In my book, The Mother of All Meltdowns, I, along with twenty-nine of my closest blogging pals, bare our souls, sharing stories of motherly woes and full-on adult tantrums.
Working on this book gave me a new perspective into some of the things we don’t share as moms.
Sure, we share stories about sex while touching up our lipstick in a bathroom. We have no problem talking about the challenges related to breastfeeding, potty training, homework, college planning, and the like over afternoon tea.
But when it comes to losing our cool and completely melting down in moment of absolute vulnerability, our traps are shut.
We don’t openly admit that we beat a broom to a pulp when our two-year-old threw soot from the fireplace all over the living room.
Or that we cursed worse than Lil’ Wayne in a traffic accident because our teen knows EVERYTHING and we are the equivalent of a nematode. Nope.
These moments are locked away in the most private places of our minds. We’re embarrassed and ashamed, sometimes guilt-ridden, that we allowed our emotions to get the best of us.
There are other things we keep quiet, too, such as the burden we often feel when caring for elderly parents; the anxiety and fear that overwhelms us when facing a financial crisis; the humiliation of having our beloved spouse betray us in the worst possible way. What we don’t share as moms … the list is surprisingly long.
Part of the cover-up is a defense mechanism, to talk about such things brings up terrible memories and resurfaces the guilt. The other part is to shield those we love from the burden of others passing judgment or having to deal with the emotional distress of meltdowns at all. Mothers are natural nurturers and protectors. It is in our molecular makeup to safeguard our families. Hell, we are walking ninja warriors ready for the field of battle.
I took a risk sharing my story, which made it sound as if I had unruly, uncontrollable kids. The truth is, for a while, I did. My oldest two were little terrors. They were the equivalent of the Tasmanian Devil meets Bart Simpson. I was afraid of judgment, and others questioning my motherly skills. So I only talked about my weeklong series of meltdowns—leading to the BIG one—with a handful of people.
Since opening up, I feel so much better. I feel less alone and know that there are others out there who can relate. Other moms; other women; even members of the opposite sex. It’s like a weight has been lifted.
If you’ve experienced a meltdown, or two or five hundred, don’t be afraid to share your story. You’d be amazed at how awesome it feels! Think eating a bowl of the finest chocolate while getting a massage from one of those dudes that grace the cover of a hot romance novel (like Totaled from Stacey Grice!) … yeah, that good!
Fess up! What is your worse meltdown moment? Did it involve kids?