Holiday Season is usually the time I start to lose my mind just a wee bit more. I am dashing about trying to keep life running smoothly all the while trying to create meaningful memories for my kids. I’ll have my arm elbow-deep up a turkey’s ass while worrying if I actually did put the ribbons on the presents and hid them back on the top shelf. It’s not surprising that I tend to come a bit unravelled and double sided tape ain’t enough to fix this Mama.
Moms have always felt pressure around this time of year and never more since the advent of Pinterest-Parenting. This year I’d like all my readers to pause from the gift giving preparations and check out what my favorite sanity guru and Blunt Mom editor extraordinaire, Magnolia Ripkin, has to say about finding balance in our lives.
When did it become ok for Mothers to trade in our life force for our families?
Is it just me or are women giving too damned much? Somehow it has become the thing to feel that we can’t possibly step away from our kids for so much as a moment because they need us. Well of course they need us girl, they are small relentless creatures that are 97% made of needs. That doesn’t mean you have to hand over your identity card and lie down to let them run over your sorry ass.
Even the youngest of toddlers can deal with a little alone time in their cribs or rooms. Older kids don’t really need you that much. However, if you are still tending to them regardless of their eye rolling, you are becoming a hover Mom. Give yourself a wedgie and walk out the door.
If you look like crap, and feel a level below your appearance, the chances are pretty good you are being drained of your life force and have become a husk. A husk in dirty sweatpants. Was this your plan when you decided to produce offspring? I doubt it. You can however stop the insanity, you are the Mom, which makes you Queen Shit of Shit Mountain my love. You decide whose needs get met and when.
There has been a lot of chatter in the Mom world about parenting like French women. I am not sure what that actually means, but I picture stylish Mothers sitting in the café Des Saints de Cochon, smoking, drinking coffee with the viscosity of mud, and neglecting their children. It may not actually be that way, but it sure sounds like my kind of afternoon. Those mothers would be much happier than some of the young women I see hauling their three kids into Walmart, hating her life.
It doesn’t have to be that way though honey. Here are the three most important things a woman needs in order to hang on to her sanity:
- Somebody (husband, sister wife, Mother, neighbour anybody) who knows you well enough to tell you to shower and takes your children from you so you can scrape the spit-up off your neck.
- A safe place in the house where you can keep the little ones entertained while you tend to your needs. Try something crazy like brushing your teeth before 11am. It is a concept.
- Boundaries. There has got to be a “no go” zone for your children and husband where they dare not tread. If your kids insist on being in the bathroom when you pee, start by axing that abomination.
If we are weak with our kids and don’t value ourselves, they internalize it and become assholes. They just do.
For instance, you may not realize but if your kids are a bit problematic, like being chronic interrupters, whining for stuff at the store, demanding, and generally treat you like a dishrag, NEWSFLASH: your friends are probably waiting for you to do something about it. Also, they likely have gatherings without you and your kids. So now you are a doormat, and have nobody to drink with. See what I mean?
All is not lost though. As kids get to age three or four they are perfectly capable of understanding and respecting a closed door or a book in your hand. Just don’t cave when they make their first twenty demands on your inaugural “me time” run. I have said to my kids that unless there is blood or fire I need them to play in their rooms quietly until I like them again. It worked like a charm. Now that they are a bit older I just give them the stink eye and say “no needs right now” and it is code for “I will end you”. Scary Mommy is a feared resident of our house but if your kids never meet her, they will continue to be little dictators draining your will to live.
Do you remember when you were cool and free? Now you are sitting there watching your husband scratch his ass while your children stick raisins in your hair wondering what ran you over. It is possible to stand up and shrug off the cling-ons. You deserve time, peace and whatever makes you happy, because then you are pleasant Mommy and not weeping on the floor flagellating your back with a broken Barbie doll. That’s “lost her shizzle” Mommy, and she isn’t good for anybody.
Magnolia Ripkin is sort of like your mouthy Aunt who drinks too much and tells you how to run your life, except funny… well mostly funny… like a cold glass of water in the face. Channeling Erma Bombeck and Dear Abby on her blog, she is flinging out advice, answering pressing questions about business, personal development, parenting, heck even the bedroom isn’t safe.
Other places to find her: Editor in Chief at BluntMoms, contributor at Huffington Post and check her out in the amazing compendium of hot bloggers who are published in I Just Want to Be Alone (I Just Want to Pee Alone) from www.amazon.com