Do I really have something in common with the Real Housewives of New Jersey? Or any of the Real Housewives? This question has been haunting me since last week.

Let me first explain, I used to love the Real Housewives. This was before I had children. New York was my favorite, obviously. That was back in the good ol’ days, when Bethenny and Jill were besties. I would like to think that it was just time that separated me from the Housewives. I got too busy with a new baby and a full time job. I spent my nights changing diapers and singing Itsy Bitsy Spider instead of finding more reasons to roll my eyes at Orange County. But really, what ended my affair with the Housewives was Atlanta. That trashy, sugar-daddy, not-on-the-guest-list insanity that was Real Housewives of Atlanta. After that, I couldn’t appreciate any of them anymore. Just reading about the Real Housewives of New Jersey has made me sick to my stomach. There has been a lot of discussion about the type of parenting portrayed on New Jersey. I would love to be able to join in the discussion. But every time I sit down to watch an episode, I just can’t do it. I find a Project Runway or Top Chef re-run and I delete the nonsense from my DVR before my husband sees it.

So how could I, a sales analyst in Indiana, be anything like those crazy ladies on Bravo? I was sitting at my grandparents’ 60th wedding anniversary dinner on Saturday. We were at a great restaurant with my entire family and my daughter was shoveling ketchup into her mouth by the handful and stealing all the calamari. Once the calamari was gone, she got antsy. My husband couldn’t make it, Brenna was suffering from serious allergies and a dose of Benadryl. It was just the perfect storm for a temper tantrum that I was desperately trying to avoid. So I did the first logical thing that popped into my head, I rummaged through my purse for something she could play with. I came up with a tube of Cherry Coke Lipsmackers. (Yes, Lilit, it was one of 6 in my purse and the one that I had been using the longest.) I handed my two and a half year old the chap stick and watched as she coated her lips about a hundred times. At this point, those of you who watch Real Housewives of New Jersey understand what’s going on. My cousin leans over and says, “Lins, you’re just like the Real Housewives of New Jersey! They all give their girls lipstick to play with when they won’t behave.”

Ever since that one sentence, I’ve gotten a little worried. I’ve considered googling the effects of consuming too much chap stick on young children. I’ve thought about searching for examples on YouTube. But in the end, maybe I do have one thing in common with Teresa Giudice. As long as it’s the only thing, I think I’ll be ok. I just hope I never again hear, “Oh my gosh! That’s just what the moms on Housewives do!” It’s truly a frightening thing to think about.