Do you remember the show “Who Wants to be a Millionaire”?. At the risk of “dating” myself- I remember it from when we used to still have cable. Remember the lifeline options- one was “Phone a Friend”? Where you reached out to a friend for help in a dire situation- okay maybe struggles in mommyhood aren’t like trying to win a million dollars- but stay with me here.
The purpose is that you need help and you call someone. I used to be able to call people all the time before kids- and now sometimes I get so swept up in the wave of motherhood, I realize days will go by before I speak with someone and have a real adult situation. When I was at my breaking point I would just hunker down into my own mommy hell- afraid to reach out- but here’s the thing- that’s the absolute WORST thing you can do.
My husband doesn’t get it. He’s not home with our daughter all day. She acts like a completely different kid around him- even when I’m present. He doesn’t deal with the same meltdowns or defiance. And he certainly doesn’t deal with nap boycotts. So sometimes, when I complain to him- he asks me why I’m so frazzled or upset- he doesn’t get it.
A few weeks ago I was packing for our first Kid Free Vacation- I had attempted to pack all week- but a kid refusing to nap, sleeping in our room- I was in the final 8 hours before our flight and shit had to get done. I had no other choice but to put my daughter in her room after an HOUR of story reading, some rocking, some singing, put the gate up- kiss her goodnight and pack. And you know what happened- she stood in her doorway and screamed for me for over an hour. I felt like the world’s worst mom. I felt like I was failing her, but I HAD to pack- we were leaving in 8 short hours and I had run out of time.
Where was my husband? you may ask- at work- because he’s primarily on nights- so here I was in my own mommy nightmare- alone. So I used my lifeline- while it wasn’t a phone call because it was 9pm- I sent a desperate text to a friend:
“Please tell me I’m a good mom”
And I explained the situation- and she re-affirmed what my irrational mind couldn’t
“She knows you love her, and she’s old enough to know you aren’t abandoning her. Sometimes you have to walk away- and that doesn’t make you a bad person”.
And you know what- I felt so much better.
So next time you feel yourself overwhelmed in your mommy hell- phone a friend. And then let me know below whether it helped or not.