There is a place in MomLand called “Done” where no mom wants to go. She tries and tries to avoid going to Done as much as she avoids the gym. Done is not fun. Done is exhausting and miserable. Done is as unpleasant for her as it is for her children. Done should be avoided at all costs.

There are many exits on the road to Done that serve as warnings to whomever happens to be driving Mom there.

“Done is coming, maybe you should get off the road.”

“Take another route, chap, you’re not going to like what’s ahead.”

“You’re almost there. You really should detour now.”

The first stop on the way to Done is Be Nice To Your Sister. It’s a small place, you probably don’t think much of it. In fact, you probably don’t even notice it as you’re driving by. It comes and it goes while you ignore its existence and continue your behavior. Occasionally, Mom will double back there if she’s feeling particularly patient.

Then comes, That’s Enough. In the same way Pittsburgh is often called ‘the Burgh’ or Los Angeles, ‘L.A.,’ That’s Enough is sometimes shortened to ‘Enough’ when blurted out by Mom in frustration. Mom is usually busy trying to get something accomplished when you’re approaching That’s Enough. It’s a nuisance of a place, really, interrupting Mom’s work flow, grabbing your attention for a quick second, but just as quickly forgotten.

After some duration of time, you’ll reach a place with an overwhelmingly wordy name. Whoever named it clearly never attempted to exasperatedly get it out in one breath. It’s called If You Don’t Share, I’m Throwing Every Single One Of Your Toys In the Garbage. For the sake of ease, we’ll call it IYDSITESOOYTITG. Imagine being a cheerleader at that high school. 

At this point in the trip, someone is usually in tears. Yet despite the tears, it’s a city nobody takes seriously. It’s quite empty honestly. It sounds impressive and scary even, but nothing ever happens there. Just another stop on the road to Done.

Now you’re getting close. Only a few more exits, the next of which is 1,2,3. When you’ve reached 1,2,3, everyone is tired and hungry. No common ground can be reached in 1,2,3. Expect nothing from a stop in 1,2,3. It’s really more of a courtesy. It’s like the tourist information center on a highway. The only thing you’ll find there is a few pamphlets, urging you to visit Be Nice To Your Sister and IYDSITESOOYTITG. But you’re too far down the road to revisit those places, so you ignore them.

Bad decision…because now you’ve reached Timeout. Timeout, the rest stop on the way to Done, is a haven for Mom. The car comes to a stop, she breathes for a minute, and you breathe for a minute. Everybody breathes, dammit. Mom likes how quiet it is in Timeout. She even starts to think to herself that she can get her little heathens under control. She’s refreshed. She’s ready.

Back in the car you go, and things take a turn for the worse. The crankiness spreads and spreads until I’m At The End Of My Rope. Some think I’m At The End Of My Rope and Done are the same place, but they are mistaken. The two are very close in proximity to each other though. I’m At The End Of My Rope is almost a suburb of Done. It shares common phrases and restaurant chains, but it’s where you’d rather live if you had to choose one.

Done is the downtown, sketchy area, where you don’t want to be at night. Due to how close the two are, Done is approaching rapidly by now. So rapidly, in fact, you and your siblings don’t see it coming. You start to scramble, you plead, you cry. “I don’t want to go, I’ll be good, I’ll share. I have to go potty. Please.” It’s too late.

Done. One word, short and sweet. You hate it. Mom hates it. She tried to keep you from going there, but you just kept on driving. It’s an ugly place where tempers fly, especially Mom’s. She takes your toys and your iPad, turns off the TV, puts you in your room.

Every time you go to Done, it’s the same as before – the same signs, the same stops. But you never learn. You end up there because you refused to nap and, in your far-past-sleepy rage, couldn’t listen to what Mom was trying to tell you. Sometimes you get there because you threw your lunch on the floor instead of eating it, which made you a hungry, angry monster. And monsters don’t heed advice from moms.

No matter how you got there, you don’t want to be in Done, because you’re sad and without your prized possessions. Mom feels awful, too. She thinks she should have been more patient during the drive, that she should’ve spent more time in Timeout, maybe been more effective in That’s Enough.

Like the DMV, nobody enjoys Done, but inevitably everybody ends up there once in a while. You know that you’ll probably have to pay while you’re there. But, as long as your infractions weren’t too bad, you shouldn’t end up with a suspended license.