Motherhood is.

We are everywhere.

We can be found at school functions, in grocery stores and churches. We are at swimming pools, the beach and ball parks during the summer.

No place is safe. No one is safe.

Moms are starting to lose it, and other moms are starting to take notice.

A crying 9-year-old here; a smart-mouth teen there.

A 2-year-old throwing a temper tantrum on the floor while hurling a sippy cup 15-feet across the room. A pre-school-aged child lagging behind you at Wal-Mart, waiting to see how long it takes you to turn around, demanding their presence at your side.

At the heart of every chaotic scene is a mom who wants nothing more than to crumble at her feet and assume the fetal position. But she can’t. She has to take control of every situation and try to either improve it or end the behavior that started it in the first place.

Nearly every day, I feel like I am walking around my house with a large, “WARNING: CRAZED MOTHER” sign dangling around my neck.

All I am asking of my 14-year-old and 8-year-old twins is to make their beds, clean up their rooms, get dressed and brush their teeth. There may be an occasional “empty the dishwasher” or “feed the cat” notice. I am not asking them to move a mountain. But they certainly act like I am. So, when they fail to “do their summer chores” and I start screaming through the house, they act like they either A. don’t hear me or B. can’t see me.

The slogan in BFE this summer is “There is no summer fun until the chores are done.”

Right now, my daughter is sprawled out on the floor, begging me to open the pool. I still have two baskets of laundry to fold and put away. I asked her earlier, when she declared for the 100th time today that she was bored, if she wanted to fold the clothes on my bed. She turned and went back to her room to craft accessories for her non-American Girl Doll.

“I’m still bored!” I heard her yell through the door.

Meanwhile, my 14-year-old who missed lunch two hours ago is telling me there is nothing to eat in a house with a stocked pantry and refrigerator.

“Mom, we don’t have anything. I want like buttermilk pancakes, um, or pizza rolls, a burger, that’s it, oh stuffed French Toast too,” he is telling me wearing only a pair of summer shorts because getting dressed isn’t on his “to-do” list until apparently this evening.

So, in a nutshell, my kids are bored and starving – and we’ve only been on summer break less than three weeks.

 

Introducing 2016 Ohio SPJ award-winning blogger Melissa Linebrink. Melissa is a creative, witty blogger who doesn’t sugarcoat the hardships of everyday parenting. Follow her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ParenthoodthenewCrazyTrain/

 

 

 

Getting pulled over … causes mom to pause

I couldn’t locate the cash box anywhere in the house. And it was driving me crazy. After looking in everyone’s closet and in the basement, I decided it was either loaned out or simply stolen.

I needed more tables. The tables set up in the garage were already filled with old board games, decorations, bedding, clothes and knick-knacks.

And soccer practice started at 6 p.m.

Dinner had to be made. Dishes had to be washed. The cats needed fed. You name it, it needed to be done.

Add into that the twins were talking to me non-stop all day about the impending garage sale.

“What time does it start?” “Can we make muffins to sell?” “I don’t want to sell my toys, but can I still keep some money?” “What if no one comes?”

I was beyond stressed out and my mind was literally spinning in 100 damn directions.

“Let’s go NOW,” I screamed to my 14-year-old son.

And off we went to soccer practice 4 miles always, my spinning mind and all. The fact is, we left the house early. We had plenty of time to make it to the soccer fields.

But I was in a hurry.

Driving down the road, my mind wasn’t on the drive at all. I wasn’t paying attention at all. I make the 4 mile drive to the community park, once, if not twice per day. I was driving on auto-pilot.

But then I saw the lights go off … and out of the corner of my eye, I saw a finger pointing to me to pull over immediately.

Damn.

Nearly 1.5 miles from my house, a county sheriff pulled me over.

“I clocked you going 68 miles per hour …” he told me.

I couldn’t even complain as my mind was still racing about what else I had to do that evening for the garage sale.

Digging through my purse, I found my driver’s license and then by some grace of God, I actually put the insurance card in my van the day before, so I pulled that out along with the registration papers.

I have lived in the same county for 16 years and have never had so much as a parking ticket.

My only response was, “Yup, OK. Sorry.”

I know I looked like a trainwreck. I had Jazzercised that morning, and taking a shower was an afterthought to getting the sale ready. I didn’t care how I looked.

Maybe that actually helped my cause? You know the look – hair pulled over with a clip, yoga pants on, coupled with a work-out tank and gym shoes, all sans makeup. I may have had deodorant on, but who knows. Thank God I tossed on  my prescription sunglasses – I am required by the State of Ohio to wear glasses due to my poor vision that over the years has worsened due to being pregnant with the kid(s) I taxi all over the place. So, I actually had on two pairs of sunglasses – my Dollar Tree pair on the top of my head and the $100 pair covering my eyes.

I was a hot mess.

As I sat in the car, looking at my teenage son, I saw the sheriff sitting in his car too. He was running my plates through the system. I knew he’d find nothing on me since I am boring-ass stay-at-home-mom-turned-taxi-service-in-the-summer.

Making his way back to my vehicle, I knew I was gonna get a lecture about safe driving. I was right. “Doesn’t it bother you when drivers speed down this road? And you have kids! It bothers me and you live on this road, just like me!”

 

The truth is, yes, it bothers me a lot when motorists speed down my road. But, on the flip side, my kids don’t play in or even near the road. I am more worried about a driver losing control and hitting a tree head on than hitting a kid. I dread the day when I hear a crash only to run out to my front yard to find someone incapacitated. That scares me. That bothers me.

Thankfully, the sheriff only gave me a warning. But it was a warning that changed my life. Ever since that day, I have set my speedometer on 55 miles per hour. I’d rather be late than get pulled over again. It’s just not worth it.

 

Life – Could there be something more?

Do you ever ask yourself – what’s it all mean?

Could there really be something more?

Maybe not necessarily referring to the way we live our lives, but rather the choices we make that mold us into the people we are today.

For about three months, my blog has remained untouched. Sure, I still get the daily notices that someone has “enrolled” onto my blog page, other times I get Twitter notifications that someone has agreed to follow me. And, then my Facebook page has gradually been receiving more and more views, and a few more “likes” here and there.

But those are just numbers adding up to virtually nothing.

For me, blogging has been my way of venting. Yet while I consider it “venting” others call it bitching. Either way, they are my words based on the way I am feeling as a woman, wife and mother at any given moment in my life.

One aspect of life my followers know is that I am bold and do not bow down to adversity.

But at what point does that translate into “she doesn’t like being a mom” or “she doesn’t love her kids.”

It doesn’t. It never has.

Not every day is full of rainbows and unicorns. Not every day is wonderful.

But I am blessed that I get to live every day.

I have been trolling sites for blog jobs, but more and more often, those sites are aiming to hire bloggers with a passion for something.

Well, I hate cooking – so those gigs are out.

I craft, but it’s not my passion to explore every faucet of Pinterest in the hopes of creating something more amazing than the hand-painted wine bottles decorating various parts of my house. (If you want one, by the way, let me know – I have six currently sitting on shelves collecting dust.)

I do, however, enjoy gardening and planting flowers. Do people really want to know what I plant in my garden year after year? Do people really want to know that for the life of me, the soil in my garden produces rotten tomatoes every single year since I began gardening in 2007?

Maybe they do; maybe they don’t.

Yet the reason why I blog isn’t too tell others how to live their life, or to even complain about my own life.

The reason I blog is to let other parents around the world know they are not alone.

Parents in Oregon are dealing with the same teenage drama that storms through my house at 4:35 p.m. every day.

Parents in England are dealing with preparing meals that their second-graders deem “poison” as they dissect every single piece of food that touches their plate.

Mothers are overworked. Fathers are underappreciated. And somewhere in the mix, are trying to find the reason they fell in love and got married in the first place in between carting their children to every single extra-curricular activity known to mankind.

That is why I blog.

I guess I just needed to remind myself why too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A breast cancer warrior with a heart of gold

Sometimes, life’s a bitch.

But, sometimes, a person comes along who encompasses an attitude of “Screw it, I’m gonna life my life to the fullest!”

She saw the glass as half-full – always craving the next taste of life.

She hated bees.

She argued with her parents and siblings, but made up soon after.

She didn’t hold grudges. Life was too short for such nonsense.

She loved her family.

She loved her husband.

But, most of all, she loved being a mom. It’s all she ever wanted in life.

So, when she felt a lump in her breast during her third-trimester of pregnancy, she knew she would do anything in her power to rid her body of the cancerous lump.

Funny thing though, her doctor’s weren’t overly concerned with the lump. And at one point, she herself even thought it would dissipate after giving birth to her son, Frankie.

But it didn’t.

The diagnosis came back as breast cancer.

And, not just the “typical” breast cancer that some women have. Nope, she was diagnosed with the “Head Bitch of the Disease.” She tested positive for an abnormal BRCA1 gene. Abnormal BRCA1 is a harmful gene mutation that increases the risk for a woman getting breast and/or ovarian cancers. It is one of the most aggressive forms of cancer.

She didn’t even blink an eye when telling the doctor of her course of treatment.

She wanted her breasts removed … and since BRCA1 thrives on estrogen, her other female reproductive organs were removed from her body too.

She was barren.

She was crushed. She wanted three kiddos. But, she was OK with just having Frankie if it meant she could be his entire world.

And she was.

She was his entire world for 19 months.

Jenny Metzer-Bassett died on April 24. She was only 31 years old.

She didn’t want a timeline for her life on Earth. Ultimately she knew her fate.

But for 19 months, she did what she set out to do. She was a warrior. She was the bitch that beat cancer – maybe not in the sense that you think – but she did. She didn’t let the diagnosis get the best of her. She lived her life.

We can all learn from Jenny …

When faced with adversary and bad news – forge forward with a positive attitude and screw the rest.

#RIPJENNY

http://chronicle.northcoastnow.com/2015/05/10/warrior-mom-fights-cancer-battle-moment-moment/

 

 

 

 

 

A MOTHER’S TRUE…

A MOTHER’S TRUE LOVE
“To my Children, If I had to choose between loving you and breathing … I would use my last breath to tell you … I love you” –Anonymous

Many of us, myself included, do not regard being pregnant as dangerous.

But the truth of the matter is, it can be.

Before I gave birth to my oldest in 2003, I began bleeding about six weeks before his due date. After performing every test blood test possible, it was determined through an ultrasound that the placenta was tearing away from the uterus.

According to my OB, I had developed placental abruption, which was a concern since the placenta is an organ that grows in the uterus during the pregnancy to provide nourishment and oxygen to the baby inside. In other words, if the placenta were to fully tear away, my son would have needed to be born at 34 weeks. Knowing the chances of that were high, my OB ordered steroid shots so that if he was born early, his lungs would have been slightly more developed thanks to the steroids. After spending three nights in the hospital, the bleeding was under control and the medicine helped my little man inside. I was sent home and placed on moderate bed rest until his arrival.

But I knew I would do anything I could in my power to ensure his safe arrival. I would have endured hourly shots of steroids. I would have remained in bed 24/7 until his due date if it meant a safe birth. I would have done anything for my son.

Just recently, a local mom went into to hospital to give birth to her daughter. The photo I have seen of her smiling with her sister-in-law is one of pure joy. A Facebook status declared, “The baby’s coming!”

The next post on the sister-in-law’s Facebook page shared the sad news that the mom died during childbirth.

“Between birth and death, life happens in the blink of an eye. Surreal.”

And no one knows why.

How incredibly difficult it must be for this family knowing that a week ago today, they were preparing for the birth of the newest member of the family and now they are planning funeral arrangements.

The father is left to pick up the pieces and raise and care for his newborn daughter, plus his four other children.

The 41-year-old mommy will never change her infant’s diaper. The daily feedings will be handled by her father’s gentle hand, or another family member. There will be no pushes on a swing or a “Hey Mom, can we go to the park!?” The little girl will not have her mom by her side on the first day of school.

For her older children their mother will never bear witness to their graduation ceremonies from high school. She will not be present for their weddings. She will never hold her grandchildren.

As parents, we take for granted all of the daily “chores” handed over to us when we in fact become parents. We struggle to stay awake during the day after being woken up in the middle of the night for feedings. We lose our patience with our other children, or even our spouses, due to lack of sleep and stress. We feel guilty taking time for ourselves, even if it’s to shower in peace.

No one knows what the next day will bring for we only have today. Embrace it. Love one another.

And don’t take one single moment for granted.

Life BEFORE my life

I was chatting with a friend the other day and she said to me, “I never thought my life would be like this.”
I said, “What do you mean? You mean, like driving your kids everywhere … being a mom?”
Yup, that was exactly what she meant.
The mom saw herself working in a New York hospital as a nurse.
I think most of us “moms” had a different view of what our lives would be like after we graduated from high school or college.
Before I declared journalism as my major, I was taking criminal justice courses.
Yes, my first plan was to “Save the Children” as a probation officer. I wanted to live in an inner-city and work with at-risk children.
About half-way into Criminal Justice 101 we had an FBI agent give a presentation. I learned most law enforcement agents had to carry an extra 30 pounds of gear on their bodies when patrolling the streets.
I thought to myself, “No way! There is no way I can carry 30 pounds of gear and run after a criminal or delinquent!” (Little did I know that a pregnancy would allow you to carry 30 pounds of “gear” … but at least I no longer have to lug that around!)
So, I chose a “less physical demanding” career – journalism.
Yes, it’s not physically demanding. It’s more of a mental challenge. Speaking and dealing with the public – at times – can be exhausting. The constant games of phone-tag/text-tag/email-tag are never-ending. The complaints are constant.
But, again, I thought, I would live in New York City and my byline would be read by millions of readers. I thought I would work for a big newspaper, chasing down story leads and frantically working on deadline while bosses breathed down my neck.
Some days, I do think my “dream” life would be easier than my real life.
Some days, I would give anything to be chasing down a story.
Yet, I do have the best of both worlds as I freelance for a local newspaper. I still get that little thrill when I see several law enforcement vehicles driving in one direction – oh, to chase them and find out what is going on … YES, PLEASE! And, to be able to say, “Hi, is Mrs. Smith available … this is Melissa with The Chronicle-Telegram …” – that still makes me smile.
True, most days now I am chasing around the 4-year-old twins instead of a story. Or around 4:30 p.m., you can find me telling my 9-year-old to finish his homework – so I guess I am like the editor breathing down his back on deadline.
But no, I don’t think I would necessarily wish for a different life – yet it would be kind of fun to have one day where I could time-travel somewhere and be a different “Melissa” for a day.