The Problem – Losing Your Cool and Having a Meltdown
Imagine a toddler melt down. The kids is at the end of their rope and they lose control. They start screaming, kicking, crying or acting out as a way to show they are DONE. Basically, they have had enough and something needs to change.
Toddlers have frequent melt downs. As moms we learn to recognize the warning signs. We try our best to change things up and thwart off the melt down. For toddlers and kids, some of the warning signs are hunger, being tired, or over stimulation.
As moms, we can also reach the end of our rope, lose our cool and have a melt down. We also have warning signs before the explosion happens. Our mom melt downs may not always result in throwing a fit or wailing in public. And not every mom melt down is created equal, but rest assured, we all have melt downs.
Take a moment to recognize how you melt down. Are you unkind, short, grumpy, impatient or yell? Believe me, the list of what can happen during a mom meltdown is long. As you recognize how you melt down it may not take long to feel some guilt because of your unflattering behavior.
The Solution – Guilt is Good
Guilt is good. What? Are you kidding me? Yes, guilt can be good in reasonable doses and when used as a motivator for change.
My phrase for 2018 is:
Acknowledge and move forward
Take a moment to think about that statement. Remember back to a time you had a melt down. Acknowledge the unflattering behavior or loss of self control you experienced. You may be embarrassed or upset or even feel guilty.
Allow yourself to acknowledge you have meltdown. You’ve had them in the past and you’re likely to have them in the future. But don’t let guilt hold you back. Don’t let the negative thoughts and feelings creep in and bring you down.
Instead, use the guilt as a force for change. Realize that you are not doomed to repeat those unflattering behaviors. Realize that you have control over your life and can change.
Just like toddlers, moms also have warning signs before a meltdown. Ask yourself, what are my warning signs? Take time to think about how you got to the point of melting down. Did you miss a meal, not sleep well last night, feel stressed about something, or any number of reasons why you reached the end of your rope.
So, what can we do? We acknowledged the unflattering behavior, we feel the guilt and we make the choice to use those feelings as a force for change. How do we actually make a change? Let’s work through this together.
The How – C-R-Y
At Active Happy Kid we are all about action. Action is what gets things done and moves us toward our best life. Action causes change.
As you’re going about you day, you may notice one of your warning signs. The warning signs are alerting you to what will happen if you don’t make a change. If you don’t take any action and don’t change course the most likely outcome will be a melt down.
We want to make a change. We want to do something different and not follow our previous course. When the warning signs come, you may want to cry. Instead, try CRY
The first step is to count. Allow your body a moment to relax. Being more relaxed will help you think in a more calm and clear way.
You may choose to count in your head or out loud. Tell your kids you are working on being more in control of your actions and behavior. Let them know why you are counting. Ask them to please stay quiet and take a pause from their actions so you can decompress.
The second step is to evaluate what needs to change.
Think about the resources you have available.
Resources are the things in our life we need to survive and thrive. They are all around us and include things like food, sleep, friendship, and human interaction.
You wouldn’t expect a car to run without it’s vital resource of gas. You shouldn’t expect your body or mind to run properly without the right resources.
Is your stomach grumbling? Are you feeling sluggish? Do you feel sad?
Evaluate what resources you need, what resources are available in the moment, and use the resource.
Here are a couple examples of how you can evaluate your warning signs and use your resources to make a change.
If you’re feeling hungry, take the opportunity to change course and have some food. As moms we wouldn’t expect our kids to skip meals to finish up a task. You should value your own health and well being in the same way. Plus, by pausing for a moment to refuel your body, you will have more energy to continue your day.
If you are feeling tired, evaluate the rest of your day. Is there a high energy activity you can skip or move to a different day? The best choice may be to set aside some lower energy tasks so you can complete a high energy task.
If you are feeling sad, take a moment to think about things you are grateful for. Gratitude is an amazing way to shift your mindset from sad to happy. Appreciate what you do have rather than focusing on what you don’t have.
Evaluate all of your resources and choose one that will help make a necessary change in your current course. As you evaluate your available resources, you will quickly realize that some resources are finite. Time is a great example of a finite resource, because once it is gone, you cannot get more. Other resources like love are limitless. You can always have and give more love.
The last element of CRY, is saying Yes to your Best Yes.
What is a Best Yes? A Best Yes is one that moves you toward your best life. You have so many choices and decisions to make each day. Think about what means the most to you in your life. What are your goals and what type of life do you want to have? If something in your life is distracting you from your best life then you must say no. Only say yes to your Best Yes.
You Have Support – We all have Mom Meltdowns
As a mom, you go through a lot each day. You are presented with so many challenges and problems to solve. Even with the best support system and management of our resources, there are still off days.
No one can be on point all of the time. You may need to say no to things. You cannot do it all. Manage your own expectations and the expectations of others including your family members. If you are on your way to a meltdown because of unrealistic expectations, change them.
Realize you have options and can change course. Over time you will become better at recognizing when you are overstretched and you will be able to send your regrets to the initial invite rather than bailing at the last minutes. You always have an option. Choose your best option.
What do you think? Do you struggle with mom meltdowns? Do you see warning signs that a mom meltdown is coming? What do you do to keep your cool? Let us know in the comments below.
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