Mamas Make the UnFun Decisions

I'm the Mama. It's Up to Me to Make the Un-Fun Decisions at

One recent Wednesday was a little/lot exhausting. It involved appointments in insanely-busy, far away hospitals and errand-running with my mother-in-law and such.

And then there was that moment when I had to drive an electric cart through the grocery store.

My mother-in-law had an electric scooter-cart-thingy, but it randomly and suddenly died as soon as we got to the meat section. In that store, the meat section is the farthest possible distance from the entrance where the other electric scooters are kept.

I walked back to the front of the store to get another scooter for her, but the girl who assisted me couldn’t leave her station. She called for help, but none was coming any time soon.

She said I needed to take the electric scooter back to my mother-in-law. This was fine, except I quickly learned you can’t walk those things anywhere. They don’t even work unless someone is sitting on the seat.

A nice safety mechanism, but kind of embarrassing for able-bodied me.

When I picked up the kids from school that afternoon, I told them the story and we all laughed about me scooting through the store. All my kids commented that they had always wanted to ride one of them.

I took the teachable moment to explain that we don’t ride them because that might mean someone who needed one (like their grandmother) wouldn’t even be able to shop that day because none were available.

I reminded my kids how, when they were little, I wouldn’t let them use the multi-kid shopping carts at Target if I only had one child with me. I KNEW how life/sanity-saving those special carts are, and I also knew how difficult almost-impossible it was to shop when there were none available and I had three small children with me.

I always explained to them that even though those carts were fun, we needed to save them for the families who needed them. Who couldn’t function without them.

And one of my boys, in a moment of mama-heart-swelling-sweetness, looked stricken. His face showed the guilt he felt over only considering his own happiness (back when he was four!) over someone else’s true need.

Cue another teachable moment: “You don’t need to feel guilty! Kids aren’t going to naturally think through things like that. That’s the parent’s job. Mamas are the ones who have to make the un-fun decisions.”

Teachable moment for me, I mean.

Running the dishwasher isn’t fun. Teaching my kids to clean isn’t fun. Scrubbing toilets is about as far as one can possibly get from fun.

But that’s my job. I’m the Mama, and I make the unFun decisions.



--Nony get-how-to-manage-your-home-without-losing-your-mind-wherever-books-are-sold


  1. 1

    I don’t understand why you were embarrassed at riding back to your mother in law. As a 50 year old with a chronic illness, I have to use a cane at all times. Last year, I went to an amusement park and had to use a scooter for the first time ever because I wouldn’t have been able to walk all day. Luckily, my friends made it a fun experience for me.

    Saying that you were embarrassed just continues to leave a stigma for those who have to use one. This may not be what you meant, but it’s how it came across. I don’t like being disabled at such an early age, but it is what it is and getting looks from people doesn’t help.

    • 2

      That’s definitely not how it’s intended! I think they’re wonderful for those who need them and I would never want to take one away from someone who needed it! Honestly, as this crazy blog grows, I imagine someone recognizing “Nony” and posting a picture of me using one when they know I don’t need it! (Not that that would happen, but I do have an over-active imagination!)

    • 4

      I didn’t think it came across that way at all! I fully understood what she meant. My husband is in a wheelchair and sometimes I pull into the handicapped parking stall alone (when I am going to pick him up from somewhere) and when I get out of the truck I am embarrassed to be seen as a fully able-bodied person taking up a handicapped spot. I want to yell “Picking up someone in a wheelchair! Really, I am NOT hogging up a handicapped space just to park in the front! HONEST!”

      I think when you are an honest, moral person you are afraid of someone even thinking you would do something vile like take advantage of something someone else truly needs.

  2. 5

    Love this!

  3. 6

    For me trying to explain to my kids they can’t swing in the handicap swings at the park. Especially when every one else is.

  4. 7
    Elizabeth says:

    I totally understand… as someone who has an ‘invisible’ disability (and who is 6’3″ and looks like I could take on a football team) it’s really hard sometimes to use the things that would make my world easier… well, that and vanity and pride… There is nothing wrong with using the carts… it’s just not wanting people to think I am joy riding in them…

  5. 8
    Christie says:

    I used to feel that way about the multi-child carts until my large preschool aged son got too big to comfortable ride in the regular ones (especially since his huge feet wouldn’t fit without taking off his shoes). Add to that the fact that he can climb into the big carts more easily and I can’t lift him anymore due to the impending arrival of his little brother, and my view has definitely changed. Now if only they made an electric cart with a sidecar for him for this last month of pregnancy!

  6. 10

    I’m the “FUN KILLER”. That’s what the kids & husband calls me when I make those un-fun decisions.

  7. 11

    I am also a person with an invisible disability like a person above commented. I am only 26 and I have my own electric scooter that I take with me when there would have been a lot of walking involved. Otherwise i use my cane and I also have a handicapped placard for my car. It makes me so mad how people look at me when I use any of those thinks. I can’t tell you how many times someone has asked me if my cane was “for vanity”, like I would WANT to walk around with that stupid thing. Anyway i just wanted to get that out lol. If anyone is curious how a 26 year old could be disabled, I have a rare condition called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and it causes my joints to dislocate up to 20 times a day. I honestly couldn’t get around with out my cane because me left knee comes out the most often but my cane helps take the pressure off my leg so it doesn’t happen as often. Anyway, I love your blog and I have been listening to your podcasts and they really help me to get things decluttered, especially the kids’ rooms! Thanks for your awesomeness!

    • 12

      Thank you so much for sharing, Cora! And thank you for your encouragement as well!

    • 13

      Cora, I just heard about Ehlers-Danlos last night on TV. One of American Ninja Warrior walkons in Denver started training because his wife has it, and he’s had to get in shape to take care of her.

  8. 14

    My kids love the multiple kid carts too. They are definitely a life saver when the kids are little. It is great that you can make simple every things into teachable moments.

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