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I Got 99 Parenting Problems but I Always Flip Over One

Posted by on Aug. 19, 2014 at 12:01 PM
  • 11 Replies

I Got 99 Parenting Problems but I Always Flip Over One

by Linda Sharps 

The other day I was putting dirty clothes in the washing machine when I noticed the box of dryer sheets had gone missing. Not the contents of the box, mind you, the sheets themselves were strewn all over the place nearby: piled haphazardly on the shelf where I keep the detergent and whatnot, scattered across the tops of the washer and dryer, and drifting gently around the floor.

You've heard of the idiom the straw that broke the camel's back, right? The idea that cataclysmic failure is triggered by a seemingly inconsequential action? In terms of overall parental frustrations for the day, that stolen box of dryer sheets was definitely my final straw. It's always something dumb like that, something that in the grand scheme of things doesn't seem worth getting mad about. But that's the thing about having a breaking point … eventually, you break.

See, if I'd discovered the dryer sheet mess first thing in the morning, I'd probably have filed it under a minor annoyance and moved on. But on that day, the kids had been testing my patience for hours on end, and I'd been cleaning up messes left and right all day long. I was feeling crushed by the Sisyphean tasks of parenthood (clean the kitchen, make lunch, oh look, I get to clean the kitchen again!) and I remember just looking at the zero-fucks way the dryer sheets were flung around and thinking, Really? Really, I even have to pick up the LAUNDRY AREA, where I am already CLEANING YOUR CLOTHES?

Frankly, this summer has been jammed full of back-breaking straws. There have been amazing camping trips and glorious family vacations and hot sunny days filled with ice cream cones and swimsuits and general happy shenanigans … but there have also been plenty of long restless afternoons during which no child can find anything to do but whine for TV, loudly fight with each other over god knows what, and carelessly drop piles of clutter all over the house. Those are the times when I'm likely to lose it, when one specific incident manages to obliterate my very last reserve of patience.

When I say "lose it" I'm talking about your basic motherly meltdown, by the way. The kind where you stop being polite and starting being real, and by real I mean real loud. Things I typically yell when I've reached this point:

• I am OVER IT, you guys! OVER! IT!

• I am so sick and tired of this, you guys. SICK AND TIRED!

• I've had it up to HERE! *gestures wildly somewhere around top of head*


• Everybody go to their rooms and do NOT come out again until NEXT TUESDAY.

The worst part about the Final Straw Syndrome is that I doubt it does anything to teach my kids to avoid the cumulative effect of being loud-ass miscreants. Instead, they probably just think I am really, really into dryer sheets.

Do you tend to snap over that 'one last thing' too?

by on Aug. 19, 2014 at 12:01 PM
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Replies (1-10):
by on Aug. 19, 2014 at 12:11 PM
I already snapped today. This month has been horrible. Last night work was awful. It's just been one thing after another today. My SO called about something and asked if I was stressed and wanted him to pick up a coffee for me...

"No I am NOT stressed! I am on a DIET! WHY WOULD YOU EVEN ASK ME THAT?!"

Ugh. And the day just keeps getting worse..
by Bronze Member on Aug. 19, 2014 at 1:23 PM
I do, and I always feel so disappointed with myself. I wish I could recognize the build up so I could avoid the meltdown.
by Silver Member on Aug. 19, 2014 at 9:38 PM

Yes the other night, I snapped when my 20 month old threw her entire dinner on the floor.  Since there was no more food left, I wasn't too happy.  I had a bad week and felt awful for yelling but the week was horrible and this broke the camel's back.

by on Aug. 19, 2014 at 10:08 PM


Take some *Time Out* for You, Join our Friendly/Supportive group :)
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by on Aug. 20, 2014 at 12:08 AM

Use to sometimes :)

by on Aug. 20, 2014 at 2:25 AM

Sometimes. It's just the culmination of hte whole day and blah lol

by Silver Member on Aug. 20, 2014 at 11:12 AM

Yes, that is usually how it works. I try not to get to that point and usually my kids do okay, but there are times when it just drives me up the wall.

by Bronze Member on Aug. 20, 2014 at 2:42 PM
It is the whining that sends me over the edge!
by on Aug. 20, 2014 at 3:12 PM

what gets to me is the arguing and crying over the not sharing and my son has anger problems and adhd so he is off the wall most of the time he is only 5 so no meds yet. and my 2 year old always wanting me to be with him at all times I cant even change the show to something other than elmo and he demands that I watch that with him it drives me insane. he will push me into his play roo or grab me by the hand to sit and play with him or to go outside with him I love it most of the time but I want time with my other sons and my husband and I need to clean the house and make dinner he crys when I do anthing but what he wants

plus my two older boys who are 5 and 8 are always fighting and making a mess and want a snack 20 times a day and we have two dogs that need to be trained its utter chaos here I snapped last night that my older sons need to have one snack and be satisfied with that instead of asking for more and more and more and if they dont get it they keep asking or get it anyway and I have to chase them down for it.

by Member on Aug. 20, 2014 at 3:15 PM

It's exactly those kinds of days. I end up yelling.

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