1. Learn how to cook.
I dont want to play up the stereotype of a Jewish mom, but there is something important about a home-cooked meal. Favorite dinners and delicious desserts can be used as leverage when hormones and homework turn your little miracle into Snooki. Ive only recently learned that the oven has a purpose beyond storing vodka bottles, but cannot deny that most troubled families are sorely lacking in quality time at the table. Be proactive. Buy a cookbook and play along before you wind up in a psych ward. Besides, Have another bite of my lasagna is a great response when Junior annoys the shit out of you. Remember: Shut the fuck up is rude.
2. Dont let them see you sweat.
Your kids arent always trying to get a rise out of you; sometimes they want to be understood. Listen, maybe they have a point. Tell your son if he can explain why he should be allowed to wear eyeshadow, you will consider it. The ability to argue effectively might get him into law school, despite cross-dressing, so its a win for everyone.
3. Turn off the television.
Cable boxes work against peaceful households. Kids learn enough biting insults and curse words at school. Your home should be a haven away from disgraceful athletes, pregnant teenagers or bratty sitcom stars. Encourage your kids to read with you each night. If youre snuggling, youre less likely to smack them.
4. Take away privileges.
Thats right. Until they learn to address you with the respect you deserve, they dont get to talk on their cell phones, listen to music or drive cars. And dont forget to model the behavior you seek in others. If youve been calling them assholes for years, do not be surprised when they turn on you.
5. Get laid.
Seriously, mama, an orgasm a day keeps those demons at bay.
6. Think old school.
No, Im not talking about a beating. Im suggesting you return to time-outs or wash their mouths out with soap. If Angel wants to act like an insolent child, perhaps you should treat her like one.
7. Call your doctor.
You may be either over-medicated, or in serious need of a prescription. Maybe you should vent to someone who wont remind you that your moody, mouthy kids come by it honestly.
8. Turn to friends
Rant and rave. Find a support group for frustrated moms every suburb in America has them. Come on, the Internet isnt just a place to find well-hung strangers. Forums exist with plenty of like-minded women willing to take your side. If men who fantasize about feet can find some friends, you can, too.
9. Reach out to family.
Were too isolated these days. Families are fragmented and many moms going it alone without a support system are accidents waiting to happen. Your own relatives might be worried about you and would appreciate the ability to help before a camera crew shows up at their door.
In the end, remember this: kids are never to blame for being kids. Get the help you all deserve.
You can find Catherine Durkin Robinson online at www.outinleftfield.com.