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How to phone it in because Mommy can’t handle the Trump victory

I'm Parenting Editor at SheKnows. I'm the co-author of Let's Panic About Babies(Macmillan, 2011). I've also written for numerous publications including Salon, Redbook, Nerve, and The Onion. I live in Brooklyn with my husband, son, tiny d...

You've dealt with your kid's feelings about Trump — now what about yours?

I don’t want to speak for everyone — half the country voted for the man, after all — but those of us feeling this defeat are feeling it hard. We fully expected our first female president. We had our “made from shattered glass ceiling” shot glasses ready for the big night. Well, lots got shattered that night, but none of it included the ultimate glass ceiling. So this is for the moms out there who need a little support right now.

Dear sad mom, 

Hey, sport. How are you doing? You holding up? I know. It hasn’t been easy. You’re sick about these election results, scared for the future of our country and then you had to find a way to break the news to your kids. You had to look them in their sweet little faces and explain that half the country voted for a man endorsed by the KKK. Maybe their hearts are broken; maybe they’re too young to understand. Look, I don’t know your life.

What I do know is: You’re tired, you’re grieving and you still have to be a goddamn parent. Your kids are still demanding shit from you in that way that children do. They have energy to spare. They’re not worrying about their futures because they’re just kids. Glorious, messy, loud, tiring, self-centered children. They think nothing of bombarding you with question like “Why is Australia?” while you’re just trying to breathe and get through the next 24 hours.

Please consider this your permission slip to phone in your parenting, like whoa. Like, give it 30 percent. Enough to keep the kids alive and healthy. You’d be surprised at how much you can phone in! Are they sitting in their own filth? No? So far, so good. The following can fall by the wayside for a little bit.

1. Baths

Unless there is visible, discernible grime on your child or a green cloud of funk surrounding them, give yourself a break. They can skip a bath or three! (Of course, baths might be a joyful diversion for you both, in which case, stick your kid in the bath and wash all your cares away. Just don’t feel like you have to.) If your kids are older and resent being reminded to shower, then — well, I was going to say let it go, but if your kids are old enough to shower on their own, they probably need it really badly. And you need the time away from them. Enforce tween/teen showering!

More: Parenting decisions I refuse to get stressed out about

2. Well-balanced meals

Overrated. In the long run, of course, you want your child to eat the rainbow or whatever, but for a couple of days, the Parenting Police are not going to come after you if you’re serving boxed macaroni and cheese for dinner, with no side vegetable. Or, as my friend Claire suggested, breakfast can be dinner. And I’m not talking about homemade whole-brain pancakes, you crazy overachiever. Got waffles in the freezer? Cereal and maybe some fruit? You’re fine. Remember, the apocalypse is probably on its way. Perspective!

3. Television/screen-time

Do you limit your kid’s screen-time? Of course you do. You don’t want your child to become one of those mindless zombies that experts tell you they’re going to become if they play Xbox too long. Well, guess what? No one is going to be zombified in the next week. And you look like you could use a nap. Go take a nap. That’s an order.

4. Questions

The answer to “Why is Australia” is “because.” Because you said so, damn it. Is it a great answer? Who ever said you were Wikipedia? Speaking of which, introduce your children to something called Wikipedia. Let them look up their own answers. You’re helping them become self-sufficient!

More: 50 family night ideas that will make your kids forget all about TV

Look: We know you spend most days giving it your all. But it’s OK when you’re sad and stressed and distracted to let yourself be sad and stressed and distracted. And then: Phone it the hell in. Phone it in like crazy. Take care of yourself and let the details of your life slip for a while. Your kids will be fine. And eventually, you will be too.

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