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The One Where Mommy Has a Meltdown and Lives to Tell About it

12

April 30, 2008 by Marj Hatzell

Yeah, I have them, too.  Few and far between, but even this well-composed momma has her moments (Stop laughing. STOP IT!  I AM COMPOSED!).  I guess you could say that when things get all out of whack and build up and start to make me feel like drowning, I freak out. Just a little. Ok, fine, a lot.  Alright, it was a total freak-out of epic proportions. Screaming, crying, slamming, breaking things (to be fair, he broke the plate slamming it into the dishwasher). It was not pretty. But since we haven’t had an argument in, oh, a year?  Nine months? I mean, a real argument. Not just bickering. Bickering is for wimps. It’s been a while.

We both had very valid points. He’s working twelve hours or more a day. I’m getting no help at home.  Bugaboo has been stressing us out because he won’t go to sleep without one of us, which means we get no alone time (read: SNUGGLE time. Ahem. Wink, wink.) at all.  I contacted The Best Babysitter In the World, so hopefully she is available this weekend. I think things are just coming to a head.

Darling doesn’t think Bugaboo is making much progress. I was quick to point out every little thing he is doing.  I tend to look at the positives, Darling tends to try to solve and fix everything. The thing is, this is one HUGE thing that neither of us knows how to fix.  Not that he NEEDS fixing, really. It just sure would be nice to hear that child speak.  Something besides, “Uh oh!” thirty times in a row.  Something besides him signing “more” repeatedly when he isn’t getting his way and he is super-frustrated. Although sometimes I wonder if we’re asking for it because we could get another Rainman Bug Boy.  Incessant chatter, endless streams of one-sided conversation and non-stop comments on the world around him. Plus, I’m fairly certain that since his mother is a potty-mouth, that Bugaboo’s first word may be f*cker or sh*t.  Although, it would be nice to hear that, too. I could put him on M.t.v or Yootoob and make lots of money.

I keep thinking I can handle this. It’s old hat!  It’s normal for us!  It’s just the way things are!  I’m not in control, G-d is!  I’m just doing my job!  I do believe all of those things. It’s just that sometimes, well, sometimes I just get weary. I just don’t want to do this anymore. I just want to stay in bed with the covers up over my head and forget about the world for a week.  Or a day. I’ll take anything. Thing is, our anniversary is still six months off, so no weekend without the Baby Bugs until then.  Then there is the whole matter of over-extending myself. I tend to volunteer for everything because I am a card-carrying member of the Too-Stupid-To-Say-No-Club.  Wanna know why I do that? DO ya?  It’s because I get to SOCIALIZE.  I GET TO MAKE FRIENDS.  That’s right, I volunteer my time for a social outlet, because I HAVE NO LIFE.  And neither does my husband. But he’d on volunteer to cut people’s grass or fix their plumbing because it’s all he wants to do. And since my sister just bought her very own house? He may get that chance.  PROJECTS FOR THE HUSBAND!  w00t!

I could not fall asleep last night and spend a few hours staring at the shadows on the wall and taking stock of everything that is going on in my life. What I realized is this:  I do not take care of myself.  The first thing to go when life gets hectic and our schedules go out of control is ME. My sleep. My exercise. My eating habits. It all goes out the window. If I am not exercising regularly it ain’t pretty because exercise is my stress-reliever. Just like the kids climb the walls on a day with indoor recess (INDOOR RECESS, I ABHOR THEE!) I climb the walls when I can’t sweat out my problems.  When I don’t exercise, I crave crappy food. And when I eat crappy food, I am sleepy and sluggish and feel bad about myself. Which makes me wanna stay in bed. Which means i don’t get exercise and so I begin to crave crappy food…

See where this is going? It’s very simple, really.  I mean, it doesn’t take a genius to figure this out.  IF MOMMA AIN’T HAPPY, AIN’T NOBODY HAPPY.  I know this.  I believe this. It’s my job to hold us together.  And the past two weeks?  The glue is undone, folks. The kids are cranky, we are cranky, we’re all not getting along.  So, after the date this weekend? We’re doing something family-oriented.  Something we can all do together.  Like go to IKEA.

You think I’m kidding? We seriously go to IKEA for fun. FUN!  We walk around and comment on stuff and the kids try out the furniture and we eat swedish meatballs and life is all hunky-dorry again.  Really!  Bugaboo even cries when we leave IKEA, just as Darling cries when we arrive. After spending a lifetime on their white-foil-finish trundle bed, he just cannot bring himself to put together another BAKLA or SERNA with one of those little octagonal wrenches. So I do it.

First thing I did this morning after the kids were on the bus was to don a sports bra (yes, Even my teeny girls need the support) and take the Shad Roe for a jog. It was heavenly. Just the doggie and me, jogging slowly around the neighborhood, breathing in spring, soaking in the blue sky and purty flowers. And then the borough fire alarm went off. Then the next borough’s fire alarm went off. And then Shad Roe stood on her hind legs and howled for five freaking minutes and nothing I was gonna do was gonna stop her.  Sheesh.   Now I’m home, feeling refreshed and ready to conquer the world again.

It’s amazing that sometimes you just need to crash a little in order to get back on the horse and ride tall again, eh?

12 thoughts on “The One Where Mommy Has a Meltdown and Lives to Tell About it

  1. farmwifetwo says:

    If you need a reminder there’s a good book called “More than a Mom”… if for no other reason than to leave it on the coffee table for the rest of the family to be reminded that SuperMom only exists on TV.

  2. Jacki says:

    I know exactly what you mean. I usually keep in my frustrations, but once they hit a certain point, it all comes out. And it isn’t pretty…but I feel so much better afterwards. 🙂

  3. It’s true that SuperMom is a myth.

    And I go to Ikea for fun and:

    a. I have no children
    b. I don’t get the meatballs
    c. I often do it alone

    So, go. Enjoy. Make a day of it. The kids will enjoy it!

  4. HG says:

    Oh I’ve been there. Glad today is looking better.

  5. RuthWells says:

    Yes, well. My first question is, why is there a law in your family that says that you can only have a weekend without kids on your anniversary?! Can we delve into this a bit more? You are spot-on that if you don’t take better care of yourself, it’s going to get worse, not better. How can we interenets help?

    As a former member of the “can’t-say-no” club, my mantra for the last several years has been: “If it’s not a RESOUNDING yes, it’s a NO.” It takes practice, but it works. Eventually. Embrace the power of NO!

    Finally, sorry for the fire alarms. A transformer blew a few blocks from my house. Confused the school buses to no end.

  6. Kari says:

    I also have a husband that works 12-hour days, 6 days a week. Which leaves a certain someone to do all the childcare (no school yet), housework, bills, shopping, phone calls to early int, wrap, doctor, etc. Oh yea, and work 3rd shift. Yesterday I got a whopping 2 1/2 hours of sleep before I had to go back to work. And during an anxiety attack much like the one it sounds like you had where I was venting to my husband, he begins to pick his teeth and say “if your job is causing you this much stress, find a new one.” (note: I’d said not ONE word about my out-of-the-house job) And I replied “I’d like to find a new life.” Which caused the tears to stream even more, cause that’s not what I want. I want a little support.

    So, you’re not alone. And it doesn’t make you a bad mom, just a human mom. Really. Which doesn’t help one tiny bit when you’re crashing, but it helps on the way back up.

  7. nutmeg says:

    I do not take care of myself. The first thing to go when life gets hectic and our schedules go out of control is ME. My sleep. My exercise. My eating habits. It all goes out the window. If I am not exercising regularly it ain’t pretty because exercise is my stress-reliever. Just like the kids climb the walls on a day with indoor recess (INDOOR RECESS, I ABHOR THEE!) I climb the walls when I can’t sweat out my problems. When I don’t exercise, I crave crappy food. And when I eat crappy food, I am sleepy and sluggish and feel bad about myself. Which makes me wanna stay in bed. Which means i don’t get exercise and so I begin to crave crappy food…

    I could have and should have written that. How many of us, really should have?

    Thanks for the reminder… Time for a little me.

  8. mommypie says:

    As a solo mom, I’m TOTALLY with you. Sometimes it’s completely overwhelming. And if I’m honest, sometimes, I DO just crawl in bed and pull the covers over my head, and allow evil cartoon characters to be my daughter’s babysitter for a few hours.

    I have to say though, I agree with RuthWells — why in God’s name do you only get to have a weekend getaway together once a year??!? How about just an overnighter somewhere?

    Hang in there. This too, shall pass.

    Gah.

  9. Beth says:

    Yeah, funny how that happens. And hey, what is a marriage without a few broken household items. Just ask me about the oddly patched hole in the wall. It’s healthy to scream it out and then say “no”. Really, it can be your friend. No I cannot volunteer. No I will not do the laundry today. No I am not making you waffles this morning. No. No I won’t pay bills, No I won’t pay taxes – oops, I got a bit carried away.

  10. The truly amazing thing is that you don’t crash more often with all of the stresses of your every day life. Thanks for sharing.

    I don’t have any great advice because while the solutions may seem simple….I’m sure reality often gets in the way of the best plans and only those in similar situations can truly know what you are experiencing.

  11. Anjali says:

    Don’t just say “no.”

    Say, “HELL no.”

  12. I so hear ya on this one. As a single mom, I’m literally with my kids around the clock. Every two or three weeks I get out for a few hours–they fly by. Otherwise, here we all are, in the same room. It’s maddening sometimes, and I so feel the stress of not exercising and eating poorly.

    I love that you go to Ikea. When my three brothers and I were little, we went to a mall. We got a cookie. And we just ran around the place.

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