Ask Single Mom Walking

Dear Single Mom Walking:
I’ve had this happen twice since I started dating my boyfriend. We stop by his house and I use the bathroom and THERE’S NO TOILET PAPER! What’s the proper etiquette here? We’ve only been dating a few weeks!
Tired of no TP
Dear Tired of no TP:
Oh, I’ve had that happen to me on many occasions. I remember once resisting the urge to use a page from one of the magazines the guy had sitting “toilet” side. It was hard because it was a picture from the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, Cindy Crawford I believe.
My dilemma was that I was afraid he’d find out and think that I was bitter and petty, wait, make that KNOW I was bitter and petty and he was so hot and as of yet had not realized that I was not so I wanted to keep things moving forward.
What I ended up doing in that situation was, first, while still sitting on the toilet I tried to open every cabinet door and drawer hoping, of course, to find a spare roll. Sadly, I have found over the years that if a person runs out of toilet paper and doesn’t replace the roll right away, chances are that person is a male who lives alone and is straight, which leaves about a 2% chance that when you open that cabinet door you’re not going to find what it is you are looking for. However, there is a 99% chance you will encounter at least one roach motel and a bottle of cleaning fluid that has gone unused for so long, the color of the liquid bears little to no resemblance to what it was on the day it was originally purchased.
I must confess, that have long given up attempting this particular stretching maneuver because inevitably I would either end up falling off the toilet with my pants still at my ankles, pulling a hamstring, usually the left one, don’t ask me why or start feeling sorry for myself that the only kind of guy who wants to date me has nothing in his bathroom cabinet but roach motels and old cleaning supplies.
What I do end up doing now is letting myself air dry for a bit and then just sucking it up and hoping that by midway through our evening together I don’t end up smelling like the inside of a airport bathroom.
It’s funny though because even though I’m now in my 40’s, I still don’t sit there for too long, lest this man in my life think that I might be doing anything other than peeing. I guess I can’t get past the notion that I might be the only one who actually finds herself timing somebody when they go to the bathroom and then feeling embarrassed for them if they stay too long you know, because they’re like human.
Finally, what you could do, which is what most mentally healthy women do do is just yell from the bathroom, “Can you toss me a some toilet paper please?!” and then right as he flings it over to you, yell out, “This is going to cost you and I’m not talkin dollars here!”
jessica bern 724 (1).JPGJessica Bern is a single mother to a 7yr old girl, a money sucking dog named Teddy and the ex wife of a man who left her for his mother. She writes at, where you she blogs all about it and where you can watch the Bernthis web series she created about a neurotic woman’s journey through her weekly visits to her therapist’s office. She also spends some of her time giving out sex/dating advice over at and has worked her vlogging magic with, Kodak and Seventh Generation.
For more from Jessica Bern, visit her blog, Bern This.

Every Mother Counts: Supporting Moms on Mothers Day

SANY0205.JPGI recently got the chance to attend a screening of a new documentary produced by former supermodel and mom, Christy Turlington Burns. After gracing countless magazine covers, Turlington Burns has now become a staunch advocate for pregnant mothers worldwide as the founder of Every Mother Counts, an advocacy and mobilization campaign to increase education and support for maternal and child health. After experiencing a complicated birth first hand, Turlington set out to research the state of maternal health worldwide and the results she uncovered was staggering.
I bet you may not know this, but 1000 women die every day due to pregnancy related causes. Even more surprising is that the United States ranks 40th worldwide in mortality rates among new mothers. For me, the concept of becoming a new mom was exciting and overwhelming at the same time. Throughout my pregnancy, I never once considered that I was putting myself or my unborn child in danger while experiencing labor for three days straight or working so hard that I delivered three weeks earlier than we had planned. With our first child, I chalked up my slow delivery to being a first time mom and simply not being tough enough to handle those labor pains. When I finally gave birth nearly three days later, my daughter was born with meconium in her system (she had passed a stool during childbirth which could have caused severe brain damage if inhaled). Fortunately, she turned out to be a perfectly healthy little girl.
On the flip side, three years later, my son nearly flew out of my body – but not before his umbilical cord became wrapped around his neck. My husband watched on the monitor as his heartbeat quickly dropped and our OB/GYN instructed me to push hard while she loosened the umbilical cord and my son emerged breathing, crying, and again, perfect.
Sadly, there are women throughout our country and the world who do not have access to adequate health care to help protect themselves as well as the health of their unborn child. Take a look at a film clip from “No Woman, No Cry,” a documentary which premieres May 7th on the OWN Network that was directed by Christy Turlington Burns.

photo.jpegI am honored to be a part of Mom4Moms, an online advocacy group created by marketing guru Holly Pavlika. Holly reached out to some of the most influential bloggers and social media experts to help raise awareness for and to encourage individuals to donate their old cell phones to Hope Phones so that they can get them into the hands of health care workers who can assist pregnant mothers in the Congo. The goal is to recycle 10,000 phones. Incidentally, in the US alone, over 500,000 phones are discarded annually!
Picnik-collage1.jpegThere are many more ways to participate in this amazing effort – from making a donation, to sharing your personal story or spreading the word about Every Mother Counts via Facebook, Twitter and blog posts. I’d also like to strongly recommend you watch the premiere of “No Woman, No Cry” on the OWN Network Saturday, May 7 from 9:30-11:00 PM, ET/PT. (Photo credit:
Visit the Mom4Moms page on Facebook as well as Holly Pavlika’s site HaveMomentum for more details about the effort to spread the word about this important cause and here’s hoping this Mother’s Day, you and your family help make a difference in the lives of a mom who truly needs your help.