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You Can 'Text Mom' All Your Burning Holiday Questions

Photograph by Twenty20

The holidays are obviously stressful for everyone, but they can be a particular kind of pain for busy moms. We’re tasked with making dozens of cookies, buying gifts for our kids, friends and family, planning activities for a holiday break, figuring out what to make for holiday dinner and… generally trying to stay sane when all of this gets added on top of regular mom duties.

It can get overwhelming. Well, this year, there’s help in the form of reaching out to other moms who may be able to help. All you have to do is text!

Reynolds Kitchens recently unveiled their TEXT-MOM help line, which allows people to reach out with all of their holiday-related burning questions. If you’re wondering how to deal with being single or how to handle office party etiquette or struggling to communicate with your crazy in-laws, now there’s help from real knowledgeable moms who also happen to be quite funny.

All you have to do to get your answers is text your questions to 937-TEXT-MOM for a “quick and loving response that saves the day,” according to Reynolds Kitchens. The service is run by a group of mom comedians, all of whom come from Chicago’s iO Theater, an improv venue. The moms are available from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST every day until December 23rd.

I spoke with one of the expert moms, Jo Scott, a mother of two who believes that sleeping is an underrated pastime. and describes her discipline style of choice as “wide-eyes-and-whisper-threats.” She revealed the most sought-after cooking tip, how to deal with holiday stress and the funniest question she has been asked (so far).

Many of the questions the TEXT-MOM hotline has received have been earnest, with many people asking about what gifts to get for moms and grandparents. (If you’re still wondering, check out our handy Holiday Gift Guide for Moms… and maybe send it along to your loved ones, wink wink.)

But as you may have guessed, many people simply have cooking and baking questions. Which is totally understandable… Who doesn’t get overwhelmed these days by the myriad of holiday dessert options on Pinterest? It can be difficult, though having a go-to peppermint bark recipe and eggnog desserts may be a good way to start.

“If I had to choose [a best dessert], I’d say chocolate bark,” Jo says.

When it comes to the really tough cooking questions, though, so far Jo’s No. 1 baking tip has been to use parchment paper.

“It will change your life,” she says. “I’m a big baker and neat-freak, so discovering parchment paper in my 30s was mind-blowing.”

Of course, every busy mom knows that it’s not just about what you’re making during the holidays. And Jo has been busy helping moms and non-moms alike who TEXT-MOM with advice on how to deal with the holiday stress.

“Being organized and having a plan of attack,” she says, is key. “I’m never quite ahead of the game but I always know how I’m going to play it.”

Meanwhile, when it comes to what makes life easier this time of year, Jo recommends that you cut out “anything expendable that isn’t making you happy” outside of work. Honestly, that’s a great tip for the rest of the year too. If you’re doing something you don’t love that’s only adding to how busy you are, you’ll only stress yourself out more. Letting those things go, well, she “can’t recommend it enough.”

However, not everything has to be so serious around the holidays. One of her favorite TEXT-MOM messages so far has been a man who claims his wife said that he doesn’t need to get her something “too fancy” for Christmas this year and was writing to ask: “Is this a trap?”

Jo laughs. “Why do they always think there’s a trap?!”

Now is the perfect time to figure out what you need help with… and then TEXT-MOM to ask! With this quick and easy way to get all of your cooking, hosting and entertaining questions answered by a real mom, you might just enjoy all of the funny and helpful advice, without the guilt of your own mom asking why you haven’t called more this year. Save that for Christmas dinner.

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