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I've been at this mom thing for a long time. Seriously, some days it feels like it has been forever, and when I say "forever" that means those pre-kid days are almost so fuzzy it's like I'm looking at pictures of my grandma before WWI. Being a mom for this long gives me perspective; it forgives all those people I judged before I had kids, and on a really good day, it makes me convinced that I need to start filling out my own nomination for mom of the year.

After all, no one seems to fully understand what a truly awesome thing it is that I do from day to day. I am hard-pressed to come up with only ten things that show my true glory. Some days it only takes a matter of a few hours to show off my finer talents. Judge if you will, but here's a glimpse into my finer parenting talents.

Dinner Time

What? It's 5:15? Oh my gosh it's Tuesday... you need to eat before football practice! Doesn't Mac 'n' Cheese sound good? No, wait, I'm going to make you shells and cheese. I know how much you love that. (Nothing says "love" like offering the good stuff!)

Making shells and cheese: Pull box out of cupboard. Hmm, I don't actually remember buying this. Check expiration date. Whew, it's good thru November 2014. Start boiling the water, check my email, get into a text conversation with one of my super funny friends, and finally dump the noodles in. Eww, what's that? Some kind of skeletal (although very small) something has floated to the top. Fish it out. I'm sure it's nothing. Eww, another one? Fish that one out. Make an agreement with myself that if I have to fish out more than five, I'm making grilled cheese. Make grilled cheese.

Dinner for the other kid? Oops. Well, if he's hungry enough, he can make a bowl of cereal.

Mind Reading

Older son has a friend over. It's a girl. Things seem a little quiet in the basement. Click, click, click goes the brain…that little voice that sometimes talks to you starts going a mile a minute…"You know darn well they probably aren't friends! Think about you when you were that age!"

Get the little brother to go tell him mom wants to talk to him. Here’s the conversation:

Teen: What?

Me: You need to find something to do.

Teen: We’re watching TV and hanging out.

Me: You can’t just sit in the basement and make out for two hours, I’m not going to be that kind of mom.

Teen: MOM!

Me talking to that little voice in my head: Did I really just say that? Good grief!

Health and Wellness

Kid needs to go to doctor to have yucky thing by his eye looked at. First, let me assure you that the first 30 or so times he asked, I reassured him that everything would be okay, and if they did have to remove the yucky thing by his eye, it might hurt just a little bit, but he's tough and he'd be okay. It was that 31st time that I might have gone a little too far:

8 year old: I just know they are going to hurt me.

Me: No, really, whatever happens will be way better than that disgusting thing exploding and the bacteria making you go blind.

The kid's eyes just about pop out of his head (and who knows, maybe that would have cured the sty or whatever it was). I congratulate myself for being such a fabulous person.

Meal Planning

It gets old coming up with gourmet meals for the clan every night. After all, I am positive (though it's rarely said) that they do appreciate the thought and planning that goes in to making every meal. But sometimes, you know what? I just want a hamburger and a beer. That's why every Thursday night we head to a bar and grill. One kid stares at his phone, while the other plays on his iPod touch, while my husband and I essentially ignore them as we enjoy a beer and some good food. It's blissful family time at its best.


The never-ending battles that seem to poison the attitude of everyone in the family are about doing homework. Whether it's all been done, when it's going to get done, and why on earth, if you knew about this two weeks ago, are you just starting it now at 9 o'clock at night. It is so tiring. I threaten, I act disapproving, and then, oops, I cop to the fact that I hated homework too. One semester in college, I refused to do any extra work beyond reading, and I still got good grades.

Little voice in my head: "Did you really just say that? Way to go!"

Miscellaneous Talents

I wish I had the time to share about the dirty socks I pulled out of the hamper and folded, so they looked like a clean pair; the toothbrush I found the dog chewing on and after microwaving it, put it back in the holder; the body wash I squirted in the shampoo bottle; or the last piece of cheese that dropped on the floor while I was making lunch that still ended up in the sandwich. But I don't, so I won't. 

And there you have it. Some of my best work from the past few days. Impressive, huh?

When I was a new parent I tried to do and act the way the pros tell you to. I formed opinions based on what I thought was "the right way." And then, well, over the years, I just came to accept that we are just human. No one is perfect, and no one can predict every single situation and circumstance. Sometimes we just have to roll with it. If that means that every now and then that little voice in your head leads you down a wrong path, well, own up to it. And move on. Then tell your kids you love them. I guarantee they will tell you the same thing right back.

Mollie Protzman


Mollie is an Omaha native and a mom of two boys ages 13 and 8. She's been married for 20 years and spent most of those first 10 years living in various cities around the country. Before kids, she was in marketing communications and public relations and then stayed home with her boys for 11 years while doing freelance writing on the side. The day after her youngest one went to kindergarten, she just about went berserk with the quiet in the house and nothing constructiv ...

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