Growing up, I don’t recall ever seeing my mother cry. I don’t recall ever seeing a day that my mom had a meltdown.
Sure, my mom would yell at us when we misbehaved or didn’t listen, but I never saw her cry.
I thought that surely she was the strongest person on the planet.
Then I realized when I grew up that no one ever knew if Mom had a meltdown or how often she would cry in silence. Perhaps she did cry behind closed doors. Who knows?
Times have changed and though many parenting beliefs remain the same, approaches vary. We all want to teach our children to be good people and to help them make good choices. We want them to be healthy and happy, and succeed in whatever they set out to do.
Back when we were little, my mother said that though she talked her her mom and her sisters about kids and parenting, many of the heavy subjects were dealt alone and behind closed doors. One didn’t really share certain problems. Some things just weren’t talked about.
Today, I find myself reaching out to close friends and commiserating whenever faced with an issue. It seems like parents in my generation for the most part, believe that “a problem shared is a problem halved”. We’re a generation of sharing and perhaps to some extent, over-sharing. Social media helps us instantly connect and get tips and answers from cohorts/peers.
Some people over-share the good things. Life’s sunny moments are plastered all over people’s Facebook walls, and the not so sunny moments are left out. We see a photo of the perfect family sitting on the beach with their dog, yet we don’t realize that two minutes prior to the photo, the mom was yelling at their kids to pose for the photo or that little Johnny was in tears because he dropped his ice cream cone and the dog ate it. I’m totally making this up, but I just wanted to illustrate how appearances can be deceiving.
My point is that every day, we see people’s most Pinterest-y lives. You know, the beautiful part of people’s lives. Some share only the happy times and leave out the sad, the dark, and the unspeakable parts. Those parts exist too.
You know those beautiful Instagram posts people have where everything is bright and cheery, and dinner tables are beautifully arranged with perfect dishes, soft lighting, and fresh flowers? Maybe some people actually live like that, but for the most part, those moments are staged. Some posts really do capture life’s most candid moments, but there are others that are staged.
Being active on social media because of work, I share quite a bit. There are certain things that are too personal for me to talk about. My private life is private and only my closest friends and family members are let into that world. Even still, with many people around, times can sometimes feel lonely.
Over the past few months, our life has changed dramatically. After Hubby’s accident and with his recovery not going as well as anticipated, it’s caused a lot of stress in the household. I’ve been feeling overwhelmed, emotional, exhausted, worried, upset, and frustrated.
In all fairness, Hubby is doing as much as he can. Prior to his accident, the two of us were burning the candle at both ends when it came to work and just life in general. With little to no family time, and being on the go all the time, life got a bit crazy.
Though Hubby is healing, the surgeon is not happy with the progress, as he is not healing properly. It seems like it’s been one step forward, two steps back. Hubby tries to do what he can, but that means each day he does accomplish some work, it results in a two day setback.
With so much going on since Hubby’s accident and lots of family issues to address, I’ve been reading up on ways to help manage my time and how to delegate. I’ve also been reading parenting articles by Alyson Schafer. My hope is that if I am able to delegate, communicate, and have our family work more as a team, then we can avoid the Mommy Meltdown.
With everything that’s been going on and with Hubby not healing as he should, I’ve been feeling like I’m drowning. I feel like I can’t breathe and it’s scary and overwhelming.
I’m embarrassed to admit that the other night, I just lost it. I had a mommy meltdown and it wasn’t pretty. I yelled at Hubby and Little One — totally exasperated because I felt that I am alone in everything. With Hubby not being very mobile due to his injury to Little One not helping pick up after herself as much as she should, I just blew up. I yelled and then I sobbed.
I’m talking full on crying until I felt like I couldn’t breathe. The living room was a mess and no one had budged. To me, if you see that you have left a mess somewhere, you pick it up and do not wait for someone to pick it up for you. A family is a team and not one single person should have to pick up after everyone. I lost control of my emotions and it was not pretty.
Little One and Hubby were silent. Little One left the room and when she came back she presented me with a note.
It read: “Dear Mommy, I <3 you. I am sorry for wht we have put you (through).” She didn’t know how to write the word through, so she drew a picture of a tunnel with an arrow going through it. She makes me laugh.
She then gave me the biggest hug and told me that she would be more helpful and that she knows I’m having a hard time with doing everything for everyone.
I sobbed. I seriously cried my face off.
Am I embarrassed about my Mommy Meltdown? Yes. Am I sorry I had it? Not really.
It’s important to share feelings and what you’re going through. It’s important to have a few people in your life (maybe a few close girl friends or family members) that you can talk to about anything and everything. In my case, I also feel that it’s important for Hubby and Little One to see the occasional meltdown in order for them to see that I’m only human and that I do have a breaking point. I cannot carry the load alone.
It’s funny, because on the exterior, friends always think I have everything together. In reality, sometimes I’m just one hot mess.
Moms, if you ever find yourself totally exasperated, I hope you feel that you don’t have to hide your feelings or deal with anything on your own. It’s okay to have a meltdown every now and then. You’re only human.
For those on the outside looking in, remember that one’s perspective may not be another person’s reality. We really don’t know what’s going on in someone else’s life. We only see snippets of what people let us see.