5 Awesome Tips for Stay at Home Parents (How NOT to lose your marbles)

In honor of National Blog Posting Month – #NaBloPoMo, I’ve decided to feature some insanely talented guest blogger buddies of mine here on Moms Who Drink And Swear: Chicago Edition. This is the fourth guest post in the series! My friend, Beth, writes the blog The Cult of Perfect Motherhood. She’s brilliant. BRILLIANT. A year or so ago, she wrote a post called Comparative Pain. She truly killed it. Pain IS pain. Teddy Roosevelt is famously quoted as saying, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Right fucking on, Ted! It’s also the thief of grief. But THAT subject is a blog post in and of itself, which I will write and post soon.

comparison

Anyhooo…

Beth’s guest post for MWDAS is not about comparative pain, but it is about a different kind of pain – the pain of change and transition. And all the awesome shit we can learn from television.

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Lessons from Betty Draper
Beth Caldwell

In September, I quit my job as a lawyer to become a full-time cancer patient. (Pause for everyone to be sad and send me well-wishes, because MWDAS readers are kind people. Thank you.) I’m in this weird in-between world of not really being a stay-at-home mom, because we’re keeping daycare for our kids because I have to go to treatments sometimes…but I don’t have a paying job to run off to, so I’m not living the life of an employed mom either. I have one foot in SAHM-ness, but I have to put on pants and take a shower and stuff, and the kids aren’t here all day.

I’ve always been one to adopt TV characters as my spirit guides through life’s adventures (Frank Underwood is my spirit guide through cancer), and that’s why Betty Draper has become one of my new best friends. You know, the awful mother from Mad Men? She’s not my parenting spirit guide for sure—I think we can all agree it would suck to be one of Betty’s kids—but she’s basically living the lifestyle I am now. Her kids are off at school or with the housekeeper, which leaves her time alone during the day. I no longer look at her and think “what a bitch.” Instead I think “Betty’s doing the best she can in a shitty situation.” And dude, she’s got some serious coping skills, and there’s a lot to be learned there.

And thus, I bring you 5 lessons I’ve learned from Betty Draper about not working:

1. Booze is the lubricant that keeps us from going completely insane. But only in moderation, because when you drink too much of it, you make poor choices, like fucking some guy at a party. You want just enough to make cleaning the stove seem less unpleasant.

2. Find hobbies that bring you joy. For Betty, it’s political activism that brings her into contact with the governor’s good looking chief of staff. For me, it’s keeping a toe in the civil rights world.

3. Watch the news or listen to the radio or otherwise stay connected. Otherwise you won’t know that a major world event has happened, like John Kennedy getting murdered. It’s easy to miss out on stuff when you don’t get out as much.

4. It’s important to make friends who won’t judge you. If you’ve surrounded yourselves with judgmental assholes, the people in your life will be useless when your husband turns out to be a philandering jerk who has been lying about his identity for 10 years, or when you get cancer.

5. When you’re feeling low, put on clothes that make you feel good. It may be yoga pants and your favorite sweatshirt. It may be your hot pink heels that say Fuck Cancer on them. It may be something different every day. Just do what feels right, and you’re probably gonna be on the right track.

In fact, that doesn’t just apply to clothes. Do what makes you feel good, because when you’re unhappy and home alone, this is what happens.

Beth’s blog The Cult of Perfect Motherhood
The Cult of Perfect Motherhood on Facebook
The latest post on TCOPM, People say the nicest things when you are dying, is ridiculously good and a must read. Click on the title and read it right fucking NOW. Fucker.

betty draper with cig

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