My Kids Said “Mom” 159 Times In 6 Hours And I Nearly Lost It…Until I Made A List

Let me start by saying that I love my children. More than anything in this world. More than the nirvana of shopping alone at Target, more than Ben & Jerry’s Truffle Kerfuffle, even more than Maggie Smith on Downton Abbey.

BUT.    If I hear the word “Mom” just one more time today, I am going to lose my shit.

In fact, I just googled “how many questions do kids ask in a day” because I know I’m not alone here. Are you ready for this? According to a UK study, moms field nearly 300 questions a day from their offspring, making them the most quizzed people around, above even teachers, doctors, and nurses.

Fun fact:  Girls aged 4 are the most curious, averaging a question every 1 minute, 56 seconds of their waking day.

No wonder emails go unanswered, laundry piles up, library books expire before they are read, we scramble at the last minute for that birthday gift (please don’t ever leave me, Amazon Prime). We are constantly interrupted during any given task.

no-more-questions

As an experiment, I decided to make a list of all the times I heard the word “Mom” followed by a question or comment, for the rest of the day. I grabbed a small notebook like Harriet the Spy and lasted six hours before my hand cramped from all the writing. And in those six hours, I was beckoned ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY NINE times. While I won’t torture you with reading all 159 questions/comments posed to me, here’s a small sampling below:

9 year old daughter

“Mom, come look at this picture of Miley Cyrus.” (Please let it be the Hannah Montana version of her)

“Mom, guess how many butt cheeks are in our house?” (Um..does the dog count?)

“Mom, who are you?” (Like, in an existential way?)

“Mom, this kid at school said that one middle finger equals 20 bad words.  How is that possible?” (Oh, it’s possible)

“Mom, I just found a HUMONGOUS house in California and it only costs $14 million dollars.” (Ok, I’ll get right on that purchase, sweetie)

“Mom, can I put a ghost detector app on your phone?” (I’d kind of rather not know when there’s a ghost near me sooo….no)

“Mom, I have a super duper secret.” (There should be no secrets from your mother.  Ever.)

“Mom, do you want to play catch with me?”  (Can’t, because I need a free hand to write down the 29 questions you will ask me while playing)

“Mom, can I have a timer?”

“Mom, I can run down the hall and back 10 times in 37 seconds.  Do you want to try?” (I’m good, thanks.)

“Mom, do I have to get the flu shot tomorrow?  Because I’d like another few days to rest in peace before they poke a hole in my arm.”

“Mom, I got hurt.”  (x3)
“Mom, what are we doing today?”
“Mom, can I invite a friend over?”
“Mom, what’s for dinner?”
“Mom, can I have candy?”
“Mom, do you think my Halloween costume will be good?”
“Mom, can you tell the dog to move so I don’t hurt him?”
“Mom, is today October 15th?”
“Mom, what’s a compass?”
“Mom (watching me type), why are you doing that?”

15 year old son

“Mom, can you tell Ava to leave?  I’m trying to watch a show.”
“Mom, have you seen my phone?” (x3)
“Mom, I can’t find my phone.”
“Mom, can I borrow your phone?”
“Mom, she’s bothering me again.”

“Mom, what are you writing?”
“An article.”
“On what?”
“How many questions I’m asked in a day.”
“Why, is it a lot?”
“Seriously?  I’m adding that one.”

18 year old daughter (away at college)

question6

question8

question7

Mind you, I did this experiment on a Sunday and my husband was home the whole time. He is a great, very involved, hands-on dad. But do you know how many questions I heard them ask him during that time? ONE. When I said no to playing catch with my daughter she asked him to play and he immediately said yes, probably because he wasn’t exhausted from 158 prior questions.

When I sat down to write this, I only had to glance at the kids’ lists to realize something significant. The older they get, the less questions they ask. The less they share. The less they actually talk. They have their friends, they have their smarter-than-a-mom phones.  I mean, my older kids would never ask me what the population of China is, they would simply google it.  To my little one, I’m still the go-to, the one with all the answers.  And I guess that’s a pretty great thing to be.

It’s hard to face the fact that, though my older kids still need me, it’s just not in the same way my younger child does. And someday all too soon my 9 year old will be my 18 year old and one morning I’ll wake up and there won’t be anyone left to pepper me with questions all day long. And the thought of that makes me sad.

Sad enough to try harder not to lose my shit when I hear the word “Mom” one too many times in an hour. Because, at the end of the day, let’s face it, kids and their questions are frustrating, maddening, and hilarious. Feel free to comment with some of your kids’ best questions.  Today I’ve heard more than 159. I think I can handle a few more.

23 comments on “My Kids Said “Mom” 159 Times In 6 Hours And I Nearly Lost It…Until I Made A List

  1. Janet Panichi says:

    Janene,
    You do such an amazing job! Congrats!
    Janet

  2. Carmen says:

    Janine you are speaking for all of us😊

  3. Lisa says:

    I’m doing this experiment tomorrow. It’s a half day of school. I’ll let you know. Lol

  4. Janet Marino says:

    As always, awesome blog Janene! Keep them coming 🙂 Love, Aunt Janet xoxo

  5. Mom says:

    I can relate now also as a grandmother. My grandkids ask, when is my mommy coming home, so I can ask her a question?😄

  6. Fran Collica says:

    Janene, you nailed it again. You are the best blogger I know. Actually, you are the only blogger I know. However, keep on blogging. Love and miss you. Give everyone hugs and kisses from me.❤️😘👍🏻

  7. Fran Collica says:

    Janene you nailed it again. You are the best blogger I know. Actually, you are the only blogger I know. Love your blogging. Miss and love you. Give hugs and kisses to everyone.❤️😘👍🏻A

  8. Fran Collica says:

    Sorry, in case you didn’t get enough questions today, somehow I sent my reply twice. Love your favorite house 🏡 guest.

  9. “You don’t. Stay off Craigslist” hahaha I died at that one!

  10. Shannon says:

    “Why?” Just constantly. “Why is the handle to the toilet here?” “Why is it nighttime?” “Why are some people mean?” Alternatively inspiring, frustrating, and heartbreaking.

  11. Matthew Darienzo says:

    Ava wins!

  12. DONNA says:

    Great job, and so true!!!!

  13. […] This post was previously published on the author’s blog. […]

  14. You’re so right, the questions drive me nuts too but the silence when they’re not here is worse! Good idea to record the funny ones. 😊

  15. Stephanie Sorensen says:

    Thanks so much for your post! I was beginning to think I was alone! My son has just turned three and I can’t believe how much he talks! I find myself going “please stop talking” which I know isn’t a great thing to say. He wants to know where everything comes from. And probably has asked me where tomato’s come from about a dozen times today. And that is just one of the vegetables he asks me about. Not to mention any other food he can think of.. or animals.. the lawn mower… and I answer, every time, at least for the first hundred. Then it’s the “Please. Stop. Talking.” Anyway. Thanks again for the great post, I will definitely work more on being thankful he’s still little (because he’s allllready 3!? I swear, I was just pregnant…) 🤔

    • janene says:

      Hi Stephanie…thank YOU for reading it! I think 3 year olds ask the most questions of all, you are definitely in the thick of it! But somehow, we all make it through. 🙂

  16. Great post! I miss the days of my kids hounding me with “Mom,” but I totally get your point. The weird thing is… I take care of my 91 year old mother (Right.Next.Door.) and I probably use “Mom” 160 times a day with her! “Mom, are you feeling ok today?” “Mom, what did you have for lunch?” “Mom, did the Comcast guy come?”…. Make that 161 times a day.

    • janene says:

      Thanks, Emily! And you seem like an amazing daughter, taking care of your mom that way…the questions have come full circle!

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