When Mommy Has a Meltdown

When Mommy Has a Meltdowna poem for my kids

When Mommy has a meltdown

There may be a thousand reasons why

But one of those isn’t you sweet girl

How could you make mom cry?

 

Couldn’t be your hits and bites

Or your ever-shorter fuse.

Not even your “Don’t look at me”

Could cause this mom to lose

 

All sense of peace and self-control

All strength to stop the flow

Of tears and sobs and weeps and cries

That bring a whole new low.

 

When Mommy has a meltdown

It’s just best to let her be.

Let her cry into her hands

And wipe mascara from her cheeks.

 

Oh my sweet girl the truth might be

That Mommy’s just too tired

To keep her tear ducts locked up tight

She didn’t get the sleep required

 

To be the mom you need today

The puppeteer, Mr. Bear, the chauffeur.

To cart you to your many things

Might be too much for her.

 

When Mommy has a meltdown

She’s not at her best.

Just ask to turn on Daniel Tiger

So she can take a rest.

 

Melting down can be the result

Of playing the comparison game

To other moms she doesn’t know

Who seem not to struggle the same.

 

Other moms who put makeup on

And have their hair curled and styled

Who keep themselves put together

And of course have control of their child.

 

When Mommy has a meltdown

She just might need a break

A chance to rediscover

The difference she could make.

 

The very thing that she was meant

To be, to do, to see.

Finding this, she’ll come alive

Inside and outside her family.

 

So tell your Daddy or a friend

To give your mom some space.

A quiet time, a girls’ night out,

To find her happy place.

 

When Mommy has a meltdown

Wrap your arms around her tight.

Tell her she is doing great.

That she is doing lots of right.

 

That she’s the best mom on the planet.

You couldn’t ask for more.

She’s teaching you all sorts of things

About the world outside your door.

 

She’s teaching you to love

To be patient and be kind.

She’s the one you look up to

Who you want to be just like.

 

This, here, is a Run Out the Clock Situation

It’s funny when Stanley says this on The Office, but not in real life people!

run out the clock

The scene: Picking up Josie and Cal from daycare.  2 hours and 23 minutes until bedtime.

Josie: I had a nice day!  I was the smiley face leader!  I shared with my friends! 

Then, she refuses to get in the car.  When I get a little stern, she screams.

Josie: Don’t look at me!  Don’t talk to me!

Like a champ, (ahem, Mother of the Year), I trick her into getting in the carseat and teach her why she has to be buckled up.  She belly laughs because she enjoys my story.  I’m hilarious, obviously.  I (naively) think that we’ve turned a corner that will give us anywhere from tolerable to amazing, heart-exploding moments the rest of the evening.

False.

The scene: The bathroom.  Josie is taking a bath.  1 hour and 37 minutes until bedtime.

Me: Josie, if you drink the water one more time, you’re getting out.

Josie drinks water while staring past my eyes into my soul with a smug arrogance only a threenager could pull off.  I pull the plug on the drain and try to keep my blood pressure down.

Me: Josie, get out of the tub or I will get you out of the tub and you will not like it.

(Nothing)

I wrap her in a towel and carry her, kicking and screaming, to her room. 

Me: You can come out when you’ve calmed down, dried yourself off, and put your pajamas on.

Josie screams, but after 15 minutes, is down at the dinner table in mismatched jammies.

And the night continued like this – Dinner (1 hour and 3 minutes until bedtime).  Teeth brushing.  (41 minutes until bedtime).  Toilet using (29 minutes until bedtime).  Everything you could possibly think of was a battle that I didn’t even want to be fighting.  (Is it bedtime yet?!?!)

Why does it seem like the world is absolutely ending when I try to wipe the mustard off of your face?  Unless you had serious plans to consume the leftover mustard in the overnight hours…

Why can’t you just go pee without first throwing yourself on the bathroom floor for 5 minutes?  I never have that trouble…

Why can’t you breeze through your bedtime routine so we can read books and snuggle and tell silly stories about school busses and spiders?  That would’ve been a much nicer end to our day together…

Even when I plopped her into bed, she refused a hug or a kiss.  Unlike her usual, “Check me LOTS!” she said nothing and rolled over.  I said goodnight and closed the door.

When I peeked in to check, she was already asleep.  Poor girl must’ve been super tired if she passed out a half hour early.  Probably better anyhow.

I wanted to tell her that it was all ok.  That tomorrow would be another chance to have a great day.  To be a good listener.  To be gentle and patient.  To be loving and kind.  I didn’t get to tell her that, but she wasn’t the one that needed to hear it.  It was me.  So I’m telling myself and I’m telling you that no matter your day, tomorrow is another chance.  To be the best version of yourself.

Even if tonight was a run out the clock situation at your house, tomorrow doesn’t have to be that way.  And even if it is, that’s ok.  You might not have control of it, and you know I don’t because I take up residence with a husband, a 3-year-old, a baby, and a tiny dog with a pinched nerve.  (What could go wrong?!)

But hope is for all of us.  Take hold, and take heart!  Tomorrow is a new day.

P.S. If you’re a regular reader and are now wondering what I could possibly give myself the Mother of the Year Award for tonight, it’s this: I “tricked” a wildly out of control Josie, who doesn’t like leftovers, into eating leftovers, by mixing BBQ sauce and mustard together for her to dip the very same meal she had last night in.  No cooking for this mama tonight.  Boom.  Mother of the Year.

Meet the Mominator

Mom·in·a·tor-

The Scene:  It’s 3 a.m.  Your tiny chunky 3-month-old baby is breathing rapidly, struggling for air.  You rush in to assess the situation.  He calms in your arms, but not enough to calm you.  This cycle repeats a few more times.  You, now sleep-deprived and swimming in a sea of fear and emotional instability, have a choice to make.

The Scene:  You are walking into a baseball game and your princess-dress-wearing 3-year-old falls and cracks her teeth on the sidewalk.  You, already under scrutiny for having the audacity to bring a screaming child out in public, have a choice to make.

The Scene:  You have been dealing with a painful tear in your shoulder for over a year.  Delayed by misdiagnosis and pregnancy, the time has finally come for some answers and some relief.  Already waffling back and forth between whether you want the results of your MRI to show a problem or not show a problem (thus proving you crazy), you hold your breath as the doctor shares that if these cortisone shots don’t work, surgery is the option and you won’t be able to lift your obese infant and spirited daughter for a month.  You have a choice to make.

The choice to make?  Meet the Mominator in you.  In 3 easy steps.

Step 1: Get yourself to a safe and private location.  Usually, the bathroom works for me.  (Pro Tip: Make sure your children are safe, secure, and unable to witness what comes next.)

Step 2: Let it come.  The tears.  The shortness of breath.  The rational fears and the irrational ones.   Let yourself dissolve into a puddle of ridiculousness as you chase every thought down to the worst possible scenario. (Pro Tip: It only takes 60 seconds for an emotion to take you over and let you go again.  It’s science.)

Step 3: Lock it up.  As quickly as you let the emotions come, let ‘em go. Your time for tears, panic, and uncertainty is over.  You are now the Mominator and you will confidently emerge from your hiding place ready to handle. that. business.  (Pro Tip: Removing any mascara/tear stains from your cheeks makes you more believable.)

Sling on the left arm for a month?  No problem, your right side will get super toned.

No two-front teeth for your 3-year-old?  Cool. Now she’s got a Christmas theme song for the next 2-6 years.

Kid can’t breathe? I’m on it.  Call in reinforcements including but not limited to your family, your hubs, and a team of medical professionals who tell you they can’t find anything wrong with him but if it happens again to bring him back to the ER (where they will probably find nothing wrong with him again).

I saw a quote the other day on Instagram, and it was this: God gave those little children to you, Mama – YOU.  No one else can mother them like you can.  You may have your work cut out for you, but you’re the one cut out to accomplish it.  You and your alter ego, the Mominator.  Go get ’em!

god gave those children to you

8 Things I’ve “Counted” Towards Earning the Mother of the Year Award

Count everything!

I recently shared how I became Mother of the Year, which basically consisted of me giving myself the award every day for any reason possible.  And it got such great response, I thought I’d expand on my first idea of how to get started – which is, COUNT EVERYTHING!

It all began one day when Josie ate more ketchup in one sitting than I thought humanly possible.  At first I thought, “I am the worst.”  Then, in my desperate brain, I made the connection that ketchup is made from tomatoes, tomatoes are technically a fruit, so Josie just ate lots and lots (and lots) of fruit.  And then I sarcastically called myself Mother of the Year!

But something happened in that moment where I decided that I needed to call myself that every day so I don’t get bogged down with the meltdowns and the poopy diapers and the sleepless nights.  So I started counting everything.  This is good practice, so take note.

What Counts on the Road to Winning Mother of the Year? 

Everything.  Like these 8 things.

  1. The Generous Food Pyramid: Anything that is derived from fruits or vegetables counts in this category. Pickles are cucumbers.  Ketchup is tomatoes.  French fries are potatoes.  Peanut butter and jelly is the perfect combination of whole grain, protein, and fruit.
  2. Peanut Butter and Jelly: Here’s where it gets fun. Anytime I give Josie a PBJ I give myself Mother of the Year because of what I mentioned above.  Anytime she gets something other than PBJ for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, I also award myself the honor.  Seriously, guys, are you getting this?  Being extremely, overly generous to yourself is what it is all about.
  3. The Donut Ninja: One time I promised Josie a donut on the road to see Grandpa and Grandma. The gas station we stopped at only had Donettes, so I bought the big bag (obviously), and passed her a couple.  Then, because I’m human and was pregnant at the time, I couldn’t stop at just 2, so I secretly reopened the bag without raising suspicion, and shoveled in one tiny piece of heaven at a time until my pregnant self was full of sugar and regret.  It was amazing.  I held conversation with her, and even reclosed the bag.  If you’ve ever tried to sneak ANYTHING (but usually food) past your toddler, you know what a victory this was for me.  It felt good.
  4. Reverse Psychology: Enough said, probably. But here’s what’s working for me now.  Josie’s potty-trained and very adamant that she is only going to use the bathroom when she absolutely has to.  But before bed, I really need her to go to avoid any nighttime wakings or catastrophes.  So most nights my line is, “You know what, Josie?  I bet if you sat on that toilet nothing would even come out.”  And like magic, she’s up there tinkling.  I act all surprised and impressed and she loves it.  The downside is, she will no longer just go to the bathroom without me making this big fuss.  But mission accomplished either way.
  5. Formula Win: Cal is on formula, which is another story for another time. But dang, that stuff is expensive.  And he has expensive taste which is even more expensive.  And as we were figuring out which formula to give him, lots of moms suggested this super ridiculously expensive can of formula that was $40.  $40!!!!  For less than a week’s supply.  And he hated it.  So I called the company and asked for a refund.  Turns out they can’t give me my money but they can send me 2 cans of what he uses now.    And just for fun I called the store to see if I could get a refund on opened formula.  Yes I can.  Boom.  Got $40 back in my pocket and 2 full cans of the good stuff for my little man.  Life lesson: It doesn’t hurt to ask.
  6. The Belle Dress: This one is actually legit.  Josie was going to her first theatre experience to see the musical Beauty and the Beast.  And I really wanted to get her a Belle dress.  $22 at Target, ugh!   I hardly spend that much money on any clothing items for myself.  But I just couldn’t pass it up.  I was like a kid on Christmas Morning, bursting with anticipation and excitement at the thought of giving this gift to her and then watching her wear it to the show.  (Spiritual side note: this must be a glimpse into how excited and delighted God gets when He gives us all the great gifts in our lives!) It was worth every stinking penny.
  7. Laughter is the Best Medicine: Punishing your kid is hard sometimes. But when I put soap in Josie’s mouth for talking back, I just can’t help it.  I grab the first towel/burp cloth/sweater I see, bury my face, and giggle.  And she doesn’t see me do this, so that’s why I earn the award.
  8. Leaving Cal with a Stranger: Josie really really wanted to ride the escalator at the mall. You can’t bring strollers on those things, so I had a dilemma and it must’ve shown on my face, because the Guest Relations lady left her nearby kiosk and offered to keep Cal company while I took Josie for a ride.  And I said SURE!  I left my child with a stranger to watch my other child hop on the escalator like Buddy the Elf.  It was awesome.

So there ya have it.  Mother of the Year.  You guys, we’re doing it.  We’re awesome.  And I’m pretty sure this list proves that.  What crazy ways are you earning Mother of the Year status?