My Life Is Hell

and Other Uplifting Thoughts On Parenting High Maintenance Girls

1.  The past week and a half has been hell.  Both girls sick.  Hacking, coughing, puking, crying, all night long.  Waking up for the day at 5:30 am.  Coughing, wheezing all day long, 45 min naps.  Naps interrupted for doctor appointments.

And whining whining whining whining whining.  Pure hell.  I try to console myself with the thought that this is the purgation that will keep me out of Hell.  Because God couldn’t possibly make anyone go to Hell twice.


2.  Comparing oneself to others is never any good, especially when it comes to parenting.  Comparisons sneak up on me though.

It starts off as a counting-my-blessings sort of thing.

I think about people who want children but can’t have them, or who have children with life-threatening illnesses.

I think about Katie Davis, who is a single parent to a dozen or so kids. She describes it as all giggles and laughter and fingernail painting and giggles and laughter and baking cookies and singing songs and giggles and laughter.  But imagine how hard it must be when they’re sick?

Or I think about Caroline Ingalls, raising kids in an untamed land without albuterol or Benadryl or Strawberry Shortcake DVDs.

And I always think about everyone else I know, most of whom have like ten times as many kids as I.

This is very pernicious.

“Wow, self, it could be so much worse.”

“Yeah right, self.  None of those other people has my kids.  My kids are awful.  The worst!  Spoiled brats!”

And then there’s that awkward moment when you realize the implication of calling your own kids spoiled brats.

awkward britney spears gif

3.  But seriously, if my kids are spoiled brats, it’s not for my lack of trying.

Maaaaa-meeee I waaaaant that!”

“Now how do we ask?”

“Can I haaaave that?”

“May I please . . . . ?”

“May I pleeease haaave that”

Even when they can’t have it, I go through the same painful rigmarole:

Maaaaa-meeee I waaaaant that!”

“Now how do we ask?”

“Can I haaaave that?”

“May I please . . . . ?”

“May I pleeease haaave that”



A millions times a day every day for the past five years.

4. I’ve heard it gets better at age ten.  So, five years down, five to go.

5. Except!

Puberty in girls begins at around age ten.  So, it’s like: as soon as things start to get better they start getting worse.

As I recall, it’s all hell from the beginning of puberty till about age 16.

And then the kid starts driving and you never see her again.

6.  I read a lot about how xenoestrogens-or-whatever-they’re-called and dangerous chemicals are in everything we use around the house, and how all those cause cancer.  Basically, everything causes cancer.  So, I haven’t worried too much about it.  Because what can you do?  Trying to prevent cancer seems like such a shot in the dark.

how can you not care gif

7  But lately it hit me: puberty!  Those chemicals cause puberty!  And that’s one train I’m gonna keep from coming as long as I can.

I’ll throw away all my Tupperware and the Clorox wipes and the shampoo and keep a cow in my backyard for hormone-free milk . . . just for a chance–a chance!!– of keeping puberty at bay for an extra year . . . a month . . . a day.

‘Cause I need a break.

Phew!  I feel better.  So, enough from me about my woes.  How about you:  what do you think of my woes?

(Better yet, click over to Jen’s for more uplifting quick takes.)

30 thoughts on “My Life Is Hell

  1. I laughed out loud over the conversation about the “Please” issue, because we have that exact conversation multiple times a day. Just substitute “uh!!” with all of the actual kid words/demands in the conversation above, as our 2 year old isn’t quite grasping the glorious English language yet.
    Also, you left off step 4, where you tell the kid that the answer is no and if they keep crying they have to go to timeout, and then the inevitable step 5 where they actually go to timeout. And Step 6, after it’s all over about 10-15 minutes later, when you try to remember what in the world you were doing before all the drama started/you check dinner to see just how burned it got when you neglected it for timeout.

  2. ugh, whining! I hate it. I’ve done pretty well at shutting mine down with the “I’m sorry, I don’t understand you when you talk like that” and then REFUSING to engage in any way with someone who is whining. Usually they whine more at first, and then I just get up and leave or put them out of the room. Shift your focus from “how can I get them to stop whining” to “I am simply not going to listen to whining.” They can whine all they want, but it’s not your problem.

    On the other hand, I’m surprised you haven’t tried playing dirty by saying “Princesses don’t whine” or “Ballerina’s don’t whine.” since your girls love that stuff so much.

  3. Aren’t kids always at their best when seen through someone else’s sympathetic eyes? I think that’s why we stay-at-home moms need time away from them on occasion, so that we can be happy to see our kids again. If you need to escape this weekend, just let me know – we have no plans. 🙂

    • Oh, girlfriend. I feel you. I’m so sorry. The winter of 2012-2013 was a sick/whine/puke fest every 3 weeks. And it was hell. This winter we were basically hermits snorting elderberries to avoid a repeat. I will do anything to avoid hell now that I have experienced it.
      Other people don’t understand, I think, because their kids are not as intense. I like to use words like “intense” and “high need” or “spirited” instead of “spoiled brat” because then I feel less guilty for creating that both through my own “tendencies” and genome.
      It isn’t easy for a high need mom to deal with high need kids when they are at their neediest. That’s tooooo many needs!
      Anyway, good luck and good health to your littles.

      • Thanks Nichole! Last winter was way worse for us, too! I think I’ve blocked out most the details, but it was really really bad. This past bug was basically the first time the girls have gotten really sick all winter.

  4. I’m really sorry to be the insensitive sister, but basically when I saw your blog title and that GIF of Britney I thought “yesssss this is going to be a good one!” And of course it was because although I am so so very sort for your having encountered your own level of hell (the one Dante seemed to have overlooked) I must say I thoroughly enjoyed the ride. Love you and kiss those snotty bratty nieces of mine!

  5. Oh my goodness, I feel like I go through the, “Now how do we ask?” bit a million times a day too, only to have Evie offer a reluctant “please.”. And I am so sorry about #1- sick kids with no rest for the weary parent just pure stinks.

  6. I’m glad things have started to look up, Laura! I’ve heard that some nations use infant crying on tape to torture prisoners. They’ve obviously never been a stay at home parent. Toddler/young child whining is the worst!

    • I think about how sick my kids get–asthma-type symptoms requiring steroids and antibiotics– and I think “wow, they would have been goners 100 years ago.” But then supposedly asthma is more prevalent now b/c of environmental toxins and whatnot? Who knows. . . . Hope your kids are feeling better now!

  7. Let’s just not forget that Laura and Mary didn’t start school until 8 and 9. And they had no neighbors. So they probably practically never got sick. Except like those few “almost died” times. But…you know…perspective…

    Also, do you think my kids will put two and two together if I just start saying “heck-to-the-no!” Every time they whine? No?? Me neither.

  8. This is hilarious! I totally agree with you – everything causes cancer and some of us just don’t have time to police everything we have in our homes or touch or eat. But man, if I have multiple girls close in age (God help me and them) I will move heaven and earth to keep puberty at bay. Were you a late-bloomer? If so then maybe genetics will do the work for you.

  9. Im so glad I clicked on this on a tea break from work, it made me laugh so much. mainly because I remember being the oldest of two kids pretty much the same, only hyped with the hatred of my sister doing anything that I was doing. Thanks for the giggle, and I hope the little madames get better soon, for your sanity!

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