Dear Mouthy Housewives,
I’m hoping that you can help me with a problem. In the last ten years I’ve become an uncontrollable and abusive parent.
It started in small stages when my twins were three and I asked them to pick up their toys. But I wasn’t happy with just asking, I next insisted, and dare I say, ordered. I’ve even gone so far as to take away things like video games for failing to go along with my abuses.
As they got older I’ve committed more horrific abuses, like making them wash dishes, feed the pets, and even fold laundry. Lately I’ve added the most foul and monstrous abuse…clean the bathroom.
My children have begged, pleaded, and cried against these heinous tortures but I can’t stop. They turned to other kids for ways to cope with the maltreatment. Poor dears, they discovered I am the only mother in the entire county who inflicts such dastardly horrors on her children.
I know that abuse like this is a cycle. My mother abused me in the same way, and the horror of all the vacuuming and folding still haunts my dreams. As we speak I can hear the soft whooshing of the dryer’s cool down cycle, and I can see the breakfast dishes on the counter. I know it’s only a matter of time before I abuse again. Please stop me before it happens.
Hopelessly Abusive Parent
Dear Hopelessly Abusive Parent,
I consulted each Mouthy Housewife and we all agree: we’re abusive parents too!
We were in denial for so long, so thank you for showing us the light. This is such a serious problem, and clearly we all need intervention. We decided to take action, so we formed a support group, complete with a 12-step plan of recovery. We call it Mothers Against Raising Their Young Responsibly (MARTYR for short). The 12-step system is as follows:
#1 Admit we are powerless over our children, that they have become unmanageable.
#2 Come to believe that a lazy child is a happy child.
#3 Make a decision to turn our will and lives over to martyrdom and do everything for our children.
#4 Make a searching and fearless inventory of Valium.
#5 Admit to God, to ourselves and to anyone willing to listen the exact nature of our martyrdom.
#6 Are entirely ready to have a live-in maid remove all traces of dirt and clutter.
#7 Humbly ask maid to also become sister wife since we no longer have time for our husbands.
#8 Make a list of all children we have harmed by expecting personal responsibility from them.
#9 Make direct amends by waiting on them hand and foot and feeding them fast food every day.
#10 Continue to take financial inventory since we will support our spoiled rotten children for the rest of our lives.
#11 Seek through prayer and medication a closer contact with God, praying for His knowledge of how to build a padded room in the basement.
#12 Having had a spiritual awakening through these steps, promise to carry this message to other mothers.
MARTYR meetings will be held on the 2nd Tuesday of every month in Calvary, Jerusalem. All meetings are BYOC (bring your own cross) and remember to wear your group-issued horsehair shirt.
Hope to see you there!
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
I have an issue with my kids. The kids I don’t have yet. Well, that’s the problem. I don’t have them yet. We’ve been married for a year now and we are not planning on having children until the end of the Obama administration or the advent of socialized health care, whichever takes longer. This is an unmitigated disaster for my mom who doesn’t understand that as much as we want to carry on the proud family tradition, we are just emotionally and financially not ready.
“You were totally unplanned,” she says as I try to explain that once you have a kid you can’t go to India or advance as much in your job. How do I get her to stop being all up in my ovaries for the next few years?
Dear Vexed Vicki,
How old are you Miss Vexed Vicki? Are you in your twenties? If so, then kick back, drink some sangria and enjoy the good life of 10 hours of sleep a night. Are you in your thirties? Well, then you might not want to wait for socialized health care in this country, or maybe it’s time to move to Canada, because us ladies can’t have babies forever. No, that’s a special honor given to men, along with higher wages for equal work. But I don’t want to get all riled up here. Let’s focus on babies.
Now when I first got married, I had barely finished stuffing every last remnant of wedding cake in my face when everyone started asking, “So when are you going to have a baby?” And truthfully, as much as I wanted a family, I was never going to be ready. Because how does one truly prepare themselves for sleepless nights, nauseating poop situations and a lifetime of worry? You can’t. You’ll never be emotional prepared. And you’ll never have enough money. One day, you just decide to take the plunge. That’s why babies are insanely cute. Or else it wouldn’t be worth it.
Of course, it’s completely up to you and your husband when you decide to start a family. And no one (including your mom) should pressure you into anything. Because she won’t be there at 2 am when that insanely cute pain in the arse won’t stop crying. So tell you mom that you are waiting for a couple of years. Let her rant, beg and plead. Then buy her a puppy, name him “grandchild” and tell her the case is closed for now.
Then go take that trip to India. Because once you’re preggers, that ain’t happening for awhile. A long while.
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
My live-in boyfriend and I both love music. He keeps pressuring me to join him in his pursuit of the guitar, but I love the piano. The problem is that our budget just doesn’t allow for a piano and the one that I used to have is still with my parents. For almost every holiday, my father gives me sheet music. For the piano. Every time he calls, he gives me some “piano tips.” How am I supposed to use these presents if I don’t even have a piano?
Dear Ringing Ears,
First of all, I can’t believe how picky you are. Do you actually think you need a piano if you want to play the piano? I suppose you think you need water if you want to swim, too. And food if you want to eat. And lips if you want to wear lipstick. Honestly, woman, there’s just no pleasing some people.
I’m just kidding because of course you need access to a piano if you really want to master that instrument. (Pause to reflect how mature I am for typing the phrase “master that instrument” without giggling.) (Okay, I lied. I’m giggling like a mofo right now.)
Unfortunately, it sounds like the closest thing to a piano that you can afford is one of those cool piano-key ties that were so popular back in the 80’s. (Which really aren’t so bad because my college boyfriend learned to play an awesome “Rock Me Amadeus” on his.) But let’s assume you don’t want to go that way and visit some other options.
Option #1: Ask your parents if you can have their piano. I don’t know if this is logistically possible, but it’s obvious your dad is in favor of you continuing to play, so maybe he’d be willing to part with it. Cry if you think it’ll help.
Option #2: Check out the the music resources in your area. I know that here in Austin, there are at least two music schools and a few universities and colleges that offer practice rooms by the hour for a small fee.
Option #3: Try joining your boyfriend in his guitar lessons. It’s not the piano, but it’s still playing music and it’ll only strengthen your skills for when you’re more able to devote yourself to the keyboard.
Option #4: Get a portable, electronic keyboard like this. No, it’s not the best thing if you’re a piano purist, but it’ll still keep you in practice until you’re able to get the real thing. Plus, it looks really cool if you dress up like a doctor while you play it and stand next to Prince. Trust me on this.
Well, Ringing Ears, I hope that helps you out, and I wish you the best of luck in your musical pursuit. And if you’re ever in Austin, be sure to let me know. We have a piano in our living room, and I’d pay you $50 cash to wrestle it away from my kids.
Help fight childhood obesity: secretly eat your kids’ Halloween candy.