Like all personal insights, there are things about family life that must be learned from one’s own experience. However, I can only hope that the wisdom I have gleaned through my own personal struggles as a wife and mother will be of help to others and save someone pain. Thus I bring you:
5 Profound Things I’ve Learned From My Family
1. Do not describe your child as “that hellion.” It makes nice people uncomfortable.
2. When, upon leaving the toy store, your four-year old has an ear-splitting tantrum and goes boneless on a pee-stained street corner, do not offer him to passersby. (See number 1.)
3. Marriage counseling is helpful for re-establishing conversation when communications have devolved into throwing raw meat at one another. It also serves to remind you that your partner merely sees the world differently and is probably not, in fact, out to kill you. However, marriage counseling does not actually change behavior, yours or his. To expect that it will is like trying to learn French by hiring an organ grinder and his monkey to perform alouette. The best you can hope for is that the therapist will take your side and agree that keeping the compost bin on the kitchen counter is, in fact, gross.
4. If, at the end of a day, you find yourself changing out of a nightgown, into a nightgown, it’s time to make some plans with friends.
5. Given the breakneck pace of life with kids, it’s easy to fall behind on your daily discipline of playing out catastrophic scenarios in your head. I’ve found the hours between 2:00 am and 5:00 am to be a convenient window for catching up on apocalyptic imaginings. When you wake up in the middle of the night in a sweaty, wild-eyed panic for no reason, take this opportunity to lie back and imagine the worst in uninterrupted leisure.
In case you’re short on topics, choose from the below:
…you take the kids with you to Safeway and somehow forget them there? Picture. Repeat.
…you and Boyd both lose your jobs and you have to ask your father for money? Picture. Repeat.
…you get so mad at Boyd for sleeping well, you go berserk and become a husband abuser like Judith Light in Men Don’t Tell? Picture. Repeat.
… the Bay Area real estate market stays impossible and you have to remain in your current home forever, making eye contact with Norman-the-Neighbor every time he takes a shower, because he leaves the window open and likes to wave at you? Picture. Repeat.
I hope you’ve found these tips helpful. If I can answer any questions about healthy family life, please don’t hesitate to ask.