Saturday, June 02, 2007

Mommy Meltdown

I didn't know I was truly capable of a Mommy Meltdown....but I have to admit that I had my first this week. In my 40 something years, I have yet to see my temper rage like this. Amazing how kids can really push your buttons.

Seth has been in rare form lately, becoming quite the assertive four year old. Aspiring for great autonomy, he is at times defiant and truly challenging our disciplinary capabilities.

It started with our trip to his make-up gym class, which he refused to participate in, no matter how I tried to coerce him. Then, back at home, he didn't feel like listening, and my frustration level quickly grew until I exploded. I wound up telling him to get out of my face. I felt so awful afterwards but couldn't contain myself in the heat of the moment. My friend, Alli, joked how my remarks will probably lead him to 10 years on the therapy couch, which made me feel even worse. But, then she quickly followed by saying I need to cut myself some slack and that I'm entitled to get angry.

Alli has raised two kids who are now of college age, and she is 52, so I appreciate her wisdom. She made a really interesting suggestion that I'd like to share. When her kids were growing up, she had a big comfy chair that she established as a "special place" where she and her kids could sit when they wanted to share their feelings and clear the air. It was a "safe seat", so to speak, where anything could be revealed. Over the years, it served her well, and she suggested I create such a spot for Seth and I.

With that in mind, I sat Seth down the next day, after I cooled down (and popped a few valium....just kidding). I told him I loved him despite having gotten mad, and that one of the swivel chairs in our living room is now our special seat. Whenever he wants my full attention to talk about something on his mind, he can lead me to the chair, and we'll have a conversation that will go no further than that seat. He seemed to like the idea....though for now....he was more interested in swiveling on the chair like we'll see how this goes.

Have you ever had a Mommy Meltdown?


Blogger Aliza said...

Let me count the number of times I've had a Mommy Meltdown. Hmmm...not enough fingers or toes for that one!

5:17 PM  

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