There was this one time that I had a meltdown in the car in the grocery store parking lot…
It was this morning.
There were tears and tissue. I was frustrated and overwhelmed, tired, angry and shouty. There were a thousand moments leading up to it. There were lots and lots of reasons. I could give you a list of excuses, but I won’t. This story is not about why the meltdown happened, it’s about what I chose to do next.
It had been a rough morning, we were running late. By the time I got all of us in the car it was nearly the time we should have been leaving the store to come home. We went anyway. On the way, I was talking to my kids about what was going on for me. I don’t censor my feelings from them, even the ugly ones. I think it’s important for them to see me have feelings, listen to me name them and see me work though them. So, I was saying something about wanting more alone time to write, but I was feeling like I spend all my time doing everything to make things easier for everyone else. L got a little bit teary too and told me that I should stop do things for the little people and just do my own thing instead, they would be fine and would handle it all on their own from now on. Then I had a whole bunch of other feelings…mostly shame and mummy guilt.
I thought about all the different ways I could handle the situation and what impact each choice might have on the little people that I love so much and want so badly not to damage irreparably. I decided not to take the easy way out. After all, we can do hard things, right!?! I unbuckled us all and we had a big group hug in the back seat. I held my kids and told them that I am the parent and it’s my job to help them solve their problems, but it is not their job to solve mine. I was having a hard moment and it would pass and I still love them no matter what, even when I’m frustrated and shouty. We’re a family, so it’s safe to talk about our feelings no matter what they are, I appreciate them listening to me talk about mine so I can try to sort through them. But, I’m a grown up and it’s Christine’s job to make sure that Christine has what she needs to be happy. That seemed to take some of the pressure off of my kids and put the responsibility back where it belongs.
Later I was thinking about journaling about this and then I realized it was blog day (Sunday) so I decided to share it as a post instead. I had posted this picture and quote from the book + movie “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” on my FB page yesterday. It seemed to capture this story and my lesson for the day in the most brief and beautiful way.