Dear Mouthy Housewives,
I’m 25, the mother of 3 boys, and I’m a tired mom…and not the usual “tired” like every mom is. I’m talking about the kind of tired that leads me to sleep all the time, not want to clean, or even go too far out of my way to create a magical day for my kids. Don’t get me wrong: I love them with every ounce of my being, I just cant do what I used to anymore. I’ve been a house wife/stay at home mom for 6 years now. Additionally, my husband is in the military, so in the past 6.5 years we have lived in 5 different houses. I used to be able to do all the cooking, all the cleaning, all the laundry, and my boys (I’m proud to say) are most of the time extremely well behaved.
I’ve been on anti-depressants for over a year now, due to suicidal thoughts, which of course I’m not proud of (and if I don’t delete that line before I click the “submit” button, I’ll be surprised.) They keep me well balanced; however, my husband wants me off of them asap because its not “normal” to need a pill to be happy. (That’s a whole other email, in and of itself).
Nothing seems to help me “recharge”. I go out with friends every once in a while (though child care is really too expensive) and I don’t even want to go home. My husband doesn’t understand why I can’t do what I did the first 5 years (his words exactly), and no matter how many times I explain I’m burned out, it doesn’t change anything.
What are some (actual) helpful tips to help get back to being “happy mommy”? A hot bath and a glass of wine aren’t cutting it. Child care is not in our budget, and my husband is not a reliable source for helping me get out of the house alone.
Burned Out Mom
Dear Burned Out Mom,
Oh, girl, where do I begin?
I suppose the obvious would be best: you should know first and foremost that you are not alone in this. Motherhood is often like trying to tame wildebeests while the rest of the world watches and reminds you to “enjoy this precious time.” Meanwhile, you’re all, “Enjoy? THAT THING JUST BIT MY ARM.”
Secondly, I’m worried that your husband’s inability to support you emotionally and physically is not helping your situation. As you said, that is another situation in and of itself, but it’s not one to be taken lightly. His lack of empathy or concern for your experience is alarming and is something you need to address with him as soon as you feel confident and strong enough to do so. Couples counseling is great for this. As a fellow military wife, I can say for certain that it saved my little wildebeest family.
So let’s get to your question, then: how can you get back to being a happy mommy? The answer is so obvious that it eluded me, even, for years. You need to ask yourself (and then answer honestly and fully): what makes you happy? Don’t think yet about practicality. Just answer the question. For instance, I needed to realize that accomplishments, achievements, and intellectual stimulation make me happy. (All of which, it seems important to note here, are very difficult to seek while in the company of a drooling human that poos itself on the regular.)
Eventually, I was able to find this with part-time work, exercise, and a closer, more fulfilling relationship with my husband and family. Like you, money for childcare was an issue, but there are ways to make things happen. Reach out to neighbors and friends for childcare. Find a gym that comes with free child watch. Look for an exciting job you can do from home. Sure, the laundry will continue to pile up, but the most important point I can make to you–and I cannot emphasize this enough–is that you mustmustMUST take care of yourself before you can take care of anyone else. Live a life you enjoy, and suddenly finding new ways to cook chicken breast, the ongoing drone of Little Bill, and bathrooms that perpetually smell of urine are no longer so utterly oppressive.
Good luck, momma. Find some friends, talk to your therapist, and be confident in yourself. There’s nothing here to be ashamed of. Take it from me: I’m awesome at murdering chicken breast.
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
I’m a mom and stay at home with my almost 3 year old daughter. My problem is that while I LOVE spending time with my baby, I absolutely hate all household chores that SAHMS are often expected to perform. I’m not interested in dusting, cleaning, laundry, straightening up or especially vacuuming. We have someone who comes twice a week, but my mother thinks that I’m not doing my job as a stay at home mom if I hire someone to do the cleaning. My husband doesn’t care either way. Am I wrong to hire someone?
Please Don’t Make Me Vacuum
Dear Please Come Over and Vacuum My Place,
I’m not sure how taking care of your baby and cleaning the house ever got meshed together, but my hat is off to you for ending that nonsense. (Confession: I wasn’t wearing a hat.)
Personally, I don’t like to clean and I’m not good at it. When I do clean out of necessity, I don’t find it relaxing, satisfying or rewarding. Know what I find relaxing, satisfying and rewarding? A massage. A good massage. And maybe a foot rub. A mani/pedi. But not cleaning.
If you couldn’t afford to hire someone to clean, we’d have a very different situation on our hands (and one that I would gladly pass off to my sister wife Wendi, the Mouthy in Charge of Cleanliness is Next to Godliness), but since your question is merely whether it’s ok for you to hire someone to do a job that you are not interested in, my resounding answer is OMG, YES. Especially if you have someone working for you who you trust and who’s doing a good job, and you and your husband are happy with it.
The fact that your mother seems to think that this should be your responsibility has nothing to do with your life. It’s possible that in her day and age women were expected to do certain things while they remained at home, but in our defense, that was before the invention of the DVR and the internet.
So, enjoy your time with your daughter! And leave the cleaning to the professionals.
Yours in Jealousy,
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
My son wrote all over the seats of my leather couch with a sunscreen stick for the face. Please help!!! How do I get it off?
My Guests Don’t Need Sunscreen on their Asses
My Guests Don’t Need Sunscreen on their Asses,
Wow. I bet that leather couch was pricey. But isn’t it nice to know that if your couch decides to go outside and get some fresh air, it is wearing a proper SPF? (Too soon to joke?)
I figured you were not the first person to have this problem, so I pulled out the old Encyclopedia Britannica and boy, did I find a variety of answers! How on earth did we all survive before we had a set of those encyclopedias at our fingertips?!
What I found out is there are a bunch of different techniques you can try…
One suggestion is to cover the area with baking soda which will apparently suck up the sunscreen. Leave on for 15 minutes and then use a wet towel to clean it off.
If this doesn’t work, swear fiercely (without your son in the room) and then go find your toothpaste. Any flavor, although I’ve always favored mint. Put toothpaste over the area, let it sit for a few minutes and then scrub the toothpaste into the couch. Wipe off with a wet towel.
Is there still a stain? Dammit. Well, come on, it was toothpaste. You didn’t think that would really work, did you?!
Okay, now rub a few drops of dishwashing liquid into the spot. Wait one minute (the same length of time as your husband dedicates to foreplay) and then wipe off with a damp cloth or pantyhose. Of course, since it’s not 1986, you might not have a pair of spare pantyhose, so maybe just the cloth.
If none of this BS works, then apparently there are special degreasers you can buy especially for leather. And if all else fails, invest in a nice throw blanket. Please let us know what works because it’s just a matter of time before my son breaks into the sunscreen stash and tries this too.
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
If I’m doing my family’s laundry and find cash in my teen’s pocket, I’m keeping it, right? But the question is do I rub his face in it to teach him a lesson or just enjoy the new found wealth?
Dear Kash Keeper,
If you’re doing your family’s laundry? If?! I’d like to know what kind of magical kingdom do you live in that lets you talk about laundry hypothetically and is that magical place accepting new citizens? Because my doing laundry every freaking Saturday is a fact of life, starring Lisa Whelchel. A fact that you can take to the bank and put on deposit. Together with all the recently laundered cash that you’ve recovered.
But let’s get to the heart of your question. Your kid leaves cash in his jeans pocket and it comes out all nice and clean in the wash. So like any normal person, you keep the cash, because it’s annoying enough to wash and fold other people’s socks without having to wash and origami their dollar bills as well. So far I’m with you.
Where you lose me is this crazy talk of keeping quiet about your loot. By which I assume you mean not saying anything directly, but merely directing his attention towards the new bling you’re wearing or the Porsche that’s now in the driveway, with a wink and a “miss any bills?” muttered under your breath. If that’s what’s happening, then, by all means, continue.
However, I’m concerned that you’re merely gathering the damp bills and stuffing them in your own pocket, leaving your teen oblivious as to his loss. (I’m also worried that if your teen isn’t noticing that his cash is missing, he has way too much of it and you should transfer his allowance/earnings to The Mouthy Housewives’ Chardonnay Fund immediately if not sooner.) The gathering of bills may be good for you, but you are missing out on a teachable moment with your son. Tell him that if he doesn’t check his pockets before putting his stuff in the laundry, you get to keep whatever it is. And then show him a wad you collected (feel free to add a few $50s to make it more interesting.)
Sure, your kid may put up a fuss that the money belongs to him, but those pleas will fall on deaf years with plugs in them for good measure. Hopefully this financial loss will make him check his pockets before throwing jeans into the laundry. Or better yet, ask you if he can be in charge of the laundry himself. (Hey, stranger things have happened. Probably.)
Recently, we heard about a sweet little company called the Lubbock Fantasy Maid Service. The Fantasy Maids are a group of entrepreneurial Texas gals who got tired of working in Gentleman’s Clubs and wanted a neater lifestyle. Which means now they’ll come to your house and clean it for $100 an hour—while they’re either topless or fully nude. And all we can say about that is, OMG WHERE THE HELL DO WE SIGN UP?!
Because seriously, if there’s anything we love more than housecleaning, it’s doing it with our jugs flapping in the wind. Don’t you all agree? Why, just think of all those bleach and ammonia fumes wafting their way up your lady parts, making you feel all mountain air fresh and tingly in the nethers! Who needs Summer’s Eve when your hoo-ha has Soft Scrub killing all the germs and caked-on grease inside? And of course it goes without saying that your naked ass will look absolutely gorgeous as you morosely push a Swiffer around the house and spray the shower for black mold and mildew. Rwor! SEXY, SEXY, SEXY TIMES!
Some other ways cleaning naked is a fabulous idea include:
You can polish the silver with your nipples!
And, well, that’s probably it. We should probably quit while we’re ahead here because Lord knows we don’t want the Nudie Housekeeping Association leaving us a hundred lengthy comments about our insensitivity to naked maids. Trust us, they can be quite vicious for a bunch of people who don’t even own pants.
Anyway, while this idea is definitely a little risque, we actually think the Fantasy Maids are the perfect answer for people who are, quite literally, dirty perverts. After all, if watching some hard working woman vacuum your carpet while she’s dressed like a drunk extra from Cabaret makes you hot, who are we to judge?
Oooh, you have (pant) such deep (pant) shag (pant), slobface!
Honestly, we’re just happy the filthy weirdos of the world will finally have their vegetable crispers cleaned out. (That is not a euphemism.) (OK, maybe it kind of is.)
But unfortunately, while we think this is a harmless little company, the Lubbock police department doesn’t agree. No, the coppers insist the Fantasy Maid Service is violating some kind of law or something. And that’s despite the Maids offering a very generous Law Enforcement Discount on their website, too. Um, hello, officers? Don’t you fellas want a waxed woman waxing your floor? Or your credenza gone over with by a bare breasted feather duster? (Again, not a euphemism.) (OK, maybe it kind of is.)
But listen, people. In our opinion, if these women are making money doing something that dirty perverts are willing to pay for and nobody’s getting hurt (or, allegedly, having sex) and the Slim Jim and pizza box littered studio apartments of Lubbock are finally being straightened up, who really cares? They’re all adults here, right? Hell, if someone wanted to clean our houses while naked and covered in cockroaches, we wouldn’t call 911.
Like they say, Cleanliness is next to Godliness. But you know what’s even better? Cleanliness next to Godliness next to Nakedness.
Especially in Lubbock.
To address a couple of our comments, yes, the Fantasy Maids send muscle to watch over the cleaners.
Thank you to Shari at Dusty Earth Mother for the heads up on this.
And, is that Wendi vacuuming? Seriously? Do you really think Wendi would ever….vacuum?