Have you ever been in a situations with your family where you’ve become a broken record and no one hears you anymore? Your level of frustration is at an all-time high, and you’re at your wits’ end. Don’t give up; instead, try a little theatrical ploy. Let’s face it, we can all get dramatic, unfortunately we seem to choose the dark side more often than the light. Some of us are masters at doing reruns of Friday the 13th. It seems that finding underwear on the floor and wet towels on the bed are a constant. I also used to want to scream when I found half eaten bowls of cereal swimming in milk sitting in the sink, or rings on the table from glasses that had wet bottoms. Oh, there were other things, like rooms occupied by adolescent kids that looked as if they had been part of a crime scene in CSI, and the loud, penetrating music that would make a dog cover his ears. I definitely spent a lot of years imitating my mothers’ tactics which was to threaten the use of force which was ridiculous. My sons were much taller than me so it was like a mouse yelling at Thor. They usually smirked and went on with what they were doing. I finally decided I had to lighten up and start introducing a little levity. So one day I started singing what I wanted them to do. I used a blues melody, stood on a chair and proceeded to wail, “that I was tired and lonely and nobody gave a dam”, I work all day and night, and never get anything right”! At first they just looked at me like I was crazy, but I kept belting out songs, much to their dismay. I also tried a little opera, and some country western. I soon heard, “Mom, mom, we can’t stand it anymore, what do you want us to do? I have also walked into the house with a boa and a tiara and told them how disappointed I was that the house had became so disheveled while I was gone while using a British accent. I realize that not everyone is going to use these techniques, but trust me when I tell you that it does change the mood and often gets everyone feeling more playful. Try it, you might find your laughing yourself silly, or they’ll take you away and you’ll get a much needed rest.
I got married for the first time when I was just shy of twenty. I was in college and also working part-time to pay for books and sundries. We had gotten engaged when I was sixteen, so I had quite awhile to save and prepare for what I thought was going to be a fairy tale life. Shortly after I got married I got pregnant with my first child. In fact my son attended my graduation in his baby carriage. Two other children followed shortly thereafter.
My dreams of a career were sidelined in deference to being a stay at home mom. At that time in history that’s what the majority of women did. My time was spent cooking, cleaning, and taking care of junior. However, I had the unfortunate need to be a perfectionist. Nothing was ever clean enough or good enough to pass my inspection. Whenever I talk to women who have or still do have the same mindsets, I’m reminded of how insane I was. My fairy tale ended with a divorce and as a result I had to seek employment in order to stay financially afloat. My ex. did his part, but I definitely had to pitch in.
Now I was working and also parenting and managing a home. Over the years this lifestyle has continued, and in many ways escalated. My success in my field of interest burgeoned, and although it has been a blessing in many ways it can often be a curse. Being a successful woman often brings a lot of angst. The time spent away on the road, writing books, and trying to manage one’s health, home, family and friends is often daunting. The family may be at odds with the time you spend away from them and rightfully so, but women will add the burden of guilt to their already overburdened lives, whereas men are free from those types of feelings.
We may “have come a long way baby” as an old cigarette commercial once touted, but we have also managed to create lives that take a lot of work. What often goes by the boards is self-care. I have often parroted to women in my groups “that if you don’t take care of yourself, it’s harder to take care of anyone else”. Yes, men are helping out more on the home front. But , let’s face it we are still primarily the domestic goddesses and now we can add the worker bees. What I really think we need are wives. Ones that attend the June Cleaver Institute. Then we just might be able to lay on our sofa’s with a glass of wine and a good book.
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