Motherhood is Not Rocket Science

I was an incredible mother before I had children.

Now, my kids are sitting in front of the Netflix box and I’m hiding in the bathroom eating a chocolate bar.

It’s been one of those years days.

Two weeks before our trip to Kenya, I started giving my kids their weekly dose of malaria medicine. Somehow I missed the MICROSCOPIC instructions on my 5 year old’s prescription that told me to give her 1/4 of a pill. I didn’t discover my mistake until the day before we left for Africa, as I was pulverizing the huge adult dosage.

Y’all: I overdosed my child. Not once, but twice.

Thankfully, she’s a belligerent girl who doesn’t conform or take medicine well. Upon my calculations, she didn’t ever get a full dose.

But still.

I didn’t sleep a wink, watching over her all night. And I prayed and just between us, I had a meltdown. I could have accidentally killed her.

She’s fine, I might be too someday.

This mothering thing is heavy.

Her next doses while in Kenya and two weeks after we got home, were appropriately dissected and crushed with a pill cutter and mixed with a Fun Dip.

This mothering thing is fun.


At least I’m not one of those moms who let’s their kids do crazy and unsanitary stuff. Like for instance, letting a nasty  giraffe lick my child in the mouth.

I would never do that. Ever. Because that would be wrong.

We are moving in 4 days. Yesterday I started on the pantry. I’m nearly forty years old and I just realized can goods have expiration dates. Y’all. Most of mine expired in 2009.

Let’s let that little fact seep in.

Again, with these near-death experiences.

I packed the toaster a few days ago and opened several boxes today to find it. We are eating off styrofoam and I’m at the point where I’m bribing my children with MONEY to babysit each other.

So, duh,  motherhood isn’t rocket science.

It’s actually more complicated and a lot harder.


  1. 1


    You have NO IDEA how much this cheered me up today! It’s crazy with kids but I feel much better knowing it’s not just me. With love, Deb.

  2. 2

    Melissa says

    Been praying that you and your family are hanging in there for the big move….happy to hear you still have your sense of humor intact!

  3. 4


    Yes!! You are absolutely right!!! It is harder than rocket science, but definitely more fun!! Hood luck with moving. The kitchen is always something I needed to tackle with a big gulp….or wine…I don’t judge….music and candy. Packing the kitchen is a beast!

  4. 5


    Oh how I laughed this morning – at 5:21 a.m. – trying not to wake the rest of my family. You are PRECIOUS. Thanks for the real – and knowing God loves YOU, not the perfect version of you. :) Laurin

  5. 6


    This type of post, the type that makes me feel like I am not the only mom with absurd moments, is why I love mom/family blogs. I wish we moms were all perfectly knowledgeable and able to handle all situations beautifully. Instead, we can make tons of mistakes (hopefully learn from them – eventually) and simply make up for faults with countless hugs, kisses and demonstrations of love for our children. SO, our motto for today should be: less guilt and more love! Good luck with the move!

  6. 7

    Erin says

    My 5 year old found his way into a swimming pool at a BBQ, got freaked out, and a stranger jumped in with her clothes on to get him out because I was enjoying some adult conversation and not paying attention. That is my most recent “Mother of the Year” award. I’m starting to collect quite a few to frame and hang! Thanks for sharing. We’ll be praying for you as you move. That’s no fun…

  7. 8


    Belligerent! Yes, that is the word I’ve been looking for to describe my 3-year-old. I was debating this morning whether I would call her “violent” or “aggressive” when Savannah Guthrie interviews me 20 years from now, asking whether we saw this coming.

  8. 9


    I am a new reader. Loved this post. So true; aren’t we all the best parents before we have kids. I had my kids young, so I am 10 to 15 years ahead of my friends with having offspring. They always say, you guys can help give is wisdom. My standard reply is the only thing I can tell you is how to really mess your kids up. That’s all I have, well… and God’s beautiful, amazing, grace to redeem and make my mistakes part of the beautiful story He is telling.

  9. 11


    Oh, how I can relate to your moving issues! We just moved 9 days ago! I don’t think I have cooked my poor husband a meal in a month now! We did turn on the stove in our new house yesterday for the first time…woohoo..I remembered how to make grilled cheese. I was wondering if I’m a bad mama because my kids went to work at camp for the summer and we moved while they were gone?! Well, at least I told them right?! Praying for you in your transition!

  10. 12

    jadell says

    i had to laugh when i first looked at the fist giraffe picture. you said you wouldn’t let a giraffe lick her and yet the picture looks like she is licking it back!! :) Then I looked at the second picture and saw it was actually a snack for the giraffe! Too funny. :)

    Motherhood is hard and wonderful all at the same time, isn’t it. Thanks for the reminder of the wonderful part. :) I needed that today.
    Best of luck in the move this week.

  11. 13

    Becky says

    It is so refreshing to know there are so many moms out there who too feel crazy at times! Thank you so much for your honesty!

  12. 14

    Jenn says

    Confession: last week I let my kids play the Wii for 3 hours so that I could clean my kitchen. ….and then after the 3 hours of Wii playing, I let them pick a movie from Netflix (which the Wii is connected to) giving my children (who are 4 and 5) a grand total of 4 1/2 hours of screen time while I cleaned my kitchen and straightened up their bedrooms. It happens…..and the kids will be fine……one day. 😉

  13. 15

    Dawn says

    ::teary:: I needed this today. Glad to know I’m not the only one who might do something like make my kids get in bed for an early (and longer) nap while I hole up and eat a piece of cheesecake. They certainly are refining tools, yes?

  14. 16


    Oh my gosh this is way beyond funny! And I have an almost identical giraffe picture. And I eat my chocolate in the bathroom too (or crouched behind the bar in the kitchen in fear I will get caught trying to sneak it to the bathroom). I don’t share sweets well :) It’s nice to know there is another me out there, HA! Thanks for this!!

  15. 19

    Barbara Serna says

    WOW! Why have I never thought of using fun dip for medicine? That is Genius! Much more than Rocket Science.

  16. 20

    Tara says

    AWESOME!!! You are a GREAT mom! I had one of those weeks too last week. Thanks for letting me know I’m not alone. Smile!!!!

  17. 21

    Queen Mary says

    OK, where to begin? Almost wet my pants! Literally! I get senior discounts at lots of places already! But I have to confess — I never knew anything about parenting before I had kids — oldest of 6, I knew what I didn’t know! But now! Boy would I like to give an earful to some moms! Thank God I refrain however — I hated that lady who thought she knew everything! My mom for example. She told me I was nursing wrong. What???? My son (first kid, her first grandchild – but remember, mother of 6) would nurse on one side and fall asleep. Mother said I should not let him fall asleep — too late I pointed out, she said I had to wake him up and make him nurse on both sides. I told her I’d tried everything – I had! Mother was always kind, gentle, and loving to me, her first born (she typed sarcastically); she started trying to wake up my infant son sleeping in my arms. She tried everything. Finally, she slapped his feet to wake him up (pretty sure that’s up there with water boarding in the Geneva Convention, just sayin’). The kid never woke up! I thought my mother (God rest her soul) would have a heart attack! She was so ticked off (years of therapy have helped me see she was ticked off because she was being proven wrong by a 2 month old!) Only after my daughter was born and she, like her brother, gained 3 lbs in one week did the doctor figure out my milk had an extra high fat content — they asked me to pump for preemies…. Nothing like a healthy dose of humility all around!

  18. 22


    I’m sure you heard this a thousand times how much that post was needed. But, really, today was one of those days for me. I felt helpless and put of control with my five kids not to mention tired. I really like hearing that not the only parent who isn’t perfect and who doesn’t have it all together. I look at all these beautiful blogs and I think Wow! But, I really needed the Lord to speak to me today and tell me it’s ok they they watched TV today while I got it together! Thanks for being vulnerable just for me.

  19. 23

    Anna says

    Oh, Kristen! How could you know that just before reading this post, I was “calmly” explaining to our 5 year old that fits are bad. At the end of the “conversation” I threw one of her toys- yes I threw it- and it broke. *sigh*
    She said we should both pray about our fits.

    Praying for you and your move!

  20. 25


    You definitely cheered me up. I have a circle of friend which as luckily all human- they admit when they have made a parenting mistake. Like my friend Jean who put her son on the naughty step for ten minutes after dinner and then remembered him two hours later when she found him asleep! She has four other which are demanding so we just had to laugh. Thanks for the giggle!

  21. 26


    Your post “motherhood is not rocket science” made me laugh out loud. I felt like I was drinking in your words – so well put. Probably one of the best posts I’ve ever read anywhere (and I follow a lot of blogs.) Thanks so much for the encouragement you give and it’s so beautiful how you are helping the precious girls in Kenya.
    Blessings, Shonda

  22. 27


    I think mothers who would say nothing like that has ever happened to them are either lying, or just haven’t been mothers long enough. Motherhood is definitely trickier than rocket science. I was sick enough to actually beg my husband to stay home from work yesterday, and he tried to just work from home instead (like I do everyday as a freelancer). Somewhere midday he said to me, “You are REALLY underpaid.”

    Oh, and during one of our last moves, I found a spice in my cupboard that was from so long ago the price had been stamped onto the bottom without a sticker. Which means it was from long before I was of a spice buying age, so I had probably gotten it from my mother. It might have been older than me.

  23. 29

    Sally says

    Don’t be so hard on yourself!

    Those canned goods were clearly not a near death experience – if they’d been sitting expired for three years I don’t think there was any likelihood you were about to feed them to your kids. 😉

  24. 31


    You are not alone in this. I believe I have overdosed my kids as well and I just felt terrible. I was giving them 6-12 year old meds when they were young. I’m so anal now. I give them less than they need, just in case I miscalculated.

  25. 34

    HEN says

    As someone with experience running a food shelf, don’t worry too much about the food dates. Those are really more “freshness dates” or “recommended sell-by dates”, not “eat it by that date or deeply regret it”. They’re on there to give a recommendation but the dates aren’t even required by the FDA. You’ll often find cans with no dates at all! Most food (some exceptions like tomato soup, canned chicken, etc) will still be tasty 2-5 years past that date. That’s where the rocket science part comes in – if it smells or looks gross, throw it out! And of course, there’s the ever-indestructible SPAM. Your grandchildrens’ grandchildren could probably safely enjoy the can your grandmother once bought.

  26. 35

    Misty says

    Tonight, I got the brilliant idea to put my son into the bath while I did the dishes. The bathroom is directly across the hall from the kitchen sink, and he was fully visible (not to mention only about 15 feet away from me in our tiny little house). I thought, “OH! This is so smart! Why haven’t I thought of this before? He’ll get clean, and I’ll be able to do the dishes without any little helpers!”. I was so smug!

    Then, I heard him chuckling…and not the sweet, happy, little chuckle that makes me laugh too. Nope. This chuckle was his evil mastermind chuckle. The “Mwa ha ha” kind of a chuckle.

    That little stinker dumped a brand new bottle of kids’ shampoo into his bath tonight. When I walked in there, the water was cloudy and murky…and I honestly had to debate if I was going to throw a temper tantrum right then and there. I ended up leaning over and agitating the water until the bubbles piled up over the sides of the (pink, original to the house) bathtub. The bubbles were so high that he had a hard time seeing around them.

    And you know what? He was DELIGHTED. He chuckled again…this time the sweet little sing-songy one that makes me smile and I decided that I just don’t care that he wasted $3 and I ‘ll have to make a trip to the store before the next bath.

    And yes, I’m aware that a good mommy would’ve been right there or would’ve at least left the bottle up high on the ledge he can’t reach. But he was safe, he was happy and guess what? He was SQUEAKY clean at the end.

  27. 36


    I had to laugh at the expiry dates on cans thing! It is just the type of thing it has taken me years to figure out.

    And the malaria medicine thing. Oh dear. So glad that no harm was done.

    I don’t know how I found your blog, but since I grew up (mostly) in Kenya, the people are near and dear to my heart.

  28. 37


    HA! I so needed this laugh today – thanks for sharing! :) I have totally been there (with the medicines question, the expiration dates, and taking pics of my daughter doing things that I’d be ashamed to say I’ve allowed her to do! Oh, and also with the whole plopping her down in front of Netflix while I have a good cry or a chocolate bar!) 😉 God Bless, and I’m praying for your move!

  29. 38


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