magnoliaWith all the self-help books available, it is a wonder that we aren’t all perfect humans already. But we aren’t, and we do still wonder about stuff in our lives. This creates a perfect opportunity for an industry of advisors and life coaches.

Personally, I find a lot of bleached teeth life coaches tiresome, because they often gently tell a body what they might want to hear. Sometimes, however, the right advice kind of feels like a cold glass of water in the face. That is the kind of advice you can trust.

Here are three reader questions from the fan base of the very deserving-of-adulation Kristen of Abandoning Pretense.

Question number 1:

I have a husband and two children, and feel like I’m always coming in last in the family – I do everything for everyone else but no one is taking care of me. How can I move up a place or two?

You are the Mom — promote your damn self by a few notches! I think we create the environment for people to disregard our needs, and then we wonder why we are living in the bottom of the well while people throw food scraps at us.

No Mama, you need to implement a few things that will set the tone that you matter dammit…

  1. Bathrooms come with locks. Use them. It is actually not mandatory to allow children to impinge on your privacy.
  2. There has to be “no go” zones, like the nightstand by your bed where you keep your naughty things. If your kid comes out of the bedroom sporting a vibrator in his belt like a sword, it might be great entertainment for your dinner party, but the bigger question is, Why did he think it was okay to go in your drawers?
  3. Like dogs and other pack animals, alpha eats first. Try it… even husbands learn if they approach your kill that they will be on the receiving end of a snarl and a snap. And never share your chocolate.

Try some of these, and see how fast everybody learns to stand down when Mama needs her time and space.

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Question number 2

My husband doesn’t want more kids; I do. I’m not holding it against him, but I seriously have zero interest in the sex. What if I never want to do the horizontal mambo (or vertical, ’cause that’s cool, too…) again? What if I only want the sex for the baby? OHMYGOD AM I CATHOLIC? Wait, I am…

You are totally holding it against him, get real with that. This isn’t about anything but power and who has it. Any man who deigns to deny a woman (especially a Catholic one) a baby when she wants one is taking his life in his hands.

I mean, it is possible that your mojo has been excised by something else, but it makes a lot of sense that your zombie vagina is protesting the fact that he is causing it to retire from production.

I am not suggesting you use sex as currency or anything like that, but you should open negotiations. Why doesn’t he want more kids? Does he get that his Dad hotness is fading daily? Totally make it about him. Catholic guilt has no place on your side… shower him in it.

This issue is serious and for many couples is a deal breaker. You should be able to bring him around. Besides, he is more likely to get over having another child than you are to get over not having one. Talk to him off site, no kids around, and wear something slinky so he knows what he will be missing.

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Question number 3:

How do I connect with my 8yo daughter more? I feel like she’s growing apart from me as she grows older. 

I hate to break it to you, but if this drifting apart is actually happening, it is freakin’ early. Mostly, girls start thinking their mothers are idiots a little later than that. They hate what we wear, our music, our shoes, the rules, they hate it all… but not until later. So you have time to build up enough of a relationship that you may weather the teen years with a bit of dignity (but you might be a pioneer if that happens).

I am no expert at parenting, or actually anything for that matter, but it seems to me that most kids need a steel hand in a velvet glove for parenting. While she is still eight, you can build the love account before she learns to be a lying little porn star at sixteen. Try some of this:

  • Girls love to hear about themselves and how cute they were as toddlers – look through photo albums together, unless you used a bowl to cut her hair when she was 4; then she will just hate you more.
  • They love the inner sanctums of older girls. Take her to the store where teens shop for a little purchase that she can treasure from the big girl store.
  • Take cooking or skateboard lessons together – but don’t take her to Zumba or Yoga, she might get traumatized by all the Mom bums.
  • Take her to crouch behind some shrubs near her school, and lob water balloons at boys. Girls love that shit.

Above all, do not do any of this with the idea that you two are friends. The most obnoxious horrible children in the world are the ones whose parents are trying to cozy up to them and call them Buddy.

Fear no child, and love them fiercely because they matter, but don’t let them be assholes.

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So there you have it, dear readers. I will turn you back over to Kristen again. She is far nicer and more talented than me. I am sure you wonder how it is possible for her to permit such sanctimonious drivel on her site. It is because she knows her readers have a sense of humour. Thank you for reading!

Want more Magnolia? Subscribe to her blog at www.magnoliaripkin.com and follower her on Facebook.

11 Comments

    • I know. My daughter went to camp with a horrible, highly sexualized 12 year old… I am pretty sure she is out partying with her mom as we speak.

  1. It is. In my view if a Mom has so much in common with her teen daughter,(who is not in possession of a fully developed prefrontal cortex by the way) and they are besties… well that is just wrong.

  2. LOL, awesome advice as always. And glad to hear #2. Not that I don’t just fancy doing the jiggy but the time I posted about wanting another babes, I was inundated with emails telling me I was selfish and should listen to my husband. seriously. May have to drag that issue back on to our drawing board, but first, lingerie shopping….

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