Monday, April 4, 2011

Melting Point

Despite the title, this is not a post about some science experiment I did will my kids, it is about me as a mother and I have a melting point.  In the last 3 + years I have learned a lot about my personal melting point and its triggers. If you are a mother, you can probably relate to this topic already and will perhaps find humor in my stories. For those of you who are new mothers or are not entirely self-aware on what triggers you, then read on, perhaps this will be a useful tool.

Currently I have two children, two girls and now I will make a haphazard stereotypical statement that girls are more dramatic than boys. I have watched little boys throw fits and although they are very physical sometimes, they can not compare to my 3 year old girls fits which are very emotional, high volume, with sprawling, wailing and crawling.
I'm not exaggerating about the crawling part just to make a third adjective, seriously she crawls in mid-fit to convince me that she cannot obey me. Her reasoning goes something like this 'if I can't walk, then how can I obey my mother,' sometimes she even tells me that she can't stand up and proceeds to show me her exaggerated attempts that she ends with a dramatic flop onto the floor. Its a very creative ploy, I'll give her that, but so far it has not worked to her benefit. Sorry, that was a side note.

So all that to say my little girl is emotional and dramatic and I know why. Even at twenty eight I seem to still have a flair for the dramatic in me. What brings this awful side out is a combination of things, but with just the right environment and triggers, I turn into a nonsensical ninny. It may not be all the way obvious in my exterior, but certainly there are some signs like tears (for no real reason), loud sighs, dramatic flops on the couch, more yelling than usual in my house, more than usual chocolate consumption, and the worse, completely illogical, emotional, ill-thought out statements to try and express how I am feeling.

Can you relate to that description of what a melt down looks like?

Recently I was telling someone some of my warning signs though, things that give me the tip off that a melt down might be on its way. These are personal to me, but I think some could be universal to women. Here they are:

1. Two or more days in which I have not gotten dressed because I have not left my house (even just to play outside).
2. Two or more days in which I have gone to bed early and gotten up late with lingering fatigue even when I have done almost nothing to tire myself (this is also common in early pregnancy, but if your not pregnant be suspicious).
3. Putting on more than 4 movies for your kids in the span of 3 days (only counts as a warning sign if everyone is well in your house). I use movies for my kids as a coping mechanism when I'm feeling depressed and full of self pity - which leads to a melt down.
Need some of these to make
it thru the day!
here is the link
4. Baking and eating an entire batch of cookies in one day.
5. Checking my facebook more than 3 times in one day.

There are probably more, but all of them add up to the fact that I am probably about to lose it, either on my husband or on my kids. Some other factors that play into these scenarios are hormones. Certain times of the month (uncomfortable cough) make me more prone and also stress.

How do I combat these warning signs to offset my chances of a melt down?
First I pray, I sometimes take communion too, as often as I need to.
Second I find time to go outside, which causes me to have to get dressed.
Second and a half, I fix my hair nice and wear earrings, because if I feel like I look nice, I feel nicer.
Third, I find an excuse to get away from my kids for a short time (I use 'quiet time' in the afternoon while i cook dinner when I have had a long day).
Fouth, I plan a play date with a friend as soon as possible.
Fifth, if its really bad I schedule a date night with my husband. Even if it is two weeks out, it gives me something to look forward to.

So what do these things look like in reality. Well for example, after a week of sick babies a while back, I found myself eating a lot of chocolate chip cookies and being overly weepy. So one day Ken came home to find me cooking dinner with the girls in 'quiet time' and then when dinner was done I put in my earrings and told him I needed to go to the store to buy some milk. By the time I got back with the milk I felt so much better and then the next day I phoned a friend to set up a play date for the next week.
Practically it doesn't always work so beautifully, sometimes Ken is only home long enough to eat, or we don't actually need any milk. Other times its raining outside or I can't find anyone available for a play date, but the earrings thing is something I can do all the time, and the 'quiet time' helps me make it thru the day.
On days where I'm not able to get out of the house at all, I make sure to do something special, like paint my toe nails and watch a girly movie with a cup of warm tea (after the kids are in bed). Ahhhh, so soothing.

Hopefully this was helpful to you all, and when you see me dressed kinda nice looking just on my way to the grocery store (or the prayer room) you will understand that I'm not trying to impress, I'm trying to de-stress.
Look I made it rhyme.


abbie said...

I understand these feelings completely. Gracie is a lot like Kinsey...haha! I like how Gracie even asks for things dramatically...The joy of having girls! Thanks for the helped me realize my melting points too.

lifeinthevillage said...

that is sooooo true. well stated my friend. thanks for the reminder. :) had a blast last night, by the way. i don't know what we will do without you. :(