Mom Meltdowns

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by gcvmom, Dec 20, 2011.

  1. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I got to thinking about Mom2Oddson's post about her Christmas meltdown and how her family took the cue and stepped up to help her out.

    And I think it's an important lesson for all of us. We moms are programmed to serve, to put our needs aside for our families, to ask for nothing, to give, give, give until there's nothing left to give. Not the healthiest of behaviors. Sends the message to our kids that we are not human, I think!

    I've had some things go on around here in the past week that just really, REALLY irritated me. I let my kids know it, too. Funny thing, easy child got upset that I was upset (probably because she's not usually the source of my frustration) and started to actually chew me out for making her feel that way. At first, I felt defensive about this. But quickly that turned to annoyance and I told her it was just too bad if she didn't like that I was feeling a certain way towards her. I have every right to my feelings. If she didn't want to see me upset, then she needed to THINK about her actions next time and consider the IMPACT they might have on someone else.

    It's been my biggest complaint this past week with all three of my kids: impulsively acting with no regard to the consequences. I know that's very much a kid thing, not to mention a difficult child thing. But I really feel it's my job to teach them that this behavior just cannot fly. It pretty much came to a head Thursday night when difficult child 1 antagonized difficult child 2 to no end, which resulted in an angry outburst that created a one-foot hole in my front hallway wall. difficult child 1 accepted NO responsibility for his part in the drama, at first. I told him that 1/2 the blame was his for pushing his brother to extremes and 1/2 was his brother's fault for losing his temper and allowing difficult child 1 to affect him that way.

    This led to a whole conversation about their chronic choices to not clean up after themselves, to wait to be asked to do chore X, Y or Z, and pretty much only worrying about what was directly in front of their noses (and sometimes not even that far past themselves). I explained in excruciating detail how those choices affect ME and quite frankly, I am DONE with that. So I explained that they were expected to DO more without being asked and without complaining because otherwise they risk losing my help altogether and then they could really see just how much is done for them. I said I want them taking more PRIDE in their home because they aren't the only ones living here. It all basically boils down to dishes, trash and laundry. It ain't rocket science.

    Yesterday I left difficult child 1 home alone with a list of chores to get done while I was out running errands with the other two kids. He got all of it done and without any moaning or groaning! The past few days when I ask a kid to do something, or make an observation that some chore needs to be done, it is now getting done. We'll see if after winter break the attentiveness continues. They won't be able to do as much because of school, and that's fine, but more of their spare time will definitely need to be devoted to helping out more.
  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I'm glad your stuff is getting done... As you said, "we'll see", but hey, every little bit, huh?!

    Now. HOW did you get them to understand and actually follow through? I need the formula for that...
  3. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Oh dear, gcvmom, I don't mean to be facetious but... your brood don't happen to be teenagers by any chance?
  4. cubsgirl

    cubsgirl Well-Known Member

    I tend to hold things in and not confront the kids about their "helping" uh hmm, or lack thereof. I had an epic meltdown this past summer over something silly and inane. It was really about all the stuff I held in. Most of mine was about dishes, trash and laundry too.

    I'm trying to work on dealing with issues as they arise, confront them head-on and ask the kids for more help when I need it. They complain but usually (crossing my fingers for continued luck) they rise to the occasion.

    Maybe the difficult child's could repair the wall together since they inflicted the damage or contributed to it???

    Like Step said -- if you anyone has the formula for follow-through I will take a copy.
  5. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I've actually melted down on my family... Tends to make them refuse to help. :sigh:
  6. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Without even realizing it, I have melted down on my family. Their typical response is to avoid me like the plague when that happens, lol. I guess they are unsure of how I will lash out or react next! Like a hyena, you just never know what I will do, lol.

    I have to say, when they both lived home and were not adults, it was easier to have a meltdown and see them react by pitching in or helping out more. Nowadays, as adults, I find it childish to have a meltdown (unless it's with H). When something is being neglected by easy child (she lives at home), I leave it to H to handle it...he has no problem giving her 'what for' or calling her out on things. And if I ask difficult child to help, she usually is ready and willing, also her boyfriend, E - he's very helpful when he has time. They came over last night and helped set up and trim the tree - I couldn't have done it alone as I've done for the past couple of years.

    There's that period of time where having a meltdown can be effective...I fear we are past that these days. Unless, as I said, we are talking about me melting down on H. He occasionally has a meltdown, but I've learned to ignore it. It used to trigger ptsd in me because growing up my mom always had meltdowns and would upset the entire household. I can't live like that, but an occasional hissy fit usually does some good in bringing to everyone's attention that we're a family and we all need to chip in and help maintain the house. The worst was if I started to cry - oh my, they couldn't stand it when I cried. Now they laugh at me when I cry. Won't it be a riot when I'm flat on my back and the walk needs shoveling? Hahaha, "Oh, pcccccccccc!"
  7. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Step, since we're on winter break, I am getting them to follow through by hovering or just following up and then if they didn't do what they were supposed to, I hunt them down and insist that they stop whatever they're doing to go back and do what they were asked to do, even if it means interrupting something fun. Although I was surprised when difficult child 1 got his entire list done with me not home all day. THAT was quite remarkable. Granted, the Wii and the Gamecubes are all hidden away and he has very restricted computer access, so there wasn't much left for him TO do that afternoon! :winks:

    My other strategy is unabashed guilt. I am their MOTHER, I remind them. I have given them a HOME, LOVE, WARMTH, CARING, COMPASSION, have sacrificed MUCH and in return I expect their respect and cooperation. And yes, I've even cried in front of them when I've been beyond frustrated (like with the hole in the wall) -- and THAT really bothers them. I've told them that they don't have to LIKE me but they DO have to follow my rules. And they've tested me PLENTY of times to learn that my consequences aren't very pleasant if they choose to ignore my expectations.

    So far, so good. I got difficult child 1 to assemble a storage cabinet for me today, difficult child 2 did a load of laundry, and easy child helped with dishes.
  8. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip


    Guilt sometimes works on Jett...

    And I can't hover. I work all day! Besides, if I am hovering, I might as well be DOING it myself. And... If they see me doing something, it doesn't prompt them to get up off their duffs and help.
  9. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I sometimes feel the same way about hovering. Getting them all to do the right thing the right way is VERY time and labor intensive. BUT, I also look at hovering as part of teaching them. difficult child 2 wanted NOTHING to do with the laundry bit, even though I've showed him before how it all goes together. He claimed he didn't know what to do (as if that would get him out of it). "Well, I'm going to show you," I said smiling as I led him to the washer! Then we reviewed the chart I have taped to the washer (which was originally put up for husband's benefit since I was tired of him throwing delicates in with jeans or towels, but that's another problem for another day), and I stood there while he figured out what needed to go in the machine. Only took a few minutes, but he did well and without attitude.

    My three do not automatically jump up to help with things, either. But I'm working on that. I just don't want them to turn out like their dad who is oblivious to mess and chaos!
  10. Star*

    Star* call 911

    (hands chair and whip)

    Sometimes you just have to know when to get in the cage and shut the door with the tigers!

  11. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    And to my sheer AMAZEMENT this morning... I asked difficult child 1 to empty the dishwasher, which he proceeded to do without so much as sideways look at me... but that's not the amazing part. The TRULY AMAZING part is that once it was empty? He proceeded to load it again with the few dirty dishes that were in the sink. WITHOUT BEING ASKED OR EVEN HINTED (COUGH! COUGH!) IN THE SLIGHTEST!!! :bigsmile:

    That was, for me, the most wonderful moment of the entire day.
  12. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well hats off to you gal! Now come here and whip one 30 year old into shape! Tony is doing his best...most of the time. He tries on weekends if I throw a fit. I am trying more around the house now that I got those cortisone shots in my knees and back. I feel a bit better. I hope I dont poop out before my February appointment. Thats the next time I can get one. I guess I will just go on a 3 month schedule with them. I need to clean my room with a vengeance. I think I have Mickey, Minnie and their family living with me. cute lil critters but they gotta I also need to find my winter clothes so that is an incentive.
  13. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    LOL last night I got home and... Chores? :rofl: nope. Reminded Jett. Reminded Jett. TOLD him to GO DO THEM. Mentioned that since the dishwasher wasn't done yet he could do them today. "Oh, I know, I started it when Dad got home."

    ORLY? That wasn't the Mama, filling the soap, pushing the button? (And if he'd started them then, they'd be done, dry and COLD... it was 4 hours later.) I pointed out that, no, he didn't, I did.

    And this morning? The ones in the drainer were SHINY... with GREASE.


    Please send difficult child 1 to teach Jett how to not make the Mama mad in regards to dishes???
  14. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Be careful what you ask for... if I send you difficult child 1, I might not take him back for a while! :rofl:
  15. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    ...He might keep Jett occupied... And my ears from bleeding...
  16. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Tut, tut mustn't think like that Step. I had no choice to hover with Travis.......still do by the way......because it's the only way he can remain on task without distracting himself, even when he IS trying hard. But I made up my mind if that was the way it had to be then by darn that is the way it would be but he'd do as much as his sisters one way or the other. lol And he did, with mom sitting nearby usually doing something else, keeping him on task.

    gcv-- Way To Go girl!!! :) And major atta boys to the boys too! Hope they can keep it up for at least quite a while, then you can always remind them again. husband always said I did guilt like a jewish mom.....I was never quite sure if that was a compliment or not as I've never known any Jewish moms in person on a day to day basis (most of his childhood friends were Jewish) ...... but it does work if you do it right. lol
  17. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Take it as a compliment.
    Its a cultural thing. Seems like they have a way of really laying it on thick... without adding the damaging barbs.
  18. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I see constructive guilt as my Jiminy Cricket tool. :winks: