Being a mom is a tough job, I do my best to encourage other moms with my Dear Elle column.

Hi Friends, tis that time of week once again where I compile my weekly Dear Shant-“Elle” columns on my site in case you’ve not worked out how to get to directly through my website via the link, or through my Instagram.

So here you are!

Dear Elle,

I just recently had two amazing twins and my older two daughters have been such a great help and my husband has stepped up in so many ways, but they drive me crazy and I feel like I want to throw the whole house away and move to a remote island sometimes.  I love my family but am I wrong for having this feeling?


Secretly Packing

Oh Gurl!!!  

First congratulations. FOUR KIDS.  Damn, that’s awesome. And it’s also a ridiculous amount of work.  One kid is such a tremendous amount of work, but four…we all need to tip our hats to ourselves more often when we go in for the “more than one” kid life.  I’ve received shit in the past for saying that mothering is the biggest job you will ever have in your life. Some have said that it isn’t “work” and that it is their greatest “joy.”  Well yay for you Betty Crocker, or whoever is the most perfect mother on the planet, but for me, being a mom was, and continues to be a job. We wear so many hats as a mother, hats that should we wear them outside our homes would absolutely be called jobs.  So what’s the issue with saying that about being a mom? To me nothing.

What does my rant about whether or not it is a job have to do with your question?  I’m about to tell you what. When we have a job and are doing our job there are days we’re richly rewarded and fulfilled by it, and there are days when we hate every single task that has anything to do with that job.  This is normal. It’s perfectly okay in society to bitch and moan about our out of home jobs, but for some reason as soon as we get crowned with the “mom hat” all that is supposed to end. It’s supposed to just vanish into thin air and we’re meant to be filled with joy and bliss all the day long.  Well this simply isn’t the case. It’s filled with good and bad days, and it’s okay to feel and honor both. Don’t beat yourself up for wanting to run away, I told my husband and my middle girl, who is twenty-seven just the other night that I was going away for two weeks, alone, to a secret place where none of them could find me.  I’ve been at this “mothering” game for thirty years and I wasn’t having fun anymore. I had hit my limit.

But guess what?  That was two weeks ago, and today, the days are good and filled with joy again.  But who knows what tomorrow might bring, perhaps, I’ll be headed to that deserted fantasy island once again.

Secretly Packing, know that you’re not alone, and that this is normal.  By knowing this you can release the guilt of it, and just blissfully picture yourself running away into the sunset, solo, the next time the shit hits the fan!

You got this!



Dear Elle,

Should I be worried my six year old daughter still has an imaginary friend?

From Stasi The Friendly Ghost

Hello, Stasi the Friendly Ghost

Hell no, I still have mine and she tells me how fabulous I am all day long!

I kid, I kid.

Unfortunately, since I don’t know your daughter, or what is going on in her life, I’d be jumping to conclusions about how to respond to this.  Which I’m loathed to do since jumping to conclusions never ends well for anybody. I will however ask you this: has she suffered a trauma that this imaginary friend helps her escape from?  Is she an only child who gets lonely and has therefore created a “companion” to spend time with? It all depends on what is happening in her life and whether or not you think the relationship with this imaginary friend is keeping her from developing real relationships with kids her own age.  If it is something that you’re truly concerned about take her to visit her doctor, they know the correct questions to ask in order to get to the root of her pretend friendship. If you’re concerned that your doctor can’t get to the bottom of it then I would ask your doctor to recommend a qualified child therapist to sit down and see what might be going on there with your daughter.





1 Comment

  1. Being a mom IS HARD WORK! When you are in charge of tiny people, people who rely on you for everything (and for the first couple years, this is 100% accurate) it’s easy to lose yourself in the job of child-rearing. As it requires so much of your time and attention, it’s also easy to get frustrated, feel lonely, and dream of throwing in the towel. Those feelings grow stronger the older your kids get (you’d think it’d be the exact opposite, but once kids learn how to be sassy, well, let’s just say there’s a reason why so many “moms’ night out” groups have popped up). This isn’t a new phenomenon. I distinctly remember my mom telling us three girls she was changing her name and wasn’t going to tell us the new one. She also had a song, “I hate kids, I really really hate ’em. I hate kids, I really really do…” We never took her seriously when she said these things because, despite the obvious frustration, she was funny and would go out of her way to make sure we had what we needed to flourish.

    I think what’s missing these days is a voice like that of Erma Bombeck; she used humor to diffuse the very real struggles mothers face on a daily basis. I highly recommend every mom get at least one of her books to read… perhaps a story in the morning to get you through the day and again just before bed so you can take a beat and recall the joys of the day.

    Too many people seem to think there’s only one way to be counted as a successful parent and you’ve somehow failed if you’ve done anything less than what the latest hot mommy blogger says is right. Frankly, that’s utter bullshit. We each need to find our way through the days, weeks, months, and years of our parenting journey. We can, of course, learn from one another, but we must never fail to remember that our experiences and circumstances are unique. Take comfort in knowing that for every blog post or Facebook story has been carefully crafted to show the author in the best light. Rarely do we hear of the day when Blog Mommy X was covered in bodily fluids, exhausted from tending to kids with illnesses or attitudes that are less than flattering for the mom.

    Several years ago, Samuel L. Jackson narrated the humor book, “Go The Fuck To Sleep”. It caused quite the uproar amongst those who either didn’t have kids or didn’t have a sense of humor about the very human side of parenting. My own roommate at the time was offended. He also had exactly ZERO children. I laughed my way through the video, knowing full well the endless delay tactics a child might employ if they didn’t want to go to bed. My roommate thought the entire thing was hateful and cruel and anyone who thought such things must be a terrible parent, with children who were bound to be monsters. I asked him if he thought my son was a good kid, if he thought the relationship between me and my son was bad. He replied that my son was (and still is) a wonderful kid and our relationship was amazingly solid, warm, and nurturing. I then confessed to having nights like the one described in the book. I told him it’s normal to occasionally have feelings that were less than kind when you’ve spent all day covered in spit-up, food, and “ I don’t even know what THAT is!” You think ridiculous things when you are exhausted, still in your pajamas from the night before, haven’t showered in two days, and you haven’t been to the bathroom alone since your child was born. We think those things, but we never act on them. We think of the most outrageous, ridiculous things and then we laugh at them because it’s how we cope with the outrageous and ridiculous events we experience every day.

    If your experience is different and you’ve never been frustrated, I’m genuinely impressed and, honestly, a little suspicious that you have a secret nanny hidden away somewhere.

    Moms, give yourself a break. Know that you’re doing something not everyone can do — even though it seems like it should be easier and more pleasant. If you can’t get out of the house to meet with friends and blow off some steam, take time to do something solely for you at the end of the day. Almost impossible if you have a baby with colic and you’re alone…I’ve been there. BUT know this: at some point, that colicky baby WILL fall asleep — maybe for 15 minutes, maybe for 5 — use that time to go to the bathroom, wash your face, and/or write down 3 things that are frustrating you followed by 3 things you know you’ve done right in your day. It may be that your 3 positives are as basic as keeping baby alive, drinking a cup of coffee or tea, and having successfully changed every diaper. These are all you need to chalk up a win for the day.

    When I had my daughter (who is now not only intelligent, funny, kind, and, yes, ALIVE at the age of 25), I was a single parent, over 1000 miles from my family. I had very few friends nearby, I was barely getting by, and I was incredibly lonely. My darling baby girl was colicky. She was prone to having absence seizures. And she mystified me in every way possible. I’d been babysitting since I was 10 and had even been a nanny to twin 2 year old boys. I was also a medical assistant at the time in pediatrics and family practice. I knew how to work with children! But my glorious child was different because she was mine and I was wholly responsible for her. It was daunting. It was terrifying! We somehow made it through the most difficult times, her unblemished, me with a C-section scar and permanent circles under my eyes. You’ll get there, too. If it ever gets TOO hard, don’t be afraid or ashamed to ask for help — from family, friends, a neighbor, and/or your doctor. There’s your village. As tiny as it may be, it’s there…and it’s also here. For all the craziness online, there are plenty of people who are available to talk you through the hard times. Just remember that none of us has all the answers.

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