An open letter to all parents from a non-parent.

I just finished babysitting your baby today.

I have salmon stuck on my neck and in the crease under my left breast.

My eardrum is damaged due to high frequency screaming.

I had to hold her while I was peeing because from her perspective it seemed like Satan himself would rape and kill her slowly if I put her down thus I did not get the chance to wipe myself properly…

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…no matter though as I am covered in a thick layer of sweat from pushing the stroller up the hill so a bit more wet between the legs even things out.

I washed my hair this morning but all of a sudden it looks like a stringy bag of shit pile.

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I haven’t had a chance to eat anything except snatching a few cold peas from her snack pack and my head is pounding.

I watched her draw on her vulva with sidewalk chalk and I didn’t bother to read the ingredients to see if it was non-toxic.

I fed her a pizza crust to keep her occupied and I know you want her to be gluten-free.

I felt her shit herself and then I left her in her shitty diaper for when you get home.

My entire body is an exhausted heap of jangled muscles and burnt out nerves.

You were only gone for 3 hours.

I am sorry.

For judging you because your style went down the tubes.

For being annoyed when you forget to call me back.

For thinking you are not being a very good friend anymore.

For saying “I’ll lose all my baby weight, I’ll make the time.”

For telling my partner “we’ll be much sooooooo more relaxed about parenting than they are.”

For wondering why you don’t mind leaving the house looking like a drunk homeless 10-year-old.

For assuming you must be a hoarder now with your piles of clothes and teetering books and dirty plates

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and gummed on toys strewn all over the house.

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For calling your life chaotic.

For thinking that I will do it better and it will be easier.

For secretly considering your parenting techniques to be kinda’ weird.

Photo Credit: Martin Schoeller/Time Magazine

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For agreeing that I won’t lose my creative focus when I have a kid.

For being frustrated when I watch you forget your keys every goddamn time you leave the house.

For wishing you could just feed him and talk to me about my next career move at the same time.

For not getting it. Any of it. At all.

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You are a superhuman and I bow down to your grace and patience towards friends like me.

When I have a baby, I hope we get to hang out more. Maybe you can wipe my crotch for me before he cracks his head on the bathroom tile. Maybe I will have a chance to make you a cup of tea before she spills it all over the floor.

Let’s smell the top of their heads together.

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And we won’t care what our childless friends think of us because we both know that we know nothing now.

We have nothing left to prove.

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And that is such a relief.

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Comments

  1. says

    My sister-in-law had a similar epiphany after the birth of her first child, about me being a single parent. Amazed and awed that I ever managed to get “Thank You” phone calls out, let alone getting my children to write “Thank You” notes. She decided that, “We must loose some of our grey matter with each placenta!” She called me again to reiterate her beliefs after the birth of her second child. “More of my brain fell out with the afterbirth!” I could not fail to notice, even her description used simpler words to describe the same effects. I could not resist telling her I noticed! I used to marvel that she made her own paper as Art to sell. I was so thrilled when she complimented my ability to get my children to decorate the plan bags and butcher paper I gave them and called my “Christmas Wrapping Paper” Art. It is amazing what our children can teach us about ourselves and our ignorant judgement of others, just by the miracle of their birth! … and just so you don’t get me wrong? I had had a similar epiphany after the birth of my first child. I remember sitting on the toilet crying, “Now I have to be an ADULT!”

  2. Veronica Roth says

    They call it pregnancy brain but I think it develops and then just stays. Looking for my car keys now…

  3. says

    This post is really fun. And though I am not female I find that I can still relate to most of the reasons why I don’t want to be a parent. And, by the way, you have some great photos on your Gravatar page. I especially liked the one with the dolphins in it. I kind of feel like dolphins are one of my spirit animals!
    Loved the post Emelia.

    As for freshly pressed, I believe that the folks who run this site make that decision though I’m not sure that anyone knows how they make their decisions????????

  4. says

    A fellow momma and friend of mine shared this post. From Moms everywhere? Thank you. :) It’s a wonderful thing when someone gets the beautiful chaos that our lives now are.

  5. says

    Very creative and well-written! I’m sure I have friends who think my parenting techniques are off the wall, but I can’t wait until some of them have children =)

  6. says

    Thank you for ”getting it”. Just reading this gave me such a sense of relief and release of all the guilt and feelings of shortcomings as a mother. Love your writing style-with wit, charm and a little shake of adult humor, you’ve touched on a very important issue that one can face as a mother and a friend.

  7. says

    I was pretty clueless before I had kids of my own. It isn’t fully comprehensible until you are suddenly put in charge of little lives 24/7!
    ~Dionna @ Code Name: Mama

  8. says

    thank you, thank you! So few realize that parenting is THE MOST IMPORTANT JOB OF ALL! It shapes our future, and it is so HARD! I send love to all the parents out there, to all those spending time loving children. What you do is great and we all thank you!

    • says

      I love this response, Alecia! My ass is still black and blue all over after 12 years in with only one child….with special needs…and to the gorgeous author…this is my son’s 12th birthday as I read this article and I am realizing I have finally come full circle to forgive myself for not being the perfect mother, and for not fully recognizing the gifts of motherhood. I was too brain dead to even think til now. Bless you up and down, all over, and into the next hundred lifetimes, darling for bringing so much compassion into so many mother’s hearts from this one masterpiece. Much love to you.

  9. says

    This is awesome! As a young mother people expect me to bounce back and to still have time to party as I’m only 23, but my 2 year old comes firt. So I spend a lot of my days in yoga pants or stained jeans and baggy shirts, since I want my nicer clothes to remain nice. And i can’t go many places without having her tag along. People without children just don’t get this, and many of my friends don’t have them yet, and it makes it really hard to see them. So thank you!

  10. says

    Awesome post!
    Even more awesome is the fact that you still want to have kids, although your entire body was an exhausted heap of jangled muscles and burnt out nerves in just three hours :p

  11. says

    yes yes yes, oh god I feel like anonymously emailing this to SO MANY OTHER PEOPLE who think their friends and their bffs became ‘lame’ after choosing to parent. This is perfection and I suspect it’s going to spread over the internet parenting and non parenting community like wildfire.

  12. says

    Dear sweet zombie jebsus this is spectacular! Thank you for understanding the plight of the parent, its hectic and destructive but soooo amazingly worth it. Which is why we put ourselves through all of that! Well…either that or sleep depravity induced insanity. Either way, you’re my hero of the day!

  13. says

    finally someone who understands that having a young child is hard. Not everyday do i get to take a shower and the days when i do get to take a shower its quick. I would love for once a week to be able to stand under the showerhead for a half hour while the hot water runs over me and not have to worry but i cant its get in wash my hair wash my body rinse off and get out and my friends all think im nobody because i cant go out and drink everyday and i cant wait until they see how hard being a parent is. but i love my life and i would not change a minute of it

    • Linda says

      do you have kids? If not when you do, and if you do . your thoughts may be way different because it will be “Your little Boy” and that is different. You will be amazed how that changes things..

      • says

        I truly look forward to kids. I do hear from other parents that hormones and genes really do fry all negativity and the bond is stronger than anything to complain about. thanks for your comment!

  14. says

    oh my god I LOVE this! this is the best thing I have read in a while and had me truly laughing out loud, I am the mom of a 3 year old boy and secretly wished that my friends would understand some day! thanks for brightening my day :)

  15. says

    love, Love, LOVE you for this. Some days I wonder if I’m just lame and I should still be able to do it all even though I have a 16-month-old. And then I realize I just don’t care and leave the house looking like a drunken, homeless 10-year-old. :)

  16. says

    OMG, I love this post. It is perfect and I was yelling at my husband that he too must read it. We have 3 kids, 4, 3, 2. So I can totally relate.. its great to be reminded that we all live in this crazy chaos world – called parenting. Your post is awesome!! Thank you! Fondly, Shannon

  17. diplomom08 says

    My husband was just deployed (2 weeks ago) to Kabul for a year (leaving me with 3 kids, the house, 2 cars, cat and guinea pig, who our 4 year old calls “the butler”). I am so linking to this on my blog today as I have officially mastered the 10 year old homeless drunk look, I just didn’t have a name for it. Thank you!

  18. Megan @ Fiterature says

    Moms are unicorns dressed as people, I’m sure of it. I have zero kids and can barely remember pants in the morning, let alone keep a human alive. It’s magic, I tell you.

  19. says

    Oh geeeezzz people, I’ve babysat lots of kids, from 3 months to 12 years old, and it was never nearly that bad. It was fun actually. And yes, babies cry sometimes, it’s normal, you don’t have to panic about it. It’s all about how you react to it. I babysat a friend’s 4 children, aged 6 months to 10 years old, for a whole weekend about two months ago. I feel that anyone who understands a bit how children’s brains work, and who have good organizational skills can totally handle it and have fun in the process. It’s really not bad people. Just find ways to keep them busy. I even got to exercise over that weekend, just have to be creative and find ways to include the kids.

    • says

      It really depends on the child Karen. I started babysitting when I was ten (looking back I think that’s crazy, but it is what it is). I cared for the children of so many families (a couple dozen families throughout my babysitting career, which lasted from ten until about eighteen). I always found it easy… but it was because they were relatively easy kids. They were just happy to be played with. Some little ones take a whole lot more work though. My daughter for instance… when she was a baby you could not put her down. So you either wore her (in a ring sling or wrap) when you went to the bathroom, cooked, or did anything or you just didn’t do anything. To this day she’s not an easy kid. She’s high need. She’s exhausting. She’s utterly fabulous, but I certainly wouldn’t call in a friend to watch her – I’d be afraid of losing the friend. LOL Thankfully I have lots of family around, who all can’t help but love her. ;)

    • crackwalker says

      You’re sort of missing the point – It’s not that kids are super difficult. It’s that parenting is not as easy as it may look from the outside.

    • says

      Karen my comment went under the wrong one. I agree it doesn’t have to be difficult. I had my three and a friend’s four for the weekend we had a blast. its all in a person’s view.

      • says

        It’s actually easier to take care of other children along with your own. Because they entertain each other and don’t often interact in arguments the same way as siblings do. Moreso, though, is the fact that you’re a mom of 3 taking care of a few more. You’ve had the experience already. As opposed to a person who has babysat occasionally and thinks parenting is easy.

  20. says

    @Karen Logan ^^^ – you are beyond words. Kindly go away with your “its not so bad” attitude. I am the oldest of 8 kids and spent plenty of time babysitting but anyone who has half a brain knows that having your own children is different.
    To Emelia – THANK YOU for seeing the light and sharing it with so many others. Keep on preachin’ on!

    • says

      Since you felt the need to tell someone else that dissenting opinions aren’t welcome (a very mature attitude, sure hope you are passing *that* on to your kids), you should be aware that some of us have spent years raising other people’s children…and this may be news to you, but we really don’t need you to breed. There are plenty of people, too many, in fact. So if you want to have children, feel free. That is your choice, and your responsibility. Letting your other responsibilities slide…possibly better planning & decision making should be a priority before satisfying a biological urge and a desire to be loved unconditionally. Many of the parents I see daily really should just not be parents. So while patting each other on the back for ‘understanding’ while dismissing very real issues, you might want to consider staying on birth control if you can’t manage the children you have now.

  21. says

    Dear Emelia: Thanks for this amazing post. You are very welcome. I held many of the judgy beliefs you list BC (Before Child). Now I am glad when I see any parent out of the house with their kid and both are dressed. God knows how the mother of twin boys in our music class does it! Cheers, Miranda

  22. says

    loved loved loved your post! It has been 14 years since my first and 12 years since my second, and many days my kitchen STILL looks like that! But I would not trade a single sweet moment of any of it- bless their chaos- it has made my life worth so very much more- I am complete.
    Cheri

  23. says

    I just want to say THANK YOU!!! You are one of the people that actually gets it!!! Since I had my daughter alot of my friends say i don’t have time for them! And Its hard because they don’t understand what I go through everyday, and that I don’t even have time to shower anymore. Can’t tell you how many times I cut my legs shaving because she crys and have I have to get her. YOU ARE SUCH A GOOD FRIEND FOR UNDERSTANDING!! BRAVO!!!

  24. says

    You rock!!! I so LOVE this BLOG!!! It brought tears to my eyes. Although my kids are long grown, I so remember this feeling. I just became a new grandmother and I am going to share this with my daughter so she knows it is okay not to be perfect and that people do understand the trials of being a mom. And yes babies heads smell soooo good. Love you!!!

  25. says

    Really fantastic! I am a mom of two sweet boys, turning one and four this month. It’s so refreshing to see your hilarious appreciation for all the craziness! Another tidbit to appreciate is that they bite your nipples until they bleed while you’re breast feeding….good times!

    • says

      I feel that. I fear it too. It is such an epic situation and I can only pray to stay intact. It’s nice to hear from other mothers that the richness and depth inside the chaos keeps you strong. I am so very humbled.

  26. says

    I get the sentiment and its lovely… but can we say it without the ‘Satan raping and killing a kid slowly’ metaphor? And what’s with the kid drawing on her vagina? Do we have to be lewd to make this point? I guess it makes for a more interesting read for the average Jo… or maybe I’m just a prude.

    • says

      I think you are a bit of a prude and that is totally cool with me. The kid was drawing on her vulva. The child was screaming in an extreme way and I chose a metaphor to fit what I saw. I am also a prude. I cannot stand watching sex scenes on TV or violence. So I get being prudish. I was not being lewd. I was just being myself. I’m glad you asked. love, emelia

    • tigermummyroar says

      Lol, I don’t think you are a prude actually Mel. It is a good post on the whole, detracted by the odd point like that but eh nobody’s perfect. I just rolled my eyes (in a nice way) when I read the “satan raping and killing a kid slowly” thing as that’s only a reference a non-mother would use, ironically. Emelia you will understand when you have kids… it’s not about being a prude, but as a mother (once you’ve developed that inbuilt foundation of terror about the things you joke about) language like that casually tossed into a sentence about a small child takes your breath away a bit. But on the whole a decent blog.

      • says

        I hear you on that for sure. My male friend recently joked to his midwife and wife that the baby had died and his wife literally almost divorced him. No conversation. It was over. fierce mama instincts. I get it. Tots. Thank you.

      • crackwalker says

        Agreed – as an adult human being I can appreciate the imagery of something like this, but as a parent, I have found it necessary to condition myself to use words in a way that I want to hear them reflected back at me from the mouths of my children.

        Little pitcher have big ears and I have learned this the hard way, from hearing my own words, taken waaaaaay out of context, and with no ironic understanding of their original intent.

      • strega42 says

        Actually, that is NOT a “reference only a non-mother would use”. I’ve used it regularly when my daughter went through her shrill endless shrieking phase. And yes, I draw mine *specifically* from that purely invented McMartin Day Care Satanic Cult sensationalist bullshit; I remember when that hysteria was the best thing to happen to the mainstream media since color TV.

        Some mothers prefer to not candycoat everything. Some of us are more like Morticia Addams than June Cleaver. Some of us do not, actually, live in terror at the idea that something terrible may happen – we recognize that while the possibility exists, the odds are so low as to not actually lose any sleep over it.

        Also, I was under the impression that a vagina and a vulva were two entirely different things, and the difference was something that every adult woman – especially a mother of a female child – should know reflexively.

        There was nothing at all even remotely inappropriate in Emelia’s post. Not one tiny bit. You don’t have to like it, but being snippy about it in the comment thread is completely uncalled for. Or did you really mean to imply that anyone who would use that phrase is not a real mom, just because it’s a phrase YOU wouldn’t use?

  27. says

    I’m in love with you. I have no idea who you are, but seriously let’s hang out and be besties and watch Clueless and drool all over how hot Paul Rudd was and still is today. I had no idea you even existed until one of my fellow non-parent-turned-parent friends posted this on facebook. For which I think I will send her a thank you note attached to a bouquet of daisies… but I probably won’t because I already forgot what I was saying.

    And I very rarely know where my keys are… and they’re almost always in my hand.

  28. says

    “Maybe you can wipe my crotch for me before he cracks his head on the bathroom tile” is the funniest thing I’ve ever read in a blog I think. It reminded me of how, after my second son was born (19 months apart) I was certain I would NEVER get the opportunity to take a shower ever again.

  29. says

    Ok this is just great. You have hit the nail on the head my friend. I could picture myself in ALL your scenarios. Parenting is a blessing with a side of frustration and mess. God bless all the little children!!

    • says

      Man, why didn’t I think of that?! You’re a parenting genius!

      Oh yeah, that’s right, I HAVE tried this and everything else in the universe and still my baby would rather use me as a personal jungle gym/spit-up spittoon/snuggle companion than be left alone for any more than 30 seconds. And he makes his case by screaming his head off until I decide my poor neighbors have had enough and I pick him up.

      But I really don’t mind, I’d pick him over clean hair and hairless armpits any day.

    • says

      Actually I did do this with my firstborn, our daughter, but she was such an easy baby! I would strap her into her carseat and she would just sit there contentedly until I was done. Our son…yeah, no way. He wouldn’t let me put him down for anything. If I did, he would wail nonstop until I picked him up. When he was tired enough, I could put him in his swing and he would fall asleep so I could hop in the shower really quick, otherwise I had to wait until daddy got home to get in a quick rinse, so most days I would pick up my daughter from school dressed in lounge clothes and unshowered. And I can’t quit describe how horrible car rides were. I walked to the grocery store half the time with him in my Moby to avoid hearing him scream there and back. It was a lifesaver even in the store. He is still a tough kid at almost 3, and my daughter is still easy, so a lot depends on the child!

  30. says

    Hmm. My ex-wife abandoned me and my 2 year old son because she was a meth addict, so I was left to raise him on my own. I also had two roommates to deal with at the time. My closest family was 400 miles away. I worked forty hours a week, excelled at my job, and never took a day off, unless my son was sick. I had no social life to speak of, which I turned into a positive by introducing him to movies at a very early age. I was the only one who ever cleaned the apartment, and although I kept my bedroom rather cluttered, the kitchen, living room, and main bathroom were almost always clean (seriously, no body EVER helped). The only time I got stressed out was for the first few months, because my ex was still trying to siphon money from my account and she kept coming around and the apartment looked terrible because she continued to cause me stress. During that time, a few friends gave me money for food, but then I got a promotion at work and started making more money. Oh … and I’m a writer, and was writing A LOT on the side. And yet my son was one of the smartest kids at his preschool. He always had food. I always had food. He always got attention. He was well cared for. I also trained him to sleep soundly, so that noises from the TV or roommates would wake him up. The only negative thing was that I let him stay up too late far too often (no insanely late … but still an hour or so later than he should have).

    I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s really not as difficult as people make it out to be. If I can be a single father with all the hell I went through … well, I can’t help but think that people need to suck it up and stop whining about it so much … especially if there are two parents caring for one child.

    Obviously, this is not meant for a parent who takes care of two, three, four, or more children, especially if that person is a single parent. But for the two parent-households — ESPECIALLY where one parent gets to stay home with their kids all day — it’s either not as difficult as all that, or I got very lucky.

    • says

      Some children are easier than others, I have one girl and one boy, five years apart. Before we had our boy my parenting life was busy but not stressful, and almost always enjoyable, especially since I was able to stay home with her. Once our son was born, I felt like I was going crazy with lack of sleep, mess in the house, and no time to myself even when he slept, because he was so demanding and sensitive. If you have an easy-going child it makes things so much easier! I can’t imagine going through what you’ve described but it sounds like you are a strong person and are doing a wonderful job as a father.

  31. says

    Freaking awesome! This is why I was so scared to babysit my neice and nephew. Luckily, my brother eased me into it, so noe I adore looking after them every chance I get. Sure – they have their moments, but they really are worth it.

  32. says

    Such a great read! I love it

    Im new here, but the pictures really accentuate your writing style.
    I was half in giggles, quart in baited breath and quart in relief.

    Excellent post, and sharing it!

  33. says

    As a mother of one perfect child, I look on in amazement as others raise two or three at a time….I do know one thing, I am so satisfied with one. So glad I have my daughter, but if everyone KNEW all the stuff that must be endured….well, now we know why folks forget stuff about the birth, the first few weeks, etc….otherwise, the human race would be extinct.

  34. says

    Hands down the best thing I will read on the internet today. Makes me even more grateful that a) my 20 month old niece is generally pretty awesome and b) I can give her back to her parents when she’s not.

  35. says

    Personally I’m tired of parents not parenting. Telling a child “no” won’t stifle their creativity, and all of the other excuses listed above are personal choices.

    I was a single parent with no child support, etc. Seriously if you don’t nip bad/poor/spoiled or it’s an inconvenience to me behavior when they are small you can certainly kiss it good bye when they become a teenager or earlier.

  36. says

    You absolutely nailed the chaos of parenting small children in this hilarious post! I’ve just about recuperated from raising my two kids but am now realizing that I need to prep myself for dealing with grandchildren someday so I’ve offered to watch my friends’ little ones a few times. So far, I can make it nearly 3 hours before collapsing from exhaustion & as you know, that ain’t gonna cut it. Grammy needs to get her mojo working again!

  37. says

    I have a few thoughts. Karen must have babysat my kids – because outside of the fact that the three year old has an emotional reaction to his baby brother crying akin to an airplane sailing through the sliding glass door during a hurri-quake while zombies dangle his beloved Pooh Bear from the roof over a spit… they’re pretty easy kids. But that’s their temperament. Has little to do with my parenting skillz – even though I do have a BS in Human Lifespan Development with an emphasis in child life. Even with my degree – I babysat my friend’s kid who is the most IRRITABLE. CHILD. EVER. Nothing I did for those 8 hours made that child happy. And I have a new crop of grey hairs to show for it.

    Also – you use your words like I do. We could TOTALLY be besties. Even though I am pretty much a horrible friend to anyone who does not have a Facebook. =D

  38. says

    This is hilarious! I hope you do get Freshly Pressed. I got Freshly Pressed recently, when one of my posts went viral, and I still have no idea how they choose. This has gone viral, it seems. Hold on to your hat because it is a wild ride.
    I can’t pick which part I loved more but I love your analogies. They are so fitting. I have 4 children and I spend most days looking like a drunk, homeless 10 year old.
    You have a new follower! Keep the goods coming!

  39. says

    This was fabulous. So much so that I decided to read some of your other work. What a great talent you have. I certainly hope you are aware of how much your words lighten the moods and positively affect the days of those who read what you write.

    Peace to you

  40. says

    As I sit at this god forsaken mall reading my phone while 2 of my 3 daughters play because I had to burn a vacation day because my wife, sister inlay and mother in law couldn’t, I accept your apology.

    Parenting is awesome and it sucks, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Its good to.know the childless get our angst.

    Thanks dude

  41. says

    This could also go out to parents of older kids who sometimes forget what it was like to have a human in the house who was 1) constantly trying to throw himself down stairs and eat marbles and 2) trying to prevent you from ingesting food, excreting the small amounts of food you’ve eaten, and smearing the rest all over both your bodies like some miniature perverted performance artist.

    My youngest is five, and I’ve already begun using rose colored glasses to look back on those baby-toddler days, thinking I was much more together than I actually way. I think the denial that I was a complete wreck is part of my Post Toddler Stress Disorder.

  42. says

    Seriously great written work… it sounds like the young version of my girls that you were watching… my two are ten months apart and I am thinking of becoming an alcoholic now… I work full time so that I get paid to be away from them…but when I wake up in the middle of the night and they have both crawled into my bed, i can lay awake forever just staring at them. Maybe the biggest love you will ever feel and if you want children I hope you get to feel it too. Thanks for sharing crazy lady, I loved it!

  43. says

    You are a very funny writer. Don’t have kids – – you’ll lose that.

    This was the biggest stream of major, over-the top, wet my pants, swallowed my gum, coffee washed the monitor SUCK UP I have ever read. Good thing you’re a female…..

    If a guy tried to ever get this out…. he would have been bitchslapped by 40,000 women in 59 countries he didn’t even knew existed. The hardest thing I ever learned was to not look cross-eyed at my sister as she held her first son nursing, while she stood at the stove stirring something for dinner, and petting the dogs tummy with her bare foot….. and then asked if I would change the other boy’s diaper.

    I think I’ve done at least a dozen diapers in my life…. and my wife has never come within 20′ of a dirty diaper. – – now, a colostomy bag on a squirming dog…. no problemo.

    Keep writing great insight. This world needs it; desperately.

  44. says

    I have to say… I was getting mad at you at the beginning of this post. I was thinking – “oh poor YOU, huh?! You’ll get to go home.” But by the second line of your “I’m sorry” list you had me. This is a very charming post! Great work :)

  45. says

    From a single mother of 4 boys, believe me… truly great friends trade off babysitting so we can all wash the sweet potatos out of our hair at least once a week…. and then we bring over a bottle (or a box) of wine while our kids learn spanish from dora the explorer for the 3rd straight hour. Just so we might be able to scrape the coco krispies out of the bottom of the sink. When they dry its like cement. Oh lord… and dont even ask what that odd smell is… I haven’t found it yet either.

    Good job! My kidless friends just dont get it…

    “Why can’t you go out drinking? What’s the problem? Its only $25 all you can drink!”
    “What do you mean the sitter will be another $40? You can’t just leave them?”

    /facepalm

  46. says

    I was laughing out loud reading this. I am the first one of my friends to have a baby and I seriously don’t think many of them get it. Maybe I’ll just share this. My daughter is the best part of my day, but shit, sometimes it sucks an it is just plain hard.

  47. says

    I actually got a little emotional at the end, thank you so much for this :) This means a lot to me and I am sure other drunken-homeless-looking-moms. Thank you. -Mommy of two

  48. says

    thanks for the laughs and the smiles. i’m forwarding this on to my wife. glad you got a glimpse of “the life” and let me say its the greatest work in the world. i hope you experience it someday.

  49. says

    nearly 10 years ago when I had my first child and my vision of the soft-white-glow-dreamland of motherhood was completely and utterly obliterated, I would have cried with relief and happiness if a friend would have offered to help me wipe. I’m not even kidding.

  50. says

    Please also apologize for saying to me, “I’m really too exhausted to do anything.” Really? You’re too tired? I have one childless friend in particular who says this all of the time. I have two young girls & work a full-time job while managing two side businesses. I make time for my friends…is it too much to ask for the same in return? I think not.

    Thank you for your apologies, childless, understanding blogger :)

  51. says

    I have eight children. We adopted 5 special needs children from foster care and since the special needs they have terrify most people I spent my 25th wedding anniversary here at the house making pizza for kids. There’s no such thing as a babysitter who will come near this bunch so I have to commend you on volunteering to give your friend a break. Personally, I go the grocery store and then turn around and drive all the way back home because I A) forgot to brush my hair or teeth, B) forgot to bring my wallet, and C) forgot to wear shoes. Sometimes when I get all the way back home realizing that now we’ll have to start the bathroom brigade all over again I just say “to hell with it” and put the whole trip off until tomorrow.

  52. says

    I know how hard it can be to let in friends to the craziness that unfolds in family life. The very fact that you were invited into that space with the ‘characters’ in your fabulous story is a testament to your tenderness and humanness. These friends of yours are incredibly lucky to have you come over and have their children watch you pee and of course play silly games with them. Awesomepants- thanks for writing this.

  53. says

    LOL! You are a horrible babysitter, but an AMAZING friend :) I only have one kid, but frequently babysit for a parent of four. . . and I think I am about as bad at babysitting as you are! As long as the day ends and no one is dead I consider it a success! Keep up the good work :)

  54. says

    As a grandmom I salute you… I enjoyed your article very much. When my daughter was a teen she hated me very often and considered me stupid and uneducated at times…felt my parenting skills were under par when I said NO to her … Now she’s a mom with 2 girls…and she thinks I am the smartest woman EVER!
    We evolve!

  55. says

    Out-freaking-standing!

    I’m a military spouse with three kids; two have autism. My husband’s been in Europe FOREVER. I can’t get people to babysit. Almost ever. So great to see someone that doesn’t have kids has a clue about the “potty zombies” (fingers and paws under the door, moaning and crying) and everything in one’s life exploding because of that helpless mammal and all they do.

  56. says

    i’m a single mom of two little ones, but i wouldn’t exactly bow down to parents :) its the greatest honor ever..but people will do they gotta do in this life, once you become a parent, it’s like you never had a choice-you feel like you were meant for it. i don’t think you lose yourself and your whole life when you have kids. you gain a wonderful perspective on what’s important to you. we all definitely go through TERRIBLE phases though-parent or not. good piece-enjoyed it and it made me think.

  57. says

    Ha. A lot of my non-parent friends fell the wayside, but I assumed they weren’t ones I needed, although I couldn’t help feeling a little guilty… but guilt has nothing on the overwhelming responsibility of being a mom. I also completely understood, because THAT used to be me! It is one of those things you can not possibly understand or explain until you do it! And I love hearing the advice, like, “You have to take care of yourself first,” or “you marriage”… well, after I nurse this baby, change her, bath her, change her, nurse her, hold her so she sleeps, sing to her, nurse her, change her, wash her diapers, rock her to sleep, change, her nurse her, etc… and then I’ll work on THAT! LOL

  58. says

    I was scared when I started reading this, thinking “oh dear God what does she think she has to tell us?” Then I got to the good stuff where I saw that you GET IT. Thank you, dear. Thank you. Pardon me while I bow and kiss your feet.

  59. says

    Too funny. Today I’m coming home from work to peed-on pj’s and sheets in the living room along with 3 “unacceptable” pairs of shoes tossed about, a poopy diaper, wipes, used socks, and 12 kid’s DVDs on the tv console, a baby bath filled with cold, used water and hair products on the bathroom counter, and ants consuming the pb&j crumbs from this morning and the leftover taco meat on the stove from last night. Let’s not discuss the PILES of laundry in the basement… And when I get home at 5 p.m., I get to nurse and change the baby, get the preschooler a light snack, and find a way to cook dinner (at dinnertime!) (oh crap, we need charcoal!). And then there’s a family walk, nurse the baby, bathtime, pj’s, new bedsheets, and snuggle time, the hour I stare at the TV like a zombie during my “free” time, and bed. The mess can wait til tomorrow, right? (These little rugrats better be worth it!) LOL.

  60. says

    After I had my first, I started sending my mother gifts on MY birthday…because it didn’t seem to make any sense why my age was getting celebrated, when it really seems like the day I should be celebrating my mother’s choice to push my 9 pound twin brother and I out of her vagina.

  61. says

    My toddler pulled down my yoga pants at the library counter today. Then we came home and her brothers were being very very loud when she spilled a berry smoothie all over the rug and wood floor and I was trying to clean it up and she unrolled the roll of paper towels while I did it. There is a raccoon like amount of mascara around my eyes…from yesterday. So thank you for this. I’m breathing a little lighter because of the way you showed some grace. xo (also. you are the funny.)

  62. shanz83 says

    This made me laugh and cry… because I have no friends with kids, but I’ll be a parent 5 months from now! I do feel a bit bad for judging strangers with kids now though.

  63. says

    finally someone admits theres wrong lol, now only if my husband could do it :)being a stay at home mother while my husband is gone from 7am till 12am is hard but i wouldnt change it for the world, amazing post

  64. says

    I love you.

    Although I am a mom of two beautiful children (2 1/2 yr old girl and 3 month boy) and they are both superbly easy. I still find myself unwashed for days. Wearing my purple elephant pj pants. Rocking the dagger like leg hairs. And preplanning how and when I can take a dump next.

    I feel blessed that I have what many would call the “easy” kids. Because god help me if it got any harder.

    But like many parents will say, it is truly all worth it.

    PS. I’m now stalking you in the blog world. One which I’ve never signed up for until reading this brilliance.

  65. says

    This is amazing. I have been a mom since I was 20, and I have lost friends along the way who didn’t understand why I couldn’t go to the club or hang out til the sun came up. Who were annoyed with my little one because she cried when she was hungry (heaven forbid) But my 3 crazy, screaming, laughing, fighting, stubborn and amazing children are the only thing that I have ever been sure about. Parenting is so hard, but worth every bit of drool, puke, sleepless night, dollar spent and unsure-that-we-know-what-we’re-doing moment. It’s great to hear that you actually get how hard it is. I also have a full time job AND married to a cop who works graveyards over the weekends.(horrible hours) So on my only days off, I am trying to keep 3 kids busy making memories, cleaning the house and trying to keep them quiet so dad can rest….so to read that a non-parent understands is pretty great :) You’re funny too!!! Loved the article. It was perfection.

  66. says

    Sorry to say, some i dont get, but, before my head rolls, please understand, i am a guy, the oldest of 6 so, much i do getfrom watching my mother and me doing lots of babysitting, i also raised 2 of my own, the ex left when they were 5 and 6, today they are mostly well adjusted 40+ year olds. What i see today is so much different then when mine were young, i dont really know how some do it these days, all i can say is thanks mom for teaching me most of what i needed to know to raise mine even better.

  67. says

    Can I re-post this on TheMissStory.com? It is really awesome! You might want to consider getting TipMash.com a digital tip jar app/code to add to your articles so fans and viewers can support you! Great post! ~Dawn

  68. says

    i have 3 children im a single mom with no help from no one and i get it from every direction from friends because i never hang out and this is exactly what they need to see thank you for sharing this!!!!

  69. says

    Ok, this is cute and sweet, but… So many reasons I don’t want kids. But the most important is that I know I’d be an awful mother. Really, truly, terrible. And I feel that any woman who has kids should be ready to raise them alone, because it’s a state of affairs that’s always likely to happen.
    Yet people feel it’s ok to tell me I’m selfish, stupid, short-sighted, and somehow not appreciating how hard they have it as moms- whether they do it alone or are married. It’s ok for them, as an adult with kids, to judge and criticize me, an adult who doesn’t. Like they are superior by definition, whether or not they wanted kids, were responsible, hate their kids, or are wonderful parents.
    I don’t feel the need to extend to parents any respect for their choices that they don’t extend to me for mine.

    • says

      THANK YOU FARIN. I have no intention of ever being a parent either. I am verging on 30 I have never been able to convince myself to want children and it makes me so angry when other women look at me with disdain or pity like there is something wrong with me because I don’t want that life. I am so tired of being criticized for not wanting to be a mother, and it infuriates me when I suddenly get treated as inferior because I don’t have children. While I fully support other women’s wishes to have children, I can’t tell you how much it annoys me when someone tries to force their choices down my throat while I am consistently told I’m living my life wrong by those same people. I find that highly offensive and disrespectful and I must say, research shows definitively that attitudes like that are passed on (even passively) to children and contribute to later mood and attitude problems. I have NEVER wondered why women drop off the planet and look like homeless 10 year olds when they have children–despite being an only child, that is totally obvious to me; what does bother me is that more and more I see women out and about who don’t seem to care at all that other people still exist in this world. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had my foot run over by a baby carriage with no apology or had to leave a library because some mother was entertaining her child with an obnoxious squeaky toy for half an hour, or was not even acknowledged with a thank you for going out of my way to help a mother I don’t even know and was treated like “well yeah, I mean that’s what you SHOULD do”. Some of us non-parents stop associating with parent friends for THESE reasons because we feel completely disrespected and inferior which is a s*** way to treat another human being and no way to teach your children about social interactions regardless.

  70. says

    This is amazing, and I have to share it with everyone! Going to post it on my own “Mommy” blog, as I’m sure that all of my mommy friends, as well as non-mommy friends will love it, or need to hear it! It’s amazingly TRUE, and hilarious.

  71. says

    I’m a mom of 6, and found this post awesome! Thank you! People who don’t have kiddos really don’t get it until they live a moment in our shoes. Very well done!!

  72. says

    This is cute! BUT you may want to change the word VULVA to UVULA as one is in your mouth and the other inside a diaper…..I sure hope you meant UVULA as in the thing in your throat!

  73. says

    Reblogged this on Stephanie Lawton and commented:
    This is the funniest blog post I have seen in a long time!! I cried so hard simply because I was laughing so hard! You absolutely have to read this ESPECIALLY if you are a parent, or maybe especially if you are not a parent, not sure which is more important. Just read it!!!!

  74. says

    WoW! i just loved this!! thanks for the great read!! I have a friend ( she has been my friend for going on 20 yrs) and now since i have had my child, she hasnt been around much. I just found out that I am the “bad friend” now that i have a child. *sigh* Its not like i mean not to call or visit. Oh well. *shrugs* thanks sooo much for this!! =D

  75. dawnrachele says

    Oh my goodness how hilarious!
    I kept seeing all my facebook friends sharing this post and I’m thinking ‘Aw geez not another parenting/baby blog!’ But I’m so glad I finally read it. I shouldn’t be surprised it was so good, because it’s from you, genius crazy clown chick from way back before I had kids of my own. I adored Patty, I adored what you created in Karen Hines workshop, and I adore this blog post!

    • says

      Hi Dawn,

      It was lovely to see you the other day. You look like you are on some incredible life journeys yourself. Blessings and prayers and all my love to you and your family and I’m glad we found each other here again!

  76. says

    Um, I love you. I am a mom of three with a husband who doesn’t help out much because he works shift work and is perpetually tired. I also own my own business and I can’t wait for the day that my paycheck is big enough to hire someone to clean my house because I can’t get it done as often as it needs it!! Thank you for making me feel better about myself and not care about those who would judge me for not being good enough. Oh, and I love you!

  77. says

    Thank you for this. I reblogged it (I hope you don’t mind) in the hopes that my friends without children can understand that I don’t want to be shitty friend that disappeared after I had kids.

  78. says

    Reblogged this on bellissimom and commented:
    If you are not comfortable with profanity than you should probably not read this. If you are a fan of humor, honesty and a bit of humble pie than you should read this right now!

  79. says

    As a new mom who is currently doing so many of the things she said she would “never” do. This is great – thanks for the giant laughs. I needed that!

  80. says

    In a former life I went into people’s homes and trained them how to be good parents. I have since popped some kids out of my vjj and recognize I don’t know a damn thing. I thought this post was perfect!

  81. says

    Hi. I use to blog. In fact I used to blog everyday. I would blog about politics, relationships, social issues, ADHD, and my blog friends. Then my daughter was born and it all stopped. Now my life is consumed with parenting. I am father. My wife does 66% of the work. She is a god. So is your friend and when you become a mother, you will be one too.

  82. says

    It’s kind of funny – all of the people that were hyper-social back say five years ago who now have kids kind of more understand *my* issues with physical and mental illness – ie that your day doesn’t go your way, that sometimes you plan and being on time isn’t going to happen, etc. All of this stuff – the idea that a “good” friend is someone who does things when you want them to – it is completely lost on me. I’ve had friends who have fallen out of my life because they don’t get that about me – that sometimes I can’t plan for anything because my body isn’t doing what I want it to do.

    We get to see friends when we can – good friends you can pick up with when you see them and it is like time hasn’t passed. People have lives – no matter what their hurdles – and being compassionate is what helps friends stick together, even if you don’t see them much.

    I’ve also seen the other side of the coin too – the mom-brigade that won’t include someone who is a non-mom in the conversation because “they don’t get it” — that is insulting just as much as the reverse. Luckily though, when I was met with a ‘mom-brigade’, it wasn’t made up of people that I really gave a carp about. My true friends — they value my experiences and I value theirs.

  83. says

    My best read of the day. I’m a mom of four who desperately wants to wear skinny jeans again, tries to pretend I don’t see all the stares when my kids are farting on each other at the at the mall, and on occasion, reach my destination with mascara on one eye only and some gross little gummy vitamin stuck to the back of my oily ponytail. ha ha. i write a blog as well about all these things, but it’s mostly about weight loss and how to lose weight. Which is hard when you want to drink yourself to death and the end of each day! Ha ha Thanks for the smile.

  84. says

    This is so great. Makes me laugh and cry at the same time! My 4 year old started karate tonight. I am brainless due to being pregnant with my third and when he took his socks off in class, I realized that my forgotten items on my to do list were: clean dirt off his feet and remove HOT PINK POLISH! …and when the room was totally silent, he farted.

  85. says

    I think you all should be ashamed. If I had a friend who wrote this about me they would no longer be a friend. This is the ramblings of a selfish being who wants it all to be about her and can’t except family being more important than friends. Probably the same type of friend who would view a new love as stealing her girlfriend away versus making her friend incredibly happy.
    Hmm lets see Miss Emelia you insulted your friend called her a bad friend, a slob, a horrible house cleaner and a bad mom. You then insulted her child and portrayed them as some demon child. As well as basicly saying you failed to care for her properly during the short 3 hours you had her. And yet these people are commending you???? Do you believe this is the actions of a good friend?
    Self Esteem its important no one should ever speak about or to someone in such a manner and your language referrals of this child are deplorable at best.
    Children require a change yes and raising a family can be a challenge. But Moms do not walk around dressed like vagrants and living in swaller in their homes. We may not rock the glam everyday but nor do most of us hang in mom jeans and sweats 24-7. I am surrounded by moms and when we wish, we get our Diva on and still do the same as we did when we were without children at home. Your life as a parent changes a piece of you it does not transform you to the stressed mess that you describe. An organized person will still be one with or without kids as will a disorganized person.
    I have three children, 2 with special needs. My home is neat and orderly. I wear stylish clothes and heels every day unless I am doing yard work or other things which I wish not to destroy my clothes. My kids are respectable and sweet my friendships are all in tact and if they need me they call and I am there. I can listen to a conversation with a friend and be a watchful mom at the same time. I still visit the salon and get my hair done and gasp… am still able to go on dates with my husband. Its all about priorities and what you wish to have and making it yours. If you think all you can be is a stressed out wreck then that’s what you’ll be. Like any other goal you must eliminate obsticles in your way and yes that includes people who cannot respect you and your life choices.

    • says

      comments anyone? I’m not a mom so I don’t think I have the authority on this one.

      Christianmomofthree,

      This was a comedic essay. I wrote it to affirm and bow down to the super parents that I deeply love and respect and to offer my apologies for my past ignorance. My descriptions were dramatic and silly for effect. I love the child I was babysitting, so much so that I do it weekly and for free. I think most of the other readers got my tone. Best to you,
      emelia

    • says

      Wow. You must be a real fucking superhero. Guess what, so am I- and I look like a drunken homeless 10 year old half the time- so I laughed at what she’d written.

      I have three kids, work full time in a group home for adults with brain injury, volunteer on the board at my daughters’ daycare, babysit for friends when they need me, make dinner every night, help my husband make lunch, write, hang out with friends, find time to go out for dinner by myself once in a blue moon, and spend time with my husband.

      The point of this essay was NOT to say that her friend was a horrible parent or any of the other crud YOU said.

      The point was that the writer DID NOT understand what children/ being a parent could be like until she’d tried babysitting for 3 hours, and NOW she gives “big ups” to any mom out there.

      If you climbed down off your high horse, you might be able to see the words a bit better- and maybe seeing better would give you the ability to understand the work a bit better.

      It’s about the fact that until someone has a child of their own, they DO NOT understand why we’re sometimes tired, sometimes look like we fell out of bed, sometimes don’t call back (or email). It’s about the fact that until someone has a family of their own, they don’t realize what WORK is.

    • says

      I will start by saying bravo, 2 special needs children is a huge responsibility. But… get off your high horse. I do happen to (some days) look like a drunken homeless 10 yr old. I have days (weeks) where I cannot keep on top of my housework. I have lost “friends” because they cannot comprehend my life. My children can be demon children when the mood takes them (and they generally all do it at once).
      The last time I was at a salon was when I got married. I haven’t been on a date with my husband for more years than I care to remember. And, yes, I do have my priorities in their correct order.
      I have 4 kids 6yrs and under. I don’t have any support. I don’t have a mother. My father is 6hrs away. My in-laws are 2 1/2 hrs away. We moved for Hubby’s work over two years ago and I still don’t know anybody here. I have post traumatic stress disorder from being tortured by morons during my last labour. We can’t afford for me to work (we’d have to pay more in childcare than I could earn) and I had kids so I could raise them anyway, not some stranger. My husband and I have not had a child free night (excepting when I was in hospital giving birth) in 4 years. I’m not explaining this to get any sympathy, this is the life I chose and I love it.
      It seems to me that, yes, you have obviously been dealt a rough hand. But, if you can do all that you obviously have a wonderful support network.
      Spare a thought for those of us that don’t.

    • says

      christianmomofthree,
      You’ve clearly put a lot of thought and time into this response, perhaps you should put as much effort into your reading comprehension. In the future read the whole article before committing your words to public domain, it’s clear you only read the first half. There is a reason most here are commending the author on her work, that alone should have made you think twice and re-read the whole thing.
      Emelia,
      Excellent form! You were able to to put down in words what I’m sure many non parents have felt at times in their lives. Having recently married, my wife and I are now having the “should we” talks regarding children. It seems every time we lean toward yes, we have an experience similar to what you describe above. God bless the parents out there. I consider myself a strong man, but I’m not sure I’ve got what it takes to be a father.

    • says

      I am a mom, I work, I go to school, and I take care of my son. Sometimes my house is a mess, not because I am disorganized or lazy, but some days it is all just too much and I don’t feel like loading a dishwasher. I manage to shower most days of the week, and talk with my friends, (at least those that still talk to me since I became a mom.) I know that before I was a mom I sometimes thought that I could handle it better than other moms when it was my turn. Now I think it’s great that moms handle it at all, without eating their young. I know for one my son is not an angel every day, and there have been times I have wished I could leave a particularly nasty diaper for when my husband gets home from work (oh we cloth diaper too.) I do not think you “got” or appreciated the light-hearted, tongue and cheek feel of this post. I did not feel any judgement when reading it, I felt like “Wow, someone realizes how tough it can be some days.”

    • says

      I’ve encountered many moms like you over the years, both before and after I had children. I thought I would strive for that when I had kids — until I actually had them, and realized that the “life choice” that makes a mother choose style and friends over her children was the very LAST kind of parent I would EVER want to be. Maybe you really are perfect, and surround yourself with equally perfect mothers, but I highly doubt it. You are right that it’s about choices. And most of us make the choice to expend our efforts on our CHILDREN when we become parents, not on ourselves — especially if they genuinely do have special needs (which, FYI, things like lactose intolerance don’t count). I have never encountered a “perfect” mom — the type who dresses stylishly, who has all the time for her friends that she needs, whose house is totally neat and tidy — who actually bothers to care for her own children. Because the reality is that there is NOT enough time in the day to do it all. Not for anyone, unless you pay someone to do it for you. And if you do? More power to you! But that doesn’t make your experience realistic or functional for everyone else, and criticizing someone because they can’t do what you yourself DON’T do is hypocritical. When the choice comes down to doing my hair or taking care of my kids, my hair will be unbrushed. Sure, you can choose to make a different “life choice” but I sure as hell don’t have to respect it.

      • says

        I very much wanted to post a response to christianmomofthree for her holier-than-thou critique of this article, but you took the words right out of my mouth! Very well said. I ALWAYS choose my kids first over my own friends, my style, and the cleanliness of our house, and even my husband (until kids are asleep!). All of those things can wait, and they should, as they don’t compare to your children who need your guidance, care and love more than anything. I agree, many mothers including myself do not have the luxury of extra money laying around to pay others to help, or even a babysitter for date nights. Being a stay-at-home mother of 2 and military wife with our our closest family 11 hours away, we don’t have a lot of financial resources or family support. My husband has worked 12+ hour days since 2003 and been deployed overseas twice, and I managed but some days were very rough. I so wish other moms would not be so judgemental!!!

    • says

      Wow. I think the majority of people who read this, received it for what it was. I felt like christianmomof3 basically lambasted emelia in a terribly arrogant and caustic tone. I am very happy for mothers like you who are able to do it all so gracefully, but I think the rest of us really needed to hear this and feel for a moment that we are understood by someone out there. Look at all of the other comments, do you see many commenting in such an abrasive way? I hope Christian is your name and not a label you have put on yourself to be identified as one who follows christ…I would expect more humility from such a person.

      I find every step of motherhood to be very difficult. I enjoy the hell out of it and I wouldn’t trade it for anything, but you won’t find me perfectly manicured and fixed up or dressing nicely to go on dates. My husband works insane hours so that I can raise the kids. I laughed and cried while reading Emilia’s post because I always smell like buttermilk, my son peed the bed and I could hardly get the bedding stripped, washed and remade. I rarely use the bathroom without a baby or toddler in my lap and I fantacize about long showers or coherent conversations. I’ve had many friends walk out of my life even though I desperately tried to show up to happy hours even with the baby strapped on. I became irrelevant and single friends and family don’t want to talk to me about their lives anymore because it’s just too hard to sit down and chat with them. We are kind of stuck in this place where being a mom somehow became the most important thing about us and I often find myself just trying to get anyone to remember that I’m a real person anymore. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to write a book here, but this got me on a very emotional day when I feel like crawling into my closet and closing my eyes for at least 2hrs. I tried to go to the gym this morning for a lame Zumba class bc I thought I need to put the kids in the childcare and do something silly. 5mins into the class I burst into tears bc I was so tired and couldn’t follow the steps. Immediately my name was called over the intercom to go get my son who was rolling around on the ground crying out for mom to save him from the grown ups. I then tried to go to grocery store and the baby cried hysterically for about 30mins and everyone looked at me with either pity or annoyance and I just didn’t want anyone to look at me at all. Okay that’s the end of my book. Thank you for writing this.

      And to the non-moms who feel excluded, I am also sorry. People just suck everywhere. I’m sorry that you’ve had those experiences!

      • says

        We love you here at Tryingtobegood. We love you deep and true. I feel you and I hear you. Sisterfriend I don’t know how I’m going to do it. I am using you for strength when the times comes!

    • kfioravanti says

      Wow. I think you missed the point of this posting by a mile… if you’re able to be all that you describe more often than not, then perhaps you should take a closer look at what you may be forgetting.
      I have help raising my two kids from my husband (their father) most days and from my parents (God bless them!) but I work a full time job, come home, baby sit for another 3 hours each and every day of the regular work week and take my kids to their own activities and I STILL look like a hot mess by the end of most days and am in bed by 9 on Friday nights. I think most other people got what Miss Emelia was getting at in her humourous blog — as a non-mom, she gets it — kids are more work than they appear… and if my living room floor is a mess of toys, and my kitchen counter is a bit full with dirty dishes but my kids are smiling at the end of the day – then it doesn’t matter that I haven’t seen a hair salon since Christmas — because my kids are happy, healthy, and love me… and my homeless drunken 10 year old look…

      Emelia – you ROCK! this was the funniest thing I’ve read in a long while and it gave me hope that the day is soon coming when some of our previously childless friends will ‘get it’ … hopefully… :)

    • says

      Wow. You’re Christian. That makes you special. We get it. You’re an authority on everything, especially on mothering. You also don’t get humor. Sad. I see how busy you have been. I know how busy mothers can be, as I’m a mother of 7, including a special needs child. You were so busy you didn’t have time to learn to spell. It’s SQUALOR, not swaller. ObstAcles, not obstIcles. But I digress. I’d be here all night long correcting the grammatical and spelling errors. I do hope you’re not home-schooling your kids. Also, the lack of punctuation in your post made it painful to get through.

      YOU should be ashamed of yourself for not recognizing satire when you read it.

  86. says

    Thank you. As for my parenting nightmare moment: had to be bringing my toddler to the university class I teach because our childcare (and backup childcare) fell through, and having him announce to my stunned students, “I LOVE MY MAMA’S BOOBIES. DO YOU WANT TO SEE THEM?”

  87. says

    I love this! My husband and I are younger parents (I’m 21 he is 25). We lost quite a few of our non-parent friends because we became “boring”. Responsible is apparently boring LOL. That was around 2 years ago. As our friends have started having children, suddenly they come to this realization that our lives may have seemed out of control to them, but it was very routine (in a sick, cosmic, karma is paying you back for all the hell you gave your parents sort of way). This post is awesome Em, and extremely well written and I’ll bet that you are a great friend to your parent and non-parent friends alike :)

  88. says

    This is so very true! I’m a first time mom to a 7.5 month old. I never understood how being a mom is till now! This post could not be more beautifully said!

  89. says

    LOL. Overall, a pretty good depiction of a day in babysitting. I don’t understand not being able to eat or take a shower though. Sometimes I think people get dramatic about parenting on both sides of the coin. You doesn’t deserve a cookie just because you keep your kids fed and alive. And our non-parent friends are not idiots incapable of understanding the work involved in caring for children. They just also will not let us use it as an excuse to be a shitty friend, have bad hygiene, or whine because they don’t feel the same need to commiserate.

  90. says

    Hmmm.. This post and all its comments have really got me thinking. I have to say that as a first time mother of an almost 2 year old I fully understand all of those apologies to your friend(s). I’ve had a couple friends that I don’t have anymore because they felt the way you did before you babysat your friends child and that was by my doing not theirs.

    It’s pretty obvious when someone feels the way you did about your friend and I know that because I’ve encountered it myself. It shows right through even the best of fake attitudes. I’m glad you’re apologizing because it really hurts coming from a supposed friend.

    Maybe I should have a couple of ex-friends watch my son so they can understand a little better about what growing up is all about and how their friend might treat them for having a child.

    Then again if I ever came back and found my child in a soiled diaper because the babysitter didn’t feel like changing it you wouldn’t ever be watching my child again as I personally would find you unfit. If that happened in a daycare I’d call the State on them and have them investigated.

    Not to mention purposely disrespecting my wishes about feeding my child something, not a very good friend but that’s just MY opinion.

    As you mentioned above you watch the child now on a weekly basis for free because you love her so much. I certainly hope for all of your sake that you have become a better babysitter after having some practice.

    • says

      Hi,

      As all creative writing is, the essay was dramatized for effect. No children were harmed. All were loved and cuddled. She was in her poopy diaper for 2.5 min as I saw her Dad walking home from across the street. Damn, now my bad girl image is ruined.

  91. says

    Emelia you kick ass. I truly admire all the moms out there. And, eerily, this brought back many of my 20+ years of babysitting and nanny memories. Especially the time when a 2 year old peed on me during the night, first week nannying back in 1998. Fun times.

    Plus, I want to be your friend too.

    P.S. these comments are also a great read!

  92. says

    You, my colorfully versed friend, are hilarious!! Im not quite 30 and have 3 kids 10b, 5b, & 3g. It’s nearly midnight cst and im just getting to the breakfast dishes. This was a well needed laugh at the state of myself & my home. Thank you!!!

  93. says

    I know I have friends like this… I am just too busy to really even begin to explain it to them. Thanks for helping me with that! I LOVE this post! And I totally agree with that chick that said she’d pay for a friend like you! there are days where I silently beg for money for even just a mother’s helper. I actually paid my older daughter’s friend to hang out with me and play with the baby one day! Seriously… you can friend me if you want to. I am on my phone and haven’t mastered WordPress yet!

  94. says

    I respect people who want to have kids, but I really hate this sanctimonious and holier-than-thou attitude that some parents seem to take toward non-parents. You wanna have kids? That’s fine. I completely support that. But my choice is no less valid than your choice, and it doesn’t meant that you’re smarter or that I’m going to “bow down” to my parent friends. Please.

  95. says

    Lol … As a Mother of 4, I can appreciate this whole-heartedly, considering I can (just barely!), remember a time where I too was childless … All parents, especially first time parents, (and wonderful friends like yourself, who have just witnessed the sheer willpower of a toddler), need to read something called, The String Bag and Octopus Guide to Parenthood. I have never laughed so hard in all my days. I first read this after child # 2, and I was left breathless … It’s one of those, ‘it’s funny cos it’s true’ kinda things.

  96. says

    Nicely done, being a non-parent I can relate to this after babysitting my niece for the first time! She started puking on herself as i tried to change her diaper within 5 minutes of her being dropped off! I panicked. I have alot more respect for all the mommas out there now. I learned quickly not to push for my 8 glasses of water when I was watching her for long periods of time ;)

  97. says

    Thank you for your acknowledgement of how difficult (but infinitely rewarding) it is. You have given me more acceptance and recognition of how hard this can be, than my own mother (and I am not an only child) xx

  98. says

    This is so great…you got it bang on…needed this parenting humour today, after a job interview yesterday where I was asked why there was break in resume for so many years and what was I doing…being a mom!!! Some how it sounds fine saying it on here but was extremely awkward during the interview…like its taboo to take time off and raise your kids!!! I may have lost out on years of my career but I would surely do it again!!! No job is more rewarding!!!

  99. says

    I’m sending this to my daughter…mother to my gorgeous 4 month old grandbaby AND the best mother & daughter ever! How do I know, she brought him on a six hour drive from CT to ME to me and her own grandparents, with him screaming and crying for more than half of it. What a trooper! Love her!

  100. says

    Reblogged this on Mother, Speaker, Singer, Goddess and commented:
    I came across this blog article via Facebook and I just had to share it. It reminded me of how I felt when we came home from the hospital. It was literally, right, we’re home, now what? It took us about half an hour to decide whether to leave her at home with my mum or to take her with us to the supermarket. Simple decisions took on a whole new complexity! I have to say though, it wasn’t quite as bad as painted in this article, but I do think you lose a little bit of your brain with each placenta ;-)

  101. says

    This was so funny and so true. As a mommie of 2 very active boys I do not have the appropriate brain cells to explain this adequately. Thank you for doing it for me!! I have emailed a link to this blog entry to everyone I know! Must REad

  102. says

    Brilliant! I can’t wait for my younger sister to find out how hard parenting really is… Finally she will begin to understand me :) What a great piece of writing. Thanks so much.

  103. says

    If you don’t have children, you think she’s exaggerating for effect – perhaps even skirting the border, potentially dancing over into, hyperbole.

    That would be incorrect. If anything, she toned it down.

    Case in point. I have an 8 & a 5 year old. The 5 year old is a future X-Man. They’ll call him Tsunami-Hurricane-Earthquake-Covered in Chocolate Man. Over the weekend, we dog-sat an excitable labrador named Jackson. My son (let’s call him Curious Dennis, or CD, since he’s the venn diagram of those two little monsters) was ecstatic: “finally, someone to blame for all the random destruction I cause!”.

    CD walks past, a leash on Jackson (rainy Saturday, he thought the dog needed a wall – points for cute).

    I see a ball in his hand, say “Don’t play ball in the house”. He rounds a corner and, without even a pause, I hear the apocalypse occur. Again. Apparently, CD took “don’t play ball” to mean “don’t play around – really chuck that thing!”.

    Hurls the ball down the bedroom hallway. Jackson gives chase. The leash handle snags on the leg of a low table in CD’s room. Which held a large Playmobil castle with knights, Lego people etc. Table now traveling in midair behind Jackson. Down the hall. Castle flying in mid-air, crashing into many pieces along the hallway. Massive dents in the walls of said hallway, from the impact of dog/ table/ giant plastic castle. Little people flying around everywhere. Table grabs laundry basket in its wake. Table and laundry basket now hurtling along hall behind super-excited dog. Table/ laundry basket catch Barbie Dream House daughter (now cowering in her room behind a desk) has set up hall. Barbie Dream House, Barbie Corvette, and about 12 versions of Barbie (plus 1 Ken!) now following dog. Along with table, basket, dirty clothes. Jackson made it all the way down the hall, into the master bedroom, at full speed. Along with her wake.

    The hallway looked like some bizarre recreation of post-tsunami Japan: pieces of building, vehicles, clothing and people scattered along a shoreline, dust swirling in the air.The sound of my daughter quietly sobbing a quiet soundtrack in the aftermath.

    Btw: this took DM under 5 seconds to achieve. I’m oddly proud of him for that.

  104. says

    I hope you don’t mind. . . I used this post to make an open and formal apology on facebook to my sister for having taken this approach for the ten years before I had children. She is still thinking of some snarky comment to hand back to humiliate me. I have it coming. We are still the best of friends, but I could not have written this better. And I write a great deal. I bow to your amazing effort.

  105. says

    I think the really ignorant people are the PARENTS in the parent/non-parent equation. For the most part, their comments on here were so so typical. “Call the State” and “you’re unfit” and “I wear heels everyday”. Well, you can’t win ‘em all.
    People (parents): Newsflash–you don’t lose friends cause you’re boring and ‘grown up’. You lose ‘em because you’re so self-centred and so focussed on ‘over-parenting’ your precious offspring that most people (non-parent former friends) with an IQ over 75 are like “SEE YA!”
    http://carolyninthecity-citygirl.blogspot.ca/

  106. says

    Reblogged this on 2under1 and commented:
    This is making the rounds right now, but I thought it was relevant and funny — two good qualities! This falls under the category of “I was a much better parent before I became a mom.”

  107. says

    I really love this post. I have a 3-year-old and also 9 months pregnant,just mothering one child is challenging. I want to thank you for sharing this post,it shows all those who don’t have children that it’s not so easy being a parent. It’s a lot harder when another life depends on you as while. Just maybe then people would respect full-time parents a whole a lot more. So thank you!

    • says

      Respect YOU a whole lot more? How about respecting US and not looking down upon us non-parents for choosing the way we want to live OUR lives? The entitlement is asounding…your choice.

  108. says

    I LOVE this so much that I almost cried!!! I’m in the midst of losing a friend because she doesn’t get my world (married, working full time, mother of a 4 & 5 yr olds) – I think I’ll send this to her now and again once she has a kid or two!!! This is FABULOUS!!!!!

    • says

      Well, you’re losing a friend because your life is changing…apparently she gets that and you don’t…all your life will be about is baybees…Once she has kids? WHAT IF SHE DOESN’T!? She’s the one who “gets” it…not you, mommy…

  109. says

    Beautiful and true. Glad I stumbled across this. And I have to admit, I am guilty of smelling babies’ heads. I think they still have little bits of Heaven on them. :-)

  110. Joshunda says

    Reblogged this on Single & Happy and commented:
    This is fantastic. For those of us who are single without kids, I know you can relate. I want to babysit for my friends, but I’m always afraid that I will end up crying. The babies. They have all the power.

  111. says

    I was just lamenting the fact that I have people coming over in 48 hours and the house is a wreck. I was berating myself for not being able to even get the toilet scrubbed last night (even as I began hour number two of the bedtime battle)! Thank you for this post, I really needed a good laugh and a reminder that I am not alone in this struggle to accomplish even one thing…

  112. says

    My 8 1/2 month old won’t ever sleep on the go. He’s crib only. A friend recently said that you just have to teach them when they’re really small by just bringing them everywhere with you. It was her wedding weekend, so instead of busting out in hysterics or smacking her across the face, I zipped it. She’ll find out herself one day.

    • says

      You might want to try it. He’s young enough to learn to sleep on the go. =) When they’re tired enough, they’ll fall asleep no matter where they are or what is going on around them. That was the way my parents raised me and that was how I raised my son. Even beyond the fabulous benefit of not being a slave to your baby’s sleep schedule and having it interfere with your daily life, it also allows your child to learn to sleep soundly ANYWHERE at ANYTIME—something both my son (23 yo.) and I are quite happy we are able to do now as adults. =)

      • says

        Agreed. We had our first babysitter for my son when he was 2 weeks old! Haha. It was just for a few hours. We make it a point to have them be cared for and sleep outside the home a lot so they are used to it. We also don’t tell others to be super quiet when they are napping so they are used to sleeping through noise. The result? My 4 year old recently fell asleep in the car on the way home. We were getting dropped off by a friend. We forgot our keys in their car. We had to camp out on the doorstep and my son literally slept on the doormat until we were rescued :)

  113. says

    As a non-parent who will never have kids, I just want to throw it out there that many of us are not judging you parents. Being a parent looks very hard. I know that you’re tired and I understand why you don’t have a lot of free time. If we invite you out, it’s not because we’re disregarding your family, fatigue, life, etc. It’s because we don’t want to leave you out. I’ve never once gone into a house with children and thought it was too messy. I’ve never judged the way you parent because I know nothing about parenting. This is the life you wanted and that’s fantastic. Now if you could just do me a solid and not judge me for not having kids, we’ll talk when we both have a spare few minutes.

    • says

      One parent’s concurrence: There’s nothing wrong with having kids (either deliberately or because that’s the way life happened), and there’s nothing wrong with not having kids (either deliberately or because that’s the way life happened).

      Before I had kids, the pro-lifers with whom I used to occasionally have philosophical disputes (usually while standing outside a clinic with signs in both our hands) would often tell me that I’d think differently when I had children of my own to love. Or when I’d experienced the heartache of trying to have a child but couldn’t. Or when I miscarried a much-wanted child and felt the grief and the loss that accompanied such an experience.

      Well, now I’ve experienced all three… and I’ve become more pro-choice, and less judgmental about everyone’s decisions regarding parenting in general, whether those decisions are made before or after having intercourse, or indeed if they’re decisions at all, rather than coping with what comes along. Because my own experiences with my kids, as much as I love them, and as much as I wanted them from the beginning and cherish them as the most valuable thing in my life, are just plain too damned much WORK to inflict on the unwilling. In any fashion, from legal interference to subtle social pressure.

      I have never regretted my decision to have kids. Even when I’m bone-weary and hurting from my hair to my toenails and they jump on me from both sides shrieking “SURPRISE!” I love them more than I’ve ever loved anything. But I cannot begin to imagine what that work would look like if I had *not* chosen to have them, wanted them, and been as prepared as it is possible to be in advance to take on the workload in exchange for the joys. I would never wish that on anyone.

      So I’m heart-glad that I have children, and that my dear friend who has wanted kids all her life has managed to have at least one so far; and I am also heart-glad that my dear friends who have no interest whatsoever in having children have been supported by their families in living the way they choose. And I’m happy to keep all of them in my life if they don’t mind coming to my house and playing Mousetrap with us until 8:30, when we can tuck the little monsters in and close the door and settle in with a glass of wine and an adult conversation. Or else sticking to email, which I can answer during school hours.

      We can make this work. I hope you and your parent friends can too.

  114. says

    Great post!! I live my life eating all the crow I lay out with my pre-whatever-it-is (not limited to kids) notions.

    Have any of you seen my keys?
    Or my children?
    Or my brain for that matter?

      • says

        It’s not about emotional “range”. This sort of sickly-sweet stomach-churning reader grab panders to basic emotions, not complex ones.

        As parents, we are stressed. Fine. But appealing to our self-righteous “we’re doing good work and no one really gets it” attitude brings out the absolute worst parts of parenthood, not the best.

        The post is disingenuous and an obvious attempt at appealing to simplistic mindsets. It’s a cheap crowd pleaser and I found it impossible not to respond. Deal with it.

        • says

          You are a parent and I am not so I respect your opinion.
          I disagree with your judgements on my being disingenuine. It was from the deepest part of my heart, as all my writing is. always.
          Some of my writing is simple and some of it is complex, just like my hairdo’s, just like my bowel movements. I like to switch it up ya know.

    • says

      See how no one really went after this guy…it’s because he doesn’t get it and no one really does have anything to prove, so why bother? I loved this post Emelia. I also understand it better now that I have a demon/jerk baby. My older daughter was a piece of cake compared to the asshole that is my son. I used to judge other parents for having these crazy out of control kids, but now I know it may possibly not be there fault. I cut them a little slack now. Anyhow, he’s only one so I’m hoping it’s not permanent. However, it might be a hereditary condition-from his father’s side. Or it could be that chromosome problem he has. Not sure which or both.

      • says

        hahahahahaha. I love you. I love you said deamom/jerk baby. I love it. Lets be honest here people! why not! its safe. Holy shit you are so funny! I wish you all the blessings and patience in the world and I hope he grows up to be a hilarious ridiculously wealthy comedy writer to pay you back for all his asshole-nish.

      • says

        I liked this article a lot, but it wasn’t until your comment that I snorted out loud, I too had a demon/jerk baby. He also was my second, after my calm, quiet, sweet baby. I’m sad to say though that according to family lore, he gets it from me. So even though there are many days that he drives me to mumble to myself like a crazy person on the corner, he makes me giggle with the random shit he says and impresses me with his creativity.

  115. says

    OK, it was 7 or 8 years ago and I was a bit sleep deprived, so my memory is very foggy, but…. WHEN did you babysit my daughter for me???!! You described her perfectly. Come back and watch my son. While you still might not get to pee in peace, he’s so much less intense, I promise. And my house is in better shape too. At least at the moment it is…

  116. kariswen says

    Alternate solution is don’t have babies. I’m sticking with that one. I like to be able to give them back ^-^’

  117. says

    Yes, I am a superhero, because in my house, I’m able to make the socks on the floor crawl on their own accord to the hamper, I’m able to snap my fingers and have a three course dinner prepared, I can blink my eyes and coordinate my room parent duties in one breath, fight off slamming doors because “someone” has too much homework, clean the litter box with my brain power, turn off the TV with an invisible remote, feed the dogs with “the force,” wash the dishes with a smile on my face and thrive on three hours of sleep a night.

    At least that’s what my family thinks. But you made my day! You made me feel like a superhero! Thank you for this wonderful blog post! I absolutely love it!

  118. says

    I wanted to like this post and indeed I found myself laughing quite hard in places. I get that it is satire but in the end, intentional or not, some of it felt like a slam against non-parents….I just couldn’t “like” it…I guess just like I can’t or don’t get what it is like to be a parent. And mind you, I am a non-parent who is a nanny and has worked with children in one capacity or another for over a decade now. I have not had the good fortune to have children but don’t think I am less of a person because of it..don’t tell my brother-in-law though..he recently told me for the second time in sixteen years that I am worthless because I don’t have children. Yes, it is his issue but it is still extremely hurtful. People should be repected and honored for who they are..with or without children. I have a lot of friends with children and a lot who are childless..they are all important, worthy people. I know a couple who made a conscious decision not to have children..they both work with infants every day…and they are excellent at what they do. If I had children and had to work outside the home, they are the ones I would want caring for my children. I am excellent at what I do and I love caring for children. Do I know what it feels like to be a parent? Absolutely not. Merely a consequence of fate or what have you. But I care for them like they are mine…I nurture them and love them, clean them, feed them, laugh and play with them, cry with and for them, worry about them and work oh so very hard to be in relationship with them every single moment..it is horrifying, exhausting and exhilarating all at the same time. I know I make a difference, the parents know I do, most importantly, the children know. I am truly blessed! Peace.

    • says

      I hear you. thank you for your side of things. Of course all humans are to be respected and honoured for their choices. this essay was not saying one side is better than the other. It was just me apologizing after I took my head out of my ass. You sound like your head was never in your ass and you knew what was going on the whole time. You sound like an exceptional caregiver and powerful and intelligent woman. This was a specific apology that was personal to me that is all. No disrespect meant to anyone else or their independent choices. ever. not on this blog.

  119. says

    This is so true and hilarious!! I wish more people would understand how children turn your life upside down….but it’s all worth it. Kudos to you..love it!

  120. says

    This post is even a balm for dads. It’s so nice to feel heard. THANK YOU. I can even hear the mom saying to herself that she wouldn’t change it for anything. Maybe that’s just me, since I’m so happy with the yung ‘un chaos of my two boys and my own superhuman wife.

  121. says

    Thank you! I actually did appoligize to a friend of mine after the birth of my 1st nearly 7 years ago. She cracked up laughing as another very pregnant friend of ours looked on in amusement. We laughed harder because she had no clue, but was about to find out!

  122. Leah H says

    Reblogged this on Little Miss Ramble and commented:
    If you’ve ever been a babysitter or a parent (I am the first and not the second), you should read this post. I’ve sat for some great kids, and I’ve sat for some monsters just like the kid in this post– I take it all in as much as I can as practice for my own kids someday.
    You read that correctly: I’m practicing on your kids. Thanks! And you’re awesome for letting me do it and watch how you parent– I’m taking notes.

  123. says

    Emelia, this post made me laugh. So much. Couldn’t stop laughing.

    I am a parent of a very sweet 15 month old. From the reverse perspective, I totally understand.

  124. says

    Wonderful post, and, being a mother, left me nearly crying. It’s a relief to see these common parenting “struggles” printed out like this. Just knowing it’s not happening only to you is comforting.

  125. says

    Um…hi. I literally laughed until I cried, almost losing control of my bladder because that’s yet another awesome side effect of becoming a mom – of which I am – to two little monsters. The fact that you chose salmon as the food to be stuck under your neck and boob is just sheer brilliance. Because it’s always something as gross as salmon. Anyways, had to comment to a fellow blogger because there are a lot of funny chicks out there and you are one of them. xox keep it up sistah!

  126. says

    Love this! I’m a parent of 2 difficult kids and I do a lot of the “I’ll will never do that” things daily. It is very interesting going though and reading most of the comments, those who have children have a short response, gracious and thankful. Many of the non-parents have a long winded explanation as to why parents shouldn’t expect an apology, and how we shouldn’t judge their choice not have have children. Isn’t that why you wrote this in the first place except a role reversal? The non-parent and judging the parent? Just thought it was funny.

    Thank you for this post! It made my day :o)

  127. says

    I used to be a childless person who judged parents with messy houses, dirty and rude kids. Then I had 3 kids. Now I am perpetually apologizing for my messy home, dirty child or rude child.

    Hate me if you want, I do think the same lovely picture could be painted for us all with less crude, more discreet discriptive words.

    God bless and the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ be with you all!

  128. says

    The apology, in my eyes, is unnecessary, but the awakened understanding is priceless. Thank you for such an eloquent picture of what parents go through and why non-parents who judge really are missing some information. Parenting is the hardest job I’ve ever seen, heard of, or experienced. For me personally (I understand this is not the case for some people, and I am in no way judging them), it’s worth it — but even for those of us who basically love it in theory, it’s draining beyond belief, and it makes you rethink your priorities for the simple reason that you KNOW that no more than a quarter of what you used to consider absolute necessities will ever get done.

  129. nana46 says

    I found this post sickening. Lets put everyone in a box. Lets assume those that have had children are like some sort of super heros. What about those that cant have babies, or dont have chidren of their own but do so much more for society then try to raise a “mini me”. I hope you also spend a day in a life of someone who cares for the poor, who works with street sex workers addicted to herion, who have to go into homes where children are abused and take them away from their families….write a blog about that too.
    No one cares if your house is messy, if your hair hasnt been brushed for 2 weeks or you have stains on your top….we care about what is underneath it all. Who you are as a person. If the depth of who you are rests on your kids….well that is sad.

    • says

      Hmmmm.
      No boxes here. I did not assume all parents are superhero’s. Just the ones I know that my post was referring to.
      My post was not about all the other amazing people who do amazing things with their time. My post was specific to the theme of parenting.
      1. I have cared for the poor when working at a homeless shelter.
      2. I have worked with sex workers addicted to heroin.
      3. I have gone into homes where children are abused and supported their removal.
      This blog was not about those things though.

      I care about what is underneath all the mess and poop stains too, that is actually what this blog is about if you read further. It is about horrible darkness and also the light and finding laughter in both places.
      No one said the depth of who they are rests in their kids. No one said that. This is a simple blog post about a simple idea of celebrating parents who work hard. Feel free to write one that is more focused on what you are looking for. All the best to you,
      emelia

      • paulawalawala says

        I know eh? Wow I wonder who’s going to be changing those “non-breeders” adult diapers when their 85… oh ya, the “breeders” kids. How about a little respect for those of us who made the “lifestyle choice” to provide you with doctors, nurses, grocery store clerks, bankers,funeral directors etc also known as the next generation.

        Awesome article! I have recently been blessed with a niece from my previously single sister and now she gets it LOL.

  130. says

    That’s all we need, more smug self-satisfaction for the Breeder crowd… You make a lifestyle choice, and then you get all haughty and indignant … why so defensive? If you’re that much better than those of us who can’t or won’t have kids, you shouldn’t have to brag so much.

    • says

      Lets keep these comments coming from a place of love folks. I don’t want to post them if they are spiteful with no analysis attached. No one is better than anyone else. No one said that. Peace, love and farts!

  131. says

    I definitely read this as, “Wow, the person who wrote this must have been a massive jerk before this revelation.”

    As a non-child-haver, I have never once thought any of these things about my child-haver friends. This post is no revolutionary call to niceness for non-child-havers, it’s just one person’s declaration of, “I used to be a jerk to my friends and now I’m going to be less of a jerk. Hurrah!”

    • says

      that is seriously the best comment I have ever received. Go buy her some pretty lady shit now like flowers or a pie. (half kidding). I’m sure you are all over that already.
      Thank you. that comment is honestly all I could ever ask for, that and a trust fund maybe.

  132. says

    As a non-parent with many friends and acquaintances who are now first or multiple time parents, I would like to say that I did like this ‘open letter’, I did find it funny, and yes, I’ve baby-sat all throughout my teens, from children ranging from 2 to 11. I have dealt with the challenges of watching a child; I do not — I cannot — fully understand what it’s like to be responsible for all of that and not be able to”:go home” at the end of the day…..however, I do hope to have children of my own one day, as I have seen how wonderful and rewarding it has been for my friends. Even on the most difficult days, they seem….happier somehow, like they’ve evolved in a very good way. Maybe they are just really lucky.

    As for judging or not judging, I only speak for myself here. But, I think that, if a friendship is true, it will stay intact no matter what. Good friends make time for each other, even if it’s only a quick e-mail or a 5 minute phone conversation. I think both parents and non-parents need to make an effort to understand each other’s life situations (and choices) as best they can, and for friends on the opposite sides of the spectrum to work things out as best they can. Maybe a parent can’t go out all of the time, but then again, they shouldn’t drop their non-parent friends because of it. Non-parent friends may not understand why a house is so messy, or why their parent-friend is tired, or why birthday parties and play dates take precedence over happy hour, but they should still make sure their parent-friend is allowed some fun once in awhile.

    As I said, to recap, true friendships (from both sides) will weather anything. :-) And kudos to the parents and non-parents alike out their, because life is difficult no matter what!

  133. says

    Where were the lady bloggers 30 years ago when I needed them? All the women I knew were June Cleavers and I was the only one who ever admitted to less than bliss. You all are wonderfully honest about your own experiences as mothers. You have your own paths; don’t judge too harshly. Ready for grandbabies, I am! I can give them back…

  134. says

    i loved this! i have a few friends who don’t have kids and apparently think i can still get up and go out at the drop of a dime. No, my night wont consist of getting shit faced and doing crap i cant remember the next day, my nights are waking up every 3 hours to breast feed -___- thank u!

    • Meg says

      That’s very judgmental. Just because someone isn’t a parent it does not mean they’re out getting drunk. Grow-up.

  135. says

    Loved the writing. A lot of great imagery. It was both funny and poignant. Now, my two cents about the theme: I was a single mom, sole support and care of my son from 0-15 years, before I married for the first time. By then, the tough jobs were well behind me. I was 21 when I had my son, worked a full-time law enforcement dispatch job, hired a great babysitter, and also put myself through college a few classes at a time. And no, it wasn’t easy. In the early years before I finished school, there were times I was a total zombie from lack of sleep (one of my professors gave me an “incomplete” until I showed I got tested for narcolepsy). BUT even with everything I juggled, my apartment was clean and tidy, I was well groomed (as was my son), and I still maintained a social life. I don’t understand, truly don’t understand, how/why people chose to let parenting overrun their lives. I had to be extremely organized 24/7, and set firm boundaries and expectations, so I never lived like what I just read. I’ve been in the parenting trenches–alone–so, take this as a heart-felt belief from one mother to another: If you can’t set your child down so you can go pee, have a phone conversation with a friend without constant interruptions, and can’t manage to clean up your house, then you have no one to blame but yourself because you’ve chosen that as your reality. It doesn’t have to be that way. I’m sure I’ll get slammed for my opinion because I only had one child, and I do have friends who have chosen this unnecessary chaos as their reality (and it makes me nuts), but I also know parents of multiples and parents who have children with special needs and what is described in this post is not their reality either.

    • says

      I hear this. it’s another side to the coin. My brother in law is choosing to only have one kid precisely for that reason. he gets to keep a sense of quality of life and is not over-run with babies needs. I think honestly after 3 kids, they run your life as there are simply more of them. I think that is a huge difference in lifestyle options. But I hear your experience and I applaud you for being so organized, strong, intelligent and self sufficient. you are amazing!

      • says

        I agree with your comment about multiples–it’s an exponentially larger time/effort investment. My son played little league for nine years and I homeschooled him through junior high. If I’d had more kids, I’m sure that would’ve decreased my quality and quantity of available time for each one, as well as significantly cutting into social “me time,” but I still wouldn’t have let it affect my personal “pee time.” ;-) Thank you for the kind sentiments, though I don’t consider myself or my parenting amazing. I just did what needed to be done. However, I do think some parents make it more complicated than it has to be by “over-parenting” with baby-wearing, sleep schedules, helicoptering, etc. At 21, I had no idea what I was doing and didn’t read any parenting books, so maybe that was a blessing and it freed me to live my life and follow my instincts and not over-think the parenting process. Maybe that’s where all the overwhelm comes from?

        • says

          When my firstborn was still an only child I also looked at other people and wondered why they thought parenting was so hard. I had this wonderful baby that went to bed at 7:30 every night and woke at 6, she rarely cried, and she was so calm and sweet. I though I must have had parenting down to a science and just could not understand why other people complained or had such a tough time. Then I had my son, he was extremely colicky and sensitive. I was dealt with a good deal of humility then, and now I have three kids. So before thinking that other moms have brought all the chaos on themselves and chose that route, realize you have one baby and be grateful he is healthy, strong, and intelligent.

    • says

      I totally agree and I had written something similar, though much longer, that somehow didn’t get “approved” I guess. I have 2 children and have been a full-time nanny, once a live-in working 7 days a week, for many years and never had these problems. Some children are worse than others that is true. Some things cannot be avoided. But it was never this bad for me! Especially the part about not being able to pee… if your baby cries when you put him/her down to go pee, let her cry. She will learn she is okay without you by her side. Crying alone is not reason enough to just give your baby what she wants.

  136. says

    I remember those thoughts so well… “wow, they are uptight!,” “why doesn’t she ever leave the house with the baby?” “How hard could it be?”

    You are right. As mothers, we truly have nothing left to prove. Not to anyone.

    Good luck to you.

  137. says

    I can’t believe you got that in 3 hours! My husband took years! You know the sad thing is that I have friends who have children but didn’t get it either. Or, they lied about how easy it was. Or they had a team of staff. Probably the last one LOL

    And yes, that comment from Jack Clancy is gorgeous! I hope you told her Jack!

  138. says

    My baby started screaming at 3.5 weeks old, 8-12 hours a day, and didn’t stop until she was 9 weeks old. It was hell on wheels. My husband didn’t get it until I left him with her for 3 hours (with three days warning and plenty of time in the morning to take care of whatever needed taking care of). At noon he smugly told me that he’d be fine, go, take my time. I came back at 3PM on the dot to a very angry man. When I asked him why, since I wasn’t late, or anything, he said, “Well, it’s 3PM, and I haven’t showered, I STINK, I haven’t eaten, and I haven’t even been able to take a shit, so yeah, I’m a little pissed off.” I took her calmly and said “Yes, I completely understand. That’s my life every day, only you don’t get home until 6PM, and you’re usually late.” I saw his face change. He finally “got it.” And that made the rest soooo much easier to bear (in her defense, she outgrew the screaming meemies and is very sweet now).

    Three hours must be a magical “I get it” number.

    I’ve read all the comments, and it’s been interesting. I don’t entirely share your sense of humor (had a visceral reaction to the raping image, which I would not have had pre-baby – can’t even watch tv shows where babies are in danger), but I also don’t understand people who didn’t get that you were joking. And it was pretty damn funny. Have kids, don’t have kids, it’s a free world, but please, please, please, try to keep a sense of humor.

  139. says

    Ah!! Love this. The baby rape part was a bit much for me as well..but I get that it was supposed to all be in good humor.

    MANNNY of my friends think I am nuts for the way I choose to parent. Co-sleeping,baby wearing, extended breastfeeding, baby led weaning, organic where it’s needed, etc.

    I tell them, well, I used to be just like you. I had no idea about all the benefits of this stuff. Don’t poke fun!! (i take it serious obviously…just look at my FB default pic of the ginormous pregnant belly ;p _

  140. says

    For the snot that’s probably on my shirt that I didn’t notice was there and for the three bruises on my kids face that look like ink but are actually from falling on stuff while conquering, walking. Keep writing often and much – laughed out loud!

  141. says

    The following comment is not for the author, because I understand and appreciate the learning experience she has. I applaud you, for Emelia, for admitting that you didn’t know something and showing the utmost respect to parents once you did gain that understanding.
    No, this comment is for all the parents who commented about sending this to all of their nonparent friends, about the fact that nonparents simply do not and CANNOT understand, who paint the image that all nonparents are bumbling fools with no higher priorities than partying on Saturday nights (and yes I read through every comment on this page–there are plenty of these).

    Just as much as some of you parents hate being generalized and assumed about, please don’t do the same to us nonparents. There are some of us who are capable of understanding things before we’ve become a parent ourselves. There are some of us who have been watching and studying how to be a parent since we were 17 yrs old because we have so much respect for the job and want to do it well one day. There are some of us who do have a clue, do have some knowledge and would like to see THAT respected just as much as you want yours respected. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten the “you just don’t understand” or the “you’ll know one day” in a condescending tones, when I’ve never ever done anything like call my parent-friends bad friends, boring, etc.
    I am someone who believes that being a parent is the most important job on the planet and I want to be a stay at home mom one day to devote myself to that. So please don’t presume that I’m a shallow idiot with no comprehension skills just because I haven’t had a child yet. It is in fact QUITE possible to understand and know some things pre-motherhood. To overgeneralize the opposite is hurtful.

    • says

      Good point Erica and well said. I am in the same boat as you. I have bee studying parenting for a long time. Also, I don’t think I have ever gone out on a Saturday night. Maybe literally. Just because I don’t have kids doesn’t mean I party. In fact my parenting friends drink goblets of red wine way faster than me any day.
      Thank you for your opinion! Love, em

    • says

      Erica, you’re absolutely right. While some of the individual parents who said they’d send this on to their non-parent friends doubtless knew their specific friends, and felt those people were in need of the lesson, i don’t think I knew all the details before I had my own kids, but I’d certainly been learning all I could in preparation, and knew enough to respect the job my parent friends were doing. I’m sure other people do far better than I did about advance preparation. There are nevertheless pieces nobody gets until they experience it, not because they didn’t do a good enough job preparing, but because, like any other really complicated process, there are always bits one didn’t know would be on the test! Myself, I was fairly confident about my ability to handle labor and childbirth, and I was correct. I was fairly confident about my ability to handle nursing and attendant sleep deprivation, and I was mostly correct. I had no idea that I’d be called upon to diagnose pneumonia in a three-week-old, and I nearly lost my son through getting it wrong.

      You sound like you’ll be a terrific parent someday, and like you’re a good friend now. Don’t let the turkeys get you down, but don’t teach yourself to believe you can have all the answers up front either — nobody can, and that’s not because you’re an idiot, it’s because we don’t find out ahead of time which parts of this enormous job we’re going to need to know, or when; and nobody’s able to learn it all in a thousand years.

  142. says

    Best.Post.Ever.

    I’m a dad of two and I completely relate to every single word you wrote. Funny as hell, intelligent, and gets the point across. So good, in fact, that I created a WordPress account just to leave a comment. And I never, ever do that. Until now. Thank you.

  143. says

    Wow…This was a wonderful read just now. It had been shared on Facebook, and through the whole first half, I sat there wondering why in the world she shared it. Then I got to it. lol I am a first time mom with a 6 month old. I am 23, and many of my friends are in the same position as you are. I don’t talk to many of them any more. I don’t have time to do anything I’d like to do (like pee or do the dishes ;o)). I guess it is hard for them to understand, and I try to be understanding of that. The very last part of this brought tears to my eyes, though. You may not have any children yet, but you get it. I would be grateful to have you as a friend. Smelling the tops of their heads and having nothing left to prove is wonderful, and on the days like today that my little guy decides naps are for the birds, food is meant to be spit, and my arms were meant for him to be glued to, it can be so easy to lose sight of the “smelling the tops of their heads” moments. Thank you for that. This was very touching.

  144. says

    Thank you, thank you thank you, for so eloquently putting into words what our childless friends just don’t *get*. One can read everywhere how parenting is hard, and the “funny” tidbits that toddlers do, but you really don’t understand til you’re in the thick of it, ALONE.

    Cheers, mate!

  145. says

    How true!! I have locked myself out of the house 2 times in the last month – with the keys on the inside…… You have captured the ‘real life’ of a mum! x

  146. loveday says

    So funny because it’s so true, don’t think I’ve weed on my own for 2 years. Not so keen on the head smelling though my childrens heads tend to smell of squashed in bannana, cheesy wostits and play dough. I always looked down at people who didn’t feed their children on just healthy food as I did when I had my first, now with 3 if they want cake for breakfast and its 5 in the morning, chances are they’ll get it if it buys me half an hour to drink my coffee in peace.

  147. Skye says

    Thank you for an awesome, wonderful post. Although I think you may have meant “uvula” when you said “vulva”. I can’t picture her drawing on her vulva. :)

    • Emelia Symington Fedy says

      sorry to say I meant Vulva. She was drawing on her little Vulva. It was incredible. She drew a picture.

  148. Meg says

    Very elitist. The sense of parent entitlement is over the top. I’m not a parent and my friends are my friends: parents or not. Therefore, I simply would never judge them.

    • AH says

      Meg and other some other negative commenters don’t seem to know the definition of “entitled.” “Entitled” loosely means demanding a right to something. This article just humorously asks for understanding. Is understanding others not something we should strive for?

      I guess the meaning of “entitlement” has been twisted into “self-centered” or “rude” by some, but this article is neither of those things.

      Meg saying she “would never judge” would seem to be an ironic comment if not for the rest of it.

  149. Marie Johnson says

    I just read a zillion replies to this hilarious, colorful, compassionate piece commending the tireless hard word done by parents. Then I came to a reply above, to which I have to reply. Leave it to the reader who wants to publicly identify herself “CHRISTIANmomofthree” to be mean, negative, nasty, attacking, and judgmental, with delusions of being holier than thou. Ha! I am NOT saying Christians are that way. I am saying such pretentious ones, all too often predictably think and behave in such an unChristian manner. Bravo to all of the above who didn’t need to wear the badge, and speak with love, warmth, and compassion.

  150. Marie Johnson says

    I am a grandma of two. I think one of my three children drew on her vulva — maybe the daughter who also buttered our dalmation’s entire back — the dalmation who I saw out my bedroom window racing around the back yard, wearing my missing necklace. I thought your line, “…from her perspective it seemed like Satan himself would rape and kill her slowly if I put her down,” was hilarious because it is SO accurate — sometimes they DO cry as if!
    Kudos, Emelia. You struck the biggest chord. Our species has survived because of the love and endless giving of parents of parents of parents….

  151. Elizabeth says

    You know what they were hard times when sometimes you worried for your sanity in the rush of baby talk, baby cry, lack of adult conversation. And for all those times when at the end of the day you have just reached the end of your tether, you no longer feel human, you’ve been chucked on, cried at, weed on and yes taken them all to the bathroom with you, just look at them when they are asleep. It will refresh you and make you feel again that it’s all worth it!I had four quite close together – but now I can’t wait to be a grandma – not so that I can laugh at my kids for getting what they gave, but because I want to do it all again and can’t physically myself!!! Come on kids! I’m growing impatient!

  152. sadiesays says

    OH barf. Stop being such martyrs. No one asked you to breed. I am not sorry for being annoyed by your children and thinking you’re all self centered. YOU ARE NOT SUPERHUMANS. Try taking care of the people that are already born.

    • Emelia Symington Fedy says

      Hey!
      The letter I wrote could be titled “an open letter to all software developers from a non-software developer”. I am simply respecting and giving props to a large collection of people who do something that looks incredibly hard and has a steep learning curve with no flight manual. All these parents probably do take care of people that are already born. They are not calling themselves martyrs. They are appreciating being acknowledged for a job that is fucking crazy and deeply challenging. I give props to anyone doing any job like that. So, no need to barf. Tell me what you do that is difficult and I will write you a letter about how cool I think you are too.

    • AmyH says

      @Sadiesays, I semi-agree with you. While I know being a mom is a tough job (I being a young mother of 2 with a business), you only let it be as tough as you want it to be. My house is clean, my kids are happy and well behaved. I go out with my friends, I have a great husband that busts his ass too. Life is supposed to be fun, a gift. Why mothers let themselves go and then complain that they have no time for themselves is there own fault. There are 24 usable hours in everyday. Use them and live live.

  153. Lindsey says

    I had the best apology from a previously-childless friend of mine a few years ago. We went to college together (I’m 10 years older), and she would get really frustrated with me when I couldn’t/wouldn’t commit to doing very much outside of our regular school/study time. My daughter was 5-10 years old during that time, and truly, it frustrated me that she kept not understanding when I said I didn’t want to get a babysitter. I already gave up a lot of time with my daughter for school committments (and I don’t regret it), but I didn’t want to spend any more time away from her. I have always been a single mom (and I’ve loved it – wait, except for the teenage years!), and I felt my place was with her.

    Okay, so here’s the letter:
    Hey Lindsey,

    So I had a realization as a result of: watching the movie “An Education,” the season finale of “Glee,” and having my own baby.

    “An Education” is based in England in the early 1960’s and Jenny is a 17-year old girl forced to decide between marriage and attending university. She dates an older man and he proposes. Before meeting him, she was on the track to attending Oxford for English literature. But in this era, apparently being a housewife was considered a profession in and of itself. So if she marries David, she gives up the opportunity to attend college. I was thinking how sad that was that it’s an either/or choice, and the possibility of marriage & school was just not feasible.

    Then in “Glee,” Quinn is a (modern-day) 17-year old girl in high school in Ohio who accidentally gets pregnant. She goes back and forth and eventually decides to give up her baby for adoption instead of keeping the baby/giving up her future. Now having my own baby girl, it made me so sad to watch her make this decision.

    Then I thought of you, and how you managed to do everything! You got pregnant early, kept and raised your beautiful baby girl, and eventually got two college degrees and pursued a rewarding career. You are amazing! I always knew this about you, but apparently it took me watching a movie, a tv show, and giving birth for me to realize it even more.

    Love you Wonder Woman!
    Maris

  154. nursetheworld says

    Emilia, as much as I have to give you props for the blog itself, I also have to commend you for your gracious responses to the hatefulness of some of the commenters. Thank you for the lovingkindness you’re putting out into the netiverse.

    • Emelia Symington Fedy says

      That is so nice of you to notice and say. Sometimes I do just want to bonk people though. And one day i just might! It is so easy when commenting on the internet to miss the tone or intention and just react and smash someone! When I am writing, and on my blog in general I am assuming that we are friends and there has been a misunderstanding, which is why I try to be nice first. I have to admit though there are times when I wanna blast back! Your comment reminds me that it is more important to keep to the friend metaphor going strong. Thank you.

  155. says

    I remember being a “non-parent” going over to who is now my first Army girlfriend and now who I know will be a forever girlfriend and thinking… there is NO WAY I wouldn’t just look at those kids in the eye and tell them what for! **I will parent so differently** She would never come to my house (the non-parent) for dinner. She never made time for me without them. While, to this day, I make time for all of my friends in whatever capacity I am able, I still understand her priorities.

    Now, I see her as a parent of a teenager, a 10 year old and a 7 year old and am completely enamored by her patience and loving affection for her children. Most days I’m glad to sneak off for a cup of coffee and my (delinquent) cigarette a day. My 3 children challenge me daily, not just as a mother, but as a contributing member of society. What goes in MY mouth (and lungs), what I buy at the grocery store, what I do in my free time (is that such a thing??) how I drive, how and where I spend my money… it’s all theirs, as they are a reflection on me and I on them. What a tremendous weight… what a tremendous blessing.

    I hope that one day you get to smell your baby’s head and feel the love we all (for me, eventually) feel for our newborns. Thank you for your post, Emelia. Consider yourself blog stalked.

    *P.S. Apparently I’m feeling parenthetical. ;-)

    • Emelia Symington Fedy says

      thank you! Blog stalk away! I love it. I love this sentence the most “My 3 children challenge me daily, not just as a mother, but as a contributing member of society.” that is the most inspiring argument towards having kids to date! thank you!

      Ps. Can you believe I don’t even know what being parenthetical means?
      pps. Can you believe I just admitted it?

      • says

        I lifted the word “parenthetical” from one of the books in the Outlander series… it’s a scene in which the mother, Claire, writes her daughter, Breanna, a letter. She uses a ton of parenthesis and makes the comment that she’s feeling parenthetical. Since I do the same thing (frequently) I figured I’d store it for future use. :-)

        • Emelia Symington Fedy says

          good one. and thank you for the lesson. I am trying very hard right now to get better at my talking good. hehe.

  156. Mari says

    Not impressed with the whining. I would suggest not having kids. Also, you may want to get something called “perspective” into the life. You are so typical of your generation. Entitled, and in for a rude awakening.

    • Emelia Symington Fedy says

      I’m dumbfounded sometimes how folks can misread tone and style. Yes, I am commenting on the intensity of parenting but I am not whinging. I am poking fun at myself.
      I wonder what generation do you think I’m from? I’m 35 years old. Do you mean the generation of the middle aged?
      It is so easy to be harsh on someone’s heart and soul via the www without asking questions first. Trying to be Good normally doesn’t respond to or post these comments but this one needs to be addressed as your judgements about who I am don’t line up as the piece is precisely about gaining perspective.
      Ps. I’m lying by my 4 day old while writing this so it’s too late for me to not have children but a sense of humour and an open mind is the first thing I will teach him.

      • A says

        Coming from a childless woman….I thought this article was great and I forwarded it to my parent friends. Just ignore “Mari”. She obviously, completely missed the point, message, humour, in short everything, this funny and sweet article had to offer.

      • Ryan says

        Emelia,
        I am 25 and a single father of two. I have two boys, a 2 year old and a 4 year old. For almost two years I have been raising them alone. I absolutely loved this piece. It is so funny to think about the stuff little ones lovingly and happily put us through. I found Mari’s comment, to put it politely, very silly. You’re message is obviously not to whine, it is to applaud the strength, patience, and dedication that good parents possess. I was proud of myself when I read, “you are a superhuman and i bow down to your grace and patience towards friends like me”. Being a parent can sometimes take superhuman like strength and patience. Raising children is really hard. It tests your strength, both physically and mentally. You have to be their guide, their teacher, their nurse, their cook, their housekeeper, their chauffeur, their entertainment, their friend, their protector, and their discipline. If a parent can do all of those things successfully, they’re superhuman in my book. Just this week my best friend from high school visited me and my boys. We went to dinner, and afterwards to a huge arcade (like Dave and Busters or Chuck e Cheese). It was a normal night for me. A few tantrums, lots of whining for more of everything, no matter what I gave them, a million questions, a few sprints (when my two year old runs as fast as he can away from me until I catch him or he reaches a wall), and of course two major breakdowns when it was time to leave. For me it was totally what I expected and a very enjoyable evening. My friend, however,looked as if he was on the verge of an anxiety attack the entire time. I kept telling him to relax, that I had it under control, but he continued to stress. Then on the car ride home, my four year old began to cry. I asked him what was wrong and he explained that he was mad at me because he didn’t get to stay long enough or play enough games. I calmly grabbed his hand and asked him if he was acting like big boy. I told him to be thankful we got to go at all and that there would be a lot more fun nights like that one if he could be grateful. He said okay and was immediately fine. I then felt my friend grab my shoulder, and with tears in his eyes, god as my whitness, told me he was absolutely amazed at how good I was with my kids. How much patience I showed, how loving I was, how much my children adored me, how much he admired what I do, and how little he knew of the amount of work and character it took to be a parent. In four years he had never said anything like that, and to get that compliment meant the world to me. But all I said to him was that he would be the same with his kids, because that’s just what parents do. We love our kids, and we happily deal with the stress, loss of personal time, fatigue, tantrums, messes, never ending laundry, slap to the face wake up calls, electronics in the dog’s water bowl, and the loss of privacy while on the “potty”. It comes natural. To a non parent, the sacrifice is amazing. But once you have that little one depending on you, you become a superhuman without even noticing!! This letter, along with my friends words, have helped me realize these things, and I sincerely thank you!!

  157. AH says

    Emelia, your writing is amazing and this article rocks and makes me feel less alone in my baby beast battles. I adore my daughter, but wow, being a mom gets insane and it isn’t easy to put into words. I got hooked with “A “how to” on how to help your fucked up friend.” and I’m enjoying discovering your other gems. You really speak to me.

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