Yesterday was a pretty rough day. Sleep deprivation, a messy house, and toddler tantrums got the best of me. I’m finding out that loud noises really affect my sense of well-being, and I need to make more of an effort to take care of myself during the terrible twos. Now, as a previous therapist, I might engage in more self-care than most, but I often feel like it’s never enough. I often feel like I can’t quite replenish enough of myself to feel rested for an extended period of time.
I feel like I breezed through the baby stage, but I am suffering through the toddler stage. What I didn’t realize was that when I’m thrown off, I also uproot those around me. I know I provide a grounding, calming force to my family dynamic, but I had no idea of the true impact my stability has on those around me.
So when I kind of lost my mind for a little bit yesterday, I threw many of my family members into a tail spin. And what I kept hearing was, “I can’t handle it when you’re not ok. You’re always ok. If you’re not ok, then things are really bad.” Talk about pressure! I had no idea that my family relied so heavily on me to maintain balance in their lives. To be honest, I’m not sure they realized it either, until I told them.
I actually told my family that it was really unfair that I wasn’t allowed to have a human moment without watching those around me crumble as well. I told them that it made me not want to be honest about how I was feeling because it seemed to upset everyone else so much. And I simply refuse to do that. I refuse to suffer in silence because that’s how you have a true mental breakdown.
Once things calmed down, the hubs and I created a game plan to set aside more time for me to clean and write during the day, which would allow me to go to bed earlier. This would set me up to be in the best possible shape to handle the shrieking toddlers, as opposed to starting the day off exhausted and overwhelmed.
I’m feeling a lot better about the next few months while the girls continue to push boundaries and realize limits. And I’m really thankful I talked to my family about their expectations of me and how I need to be allowed to be fallible. I need to be allowed to be a mess without it signaling the end times.
I implore you moms, do not give in to the pressure to keep everything together all of the time. Often times we are the glue for our families, but ya know what? Sometimes that’s not possible, and everyone else just has to deal with it. You are allowed to just not be ok sometimes. You are allowed to feel broken and overwhelmed, and sometimes someone else has to pick up the pieces. This is ok, as long as you are working to make changes.
We cannot wallow in our situation without looking for a solution (short-term or long-term) because that will erode all of the relationships in your life, including your relationship with yourself. You need to take steps to support your mental health.
Whenever I have a meltdown, I always call Yev, and I say, “We have to do something different. This isn’t working.” And often times, we are able to make changes and move on. New issues present themselves, of course, but we are better equipped to handle them because we’re not dragging around as much emotional baggage.
Use your meltdowns as catalysts for change and replace guilt with grace. You are doing to best you can mama ❤!