Managing stress is something I've been working on for quite some time. Or rather, it's been at the top of my to-do list for quite some time but keeps getting shunted aside by other more time-sensitive projects, like shrieking at my family to STOP LEAVING THEIR CRAP ALL OVER THE PLACE.
I did have what you might call an "aha moment" the other night, when I overheard Gus say to Larry, "I wish Mommy had book club tonight." You don't have to be a rocket surgeon to know that he wasn't generously wishing for my literary enlightenment. The poor kid had clearly had it up to his elfin eyeballs with my nagging ASS FACE.
And man do I nag.
Nag, nag, nag.
- Shut the door, the flies are getting in, and we're all going to die of that thwacking sound they make when they get trapped in the lampshades!
- Take off your shoes, you're leaving muddy footprints on my freshly mopped floors, not to mention ON MY HEART. WHICH IS BROKEN.
- Two-part question: Is that wet grass all over your feet, and why does everyone hate me?
- Please take the trashcan off your head, so I can throw away all of your Legos.
- Why does your bedroom smell like pee pee?
- For the love of Christ's chihuahua, that's a COFFEE TABLE, not an EASEL!
- How many times do I have to say NO FEET IN THE MAC AND CHEESE.
- You did NOT just draw that mustache on your brother with permanent marker.
Lori Shaw-Cohen wrote a great piece for this month's issue of Herabout the joys of boys. Lori has been Her's parenting columnist from the get-go, and she is older (though she doesn't look it) and wiser than me, and extremely likable both in print and in person. And while it makes me feel better to know that I'm a walking cliché other moms of boys are experiencing the same things I am, I'm still not happy with my approach. I'm not happy that I spend the measly 3 hours I have between work and bedtime making everyone around me miserable. On the other side of that token, I'm tired of feeling like our house and everyone in it will come crashing down around me in a cloud of dust (that smells faintly of wet bathing suits and cheese), if I don't BOLSTER IT WITH THE SOUND OF MY NAGGING VOICE.
I was raised in a home that was, for all intents and purposes, perfect. It was spotless and quiet and orderly, because it was simply not permitted to be any other way. Granted, my mother did not work outside the home when I was growing up, BUT THAT'S NO EXCUSE FOR ME. So if you're going to suggest that I "just relax" and "let go" and "recognize that I can't control everything", I'm here to tell you: THOSE ARE NOT VIABLE OPTIONS FOR ME.
I am, however, open to any other suggestions you might have.