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  • Just Like Toddlers, Moms Can Have Meltdowns, Too. How To Deal With It Without The Guilt

    These outbursts make us feel like a bad parent. But there's nothing to be ashamed of.
    by Kitty Elicay .
Just Like Toddlers, Moms Can Have Meltdowns, Too. How To Deal With It Without The Guilt
  • Mothers are often viewed as supermoms — they’re expected to do it all, including running the household, caring for the husband and kids, and nurturing their careers. It sounds like a compliment, but it is actually overwhelming.

    Just as toddlers explode when faced with situations they cannot control, so do moms when they are overwhelmed. Mom meltdowns are real and we should not be ashamed of it.

    Of course, we also can’t escape mom guilt when we have these outbursts, especially when our children are caught in the middle of it. It makes us feel like a bad parent, and worse, a mean mom. But we cannot escape these moments — it happens and it is a normal part of parenting. It also shows our kids that just like them, adults can struggle with big feelings, too.

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    What causes a mom meltdown

    In a recent SmartParenting.com.ph article, moms from our Facebook community, Smart Parenting Village share the top reasons why they’re likely to lose their cool. It includes a messy and noisy home, obnoxious family members, a lack of self-care, and having no one to turn to for help.


    You might think these are small things, but moms do a lot of “invisible work” behind the scenes and most people — sometimes even husbands — don’t always understand just how hard it is. It is also known as emotional labor, and it’s why moms always seem to be tired, frustrated, and susceptible to a meltdown.

    “Bearing the brunt of all this emotional labor in a household is frustrating,” says writer Gemma Hartley in an article for Harper’s Bazaar. “It’s frustrating to be saddled with all of these responsibilities, [with] no one to acknowledge the work you are doing, and no way to change it without major confrontation.”

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    Mom meltdowns can be good for you

    Meltdowns can be draining, but think of them as necessary. “They get us back to our baseline, back to a quiet space where we can breathe, to a place where we know our needs and our feelings were heard and acknowledged,” writes Gina Rich for Scary Mommy.

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    It’s important to self-evaluate after experiencing a parenting meltdown, says Leena Nasir for Moms.com. Think of the possible triggers which led you to the explode and assess how you can minimize it from happening again in the future.

    If the triggers are unclear, that’s ok, too. “The important thing is to check in with yourself, be good to yourself, and take a breather,” writes Nasir.

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    Remember: it’s okay to put yourself first. After your outburst, take care of your well-being and set aside some time for self-care. Catch up on sleep, watch your favorite K-drama, or drink a cup of (hot!) coffee.

    "There's no one right way to deal with the complex emotions of motherhood. Each day, all of us are doing our best to navigate the delicate trade-off between keeping the peace and retaining our sanity," writes Rich.

    She adds, "I used to think there were perfect moms out there who constantly had their ducks in a row, who effortlessly and lovingly taught their kids discipline and respect without ever raising their voices or having a nervous breakdown themselves. Now I know better. A mom who is calm and in control 100% of the time falls into the same category as trolls, unicorns, and husbands who never leave their socks on the floor — she does not exist."

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    How to approach your kids after a mom meltdown

    If your kids received the brunt of your meltdown, they might feel uneasy or scared because they don’t understand what is happening. Once you’ve calmed down, talk to your children and emphasize that what happened was not their fault.

    If you can, explain what led to the meltdown — was it their behavior that made you upset? Let them know how their actions made you feel — that it was tough to deal with — and discuss how you can all avoid it from happening again in the future.

    “Apologizing to your children will show them that you care. It demonstrates that bad moments happen, but that we can learn from them and work together to minimize them in the future,” writes Nasir. “Most importantly, you’re modeling behavior that they need to learn. If you act up, take ownership of it, apologize, and make it right.”


    What makes you feel like a mean mom? Click here for possible reasons.

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