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/

 

 

 

WE WANT SUMMER

You can blame it on the rain … Cause the rain don’t mind … And the rain don’t care … You got to blame it on something

“Blame in on the Rain” by Milli Vanilli

Everywhere I went yesterday, moms of all kinds had the same expression on their faces … This summer has officially sucked.

Remember the 1990s one-hit wonder by the duo Milli Vanilli “Blame it on the Rain?”

Yeah … that’s it.

Dear Mother Nature – You have officially ruined the summer of 2015. And, if you don’t start providing some sun and a bit of heat, us mothers are going to go ape shit.

Yesterday, at Splash Zone I walked in on a mom yelling at her pre-teen. I didn’t hear the argument, but I heard the words, “Do you want it taken away until THURSDAY NOW?”

Yesterday, at Subway, a stressed out mom was telling her kid to stand in line. He wanted to sit at a table. She then had to tell him “We are NOT eating here! Let’s GO!”

And then, the icing on the cake was provided by a mom at my son’s t-ball game.

She and her two daughters sat next to me on the top bleacher – oh, wait, let me say this, we signed George up for OUTDOOR T-BALL … NONE of the games have been played OUTSIDE. Week after week, Tuesday and Thursday after Tuesday and Thursday, nearly 20 kids ages 7 and under are crammed into a gym to play games. By the end of the “games” half of the kids are bored and sitting on the floor. It’s not as fun playing indoors because you can’t play with grass, flowers or watch squirrels run up a tree. There is no dirt to toss or birds to watch. These poor kids are literally stuck playing t-ball. And they are sick of it.

But anyways, back to the mom and her two daughters … for several minutes, I thought it was my two kids causing ruckus, but then I remembered my oldest is on vacation and my other son was on the “field” so I was wrong. I was only dealing with one kid at the moment while the two next to me smacked each other. Usually this mom brings magazines for her daughters to flip through, but for some reason, she failed to bring “Redbook” and “First.” It was probably a parenting fail she won’t ever make again. The girls continued to whine, yell and smack each other until one smack was a bit “too harsh” and ended in tears.

“Don’t hit her!” the mom told the oldest.

“She did it first!” the girl replied.

“I don’t care. You don’t hit her BACK,” the mom said.

“SHE DID IT FIRST!” the girl said between gritted teeth.

“STOP!” the stressed out mom said in reply.

So you see Mother Nature, I’m not 100 percent sure all of these incidents that took place on July 14 were in correlation to the shit weather we have been experiencing in Ohio, but I’m blaming it the rain and in the end, I am blaming it on YOU.

All us moms, or hell, even parents in general, are asking is for the remainder of the summer to be just that … SUMMER. NOT SPRING OR FALL. Summer. We are craving days spent poolside. We are missing days when the kids can turn on a water hose and just spray each other. We want SUN for crying out loud! So please, we are begging you on our hands and knees … just end the shitty cold, dreary, damp, sunless days and replace them with hot, humid, oppressive heat before it’s too late and we all end up zombies.

Searching for Zen in all the wrong places — truth is, it’s in WINE

I am stupid.

I am stupid because I thought that once my kids were in school all-day/every day that my life would become easier and quieter.

Turns out, I was only kidding myself — and now I am banging my head against the coffee table.

In the summer, they would wake up gradually, whenever they felt good and ready. In a groggy fog, they would slowly make their way into the living room, sit in a comfy chair with a blanket and watch TV.

Life was good. Life was quiet(er).

And then school started with a BANG.

Now it’s fighting about what clothes to wear; what shoes to wear; what to eat for breakfast; when to brush their teeth; do they HAVE TO brush their teeth; and brushing the girl’s hair which generally looks like the world’s biggest rat nest was made overnight.

From 6:30 until 8:15 a.m., it is so loud in our house I can’t even hear myself think – not that there is any time for that anyways.

And then, by 8:16 a.m., the house is silent except for the constant hum of the washing machine, dryer or dish washer.

It’s pure bliss until 3:08 p.m.

When they are at school, they bottle up their “home life” and present themselves as fun-loving, well-behaved, caring children. Which means by the time they hop off that bus into the gravel driveway, they are about to explode like one of those Fourth of July poppers.

POOOOOOFFFFFF … just as the streamers fly from the opening, the screaming and yelling hit an all-time high.

Only now we are screaming about snacks; drinks; homework; dinner; snacks; drinks; homework; “CAN I WATCH TV NOW???;” “I AM STARVING!!!;” “I DON’T WANT TO SET THE TABLE!!;” and “CAN I HAVE A FRIEND OVER FOR DINNER??” (Seriously, Ethan, who do you want to invite over to OUR house to EAT the food that I prepared? Are you vying for most unpopular student at school??)

After dinner, it quiets down about 1 decibel for about 30 minutes. I am thinking it’s because they consumed my awesome food and they are digesting it at a slow speed.

But the quiet doesn’t last long because then we begin the “SHOWER-SNACK-SLEEP” routine and the entire gig lasts 90 minutes from start to finish.

So, now you all know why I am stupid. I am stupid because I thought that once the kids were in school all-day/every day that somehow I would regain a sense of Zen in my life. But, in reality, the only ZEN I tend to have lately comes in a glass of wine.

 

Summer nights = MOM time

When I was growing up, I never understood why during the summer months the major TV networks repeated shows that were shown during the “regular” season.

I remember settling in to watch “Growing Pains” or “Full House” only to soon realize I had already seen the same episode five weeks ago.  But of course, I would watch it again because back in the 1980s, we only had 10 TV channels to choose from, not 1,000 and inevitably, it was the “only good thing on.”

Flash-forward 25 years later and I now understand.

The clock on the wall is chiming 10 p.m. and I am finally sitting down to “relax.”

There is no time to watch TV because all I want to do now is curl under my sheet and go to bed. I have zero energy to even watch TV shows that I have recorded from the end of the spring season, so I generally lose interest by the time fall rolls around and forget they exist. Sorry, “New Girl” but that is how you and I went our separate ways – blame my kids for our breakup. It’s “me, not you.”

On the flip-side, when I do find “summer shows” I enjoy watching, they are canceled – thanks CW for tossing “The Carrie Diaries” into this category. That was my favorite show because I fell in love with “Sex and the City” as an adult. All I wanted to do was see how Carrie made it to New York City and met Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte. Damn you network execs – that show was my guilty pleasure and you took it away from me! Now I am stuck trying to understand HBO’s summer series, “The Leftovers” and I think they left me behind after the first five minutes.

Alas, it is now 10:15 p.m. and I relaxed by writing for 15 minutes. Now I have to go put two laundry baskets of clean clothes away that way tomorrow I can do some more laundry. Eventually my head will hit the pillow … ZZZZZzzzzzz 

Mom of Three is getting’ down and dirty – in the garden

FLOWERS

FLOWERS

Some mom’s love getting bracelets, necklaces, rings, spa treatments or even breakfast in bed on Mother’s Day.

That’s not me.

Of course, I love a nice massage once in a while and I already have an “anniversary” ring – as for the other pieces of jewelry, I never wear necklaces and bracelets only are worn for special occasions – like the holidays. And as for breakfast in bed – I’d settle for the opportunity to drink my coffee in one sitting without having to reheat it five times in the microwave before I finish it off in the morning.

So, no, instead over this past weekend, my loving husband, along with his dad and our kids tossed mulch into what will become my new “flower garden.” I already have a veggie garden, but it’s too early to plant anything.

Today, as the twins were learning their ABCs and 123s; and the oldest was taking his Ohio Achievement Test (we just call it OAT – as in oatmeal because it’s a crappy test that makes everyone grumpy – much like we view oatmeal in this house – a crappy knockoff to cereal) – I ventured into the HAPPIEST PLACE ON EARTH – THOME FARMS GREENHOUSE.

Walking inside the massive greenhouse that is sprawling with fresh flowers and shrubs is my version of walking into Heaven. No one walks into Thome Farms Greenhouse in a bad mood – quite the opposite of when I pull into the parking lot of Wally World. No, at Thome Farms Greenhouse people are smiling. They wander around the rows and rows of garden items, with a smile on their face, wanting to help others create a magical place in their own yard.

As I walked around their magic kingdom, employees asked me if I needed help – and they actually wanted to help!

In my backyard, my magical garden is a place where butterflies and hummingbirds flutter from flower to flower, along with bees. A place where stone fairies sit alongside frogs and stepping stones. I live for the day when I can look out from my deck and see a rainbow of color.

I spent over $100 today at Thome Farms Greenhouse. I am well on my way to beautifying my backyard. Next on the list – veggies.

But first, I need to get down and dirty – and plant the 15 plants I bought today.