Where the Heck Is PS Jackie?

Hi! As you’ve probably noticed, I haven’t blogged much (see: at all) in a veeeery long time. I’ve been working here and there marketing for daytime talk shows, raising three busy, demanding kiddos and… wait for it… working to build my ultimate dream career… a radio/show podcast called Broadscast that you can now find on radio stations across the country as well as on iTunes and iHeartRadio. Yay!

broadscast kim goldman jackie macdougallPlease, please, please head on over and connect with us there. The show is all about women’s issues and interests and runs the gamut from pop culture and trending topics to parenting, relationships and lifestyle. The coolest part of the show is that we want YOU, the audience, to be front and center, sharing your thoughts, feelings, opinions, hopes, dreams… you get where I’m going with this.

I’ve had such a great time connecting with women, a few dudes, and lots and lots of parents through my blogging here, at Huffington Post and countless websites over the past several years. I hope to take those connections to the next level with Broadscast — on radio, via podcast, and SOON, via YouTube. If you’re interested in being a part of the show, whether it’s to make your voice heard as a member of our #broadsquad, or even become a regular contributor to the show, please let us know by reaching out to Broads@broadscast.com.

Vince Vaughn in Delivery Man

Exclusive Look: Delivery Man

What role does biology play in a “real” family?

Vince Vaughn’s latest role has triggered that question for me — once again. In Disney’s upcoming film, Delivery Man, Vaughn plays “an affable underachiever looking for his purpose in life,” when he finds out he’s fathered 533 children through anonymous donations to a fertility clinic 20 years ago. Now he must decide whether or not to come forward when 142 of them want to meet their biological father.”

Yes, the film is a comedy (rated PG-13 so don’t bring your littles) but it’s got a heartwarming element to it as Vaughn’s character searches for something more meaningful.

On a separate but related note, the film brings up the topic of nature vs. nurture — a question that’s always been one I can’t help but ponder.

Here’s my question to you: No matter how loving/fulfilling/etc. one’s life may ultimately be, if we aren’t raised by those we’re biologically connected to, will there always be some sort of loss in our hearts? Discuss.

I personally can’t wait to see the film, just to see the hilarious Robin Scherbatsky Cobie Smulders.

PS: Thanks to Disney for the exclusive look at the trailer.

Caine's Arcade

Our Trip to Caine’s Arcade

Since the kids were on Spring Break last week, we decided (for the first time ever) to both take the week off and enjoy nine precious days together. While every moment with three kids wasn’t what I’d call “precious,” the week did include some major highlights.

I plan to break our “staycation” down in a future post, providing reviews on hotels and activities in southern California. But one of the most memorable experiences of the week together turned out to be low-cost yet high-impact.

You’ve probably seen this video of Caine’s Arcade before. I was late to the party and just stumbled across it when a friend posted it on Facebook in late March. Posted a year ago this week, it’s about a little boy who took over his father’s east L.A. auto parts store when he made an arcade entirely out of cardboard. His very first customer, a man by the name of Nirvan Mullick, happened upon the arcade when on the search for a door handle for his car.

I was so moved by the video, I called the kids in to see it. Within seconds, they were absolutely glued to the computer with big grins, in awe of the little boy with the big smile. Even my husband was emotional while watching (of course he insists it was dusty in the room).

Caine’s Arcade from Nirvan Mullick on Vimeo.

Living in the Los Angeles area, we decided to take a drive on our first day of Spring Break to Caine’s Arcade, hoping to meet the creative genius himself. Just off the freeway on the way downtown, it took 20 minutes and several trips around the block to finally find a parking spot on the busy city street, with the kids giggling in the back seat in anticipation of what they were about to see.

As we walked up to the arcade, I immediately noticed the man who had catapulted Caine to stardom (seriously, Justin Timberlake tweeted about this kid). We stepped up to purchase three fun passes and that’s when Caine, himself, appeared to handle the transaction.

IMG_2289

Jacob plays basketball at Caine’s Arcade

IMG_2291

Brady having a great time at Caine’s Arcade.

With only a few minutes to spend before Caine was closing up shop for the day, the kids tried out a few games before we asked to take a photo with the mini celebrity.

IMG_2837

Jacob, inspired by what he sees at Caine’s Arcade

IMG_2844

Lucy, looking to beat the claw machine at Caine’s Arcade

IMG_2846

Meeting the mastermind behind Caine’s Arcade. “I can’t believe we’re seeing you in real life,” Jacob gushed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As we walked back to the car, Lucy had an idea. Having just seen the Easter Bunny before we made the trip to Caine’s Arcade (with a man making balloon animals to pass the time in line), she decided she wanted to give her “balloon sword” to Caine, thanking him for sharing his special gift with them by sharing something special to her in return.

IMG_2293

We all look on as Lucy runs up to share her “balloon sword” with Caine.

For part two of Caine’s Arcade and to donate to Caine’s scholarship fund, visit CainesArcade.com.

Divorce

Do Good Moms Make Bad Wives?

Every classroom has one. Maybe she’s even you. She’s the mom who lives and breathes all things motherhood, using every ounce of energy to provide the precious little ones with the ultimate childhood experience. She bakes from scratch, has dinner on the table every night at 5 pm sharp and can whip together homemade costumes for the entire 5th grade cast of Wizard of Oz faster than you can say “And your little dog, too.”

Don’t even get me started on her crafting skills. While I try to avoid eye contact when I see that my son’s teacher needs tiny fall trees cut out, that lady knows her way around a glue gun like nobody’s business. She’s like a cross between Martha Stewart and MacGyver, using pipe cleaner and a rock to create memorable holiday gifts.

Sure, most of us struggle with the simple task of juggling homework and soccer practice — there’s no shame in that, right? Nope, not her. She not only gets it all done but heads up the carnival committee and organizes the next class party at the same time. I want to scream at her “My God, woman, don’t you sleep?” But I’m starting to think that if you showed up at her house in the middle of the night, you’d see her put away on a shelf with the rest of the wind-up robots.

But for every other mom who thinks that she’s perfect, setting the bar the rest of us can’t even come close to, there’s a certain someone who’s anything but impressed… her husband. Because while she’s spending sleepless nights frosting cupcakes and sewing costumes, he’s feeling neglected and going to bed alone. Which brings me to my question…

Do Good Moms Make Bad Wives?

Getty_021113_DivorcePapersJessica is no stranger to the good mom, bad wife question. In a recent conversation, she revealed to me that she believes her dedication to the kids was a major contributing factor in the recent demise of her marriage, creating resentment, competition and feelings of neglect in her husband. “He hated that [I always volunteered] because it set into the time it should’ve been fed into him.”

But was he partially responsible for leading her to a life of extreme motherhood in the first place? Jessica admits that throughout her marriage, she’s often felt unappreciated and not supported emotionally, leaving her with unmet needs. Using her time with the kids to fill those needs was good for the kids and her. “Because I needed validation and emotional gratification that he wasn’t providing, the kid stuff was easy to take on. I always get a ‘thank you.’ Volunteering is very validating for me, it’s rewarding and fulfilling.”

I think almost anyone who’s walked into their young child’s classroom can relate. The feeling you get when your kid notices your arrival can be pretty intoxicating and knowing you’re making an impact is exhilarating. But what happens in a few years when your kid begs you not to come and refuses to be seen with you? After years letting your marriage run on auto pilot, I wouldn’t be so sure your spouse will be waiting with open arms.

The National Healthy Marriage Resource Center cites spending time together, showing respect and exploring common interests as a few of their 10 Tips to having a healthy marriage. I’m no therapist but I’ve got my own tips.

  • Call each other names There’s nothing worse than hearing a couple call each other “mommy” and “daddy” when there are no kids in a 100 yard radius. Referring to each other by name is a tiny, yet effective, way to recall the person you loved pre-kids.
  • Just say NO Say it with me… “I can’t volunteer to run the bake sale this time.” Say it, own it, live it. I promise you, if you utter those words, you will not die.
  • Just say YES Rumor has it, men often lose interest in alone time after hitting a certain age. Turn him down time after time and I guarantee he’ll lose it with you much earlier. Just sayin’.
  • Prioritize Listen, I’m not saying you shouldn’t be involved with the kids. Volunteering and running the activities show is a positive thing and helps connect you with the kids. But do you really think Groundhog Day requires individually-wrapped holiday gift bags filled with pencils and Punxsutawney Phil-shaped erasers?
  • Forsake all others That’s right, it’s in the vows. Somewhere between sickness and health and richer/poorer, you agreed to forsake all others. While we think about staying faithful to our partner in the biblical sense, vows were about putting each other first. I’m not saying to neglect the kids but they won’t exactly suffer by seeing their parents put each other at the top of the list, instead serving as relationship role models.
  • Stop making excuses I know I can be the first to suggest skipping date night in order to save a little cash. But the price of dinner and a sitter is nothing compared to the cost of divorce. So put on some lipstick and get your butt out the door.
  • Skip the crayons Here’s a date night rule to live by: If there’s a play area in the restaurant, find somewhere else to eat. Chain restaurants are packed with screaming kids and stressed-out parents, not the atmosphere to encourage kid-free conversation and romance. I know you love your never-ending breadsticks, but save Olive Garden for family night, OK?

Are you a better mom or wife? Share your tips to a healthy marriage and how you balance both in the comments below!