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Mommy Meltdown: Keeping Your Cool with the Kids

Updated on October 3, 2011
A mother's work is never done.
A mother's work is never done.

As a mom, whether working or at home full time, you may occasionally feel like you are living close to the edge of insanity. We can easily become overwhelmed by the multiple responsibilities and details of life that sit surely on our shoulders.

Overworked, overtired, overcommitted and just plain overwhelmed: these are the main causes of the mom style meltdowns and tantrums. These explosions happen to the best of us and will manifest in different ways depending on your personality. Some of us scream and yell. Some of us break down and cry.Often it is all the little events of a single day that bring you to the breaking point. You lose your cool all over the place.

It happened to me yesterday. I had one. I did. I started to cry and yell at the same time. It happened around 6:00 PM, at the end of a long day with my little bundles of love. Lets start at the beginning.

6:00 A.M. I awaken to a quiet house. I am surprisingly enthusiastic. I slept for an entire 5 hours uninterrupted for the first time in month. I review in my mind what I want to accomplish on this day, and what I want to avoid. I want my daughters to experience a kind, loving and patient mom who speaks encouraging words and is fun to be around and keeps her cool in the day's challenges, which will surely come.

I am doing well so far. I haven't yelled or broken a single one of the big ten. I have had only good, positive thoughts. I haven't given anyone a dirty look or threatened an early bedtime for misbehavior. Now if I can just drag myself out of bed...

In The Motherhood: Grocery Store Disasters

More in the Motherhood

By 8:00 A.M. there has been more mayhem and drama in my kitchen than on the set of Grey's Anatomy. While I was busy making breakfast, my 3-year-old found a bulk sized box of bread crumbs and proceeded to prepare herself like a chicken headed for the fryer. My 7-year-old is in the bathroom making very convincing vomiting noises in an attempt to stay home from school. My toddler really did puke, with precise aim at my last clean shirt. She is fine now. She has moved on to dancing on the coffee table.

This is only the beginning. As the day goes by, I break up countless sibling arguments, mop up spills from tea parties and various types of accidents. I retrieve my darling Labrabor from my cranky neighbor's yard before the animal control van takes her away. I cover the kids eyes when their sweet kitty catches a cute little furry creature in the backyard. I manage several loads of laundry and endless snacks.

So what pushed me over the edge? Polly Pocket lost a shoe. Have you seen these things? They are about 2 centimeters long. This particular shoe was lost somewhere in our family room which looks like a tornado recently swept by. If I could have found the shoe, the CIA would have recruited me to find Bin Laden. Oh wait, I can't serve my country. I don't have a babysitter.

Seriously Now...

Here are the main contributors to Mommy Meltdowns (ommiting the blatantly obvious):

  • Lack of sleep.
  • Lack of time to yourself.
  • Absence of structure in your daily life.
  • Lack of support from family, friends or lazy husband.

Please Note : I am not in any way suggesting that my husband is lazy, but I have heard rumors about these men who sit dosing off on the couch until they are awakened by the sounds of a delighted toddler launching himself from the back of the couch fully intending to land mercilessly feet first in the one place it will really hurt daddy.

In Motherhood: Flying with a Toddler

More Seriously...

Consider the effect your meltdown has on your children. Put yourself in their shoes. They are witnessing the person they trust the most, their leader, the person who appears to control most of what happens in their life lose control.

If mommy isn't in control, who is? Some children will answer by taking responsibility and comforting you. Some will decide to throw a tantrum themselves thinking, "Hey, it works for mom."

How to Deal (options to hiding):

  • Call a friend for support.
  • Learn deep breathing and other relaxation techniques
  • Change your thoughts. Focus on how mature and grown-up and totally in control you really are. Think positive thoughts about yourself and your children. Do not daydream about escaping. Daydream about your children and all the joy they have brought into your life.
  • Say out loud: "I am in control," "I am keeping my cool," "Serenity Now." (scratch that last one)
  • Distract yourself with an episode of your favorite prime time TV show by watching it online.

If you are really in need of support long term, consider seeing a therapist. Think of how quiet their office will be. Your therapist will let you speak without interruption. Your therapist will actually listen to you (unlike the little charmers you left at home with dad).

The Meltdown

I am not proud of it. I could claim that they drove me to it, but ultimately I am responsible for my behavior no matter what my children do to torture me. I cried. Through my tears I yelled things like: "You can't keep behaving like this! You- let your sister out of that hamper NOW! You- stop throwing your crackers on the floor and mashing them into the carpet!" And no mommy tantrum would be complete without the well loved line: "I am not your maid!"

Tantrums by adults serve the same purpose as with toddlers. They are an attempt to manipulate those around you into doing what you want. They are a way to get your point across and get attention with the hopes of gaining control over a situation.

So when your child is relentlessly begging for ice cream five minutes before dinner and the thought of her screaming terrifies you; when your husband can't find something that you put away and you don't at the moment remember where; when things (and kids) are pressing in on you continuously from every direction and you really want to run and hide and get away from it all...

Run, hide and get away from it all. Take a deep breath. Gain your composure and remind yourself that you are the adult. You are in control (at least a little). Your child will not die if she can't have ice cream before dinner. Sure, she may scream, but the sound will be very faint from the closet you are hiding in.

When you are ready to face the world again remember:

  • You are strong. You pushed those babies out. You can handle their antics.
  • Grown ups don't need to throw tantrums. It is immature. We need to learn to use our inside voice and stay calm.
  • Learn how to say no to extra commitments. You will really enjoy this one eventually.
  • Your children are not your enemies. Work together to establish behavior guidelines which everyone can experience success in achieving.

"Our greatest danger in life is in permitting the urgent things to crowd out the important." -Charles E. Hummel

So how did my day end? By 7:30 P.M. I was snuggled up on the couch with my little girls reading Sneetches and Other Stories and giggling together at poor Mrs. McCave and her way too many sons named Dave. That story puts things in perspective!

When you do throw a tantrum, as I did myself just yesterday, forgive yourself. Apologize to all who were present. Stop beating yourself up about it. Feeling like the worst mom in the world only makes you act like the worst mom in the world. Let it go. Start over. You will have another chance to keep your cool tomorrow, bright and early.

"Nothing can stop the [mom] with the right mental attitude." -Thomas Jefferson

Note to Reader: Don't miss the hilarious videos of In The Motherhood throughout this hub! If you enjoyed this hub, please consider rating it and sharing it with friends. Feel free to leave your comments and funny stories related to this topic (I know you have one or two ) below!

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    • AtHomeHeather profile image

      Heather 5 years ago from PA

      Very well written and so funny to read! I have three little ones and there are days that if I could run away screaming down the road I think I would feel so much better! I am also glad that I am not the only one that just wants to, for lack of a better term, lose it sometimes!

    • Tonipet profile image

      Tonette Fornillos 5 years ago from The City of Generals

      I really enjoyed reading your story Amy, perhaps just one of the powers every Mom should possess. Whatever you decide you sure will succeed! Keep up and lucky your kids to have you despite those mommy meltdowns:-)

      Funny and Voted up!

    • insidiousglamour profile image

      insidiousglamour 5 years ago from Bowge IX

      What a great read! I have two boys, the youngest of whom has Sensory Integration Dysfunction. Its hard enough being a stay-at-home mom to two children without the added burden of the "special needs" tag. Your perspective was humorous and made me feel less alone, especially since I read this after taking a "Mommy Time Out" by crying in the shower while drinking a cup of chai tea. *sigh*

    • amy jane profile image
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      amy jane 6 years ago from Connecticut

      Thanks jaylazmama! And welcome to HubPages. :)

    • jaylazmama profile image

      jaylazmama 7 years ago

      This is a great hub. I have a 1 year old and she is a lot of work! I just started my hub page https://hubpages.com/family/The-Stress-and-Joy-of-... . Maybe you could give me some suggestions.

    • amy jane profile image
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      amy jane 7 years ago from Connecticut

      Thanks Queenbe! I though just the other day (my girls were with grandma) how quiet the house was and how much I hated it! I know I'm going to struggle when they do go away. I'm hoping they won't go to far!

    • queenbe profile image

      queenbe 7 years ago from NY

      Wow it took longer to read the comments than to read your hub. You are very popular my girl. Some day when you have a nano-sec tape record some time in your home with your cherubs. When they grow up and go away to college and you are alone, you will surely miss the mayhem. I mean that in a good way. The empty nest syndrome is a killer.

    • amy jane profile image
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      amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut

      Hi Marie,

      Thanks for reading and commenting. There are certainly seasons in our lives for these different experiences. I think the real trick is knowing when it is time to move on to a new season! I have been a stay at home mom for almost 10 years now, and am thinking it will soon be time for a change. I won't rush into it though. :) As you said, it does feel like a monumentous decision!

    • Marie Dwivkidz profile image

      Marie Dwivkidz 8 years ago from UK

      I have returned to work after children 1 and 2, and am currently at home after number 3.  I think my need or desire to work or to remain at home has varied at different points in my life. Nothing is forever, even though it often feels as though we are making momentous and permanent decisions about whether to return to work or not.  As you say, amy jane, being a stay at home mom is not for everyone, but it might be the right thing for a while, and then another solution is the best decision for the family 'team' for a while instead. 

      Great hub.

    • amy jane profile image
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      amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut

      Wow! That's fast to head back to work! You must recover quickly from the "fun" of childbirth!:)

      Being a stay at home mom is not for everyone. I certainly understand that! I have heard many moms say that it was easier for them to go to work and that they feel like they are better mothers and more able to enjoy the time they spend with their children.

    • cindyvine profile image

      Cindy Vine 8 years ago from Cape Town

      With my third I went back to work when she was 2 weeks old. Stayed at home for 18 months with the second, but found being a stay at home mom was not for me!

    • amy jane profile image
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      amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut

      MzJme, you are certainly not alone in your struggle! I know that it seems like so many moms are having a blast staying at home with the kids, but I think many of us struggle with our day to day lives. It can be exhausting - talking to other moms who understand helps revive me a bit. I'm glad that this hub helped you feel better - meltdowns happen! Thanks for reading. :)

    • MzJme profile image

      MzJme 8 years ago from Seattle, WA

      What a great Hub!!! I am a SAHM to a 8 1/2mo little girl. She is my one and only child. I have been having a horrible week and reading your Hub made me realize I am not the only one going through this...Thanks Again!

    • amy jane profile image
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      amy jane 9 years ago from Connecticut

      Hi Entertaininstyle! Thanks so much for the encouraging words. Parenting is the toughest job ever - but like you said, a blessing and totally worththe constant effort!

    • entertaininstyle profile image

      entertaininstyle 9 years ago from Southern California

      This is a great hub, I love the videos! I'm sure every mother (and a lot of fathers) can appreciate your experiences with your children. What a crazy life we bring on ourselves! Children are such a blessing but definitely the hardest job you will ever have! Keep up the good writing!

    • amy jane profile image
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      amy jane 9 years ago from Connecticut

      Hi Flutterbug, thank you! My kids are the center of my life and I love them intensely! My goal is to keep my temper in check as much as possible and aviod the Mommy Meltdowns. Daily life with three kids can be overwheleming, but it is also wonderful. Thank you for your kind words. :)

    • flutterbug77 profile image

      flutterbug77 9 years ago from USA

      I can appreciate your frustrations and I know you love your kids because you're there for them. Everyone loses it sometimes. I've had a few meltdowns I'm not proud of. God Bless You. I love your writing.

    • amy jane profile image
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      amy jane 9 years ago from Connecticut

      Hi Annette, I have enough material for a book, it seems! Some days are quiet and uneventful, but then we have days where my girls provide non-stop inspiration (and frustration). Thanks so much for reading. :)

    • Annette Rozen profile image

      Ann Martin 9 years ago

      such a well written fun to read hub. Maybe when the kids grow up a bit more you could start a profession as a journalist...or write the mommy chronicles. you seem to have enough raw material to work with!

    • amy jane profile image
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      amy jane 9 years ago from Connecticut

      Thank you work-at-home-mom, I am sorry to hear that you experience this too! Meltdowns happen to the best of us. :)

    • Work-At-Home-Mom profile image

      Work-At-Home-Mom 9 years ago from Boston MA

      I LOVED This! You've almost described my day to a T!

    • amy jane profile image
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      amy jane 9 years ago from Connecticut

      Thank you so much, Shadesbreath! I don't always handle meltdowns well, but I am trying my best. Young children can sure challenge you! :)

    • amy jane profile image
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      amy jane 9 years ago from Connecticut

      Hi Tatyna, welcome to the club! I think almost every mom goes through this at some point. Thanks for reading. :)

    • Shadesbreath profile image

      Shadesbreath 9 years ago from California

      You write beautifully and that was funny while speaking truth. Sounds like you handle it pretty well, better than I did when my kids were young. Nice article.

    • reversefunnelsyst profile image

      reversefunnelsyst 9 years ago from Nashville

      Dear Amy

      That was good! You were making me laugh because I was in some situations you described. My two mischievious boys know to get my attention!

      Tatyana

    • amy jane profile image
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      amy jane 9 years ago from Connecticut

      Thanks Steve! Funny parenting stories are my speciality these days. I have so much inspiration surrounding me. :)

    • stevemark122000 profile image

      stevemark122000 9 years ago from Southern California

      Excellent Hub! You did a great job of conveying the challenges of motherhood and the best ways to deal with them. The grocery store video is a very effective example.

    • amy jane profile image
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      amy jane 9 years ago from Connecticut

      Thanks so much, New Day for the kind words. I assure you that I am not a mom of steele! I sure wish I was! I do make an effort after the tantrums are over (whether mine or the kids) to let it go and move on. Everything always does happen at once it seems. "When it rains it pours" I guess. :)

    • New Day profile image

      New Day 9 years ago from Western United States

      You deserve a Mommyhood medal! Why is is that all the tough stuff happens in one day? I can picture it as vividly as a Hollywood movie scene. Great writing! I am glad that you overcame the meltdown and were able to sit down and end the day reading a book and laughing with your kids. You must be a mom of steel.

    • amy jane profile image
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      amy jane 9 years ago from Connecticut

      Thank you, Michelle! I think that to work with children full-time as a career takes a special kind of person - like you! Especially with tempermental preschoolers, who are a delight one minute and pitching a fit the next! Patience comes very naturally to me and it takes a lot to push me to the meltdown point. I am always hoping (and praying) for better days and for the strength to get through the more difficult ones without a tantrum!

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 9 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      I don't have a child Amy but I have a very demanding and affectionate nephew who can't take no for an answer..so in the wee hours of the morning, I hear his mom screaming like you (well once in awhile when she is melting down too) LOL Loved the way you wrote the hub. I guess it's like this in our preschool when 9 to 10 kids are making you want to hide in the closet and yell too! Grin. Next time, just go inside the closet and pretend I'm yelling with you. But otherwise, let's hope for better days. as always. :)

    • amy jane profile image
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      amy jane 9 years ago from Connecticut

      Hi Oberbreckling! I think Dads get an entirely new perspective when they spend a bit of time taking care of the kids. I am sure dads are just as likely to meltdown in this situation! Glad to hear that it has all brought you closer together. That is definitely the best part. :)

    • profile image

      oberbreckling 9 years ago

      Hi amy jane I don't mean to laugh but its funny how all parents go through this oh my god my wife use to go through this and just the littlest thing would set her off and she had said plenty that I really didn't expect of her like I wish I didn't have kids or there your kids but I had a terrible accident and couldn't work for a year so she started working hahaha more than happy too believe me I played mommy for that year and I learned alot daddy meltdown but we both work today and I try to help her out alot more than before because I understand mommy meltdown my kids are 8,7 and6 the whole families much closer now I just love it.but thank you for letting me comment on this subject~cool`cya

    • amy jane profile image
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      amy jane 9 years ago from Connecticut

      Mamastu97, I am so glad you enjoyed this! My oldest daughter thinks she's a teenager too. She even has mastered the attitude and the eyerolling! I feel your pain. :) Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • amy jane profile image
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      amy jane 9 years ago from Connecticut

      Hi tiltll, thanks for reading! You are so not alone in the world of mommy meltdowns! There are so many of us out there struggling with it daily. :) I have the same problem! I can handle two very well. Each one on their own is dreamy, but when you put them all together for any length of time there could be chaos and fighting and lots of it.

    • mamastu97 profile image

      mamastu97 9 years ago from Kansas City

      I just wanted to let you know that I loved your hub. I am a stay at home mom of 2 myself...a 10 yr old boy (who thinks he knows everything) and a 9 yr old girl (whose attitude is like that of a teenager). I am glad to see that my life isn't the only one with the meltdowns and all.

    • TiltII profile image

      TiltII 9 years ago from Roseville, California

      Great hub there Amy Jane. I have three little ones myself. I can so relate. It is funny because I can so handle one and two, but when three (6,4,2) are all together it seems they want to kill each other. I like the triangle idea. Each child is a point in the triangle and they have to be 4 feet apart. Quote of the day: "Quit yelling!" As I raise my voice to make my point (lol)

    • amy jane profile image
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      amy jane 9 years ago from Connecticut

      Thank you, Chantel. With four children I am sure you can relate to this!

      Hi Hopefully, I like your husband's saying. I do try to hold on to the little moments as much as possible. I can see already how fast they are growing up and AWAY from me!

      Raquela, thank you! I love those video's too. I have had my fair share of grocery store moments, but never quite as bad as the ones in the video (luckily).

    • amy jane profile image
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      amy jane 9 years ago from Connecticut

      Diana, you are so far from getting old! I can't imagine mothering so many young adults. I think that age is very difficult too, but is such a different way. Congrats on your "baby" graduating! You must be so proud! I know, I would cry too, seeing my child all grown up. :)

    • raquela profile image

      raquela 9 years ago from California

      Absolutely great hub! And the youtube clips are just hilarious!!

    • hopefully profile image

      hopefully 9 years ago

      Nice work - my kids are (hopefully) past the really small children stage - but I remember it really well. This time in your life is hard, but precious. My husband always says "The door doesn't stay open for very long - and then it closes". So I guess that means enjoy the moment - as hard as it can be sometimes. Great hub and lots of interesting comments.

    • chantelg4 profile image

      chantelg4 9 years ago from Northern Ontario

      Nice hub, I can relate in more ways than one. Having 4 kids tends to lend itself easily to these moments.

    • In The Doghouse profile image

      In The Doghouse 9 years ago from California

      Amy,

      I simply had to re-visit your Hub for another refreshing look at the antics that occur when you are "in the Motherhood!" After a long day of playing mommy to 50 Young single adults, I realized how easy it could be to have a mommy meltdown. Simply make sure you are enjoying your opportunity to be a stay at home mom because the time passes much too quickly. My oldest graduates from college in two weeks... Yikes, I must be really old right?

    • amy jane profile image
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      amy jane 9 years ago from Connecticut

      Thank you soooo much! I am so glad I made you laugh! We hard working moms really need to laugh at the absurdity of our lives as often as possible.

      Hmmm...after 8 years of motherhood I don't have many friends like that to deal with anymore. I think they got bored with me and my kid talk and went away. I do however have some friends that have just one angelic child each that never does anything wrong. I will try to think back to the days before all my friends joined me in the insanity of motherhood and see what I come up with! Thanks again!

    • TwinsMommaShana profile image

      TwinsMommaShana 9 years ago from Charlotte, NC

      This is the most hilarious and oh-so-true mommy perspective I've ever read. I burst into laughter right at my computer reading about the polly pocket shoe episode. I can relate on so many levels. There have been many nights I've had to look high and low, from deep corners in my house, to my car for my 3 year old daughters babydoll (who looks like she's been drug through the mud), just so she could go to sleep. This is especially difficult when you have to kick through clutter just to find a clean spot on the floor. When I try to tell my single, motherless friends about the hardships of parenting, they give me this "It can't possibly be that difficult" speech. I'd love to hear of any experiences you've had to deal with talking to "those" kinds of friends. Thanks so much for the laugh!

    • amy jane profile image
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      amy jane 9 years ago from Connecticut

      Thanks Karen, I try to remember to enjoy the ride with my kids. I can see how it goes by fast. As I watched my daughter get on the school bus this morning I thought, wow, she is so grown up! She is 8 - going on 18. Some moments I really do want to hold on to. The mommy meltdowns I want to FORGET!

    • Karen Ellis profile image

      Karen Ellis 9 years ago from Central Oregon

      I know how frustrating it must be sometimes. Time goes by so fast, though. Someday you will be looking back wondering how the time passed so quickly. Try to enjoy them as much as you can.

    • amy jane profile image
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      amy jane 9 years ago from Connecticut

      Hi Steph! I was just reading the comments again and you are right! They add so much more to the mommy meltdown theory. I love when people tell me stories!

      Your question made me laugh, just a little! When my husband unexpectedly makes other plans that don't include me and the kids it definitely contributes to me losing my cool! This happens on occasion here too. I am grateful that he doesn't play golf!

      Last summer I was on my own with the kids for several weeks while my husband was in London on business. I had everything planned out and was mentally prepared, so I was fine. And very proud of myself. I think it is the last minute change in plans that makes it so much harder to deal with.

      I hope you made it through the day with out a meltdown!

    • amy jane profile image
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      amy jane 9 years ago from Connecticut

      Hi Ervin, I agree, it is a great way for my husband to have fun after a busy week. It also gives him a chance to reconnect with them. They don't get much time with him on work days. My little one asks every morning, "Is it a daddy day?" We start on Monday counting down the days until Saturday.

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 9 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      LOL - Amy, these comments on Mommy Meltdowns are nearly as funny as the Hub itself. But who could come close to your creativity? I will confess - again - that I became your fan the moment I read "The Mom Next Door." So honest and true. Anyway.... I thought I would check out your hub again this morning before I have my own Mommy Meltdown. For some reason, my husband decided to go golfing and leave me to take 4 kids to church by myself today. After a crazy day yesterday. Do you find that parental support (or sometimes lack thereof) contributes to this phenomenon? (or is it all in my head? LOL)

    • solarshingles profile image

      solarshingles 9 years ago from london

      Poor and happy father at the same time. However, that is just the best possible method for the average father to get rid of the stress accumulated during the busy week. That's the advantage of having a happy 'full member-ed family'.

    • amy jane profile image
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      amy jane 9 years ago from Connecticut

      Thank you guidebaba!

    • guidebaba profile image

      guidebaba 9 years ago from India

      Excellent Hub. Keep it up.

    • amy jane profile image
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      amy jane 9 years ago from Connecticut

      Yes, rather, for the moment! My kids make it their mission on the weekend to harrass their father as much as possible. Lucky him!

    • solarshingles profile image

      solarshingles 9 years ago from london

      Amy, how it is going this weekend? A bit more calm at home?

    • amy jane profile image
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      amy jane 9 years ago from Connecticut

      Thank you Mystress Gaia. :)

    • Mystress Gaia profile image

      Mystress Gaia 9 years ago from Blakeslee, PA

      This hub is so very true. -Mom of 2 boys aged 7 and 4.

    • amy jane profile image
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      amy jane 9 years ago from Connecticut

      Hi Kathryn,

      You are so right. They are our teachers in many ways. When I became a mom I knew that I had much to learn, but I didn't realize that I would be challenged in such profound ways! They inspire me to be a better person everyday and to examine everything I believe in and teach them in a whole new light.

      Thank you for reading and adding your insight. :)

    • LdsNana-AskMormon profile image

      Kathryn Skaggs 9 years ago from Southern California

      amy jane -

      Isn't it amazing when we begin to realize that our children are the one's teaching us, and it is through the many experiences such as "mommy meltdowns" and others -- that 'we' little by little grow-up, together:-)

      We would never throw such a tantrum in front of others and expect them to love and forgive us with such unconditional love, as our children are ready to give over and over again.

      Motherhood with all it's many challenges is wonderful - when understood with proper perspective:-)

      tDMg

      LdsNana-AskMormon

    • amy jane profile image
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      amy jane 9 years ago from Connecticut

      Hi Carol, Girls are great, aren't they? They fight with a whole different arsenal of weapons. Emotionally exhausting, but worth every minute I think! Thank you for reading and commenting.

      LOL Marisue! Molasses in the dryer -ughhh! I haven't had that, luckily. Cats in the fridge, yes! So funny, thanks for stopping by. :) Yes, John is smart to acknowledge the work of a stay at home mom!

    • amy jane profile image
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      amy jane 9 years ago from Connecticut

      Hi Storytellersrus, thank you for sharing your experiences. It never really changes, does it? lol The driving around would make me crazy - or I should say will make me crazy someday. I'm glad this was a pick me up. Hang in there! The quiet will soon return. :)

    • marisuewrites profile image

      marisuewrites 9 years ago from USA

      my two adopted sons are 10.5 months apart.....for years I battled cat's in the refrigerator and molasses in the dryer and eggs under the bed and fingernail polish ,,,,red,,,, on their bodies....and salt and pepper on the dog.

      ahhhh   sweet memories.   no wonder some mothers eat their young.

      I can only say....enjoy it     this too shall pass and you will want it all back...  keep your wonderful sene of humor.

      and John Chancellor, thankz for understanding a mom's work!!

    • profile image

      cvaughn570 9 years ago

      Amy Jane,

      I had two girls 18 months apart. (they are grown now)

      I know exactly where you were coming from in this hub!

      Excellent Job!

      Carol

    • Storytellersrus profile image

      Barbara 9 years ago from Stepping past clutter

      Dear Amy Jane,

      I've been a bit nostalgic lately, with two kids in college and one on the way... to college, that is. I was so excited to have them all home again for two whole weeks, before they took off to their summer counseling jobs in lands far, far away.

      I forgot that we have two cars and three drivers- thankfully, Jack is away on business or it would be one car and three drivers. I also forgot that we have one big screen tv and three opinionated, vacationing young adults.

      The meltdowns at this age result in rolling eyes and a great deal of texting/facebooking with me as subject line. Oh if I could be as righteous as my three kids when crossed.

      Today, I have eight pick-up/drop-offs from 10:30 to 8:00pm. Then, if I am lucky, my two eldest will let me buy them dinner at the restaurant of their choosing.

      I once thought things would get easier as they became more independent. Now I truly understand the saying, "Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em." I love them more than licorice, but in this moment, peace and quiet hold great appeal!

      Thanks for picking ME up today, during my rest stop. Reminds me that the best is probably yet to come for me, too, in this unending and wonder full life of parenting... LOL!

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      amy jane 9 years ago from Connecticut

      Shaye, the bathroom is an excellent hiding place as well! I have to admit that my children (and the dog) try to follow me in much of the time. And one of them even stands outside and bangs on the door when my husband is in there!

      Thanks so much, I am glad you enjoyed this. :)

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      amy jane 9 years ago from Connecticut

      Hi Ervin, meltdowns can happen frequently. Hopefully not daily - though I am sure for someone under extreme stress such as a major life change (moving, death of a loved one, divorce) being patient is more of a challenge. I think (I could be wrong here) once a month would be pretty average. I think a parent's temperment plays a huge role as well.

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      amy jane 9 years ago from Connecticut

      Hi Deb, thanks so much! You must have been the nice mom in the neighborhood if all the kids came to play at your house. :)

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      The How To Hub 9 years ago from Australia

      Like so many other mums out there - I feel your pain.

      I often say to my 'working' friends that the only time I get a moment to myself and have a chance to sit down is on the loo!! They laugh cause they think it's funny, but it's only funny cause it's TRUE : )

      I do love your writing style Amy - thumbs up!

      Shaye

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      solarshingles 9 years ago from london

      Amy, how regularly does such a mommy meltdown happen? And how is your kid's reaction? (I'm still laughing about 'your chasing of Bin Laden on CIA's behalf'):::

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      debby28 9 years ago from WASHINGTON

      God Bless You, But I am still laughing it brings back memories. I only had one child but usually had the neighbor kids. I have always said I wonder how mom's do it with 3 or 4 kids my mom had 6 and I remember watching her. I think you are allowed to blow up once in a while. Dose not make you a bad mom. Good Luck.

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      amy jane 9 years ago from Connecticut

      Thanks so much, Desert Blondie! I think it helps us all feel better to know that we are not alone in our parenting challenges. And comparing funny parenting stories has become a hobby of mine! :)

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      desert blondie 9 years ago from Palm trees, swimming pools, lots of sand, lots of sunscreen

      Been there, done that! How horrid we feel sometimes when all we want is to be great moms! Definitely sharing this with my sister, cousin and best friend!

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      amy jane 9 years ago from Connecticut

      PLM, you are killing me! My kids came in to see what I was laughing about! Thank you for commenting. I see you fully understand what I am talking about. 5- wow- you have my respect (and compassion)!

      I'm still laughing. Just today, someone else suggested I have a drink to smooth things over. That was at noon, though. Way too early, don't you think? :)

    • PLM profile image

      PLM 9 years ago

      Note to anyone considering sterilization. it works!

      After 5 kids I went and had my vasectomy, snip tied welded shut and clamped all in one sitting. its painless and effective!

    • PLM profile image

      PLM 9 years ago

      My wife and I have 5 kids of our own, that's why we currently keep a healthy supply of booze in the house. My coniption fits and meltdowns are at an all time low this month since I've recently discovered Vodka!

      Love your articles Amy, I don't tend to comment much at all but I enjoy reading yours

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      amy jane 9 years ago from Connecticut

      Donna, I agree, those Bratz shoes/feet that come off entirely freak me out a bit. If you lose one, your doll is left without a foot! A bit traumatic for some little girls. LOL:)

      Doghouse, I live for those days! I wish I could predict when they will decide to be angelic but guess that would take all the fun out of it. :)

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      In The Doghouse 9 years ago from California

      Amy,

      Isn't it refreshing that our children do surprise us once in a while? Glad you had a better day.

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      donnaleemason 9 years ago from North Dakota, USA

      Wonderful Amy, I hate the Bratz feet that unscrew. Goodness only knows why they made those stupid things.

      Don't feel so alone now. LOL. You cracked me up.

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      amy jane 9 years ago from Connecticut

      Kelley, I will bring the glasses and meet you on the porch!

      Annemaeve, LOL! I love that shoe story! You will love motherhood. :)

      Doghouse, thank you. I am having a better day today. I took the girls shoe shopping and thought that would be new material for sure, but they behaved! It was delightful! (The shoes were for them, so I guess that helped)

      Thanks for reading and commenting David, trandee (I may take your advice), Marye, bloggermom and pjd!

      Yes, wannabwestern, they surely do temper us. We are clearly in the same boat.

      Pet Memorial, my husband just might agree with you!

      Thank you funride. She is still going to want more babies. They are so cute! :)

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      amy jane 9 years ago from Connecticut

      Hi everyone! I am laughing here! Thank oyu all so much for the wonderful comments!

      gjcody, thank you for sharing your insights and I am glad you are enjoying grandparenting to the fullest. :) Cailin, aren't those videos awesome? My daughter loves the airplane one. Neil, thanks for understanding the Polly shoe incident! You are such a charmer. :) Tbelgard - LOL! We're in this together. Glad you could relate! Rob, kids react differently to daddy breakdowns (at least around here). I am sure you are a wonderful dad. :) Thanks for reading and commenting Jacob and Heavyd.

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      Blogger Mom 9 years ago from Northeast, US

      You hit the nail on the head with this one, Amy! =)

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      Ricardo Nunes 9 years ago from Portugal

      Great hub! I hear my better half complaining every day and we only have one daughter. I´ll show her this hub and ask her if she still want more babies :D

    • PetMemorialWorld profile image

      PetMemorialWorld 9 years ago from New Zealand

      I find it bad enough surviving the couple of hours between getting home from work and the kids bedtime lol.

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      pjdscott 9 years ago from Durham, UK

      Funny but scary Amy Jane!

    • wannabwestern profile image

      Carolyn Augustine 9 years ago from The Land of Tractors

      Excellent writing, Amy Jane!

      I'm right there with you. There's something cosmic about the coincidence that whenever you haven't had enough sleep, things go completely and utterly wrong.

      Last night my son was running a fever and kept hubby and me both up until after 1:00 a.m. This morning about about 8:00, my son took the thermometer we gave him to hold, and shoved it into the only outlet that wasn't covered. Fortunately the hole he chose was the grounding hole, or this would be a different story. We counted our blessings. One brand new outlet later and one thermometer down, it's always refreshing to know our family is not the only one that has imperfect days.

      Children surely do temper us, don't they?

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      Marye Audet 9 years ago from Lancaster, Texas

      oh..I have so been there. :)

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      tranndee 9 years ago

      Great, great, great, great, great hub. And all of your suggestions are great. I used the distraction technique when stuck in an airport in Seattle, thousands of of miles from home, bumped from my flight with the next flight not for 12 hours, and my 6 year completely losing all patience and my 7 year old completely losing his mind. You know, maybe you can put all these suggestions and a little card, laminate it, and sell it (doctor's offices, grocery store lines, etc.). You'll make a million. :>)

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      516Ads 9 years ago from Long Island

      Amy,

      Rough day. Great HUB. - David

    • In The Doghouse profile image

      In The Doghouse 9 years ago from California

      Amy,

      What a terrible, horrible, no good very bad day you must have had. (BTW one of my favorite childrens books...is named just that) We have all had mommy tantrums at one time or another... and honestly when you stop and think about it.. they simply are not pretty! lol As a mommy I simply had to learn some of these helpful tricks you have suggested...and they seem to work. Are you having a better day today?

    • annemaeve profile image

      annemaeve 9 years ago from Philly Burbs

      Ok, I'm not a mom, but I want to be, and after reading this hub, I want to be one EVEN MORE. Does that make me a masochist? amy jane, your girls are so lucky to have you on their side. If you didn't throw a temper tantrum in front of them once in a while, do you think they'd get bored? Or, one day, when they're all grown up with their own brood, would they think you had never lost your mind about it all?

      The shoe thing totally cracked me up! As a kid, I had my own little OCD about Barbie's shoes. If I noticed one missing, I gave it a day, and then threw the other one out. I couldn't handle the thought of having a mis-matched pair. This was VERY different from my one excursion on the Staten Island Ferry, when a shoe from my dollie's foot fell overboard, and I launched into the mother of all tantrums trying to get them to turn the boat around and retrieve my poor dollie's shoe... Could this be where shoe fetishes come from?

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      KelleyMari 9 years ago from Ohio

      Amy Jane - You are officially my fave! I have been through this more times than I wish to recall! You are not alone....

      My husband and I were enjoying your hub right after I finished ranting about having to blow up 150 balloons for a 1st grade party on Mon., make 200 water balloons for a 2nd grade party today, chaperoning a field trip last week, having to chaperone an orientation to the junior high tomorrow and then being asked to make another 200 water balloons for the 5th grade party tomorrow! I had a huge lump in my throat - I am overwhelmed....I wish you and I could hang out on my porch and share a bottle of wine and commiserate!

      Go to www.break.com and type in the search "Office worker goes absolutely insane". It will make you feel a lot better. :0)

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      heavyd49770 9 years ago from Petoskey, MI

      Amy,

       Excellent Article it is Women like you that inspired me to create http://www.i-dont-need-a-man.com.   Hopfully in time I will gain many good members such as yourself,

      I really admire your honesty.

      God Bless

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      Jakub Wawrzyniak 9 years ago from Ireland

      Great response to this article . Good one

    • Rob Jundt profile image

      Rob Jundt 9 years ago from Midwest USA

      Amy, I can't say that I've had a mommy meltdown, but I've displayed enough testoserone-laced tirades to buckle my little boys' knees. Not too proud of that I must add. This is a great hub full of everyday-life stuff.

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      tbelgard 9 years ago from The rainy but beautiful Pacific Northwest

      Awesome hub Amy Jane, I felt like I was right there in your living room living the madness! Wait that was my living room, I AM living the madness!! Great suggestions though, I will see about putting them in action.

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      proudgrandpa 9 years ago from Charlotte, NC

      WOW! You my friend have struck a nerve here. I have always been a very present parent and having meltdowns comes with the territory. However, give your self a break, it was a Polly Pocket shoe for God's sake. That is enough to make any of us snap.

      Thanks for your courage, candor and effort in producing a very meaningful and obviously needed hub.

      Your kids are lucky to have you as a mom.

      NEIL

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      cailin gallagher 9 years ago

      My daughter and I laughed our pants off while watching "In the Motherhood". Great hub Amy!!!!!

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      gjcody 9 years ago

      Just a note to say that even though you feel like you are going to explode ..."these are the best days of your life." Looking back ...I wish I had taken the time to stop and leave the dishes or the bed along with any of the work that was on the top of the list to making me a better mother and housewife ...and just look my child in the face and listen ...yes listen. They are so much trying to communicate with you in the best way they know how. Their expressions are priceless.

      I now am a grandmother and own two businesses instead of the one I had when my children were growing up. Now you would say how could I have time to share time with 7 grandchildren ...Well, When my daughter or son calls ...I stop everything and go. Yes, I do what I know I did not do when my children were small. I missed those cute expressions and I am not going to miss it again. I drop in bed at the end of the evening and smile. I hug them and I am so glad God gave me a second chance.

      Yes, I got a second chance to make up for the time I missed when my children were little. I watch them for a weekend or what ever I am called on to do. I know there will not be a third chance and I would not miss this for the world.

      So ....if things get crazy around you ...let it just stop and get off and smell the roses. You will be so glad you did and guess what? ...they take all the stress from your mind when you focus on them. They are like puppies ...they love you regardless of who you are and what you are feeling. Maybe this thought will add some calm to your life when things seem to get out of hand.

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      amy jane 9 years ago from Connecticut

      LOL! In the wee hours of the night when all my little angels are sleeping. :)

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      solarshingles 9 years ago from london

      Amy, I admire you, how could you possibly find a 'time space' to compose so great hubs with all those duties of the full time mommy?