed to look a certain way, and I just can’t think of all the times we wear t-shirts. We try to cover. We don’t—y’know—I just… love seeing bodies in a pool, man. So I—this is—you’ve done such a nice job.

tyler

Well, thank you.

biz

We will make sure that we link everybody up to where they can not only follow you on Instagram, but in the show notes will also be a link to your website because your Instagram is absolutely wonderful to follow. As well as other works that you have worked on! Either your own graphic novel, as well as other books that you have illustrated for. Thank you! Thank you so much, Tyler, for doing this.

tyler

Well thank you for having me! This was so nice. [Laughs.] [Biz laughs.]

crosstalk

Biz: It was nice! You’re nice! You’re nice! Tyler: It was so nice! I’ve just been in this cycle—

tyler

—of giving my cat medicine that he hates for so many days in a row. [Biz laughs.] What a joy to just laugh with another human. [Laughs.]

biz

Well, I am—you’re—I see you.

tyler

[Through laughter] Thank you.

biz

I see you. And I see the work you’re doing with your cat.

tyler

Oh, thank you.

biz

And we will talk to—I hope I get to talk to you soon! We should have you back on when the book actually comes out.

crosstalk

Tyler: Yeah! I would love that! Biz: And then do, like, another reminder—

biz

—of how fun this book is.

tyler

Yeah. Maybe we’ll all have the vaccine by then. Fingers crossed. [Laughs.]

biz

Sure! [Both laugh.] Alright. We will talk soon.

tyler

Great!

biz

Bye!

tyler

Bye! Thanks!

music

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

music

Laid-back ukulele with whistling plays in background.

theresa

One Bad Mother is supported in part by Function of Beauty.

biz

I am always on the hunt for cruelty-free haircare products—well, all kind of body products. And I also—as a result of pandemic life—have not had anything happen to my hair in over nine months. And so I needed some shampoo, and in particular conditioner that would help with all of these new phases of my COVID hair life. Function of Beauty offers precise formulations customized for your hair’s specific needs. You take a quick but thorough quiz to tell them a little bit about your hair type, hair goals, and color and fragrance preferences. Your custom formula is bottled and delivered to you. There are over 54 trillion possible formulations and all the ingredients are vegan and cruelty free.

theresa

Never buy off-the-shelf just to be disappointed ever again. Go to FunctionOfBeauty.com/badmother to take your quiz and save 20% on your first order. That applies to their full range of customized hair, skin, and body products. Go to FunctionOfBeauty.com/badmother to let them know you heard about it from our show, and get 20% off your order. That’s FunctionOfBeauty.com/badmother. [Music fades out.]

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. Happy 2021! [Laughs.] [Theresa laughs.] Genius me! [Laughs.]

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

Sorry, that was… really shocking to hear the enthusiasm in your voice.

biz

Did you like it?

theresa

Um, I’m not sure. It was unnerving.

biz

It is! Everything about 2021 so far is unnerving!

theresa

It is! It is.

biz

[With angst] You have to speak like this!

theresa

Yeah. That’s how I feel throughout my body.

biz

Yeah! Yeah. You’re welcome.

theresa

Okay. My genius is that we made it through another New Year’s Eve without my kids figuring out that staying up late is a thing that people do on New Year’s Eve. [Biz laughs.]

biz

Yes!

theresa

They still don’t know. None of them. And I even texted family members in advance and said, “If you talk to my kids or FaceTime with them on New Year’s Eve—” And I even told therapists. “We don’t—they don’t know. Be great if they didn’t find out this year.” And everybody was like, “Ha, ha, ha, you’re so funny!” And I was like, “Cool.”

biz

“No, I mean it.”

theresa

“Fine. It’s real.” Yeah. And it was a grand success. Everyone went to bed at a normal time.

crosstalk

Biz: God! That’s so good. ‘Cause— Theresa: Including me!

biz

‘Cause Grace—this is—this is—we are in the sweet spot for Grace.

theresa

Yeah! She’s nine! She’s nine.

biz

To know about this. And want—

theresa

She definitely should know about it?

biz

It’s true. And it is… this is so good. This is like one of those times that the shut-in-enning has worked—

theresa

In my favor. Yes.

biz

A little in your favor a little. I gotta tell ya.

theresa

Yeah. I get something. Right? For this?

biz

You needed it! You needed it!

theresa

I need something! For me!

biz

Wow. I am so impressed.

theresa

Thank you.

biz

Really good job.

theresa

Thanks.

biz

I… I continue to get really good at asking for things that I think I will really like for gifts. Now remember, I didn’t always have this. Like, when kids came, I lost the ability—y’know, we all go through the, like, [goofy voice] “Don’t worry about me.” And even if it’s like, I really wanna come up with something?

crosstalk

Biz: There’s nothing—nothing—yeah! Theresa: You can’t think of it. Yeah.

biz

I can’t think of anything ‘cause I haven’t given anything to myself for so long. Well, I’ve been slowly climbing out of the pit of present pity, and now—this year—I was like, “I really want something that I can play outside or inside but I don’t want it to be a ball. I don’t want it to be something that gets gross.” Right? I want something, like, ehh, like a shuffleboard-y kind of thing. But you know, shuffleboards are really expensive unless you get shit versions. It’s like you can get the—

theresa

It’s like air hockey. Yeah.

biz

Like air hockey, but it’s like, only half the size. Well, it’s only half the fun! So I want it. 46-year-old woman. I want fucking adult-size things. Through some research I discovered a little Dutch game called— [Laughs.] [Theresa laughs.] “Sjoelbak.” Which I have a great time infuriating Stefan by mispronouncing. He’s like, “It’s Sjoelbak!” And I’m like, “the shashuboc? The shesheboo?” Right? Just makes him crazy. But it is essentially a wooden Dutch shuffleboard-y—there’s like four slots, you’re trying to slide thirty pucks into it. It is… so much fun. It—like, Stefan and I played—and it felt like suddenly we were dating in a bar. We were like, “Let’s have a beer and do this!” And like… the kids could all figure it out pretty quickly? ‘Cause it’s just sliding fucking pucks and shit! It… is the best thing ever? And I am enjoying playing it.

theresa

Good… job!

biz

Thank you! Thank you! [Laughs.] Thank you so much! [Laughs.]

theresa

Yes!

biz

I’m so happy!

caller

[Answering machine beeps.] Hi, One Bad Mother. This is a genius? And I can’t believe I’m saying this because I would never teach my children this, but my genius is—I just faked an illness. [Theresa laughs.] I full-on faked an illness. I just… with everything and COVID and school and… what’s happening with school and everything, we’re supposed to go to the Labor Day barbecue—whatever—with a family in our quarantine bubble, which I can’t even believe is a thing. [Biz laughs.] But I just could not do it. And I completely took advantage—ugh—and faked an illness! And my husband—Lefty—was so… disappointed. But I was like, “You know what? Hon? You can be disappointed.” [Theresa laughs.] “I’m just gonna stay at home and be in my house. Without any other human beings.” And it’s been the best thing ever. So… we’re all doing a great job! Love your podcast. Love everything about you guys. I hope everyone is well. Thank you.

crosstalk

Theresa: So funny. Love it. Biz: Good job. You’re doing such a good job!

theresa

Yeah. Good job.

biz

It’s funny that Labor Day might as well’ve been yesterday.

theresa

I know. Blink! [Biz laughs.]

biz

Yeah. Blink! Blink!

theresa

Sorry. It’s just like everything—yeah. It’s so fast.

biz

No! It could be next Labor Day already!

crosstalk

Theresa: Yeah. I was trying to get an appointment for something— Biz: Everybody buckle up!

theresa

—and they were like, “Well, it’s a wait list until March?” And I was like, “Yeah. That’s like tomorrow. Whatever.”

biz

Yeah. Whatever.

theresa

Whatever. Yeah.

biz

You know what? We absolve you of playing sick. I think that…

theresa

Yeah, it’s fine! You could’ve had—you could’ve been carrying something. You never know.

biz

You… never know. And—I just—you know what? I just wish we could get to a place where we didn’t even have to play sick. Guys? Where we just could be like—this isn’t something I wanna go do! It’s not how I wanna spend my time!

theresa

Or just say, like, “Hi. I figured out that I could have my house to myself for a little while.” Like, that is a dream. That sounds like a beautiful dream and I would do anything to achieve that dream.

biz

Not only would I do anything? I would acknowledge and hope that someone would tell me, “Look. I would really like to see you. But I have an opportunity to be home alone.”

crosstalk

Theresa: [Through laughter] “I have an opportunity.” Biz: And do you know what I would say?

biz

I would say, “You need to take that opportunity. You need to take it right now. You need to let go of plan-cancelling guilt, guys!” If there’s ever been a time to really appreciate alone time… this is it.

theresa

Yeah. And I think everybody kind of gets that everything is weird. And like… just like do what you can. I mean ,y’know.

biz

Yeah. Do it. Do it. [Laughs.]

theresa

Just do whatever.

biz

You’re doing a good job, and I hope you got the much-needed rest. Good job. 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 the saga of the rice-filled backwrap continues. So—

biz

Oh. Yes. I’m—

theresa

I talked about on a previous episode—if anyone missed it— [Biz laughs.] —that I really stupidly put my back—like, hot wrap that I use for my back through the washing machine and, like, destroyed it and was really stupid and had to throw it away. And then I punished myself by going without one for a while because I was like… ugh.

biz

You deserved it.

theresa

I deserved it! And it’s wasteful and consumption and landfill and money and whatever. And does it really—ehh. So a few weeks went by. I really do need it. Like, I use it at least once a day. Sometimes more than once a day. And it really helps me. So I finally was like, “Alright, I’ll just—I’ll just get another one. I just need this.” So I ordered another one and it came in the mail and I used it, like, that evening. And then the next morning I heated it up in the microwave and I was wearing it in the morning like I usually do, and then Gracie got up and she came into the kitchen and I was making her hot cocoa, which is what she drinks in the morning. Lucky her. [Biz laughs.] And as I was making her hot cocoa, she was sitting in a chair and I took the wrap off. And she was like wearing a skimpy nightgown and it’s winter, so I just like put it on her lap because it was still warm. And she was like, “Oh, thank you!” And she was all cozy. And then I handed her a big cup of hot cocoa, and she dumped the whole entire thing out all over the backwrap.

biz

Well. [Long pause.] That’s… disappointing.

theresa

It was. [Biz laughs.]

biz

Did you cry… there? [Theresa laughs.] Or did you wait to cry in the bathroom?

theresa

I’m way past crying for stuff like that. [Biz laughs.] I don’t know if that’s positive or just a sign of how much worse my life has gotten? [Biz laughs.] But I was like, “Oh, yeah. Mm-hm.” And then Grace was horrified. She felt really, really bad. So what I had to do was go into, like, the mode of like, “This was not your fault. Like, I definitely should not have handed this to you as a placemat for hot cocoa. That was on me. Don’t even worry about it.” But yeah. I definitely felt like… “Of course. Of course.”

biz

Yeah. Yeah. Everybody can send the new rice packs to Theresa, care of—no, no, I’m just kidding. [Laughs.]

theresa

This time I didn’t mess around. I just got a new one right away. ‘Cause I was like—

biz

I am very—

theresa

Okay, I’ve already done the emotional labor to convince myself I need this? I’m just gonna do it again. Yeah.

biz

Good—good. And also, your fail is trying to give comfort and warmth to your child.

theresa

I know. I know.

biz

Yeah. I would—yeah. That’s—you’re really failing.

theresa

I really am.

biz

You really… [Laughs.] [Theresa laughs.] Are. [Laughs.] Alright. Getting good at gifts for me. Getting good at gifts for others. So guys? I dunno. The word “Tamagotchis” came into the house. And I—for those who do not know, I am slightly older than the Tamagotchi phase. But a Tamagotchi came out in the ‘90s and they were like the shape of little eggs—they were like little digital pets that you try to keep alive. They can—

theresa

And keep happy. You want to keep them happy too.

biz

Keep them happy. Keep them fed. Sometimes you have to discipline them. [Theresa laughs.] And clean their poop up, and then—yeah! There ya go. Keep ‘em alive. Then they fly back to their home planets. So I was like… “Oh, well if Kat wants a Tamagotchi, Ellis is gonna want a Tamagotchi. These are gonna be so much fun.” So I go look and of course there’s like 18 different types of Tamagotchis now. But I went with old school, version one. You know me! You’re gonna have to learn how to play with the shitty version before you get the luxe version! [Theresa laughs.] So “Here’s a rock! It’s called a Tamagotchi! If you can keep this rock alive—” [Laughs.] I’m just kidding. Anyway. So I got them both Tamagotchis. Everything was very exciting. I definitely have to babysit Ellis’s Tamagotchi a lot. I can understand why they were banned from schools. And then the inevitable happened—Ellis’s died.

theresa

Yeah!

biz

Tom died. And this Tom was part of the family.

theresa

Yeahhh.

biz

Part… of the family. And little backstory on Ellis—listen to the last six years of One Bad Mother. Not—won’t—

theresa

This is—this is—

biz

Won’t eat things with a face. And I don’t mean just vegetarian—I mean, won’t eat a Teddy Graham ‘cause it’s got a face on it. It’s too cute. You can’t call things cute or they’re ruined. Can’t make a cupcake with a face on it. So—

theresa

He’s very caring and very…

biz

Deeply! Deeply.

theresa

Empathetic.

biz

Em…pathetic.

theresa

Even towards things that are not alive. Yes. Mm-hm!

biz

Right. And that is wonderful and we need more of those in the world. But for that day, there was great sadness.

theresa

I’m so sorry.

biz

But we started it again. [Both laugh.] I said, “You know what? You have no idea how reincarnation works in the world of Tamagotchi religion. And therefore— [Laughs.] For all we know, in Tamagotchi world, when a Tamagotchi dies its soul is transferred to the next Tamagotchi that you get. So this is really Tom 2.”

theresa

Wow.

biz

Yeah. That’s also probably a fail somewhere in there.

caller

[Answering machine beeps.] This is a fail. Apparently I have learned nothing from listening for the past five years. I just bought wrapping paper that has glitter on it. And I then used said whole roll, because I was not going to throw away the five dollar wrapping paper. There is glitter… everywhere. It is the fine microglitter. It has embedded itself between my fingernails. And even deep, deep down in my fingerprints. It is on every grain in the table. I—I know better! Glitter does not live here! I brought it in here! Because I thought it was cute wrapping paper with little otters. [Biz laughs.] I am failing. I’ve learned nothing. Thank you.

biz

I gotta tell you—when you first said, “Have I learned nothing from this show?” I said, “Oh, you let a kid in your house.” [Both laugh.] Or “Oh, you tried to do something for yourself.”

theresa

Yeah. “You tried to take care of yourself.” [Laughs.]

biz

Yeah. You tried to have a minute by yourself, right? So on the list of, like, “Things you should’ve learned by now as a One Bad Mother listener,” glitter does make it in the top five, I think. And yeah. The—

theresa

But this was unknowing! I mean, I really feel for you and I think… I think that this is really on that wrapping paper company. And I think somebody needs to take them to task for this. I mean…

biz

Yeah. You can’t make glitter wrapping paper!

theresa

No! How would that even work? Think of all the different surfaces the glitter is going to get left on unintentionally—

crosstalk

Theresa: —in the course of—the wrapping and the saving and the giving and the opening and the—everything. Yeah! Yeah! Yeah. Biz: It’s gonna—you’re—the holiday! ‘Cause you wrap it—it gets all over. And then it gets all over the thing you’re wrapping.

biz

And then it goes wherever it goes from where you wrapped it to a tree, be it your own tree or someone else’s house. That means a car. Like, that all gets glitter. Then it sits there, just shedding— [Theresa laughs.] —and then everybody opens it. And if it’s like my house, that’s just like a storm of ripping and shredding. So now glitter dust has just gone into the air. Ah! Yeah! I am really sorry. Those otters sound cute. But they may be… [Theresa laughs.] —otters from hell. Oh, sorry, wait! I got a better one! I got another one!

theresa

So good.

biz

Those otters sound cute, but you otter know by now— [Theresa laughs.] —that glitter isn’t [through laughter] okay. [Laughs.]

theresa

Gabe, please use the first one. Please.

biz

[Theresa laughs.] No, we’re using the second one!

theresa

[Whispering] Oh, god.

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.]

music

Inspirational keyboard music plays in background.

biz

One Bad Mother is brought to you in part by KiwiCo.

theresa

KiwiCo offers subscription-based learning kits with hands-on projects that build confidence, creativity, and critical thinking skills. And I just did a new kit with Gracie that was all about Australia.

biz

Ooh!

theresa

And we had so much fun together. We learned an Australian game that we were able to play at home with just stuff we had around the house. She got to handcraft a beautiful model of a coral reef? And these kits are just so much fun and such a great opportunity to learn and do projects at home with your kids.

biz

There’s something for every kid—or kid at heart!—at KiwiCo. Get 30% off your first month, plus free shipping, on any crate line with code “badmother” at KiwiCo.com. That’s 30% off your first month at K-I-W-I-C-O.com, promo code “badmother.” [music fades out.]

promo

Music: Upbeat rock plays in the background. Announcer: Dead Pilots Society brings you exclusive readings of comedy pilots that were never made, featuring actors like Patton Oswalt— Patton Oswalt: So the vampire from the future sleeps in the dude’s studio during the day, and they hunt monsters at night. It’s Blade meets The Odd Couple! [Audience laughs] Announcer: —Adam Scott and Jane Levy— Jane Levy: Come on, Cory. She’s too serious, too business-y. She doesn’t know the hokey-pokey. Adam Scott: Well, she’ll learn what it’s all about. [Audience laughs.] Announcer: —Busy Philipps and Dave Koechner. Dave Koechner: Maybe this is family. Busy Philipps: My Uncle Tal, who showed his weiner to Cinderella at Disneyland, is family. Do you want him staying with us? [Light audience laughter.] Dave: He did stay with us, for three months. Busy: And he was a delight! [Audience laughs harder.] Announcer: A new pilot every month, only on Dead Pilots Society from Maximum Fun.

promo

Music: Straightforward, thump-y electric bass guitar beat with light drums. Jackie Kashian: Hi, I’m Jackie Kashian. Laurie Kilmartin: Hi, I’m Laurie Kilmartin. Jackie: Aaand we have a podcast called, “The Jackie and Laurie Show.” Who are you, Laurie Kilmartin? Laurie: Oh, my God. So much pressure. Uh, let’s see, I’m a stand up. I’ve been doing stand-up since 1987. Uh, I’m a writer for Conan, I’ve written a couple books, have a couple CD’s out, have a special out. Who are you, Jackie? Jackie: Well, I too am a stand-up comic, since 1984. And, uh, I do the road like a maniac and, uh, don’t have a cool writing job, but I have four albums out. Working on a new album. We talk about stand-up. We talk about, uh, all the different parts of stand-up comedy. So, that’s The Jackie and Laurie Show, and you should subscribe on MaximumFun if you want to hear that. Laurie: [Chuckles] And I would encourage you not to. [Jackie laughs.] [Music fades out.]

biz

Before I release Theresa from my warm, virtual embrace— [Laughs.] It’s 2021, Theresa! I need to be in your arms!

theresa

I know. Now more than ever.

biz

Now more than ever. You know what this means, guys. It’s time to listen to a mom have a breakdown.

caller

[Answering machine beeps.] I guess this is a rant or a breakdown. I don’t enjoy the holidays that much sometimes. It’s Christmas and then there’s New Year’s and then my son’s birthday is on the 5th of January and he just has so much trouble with emotional regulation. And I feel that it is always about… that. That there’s so many things that set him off. That I have to regulate. I mean, this year I guess is a little easier. Not so many people were around that I have to have other people witness it. Which is also hard, though I’m much better at that than I used to be. He’s six, so I’ve got a lot of practice. I’m just so tired. I’m tired of him moving from one moment where it’s just happy, like, cool thing to something setting him off and I have to fend off punches and hold him down and try to figure out how to distract or work him through it. I’m just tired of every day being something like that. [Sighs.] It’s better than it used to be, but it’s still really hard. I know we are lucky enough that we have in-person coming soon but we have two weeks of Zoom and I just—I don’t know how I’m going to survive that. Anyways. We’ll get through it. Thanks for having this line. You’re doing a great job.

biz

You are doing… a really good job. It is exhausting. What you are describing. What do we—we did a show on the landmines once, I think. This sense of landmines that like… you—[sighs.] And the disappointment that like—for me, it’s this disappointment that I didn’t think I was gonna be living in a house that I was gonna be tiptoeing around to try and prevent emotional responses that were going to require me to help regulate them. And like… that in itself was a surprise that I wasn’t prepared for. It’s… it’s… so draining.

theresa

It’s really draining. And I—I mean, I relate so much as well and I just think what I feel in those moments—‘cause I’m thinking about how you started your call by saying you just don’t really like the holidays that much. [Biz laughs.] And I—I think what I relate to about what you’re talking about is this feeling that I’m like… I can’t really enjoy it because I have to be ready to work. I have to be ready to regulate. And I have to be ready to do that at any moment. And I will be doing that! A lot of the time! And so if you’re actively, y’know, co-regulating your child… and then recovering from that and being ready for the next thing that is needed from you, I mean, really how could you connect, personally, to the holidays in a way that’s like fun? Like, I just—that is just such a different mindset. It’s such a different place to be. Like, you can’t really just be yourself enjoying the holidays ‘cause you’re working! And not that there isn’t any reward from that. Sometimes the rewards are huge. But it just… you’re working. [Laughs.] You’re working really hard.

biz

Well, and you also said something I connected with was when you said, “It’s better than it was, but it’s still… a lot”? Because that is true, too. Because you said your child is six. Mm. Very familiar. And you’re right. The co-regulation needs are slightly different? But they’re still just as big. And y’know… you’ve then spent six years working. So even when—even when it gets a little better— [Laughs.] When it’s not as bad? That doesn’t mean you are not still—like, you haven’t recovered. You haven’t had the time to shift this—there’s been no… if you’re constantly in a state of waiting?

theresa

Mm-hm.

biz

When you are not regulating? Not just “I don’t enjoy the holidays”—you don’t have time to enjoy any of the things. I 100%—it’s not just the holidays. It’s why Theresa and I come in sometimes and just look at each other and know, because it’s like, it feeds that, y’know, seeing something on Facebook. Right? I mean, “How are they hiking? I don’t understand hiking! I USED TO LOVE HIKING!” Right? Like, “Are they making cookies? Together?!” Right, like, it’s not just the holidays. It’s like everything. Like everything. You don’t have the space for the joy. That’s not you doing something wrong. Right? Like, I kept thinking I must be doing something wrong if I’m not feeling joy in these moments I’m supposed to be having joy. The truth is, you have no space for that right now. And that’s okay. Y’know. I mean, it’s not fun. But you’re also… not broken-broken. You’re [through laughter] just really… really tired. And really spent. And we… wow. We see you. If only… Theresa and I see you, we are like, 2,000 eyes between the two of us seeing you.

theresa

Seeing you. Yes.

biz

You are doing—you really are doing a remarkable—a remarkable job.

theresa

Yeah. And you’re getting through this.

biz

Oh, yeah. You are. You are.

theresa

Yeah. Yeah. Good job.

biz

Good job. Theresa? I am happy to enter 2021 with you. I am so thankful that we have spent years before this weird-ass 2021 coming to the conclusion that resolutions are complete bullshit. Yeah. Just a construct to make us feel like assholes. [Theresa laughs.] So I—that just made this year—this New Year’s so great! I was like—

crosstalk

Biz: “I don’t have anything to do!” I’m just like— Theresa: It really did. Yeah. It was golden.

biz

It was golden!

theresa

It entered my mind as well. I was like, I thought of you multiple times and was like, “I’m so glad we figured this out already and I don’t need to—” And I almost, like, thought about saying it to my kids, like, “Just so you know if you hear anything about resolutions, they’re total baloney.”

biz

Baloney!

theresa

But I didn’t ‘cause I was like, we’re just not even gonna—just like staying up late on New Year’s Eve. [Biz laughs.] They don’t need to know that resolutions are a thing people do on New Year’s.

biz

They can discover that in college.

theresa

Yeah. [Laughs.]

biz

Theresa? You are doing such a good job!

theresa

Thank you, Biz. So are you.

biz

Thank you! Yeah! 2021! [Theresa laughs.] I will talk to you next week.

theresa

Yep! See ya next week!

biz

Bye!

theresa

Bye!

biz

Guys? What did we learn today? We learned that there is some real joy in the body. ‘K? I—I love Tyler so much. This book is so good. Bodies are cool. It is so fun and celebratory of bodies and I love this book, because everybody in this book is beautiful. And you’re doing a good job. You really are. Please do not forget that. Do not forget that you are remarkable, and that you can do hard things. And that we will come out on the other side of this. I don’t know what we will be like! [Laughs.] But we will all be there together. Everybody? Hang in there and I will talk to you guys next week. Bye!

music

“Mama Blues” by Cornbread Ted and the Butterbeans. Strumming acoustic guitar with harmonica and lyrics. _I got the lowdown momma blues_ Got 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, Gabe Mara; 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.]

music

A cheerful ukulele chord.

speaker 1

MaximumFun.org.

speaker 2

Comedy and culture.

speaker 3

Artist owned—

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—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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How to listen

Stream or download episodes directly from our website, or listen via your favorite podcatcher!

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