Parenting is stressful. Adulting is stressful. Life is freaking stressful.
But you don’t need me to tell you that. These are stressful times, y’all. Something tells me you’re feeling it too. Between anxiety over the upcoming holidays, the pressure to do allthethings, and the general shitshow that is modern parenting, I’m feeling a little frazzled lately. And by “frazzled,” I mean stressed the fuck out.
We all deal with stress in different ways. Some people enjoy a nightcap or retreat to a quiet room to meditate. Others knit or stitch and bitch with their girlfriends. Some people (not me) exercise or practice yoga. I binge eat Kit Kats and frozen Reese’s peanut butter cups like it’s my job.
In an ideal world, I would deal with stress by taking a walk around the block, doing some lotus-posed meditation, or soaking in a warm bubble bath. But I don’t live in an ideal world. I live in a world that includes whiny kids, an overflowing inbox, credit card bills, snarky social media comments, asshole man-baby politicians, and… Well, you get the picture.
We don’t live in an ideal world; we live in the real world. This means that instead of dealing with stress by taking walks and soaking in baths and meditating, I manage my stress by eating copious amounts of chocolate, binging on Doritos, and scarfing plates of cheesy nachos.
I start the day with good intentions. I will be calm AF, take deep breaths, and let shit go. But within 2.7 seconds, one child is chanting, “Toast! Toast! Toast! I need toast!” while another child whines about how he doesn’t have any clean underwear, and one of the dogs poops in the living room because I forgot to let him out again. The day just tumbles from there, and before I know it, I’m elbow-deep in a bag of Cheetos or hiding in the bathroom with a bowl of cookie dough ice cream.
Look, I’m a happy person with a fairly optimistic “the glass is half full” attitude, but some days the stress can get the better of me. Attempts to be a reasonably informed human make me want to curl into a ball and cry. Social media comments make me want to toss my computer out the window. One look at the toys, clutter, and stray socks strewn about the family room and I want to go KonMari on my entire house because none of this shit brings me joy. So yeah, life can get a little stressful. In fact, “WTF,” “FTS,” and “I can’t even” are my mottos most days.
We’ve all got limited fucks left to give, and emotional eating is fuel for a fuck-empty tank. Junk food might not be a superfood, but it sure as hell has superpowers. A spoonful of cookie dough tastes a lot like a hug. A frozen Reese’s peanut butter cup tastes like a pat on the back. French fries taste like freedom. And on the really tough days, a bowl of Doritos tastes a lot like fuck this shit.
While there might be so-called healthier and better ways to deal with stress than binge eating Fritos and scarfing M&M’s, sometimes life is about survival. Some days are such an epic shitstorm of calamities that we just have to hang on to our hats and make it through. And when the tornado of stress is swirling around me, I wave the white flag of candy and fried foods.
Let’s be honest, carbs and chocolate taste a hell of a lot better (and take less time and effort) than meditation and knitting.
Pass the chips.
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