My Week In Google Searches, As A Mother Of Two

Ad failed to load

I honestly don't know what parents did before the internet, or how anyone survived such dark days. While I'd like to say that the most vital parenting tool in my arsenal has been my quick thinking and maternal intuition, that's a lie: it's Google. I don't think a day has gone by in the past six years when I haven't turned to this magical site to figure out WTF I'm doing as a parent. If you look at my week in Google searches as a mother of two, a very clear and telling portrait of my life begins to emerge.

My search history, for better or worse, goes a long way to explain pretty much all of the ads I get. Even the weird ads that pop up are explainable, because things get so absolutely wacky I'm sure I throw off Goggle's algorithms. ("OK, a minute ago she was asking us how to sleuth vegetables into food, then she ordered a whole bunch of cleaning supplies, and now she's asking us for 'fart a capella videos'. Is that even a thing? Oh look, here's one.") Google gets me, probably because it's collecting literally all my data and using it for corporate gain, but I digress.

An exhaustive list of my searches would take far too much of your time, and would have surely driven even the most fastidious reader to madness. But I thought it would be enlightening to take a look at the highlights from one week of Google searches. For posterity, for science, for me to be able to cry out for help because holy sh*t motherhood is exhausting and frustrating and if I can't laugh about it with strangers on the internet then what's the damn point?

Ad failed to load


"How do you set delay brew on Mr. Coffee?"
Ad failed to load

If you do not think this is parenting related then you are clearly not a parent. Coffee is my life blood. It enables me to raise my children. I do not know of a word in English that can express the genuine joy I feel in the ritual of pouring, preparing, and taking that first sip every morning, but I suspect there's one in German, since they have a word for everything.

This all happens after the bus gets the boy and I drop off the girl at preschool. I walk back in my door, to my silent house, and feel a kind of zen as I ready my coffee maker. But this past Monday I thought, "How much better would life be if I was greeted by the aromatic scent of the dark roast as soon as I walked in the door?" Google was happy to help me out, too, because Google is my friend.


"How to brush a toddler's hair"
Ad failed to load

Please meet my daughter and my daughter's hair which, legally, may be its own entity at this point. We have a team of lawyers looking into it.

Photo courtesy of Jamie Kenney

Anyway, she loves her beautiful long hair, and so do I. But here's something I say literally every day: "If you want beautiful long hair, you have to let me brush it." It's usually said in an exasperated sigh, because as soon as homegirl sees the brush she goes running and screaming. It almost always gets done (and when it doesn't, thank God for topknots) but it's a battle. Even Google, in its infinite wisdom, has not proven especially helpful.

Ad failed to load

Other things that have been Googled in relation to this little one's luxurious locks include, but are not limited to:

"Braids that keep your hair out of your face"

"Best detangler for kids"

Ad failed to load

"How to get toy with propeller out of hair" (That was a fun day.)

"Short haircuts for toddlers." (Because some days you're just done.)


"Why are kids obsessed with butts?"
Ad failed to load

I was always just a little bit unjustifiably smug that my son never had a "potty humor" phase. When someone else would bemoan their child's preoccupation with private parts, I'd just mentally flip my hair and be all, "My kids never went through that though. It's probably because we're so sex positive and so it was just never a big deal to them. La dee da, I'm so great."

But pride, as they say, goeth before a fall.

Ad failed to load

When my daughter became verbal and started naming all her stuffed animals "Poopy-Poopy" and "Pee-Pee" and started telling everyone about her vagina at the dinner table, I was like: "OK, well... whatever. The boy never did any of this, and he's older. So, clearly, he's going to be a shining example of propriety forever and ever."

Then, somewhere along the line (and I don't know why) my son discovered asses. Like, he always knew they were a thing, but he began to appreciate them on a new level. He started showing me his constantly. He'd stare at other people's. He started grabbing my ass and I had to tell him it was inappropriate (I also had to tell my husband he had to stop grabbing my ass in front of the boy because "blah blah blah, modeling good behavior.")

And, of course, when you're 6 and super-interested in asses, you start becoming super interested in farts as well.

Ad failed to load

What. Happened. To. My. Wholesome. Child?

(Google doesn't have too much to say on the topic, except that it's normal and nothing to worry about.)

"You're basically twerking," I told him one day as he bounced his bare bottom in the living room.

Ad failed to load

"What's twerking?" he asked.

I knew better than to Google that one with a child present.


"Best meatloaf recipe"
Ad failed to load
"Internal temperature of meatloaf"
"How to introduce new foods to older children"
"Meditative breathing techniques to calm down"
Ad failed to load
"How long will meatloaf keep in the refrigerator?"

I am convinced that there should be some sort of universally diagnosed affliction called "Cooking While Moming." Symptoms include stressing out about whether your family is eating a well-balanced diet, never finding one dish that will satisfy everyone at your table, and wallowing in the shattered remains of your ego as your children scream and gag over the meal you've spent hours researching, shopping for, preparing, and serving.

Ad failed to load

That's what was going on with the meatloaf.

I've tried to be chill about my kids' diets. I do believe that, on the whole, if you continue to offer new foods but mostly let them decide what they eat or don't then, eventually, things will sort themselves out. But the limits of this very zen, laid back approach are being tested, people. They're tested daily. You can hear about how disgusting your cooking is for so long before it starts to hurt your feelings and you get upset.


"Where can I watch full episodes of Paw Patrol?"
Ad failed to load

One of the first things I learned as a mom is that by Friday you can't even. Literally every last f*ck has broken out of its cage and fluttered to the nearest open window, never to be seen again. It is no coincidence, therefore, that Friday is my family's "special movie night." Normally there are no screens allowed after my husband gets home from work. But on Fridays we eat DIY pizza on a picnic blanket in the living room and, instead of spending the evening engaged in meaningful (but still tiring) fun activities, we all chill out in front of the TV until it's time for the kids to go to bed. While it has become a beloved weekly tradition, I'm not going to pretend that it didn't at least partially come to be because I'm bone-weary at the end of the week. Sometimes, in lieu of a movie, my kids will binge-watch episodes of their favorite shows. Recently, my daughter was made aware of the existence of Paw Patrol and chose that when it was her turn to pick. We don't have cable, so I knew I would have to stream it somewhere.

This brings me to one of the other first things I learned as a mom: YouTube is a terrifying hellscape of off-brand cartoon characters that will haunt your dreams and wither your soul. Unless you are familiar with the videos you are looking for, you should never go straight to YouTube or trust anything to be what it appears to be. Because before you know it you're hip-deep in weird videos in which SpiderMan has impregnated Else from Frozen. I'm not kidding. It's a thing. It's a thing because people are weird AF.

Ad failed to load

So I have made it a habit of Googling first, then previewing, then monitoring closely because I don't want my children to grow up to be ax-murderers with a SpiderMan fetish.

Saturday & Sunday

Photo courtesy of Jamie Kenney
Ad failed to load

The weekends are an important time for my family to unplug as much as possible, but that doesn't mean mama can rest those Googling thumbs.

"Hiking trails near me"
"What does poison ivy look like?"
Ad failed to load
"What does a deer tick look like?"
"How to remove a tick"
"Lyme disease symptoms"
Ad failed to load
"Pediatricians near me open on a weekend"
"Where can I watch full episodes of Paw Patrol?"

Because nature is supposed to be relaxing, but it's stressful and full of goddamn ticks. Long live technology, I say. Let's all sit back and watch cartoons.

Ad failed to load

Thank you, Google. You may have gotten me into this mess in the first place, but you're always there to get me out of messes, too.

Check out Romper's new video series, Rompevr's Doula Diaries:

Ad failed to load

Watch full episodes of Romper's Doula Diaries on Facebook Watch.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

8 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say That, Yes, You Are Their Favorite

For a baby to show a preference for a specific person is not only normal, but an essential part of their development. Babies need to form strong attachments to their caregivers for their emotional, social, and physical wellbeing. Usually, but not alw…
By Kimmie Fink

10 Reasons Why I Won't Apologize For Giving My Toddler A Pacifier

My first child had no interest in a pacifier. I tried a couple times to get him to take one, but he always spat them out and gave me an incredulous, judgmental look. But my second? It was love at first suckle. And after a while, the incredulous, judg…
By Jamie Kenney

Being A Dog Parent Prepared Me For Having A Baby, Really

I’ve always wanted kids; I was never as sure about raising a puppy. Then I spent six months living with someone who brought home an eight-week-old golden retriever puppy, and I see no way to make it out of that experience claiming not to love dogs. I…
By Heather Caplan

20 Of The Most Popular Unisex Names Of All Time, That You'll Be Hearing More Of For Sure

You might think of unisex names as a fairly recent trend, but the truth is these versatile monikers have been commonly used throughout history (well, some more commonly than others). That's why the team over at recently compiled a list of t…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

How To Have A Date Night With No Babysitter, Because It's Easier Than You Think

After having children, many couples feel that their love lives immediately go out the window, but it's so important to make your romantic life a priority so both you and your partner can be the best versions of yourselves you can be. As we all know, …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

9 Ways Baby No. 3 Made My Family Feel Complete

My husband and I decided to have another baby right after we got married and, well, we had no idea what we were getting into. I got pregnant right away, endured a high-risk pregnancy, and, before I knew it, my third baby had arrived. Together, we emb…
By Steph Montgomery

8 Stereotypes About New Dads That Are *Totally* True

Much like new mothers, new fathers have a lot on their plate. Parenting can be scary and complex, especially at first and regardless of your gender. People want to do right by their kids, after all. And since all new parents are a hot mess, dads are …
By Priscilla Blossom

8 Differences Between Being Pregnant In Your 20s Vs 30s, According To Science

Whether you're planning a pregnancy, or just thinking about your future family, it's typical to think about things like child-spacing, how many kids you want, and when to start trying to conceive. When making your pro/con list, you might also conside…
By Steph Montgomery

16 Moms Share Remedies For Their Most Intense Chocolate Cravings During Pregnancy

For better or worse, pregnancy is usually synonymous with odd cravings. Sure, there are the stereotypical combos like pickles and ice cream that plague gestating women the world over, but there are other mind-boggling combinations, too, including but…
By Candace Ganger

Putting Sunscreen On Your Kid Doesn't Have To Be A Fight — Here's How To Do It

I am almost translucent, so me and sunscreen are basically besties at this point. Even though my children are beautifully deep brown thanks to my husband's genetics, I still slather them like biscuits being buttered because I refuse to take risks wit…
By Cat Bowen

7 Things A Mom Really Means When She Says She Doesn't Want Anything On Mother's Day

Every year my family asks me what I want for Mother's Day, and every single year I tell them the same thing: Nothing. So, by now, they know that when I say "nothing" I absolutely do not mean "nothing." In fact, there are more than a few things a mom …
By Candace Ganger

19 Moms Share The Way They Cured Their Pregnancy Comfort Food Cravings

I was obnoxiously sick during the first trimester with, "lucky" for me, both of my pregnancies. For the first three months I lived on saltines, lemonade, and fresh bread. Once I was able to eat, however, all I wanted was savory and sweet comfort food…
By Dina Leygerman

8 Fascinating Facts About Babies Born In May, The Luckiest Month Of All

The height of all things fresh and springy, May is an excellent month to have a baby. It's a time of growth, graduations, and outdoor celebrations. And these fascinating facts about May babies will give you more reasons than ever to appreciate childr…
By Lindsay E. Mack

I Used To Judge Formula-Feeding Moms — Until I Became One

The other patrons in the hip Brooklyn restaurant probably couldn’t care less what I was feeding my baby, but I’ll always remember the shame I felt as I quickly mixed up his bottle of formula in front of them. I admitted to my childless friend that I …
By Katherine Martinelli

7 White Lies It’s Necessary To Tell To Keep Your Relationship Healthy

Telling lots of lies typically isn't associated with a healthy, strong, lasting relationship, and that's still certainly true, but not all lies are exactly the same. Though you've probably heard from someone at least once or twice that the lie they t…
By Lauren Schumacker

The Skinny Jeans That Saved Me Postpartum

Accepting my post-pregnancy body is hands-down one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. It’s something that I still work on every single day. During my first pregnancy, I was 20 years old, so I managed to bounce back quickly. In fact, I dropp…
By Allison Cooper

7 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say They Feel Safe

In those first weeks of new motherhood, it can feel like you need an interpreter for your newborn. With their limited means of communication, figuring out what message your baby is trying to get across to you can be a challenge. With time, however, y…
By Kimmie Fink

Here's Why Dogs Are Obsessed With Babies' Poop, According To Science

Most family dogs seem to understand babies, and they're more than happy to make friends with the newest member of the pack. It's adorable... for the most part and until you go to change your little one's diaper. Suddenly, you're wondering why dogs ar…
By Lindsay E. Mack

6 Signs You're Meant To Have A Big Age Gap Between Kids

There's a five year age difference between my two children, to the day. Their age gap wasn't planned but, for a variety of reasons, works well for our family. And since I was so focused on having a second baby, I totally overlooked the signs that wou…
By Candace Ganger

Here's The Right Birth Method For You, According To Your Zodiac Sign

If you're pregnant, you've probably given childbirth some serious thought. Some moms-to-be prepare a meticulous birth plan, while others are comfortable just going with the flow. And me? Well, I made a plan... but that plan was useless when faced wit…
By Steph Montgomery

My Dog Knew I Was Pregnant Before My Family Did

Growing up, I was 100 percent sure I'd be a mom one day. To a dog, that is. My baby plans came later. And once my husband and I were sure we wanted both a dog and a baby, we'd add to our joint dog-and-baby name list over Sunday brunch or on date nigh…
By Melissa Mills