A new parent quickly learns that parenting involves a huge (seriously huge) learning curve. To be honest, even for veteran parents there is still some degree of a learning curve. When doctors hand over that freshly swaddled babe, they definitely don’t hand over a parenting manual. (Wouldn’t that be oh so nice?) So what do parents do? They learn through one of life’s best teachers: experience. Yep, experience is arguably the best way to learn anything, including how to survive parenthood.
Yet even with all that experience and hard-earned wisdom, parents are not perfect and there are many aspects of parenting that can drive a parent to the brink of insanity (or even beyond that brink). Moms, in particular, seem to get saddled with the heavy burden of the insanity-inducing kids’ behavior – especially when they are home all day with the kids. Hello, mid-afternoon temper tantrum! It’s not always the big things that drive moms insane either. Like water drop torture, it’s the little things that can add up slowly over time. Drip, drip, drip. Here are 21 little things that are slowly making moms lose their minds.
Yep, Mount Everest has been plaguing mothers since the very first time that a human decided to wash an article of clothing and put it back on again. Of course, I don’t mean the beautiful snow-capped mountain in Asia. In my home, we call that pile of laundry Mt. Everest because – let’s face it – laundry piles are just as tall and just as difficult to scale as the real Mt. Everest.
Laundry. No one enjoys laundry. Granted, we all need to wash our clothes, but it is one chore that is absolute drudgery. However, this chore is even worse for moms. Not only do they wash and fold their own clothes, but chances are, mom also tends to the clothes of the entire family. And once you get a whole family’s clothes into one big pile, you’ll never match all the socks, and little baby onesies will also get stuck inside Daddy’s work pants. Let’s not even begin to discuss how many sets of sheets you’ll need to wash (sometimes in the middle of the night.)
There is no “catching up” with laundry. You’ll never be caught up. It’s the chore that never ends….
Potty training is a short – but often arduous and definitely messy – period during the toddler era. You pretty much expect daily accidents for the first week or so until your precious tot really gets with the program. So you are armed for the battle with cleaning rags and carpet cleaners. It’s NBD.
But you know what is a big deal? You know what really does drive a mom to lose her mind? Finding a (who knows how old) pile of peed-on clothes stuffed in the corner of her child’s room. A child who has been potty trained for over three years. Not that I know from experience or anything…
To have an accident is one thing, but to hide the evidence of said accident is another thing altogether, and it’s a thing that makes moms lose it.
Doing the dishes is another one of those chores that you are pretty much forced to do – unless of course, you don’t see a problem with buying a new pan every time you want to make fried eggs for breakfast. And since many dishes are dangerous to kids (like sharp knives and heavy pots), most kids are spared from washing those kinds of dishes. However, putting a plate in the sink or in the dishwasher is absolutely a kid-friendly chore – and a very helpful chore at that!
But leaving the dirty dish NEXT to the sink or NEXT to the dishwasher is definitely not the same thing as putting the dish IN the sink or IN the dishwasher. That would be like simply loading the washing machine and calling the laundry done.
Unfortunately, kids aren’t the only ones who do this. I’m looking at you, Dads. Help a mom out and get that dish in the dishwasher!
The morning mad dash to school can be overwhelming. First, you have to make sure all the kids are breakfasted. Then you have to make sure that each child is clean and dressed appropriately. On top of that, you yourself need to get ready for the day, feed yourself, and make sure you are presentable for work. Lunches for everyone must be made, and you have to do all this by a certain (early) time.
But I’ll tell you what: lunch room envy is crimping Mom’s style. It’s not enough to have a PB&J anymore. First off, it has to be a non-nut butter, and second, thanks to Pinterest bento boxes, kids have lunchroom envy from that one perfect mom in the class who somehow has time to make her child’s Sunflower Butter & Homemade Marmalade sandwich look like a freakin’ teddy bear. Because now your child wants that every.single.day.
And it’s going to make you lose your mind.
Chances are pretty good that Mom used to love shopping. A little retail therapy and she was feeling pretty good about life. However, once you have kids, shopping quickly moves from the “therapy” mindset to the “this will make me need therapy” mindset.
Shopping for kids clothes will make any mom insane – especially the price tag. $60 for a pair of shoes that will literally fit for a few months? A plain ol' T-shirt that costs as much as a tank of gas? Yikes! Let’s add to the mix that whatever you do actually buy will “not feel good” for the toddler, any socks you buy will be quickly be lost in a freak storm on Mt. Everest, and shopping with the actual kids is the stuff of nightmares. I mean, have you ever had your kids disappear into the clothing racks?
Although shopping online can still be just as pricey, at least you can do it from the comfort of your own home. With a big glass of wine.
Doing the minivan shuffle isn’t always a walk in the park. In fact, coordinating a family’s extracurricular activities can cause a headache. If Child A needs to be at violin class at 4, but Child B has a soccer game across town at 4:45, and Child C is complaining because he’d rather just stay home… yeah, that’s the stuff that makes moms heads instantly tense up with the pressures of mom life.
Of course, moms know they’ll have to drive their kids to practices. That’s not the problem. The problem is the schedule of all the kids’ activities and how to manage it when the schedules overlap, which they will do. Ahh, there isn’t much of a good solution here besides enlisting help from dad or grandma.
A few generations ago, our parents had to keep up with their actual neighbors. “Oh, honey, the Smiths just got a new pool. We should get one.” Or “Oh darling look the neighbors got a new sprinkler system for their yard. We need that.”
These days, we still have to keep up with our actual neighbors but now we also need to keep up with the neighbors from the Interwebz. Thanks to the Pinterest perfect birthday parties, moms now have added pressures from real life friends but also the pressure of keeping up with the moms online.
So if mom is crying at 3am while trying to decorate unicorn themed cupcakes for a rainbow blitz birthday party while also trying to make homemade glitter bath bombs, now you know why. She’s just lost her mind.
Did you ever notice that as soon as school begins, the colds and illness begin? “Cold and flu season” should just be redefined to be the entire duration of the school year. Every year, literally during the first week of school, moms take to social media with posts like “It has begun… cold #1 has hit the Smith family.”
While an illness is never pleasant (of course, we don’t want our kids sick!) those colds and ear infections can make moms lose their minds. Between the added doctor appointments, time off from work, missed school, and 23432 doses of antibiotics, it’s just too much.
I wouldn’t be surprised if moms start sending kids to school with hand sanitizer strapped to their belts.
While vacuuming might be a daily occurrence in some houses (think: dogs that shed a lot), “deep clean” vacuuming usually doesn’t occur every day. Deep clean vacuuming is the vacuuming you do when you move the big furniture out of the way and actually vacuum behind stuff. Yeah, this is important but it just doesn’t get done as often.
So when mom gets time to really vacuum, you know what is super not cool? Finding bits of food hidden under the sofa cushions or behind the recliner. I can tell you from experience that a half-eaten apple will not rot under the recliner; it will simply become a petrified version of itself. Oh, the joys of the motherhood.
Remember in Beauty & the Beast when Belle won’t come to dinner so the Beast just screams, “Fine, then you’ll just have to starve!” Well, this next list entry is similar to that except that instead of refusing to come dinner, kids just refuse to eat dinner.
You know the kids are hungry. You know they like fettuccine with broccoli because they’ve eaten 23423 times. Yet, all of a sudden, nothing you make will suffice. They just want more snacks. It’s as if you simply put forth effort cooking just to dump it in the garbage can.
Why will kids eat any snack all day long, but refuse an actual meal? Who knows, but it is definitely one of those things driving moms bonkers.
A lot of parents worry about what they’ll do if their kids ever sneak out of the house. But I have to tell you something: long before you have to worry about kids sneaking out of the house, you’ll have to worry about them sneaking food from the kitchen to the bedroom.
Let’s go over two of the reasons why this is maddening. First, bugs. You think the ants won’t find all those crumbs? They will. And yes, there will be lots of crumbs because the kids will sneak the crummiest and messiest foods into their beds. Second, this is why they refuse to eat meals – because they constantly sneak the snacks. It’s a vicious cycle where mom never wins, and snacks reign as number one.
For some parents, this one thing right here could be the number one most infuriating thing ever: selective hearing.
It goes like this: “Johnny, can you pick up your toys?” Silence. “Johnny, can you pick up your toys? We need to get ready to go?” Silence. “Johnny, can you pick up your toys. We need to leave to meet Grandma at Panera.” Johnny replies, “I want soup when we get there.” See what little Johnny did? He only heard what he wanted to hear and totally selectively ignored the parts that he didn’t want to hear.
Super frustrating. Sadly, this selective hearing thing is all too common for moms across the country, and this too is just one of those things slowly eating away at our sanity.
Zootopia was a cute movie that kids of many ages enjoyed, but the parents really connected to it… especially the DMV scene with the sloths. I admit that I laughed hysterically watching that the first few times, and yes I’ve sat through it multiple times. It was the sloths that point to another little thing that really is making moms lose their minds: the sloth speed that kids do things.
Putting on their PJS, cleaning up their toys, getting ready to go outside, walking around the block. Yes, it’s nice to stop and smell the roses sometimes, but operating at sloth speed for the entire day can be a bit… frustrating.
You know one thing that kids don’t do slowly? Making a mess. Life is unfair sometimes.
You’re running late (because you already had to make those Teddy Bear Bento Boxes) and you’re just about out the door. “Get your shoes on!” you say to your child. “I can’t find them” is the reply you get.
How do you lose a shoe? You take it off right when you come inside the door so where does it go? I don’t know the answer to this other than it probably ran off with the missing socks from the giant laundry pile you’ve neglected for the past week.
So it falls on Mom to find that missing shoe and now you’re running even later. All because the one shoe wasn’t taken off and put back where it was supposed to go. (And you’ll never guess the weird places Moms find those missing shoes either… like behind the toilet. Yep.)
“Ready, Aim, Fire” would be good advice for a boy using the bathroom. Especially that “aim” part because let me tell you that cleaning up pee RIGHT NEXT to the toilet is making Mom lose her cool.
You’re literally right there, dude! How did you end up with such bad aim? Like what happens to make boys just dribble all over and not even think twice about it? The older boys (and dads) should not really have a problem with this, yet this is frequently on moms’ lists of things that make them go batty. One mom even confessed to having to buy a pet stain remover to keep up with the urine stains on her bathroom floor! (To be fair: sure little boys can get distracted and –whoops – there is a little mess. But just wipe it up! )
If mom goes into the bathroom in the middle of the night and steps in a pee puddle, she’s really going to lose her mind. For real.
Okay, so you’re not really invited to a personal heavy metal concert. All that screaming isn’t coming from the band. All that screaming? Yeah, that’s just the kids.
Screaming is definitely making moms lose it. Just for once, let’s have some zen in the house, some quiet, some peace.
Some screaming is due to fighting: brother took the toy, and sister screams. Brother wanted to be player 1 on the Wii so the other Brother is now screaming. Both kids want the same toy: more screaming. But screaming can also come from a place of excitement. Grandma’s on her way over so cue the kids screaming (and also running around the house.)
No matter what you do screaming is hard to vanquish. To even be heard over the screaming, you have to scream. Now everyone’s screaming. And it’s not fun.
As a parent, I think there is a fine line between needing a tattle tale in the family. To some degree, we want to know when Jessica is smearing Vaseline all over the nursery walls so when her brother tattles on her, it helps us stop the problem before it gets (too) out of hand.
But tattling can also be really, really annoying. So when one child comes up to us and whines (not says) “Jessica said I have brown hair”, it can get really old, really fast. So what if Jessica says you have brown hair. You do have brown hair. It’s the pointless tattling that gets under mom’s nerves because it most likely distracted her from a really important chore that she was finally getting some time to get done. Then she had to refer the hair color argument.
It’s stuff like this that explains why laundry piles take forever to get done.
Once you have a newborn, you can pretty much expect “sleep” to be a luxury that only non-parents get to have. You’ll be up for midnight feedings and diaper changes. Even once the kids get older, you’ll still be up in the night to tend to nightmares or bedwetting accidents.
You’ll also lose sleep because you need those precious hours after the kids go to sleep so you can have time to yourself. Even if it cuts into your own sleep.
So when you get woken up early for pointless reasons, it’s definitely frustrating. Did we really have to wake up at 4am to hear Bobby tell us that he sneezed in his sleep? No. We didn’t. Yet, here we are at 4am. Wide awake. Because we had to know that Bobby sneezed.
You’ve never heard of Judgy McJudgyson? Judgy is any mom who dishes out judgments on other moms like hot potato pie. If you don’t do everything the same way as her, she’s judging. You don’t feed your kids the same way? Judgement is passed. You don’t dress your kids the same way? You don’t make a living the same way? You don’t agree with her discipline routine? Judgment, judgment, judgment.
Receiving judgment from other moms can make a mom feel inadequate or inferior. It’s not fair, but that’s what happens. It starts to get into moms’ brains, and she begins to ask herself if she is messing up her kids by not doing what Judgy is doing. It’s enough to make a mom lose her mind. Just step away from Judgy and ignore whatever she has to say.
No one likes to hear “here is your homework” less than a student – except for perhaps the parents of that student.
While it is 100% the student’s responsibility to actually complete that homework, parents still have to “deal” with it. For the younger kids, parents must continually remind the child to start their homework. Remember that selective hearing is still in play. Many times, younger kids are required to have their parents sign off on their homework.
So in a way, homework is just another thing that parents have to keep track of and nag kids to do. Let’s also add in the “homework” projects that require parental supervision and a shopping trip: building dioramas, science fair projects, science experiments, and book reports (with visuals). As if the list of things to do wasn’t long enough already.
It’s Sunday night, and you’re caught up (for now) with laundry so you’re going to take some time and watch a show while the kids finish up their homework. The house is quiet, and you think “This is nice.”
Then your kid comes bolting down the stairs: “Mom I need 2 dozen cupcakes for school tomorrow. And they have to be dairy free and nut free and limited sugar.” Your eyes bug out of your head. Your child then tells you that they’ve known about this for 2 weeks. You are definitely out of sugar and butter and have no desire whatsoever to make cupcakes.
Add this to the list of things that drive mom nuts. A little advanced notice is all we are asking for. Is that too much to ask for?