As parents, we consistently struggle to spend quality time with our offspring, but is there such a thing as too much quality time with your kids? With all due respect to the attachment parenting aficionados out there, hell yes. If you’re a stay at home mom or dad, you’re often spending 24 hours a day, seven days a week with your kid. I like my kids, but I also like riding bikes and having sex, and I wouldn’t want to do either of those things every single day all the damned time. My God, think of the chafing.
And that’s really what we’re talking about here, “parental chafing”. When you spend hour after hour with your kids, your patience gets thinner, your temper gets shorter, and your outbursts grow more frequent. You’re emotionally and psychologically “chafed,” so every little thing (fixing dinner, giving tubbies, mediating a property dispute between the kids) becomes as annoying as a marathoner’s sore nipples.
The trick, is to catch yourself before you go over the deep end become that mom from Mommy Dearest, or any Dad from the ‘50s. So, here are five signs you’ve been spending too much time with your kids. If you recognize any two of these signs, fly to Vegas without your children immediately.
1) You have a temporary tattoo on your arm that says “I Heart Ballet,” even though you do not heart ballet. It will last for the next seven days.
2) Your diet consists solely of tube yogurt and string cheese. Actually, anything shaped like a penis. Mini carrots. Hot dogs. Is anyone else suddenly concerned by the phallic nature of kid-friendly foods?
3) When you’re in bed with your significant other, and things get heated, you accidentally recite the theme song to Doc McStuffins: “It’s OK if you giggle, this will only tickle a little.”
4) Taking the trash to the curb while drinking a beer feels like a night out.
5) You’re covered in glitter, but you have absolutely no recollection of how it got there. Like you’ve been roofied by fairies.
6) You’ve started prescribing “Time Outs” left and right, mostly for incidental infractions like “using too many conjunctions in a single sentence,” because the only peace and quiet you get is when your child is being punished in his/her room.