Dear Uncle Mat,
I wanna know how to grow balls. I blame myself for every friggin’ thing in my life, and my daughter says she’s not happy because I’m not happy. That was hard to swallow, but she opened my eyes and scrambled my brain: She sees too much. I work Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-5p.m., and I have my two kids six days a week. I don’t receive any child support or assistance, for my pride is too large to swallow, but I am torn by my daughter saying this to me.
I don’t know how I got from Mommy, friend, and nurturer to Mommy, friend, discipliner, punisher, a sad, boring woman, a confused, angry, frustrated woman who can’t understand how some people can bear me; I don’t even like myself. I want your advice on how to fix my sad sorry self. I need to be centered, to make my children happy, and to put myself aside and realize they, too, are going through things. I want to be happy Mommy again, wanna dance with my kids in the bedroom with the laundry all over the floor and not worry about it, have great moments with them with lots of laughter and silliness. I want to be that woman again and I need some advice on how to find her.
Don’t grow balls, you will creep everyone out. Moms have boobs, not balls, and that is a good thing, biologically speaking. Also, don’t take everything your children say to heart. They are most often honest, but at times can be a bit overdramatic and even cruel.
You are unhappy, so fix it. Write a list of the things in your life that make you unhappy. Be honest. Put an “x” next to the things you have no control over. Put a star next to the things you can change. Tape this list up on your bathroom mirror. Read it out loud once a day and look yourself in the eye. Now smile and pay yourself a compliment. Happiness comes from within and will spread through your life through the actions you take each day.
Take time for yourself. Do something you love that is just for you. It is awesome to be devoted to your children, but attempting to fulfill their every need, every moment, and to ensure their success in life will only leave you tired and frustrated at the end of the day. You can’t make them be anything, but you can show them how to be something and someone by your example. Your joy will give them joy, which will give you more joy back again.
Be kind to your kids by being kind to yourself. If there isn’t a legal issue or other disaster lurking behind the child support, take it. So what if you already make enough to get by? Save the money for college or an annual vacation. The money is not about you, or your relationship with their father; it is about a quality of life that stretches beyond today.
Your kids’ father may be the biggest asshole on this planet, but start to look for forgiveness in your relationship. Forgive him and forgive yourself for your past with him. Resentment will eat you alive. You have to know and deal with him till one of you is dead. Make the best of it you can (and no, you may not speed this up by killing him).
Finally, dance while doing the laundry. There will always be more laundry (I know this because I hate it, too.) You will never have time for fun if you are trying to make everything perfect first. Fun is a state of mind, not an activity. A birthday party can be miserable and sad if you put your mind to it. A spoonful of sugar!
Much love and happiness,
Your Uncle Mat
PS. If this doesn’t help, watch Mommie Dearest. That should scare you straight.
Uncle Mat answers questions about relationships, sex, pets, and art. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, myspace.com/yourunclemat, or check out the Dear Uncle Mat Page on Facebook. Your true identity is safe with him.