What We Don’t Share As Moms


In my book, The Mother of All Meltdowns, I, along with twenty-nine of my closest blogging pals, bare our souls, sharing stories of motherly woes and full-on adult tantrums. Each of us took a risk by venturing into this often “unspoken” realm of motherhood. These are not the things we talk about while sipping champagne and chatting it up with our girlfriends. No ma’am. Like a slippery-mouth Gambino, these are the moments we often bury, the words we frequently hush.

We try to cover our tracks, because meltdowns are ugly. The tears fall, the anger unleashes, and suddenly Mom is in full-on Hulk mode. It’s never pretty, but the reality is, no woman who ever popped a living person from her hoo-ha is immune. Behind closed doors, at any second, and in all corners of the globe, is a mother losing her ever-loving shiznit.

Working on this book gave me a new perspective into some of the things we don’t share as moms. Sure, we share stories about sex while touching up our lipstick in a bathroom. We have no problem talking about the challenges related to breastfeeding, potty training, homework, college planning, and the like over afternoon tea. But when it comes to losing our cool and completely melting down in moment of absolute vulnerability, our traps are shut.

We don’t openly admit that we beat a broom to a pulp when our two-year-old threw soot from the fireplace all over the living room. Or that we cursed worse than Lil’ Wayne in a traffic accident because our teen knows EVERYTHING and we are the equivalent of a nematode. Nope. These moments are locked away in the most private places of our minds. We’re embarrassed and ashamed, sometimes guilt-ridden, that we allowed our emotions to get the best of us.

There are other things we keep quiet, too, such as the burden we often feel when caring for elderly parents; the anxiety and fear that overwhelms us when facing a financial crisis; the humiliation of having our beloved spouse betray us in the worst possible way. What we don’t share as moms … the list is surprisingly long.

Part of the cover-up is a defense mechanism, to talk about such things brings up terrible memories and resurfaces the guilt. The other part is to shield those we love from the burden of others passing judgment or having to deal with the emotional distress of meltdowns at all. Mothers are natural nurturers and protectors. It is in our molecular makeup to safeguard our families. Hell, we are walking ninja warriors ready for the field of battle.

I took a risk sharing my story, which made it sound as if I had unruly, uncontrollable kids. The truth is, for a while, I did. My oldest two were little terrors. They were the equivalent of the Tasmanian Devil meets Bart Simpson. I was afraid of judgment, and others questioning my motherly skills. So I only talked about my weeklong series of meltdowns—leading to the BIG one—with a handful of people.

Since opening up, I feel so much better. I feel less alone and know that there are others out there who can relate. Other moms; other women; even members of the opposite sex. It’s like a weight has been lifted.

If you’ve experienced a meltdown, or two or five hundred, don’t be afraid to share your story. You’d be amazed at how awesome it feels! Think eating a bowl of the finest chocolate while getting a massage from one of those dudes that grace the cover of a hot romance novel (like Totaled from Stacey Grice!) … yeah, that good!

Fess up! What is your worse meltdown moment? Did it involve kids?

Posted on by Crystal in Motherhood

6 Responses to What We Don’t Share As Moms

  1. Rabia @TheLiebers

    I honestly feel so much freer since participating in this book. It’s like I’m on the inside now and I know how motherhood really works. There’s a mom at my son’s daycare I see pretty regularly. She has twin three year old boys. They are busy to say the least. One day she was chasing one around the car while trying to buckle the other. I saw her and gave her a grin. She said something along the lines of “I can only imagine what all you other mothers think when you see me chasing my boys.” I immediately thought of this project and replied, “I think you are a great mom doing the best you can with the situation you’ve been dealt. That’s all any of us are.”
    I honestly cried a little bit walking away because I hope that I gave her a little peace with that statement. Thank you, Crystal, for the courage to say that to her and to know, from my heart, that it was the TRUTH!
    Rabia @TheLiebers recently posted..#TuesdayTen: Songs That are Stuck in My HeadMy Profile

  2. Marcia @ Menopausal Mother

    This is one time where age has the advantage. When I was a young mom, I wanted to be perceived as a “super mom” who never lost her cool. But after all the crap my kids put me through during their teens…well, I think I would have exploded if I didn’t reach out and talk to people about my stress. Now I just blog about it and I feel 100% better!
    Marcia @ Menopausal Mother recently posted..10 Reasons Why I Love The Midlife YearsMy Profile

  3. Janine Huldie

    Crystal, all I can say (again and again) is thank you for allowing me a place to feel free enough to share my meltdown with the world. Seriously, not sure why we feel the need to cover up and not just let it out, but still glad you gave a us a venue to do this in!! 🙂
    Janine Huldie recently posted..Calling Bullshit – That’s My Girl!My Profile

  4. WriterMom Angela

    Sometimes I think I have mini-meltdowns daily, it’s just the BIG ones that I remember. Recently I had one where my son was being mouthy and not getting in the car, and well let’s just say it resulted in me flinging a box of Cheez-Its out of the car, in the rain, across the street into the neighbors yard. When I came home later and saw the box still laying there I felt ridiculous but D@MN at the moment it felt GOOD! lol
    WriterMom Angela recently posted..Life at the Un-Cool Kids TableMy Profile

  5. Stickymom

    I totally get this and I wish moms in general will just admit that having it ALL together, ALL the FRICKIN TIME is not normal. We need to let go sometimes. Even if it’s just screaming into a pillow or something.
    Stickymom recently posted..Top 10 things you will never hear your husband say to another manMy Profile

  6. Tarana

    It’s become commonplace to hide our parenting failures, isn’t it? Thanks for sharing this. I must admit to losing my cool more often than I should, but I feel like I can’t say that out loud.
    Tarana recently posted..14 (more) things that drive your readers awayMy Profile

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