9 Times I "Can't Even" As a Mom

by Erin Blacklock
Originally Published: 
Image via Shutterstock

According to the trusted Urban Dictionary (my go-to resource for swiftly bringing me up to speed when I’m teetering on the edge of uncool language territory), the phrase “I can’t even” is socially accepted as a stand alone sentence.

If looking to add a bit of drama to that sentence, one might say she literally can’t even.

I think if we were to do some sort of analysis to figure out what causes this mysterious inability to “even,” we would quickly discover that it is best described as the sort of chemical reaction that occurs in the brain when experiencing an epic emotion. So epic it leaves you stupid. So stupid you literally can’t even finish your sentence.

This sounds very similar to what happens to your brain when you’ve become a mom. Your verbal skills are most certainly the first to go, and sentences won’t be the only thing you can’t even finish. Horrible grammar aside, you know you’ve been elevated to mom status when you need to consult Urban Dictionary to understand a conversation with anyone under the age of 20.

In real life there are real things that you really just can’t even, no matter how you dice it.

Let me break it down for you quite simply in a completely disorganized list of real-life restrictions brought on by parenthood. You know, things that I literally just can’t even…

1. I can’t even shout profanities and am forced to internalize road rage. Nothing feels good about calling an asshole a doo-doo head. It’s apples and oranges, and it doesn’t get the point across quite as effectively as shouting at the deserving dipshit. I wasn’t raised in a barn, but I do enjoy some four letter word therapy every now and again. Little ears keep my vocabulary in check.

2. I can’t even listen to some of my favorite music stations in my own car. No, Mr. Zach de la Rocha, my daughter can’t understand how you could just kill a man. She’s not ready for my back-in-the-day buffet, and I’m not ready to explain what all my favorite acronyms stand for. Lyrics of some of your favorite songs suddenly horrify you and you have a new understanding of why your own parents listened to stations like the Blend (aka: Boring Lyrics Everyone, No Dancing). Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a broad spectrum of music. Although some of it includes calm and comforting tunes, sometimes you’re in the mood to crank up Pitbull’s latest anthem and you just…can’t…even.

3. I can’t even chew my food or sit down to eat a meal for longer than 3-minute intervals. I’m certain that when I die it will be from choking on the un-chewed food I inhaled and we will all have a laugh at the fact that my obituary says, “she couldn’t swallow.”

4. I can’t even leave the house on time… ever. It’s Murphy’s law at its finest. If something can go wrong, it will, and it usually involves a diaper change just after I’ve walked out the door.

5. I can’t even remember the last time I watched an adult television series start to finish. This is a luxury of the past. A glorious past loaded with free time that could be wasted in front of a television set, guilt free.

6. I can’t even read the news without having a full-blown anxiety attack about all the horrible things that have a fraction of a percent chance of ever really happening. Did I mention how motherhood automatically opens the floodgates to all sorts of anxiety disorders, including hypochondria, excessive worry, insomnia and paranoia? (to name a few).

7. I can’t even remember how bad labor was. This puts me at risk of doing it again. I think I’m suffering from yet another type of disorder called dementia…send help.

8. I can’t even stay up past 9 p.m. Seriously, writing this tonight is borderline torture. My attention span is dwindling, which means yours must be too. The days of leaving the house at 9 p.m. have quickly been replaced with a 9 p.m. bedtime. Remember when I said I was teetering on the edge of uncool territory?

9. I can’t even use the bathroom in peace. Somewhere along the line, “taking a whiz” (as Urban Dictionary might say) became a chinese fire drill to see just how quickly you can go and get your pants back up before the door swings open with your uninvited party guest. I haven’t felt that kind of panic since the days of my teenage make out sessions.

Come to think of it, I can’t even do anything in peace, really. Those quiet days before all the chaos are long gone. But it’s OK, really, because I can’t even stand how cute that little girl is and she makes every day one to cherish. Besides, who doesn’t love a good potty party?

This article was originally published on