Ugggghhhh, I don’t even know how to start this post other than by saying TODAY SUCKED, IT SUCKED SOOOOOOOOOO BAD! It was one of those days where BC (before children) I would’ve gone home “sick” from work or wouldn’t have gone into work at all! But alas, that is no longer an option for me. You can’t call in sick for parenting.
I had big plans for today, exciting memory making kinds of plans! Friday is the day I plan to do an activity outside of the house with the girls. Today, the plan was to go to a local indoor playground that Maya LOVES (did I mention it also has a cafe, so naturally #mumwin). But I should’ve known from the early morning tantrums that the rest of the day wasn’t going to improve, I saw the signs. Though I ignored the big, flashing red lights screaming at me to abort mission – I did the unthinkable. I put my big mummy panties on and said to myself “it will be fine, we can do this”.
BIGGEST MISTAKE EVER.
The car ride there was uneventful as was first 15-20 mins following are arrival. I did what I always do. Parked at a table, took Maya’s shoes off, sent her off into the playground and ordered my coffee. About 20 minutes after we arrived my coffee was brought to the table and Maya wandered over to me with a stressed, angry look on her face (that face is the stuff nightmares are made of). When that look takes over, you don’t see a beautiful, happy 3 year old girl. You see a child, trying to juggle a grenade that’s pin has been pulled! I went into immediate peacekeeping mode, offering water, calm talking, smiling, offering snacks, making jokes. ANYTHING JUST TO CHANGE THE LOOK ON HER FACE.
It was an impossible mission.
She started shooting unreasonable requests at me, “mum, make that kid be my friend”, “mum get me a slushy”, “mum let me take Hidayah (her 11 month old sister) into the playground”. It’s like she knew the answer to all those questions would be no, so it became a perfect opportunity for her to cross into the next phase of her mood…FULL BLOWN MELTDOWN… And that is exactly what happened. MELTDOWN. Now this isn’t my first rodeo, she has definitely had public meltdowns before. But this one – this one will go down in history. There was the normal screaming, demands and squealing BUT there was also throwing items (my shoes, Hidayah’s bottle, car keys etc) and yelling at complete strangers that looked at her.
Here I am, balancing Hidayah on my lap (who seemed quite entertained by her sister), trying to pick up thrown items and calm an insane 3 year old all at the same time. I’m not being paranoid when I say, every single person in that playground was looking at us. I know they were judging me, waiting for me to do something wrong like smack her or yell at her or do something (anything) that they could scold me for. Normally, after a couple of minutes of screaming Maya calms down and carries on as if nothing happened. Not today, she would NOT let up! I had no choice but to somehow leave and take them home.
There I was the bag packed,my full, hot coffee was abandoned and I swiftly grabbed Maya to avoid chasing her around the playground. With everyone still sitting and watching us (like some popular television soap), I slowly made my way to the gate so I could leave. I would walk 1 metre than have to readjust the squirming snake child that was on my hip and repeat.
It felt like I was crossing the freaking Sahara desert!
We were obviously the most entertaining thing that had happened to the people in that place all day. Because they continued to stare. Even when I got to the gate and struggled to try and open it while carrying Maya and pushing the pram!
DON’T WORRY EVERYONE, JUST KEEP WATCHING ME – I DON’T NEED A HAND WITH THE GATE OR ANYTHING!
Despite all odds, I DID IT. I finally secured my small humans into the car. Even though Maya was thrashing about like a rabid, zombie werewolf that was in attack mode! And somehow through all this, I kept my cool. I didn’t yell and scream at her (like I really wanted to do) and I didn’t cry. Well, I didn’t cry until I got 10 minutes down the road and my husband called me to see what we were up to.
I didn’t want to cry. I wanted to be able to talk to him like an adult. An adult that can handle her kids. Talking to him only made me cry more and feel useless at parenting. I’m sure that wasn’t his intention but I was highly stressed. All I wanted, was to be able to vent and for him to tell me I’m doing a good job and that I am a good mum. However he interpreted that I needed him to give me practical options that would prevent me from having to go through public tantrum incidents ever again…
His practical “options” and opinions were:
- Don’t go out with the kids, kids should be at home. He said that I take them out to much and they don’t appreciate outings, that’s why they act out. These outings are for their sanity as much as mine. Plus I want them to experience different things and have good memories to look back on one day.
- Put the kids in daycare 5 days a week so you don’t have to take them out. This suggestion is what absolutely tore me apart. He made me feel like I was a complete failure as a mother and I needed someone else to look after my kids because I couldn’t handle them.
- Maya gets so aggressive because I don’t give her what she wants and I always fight her. Ummmm haloooooo, she is 3 years old, she literally wants EVERYTHING.
All I wanted was a bit of support. Someone to vent to, tell me that it’s ok and I am doing great.
How do you cope with meltdowns? Am I doing something wrong? Have you got any hints and/or tips for me? Please (I cyber beg you) comment if you do. I don’t want to end up like Britney.
Pic sourced from: http://files.mom.me/photos/2015/03/09/6-95866-haircuts-freaked-brittany-spears-1425875531.jpg
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