What IS the most taboo topic among moms; working moms specifically?
These are pretty regular topics in the working mom world, so, I bet you’re asking what I could possibly be referring to, right?
Losing your shit.
There, I said it and got it out of the way. But let me explain...
If you’re new here, before we get any further, I wanted to link another blog post that may interest you.
You rush out of work to meet your husband and kids at home. You ALL have to be somewhere; a sport, scouts, doctor appointment, dinner with other people...wherever.
You all get home and rush in the door about the same time; the kids are fighting over who is using which bathroom, someone takes their shoes off, someone dumps their entire backpack in the middle of the floor, and then the whining happens because they don’t want to go, or they want to bring a toy...again, whatever…
You and your husband look at each other; he sees it in your eyes, you’re trying to hold back.
Why can’t we just run in, put our effing stuff down, pee and go? That’s what you’re thinking.
He knows you had a stressful, maybe less than productive day at work, and he tries his hardest to quiet the kids and get them out the door and into the car so that you can have 30 seconds of quiet before you get in the car.
Just as they’re walking out the door, one kid does something to the other; a kick, a poke, a tongue sticking out, whispers something, what it was doesn’t matter. Because the other kid reacts, reciprocates, in some way.
You know how they say yawning is contagious? Well, so is stress and it’s especially contagious with our kids. When we are on edge, for whatever reason, our kids pull from that and their little brains react accordingly.
So when we’re rushing into the house because we have to be somewhere and we are already running late because of traffic, or whatever, the kids pull from that and that is the exact time they are going to act up.
Click below to get a free copy of my cheat sheet,
10 Tips to Decrease Family Stress. I swear to you it’s a game changer!
You lose your shit…
You never talk about losing your shit, it doesn’t happen often, but when it does you feel like the worst mom in the world. And then comes that shitty stream of consciousness…
Your husband takes them to the car and looks at you as if to say, “I’m sorry, I tried.” Or maybe the look is more like, “Take a minute for yourself before we go.”
They are out and you can hear them through the door laughing and goofing around getting into the car.
Their behavior did a complete 180 and yours is going to have to do the same thing.
How do you change this?
Close your eyes for a few seconds
Take a few deep breaths
Literally shake it off
Most of all, you need to forgive yourself. It’s something us mamas don’t do as often as we should. More often than not, we’re beating ourselves up for not getting, in our minds, enough done.
The second most important thing you need to do is stop comparing yourself to other moms.
That’s where this feeling comes from. It’s guilt and it is completely unfounded.
Here’s the thing…
Anyone who tells you they never lost their shit on their kids, and there are a lot moms who say this, they’re full of it. Everyone’s way of losing it may be a little different, but no one, and I mean no one, ever is calm 100% of the time. There isn’t a mom in the world who handles every situation seamlessly, without raising her voice, without using toys or video games or park excursions or birthday parties as leverage to get their kids to behave.
But, when you’re dropping off, or picking up, or at a birthday party or a school event, it NEVER comes up. You’re talking with people you thought you had a decent relationship with. Parents you thought were on the same wavelength as you and if you even start to hint at the fact that you get upset with your kids you start getting the looks.
Remember this, mama…
You’re only seeing what’s on the surface. You have no idea what goes on in their home. And, if they tell you they never, ever, lose it, they’re lying...or maybe they’re aliens ;-)
You have no one to compare yourself to, except the person you were yesterday.
You’ve seen that quote, or a version of it before, haven’t you?
When we see it, it’s usually related to diet or exercise and sometimes even business development. We might not think it even applies to us when we see it. But it does, really, whether it’s our relationship with our kids, with our husband, with ourselves, or our performance at our 9-5…
Just be a little better than you were yesterday and, with that, you are WINNING.
I’m not telling you how to parent. There is plenty of that out there, there are even courses on it. And it’s not to say they don’t have value. But all of that doesn’t work for everyone.
What I’m telling you is that, specifically because you’re a working mom, you need to find your rhythm with your kids, which can be difficult because, well, you work. And finding that rhythm involves being conscious of who you want to be for them, it involves making conscious efforts about responses rather than reactions, and most of all it involves taking care of yourself.
If you react more than you respond, check out my
7 Day Calm Mom Challenge here.
If you’re not taking care of yourself, mentally, physically, emotionally, you will continue to disappoint yourself and put yourself through more guilt trips than anyone else could ever dream of putting you through.
Do not shame yourself over getting upset with your kids. Talk about it; with your husband, of course, but with other moms too. If you’re not talking about it, no one else will either and that’s when we start to feel alone, it’s when we start overthinking things, it’s when we start guilting ourselves.
When I found another mom who yelled…
You know that feeling when a huge weight is lifted off your shoulders? I’ve felt that a handful of times in my life and this was one of those times.
I was always the mom who felt out of place; at preschool drop off and pick up, at birthday parties, at school activities. When the kids were in daycare, I didn’t experience this much. Daycare, especially an in home daycare, is a different environment than school. But for the three years we had a preschool schedule, I was out of place, I felt so guilty, I felt like I was screwing up by being a working mom, I felt like I was just the most terrible mom in the world.
Because all the other moms talked about was their relaxed morning routines, all the self care and random household tasks they got done while the kids were in preschool, then all the fun they had after school; crafts, lunch with grandparents, parks, etc.
What did I do while the kids were in preschool? I had to rush back to work, get my reports done, figure out how to attend and participate in useless meetings, provide direction to my team, then rush back to preschool for pickups...at least when they were still too young to go to the after-care program available through the park district.
Self care was negligible, household tasks and grocery shopping had to be strategically planned for evenings and weekends, especially when my husband and I had to both work occasional weekends.
Needless to say, overhearing all of this made me feel like shit.
And then it happened; kindergarten for our daughter had just started and it was curriculum night. We ran into another couple who we recognized from our son’s preschool class the year before. Truthfully, the kids saw each other and started playing and so us parents got to talking.
I hadn’t really talked much with this mom, or any of the moms, during preschool, because I was busy returning text messages for the 20 minutes I was going to be out of the office while they were planning play dates and discussing upcoming vacations. And, this first day that we really talked wasn’t the day I found out she was “my people”, but it was shortly after...I’d say within the first week.
We’d chat at drop off while the kids played and it was then that I realized I wasn’t the only one who had rough mornings with the kids. I wasn’t the only one who had to yell to get my kids’ attention. I wasn’t the only one who got frustrated enough that I just wanted to cry because I didn’t know what else to do.
But, when we talked and “bonded” over this common problem, I literally felt the weight of the world lift off my shoulders.
So we talked about it whenever we needed to, even if it was briefly, we ran ideas past each other, things that worked for us...or didn’t… and we came up with ways that we could reduce how often we lost it.
Not saying we never yelled again, we both are quick to admit we grew up in loud households. Outsiders would think we were yelling, when we were really just talking. Trust me...if either of us yell...people know… But yelling just kind of comes naturally.
Admittedly, I needed a little extra help, which is why I ended up creating the 7 Day Calm Mom Challenge, but neither of us is as easily triggered as we once were. Both of us worked through things our own way.
Click below if you want to learn more about the 7 Day Calm Mom.
So here’s the point…
You’re never going to not yell at your kids, and sometimes you will lose your shit, but for the sake of all that is holy, mama...TALK TO OTHER MAMAS ABOUT IT!!
You will all feel SO MUCH BETTER...trust me! You can learn from each other, hell, maybe you can even come up with something completely different that works for your individual situations!
And if you feel like you’re not ready to take on this subject with anyone else, at least take it on with yourself first. Write up a like/dislike list. Note what happens those times when things go well, what do you like about how you handled the situation. Note what happens those times when things don’t go so well, what did you dislike about how you handled the situation. Writing it down makes all the difference in the next steps you decide to take to make a difference and make the changes you need to make FOR YOU.
If you don’t want the hassle of finding a notebook or paper to write on, I’ll make it easy.
Click below to get my free like/dislike list template - could it be any easier?
Hey, I'm Natalie and I'm an author, a wife, and mom of two kids and two dogs.
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