Meltdowns….. emotions and meltdowns are so NORMAL

Today I realized that in seeing my friends 4 year old twins melt down I felt more normal… I think we often forget that kids are kids…. all kids will have melt downs, they will be sweet one minute, devilish the next, and then offer the biggest sweetest hug ever… then in a moment have a complete melt down because you didn’t put the cheese on the taco in quite the right way :).   I can laugh now but when engrossed in being busy parents I often feel helpless in those moments – when you try every way possible to approach or leave alone or modify and often the child just needs to release that emotion and it likely doesn’t have to do with whatever the focus at the moment may be…. they release, they hug and typically a few moments later they are happy again.   Since we often do not see those meltdowns from other children I sometimes wonder – are we doing something wrong?  We aren’t – we offer choices and are firm and consistent and focus on be attentive to good behaviors etc… but kids are kids and they express emotions outward which is so healthy.   It happens in all homes with toddlers – although I felt for my friend as she was handling the double meltdown with such grace… I also had a moment of relief that she goes through it too….. 🙂

Maybe we can take a lesson from our toddlers… wouldn’t it be nice after a long, grueling day at the office to come home and just cry or yell openly but not directed at anyone and then hug someone you love and it all be ok? I am going to work harder and be more mindful of my true emotions… throughout my life I have learned to bottle it up and put everyone else’s emotions ahead of mine… I even take on others emotions and hold onto them… instead of acknowledging the emotion, showing sympathy and then releasing…. I used to watch a specific movie that would trigger the emotions in me so I could have my own melt down.. cry and I always felt better…. 

How do you release emotions when you feel stressed, overwhelmed, sad, angry, etc…

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Stressed out mom!

ok… so I am stressed out – I should have realized it but now that I have been sick for 6 weeks and it is rare that I get sick at all;  my doctors, family and friends are pointing to STRESS… and I agree.  I have too much on my plate.  It is the core of my being though so how do I make the change – I used to be so free-spirited and carefree in my personal life and only type-A in my work life.  What happened to that me?  Is she still hiding in there under the work and school papers, computers, laundry, dishes, runny noses, and dog hair????  She has to be – right?  So I need to do some “spring” cleaning on my house and in my soul. I need to find a way to feel free again – it is possible even with responsibilities and a family.

My current day involves getting up at 645 or 7 or sometimes 5 depending on if everyone sleeps through the night – oh and sometimes they may have yelled out for me or my husband several times throughout the night (I hope that stops soon).  Then getting breakfast for everyone while standing and eating my shredded wheat (which works out b/c I like it soggy).  Then we run to daycare so I can get to school by 830 for a class that frustrates me to no end because the generation of “college-aged” students have an unbelieveable sense of entitlement – but I will save that for another post or rant.  After class, I head to my office, work, then try to get some groceries to have a healthy dinner – pick up the kids around 430 or 5 and head home.  Get dinner ready, play superhero or bad guy – depending on my son’s mood and whether my daughter wants to chase us, dancing with them in the kitchen, , snuggle with them as much as I can then read to them, put them in bed and then … actually have a conversation with my husband without interruption and do whatever I need to – clean the dishes, house, schoolwork, etc.

Now, when my husband is in town, he helps with taking them to school, picking them up, getting them in bed, playing music with them, helping with dishes.  This is a huge help – and I probably don’t tell him enough in all of the chaos – Honey – I love you and all that you do to help me and I am sorry I do not tell you enough.  I will also actually tell him.

Ok so I am stressed – no more and no less than any other parent in the world.  I just need to manage it better.  My typical answer is running but currently I am unable to run due to illness and injury so … I need to get back to my meditation days and deep breathing exercises.   I plan to ease back in with 4 7 8 Breathing Exercises.

4-7-8 Breathing:

This is great because it can be done anywhere, anytime of day, and in any position.  When you first start do it in a seated position – back straight and be mindful of your posture.  Put the tip of your tongue behind your upper teeth where they meet the tissue and keep it there the entire exercise.

EXHALE completely through your mouth making a sigh or whoosh sound,

Close your mouth and INHALE quietly through your nose to a count of FOUR,

Hold your breath for a count of SEVEN

EXHALE completely through your mouth making the same sound as before but this time to a count of EIGHT (breath out slowly).

Do this sequence a total of 4 times at least once a day if not more.

I am also going to plan my family meals in advance.  I don’t know if I mentioned it but I am not a good planner – I am very typically spontaneous so this is going to be hard work but I think it will pay off in the end.

I am going to make time for myself away from my family – ME TIME.  I always feel rejuvenated when I do this – I just don’t do it enough.

I am going to cherish my husband and do special things for him and with him.  I think too often we and many couples just get in the motion of life and take each other for granted.  We all need to be reminded that you love your partner so treat them like you do – talk to them with love and discuss frustration don’t act it out and do small things that let them know you care everyday not just on holidays.  This is important for your relationship and also for your children to see the love their parents share and strive toward a positive, loving, caring relationship.

I’ve had enough….

OK, so I think my mind and body have finally had enough of the go, go, go and do, do, do everything for everyone else.  This has been nagging at me for a while but I finally listened to that inner voice today and realized, “I NEED A BREAK!”.  Actually, I just need some me time.  I go and do for everyone else all the time, my kids, my husband, my dad, the daycare, my clients…. I have been allowing everyone to take a little piece of me and not leaving anything or ME.  This may sound selfish but I am realizing that in order to be a good mom, a good wife, a good friend, a good daughter, etc… I need to take time out for me.  Even if that is just a cup of coffee in my house by myself after everyone is gone without turning on my computer or my phone or a good run that gets my mind focused and my body feeling good.

I have always been a little bit of a caretaker and always been and overachiever and what I like to call “Optimistic with my time”.  But now, with kids and dogs, and work and school and everything else… I don’t have time to be optimistic with – I need to learn to time manage better.  Somedays, I feel like I am running in circles and not getting much done at all, often making more work for myself in the process.  Learning to focus on one thing at a time will be a great start.

Here is what I will be trying:  Make a list, Focus on one thing at a time, be present in the moment, get it done and enjoy it.  If thoughts come in about all of the other things that need to get done, I will acknowledge the thought, breathe it out and get back to the task at hand.

Wish me luck…..and let me know if anyone else tries this and how it works out.