Top 10 things you should experience before parenthood

Parenthood is not a walk in the park. Is it rewarding? Absolutely – especially as your children age and you realize you didn’t scar them for life.

But, before embarking on the longest journey of your life, there are a few things to consider, or experience:


#10: Find a First Grade Math book and start studying it now. Common Core is the worst form of math ever created. Start learning it now, before you have kids. Maybe by the time you child enters first grade, you will understand it enough to form a support group in your kid’s school. You will have a bigger following than the school’s PTA.

#9: Store a container of milk on the kitchen counter. Leave it there for a week. After it’s set out in the heat, open it up and take a whiff. That is will be the same odor you will smell after you realize your kid dropped their sippy cup in the car, and you can’t find it for a week or longer. It will smell like death, and probably, so will your car.

#8: Ask a friend to borrow a bin of Legos. Drop them over your floor. Walk on them without shoes. Walking on Legos is a rite of passage into parenthood. If you can walk over Legos with bare feet and not bat an eyelash, you will survive parenthood.

#7: Borrow a child. Attempt to take a shower or simply go to the bathroom. Listen as that child screams “MOM” or “DAD” 10,000 times in a matter of minutes. That will be how you use the bathroom for the rest of your life. Enjoy showering and peeing in peace now.

#6: Buy stock in the following items: tissues, toilet paper, napkins, Band-Aids, plastic cups, diapers, baby wipes, milk and hot dogs. Those items will magically disappear right before your eyes. And if you think you have “one more gallon of milk stored away” – think again. Eventually, a neighbor may see your FB post about being out of milk … yet again … and they will drive down to give you theirs.

#5: Be prepared to no longer have a social life with friends. Your social life will now consist of playdates, baseball games, softball games, tournaments and birthday parties. The days of making a split decision to grab a nice dinner and movie are gone … at least until you can afford a babysitter and escape for four hours.

#4: Learn how to control your gut instinct to throw up at the first sight of … well, throw up. Kids cannot control their bodily fluids. It doesn’t matter if the trash can is right next to their bed. They will miss and the vomit will end up on their floor. Hold your breath and pray as you are forced to clean up the mess at 2 a.m. (Because that is when kids get sick the most often – in the middle of the night.)

#3: Take a class in negotiation. It doesn’t matter how many children you have … you will be forced to bribe them to do the most mundane activities – like brush their teeth, pee before bed or get dressed.

#2: Take a VACATION with your partner. Once you have children, and you take them with you, it’s no longer a VACATION. It becomes a TRIP.

#1: Before having kids, set your alarm for every three hours. This is how often you will be up once you bring a newborn home – probably less in reality. And you will never get a full night of sleep again.

Melissa Linebrink is an award-winning blogger. Read her blog at Follow her on Twitter @train_crazy or Facebook at




Fishermen of the ponds

Fishermen of ponds
Fishermen of ponds

 So, this happened today …

After spending $19 to legally catch fish in Ohio, I took four kids fishing today … by myself. Solo. Single. Numero Uno.

By myself, I loaded up the Traverse with four fishing poles and one tackle box, plus a bag full of drinks and snacks. I wasn’t going at this without backup. Drinks and snacks were my backup.

The first stop was our local pond steps away from a playground – that was my other backup plan. If the kids got bored, I was going to toss them into the gated play-yard. Which, for my daughter, the playground was more of a thrill than trying to fish. I couldn’t blame her though … the pond was filled with algae and seaweed. If I was an adventurous cook, or a cook of any kind, I would have kept all the seaweed the kids caught and turned it into a side dish tonight with our … chicken.

I thought the back pond would have been better at the park, but amazingly, it was worse. I had my fill of algae and seaweed. It was time to relocate.

After allowing the older two kids to walk into town for a snack and drink to their liking, we packed up the vehicle and moved on to bigger and better fishing locations. Err … bigger and better ponds.

Just down the road from our house is a reservoir. I was certain someone would catch a fish there. No fish, but we caught rocks. And by rocks I mean I had to change at least five hooks because they were getting stuck on rocks under the water, near the shoreline. I didn’t even know what I was doing, so I winged it. I winged it five times. By the fifth replacement, I told the kids if anymore rocks were caught, we are leaving.

Alas, no more rocks were caught, but neither were any fish. However, despite the lack of fish caught, the kids seemed to enjoy the outdoor experience … maybe by the end of summer they will all become master fisherman of the ponds.



Raising ‘hungry’ kids from sun UP to sun DOWN

It is the first official week of summer vacation – yes, it really did start last week, but my oldest was on vacation with his grandparents. Therefore, this week, starts week ONE of summer break.

My food supply is already dwindling, with my patience and energy a close second and third.

Today’s toasted cheese sandwiches were made on … hotdog buns. I bought a big container of strawberries on Saturday. They are gone. Popsicles … well, those are considered a hot commodity here, so we are slowly running out of those too.

My kids wake up around 8 a.m. – that is if I am lucky.

Nonetheless, it doesn’t matter what time they wake up because they generally eat from sun UP to sun DOWN.

Three kiddos eat more food than I do during a given day.

I don’t know if it’s boredom kicking in, or if they are truly hungry.

I try to tell them the kitchen is CLOSED, but that only seems to entice them more into entering into it. I think it becomes a game.

“Let’s see who can score some grub before getting tossed out of the pantry/kitchen!”

And at various times within a 30 minute time span – one that is immediately following me washing dishes (hence the KITCHEN IS CLOSED) – they slowly sneak in.

I am usually sitting by my desk, or sitting in the chair and I hear this:

“Derek … Derek … DEREK!” – KK whispers, and then yells.

“Katie, be quiet!” – Derek whispers.

“I want a rice Krispie bar!” – She tells him.

“OK … me too!” – He replies as he slowly opens the pantry door.

“NO! NOT THAT ONE, I want the one with chocolate DRIZZLE on it, not the CHOCOLATE FLAVORED ONE!” – She declares.

“FINE, TAKE MINE!” – Derek “whispers” back to her.

And then it’s quiet, for a mere moment. Crackle, crackle, chomp, chomp.

The snacks are devoured.

Then I hear the water dispenser from the fridge being used in what is most likely the 100th cup of the day. (I love doing dishes.)

And then, and then … my oldest elephant walks up from the basement, looking for his fourth mid-day snack.

But he steps in the water that is now on the floor in front of the fridge – in his socks – (I love doing laundry) and screams, “WHO SPILT WATER ALL OVER THE FLOOR? GOD KATIE AND DEREK, CLEAN IT UP!”

In an effort to “help” my family this summer, I believe I shall just drink copious amounts of wine (to save on food costs) … in the same glass (to save on dishes) … day after day … while wearing only my swimsuit (to save on laundry of course!)