Are you about to lose your mind?
**I wrote this post over a year ago, but I still read it once and a while to remind myself of the message.
Before a vacation with my hubby sans-children that I so badly needed, I was coming to the end of my rope sanity-wise. Between birthing my second babes in January (then promptly going back to work about one minute later), dealing with some very crazy post-birth health issues, having some more health issues in the fall, losing one of the most important women in my life, moving, and working the craziest year ever, I was a bit, let’s say, burnt out.
I look back at pictures of myself around that time, and most of the time, my sunglasses are on **it wasn't sunny all the time**.
Then I had a wake-up call, a real wake-up call, one day when I was home alone with my two boys. When I’m already tired and stressed outside of my parenting role, I try to verbally remind myself of that so that I don’t let the stress pour into every minute I’m with my precious little people.
But this one particular day, I must have been having one of my bad mental and physical health days, and my little guy’s mischievous acts were wearing on me. No sorry, it must have been his defiance. Oh wait – no maybe it was him saying “I hate you mommy.” Whatever it was, I can tell you that I was operating somewhere between absolute despair and exhaustion and utter panic mode. I was so tired that my eyes were going to blast out of my head and all I could think about was how much work I had to do AFTER THE KIDS WENT TO BED. Yes, this is normal for me.
Anyway, I digress. He must have pushed my last button and I found myself shaking I was so frustrated and angry. Shaking – I couldn’t believe that I was that stressed out. I lifted little man up, planted him firmly on the couch and said out loud to myself, “take a minute, ok?” and went into daddy’s office. I thought about how it was only a little while until bed time and decided that in four hours (at said bedtime) I would put my PJs on and just sit on the couch and watch mindless TV. In the 10 seconds it took me to make that plan, I had a chance to calm down and regroup, and got back into the “ring.” I hadn't done anything but a little bit of out-loud self-talk, and in that time had changed the course of the evening.
I don’t know why I feel like this story is important. Maybe it’s because I really felt like I was going to explode and at that moment, may have jumped into the car and drove away. I was so tired and sick and angry at being tired and sick and frustrated at the world and really, just at the end of my sanity. I’m sure there were a million factors that contributed to my feeling of “doneness.” But I remember how important it was to just take a step back, and remind myself to “take a minute.” Kids are smart. They know when you’ve had enough. But you are the adult and as a mom, I have to make sure my son knows temper tantrums aren’t cool. Moms, you also need to give yourself a break for the sake of giving yourself a break.
So take a minute. Even if that’s all you have. Talk to yourself. Talk out loud. I know we all feel like we’re going to lose it sometimes, but that one minute can save the rest of the day.