Dear Mouthy Housewives,
My husband decided he didn’t want to be active in Church any more in 2007. Then he decided he wanted to move and go to school. He had lots of reasons and so he signed up for school and went off while I stayed at our house for 2 months and fixed it up to sell. While he was at school he met this woman who was single with grown kids and living off her retirement.
He started doing things with this woman especially if I was out of the house. Soon every time I was gone, when I came home she was there. He started inviting her over all the time. We started going on vacations with her. But she was just his best friend. He started telling me all about her life and what she loved and what she was interested in. One time he was really drunk and was telling me how much he loved her.
After some family trouble, she had to move east and my husband fell into a deep depression. He became combative and uncommunicative. Then, one day, he called to tell me they were moving in with us. Eventually, the son left, but she is still here, living with us. She doesn’t pay us a thing and she doesn’t do anything but a few dishes once in a while. He buys her food and computers and anything else she talks about. Now she is taking trips all over the country and the world. When I told him I didn’t like paying for everything for her so she could take trips around the world he told me I was selfish and he enjoyed making her life better for her.
She has started telling me I’m doing stuff wrong. I told him about it and he said it was my fault because I act like I want to be disciplined. He told me the other day that he didn’t want me making him breakfast any more because he wanted to have to go into the kitchen when she does so he can visit with her.
I am so embarrassed I have let this happen and I am so devastated. He is very good to me and he acts like he loves me but then he does stuff like this. I don’t know what to do! If I leave will it be the wrong thing? Am I being selfish?
Living With the Enemy
Dear Living With the Enemy,
Holy COW, did you hear that noise? That was the world’s loudest and longest record screech, and I think it started right around the time you mentioned how he met this woman while “away” at “school.” And, in fact, I’m not sure it hasn’t stopped screeching. (BRB, getting earplugs.)
My advice for you here is going to be clear, direct, and swift: LEAVE. You need to leave him. You need to leave HER. You need to leave this situation, like, yesterday.
Now, I’m a little worried that you may read this and think, “but…” and so I’m going to repeat myself a bit just so you understand.
You need to leave even if the following things occur:
1. He says he loves you.
2. She says she loves you.
3. You are still breathing.
4. It’s the middle of the day.
5. It’s the middle of the night.
6. He apologizes.
7. She apologizes.
8. She leaves.
9. He leaves.
10. John Boehner looks tan.
L-E-A-V-E. Leave, leave, leave. Leave? LEAVE.
Love will make us to crazy things, woman, and as crazy as this situation has become, I’m sure you are not alone. Certain, even. And my heart breaks for you that you’re hurting and embarrassed. What your husband has done is not okay, and it’s certainly not your fault. You are not being selfish. You are not crazy. You are maybe feeling a little desperate, lonely, and afraid, but this is something from which you can recover. You have no power over your husband’s choices…only your own. You simply need to find the courage, confidence, and dignity to walk away from this man and never look back. Find a friend or therapist in whom to confide, gather some momentum and flee, girl.
Run like the wind,
As you may know, our beloved Kelcey is expecting her 4th or 5th bundle of joy–a baby boy–virtually any day now, and the rest of us here at The Mouthy Housewives are giddy with excitement (and relief that it is not us about to give birth). Over the weekend, we’ve been brainstorming and bickering over the best gift to give our BFF as a don’t-call-it-a-push-present. Ultimately, we decided that material gifts are not nearly as amazing as those that come from our hearts and brains, which is why our offering is the gift of a name.
That’s right. We’re offering to name your child, Kelcey! (Sorry, probably should’ve told you to sit down first, as we’re sure you’re overcome with gratitude for such wonderful friends.) Creating an algorithm we remember from our stripper days, and pulling from some of Kelcey’s favorite things, this is what we have created:
We’re taking a name from the cast of Friday Night Lights, adding the name of our favorite candy, and VOILA! So here are our respective offerings.
Kristine: Riggins Zagnut
If this isn’t the most refined name for a baby boy you’ve ever heard, then you must hang out with some really fancy people. Take this gift, Kelcey, and run with it. Your son is going to really make a name for himself in this world. All thanks to me. (Well, and you, I guess…and your husband, if you want to get graphic about it.)
Marinka: Buddy Kit Kat
You’re welcome. And so is your baby boy, Buddy. I can see him in high school now– The Budster! The ladies love the Kit Kat! I’ll start monogramming that pillow now.
Karen: Saracen Heath
People use last names as first names all the time now. It’s super-cool. With this name your boy will have good looks, good sense, and the ability to put up with the most annoying girlfriend ever. Plus, he will have a crunchy toffee center.
Wendi: Coach Taylor Twizzler
The beauty of this name is that even if your new baby is a complete disaster at every sport, it won’t matter because his very name will guarantee he gets on the team! Baby Coach! And, if he desires, the Coach name will later get him a job in purse design. Score! Plus with a name like Twizzler, he’s probably going to be really skinny and really good at yoga and light up when he dresses in all red.
Be sure to wish Kelcey the best and use the algorithm to leave your gift in the comments below!
Happy Baby, Kelcey!
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,
My husband is a low-key guy, but whenever tax season approaches, he seems to lose his mind. Now that it’s April, and he’s getting the stuff to our accountant, I hear him muttering, cursing, and slamming stuff in his office and generally acting like a lunatic. I know there are a lot of receipts and forms, and I’ve offered to help him throughout the years, but he always says, “I GOT THIS!”
Short of joining the Tea Party, what can I do to make the next few weeks more tolerable?
Taxed by Tax Season
Oh, this sounds familiar. In my household, however, there’s only TurboTax and an ancient desktop computer to vent upon so I often hear the slamming of keyboards and things like, “NO, NOW IS NOT A GOOD TIME TO UPDATE WINDOWS!”
Depending on your husband’s personality, any number of things may help the two of you cope with tax season. Your personality and abilities will play a role as well, of course. Speaking for myself, again, offering assistance is really only offering my ability to stand beside him in the home office with a confused look on my face and occasionally shuffling papers to look busy. It doesn’t seem to help, is what I’m saying. So here are some other ideas off the top of my head:
1. Have a chat.
Is your husband the talk-about-my-feelings type? Many husbands are not, and often only seek to “talk about it” if it’s going to fix a problem. But maybe he just needs someone to feel that his efforts are appreciated. Let him know that you’re thankful for taking care of the paperwork and see if that eases his grumbling. Otherwise, maybe implementing some sort of organization system for the paperwork could help with next year’s filing.
2. Reward chart!
Okay, so maybe don’t pull out the one you used to potty train your toddler, but talk to your husband about maybe treating yourselves once tax season is over. Maybe you’d like to go out for a nice dinner or even escape for the weekend. If that doesn’t tickle his fancy, perhaps suggest you cash in your refund check and let him swim around in a kiddy pool full of $20 bills.
3. Stick it to the man.
While not a viable option, tax evasion is still on the table should you decide that federal prison or a lifetime of wearing disguises on the beaches of the Cayman Islands is something desirable for the two of you.
I’d suggest going with #1 or #2, however.
If none of them work, just try to maintain some patience, remembering that there’s a reason “taxes” are often lumped in with unpleasurable things like “death.”
If you’re like most mothers of young boys, your days are filled with confusion.
Confusion because, let’s face it, your son is not like you. Not just because he has the XY chromosome set-up instead of the more adorable XX, but he also seems to be interested in different things than you. You’ve tried and tried again to engage him in some of your favorite pastimes, hosting tea parties for stuffed animals, dressing up like fairies and playing house. (And if you’re Marinka, getting your 11-year-old son to watch The Bachelor with you.)
But through no fault of your own, Mom of a Son, the beautiful bonding just isn’t happening. In fact, for reasons unbeknownst to you, your son seems interested in playing with cars, trains, trucks, planes and other modes of transportation instead. WTF? It’s weird. And confusing.
Of course you may be scared, bewildered, and ashamed by this. You may not understand what exactly is happening, and why it’s happening to you, a mother who did absolutely nothing wrong and just wants to play Pretty Pretty Princess all day long.
But fortunately, help is available!
Yes, the fine people of Mattel, the makers of Hot Wheels, have answered the siren call of mothers who don’t know how to play with boys. These saviors in suits recently flew in some “influential mommy bloggers” (if that isn’t code for OMFG, we don’t know what is) to guide them through the mysteries of playing with cars with their sons. But first, they plied them with Bloody Marys and Mimosas. You know, because handling 2″ plastic cars is SUPER STRESSFUL FOR WOMEN!!!
“By talking to Mom, we’re extending the conversation to the actual purchaser,” Mr. Petersen [a Mattel VP] says. “I know it sounds so silly. It’s kind of like ‘Why didn’t you do that forever ago?’”
Yes, that’s the reason it sounds silly. And moms seemed to appreciate the wisdom imparted on them:
“I’m a girly girl,” Ms. Stroud (one of the possibly tipsy “influential mommy bloggers”) said. “So it’s kind of hard to understand how these little plastic machines can be so much fun, versus a Barbie that you can change her clothes, cut her hair, and do whatever you want.”
We can relate. Cars are definitely not like Barbie! They don’t even have a pretend vagina area! Panties don’t fit on them! LOL, cars are so strange! Next thing you know, we moms will be asked to DRIVE ONE! That is hilarious!
So thank you, Mattel. Thank you for knowing that as women we are incapable of playing with our male children. Thank you for understanding that we’ve been doing it all wrong for a few centuries now. Our sons will be better men because you’ve shown moms exactly how to push a little car on the ground and make this noise with their lips: Brrrrruuuuummmmmmm!
Finally, since the Mouthy Housewives have seven boys between us, we’ve followed Mattel’s lead and broken down how to play with some traditional boy toys for our readers. It may be tough, but hang in there, Mom.
The Mouthy Housewives’ Guide To Playing With Boys
Balls! by Marinka: Most balls are round. Yes, there is The Football which is football-shaped, but we will cover that in our Advanced Ball course, offered next fall. So, most balls are round. This means they are good for rolling, throwing, bouncing and catching. If you are not ready for such active ball playing, try to ease into it by drawing a face on the ball and some hair. Name the ball. Get two big balls and some little ones and make a ball family. The Ballers. This will make ball play more fun for everyone. Or at least you. Your son is probably crying for some other unrelated reason.
Sticks! by Wendi: Sticks are from trees. (Trees are the big things that grow in the ground. The singing birds in “Cinderella” probably lived in one.) Sticks can be used to hit, poke and whack things. They can also be used as “light sabers” which is something from movie called “Star Wars.” Moms may recognize the shape of a stick because it’s similar to the wooden spoons they use in the kitchen to stir cake mix. To play with a stick, simply hold it in your hand and yell, “ARGH!! I HAVE A STICK!”
Thomas and Friends! by Karen: Playing with Thomas trains will suck the life out of you, and the only way you’re going to get through it is with alcohol. First, you’ll have to suffer through hours of watching the videos, because all your son will want to do is recreate what goes down in them because boys don’t know how to make shit up. Drink every time Sir Topham Hatt tells Edward he needs to hurry down to the quarry because of some stupid shit one of the other trains got into. Drink every time your toddler says Percy and it sounds like “pussy.” Drink every time you realize that the money you spent on that fucking table (you bought a table. for trains.), plus the tracks and trains could have been spent on at least one pair of Louboutins. Fight with your son because you want to fucking be Thomas JUST ONCE. Maybe you should stop drinking.
Action Figures! by Kristine: Action figures, ladies, are miniature-sized people that you use in a game that psychologists and physicists call “imaginative play.” They are often sculpted closely after the male form with close attention paid to bulging groins, disproportionate muscles, and powerful jaw lines. Boys will place these superior hunks of plastic in their hands and say things like “I will make more money than you for doing the same work!” and “My gender is intrinsically superior to my female counterparts!” Note: it is not recommended that you leave action figures laying around with Barbies or other female dolls, as they may begin to multiply by means of coital osmosis.
Play Tools! by Kelcey: These are like real tools but much lighter and you can’t actually use them to fix anything. Not that you’ve ever used a tool to fix anything anyway! A gal would never get involved in that kind of man’s work in fear of chipping one of her acrylic tips. Play tools are used by young boys at their plastic workbench. So mom, don’t be shy! Head on over to the workbench and pretend that your food processor needs fixing. Smile appreciatively as your son gets to work. You two are really bonding now. Before you know it, you’ll be wearing his play tool belt as an accessory for nights out on the town. Give yourself a high five. You’ve got this boy thing down!
image source: Mattel