I’m done. I’m just done today. I held it together as best as I could, but being tested to my limit with backtalk coming at me from 3 different directions like predators circling around their prey, I lost the fight. I was engulfed in emotion and my stamina to parent calmly crumbled. I lost against the challenge of being a good mom today. I failed at showing self-control.
I lost it. I screamed at my kids. I shamed my kids. Instead of holding my son’s chin lovingly to look into his eyes, only the jaws of life could loosen my grip from his delicate face.
They cried and yelled. I cried and yelled.
And when my husband, who, trying to hold me to higher standards, got on me for my poor behavior, I threw my hands up and yelled one last time in an exasperated angry cry, “I’m done today!”
Have you been in a similar situation?
Friend, I tell you this not to make you think poorly of me. But rather to let you know that we all have moments. I have moments. Too many of them. You have moments. Our spouses and our kids… we all have a breaking point.
In Psalm 40:12, David cries out to the Lord for help, “For troubles without number surround me; my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see. They are more than the hairs on my head, and my heart fails within me.”
Jesus himself even tells us in John 16:33, “In this world you will have trouble.”
But oh, the snapping point is never pretty nor pleasant. Nor something we want to admit. That being said, we’re human and it happens. We’re broken people. We’re passionate beings. We feel. We hurt. We lash out. Some of us shut down and retreat into ourselves. Some of us flee.
Well, these days there’s not much fleeing happening with quarantining and social distancing. So unless you go for a walk or bike ride to burn off some pent up frustrations, you’re not going too far. (Moms, can I get an Amen for how much we all miss fleeing to Target and escaping into the aisles of home décor for hours?!)
So between all the extra family time COVID has provided us, pandemic fears and obstacles, not getting to be with the people you rely on to help save your sanity, the heaviness racial injustices have brought to the forefront and the long-overdue movement for equality… good heaven’s, there’s so much heart work happening that it is very likely you will hit emotional overload and be headed for a blowup or a meltdown… or both at the same time!
Don’t get me wrong, losing your cool is not cool. I’m not supporting that behavior by any means. But unless you are a Zen master, all of us have been pushed beyond a calm emotional capacity at some point. And that is what I want to talk about.
Let me shed some light for those days when you are “just done”…
- It’s okay to be done sometimes. When I get to that point when I throw my hands in the air and announce, “I’m done today!” it means this spicy little chicken has been fully cooked. Take me out of the hot seat. I’m done answering questions, and listening to whining and complaining, and breaking up sibling rivalry and everything else. In other words… I need a time out.
To go along with the food reference… even as good as cast-iron skillet baked mac & cheese with bacon tastes, sometimes you need to push your chair away from the table and stop eating. I’m not giving you permission to leave the kids at the table and stop parenting. What I mean is your “this-is-all-I-can-take compartment” may be filled and having your spouse take over or allowing the TV to babysit for a little bit may be the break you need to let everything digest.
- “You’ve got to pray just to make it today!” You’re welcome for getting Pray by MC Hammer stuck in your head.
But in all seriousness, when you’re feeling done, overwhelmed, frustrated, discouraged, downtrodden, anxious, angry… your Creator is ready to hear your prayers. Just as David cried out to the Lord about his troubles, so also should you cry out to Him. He already knows exactly what you need. Jesus affirmed in Matt 16:33 that yes, you’ll have troubles in this world, “but take heart! I have overcome the world.”
My friend, Jesus, has the final victory. Ain’t nothing you’re going through that he can’t handle. He may not take away your troubles, but he’ll give you the strength to get through them.
- You’ll need a plan. You can’t act like a maniac and move on. Well, technically you can, but the best thing to do is take a moment of self-reflection. Ask yourself:
- What could I learn from the situation?
- Did I truly give it to God or am I holding any grudges or onto my frustrations?
- Is there anything I need to make right with my family?
- What were my triggers?
- How can I avoid another instance like this?
At the risk of sounding cliché, remember that the days may be long, but the years go fast. So even when frustration takes over and you’re ready to be done today, be thankful that you had this day and all the people who were in it.
Praying for you, friend!
Feeling angry, overwhelmed or anxious? Visit MsAlishaCarlson.com for three simple steps to help you keep calm with your kids.