I had a topic request and it was one close to my heart. So here is goes…
The mommy (parent) mental break down.
My friends and I call ourselves many different names during this time: the beast, mother gothel, freak mode. They all mean the same thing: you lose your sh*t.
A friend informed me that she locked herself in the bathroom to cry while her son pushed every one of her buttons. Another told me that she burnt dinner while trying to convince her daughter to get down from standing on the kitchen table. A family member told me today that she excused herself to go to the bathroom to collect herself during bedtime so she wouldn’t lose her mind while her kids derailed every part of the bedtime routine.
This all occurred in the same week that I yelled so loud at S that she stood in her doorway absolutely stunned. She didn’t know whether to cry, laugh, or go to bed…she was just shocked.
So friends, I’m here to tell you, everyone has been there. No matter how perfect your mom-friend’s facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat photos look and how gleeful each of their posts are- they all have a bit of mother gothel in them.
I’ll even present the idea that the more perfect they appear, the more hell they are going through. We all compensate, and after some of my worst days I look to happy photos to keep me sane. I’ll post a goofy, happy photo after a crappy day just to prove to MYSELF that it is all worth it.
And let me also tell you this, every kid in the history of time has been yelled at at some point. I find it amazing that you guys find the strength to leave the situation, because I struggle with that. I seriously feel like the beast…
“Will you come have dinner with me?”
“You WILL have dinner with me!”
“Fine, GO AHEAD AND STARVE!!!!”
I can’t do it. I try to walk away. I try my hardest. But S knows all of the right things to do and say to make me go “beast.”
She can sense when I’m stressed, or when dinner is burning or when I’m so tired. She waits for those moments and then she attacks. She will inform me that “this is her hair” or “don’t touch me” or “get off me”…and I lose it. I barely get an opportunity to ask her to use her “nice words” as she pushes me so far when I’m already at the end of my rope…and I shut down. My sanity leaves me.
Now, if my husband or the sitter is present, I walk away. I do. I am good at that if I’m not alone. I feel like I am out-adulting them and that I have support in my corner. But if I’m alone, I am out numbered and exposed and insecure. Sometimes I feel like they are testing me…if I don’t put them in their place when I’m alone, they will never take me seriously. That particular moment feels like the beginning of the end.
As I sit here calmly, after a good day, and write those words, I realize how rediculous that sounds. It’s actually completely counter intuitive. I realize that yelling and getting frustrated creates an environment that is negative, it escalates the situation and gives them exactly what they want, a reaction. All attention is good attention to a toddler. I really need to work on staying calm, even in the worst times.
When S or A won’t go to bed, I just need to leave them alone. I need to sit calmly and let them know they have a right to be frustrated. And if they don’t calm down, I need to walk away.
Sometimes the best thing we can do is make sure the kids are safe and walk away. Cry in the bathroom. Sit in another room to calm down. Let them watch TV until the situation becomes bearable and productive.
So listen up guys, you aren’t alone. I don’t care how much help people have, how many kids, how perfect their social media appears, we are all the same. Kids push us. It’s their job. So, keep up the good work guys. Keep setting limits for your kids, and letting them push them, then regroup and start again. This will teach the kids how to be rule followers. How to be good listeners. How to be the kind of people we will be proud of as the years pass.
Don’t hide your breakdown. Tell your non-judgy friends. We all go through it and by sharing your experience we can find solace in one another. And, quite frankly, misery loves company.
It sucks to lose you sh*t but sometimes it brings break-throughs in your kids behavior and your parenting.
I’m proud of those of you who walk away. You inspire me. I’m going to work harder to be less “screaming-crazy-mom” and more like all of you. ❤