A Few Sanity-saving Tips for Housewives
She must be on Prozac. What you think?
Fuming that my decrepit turtle of a son had chosen this night of all nights not to do his homework early, I sat at the farthest pew to cool off and wait for his church program practice to finish. It’s going to be a long night again. Some Filipina moms, whose children were also in the program, were already there. They were exchanging tales of domestic woes. I turned to the one nearest me, her name was Gina, and flashed her an understanding smile. Unappreciated housewife. That was her drama.
People whose work does not earn them wads of cash are not as important as those who bring in a regular paycheck. I was visiting my alma matter’s site last week and learned that they were accepting nominations for “Most Outstanding Alumni”. They specified that the nominee must have done significant work in the fields of: engineering, science, business, education, arts, etc. After reading it, I sighed. It looked like I didn’t have a chance there. I wanted to nominate myself, but they don’t consider the work of a homemaker as an essential contribution to society. How sad! Saddest of all is when the people closest to you make you feel like you are living the sweet life because you’re staying at home. My heart goes out to Gina and others like her.
I’m afraid that such has always been the case for all housewives. I don’t think it will ever change. The sooner you learn to accept this universal truth, the sooner you’ll figure out ways to deal with it and acquire a cheerier disposition in life.
Following this train of thought, I decided to make a list of my own Housewife Sanity-saving Tips:
Come up with a mantra that suits you, an oft repeated word or slogan that can comfort or lift you up. Don’t wait for your husband to make you feel better. That will never happen. Men have a poor EQ(emotional quotient). So take care of yourself and your spirit. When I am in my “oppressed martyr mood”, I say to myself:”Huwag mong tipirin ang sarili mo.” (Don’t be stingy with yourself.) And if I have some money, I’d get out of the house and shop. Somehow my mantra never fails me. An older and wiser woman explained to me some years ago that if you are not generous with yourself, you’ll end up a bitter wife.
The candy shelf that supplies my stash
Stash some decadent dark chocolates behind the bottles and jars of condiments in the kitchen or in any place where your husband and kids would never care to look . Don’t share. Eating them should be a private comforting ritual for you. These bonbons should be kept as sacred as the church’s communion wafer. The more sophisticated and pricey they are, the better. You deserve it. Pop them in your mouth when you’re tired after hours of housework. Reward and indulge yourself, but don’t finish the whole box. You wouldn’t want your weight to go up the roof and create more drama for you. We all know how chocolates make the body release endorphins, chemicals in the body that bring about a sense of well-being. They also contain serotonin, an anti-depressant. When I consume my daily dose of pleasure drug, my mouth always breaks into a wide sphinx-like smile. My kids would ask, “What’s that?”. My smile widens all the more and I’d answer mysteriously, “Nothing.” No amount of whining and tugging at my shirt could burst my happy bubble. They can’t get to me.
My frivolous collection of Momiji Dolls. Aren’t they cute?
Get yourself something that’s totally off the budget. Doesn’t have to be expensive. You buy it just because you want to. It doesn’t have to serve a purpose. Don’t buy cookware, for goodness sake! I remember my aunt who had a big fight with her husband. Angry, she decided to go shopping and waste her husband’s hard-earned money. She was disappointed when she came home because all she got was a toilet brush and some Scotch Brite scouring pads. Even in her moment of rebellion she still couldn’t treat herself like a queen. Get something that makes you smile. Something absolutely frivolous that could make your husband shake his head. This is the application of my mantra, “huwag mong tipirin ang sarili mo.”
A vision board is simply a collage
Try to have a vision board. I haven’t done this yet, but I think that it is a good sanity-saving endeavour. It is a just a cardboard where you paste pictures of what you want for yourself. You hang it where you can see it all the time and be reminded of your goals in life. The belief is that, being constantly bombarded by these visions, you will act on them and be able to fulfill them. The board will make you feel that you have a bright future ahead and that your life is going somewhere. You’re not just stuck within the four walls of your home, waging a never-ending battle with your self-esteem that refuses to stay up there where you want it to be.
I know these tips are not much, but they have helped me with my own housewife dramas(except for the last one which I haven’t tried out yet). Feel free to add you own. The more the merrier.