I came into this life of motherhood with high hopes. After all I've managed to keep a dog alive for years without problems how difficult could it be to do the same with a child? Apparently the margin is bigger than I bargained for. Since my son was born- life and my little bundle- have continuously thrown curve balls my way and all of them have landed harshly in my suck hole. So what do I do when life as a mother gets me down? Well, of course there is the obvious-booze /antidepressant combo but, I have recently found new things to help get me through my periods of funk without destroying my liver. I would like to share some of my stress relieving activities with you. They are designed specifically for parents but, some of them are easily adjusted for those who were smart enough to use protection...
* The Runaway Game
Some times being a mom and wife sucks so badly that I fantasize about running away. Maybe you've thought of this too at times. I have managed to find a way to turn these intoxicating thoughts into a meditative and time killing opportunity. Here's what you do:
Find a place to sit and blank out for a moment. It can be anywhere and at anytime during your day. Now imagine dropping your kid off with someone you trust, grabbing your necessities and hitting the road. I usually start by loading my things in the car and stopping off to purchase a new cell phone. I don't need my old responsibilities tracking me down on my way to freedom. I then imaginatively hit the road and pick a place that no one would think to look for me. What will my name be in this new no-strings-attached-life? Where will I live? What kind of job will I get? Will I find myself a new man? What does he look like? Is he rich? How will I decorate my new home? Do I become famous in this new life? What do I do to change my looks? Can I afford new boobs? Should I have an accent of some sort? This game can take minutes or hours but it's a fun escape and may help send you to dreamland on a sleepless night. The possibilities are as broad as you imagination.
* Telemarketing Multi Purposing
It is never cool to pick a fight with a stranger face to face when you want to blow off steam. Why run the risk of getting your ass kicked when all you really want to do is unload and move on. I've come up with a solution and it's as easy as talking to those jagaloons that call your house everyday at dinner time. This game is perfect when you've had a long frustrating day caused by Junior or anyone else who's mucking up your life. When the phone rings and you hear the telemarketer on the other line, answer with an obscenity like, "what the fuck!". I like to start by questioning their career choices immediately after but, feel free to start whatever way you’re comfortable. Sometimes you get lucky and find someone who will play the verbal abuse with you like a game of ping pong. If this is the case make sure you get the last word. It would be ridiculous to lose at your own game.
If arguing with an unsuspecting stranger is not your style and you just want an ear to bend, telemarketers are great for that too. Feel free to project your issues with your father onto "Doug" the home alarm specialist, because let's face it, your need to feel safe and protected all stems from your parents divorcing in the third grade. Or maybe Doug has some ideas about potty training or dealing with nosey in-laws. Let him know how overwhelmed you are and do so passionately. Whatever avenue you chose to explore make sure you commit. Your goal is to keep them on the line until you have blown off the necessary amount of steam to continue about your day. And remember, never feel sorry for Doug or the thousands of marketers like him. If it was up to him, he'd knock you down and rifle through your pockets for spare change...
*The Lottery Game
This game is very similar to the runaway game in the sense that you're only limited by your imagination. If you're having a really rough day and have extra time you may even want to pair the two. Here are some things to get you started. What's the jackpot up to this week? Now imagine if you had all the winning numbers. What would you spend it on? How much would you give to greedy family and friends? Who would you tell first about your good fortune? This game is best if you're specific so take some time to really break it down. Just remember to allocate money for taxes. With the IRS not even your fantasies are safe from audit...
* Go Fuck Yourself
Literally...Nothing relieves stress like rubbing one out and that doesn't change when you become a parent. Just make sure that this activity is a private one. Your kids are already going to need therapy with you as their parent, its best not to send them into coo coo town early with your indecency.
* Facebook Stalking
Whether you're having a bad day or simply bored, becoming a Facebook stalker is a magnificent way to kill time. Check up on old flames, classmates and friends with just a click of the mouse. The best part of it all is that it's completely anonymous and the chances of you get caught rifling through this cyber "nightstand drawer" is really unlikely. Trust me, when you find out your old boyfriend has married a fatty and your old high school prom queen is currently undergoing rehab for huffing, you'll be thanking your lucky stars for that booger machine your stuck chasing after day after day.
* Teach Your Kid Something
Ever get tired of playground moms trying to outdo you and your child? How many times do you have to hear what a genius little "Timmy" is before you decided to make his brand of smart seem trivial by teaching your own kid a new trick. Whenever I'm feeling down after a play date I teach my child something way out of his league. For example when he was two and some of his super "smart" buddies started learning sign language- I taught my son how to read a handful of words, nothing crazy- just simple stuff like cat, dog, and elephant. Then the next time those pesky mommies tried to make my kid look stupid by asking baby coco the mini gorilla to sign - I was able to one up them by showing off my own mini-pants-pooping Einstein.
This is my holy grail of decompression after a long and irritating day. And though most of you are thinking I jump on it and take a joy ride, you could not be more wrong (this time anyway). Broomstick is a game I play when I am so far over the edge that a mental disconnect will no longer cut it. All you need for this stress reliever is to grab a broom and head out back. Then with every ounce of rage you can muster, start beating the sweet bejesus out of a tree, fence or swing set. I like to keep the beating going until the broom breaks in two and falls to my feet with a defeated thud but, like all the other things I mentioned today- make it yours. I also encourage you to scream or imagine someone while you’re beating your way to Zen.
There is one important rule to always remember while engaging in Broomstick relief, ALWAYS use a broom with a wooden or plastic handle. Metal broomsticks will have you more shaken than when you started and you’re already a mental case, there’s no need to be suicidal.
** Have a funny or ridiculous way to relieve stress and frustration? Share it with the Mouthy Mommy in the comment section.