I (Can’t) Quit

Tara essays

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I have yet to meet one person that brags about how much easier their life became when they had kids. Not one person that will openly admit that parenthood is a life surrounded by rainbows and unicorns. Not one that will deny the fact that at some point, they have wanted to throw up their hands and announce that they quit. 

I did it and I’m not ashamed to say it.

I spent 20 minutes discussing with my tween why she needed to keep her room clean. Why living in filth really isn’t acceptable. Why I’m the mom and I make the rules. 

She rolled her eyes so hard I am certain she pinched her optic nerve and I lost it.

I waved my white flag and I walked away.

I quit.

I left her there to stew in silence and try to regain her vision.

I have been struggling with knowing when to walk away. Lately I’ve realized that there is absolutely nothing wrong with quitting while you are ahead.

To quit arguing when they claim that the sky is green, or when they proudly announce that they can count to 20 by saying one, two, free, TWENTY!

Coming to grips with the fact that as long as it isn’t detrimental to their health, if they want to live in filth, that is up to them. Just don’t come screaming to me when you find you are sleeping with spiders. 

To let them make some of their own decisions, even if I think they are wrong. 

To let go just a little bit.

There are always going to be those moments in which we want to pack a bag and our passport and run away to somewhere warm that offers endless sunshine and frozen drinks. A place where we can be alone with our thoughts and not a worry in the world. Where we sit on the beach and enjoy the silence.

There would be no more smooches and hugs. No more tickle attacks followed by contagious laughter and please to “pwease stop” followed by “do it again”. No more games of tag or hide and seek. Gone would be the endless games of Monopoly and the spontaneous dance parties. No more sous chefs to help in the kitchen or assistants to streak the windows. No more birthday parties and unexpected trips to the park.


Maybe that tropical location doesn’t sound as great as previously thought.

Being a parent is the hardest “job” on the planet. There are days when it truly is the most rewarding, and other days it leaves you convinced that here is no way you can survive the madness.

One thing is for certain: no matter how bad it gets, no matter how badly we want to just walk away.

Parenting is the one job that you can never quit.

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About the Author


Tara of You Know it Happens at Your House Too is the mother of five young kids, wife to one hard working farmer. She is the sometimes hilarious, sometimes serious, usually sarcastic writer of the amazingly popular (in her own mind) blog . In her free time she enjoys wiping butts and noses all while picking up Legos and Polly Pockets. If she ever had a moment to herself she would go pee, then relax with a nice, cheap glass (bottle) of wine and any movie starring Johnny Depp. She has completely forgotten what it is like to do anything alone. Tara lives in Kansas with her husband, Farmer Bob, and her five children. You can also find her ignoring her kids on and .

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