If you wake up Sunday morning, miserable and ready to fight with whoever makes too much eye contact, there’s really only one thing to do: see if you can get rid of your entire family for a few hours. It helps if your husband can be convinced that he owes you one. Capitalize on even the faintest hint of imbalance to buy yourself some solitude. You took the kids to a friend’s yesterday so he could work on the floors uninterrupted?
He clearly had the better deal.
Once he agrees to get himself and the kids out of your hair, it’s in your best interest to get them ready and out the door – you don’t need him wandering aimlessly looking for the baby’s shoes. On a good day this can rub you the wrong way. Today? It could push you over the edge.
Once they’re gone, make yourself a second cup of coffee and take five minutes to soak in how rotten life is.
And mental note this – write it down if you have to: The next time you’re feeling vulnerable and emotionally generous, promise to keep your theories to yourself. Telling your already fed-up and cranky husband that you might be suffering from a low-grade depression due to weaning your two-year old will most definitely come back to haunt you. Because when next you are acting irritated and unreasonable for seemingly no good reason, he will wax psychologist and suggest you look into hormone replacement therapy.
He won’t care when you accuse him of having paid attention to that Oprah episode.
Drink your coffee and read a few pages of Anne Lamott or Jon Kabat-Zinn but whatever you do, don’t check your Facebook account. If you do, you’ll selectively hone in on only those friends with suspiciously flawless lives – you know who I’m talking about: they’ve already run 10K, cleaned their houses and are now enjoying some educational outdoor time with their perfectly behaved children. And it’s not even 9 am.
Decide to do something that will make you feel better but keep your expectations low. Feeling even a smidgeon better than this will be an improvement.
I suggest cleaning the upstairs bathroom. Especially if looking at the disarray of downstairs due to renovations is making you crazy enough to commit yourself just to have a clean room to live in. Scrub the toilet. And the tub and the sink. You may have to go so far as the floors.
It’s possible you’re feeling this bad.
Once you get going, you’ll naturally move onto the bedroom. Vacuum up the crackers next to your bed – stop berating yourself for letting the kids eat in your room. It was the only way to get them to settle down enough so you could enjoy one lousy glass of wine before starting the bedtime routine after a long day at work.
Prepare yourself for their return. Have a plan because your husband will likely storm through the door acting entitled and overwrought – after all, he just had the kids for two hours and will point out that you of all people should know how much work that is.
When the kids get in, bring them upstairs because there is no furniture in the living room. Put the baby gate up, turn on Treehouse and tell them you’re going to take a shower. Don’t feel guilty for putting TV on mid day because they were just at the splash pad for a few hours, they could use the break.
Try to resist the urge to weigh yourself before getting into the shower– it could wreak havoc with your delicate emotional state. But if you do give into the urge, don’t (and I repeat, DON’T) weigh yourself a second time to verify that you indeed are down two pounds. It could be a technical glitch with your digital scale and your temporary high, that sense of possibility that all your hard work at the gym is paying off finally, will be short lived, reinforcing that you do actually have a crummy life because on top of everything else you are bloated, overweight, homely and unfairly afflicted with adult acne.
And because it's now your turn to entertain the kids, go somewhere you can tolerate. Costco has a lot going for it. Woo them with hotdogs in the cafeteria and fulfill your need to restock the things you're running low on.