90% of the time, I‘m chill. It’s a little skill I’ve acquired via birthing and raising a child but also, spending obscene amounts of money on scented candles, listening to 70’s rock albums, and smoking weed.
My friends would likely describe me as the “patient mom,” and I will proudly admit it’s something I consciously practice every damn day to avoid nervous breakdowns / complete insanity.
But nobody – not even the most cool and collected among us – escapes the reality of LOSING ONE’S SHIT. Yelling. Stomping. Letting that vein in your neck live it’s best life.
My adult tantrum happened earlier this summer, at a cottage getaway in the Muskokas (Sounds relaxing, right? Maybe when 12 children aren’t involved.) That morning, my 4-year-old son, decided to exercise his newfound badassness by having me make him eggs for breakfast and refusing to eat them. Not usually a shorthand cook, I bit my tongue and offered to make him something else. We were, after all, sharing a cottage with another family and I was doing my best as a roomie to keep all guests happy (and quiet).
We decided on oatmeal. Only when time came to eat it, it didn’t “smell right” and my guest of honour was now threatening not to eat anything but treats all day in a tone that was plain nasty.
And then it happened. I threw my hands in the air, my eyes welled up with angry tears, and I let out a heartfelt explosion. “YOU DON’T WANT TO EAT?! FINE. STARVE!!! SEE IF I CARE. I’M DONE!! YOU’RE NOT GOING OUTSIDE WITH YOUR FRIENDS TODAY.” And so, in a fury, I sent him off to our room for a time out and told him he wasn’t allowed to even THINK about leaving until I was off my work call.
I collected my shit, rolled a j, barrelled out of the cottage (hands still shaking) and dialed my partner in crime. An hour and a half later, the phone call ended. The dust had settled and I was starting to worry that my kid may actually starve so I went to retrieve him and have a talk. I felt bad. I hate yelling. I don’t want to unleash like that ever. And yet, I did.
But it happens to the best of us. I’m sure even Kate Middleton, the chillest princess in the land, has raised her finger in the air and told her kids that if they didn’t settle the fuck down, noone was going to have a freezie EVER AGAIN.
The thing is, it’s never really just about the freezie. It’s the whole load of shit that has been slowly piling up in the background. Financial stress, marital drama, daily bullshit, ignorant people, the slow demise of the world, hormonal changes, personal insecurities, self–inflicted anxieties, sleep deprivation, the internet… all of it.
As women (and mothers) we have mastered the art of letting go. We let things roll off our shoulders day in and day out while we simultaneously suppress as much bullshit as we physically can, all in the name of patience. We want to do right and remain in a state of calm for the sake of our children; our families (and probably our neighbours). But alas, there comes a time when even the most well practiced prim and proper super-moms lose their goddamn minds. Because lines have been crossed. Because we need to let it out. Because we have a breaking point too. BECAUSE WE ARE HUMAN.
So I am here to tell you – don’t feel awful after a sudden blow out over something seemingly minuscule. Just have your damn moment. You’re entitled to it.
Let it out, impose a time-out for the perpetrator, but also for yourself. Leave the room, take time to think about it, recall what set you off and how it made you feel, and then.. move the hell on.
After the storm settles, talk it out. Remind your child that you still love them, even when you’re angry – even when they’re angry. Explain to them why you felt disrespected or hurt. And then promptly change the subject to something incredibly light and pour yourself some Sangria. Even if it is only 10am.
Chill times at the cottage, right?
Like tides in the ocean, we all have moments that are unruly. These moments are part of who we are, and they teach those around us (lookin’ at you kid) that each of us had a multitude of layers, and we are respond to current circumstances in different ways. It shows the world we can only be pushed so far before nature unleashes it’s fury.
There will be times where it’s best to brush your shoulders off, to walk away from the storm heading your way and focus on the bigger picture. And there will be times, where the storm within you will wildly unhinge and you will become the thunderbolt that lights a fire under everyone’s ass.
Both scenarios are perfectly fine. Everyone will live.
A QUOTE AND REMINDER:
My dear, we are all made of water.
It’s okay to rage. Sometimes it’s okay to rest.
– Sanober Khan, A Thousand Flamingos
Get your copy of:
THE REBEL MAMA’S HANDBOOK FOR (COOL) MOMS