My Name is Joi and I’m a Cheater

My Name is Joe and I'm a Cheater | Houston Moms BlogMy name is Joi and I am a cheater. There. I said it. I cheat. I make no excuses about it. Adulting is hard work and sometimes, we just have to get through by any means necessary. I’ve come to terms with my reality and I no longer carry guilt and shame. I fall short sometimes. Today, I am coming to confess.

Cheat #1:: I Outsource Hair Styling

I do not like to comb my daughter’s hair. So, I cheat. I pay a stylist. {I’m a cheater}

In the midst of praying for a baby with a vagina, I neglected to pray for one with easy to manage hair. My failure could have been catastrophic. I once believed that my daughter and I would bond over colored rubber bands, barrettes and bobos. I couldn’t wait to adorn my baby girl’s perfectly parted plaits. But that was before her gorgeous but tangle rich 4b coils grew en masse. It was also before I realized that I’d birthed an extremely tender headed, dramatic, LOUD child – prone to excessive (anti) celebration when anyone touches her hair. So… now, I cheat.

Every two to three weeks, I take the girl child to get her hair done… by someone other than me… in a style that will last for two to three weeks… so that I don’t have to do it. It was on my list of things I couldn’t wait to do with my daughter and now I happily pass it off to someone else. What would take me five to six hours to do, Cydni achieves in two and it looks a megazillion times better than anything I could put together. Not only has this shortcut saved me time – it has saved my relationship with the girl child. I am pretty doggone certain that if I didn’t cheat in this area, I would have just thrown the whole dad blasted child away by now.

Cheat #2:: I Have a “Forever Tree”

Yes, that is a Christmas tree in my living room. Okay, I’m a cheater. This month, it’s a Back to School tree.

Every house needs greenery. Plants add life, texture, color and variety to a room. I read this in a decorating blog. I researched this topic just to give some validity to my next cheat. I keep our Christmas tree up all year. This is not hyperbole. If you come to my house in March, July or September – there is 99.9% chance you will see my Christmas tree. My friend, Gwen, calls it my forever tree. My friend, Christine, reported that she’d heard about my tree from her daughter. I’m pumped that my tree is receiving special monikers and approaching legendary status in the neighborhood.

Truth… I just hate taking it down and putting it up. It’s scratchy. And bulky. So, I have found that it can serve other purposes if I just exercise a little creativity. Valentine’s Day tree. Easter tree. Juneteenth tree. And most recently, hang a pack of pencils on it… voila, Back to School tree. When my youngest son graduated from high school, it became the graduation tree. Party City had black and silver graduation garland with little plastic hats affixed. Who know?! It was like a sign from God validating my forever tree. *harp music from overhead*

Life Hacks.

I don’t want to lead you to believe that I don’t overachieve in certain areas; indeed, I am very well known in many circles for being excessively extra. (Redundancy used for effect). But I have realized that it is not reasonable for me to aim for that category in all things. At this point in the journey, I am happy to pick my battles and use a few life hacks,  {Remember, I’m a cheater} like HEB curbside. Four bucks to have someone else zigzag through crowded aisles dropping goods in my cart. Score. The mobile mechanic and the come to me car wash man… YAAAAASSSS honey! Where have you been all my life? Plates and glasses to the pantry; paper plates, bowls and cups – please take your place front and center in the cupboard. Dirty dishes do not spark joy. Texting. I know what my kids look like. There is no need for me to walk across our sprawling 2000 square foot mansion to communicate with them… when I can text them instead. Favorite text to kids :: Please bring momma a glass of water. Thank you in advance. I love you.

You might think I am slacker, but let’s put this all in perspective. After 22 years of parenting, I have realized just how much energy it takes to adult and parent. My days of pureeing organic vegetables and hand washing laundry are over. (Kind of before they started because I never did that.) Now, I believe in working smarter, not harder. You see, I’m not a slacker, I’m a hacker.


In my pre-parenthood mind, I just knew that I would be a repeat winner of the Mother of the Year award. I would be the mom wearing the red cape emblazoned with the giant letter M on back. There would be parades held in my honor. I’d be featured on Oprah advising all the moms aiming to reach the pinnacle of perfection. But alas, no. I am just a regular old woman who gave birth to some kids and is trying to grow them up to be self-supporting law abiding reasonably intelligent humans who call their mother every now and then and respect the utility of the Forever tree. In the meantime, I am good with being a cheater and {borrowing a term frequently used by my friend Meagan} competing against you other “cheaters” for the title of #WorldsOkayestMom. 

Tell us. Are you a “cheater” like Joi?

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Joi was born and raised in San Antonio. After a brief pit stop at the University of Texas in Austin, Joi moved to Houston in 1994 and began checking boxes off her never ending to do list. During this time and in no particular order, Joi taught a little bit of everything between first and eighth grades, got married and then divorced, completed grad school, birthed a few babies – Ferris {November 1997}, Warren {December 1999} and Laylah {March 2006}, moved an old lady into her home – Granny {January 1925} started working in Human Resources, served an excessive amount of time (on boards, in booster clubs, team momming) as a crazy sports momma, and learned a lot of life lessons. Joi is known for her unabashed honesty, always present sense of humor and her #TeamTooMuch style of doing everything. On most days, you can find her caught up in her love/hate relationship with politics, feeding her Facebook addiction, or counting the number of days until her last child graduates from high school.


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