the smell of my desperation has become a stench

Real Family Values


This post is brought to you in partnership with JĀSÖN® Brand.

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A few years ago a personal care line called JĀSÖN® brand sent me a few body care products like many other personal care lines have done during my tenure online. Life is busy (KIDS! DOGS! MOMMY BLOGGING! GOOGLING RYAN GOSLING!) so I took a cursory glance at it all and then shoved it in a closet with everything else. Y’all would not believe the shelves and shelves of lotion I have in my bathroom. Like, a hundred shelves. People love to send me lotion, and I’m starting to wonder if my skin looks dry? You’d tell me, wouldn’t you?

That summer when I was preparing to take the kids to a local pool for the first time I remembered what they had sent: sunscreen.

Sunscreen. A selection of other items, too, but sunscreen.

When you read that word in your head it should sound like Bill Murray sighing, closing his eyes and shaking his head at an idiot.

That word alone is almost enough to make me wish for snow (BLASPHEMY) because I have very sensitive skin when it comes to sunscreen. It burns. Luckily, both of my girls inherited this from me. Yay, genetics! DNA is awesome! I sing that in my head every time Leta makes fun of my accent. Because I did the same thing to my mom, and now I understand why she wanted to lock me in a closet.

Why does any of this matter? Applying sunscreen is awful, that’s why.

“Stand still,” “hold your arms out,” and “chin up,” are impossible actions for kids who know you’re immobilized by lubricant and, like I said, it also burns. But so does the sun. So I’m all, “Okay kids, come over here so I can torture you in the name of preventing skin cancer.” And they’re all, “It’s okay, you already exploit us for money on your website.” So everyone has a marvelous time, and then we go sit in the blazing Utah sun dreading every single second that passes as it means we’re getting closer to having to reapply sunscreen.

Bill Murray. Shaking his head.

But THIS particular sunscreen didn’t burn. Neither girl said a word. I continued using the sunscreen and, over the next few days, the other items they sent. I read the labels, recognized the ingredients, and eventually started seeking out JĀSÖN products. I became a devotee of their Lavender collection, in particular the hand and body lotion that I apply before bed to help me relax, and the Biotin shampoo as it is gentle enough to share with my kids (Marlo was adamant that I stop washing her hair with “baby” shampoo BECAUSE SHE HAS A REPUTATION TO UPHOLD, YOU GUYS). So when they approached me recently and said, “Hey, we like your stuff, let’s work together!” I looked to my left and then to my right and whispered to myself out loud, “THE CONSPIRACY IS REAL.”

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How did they know? How did they know that I go out of my way to buy their sunscreen every summer? And what else did they know? I could only hope they had not seen the direct messages I have sent to Taye Diggs who refuses to acknowledge my existence (why does he follow me on Twitter if he doesn’t want me to write him poetry?)

For over 50 years the JĀSÖN® brand has focused on staying transparent with their ingredients. The brand is dedicated to authenticity and honesty for moms in particular. This means that moms who already have more than enough to do in a day (does anyone want to wash Chuck’s diapers?) have one less label they need to read, one less thing to worry about. And voilà, life is easy. Wait. No, I didn’t say that. Not easy. EASY DOES NOT EXIST WHEN YOU’RE A MOM. This is where I’d add a hashtag like #amirite or #preachit or #pleasesendhelp. Easier, maybe? Yes, easier. If you’re an expecting mother who’s now panicking and thinking “what on earth am I getting myself into?!” then you’re going to be fine. And not all mom truths are as difficult to face as the End of Easy, so take a breath. There won’t be any time to breathe after you have kids, anyway.

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Those of us who have been in the trenches will be honest and upfront in telling you to take comfort in the smallest of victories and, Bill Murray-style, shake your head at the frequent absurdities. For example:

It’s terrifying when your kids start becoming adults. Do yourself a favor: Be honest now and ease life later.

Everything feels impossible but nothing is. Except for math homework. Keep your language clean and you might get through it.

You can say you “slept in” if you got to lay in bed AWAKE for an extra two minutes.

Showers are a luxury. Going to the bathroom alone is a luxury.

It’s okay to get a rubdown from the pool boy if he uses a gentle body product.

Now, if you’ll excuse me. Summer is fast approaching, and I need to stock up on the staple of the season.

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This post is brought to you in partnership with JĀSÖN Brand.

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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