Give Me Peace And Quiet

A reader introduced me to a quote recently that completely expresses my point of view.  Raising children is like being pecked to death by a chicken.  Amen!

Little by little, day-by-day, they wear you down.  Momma, she’s touching me.  Momma, he looked at me. I don’t like sauce on my noodles!  How come HE gets to stay up late and I don’t?  I don’t want to pick up my toys.

I used to try to reason with them.  Don’t sit so close to each other and then you won’t touch.  You look out the left window and you look out the right and then you won’t look at each other.  Okay, if you don’t want sauce on your noodles, just move them over to the side of your plate.  Etc., etc.

Now I just say:  Shut up.

I know, real mature of me.  But I don’t care about fairness anymore.  I don’t care about setting a good example.  I don’t care about teaching them something.  I just want peace and quiet.

Now this has nothing to do with the number of kids I have.  It has everything to do with the fact that these people think its their job to break me.  They won’t let up until I am a bent old woman, with hazy eyes and silver hair.  That’s how they know its time to stop picking on me and start having grandchildren.

Thank God for osteoporosis.  I know that when I start slumping over my torture is complete.  Until then, I must endure.

I don’t want to pick up my toys.  It’s too hard.  I don’t want to eat my dinner.  I’m allergic to it.  I don’t want to fold my clothes.  It takes too long.

If they’d just do what I ask of them, wed all get along much better.  But my expectations place restrictions on their pleasure and yet when I leave them to themselves all I hear is how bored they are.

Theres nothing to do!

This basket of clothes needs to be folded.

In my day this was my cue to leave the house immediately and find something else to do beyond the scope of my mother’s radar so that I would not have to do any chores.  The logic is simple.  If she can’t see me, she can’t think of something for me to do that I dont want to do.

My kids don’t get that.  In fact, they think I’m making humorous suggestions.  My son laughs and counter suggests that I take him to the store and buy him some snacks.

Hello?  No, son, really.  Fold these.

But it takes too long!

And so does raising you.  Now hop to it.

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  • hsmom

    I’ve tried many times to read the humor is Mrs. Barker’s column. Unfortunately, they leave me feeling sad and wincing in pain for the children and in embarrassment for the author. As a mother of 7, I treasure every moment I can get with them. Of course there are many times when I would love peace and quiet–to have an entire thought without interruption– but this is part of the sacrifice of being a mother. Mrs. Barker writes, “But I don’t care about fairness anymore. I don’t care about setting a good example. I don’t care about teaching them something. I just want peace and quiet.” Really? This is not inspiring writing for me as a parent in the trenches, trying to gain heaven for my children and myself. It doesn’t even bring laughter to help me refocus during the trials. Am I the only one struggling with this?

  • Mary Kochan

    There are few things more subjective than humor. Where one mother will laugh to herself and say, “That is just what was in my head yesterday.” Another, like you, will take it very seriously and in the worst interpretation. When it comes to columns like this, I just think that anyone who doesn’t appreciate a certain writer, should read something else. Every day we have at least 10 different new articles on our main site and nearly as many on our new channels. Besides that we have nearly 40,000 articles in our archives. There is plenty to read without distressing yourself over a writer with whose style you do not have an affinity.

    Have you tried clicking on the blue tab at the top that says Today’s Catholic Woman?

    Blessings, Mary Kochan, Senior Editor Catholic Exchange

  • Cooky642

    As a fledgling GREAT-grandmother, I have to admit that Lisa makes me laugh till my stomach hurts. Raising children is indeed a serious and long-range assignment (think “job security”). But oh, do I remember the days when I would cheerfully have GIVEN my children to the first passer-by who would take them just to have the peace and quiet for one uninterruped thought! Now, I have days (and nights) on end of time for uninterrupted thoughts. There were days when I’d gladly have shipped them off to a Siberian work camp just for the joy of a nap. Now, I have more time than I want (or need) to nap. No, this is not a pitiful ploy for sympathy. I enjoy my “alone time”. But, I also miss the daily tangle of arms and legs and voices. Enjoy what you have while you have it: nothing lasts forever……..

    Except: sorry Lisa, but getting old and stooped over and hazy-eyed and gray will NOT stop the kids (or, grandkids, for that matter) from “picking” on you. The way you do the job of parenting changes, but once you are a mother, you’re a mother for the rest of your life. Relax and enjoy it. 😉