The Luv Doc: Mommy Junkies
Sometimes the hardest step to take is a step back
Dear Luv Doc,
I have been shut up in my house with my tweenage children now for more than a month, and I am starting to fantasize about infanticide. I guess it isn't enough that I have to cook their meals, do their laundry, and clean their bedrooms. Now I am in charge of helping them with their schoolwork too? I need a long vacation from this long vacation. Do you have any useful suggestions that might keep me from going insane and ending up in the electric chair?
– MAHM (Mother Always Hated Math)
OK, I have a useful suggestion, but my bet is you're going to think I've gone insane myself. That's OK, insanity is a perfectly understandable response to the absurdity of the human condition, and the universe is plenty big enough for two lunatics to exist simultaneously, so here goes: Take a deep, relaxing breath, and land that fucking helicopter. Your kids no longer need air support – at least not the kind you've been providing. They need to learn to adapt to the situation on the ground, or they are going to get slaughtered.
Listen to me: There has never been a better, safer opportunity for your children to learn to become decent, thoughtful, self-supporting human beings than right now – smack-dab in the middle of the 2020 COVID-19 Pandemic. You need to dry out those mommy junkies with some cold-turkey and tough love. Barring extreme physical/mental infirmity, any child over the age of 10 has the ability to do laundry, make meals, clean rooms, and do schoolwork. Do they have the motivation? Absolutely not. Especially when they have 24-hour air support.
Surprise surprise! The only person who truly has the ability to keep you from going insane is you, and sometimes the hardest step to take is a step back. Rest assured, however, that is the best way forward. You need some me-time and your kids need to understand that their needs don't always come first. Sometimes Mommy needs a few hours in the bathtub with a trash novel and a glass of rosé ... and sometimes that's more important than a pre-algebra assignment or a home-cooked meal.
Will your kids occasionally get a D (or worse) on a geometry quiz? Yes! That's a pretty safe bet. Will they try to order Domino's pizza with a credit card they swiped from your purse? Probably yeah, but they will be less likely to do so if you make them watch you eat it and feed the rest to the dog. Will they wash all their white socks with a red cotton sweatshirt? Yes, but look at it this way: Right now, the people most likely to ridicule them mercilessly for wearing pink socks are locked safely in the bathroom with a trash novel and a glass of rosé. You are starting to feel me, right?
Look, I understand it's nice to feel needed and to have purpose, but being a slave to your children's needs isn't going to serve you or them in the long run – and like I said, there is no better time to shake them off your tit than right now when they have a really safe place to fall.