What is a mommy meltdown?
A mommy meltdown is one of those moments in motherhood where you just completely lose it. Nothing seems to go right, and you've somewhat lost your sense of hope that it ever will. It could be that moment where you hide in the bathroom or in a closet to get away from your child or the moment where you snap on any - and everything around you.
I think it’s that moment you just can’t take anymore and you explode; blow your top; break down and cry. The exact reaction looks different on different moms, but the basic principle is the same.
Who came up with the idea to write this book?
The idea was all Crystal Ponti’s! I’m just so honored that she asked me to be a part of it!
How did you find your tribe? Did you know each other before blogging? If not have you met in person?
I've actually written about this subject on my blog. See my post How To Grow Your Blog by Building a Tribe of Online Friends.
I started blogging a little over a year ago and was just slowly moving along until I discovered the SITS Girls. I had people reading my blog from my industry and my community, but I just couldn't seem to take it any further. Once I discovered SITS, things started to come together. I met a lot of new bloggers, and started commenting and low and behold, I started making connections…and friends! I've actually met several of my Meltdown co-authors in person. I was attending a conference on photo organizing in Chicago and convinced one of my first blogging buddies AnnMarie Gubenko to meet me there. I met Kristen Daukas and Alexa Bigwarfe at a SITS conference and we became fast friends. Tamara Bowman and another mutual blog friend, Ilene Evans, drove to my house this summer and we had a pool playdate with the kids and lunch! Crystal of course was one of my first blog friends, and I talk to her via email and Facebook quite frequently. I count many of the Meltdown moms among my closest blog friends!
I think most of us found each other through our blogs. I knew some of the ladies because I follow their blogs or they follow mine. One of the best parts of being a part of this book is that I feel my tribe has grown. We are all a part of something so even if we can't make our rounds to every blog, we know we can count on each other for support. I think I have two bloggers in real life and hope to meet more in the future.
My tribe seems to have really solidified as a part of writing this book. There are other co-contributors as well as a few others whom I have been in contact with on a regular basis. I haven’t met any of them in real life, but that would be pretty cool if it happened!
Some of you shared really personal stories, was it difficult to write about those moments?
It was really difficult. Scary to a certain extent. When you meltdown, you're really showing yourself in the worst possible light. You could do everything right as a mom and in that one moment, you look like the biggest raving lunatic. In my story, I lost it with an ER doctor because he didn't want to call my son's pediatrician even though he was having very serious medical issues. Should I have just taken a deep breath and maybe called my doctor's service on my own, since the ER doctor didn't want to do it? In hindsight, maybe I should have. But I was in a panic, terrified over what was happening with my son, and I didn't even think to call his doctor on my own. I wonder how many other people heard me lose it in the ER that day, and what they thought. But what is done is done. I can't take it back. And the bottom line is, we all have a tolerance point at which the stress gets to be too much, and a meltdown is inevitable. It happens to everyone. It made me feel better to read the other stories because I realized I wasn't alone.
Helicopter Mom and Just Plain Dad:
Yes, for me it was difficult to discuss my daughter receiving her driver’s license and how very emotional that made me. I have tried to hide that fact from my daughter and even husband. Even though as a parent we prepare for our children's first times and are happy for them; inside it is difficult for parents, especially mom's, to know their "babies" are growing. I was so thrilled that my daughter gained her license but it was so much more than just her getting to drive alone. Independence is something we talk a lot about but it's much easier when their independence is still "under our control"; such as their walking...obviously they do that under our careful watch.
Driving really hit home that she can get into a vehicle and head out on her own. And even though we are years away from her leaving the nest...it is a giant step for teens to have vehicles and learn a whole new responsibility. Without their parents in the car.
I am usually an open book. I don’t find it hard to share about myself at all. I actually still have another meltdown story in my head, but it really involves my daughter in a way that she might find embarrassing, so I haven’t written it publically…yet. Plus, I haven’t had enough time away from that instance to write about it yet.
In the introduction of the book, motherhood is described as painted in soft colors with lullabies serving as background music. What was been your biggest surprise about becoming a mother?
Once I found out I was pregnant, I turned into an extreme mama bear. I didn't understand how I could completely fall head over heels in love with this little baby growing inside of me. I am surprised by how much I've changed and grown since my son was born. I didn't see myself as nurturing before, but the motherly instinct definitely hit me like a ton of bricks.
I am surprised daily by how different each of my three children are! They come from the same parents and live in the same house!! They look so similar to each other, but act (and react) so differently!
Is there anything you wish you would have known about motherhood beforehand?
I wish I had known how quickly time flies by! It just seemed like yesterday that he was born and now my son is almost 2 1/2 years old. Time truly flies! That's why it's my focus to enjoy every solitary minute with him. I want to enjoy my time with him before he's old enough to want his own space and not want to spend time with him!
I wish I knew how much I was going to miss sleep or that you will never have a day off again. Even if you get a break, your kids will still invade your thoughts and worries. I think I knew how much joy they would bring me but I don't think I knew how much my heart would break when your kid is struggling, hurt or sick. I wish I would have known how fast time goes and that before you know it, you are done with one stage and onto the next and it usually happens the minute you think you have a handle on the stage they were previously in.
How important it would be to find and keep mom friends. This gig gets pretty isolating sometimes.
Do you have suggestions for other moms to help prevent melt downs?
Time outs work for me. I mean a time out for me! Sometimes I just need to walk away from the situation and take a deep breath and think about it away from the stressors. Usually if I can do this, I can pull myself together and think of alternative ways to deal with the situation. But I need the breather.
Choose your battles, and you'll win the war! Don't try to prevent the inevitable - you will have a meltdown at some point in your time as a mom. You'll drive yourself nuts trying to prevent it. Just figure out how to make your way to the other side of the meltdown.
I’ve learned to better recognize my triggers. I can usually predict when a situation might get close to meltdown potential and I start a verbal dialogue in my head to keep my cool. I often have to remind myself that children are not miniature adults. That is my mantra some days.
Is there anything else you would like my readers to know about your book or it's authors?
If I had to choose another book to be a part of, I would love to be with this same group of women. They are dedicated, focused, funny, talented, and so much more.
I just can’t get over what an awesome opportunity it has been to publish this book with these amazing ladies. And then to hear all the other stories that people share with us because they feel less alone in their struggles. I am humbled by it.
Where can we find you?
Blogging at A Dish of Daily Life
Facebook A Dish of Daily Life
Tweeting as DishofDailyLife
Pinning as Dish of Daily Life
Google+ as Michelle Nahom
Right now, I have 2 blogs - Epic Mommy Adventures, which focuses on my stories as a single mom, and Grow With Epic Mommy, which focuses on blog hops, giveaways, product reviews, and so much more!
Hovering high and low, C. Lee "sealy" and Khris Reed as Plain to Plane on Helicopter Mom and Just Plane Dad:
Visit us: http://www.helicoptermomandjustplanedad.com
Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/HMaJPD
Like us on FaceBook: http://www.facebook.com/HMAJPD
Join us on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/cleereed
On the couch…in that corner that is somehow shaped exactly like my rear end…oh! You mean online? The oh-so-creatively named: http://thelieberfamily.com
Tidbits from the Queen of Chaos
Twitter handle @queenofchaosmom
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/
Feel free to share your insights into motherhood and mommy meltdown moments in the comments.