Mommy “Misery Poker”

When I was in college, we used to play something called “misery poker”.  I went to a pretty intense school and everyone always thought they had more items on their to-do list than anyone else.  On any given evening in the dining hall, you might have overheard something like this:

Person 1: I can’t believe how much I have to do this week.  I have to study for two exams and write three papers.

Person 2: Yeah?  I’ll see your two exams and three papers and I’ll raise you a trip into the city to feed starving kids/dogs/old people/insert-group-in-need-here.

Person 3: Oh yeah?  Well I’ll see all of that and I’ll raise you the marathon I’m running tomorrow morning and the honors thesis I have to defend in the afternoon.

You get the point.

I’m done with school now, but I’ve got to admit that I haven’t quit playing misery poker– only now, it’s of the mommy variety.  Sometimes I don’t even realize I’m doing it.

Me: I’m so tired.  I was up four times with Caroline last night.

Mom-friend 1: I will see your wakeful toddler and raise you a constantly-nursing newborn.

Mom-friend 2: I will see your wakeful toddler and hungry newborn and raise you a cranky husband.

Me: I can’t see your newborn but I will raise you a NO husband.

Mom-friend 2: Plus our cable is out and there is no wine.

Me: …I fold.

You’ve been there, right?  We’re all so busy, and it’s tough having kids no matter how many you have or how much help you have.  Life is crazy whether you work full-time or you stay at home; whether you’re married or single or have one kid or ten.  (Okay, if you have ten kids, you’ve automatically got the misery poker royal flush in my book.  I won’t even ante up.  I also don’t ever gamble so it is entirely possible that I’m using these all terms completely wrong.)

It helps having mom friends to commiserate with.  I really don’t know what I would do without mine.  It’s not actually a competition, of course.  We just like to complain sometimes.  It gets it off your chest and keeps things interesting.  Besides, I’ve found the occasional round of misery poker to be as invigorating as a good cup of coffee.

So, anyone up for a game?  Play your cards in the comments.  Go on… you’ll feel better afterwards.  I promise.

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  1. by Merks

    On June 1, 2011 at 9:36 am

    I’ll see your wakeful toddler and raise you a bedtime rebel, an infant refusing a bottle and a snoring husband.

  2. by Karen

    On June 1, 2011 at 9:54 am

    LOL! I love it and it’s so true! Let’s see, how about I’ll see your non sleeping toddler and raise you a nipple bitting infant. Do I win? ;)

  3. by Jennie

    On June 1, 2011 at 11:18 am

    lol- alright let’s do this. haha I’ll see your wakeful toddler and raise you an oppositional defiant toddler, a whiny preschooler, half a husband (we are separated) and grad school.

    That makes it all sound way nice and neat!
    (Well I guess ur no husband trumps my half a husband…. or maybe not lmao)

  4. by Laura

    On June 1, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    Ha! I can raise you a toddler that woke me up once, a baby who woke me up 4 times, and both the husband and I have a nasty cold gifted to us by the toddler.

  5. by Rene Edmondson

    On June 1, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    I’ll show you my hates bedtime and now calls me “mean” toddler, my temper tantrum throwing grump ball toddler, and the fetus in my belly that caused insane bleeding on Memorial Day even though nothing is actually wrong with it – pretty sure it’s a girl because only a girl would put Mommy in a hospital on my holiday off work.

  6. by Jennifer

    On June 2, 2011 at 6:03 am

    Hi! I’m new to reading your blog but I’m in love with it. I’d like to play!

    I’ll see your wakeful toddler and raise you a toddler attached to my hip while I try my darnedest to finish my homework, a toddler who sleeps a total of 8 hours at night which means mommy gets less than that, and a pillow that always leaves a crick in my neck. Oh, I’m in the GA Tech engineering program so its a bit tough right now.

  7. by Amanda

    On June 2, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    I will see your wakeful toddler and raise you 14 hours in a combined two car trip….the first leg beginng at 11 o clock at night with a normally wonderful 17 month old daughter…who the minute we are riding in a car late at night with friends turns into a screaming banshee who keeps the 8 and 10 year old boys in the car wide awake all night…and then a 20 minute nap before the second half begins…upon which it is 95 degrees, the child is sleepy and hot…and cranky as heck.To get home around 8 o clock in the evening and only sleep til 6 am. Oh….and did I mention there was a 6 month old german shepard/collie puppy along the whole way. Yea that too…lol. (you’re right…I kinda feel better lol)

  8. by Amber

    On June 2, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    I will raise you a family camping trip over the holiday weekend. What is that you say? A measly camping trip? It included a 16 year old who has decided she hates the world and everything in it, a 13 year old who started her period for the first time (really? camping?) An 8 year old who managed to get stung by a jellyfish, 2nd degree sunburn and fell on the rocks for massive scrapes. Topped off with a 6 year old who ate too many s’mores, and vomited at 3am in his sleeping bag, in his backpack and on his sister (she of the sunburn and scrapes.) Not to mention the close encounter with 2 raccoons and a skunk due to the food left out by the surly teenager.
    this is rather cathartic….i like it.

  9. by Stephanie

    On July 6, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    I will raise you a teething baby who thinks she’s a toddler, a whiny six year old with nothing better to do than be up my behind, a ten year old with ADHD and the “genius” gene (he’s always right and argues with me over everything), no summer camp, a house that is in short sale with no idea of where we are moving to, a soon to be ex husband who helps with nothing and has decided that his affair is more important than his family, and no career prospects for me so I will be heading back to school while single handedly caring for three children…

  10. by Caitlyn

    On August 19, 2011 at 4:25 am

    I would just like to say that I am so thankful my family vacation turned out nothing like Amber’s camping trip! hahaha You poor thing!

    Mommy Misery Poker makes me feel a lot better (and a lot more justified) because I’m the 21 year old “mom” (step mom technically but the only mom figure in her life and her dad works on an oil rig a state away every other week so it’s just her and I for half of the year) of a 7 year old and a good majority (aka ALL) of my college friends have a hard time being able to relate.