Children, Family Life

The True Faces of Parenthood


Squinting your eyes, you can see them in the distance. Signs include strollers, baby carriers, diaper bags and a sluggish-zombie-like pace. Parenthood is the hardest task anyone will endure during their lifetime.

And, it’s a daily struggle that all people who have children understand.

New parents walk around with haggard expressions on their faces, wearing miss-matched socks, or no socks at all. I have seen moms flipping around in flip-flops in February simply because that is the only pair of shoes they were able to locate under heaps of clothing and other shit in the morning before leaving the house.

Yoga and gym pants became daily attire – they are the quickest items of clothing to pull on your legs in the morning. If you’re lucky, you will remember to change your underwear, even if you haven’t showered in a couple of days. T-shirts covered in spit-up or strained carrots, peas and Lord knows what else are worn out in public. And that’s only because you have changed your shirt twice before leaving the house and are slowly running out of clothes because you haven’t had time to wash any in the past month. You have stopped giving a shit.

Hair is either pulled back in a ponytail or hidden underneath a baseball cap. No one has time to gel, dry or style hair anymore. Gone are the days of making sure every strand of perfectly-colored hair is in place. We take a glimpse in the mirror, take a swig of mouth wash (rinse and spit because who has time to actually brush their teeth) and then pray to God we don’t see anyone while we are in Wally World. We secretly hope no one is there snapping photos of us that will end up on “The People of Wal-Mart” website. But, then again, we don’t honestly care. We don’t have time to care.

Dark circles form under our like dirty little pillows. And they never go away and we always look tired. No amount of concealer, makeup or sleep will make them disappear. They are our permanent tattoos signaling our demise into parenthood. It sucks.

How did our lives get turned upside down? The answer is simple – It happened when we agreed to become parents in the first place.

But why didn’t we see the writing on the wall? We grew up around our parents, or other guardians. Surely we must have seen the looks of desperation in their eyes. We had to have been witness to the pure exhaustion on their faces at the end of the day when they tossed us into our bedrooms and told us not to move. There must have been some sign that we all ignored as kids and teens growing up. Or were we all just wearing rose-colored glasses making us oblivious to our surroundings? And if we were wearing rose-colored glasses – where are they now? I seem to have lost mine, but it would be great to find a new pair to hide my dark circles …

About the author:

Melissa Linebrink is a reporter/bi-monthly columnist for “The Mommy Wars” printed in The Chronicle-Telegram. She has been featured as a blogger on the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop site, and for “Great Moments in Parenting.” She also writes, edits and manages her blog, She can be reached at