NOTE TO SELF on how to keep the crazies at a minimum


After a week of caring for my three small sons and my 2 year old nephew, after staying up late at night with my husband trying to push off several tomorrows, after my 2nd born cut his own hair and lied about it, and after my 1st born told me that my bathing suit fit me much better last summer,

I was tired,

but life goes on,

obla-dee-obla-da. I was honored to care for 4 boys, and I have felt mostly content (except I’d like a new pair of TOMS Shoes), and Jesus has been good to me. There were no red flags or light houses telling me that I was about crash.

A trip to New York City is on the horizon, and it made me itch for some comfy shoes and a few days of city-walking, so I ordered some awesome new shoes that arrived way too large for me. I immediately took them and 4 little boys to the local UPS store to return them (just the shoes) for a refund, so I could buy some that do fit. I spent $9 on shipping, and yesterday,

the package rolled right back into my yard via the big brown truck. An hour later, happy but exhausted, I took the shoes back to UPS expecting that they’d make it all right.

But they said I would have to pay to have it reshipped, and suddenly, like a flash of lightening, I became mad as a hornet, and after the mad – in front of two extremely sweet UPS workers – I felt my bottom lip quiver out in that very familiar two year old pout, and then I realized,

“Oh, I am so tired.”

And then I started squalling, and I mean, hands over my drawn-up, leaky face, I actually squeaked a few times. The poor girl felt so sorry for me that she had the package shipped as I had originally asked, and who knows? She may have paid for it herself to get me out of there. I sobbed my way to the van, and then I cried at home all over Seth for a while, and he was so confused, and so was I, and I have never been more embarrassed.

I can be a fairly artsy but normal girl three weeks out of the month, but that other week … CooCoo for Cocoa Puffs!

I told Seth I felt crazy, and he said, “Well, no offense, but listen to yourself.”

And then I laughed hysterically for about five minutes before I called the UPS girl to apologize.

PMS is no excuse, and it is no surprise. We ladies always know it’s coming. Hello. Why wouldn’t we prepare better and follow a few precautionary steps to protect ourselves and our families from some apparently poisonous concoction of hormones that douse our brains and nervous systems?

I am not a rule girl, and I love grace, but I am about to make a law:

  • A woman must not restrict her sleep in any way before the hormone shower of hysteria comes. She needs to go to bed at 7:00 PM and stay there with a good book, a glass of something wet to drink, and maybe three small pieces of chocolate, and then she must be asleep by 9:00.
  • A woman must not eat an entire bag of chips and then wonder why she has gained 5 lbs. (This sort of goes for every day of the month.)
  • A woman must take all her thoughts and save them for a while to reevaluate them – see if they’re true. If she starts to think in extremities like – No one loves me – or – I have the ugliest legs on the planet – or – my house will never be clean, then she must take extreme measures to make an even earlier bedtime, say 6:00, with dinner in bed and maybe some of those soundproof headphones with good music that she’s never heard before so she can’t be reminded of, say, her most embarrassing moments.

Do you happen to have any laws you’d like to add here? I welcome your help. Thank you.

amberhaines
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34 Comments

laura @ hollywood housewife
Reply June 10, 2010

Oh, I so feel this post this week.

If at all possible, a woman must not schedule life-changing events - like, say, moving - when they're going to be all weepy and/or monstrous.

Adventures In Babywearing
Reply June 10, 2010

I am so here today. But last night would have been a good sleep if my 2nd born hadn't woke in pain, sick, so I soaked my feet while he took a bath at 2am. You have to find the pampering in all circumstances I guess.

I have burst into tears in public too many times, and I hardly ever cry, period.

(no pun intended.)

Steph

Amber
Reply June 10, 2010

Steph! Ahhahahahahaha! Period.

John
Reply June 10, 2010

Uh, well, uh, maybe Seth could contribute a guest post this week on beards...or fly-fishing...or trucks or something?

    Amber
    Reply June 10, 2010

    Oh John John John, I'll make requests on your behalf for some most manly words here on the muck. They're due anyway, aren't they?

Cassie Boorn
Reply June 10, 2010

My rule is no traveling or better yet no emotion filled blog conferences during that very special week.

Linda
Reply June 10, 2010

There are some very real bonuses to being over sixty!! I know that seems like forever away, but it somehow comes rather quickly.
Although there are those hot flashes......sigh

To Think Is To Create
Reply June 10, 2010

I was in this place last week. Yes, THAT week. You can imagine...

I should have been in bed by 6 every night ifyouknowwhatImmasayin.

Tamara
Reply June 10, 2010

Personally, I have a 'no laundry' rule during this time. I have, on more than one occasion, tossed a cup of bleach in with my denims. I don't know why... I don't even use bleach. I also cleaned my face with nail polish remover once, instead of Clearasil. I feel like I need a giant stack of yellow sticky notes that read things like, 'You cannot eat this', or 'Ask an adult before you use this'. I think one time I told my husband, 'I just know you don't love me anymore because you never touch your feet up against mine when you're asleep like you used to'...

Emily
Reply June 10, 2010

A woman should never cut--or dye, or in any way alter--her hair during that week.

Jennifer @ GDWJ
Reply June 10, 2010

Another rule: A woman must have (what we call here in our part of Iowa) a "frassy", short for sassy friend. Someone tender enough to let you cry, but sassy enough to get ya laughin' again.

Amber
Reply June 10, 2010

Oh my gracious. These comments are killing me!

kendal
Reply June 10, 2010

I learned just today that a girl shouldn't go to have her winter tires and summer tires switched (I know, I know, it's JUNE) during this week unless she has a way OUT of the tire store prior to the two-hour finishing point. Or she might end up swatting flies and sweating while sitting in a plastic green chair beside a man with a hairlip and with tobacco juice on his chin say things like, "Have you ever read that book by Lee Iacocoa?" I am STILL furious and at the brink of tears. I will read this tomorrow and laugh, right????

I'm so glad I'm not alone in the shower of hysteria.

Seth
Reply June 10, 2010

I would comment today, but I'm afraid to.

Just saying.

Seth
Reply June 10, 2010

And maybe that's a good RULE for the gents.

Just don't comment. Cook dinner, bathe children, be quiet, keep the peace. The good book says, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God."

Seth
Reply June 10, 2010

Why is this all so complicated?

Corinne
Reply June 10, 2010

I"m reading this after a hormone crazed few days. Thank you. I will implement these rules immediately :)

Prudence
Reply June 10, 2010

My "week" of the month as a teen was moody. Maybe it was just being a teen. It got better, now as a 30-something it's much worse. One month I literally felt crazy - like I was losing my mind, lock me in a padded room crazy. My mood swings only generally swing one way and that is in the direction of pissy. Which is on top of horrendous cramps.

Oh how I wish I could blame Eve, but I'm just of guilty of sin as she and deserve this curse.

emily
Reply June 10, 2010

A 30-something woman should never spend time with skinny high school girls at the pool during that week. She should also never shop for bathing suits at Target or, say, attend any type of reunion: family or high school. And, forthelove, she should try to avoid allowing that week to coincide with the ending of kindergarten. Because that? Is a hot mess.

Sara
Reply June 10, 2010

Thank you for this post. You made me laugh until I almost cried. This sounds waaayyyyy too familiar. Hang in there!

deb
Reply June 10, 2010

A late 40's woman should get used to her all over the map now hormones and schedule or lack of , and remember that the 4 other girls in the house not only have absolutely crazed glossy eyed lack of empathy , but neglect to mention that all required fhp need restocking , even the ones in her own purse.

becca
Reply June 10, 2010

During this time, she should never look at herself in the mirror after having spent time with very thin friends (yes, plural) who have 0% body fat, boob jobs, perfect nails, and year-round tans. She might subsequently make disturbing phone calls to her husband about how she doesn't spend enough time on herself and doesn't want to lose him. Umm... what?
----------------------------
Seth: yes. No comments please. Or requests.

Emily: I'm already praying that this won't be a factor for the START of kindergarten. I could cry thinking about that in a non-hormonal state. What will I do if hormones are involved as well? Let's talk about something else.

Jo@Mylestones
Reply June 11, 2010

Oh my word, Amber, you crack me up. And these comments? Hilarious in a way that assures me I'm not alone in the crazy.
I would add a rule about no signing or breaking of contracts during what we shall call a "waiting period." Ahem.
Because no kidding, I freaked out about our move and seriously considered breaking the lease we just signed 2 weeks earlier. I think we might need to write into the power of attorney form I've got for my husband, that the POA is considered invalid for a specific monthly duration.

Jennifer
Reply June 11, 2010

Thank you for making me laugh, when I am "oh, so tired!" :-)

Loretta
Reply June 11, 2010

Oh, perfect! I need to write these down and post them inside my cabinet door. You know, the one where I keep all the necessary items for that week. Heck, maybe I'll put said items inside a box with rules written all over it just for good measure.

Erin
Reply June 11, 2010

Thank you for sharing! The rules here (comments and blog-wise) are wonderful ideas. I'd really like the "got to bed at 7 with a book" rule to be a daily one!

sus
Reply June 11, 2010

A woman should glance at her 'Everything is going to be OK' screensaver more often than usual and should put off thinking about the meaning of life and work and fireflies until the sun shines again.

Kelly Langner Sauer
Reply June 11, 2010

Oh Amber, you totally cracked me up with this post - WOW. You poor thing!

Because of my health issues, I've learned my way around my hormones, but I know my body really well. Still, my mom is going through menopause, and for all the self-control and relaxation I've learned, I wonder just how crazy I will be when my time comes around for THAT... Sigh.

Get some rest. I will if you will. ;-)

Ann Kroeker
Reply June 11, 2010

Everyone has great advice. Schedule no major decisions or life upheavals stood out as wise indeed.

Proactively, it's a good week to exercise ... yet more than any other week of the month, it's when we tend to neglect exercise.

Ann Voskamp
Reply June 12, 2010

your notes to self are notes to the womanly world and woman, i love you for it. laughter is good medicine and I'm feeling blessedly revived.
i have no idea why all this is so complicated -- obviously -- and this all might be why i rarely leave home and you Haines write good rules....
mine: i need pray more.

rest, fine woman and good man.

Cheryl Smith
Reply June 12, 2010

I am absolutely laughing with you. I get the "meanies" so bad that I'd just assume bite someone's head off than not. It's crazy!

Forget the USDA Food Pyramid. In my world, there is a Recommended Daily Allowance of chocolate, and the RDA is on a sliding scale. Some days one Hershey Kiss will do and other days, all the Chocolate in Hershey, PA may not be enough.

Holley Gerth
Reply June 12, 2010

Oh, Amber, bless you. I am so there right now. I told my husband earlier today that I have a "hormonal cold." I do feel a bit sick in the head, after all. I asked him if he had anything to say about PMS just now and he said, "terrible" then cackled like a mad man. Poor thing, I'm driving him to the brink of insanity. It almost makes me want to weep...well, that and everything else.

Good gravy. Where IS that chocolate?!?

Lora Lynn
Reply June 13, 2010

Naptime for all children is STRICTLY OBSERVED during said week. And Mommy has to go lie on her bed and take a time-out, too.

Thus says The Law.

Happy Geek
Reply July 3, 2010

A woman must host no major events and must send husband to get said chocolate if there is none in the house. He will welcome the chance to get out anyway.

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