Motherhood is the most demanding job on the planet. We don’t get vacation days, sick days, overtime pay, health benefits, or bonuses. We clean up vomit, blood, poop, and urine; we rub sweaty feet; we kiss open wounds and tears; and we make sure everyone else is happy before we think of ourselves.
Underpaid and underappreciated motherhood union workers unite! Every mother―working, stay-at-home, and everything in between―deserves at least one mental health day a month.
You may not realize that you have turned into that grizzled mom in Wal-Mart. You know who I’m talking about: a tribe of mini-humans, frazzled hair, no bra, sporting yesterday’s dinner on an oversized tee. We’ve all strolled past her and thought to ourselves, “Thank God I don’t look like that.” How do you know people aren’t saying the same about you?
We often get so absorbed in motherhood that we don’t realize we’ve turned into Monster Mom until someone spells it out for us or comes up with a handy dandy list. Damn you, Blue’s Clues! If you’ve experienced one or more of the following signs, you are that mom, and are in urgent need of a night away from the young’uns.
1. You Eat Like a Three Year-Old
You used to eat sushi, gourmet sandwiches, and artisan salads. Now your lunch consists of a Choo-Choo-shaped peanut butter and jelly sammy, a side of smiley fries, and cherry-flavored Jello. And you’re probably more excited than you should be about the Jello.
2. Your Choice of Music Has Regressed
Instead of singing in the shower to Lady Gaga, you’ve been caught Hot Diggity Doggin’ to the Mickey Mouse Club theme song. If you even know what Hot Diggity Dog is, you deserve a night out.
3. You’ve Consumed Alcohol from a Sippy Cup
It’s nap time. There’s a sink full of dirty dishes and the only thing clean in the entire house is a sippy cup. You’ve officially reached the lowest of the low. You have a decision to make: You can either drink straight from the bottle or pour yourself some wine in a Thomas the Train sippy cup. I’ve done both, but the sippy cup is easier to hold when you’re jamming out to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.
4. You’ve Memorized Children’s Movies
You know all of the characters, the songs, and most of the dialogue in “The Lion King.” Or any children’s movie that your kids have forced you to watch over and over and over until Disney oozes from your brain. Hakuna Matata, friends; there is hope yet for us all.
5. Alone Time Takes on a Whole New Meaning
Your idea of a fabulous night alone with no kids involves taking a poop. Not just any poop: a quiet, peaceful poop, catching up on all the Facebook gossip, sans little fingers shoving Cheerios under the crack in the bathroom door. If this sounds like pure bliss to you, you are also in need of a night out.
6. You Can’t Remember the Last Time You’ve Shaved Your Legs
If your leg hair is long enough to style in a French braid, you need a day off. And a word of advice: Skip the girly razor and go straight for the electric clippers.
7. You’re Fluent in Baby-ese
Once you begin speaking in the third person and in two- and three-word phrases to your friends and family, the situation has become critical. For example, a weary mother who says, “Mommy needs Valium” can be translated into an urgent cry for help. If you’ve heard yourself say anything similar to that effect, you should seek a night out immediately.
8. Hygiene Has Taken a Back Seat
When the dogs won’t even sit next to you anymore, you know it’s time for an intervention. You might justify not bathing by saying, “I just showered yesterday” or “I’m not planning on going anywhere today,” but you’re just masking the problem with excuses. If you brush your hair sideways and it stays that way for 30 seconds or more, it’s time for a night out.
9. You Have Had Meaningful Conversations with Yourself
I think most people have talked to themselves at some point in their lives, but the real issue begins when you have an active dialogue with yourself. And, as mentioned above, referring to yourself in the third person almost always signals an immediate need for a night out. An accurate litmus test is if the people of Wal-Mart look at you like you’re a few Choo-Choo sandwiches short of a picnic, you probably are.
10. Your Toenails Look like They’ve Been Run over by a Lawn Mower
We are known for prioritizing ourselves last, but for the love of everything good in this world, those cheese dogs deserve some lovin’ too! Your feet are what carry you through this life and allow you to take care of your family, so take care of them! Sell an ovary, take that $30, and go clean the fuzz out from between your toes, girlfriend!