In the Annals of a Momming Saga

It is Tuesday night.  And I love my children.  However, I am sitting in a shawerma joint without them.  And crying. (FYI, usually when mom's cry, it's due to mommy guilt)

I love my children.  But tonight my stress-o-meter was in the dark orange zone.  I pulled Hana aside with a look of impending doom in my eyes, and said, "I gotta get outta here.  I'm about to lose it. Please, do homework with Timothy and Ada, make them dinner, have Ada get in the shower, and put them to bed?"

I'm not gonna stress if not all those things have happened once I return.  Because the point was for me to leave the premises.

I do love them, I promise.  But I'm just a human being.  I'm just one person, one human, one mortal... ON ZOLOFT NO LESS!

Thing is I know that I need to leave the home before I reach red.  Before I reach the screaming/barking/fist-biting point.  That is more damaging to them than me evacuating for the evening, which probably isn't really too damaging at all.

What's my stress all about, you ask?  Why can't I handle what you handle beautifully every night?

Look, I've been in therapy.  I've done rapid eye therapy.  I've done free writing.  I've done art therapy.  I've done PsyChi.  I've done craniosacral work.  I did lots of prayer before.  Used to do regular scripture reading.  I'll go on:  Paid tithing/went to church/took sacrament/served/didn't drink beer.

Once about 5 years ago, Matt was out of town, as he was often, and the kids were ages 2, 4, 8, and 9 at the time.  I'd had a dismal track record with managing emotionally when he was out of town, because I had to deal with the kids on my own.  So this particular time, I decided to have a fast.

Fasting in Mormonism is like taking an extra step toward showing the Lord that you're serious.  You really really need help with something.  So you fast- give up 2 to 3 consecutive meals- to show real commitment to Him in hopes that He will return the favor.

I started my fast on a Sunday morning.  When you fast in Mormonism, you start out with a prayer.  I felt like a fast would grant me have an exceptionally peaceful day on my own with the kids.  I wanted that for them as much as me.  I wanted to enjoy them even if Matt was out of town.

That day ended up being one of the worst in my momming history.

We could get into what my emotions were at the end of the day.  My confusion.  My disappointment.  My tears.  My anger.  My desperation.  But I think I'm really just trying to tell you guys that I tried/try.  Everything I know how.

Okay, perhaps I'm being dramatic.  It's not this bad every night, nor is every night 'bad'.

The current formula that works better than having no formula at all (like earlier in my momhood) is when I have felt my personal tension building up for several days, and then one night I am dangerously close to threat level 'critical', I must remove myself from the situation.  Eat some shawerma.  Drink some Coke Zero.

And to give Hana her props:  I came home, and Ada had been showered.  Timothy's math was finished.  She had fed them dinner.

I did say thank you.  But I am taking suggestions for a grander 'thank you' for last night's rescue.

I am also taking suggestions on effective ways of self-medicating.  Pot never worked for me.


  1. Go Hana! What a great helper you seem to have. I don't have teens yet (dreading it), so I don't know what a good thank you might be, but my tween always loves me to spend one on one time with her doing what SHE wants, like shopping and eating at her favorite place. Even if she rolls her eyes at the suggestion, it does mean something to her, it shows her that I care about her and appreciate her. Maybe something like that??

  2. Some ideas re: self-medicating -

    Does physical stuff help you? Not necessarily working out (although that could work), but a physical outlet for your stress. Punching bag. Batting cage. Something.

    You may have to find a therapist out there. Even though you and Matt are cool there are many added levels of stress, not to mention being apart from Jeremy. When's the last time you saw a doc re: meds? Maybe a dosage adjustment, or adding a new one to combo with the big Z? Who knows.

  3. #1: try not to be so hard on yourself. Some moms are really great at the kids/homework/meals/chores/bedtime thing. I am not. It is really hard for me and I am learning that it is okay! We all have different strengths and weaknesses and we have to do our best. I am learning that the best thing I can do is step back because losing my cool just makes things worse. It's okay to need some Ashley time.

    #2: your life has been changed in a long list of ways in the last few years. You are bound to feel some stress over that. Even if many of them are good things, change is still hard.

    #3: Hana is awesome. As an oldest child I can tell you that while it is hard, it is also kind of fulfilling to be able to take charge and help like that. You aren't abusing it so it's all good. Give her a hug and maybe take her for an ice cream

    Now, if I can just apply these to myself... Except the Ashley time part. Pretty sure I would need some new meds if I had an Ashley in me...

  4. Have to wonder if your 'Mommy's time out' gave them any pause for thought about making things run a little smoother around there?

    Used to work for me when my three were younger and driving me batty. Instead of throwing all their butts in time out I would take the time out in my room and have some much needed quiet time ;) At some point they would plead for me to come out and I would, provided they promised to BEHAVE.

    But yeah, probably would not work with teens. Wine is good too.


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