Some people think you shouldn’t fight in front of your kids. Specifically, the lady who, in another life, I used to pay to tweeze my eyebrows and wax my bikini line and such. (The one who has owned my ass.) I disagreed with her then—shouldn’t kids be modeled conflict and resolution? Isn’t it wrong to teach a child that relationships don’t include disagreement and argument?
Well, regardless of what you once thought about what kids see with regards to parents fighting, all that is moot now, because to borrow a phrase from Kevin Hart, you’re gonna learn today (but really, more like three weeks ago.) The other day my husband and I went on SEPARATE WALKS which is basically a trial separation.
Coronavirus lockdown continues to feel like maternity leave, and not just in that it’s tedious and scary and disorienting at the same time while you’re stuck in a house with a kid nearly all day . The fights feel familiar too, due to:
someone probably had a drink or a pill or an edible or ate too much shit the night before in order to cope
the terror is real and the stakes are high
You have no idea when you will feel normal again
Nobody looks cute
Nobody is having sex
The food is fattening and repetitive
Your view of yourself and your relationship has changed
You’re not really sure what the right thing to do with this child is
Someone is either being too anxious or not anxious enough
You realize it’s because you can only do XYZ things to keep your kid safe and that’s terrifying
You realize that if you die it’s going to be a shitshow so you better not die
Some assholes out there are claiming this is actually nice or relaxing or that they’re having lots of sex to pass the time
Someone takes on the role of information-bearer, passing on new guidelines on social distancing or masks or school closures while the other one is just trying to have their fourth cup of coffee of the morning.
The house is a constant mess and emotional labor issues arise anew, like a phoenix from the flame:
So, you lash out at the person you live with because it’s much more appropriate than lashing out at someone at Costco or the sidewalk or the government even though that’s who you really want to lash out at. And it’s like everything your partners says is so dumb or dismissive or mean that you can’t even listen to it but you also can’t ignore it so you have to keep saying your side until someone walks away or yells and then you have a headache or a sore throat and you’re worried again that you’re going to die.
And on top of it all there isn’t even some sort of “coronavirus pediatrician” to settle all your arguments for you and tell you how to do this right.
I hope you’re hanging in there. I hope sometimes you can model making up for your kids as well as fighting. I hope you all have access to some form of therapy, formal or otherwise. I hope you can get some time alone every day even if it’s just a shower (an hourlong shower.) And if you have a partner, try not to murder them, because I don’t think it will be that much better in prison and you can’t vote when you’re a felon.
I hope you enjoyed this issue of Evil Witches, a newsletter for people who happen to be mothers. Please pass it along, if you know someone who'd like this sort of thing in their inbox a couple times a week. You can also follow us on Instagram or vent to us on Twitter here:
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By the way, my birthday is coming up in a few weeks. Here’s what I’m hoping for:
Some soup from a can
A homemade card written on the back of a worksheet
One witchy thing
—The first thing my husband said last night after putting our kids to bed