I would write this as a poem

if I thought there was any poetry in this

What to say about The American Family on the go, always on the go?

Small children make sure this is so

Finally Mommy, with no choice, being exhausted from night after night without long sound sleep

Drops her two-month-old into the magic battery baby swing next to Grandma (that would be I – or is that me?)

Asleep on the living room couch on call for such an occasion at 5:46 in the morning

As the alarm rings off where Daddy sleeps on the couch downstairs.  Out the door he races to work early

As Grandma changes the poopy diaper (a celebration of small sorts ensues as today would have brought day 3 without same)

While 2 1/2 year old calls for (barely back to sleep) Mommy to lift him from the crib (he wakes crabby, still with the nasty cough, a daycare-caught cold he shared with Grandma and Baby)

(Did you know?  No longer is Vicks rub safe for children’s chests, nor can cough medicine be given to little ones under age 6?  How did my children – or others – survive before so much helpful DON’T-DOs arrived on the parenting scene?)

Just saying……


Of course toddler wants to wear the fishbones pajama shirt for his day that nobody has yet washed the chocolate ice cream from yesterday out of yet

Speaking of which….

“No chocolate ice cream for breakfast.”

SAY WHAT????  Toddler?  Unhappy.

Adults?  Insistent.

And on goes the too-early-in-the-morning breakfast war

As Mommy nurses the baby

As Grandma stuffs the books to be donated and the two tomato cages and the strange black umbrella which will all share that fate

Into the back of the sturdy (bought used) red Subaru along with many awkward pounds of to-be-recycled cardboard and a heavy box of magazines – again, to share a fate

While Grandma then packs Mommy a lunch, adds the frozen block into the ‘twice to pump at work today’ nursing bag, cleans the PB&J from the hands of said toddler who at least ate the toppings and took a sip of milk

As Mommy dresses the toddler now, as Grandma counts the to-be-donated ‘don’t fit Mommy anymore’ quality clothing — must add all to the detailed list for tax deductions

Just in case

Just in case America elects a leader hell bent on destroying what is left of any small and possible remnant of America’s middle class – “NO NO NO!  No more tax deductions for YOU!!”

As Grandma hurries to make Mommy a toasted English muffin with extra PB – wrapped hot in a paper towel, delivered out to the garage as the toddler is strapped into his super-duper car seat (Did you know you CANNOT MUST NOT reuse one of those carseats?   Experts insist!  The plastic is ROTTEN once it’s time to pass one down to the next in line or to somebody’s little one.  Tell me, at what point does the ROTTEN begin?)

Of course Grandma doesn’t quite notice that the paper towel is saturated with warm melted butter dripping PB – until it’s finally handed to Mommy through the front car window 2 seconds before that Subaru was to be put into reverse at 8:44

So it can all drip onto Mommy’s professional outfit

So Mommy must rush into the house and (you get the picture)

As Grandma follows her inside pathetically whining, “This is why I am not a short order cook!”

And prepares for a day with the baby.


Well, Baby was sound asleep safe safe safe SAFE

So Grandma thought she/I could snitch the tiniest of SHOWERS – but of course as soon as the shampoo lathered my head the baby HOWLS!!

How did he KNOW???

And on life goes………

While the North Dakota wind jumps up from nowhere

or so it seems

to bless this day of possible sunshine

with such YOWLING

just because

it can.

(While I wonder, “How will Mommy manage once Grandma retreats again far south?”)


This being published just a day after the dishwasher threw up its plastic parts which chose to land on the hot drying burner to melt themselves into uselessness – while nobody smelled this sabotage in progress?

And just now – after Grandma turned off the water to the downstair’s toilet – so she can return later to see if there’s hope for repair for the now-intent-on-permanently-leaking parts to the sacred inner porcelain pool of “DANG SHUT YOURSELF OFF ALREADY” hidden parts of same.


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  1. It’s a juggling act called, “Life”….lol.Today parents work so much harder to provide for their children, they are constantly at risk for toppling over.Obviously 4 decades or so ago society expected much less out of families so families could get away with mom staying home, I’m a stay at home mom and I’m currently facing financial ruin and possibly homelessness, I feel like a failure, but much of my fate is out of my hands as I’m mentally ill. Life is certainly more stressful and many people are falling out of the “flock”

    • Oh, Helen, it is always so good to hear from you! At least a hundred different possibilities appear in my thoughts in response, not the least one being the gratitude I feel that an institution recognized as an authority, the Center for Disease Control, has at least put out there such profound proof in their research of the DIRECT connection between what they call Adverse Childhood Experiences and lifelong difficulties in EVERY area of life.

      I have written many posts on the blog about this research – but this is what came up first as I searched for a link for you to read – the questionnaire they used for women –


      also, these links:


      I think the most important thing for us to know is that we are NOT TO BLAME and we are NOT ALONE!!!

      From a societal perspective, the pyramid of care and concern is upside down. What people need to be cared for from conception forward is not guaranteed – and when little ones are deprived of what they need to be prepared for a lifetime of well-being — even in the physiological development of our body and brain itself — the suffering over the course of a lifetime is guaranteed.

      We are, of course, supposed to (!!!) believe that all of what goes wrong in our lives is our FAULT! This is a cultural lie. Please don’t believe it!!

      Until later, with care and concern for your difficulties – take care of yourself, be gentle with yourself – always!!

  2. Wow, what an amazing family! Such a touching poem – much to smile and cry a bit at! Much like real life.
    You are working so hard all of you. I visited a friend last year to ‘help’ her with her 3 year old twins and 8 month
    Old. Well, I must say things aren’t the same as when I looked after my younger siblings 20 years ago. I was stumped
    From the kiddy car seat belts to the baby romper with no legs!
    What a lovely lucky thing you have each other!!

  3. Well-written Momma — yes, a poem in its own right. What can I say — we do the best we can and it is exhausting and your love and support are so appreciated and I wish we lived closer to each other. I’m hoping you’ll be willing to visit again post-winter!

    • I love you so much, my darling (big) baby girl!! You and Daddy are AMAZING!! Yes, of course I’ll be back, my brave and wonderful trooper!!!! xoxoxox

    • Me too Ramona..quarters in a jar for flight fees for next summer is a must. My quarter fund begins today into a clear quart jar on the kitchen counter…next summer is a must for your mother..grandmother and my friend.

  4. Hi Linda…
    Looks to me like you DID write it as a poem, or perhaps an elegy (“a poem of serious reflection”) for the plight of SO many – far too many – families in our family-unfriendly culture…”How Goes the American Family” indeed!

    What I read in your words is a lot of love and compassion, from a big heart; one that recognizes the value of being there for children of all sizes and ages…and the importance of supporting parents so that they have more to give than just exhausted frustration…

    “Just in case” indeed. I hope I live long enough to see this country wake up to how much our failures to support families costs and cripples us, in every possible way…my own family of origin is living testament to that. Don’t even get me started…

    But I’m sure you know all that. I so appreciate your willingness to share your life & thoughts so openly – it helps inspire me to do likewise.

    • Thank you, dear reader! And this is a family working incredibly hard (more than one job each) to keep a semblance of financial stability in place (in an extremely harsh cold winter’s climate) – educated, with friends and loving family — children in adequate daycare (baby will enter once I leave) – What is happening to families with only one parent, without any hope of decent transportation, without even decent daycare – without job stability, without educations – I could go ON, but as you say, “Don’t even get me STARTED!”

      I wanted to honor in my meager words a tiny slice of ongoing life of my own precious family this morning. I am so proud of them, so hopeful, so impressed – and yes, in many ways, always frightened for what ‘could’ and ‘might’ lie ahead. Without families, where would our nation – our species – BE?

      And, where are we GOING???

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