This Mother is Jealous of Your Noisy, Messy Days

Written by Melissa Kaye

There are a lot of moms and dads on Facebook, posting updates that chronicle their parental struggles — kids misbehaving, making too much noise or mess, fighting with siblings, refusing to get ready for school.

My house is relatively quiet. 

There are no noisy arguments or fighting between siblings. On school mornings, I don’t feel like I’m pulled in five directions. I don’t have to nag at everyone to get ready. And if I forgot to take the bento container out of A’s lunch box last night, no stress — I have an extra in the cabinet.

Our bedtime routine goes smoothly — no chasing kids in different directions or playing musical beds to settle kids down. My husband and I have plenty of time to watch a show or read a book before bed.

Right now, you might be jealous, or think I’m a braggy mom — but really I’m jealous.

I miss the sound of sibling arguments. I would give anything for a night of being driven crazy, returning my son to his bed every 10 minutes, not getting to watch that show my husband DVR’d to watch with me.

Struggling to get the kids ready, juggling schedules and different moods, three different meals for dinner, doctor appointments, dirty socks left strewn around the house, 10,000 questions and 20,000 strong opinions every single day.

I miss being nagged for screen time and begged to check out his Minecraft world. Reading “just one more chapter” before bed. 

And I hate that there is an extra of everything, because my son isn’t here to put those things to use.

 We lost our son Joshua this summer, weeks shy of his 9th birthday, after a 13-day battle with E. coli.

When your children are healthy, and you can assume they will be driving you crazy for the rest of your life, it is normal to be frustrated and irritated by the things that we, as parents, find challenging.

I urge you, though — take a step back every now and then and think about how much you will miss those moments when your child is grown, or what you might have had more patience for if you looked at your life from my perspective.

Enjoy the moments you are priviliged to have with your children. Try not to take things too seriously. Remember that things can change in an instant. Love really is what is important in life. 

Surround yourself and your family with love.

If you are touched by this story, the staff at Holy Hot Mess asks that this week, you share some kindness: a picture, a quote, or an act of altruism, and add #ThisIsForJosh. No parent should have to bury a child, and we will do our part to remember Josh on the anniversary of his passing.


 About the Author

Melissa Kaye is a Boston-based green living expert, blogger, radio personality, mom and wife. She is currently working her way through grief and learning how to live without her eight year old son, Joshua, who died July 7th of E. Coli. With her husband and two daughters, she has founded the Joshua Kaye Foundation. The foundation will honor what was important to Josh-arts, learning, community, fairness, and animal welfare.

About The Author


Mary Katherine is a southerner, born and raised. Growing up in Alabama, she developed an affinity for lightning bugs, sweet tea, playing guitar, and having strong opinions. She's happily married with a son (Nugget) and two fur babies. Fun facts: MK is a living kidney donor, speaks a little Thai, and has written two novels.


  1. I feel a similar kind of heartache knowing my daughter will grow up without me. When I am frustrated at her two year old antics I try to consider that I should relish these minutes and days rather than bury myself under the covers to finish surfing fb. She will have lunches I won’t be there to make & antics I won’t be able to referee soon enough. I’m so sorry about your family’s loss <3

  2. Even when I get frustrated, I remind myself how lucky I am to have my son. I hope all these warm thoughts will give you continued strength.

  3. Heartbreaking! I, too, am jealous of the noisy, messy days. I don’t have children of my own, but I do have 3 stepsons. They are with us every summer & I live for those days. I hate when they go home & our house is quiet again. I hate when I don’t get to set their places at dinner. Sure, they drive me nuts when they are fighting over who washes & who dries the dishes, but that’s OK. 🙂

  4. Thank you to all who read and commented. I appreciate your support and love. We lost Joshy just 27 days before his 9th birthday. Those were the some of the saddest days of the saddest year of our lives, but so much love was shown to us. Losing a child forces lessons on parents, siblings, and friends. We realize that life is short and tomorrow is not guaranteed. The little moments with our children matter more than anything. And telling someone you love them shouldn’t wait. As we mark our first whole year without him, we’d like these next few weeks to be filled with love. Today, July 7 through Josh’s birthday, August 3, we’d love it if you’d join us in spreading joy and love by sharing how you stay present in the moment, share your love, or spread kindness, using the hashtag #ThisIsForJosh on social media. ❤️

  5. Melissa…I feel your jealousy. We lost my stepson to epilepsy in 2006, just weeks shy of his 10th. I understand your jealousy, and walk through it with you. You are not alone! XO

  6. Hugs, Melissa, When I am at my wit’s end with my kids this summer, I”ll be sure to say an extra prayer for you.

  7. Thinking of you and your family today, Melissa. I will keep Josh in mind in these coming days and weeks and do my best to find joy in everyday life in his memory. #ThisIsForJosh

  8. Beautiful words of wisdom. I’m so sorry you lost dear Joshua and cannot even begin to imagine your pain. How lovely and what a loving post to share with others You must have a strong and resiiant heart – I know this because even through your own pain, you are offering wisdom to others.

    Peace to you and all your loved one’s.

  9. I am so sorry for your loss. This breaks my heart so much. Every story like this breaks my heart. I try so much to be grateful and thankful to God for every moment with my daughter, even the most aggravating. I said a prayer for you and your family. God bless you and comfort you on this beyond difficult anniversary.

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