Endearing Parasites

So my Top of Utah Voices column came out on the opinion page of the Standard Examiner earlier this week. I got gutsy and wrote something all stancy, like we talked about. My column is about that supermodel who’s suing a blogger for saying something mean about her on the internet. As a user of the internet and a writer, I think this is a pretty poignant topic, especially since she apparently has a case.

The thing is, I was steeled for some kind of negative backlash. You know, the old “famous people have feelings too” line or something. I can tell you  now, I was not prepared for bad mommy hate mail. And I got it.

At the very very very beginning of the piece, I say this:

“So I’m driving down the road the other day, jamming to my talk radio and doing my best to avoid listening to the fast food requests pouring in from the little parasites in the backseat, when I hear a news story about a famous super model blah blah blah…”

Do you see anything wrong with this statement? Cause I didn’t. And my editor (a father of three) didn’t. In fact, it was the one part of the article he pointed out that made him laugh. Why? Because I called my adorable, high-maintenance babies ‘parasites’. And quite frankly, sometimes they are.

See, here’s the thing. Every stay-at-home-mother out there deals with the stress of being a full-time mom one way or another. Some women cry, some use Prozac, and some use humor.

I find it very hard to believe that even the saintliest mother hasn’t walked into the kitchen and found an entire bag of sugar dumped all over the floor–courtesy of the toddler standing there with an uncapped Sharpie in her hand–and not wanted to scream. (I would like to tell you that this is a hypothetical scenario. It is not.)

Personally, I try to laugh–although I haven’t completely dismissed the Prozac option.

I was talking to my sister about this “my kids are angels and I cherish every moment” mentality, because there are real  women who feel this way, and man, I wish I were one of them. She pointed out an interesting detail. She suggested that some mothers will never, ever see their children as anything but a Heaven-sent blessing.

The problem is, the stress of raising kids is real, Heaven-sent or not, and those squelched feelings of frustrations and anxiety are going to surface somewhere.

I’d rather deal with them right here, loudly and plainly, mixing laughter with my hair-pulling and tears, instead of seeing them come out in my marriage/blood pressure/weight gain. For me, laughing about it is healthy.

(For the record, please know that I might joke around here, but I am very serious about my babies. Their health, happiness and welfare is my number one priority, every single day. Well, every day after 7:00 am. Cause before 7:00, they’re on their own.)

If you’re interested checking out the article, follow the link right here to read the rest of my highly opinionated piece.


  1. Just by way of validation, I will now quote for you a few sentences from the introductory paragraph of my Sept. 8th post:
    “Small children are parasites. They cling on you, suck the life out of you, and basically consume you– blood, sweat and tears. Of course, they’re also darling little bundles of spirit and light that shape our souls like nothing else, but that’s not the point of this post. Mothering small children is hard.”

    So, um, no hate mail here.

  2. It is comforting to know that I’m not alone when I (lovingly) call my children ‘terrors’. I’m not one for singing their praise in soft-toned voices while cleaning poop out of the tub. I appreciate your humor.

  3. You’re real. Mothering is wonderful and rewarding, but dang, it IS hard. Your real about it, and I love that you laugh about it being hard.

  4. annnnieeee———I have missed you. Sorry I haven’t been by your blog in awhile, but with my move and life changes and stress of my own kind, I haven’t been blogging much. BUT, now I should be able to do better and bet back to my blogger friends.

    I think you are so funny- some people just don’t see the “humor” in life, hence the prozac and meth and you name it. Call it like it is, Yes we love our kids –OF COURSE—but do they wear us down and drain us –OF COURSE, DUH.

    I hate —hate mail. I got my first nasty anonymous comment on my blog and it kinda hit me hard. YUP, gotta love those people
    anyway, good to hear you are still “tearing it up” girl

  5. So, Annabelle, having had first hand experience with the “parasites” as you call them in jest, I fail to see what the HARM is in calling it like it is.
    Apparrently, there are many self-anointed harbingers of Parenthood here behind the Zion Curtain, that feel it a mortal “SIN” to call a spade a spade.Most native Yewtawns(I know it’s misspelled folks-figure out WHY)have a cultural antipathy towards directly dealing with ANY issue at all. Instead, they talk AROUND things incessantly, and to add insult to injury,find it necessary to be DEFINED by their challenges rather than REFINED by them. So along comes Anabelle, with her quips, shortcomings, and it’s not like you AREN’T tightly wrapped, and you threaten their own identity. When one chooses to live vicariously through one’s children rather thn seeking out their own devine identity, such musings as referring to YOUR three as parasites, is blatent blasphemy and cultural apostasy.
    I’m not saying you couldn’t use a healthy does of Prozac (prosaic is something entirely different and far more esoteric) now and then, actually you could use a healthy dose of Phenobarbitol every so often just to give the rest of us a break. However, we KNOW you, and still like and love you anyway, inspite of actually knowing you. The self-anointed harbingers of Parenthood are also the same numbskulls that find it “in their hearts” to tattle on their neighbors to their Bishops for perceived transgressions, find fault with strong willed women, and in general have a difficult time with reality. So, these folks who send you “hate mail” are generally insecure self-absorbed twits who “think” their personal brand of “belief” is far more pious and sanctimonious than others, ergo, they’ve missed the point on stories of Saducees and Pharisees of biblical infamy.
    Hey, Annabelle, you do live in YEWTAW after all, expect that one cannot POSSIBLY take time out to write a column, blog AND raise children without being a wretch and apostate. It’s the Yewtaw Way of “looking at things”.
    Cultural Perspective in a nutshell.And yes, your three ARE high maintenance, just like Mom is. ( at least SHE admits it unlike the cultural heathens).

  6. They are parasites. They suck everything from you. No harm in calling it that. I hate hearing people talk about their perfect kids, because then I think I am the crazy one with awful kids, everyone’s kids go through something at sometime that makes their parents want to run away!
    I love reading your blog and hearing that all of us mommies are going through the same thing. I think it unifies us and helps us cope with what we are dealing with. Keep it up Annie!

  7. Technically—aren’t children in the womb parasites? I mean, they’re an organism that is taking away from your nourishment for their own so…I’d say you have a case.

  8. I loved the article the first time I read it, and I love that you had mothers write in to complain! Isn’t it EXCITING!! You’re speeding along the fast track on the controversy caboose….next week you should write about too much teenage sex on TV, you seem to do real well in that corner.
    I’m signing off as
    a proud Yewtawnian fir shore!

  9. Dude, Annie. You’re under fire lately. Just know that you’ve always got safe haven with me, lady. I think you’re awesome!

  10. “My wife has a parasite, and is having an ultrasound” is exaclty how my husband jokingly told a friend of his why he needed time off from work. He was able to be there with me for our 20 week peek of our beauty girl, Miss Sarah. It’s nice to know that humor crosses the isle. 🙂

  11. Hmm… maybe if you called them “my” parasites rather than “the” parasites you wouldn’t have gotten the hate mail??? Makes them a little more “endearing,” when they are yours 🙂 Hope your parasites are doing well… mine are missing yours immensely!

  12. It’s gotta be hard to get the hate mail even if you’re expecting it. I hear ya sister. Mothering is hard and it’s so much more fun if you can laugh!

  13. Seriously. Some people need to get a life. Did you know that facebook has also been declared the new porn for women? (An article in my local “Yewtaw” paper.) Youknowwho hit it right on the head! She rocks! And so do you Annie! 🙂

  14. I can’t believe you would call your sweet children that. Don’t you recognize what blessings they a…hahahahaha……..

    Sorry, I really tried but I just couldn’t do it without laughing.

  15. If I didn’t laugh I would cry most days. You should hear the things I say about my children and husband.

  16. annie valentine says:

    I am so grateful for you girls (and guy). L.T., you are so right. I feel like this week has been a little too hot to handle. Thanks for noticing.

  17. I have a hard time believing that there are women out there that never have a single negative thought about their children. Seriously. It’s impossible.

    Of course, they’re heaven sent blessings and I love them to pieces. But sometimes they bug me. And sometimes I need a break. And that’s real. And it’s okay.

    Thanks for keeping it real, and saying what I’m sure EVERY mother out there thinks every once in a while.

  18. Annie, you are a very intelligent, insightful, funny person. It amazes me how much people have to “pick a fight”. I think you do wonderfully. You uplift me each time I read your posts and articles.
    Keep it coming!

  19. Yeah I feel like motherhood yes…a blessing as it is…is super hard and stressful!

    But umm the model suing the blogger…hello??? Has that lady heard of Perez Hilton??? And I don’t know……every tabloid out there! It comes with the territory and you know what…I feel like she’s picking on the blogger because that blogger is an easy target to take out any backlash she’s ever gotten out on!

  20. I think you’re freaking hysterical. And those mommies that are convinced their children’s diapeys smell like roses? THEY’RE LYING.

  21. Motherhood is a culmination of two things, laughter, and tears. Most of the time there is no in between mode. I don’t think “normal” mothers enjoy every single moment of ever single day with their kids. It’s impossible. I bet the women who complained were all grandmas. They hate it when we complain.

  22. Hello! It’s the Boob Nazi. It was so fun talking to you yesterday! (And meeting you too, of course.)

  23. Ummm, so I stopped by to de-lurk per your request.

  24. I’m slightly slow in reading this post…yeah, blogs and me aren’t hanging out so much these days, it’s pretty sad. BUT, I was going to say congrats on being edgy!!! WHOOO – you made a statement, man. And also I think your parasitical comment was humorously delightful. It’s a good thing I don’t write for anything important since I write whole blog posts about how I hate being a mother.