I like to apply the same principles to kids as I do to poker: always have a pair and a spare.

I’m Taking a Break from Motherhood (And You Should Too)

I like to apply the same principles to kids as I do to poker: always have a pair and a spare.

By Christina Crawford

Lately my life as a mom is starting to resemble the children’s book “The Giving Tree.” I give and give and give and those little fuckers take and take and take with nary a thank you. I am in no shape to help anyone because I feel so depleted and exhausted. I’ve reached my bullshit threshold. I AM DONE.

Have the airlines taught us nothing? You have to put on your own oxygen mask before helping others, so I made a New Year’s resolution to focus on self-care. I’m sticking to it by taking a well-deserved break from motherhood.

How long will this hiatus last? Days, months, years? Who can know? As long as it takes; that’s how long. I like to employ more of an “absence makes the heart grow fonder” mentality when it comes to the kids. How can I miss them if we are together all the time? This respite will be good for all of us.

The kiddos will be just fine on their own. Children these days are so coddled, and we have only ourselves to blame for this. Whatever happened to “survival of the fittest?” With all the shelter, clothing and basic nutrition I provide them, they are becoming dependent on me and it’s doing them no favors. With their alarming lack of survival skills, I fear these kids would be completely helpless and unable to survive in the wild, and that is a scary thought. They might curse me for it now; but trust me, they will thank me later during the impending zombie apocalypse or when they want to be contestants on a survival reality show. As it stands now, they wouldn’t last a minute on Naked and Afraid.

I told a friend my plan, and understandably, she has a few concerns, which I’ve addressed:

How will they eat? If you’re hungry, you best learn how to cook. My toddler could stand to lose a few anyway. If she ever wants to fit in those size 2T skinny jeans again, she needs to put down the goldfish crackers and lay off the (apple) sauce. She will have a much better chance of scoring a man and getting in with the right preschool social circles if she slims down a bit. I’m just looking out for her. Two-year-olds can be ruthless when it comes to how fast you lose the baby fat. Besides, missing a meal (or ten) never hurt nobody. Bet they will be wishing they hadn’t turned their noses up at all the gourmet frozen food I cooked them over the years.

How will they get to school? If they truly value education, they will find a way. School is kind of over-rated anyway. You know how I learned what I needed to know in life? From the streets and the school of hard knocks, that’s how. And clearly, I turned out great.

How will they pay the mortgage? It’s sink or swim, bitches. Money doesn’t grow on trees and it’s high time they learned the value of a dollar. It wouldn’t kill ya to get a J.O.B. I hear the coal mine up the road is hiring.

Will this emotionally damage them? Who among us doesn’t have abandonment issues? Kids these days are such snowflakes. They need to toughen up, if you ask me. Someone call the wahhmbulance. Save it for your therapist, bro.

The baby is – how do I say this politely? — “a bit lacking” with conversational and gross motor skills, so the older kids will need to pitch in and help her a bit. Isn’t that how the Duggars do it? Their older kids raise their younger kids. See how successful they are?!

Upon my homecoming, I certainly hope all my beloveds are still around and in one piece. I’d hate to lose one (especially the prettiest one, as she’s the most likely to marry rich and support me one day), but I guess that’s just the price you pay for some peace and quiet. I have more than plenty of kids, though. This was the whole reason for having so many to begin with: if I lose one in Target, there will always be an extra. I like to apply the same principles to kids as I do to poker: always have a pair and a spare.

So, as you can see, this is a win/win. I get some much-needed tranquility and the kids will learn some independence and self-sufficiency. If things get really bad, they can always call my parents (who live a mere few states away) to come help. Don’t worry, I’ll return at some point. But not until I am well-rested and have made my way through all 25 seasons of Keeping Up With the Kardashians.


About the Author

Christina Crawford has three boys under 6 whose behavior more closely resembles feral animals than actual human children. The truth is, she spends the majority of her time just keeping these people alive and putting out fires (actual and metaphorical). But mostly, she’s just trying to mitigate the damage to her sanity. Her writing has been featured on Scary Mommy, Sammiches & Psych Meds and the Ft. Worth Mom’s Blog. If you find her misery and misadventures in parenting amusing, you can follow along on Instagram and her blog