Wait, moms do that too?
Temper tantrums are toddlers’ specialty and I don’t want to take their thunder away. Little kids have their well-documented reasons not to be able to handle all of the emotions around them and also, all of the injustice of the world.
What is more, it is our role as mothers to help them deal with all of the above. Preferably with a smile and hug waiting to happen.
But wouldn’t it be great if a mom could throw an adult tantrum too? I’ll tell you more – people do that! Here’s the thing though – it’s not funny, it’s not a joke, it needs years of therapy to heal the pain they’re feeling. I don’t want to go controversial here, so I need to make kind of a disclosure:
Adult temper tantrums are a serious problem, most often they are a consequence of emotional immaturity and are quite destructive to the people involved.
In this post, I try to create a concept of controlled mom temper tantrum as a manner of taming the problems of everyday life, NOT a bit connected to the actual adult temper tantrum defined by psychology/psychiatry researchers.
So what exactly is wrong with me?
It is obvious that whenever somebody is referring to mom life s/he has some hardship in mind. It’s mostly in connection to not sleeping moms of newborns, emotionally and physically exhausted moms of toddlers, but let’s be honest moms of teenagers also have their struggles.
Moms have EVERY reason to be impatient, irritable, overemotional and the list goes on. I bet it wouldn’t surprise any reason-driven machine to justify a mom temper tantrum at it finest if all the circumstances were in place.
But people are not cold and reasonable, especially when it comes to social relations and it is understandable – can you imagine all of us acting like animals, letting all our instincts and urges out?
That is why what I suggest is having a mom temper tantrum in a controlled way, in a controlled environment. You see, toddler’s tantrum is a last chance power struggle. From a child’s perspective, it’s a life or death match between mommy and him/her. The mom temper tantrum is a more inner struggle. It’s mommy vs. mommy, it’s guilt vs. reason, it’s emotion vs. tiredness and probably hunger too.
Nothing is wrong with mommy and her spiral of worry, she just needs an outlet. My opinion is: have a mom temper tantrum. Controlled one. With a couple of rules. And maybe caramel frappuccino with the wiped cream.
How does mom temper tantrum work?
Well, to be honest, any way you want it to work. Ancient Greeks knew the purifying role of catharsis and so can you. Listen to Elsa and let it go. Whatever bothers you shout it/dance it/somehow take it out. Do whatever helps you and doesn’t harm others. I would just suggest:
- Never involve your children – they don’t need that trauma to see mommy going cuckoo 😉
- Make sure it’s really controlled, that you are conscious of what you’re doing and who is listening to you (husband? best friend? sister? I wouldn’t go any further)
- If you have company, they should know before what is happening. I don’t have to explain that, right?
Real life example:
I’m with my husband 14 years. He knows me better than anybody and he quickly learned that I’m not the best at sharing my emotions, especially if we’re talking serious stuff. While watching movies or even reading books – I’m crying like a baby, I’m touched, romantic and whatever else girly girl is supposed to be. But life-changing experiences, once in a lifetime events or opportunities? You can look at me and have no idea what’s going on in my head, maybe I’m writing a haiku or am dying inside, you wouldn’t know.
Why I am sharing this with you? To give you a little background 🙂 You may or may not know, I have three kids, I live in a country that is not mine according to my passport, I am under some regular amount of stress. Mom life. Some days are harder than others. As Hubby calls it, I have a stick and just look for a something to bit it with. On those days I sometimes announce to him “we will argue today”. Cue the malevolent music.
Use it to your advantage
Like I said above, my husband knows me very well and he knows what I mean by that oh so well. I would not advise threatening your spouse just like that, without any explanation beforehand and then burden him with all of the world’s cruelty and sadness.
In our home, it’s short for “I am crazy tired, feeling blue and really really need you to shut up and listen. I don’t care what is your opinion at this point or what I am supposed to do. I need your shoulder to cry on. Or maybe your arm so I can bite it once or twice” *
*no husband was harmed during writing this post
After my announcement, I simply go back to preparing dinner, like nothing is in the air. Then, after kids are in beds, I let the monsters from my head out. And Hubby plays the ball. He provokes me a bit, finding imaginary problems we can fight about. [That’s quite an important part – we never fight about the real/serious stuff just to de-stress. It could cause frustration and real anger and that’s not the goal.]
I talk and talk, I’m not sure now if I make any sense when I’m talking, but it doesn’t matter – it helps so it’s ok. I end up either laughing or crying, but the most important goal is to simply release all the tension and stress.
Some adventurous people jog, others eat their emotions up, I like my mom temper tantrums 🙂
Still don’t know how is mom temper tantrum useful?
Here’ the list. I bet you could add some more profits (let me know in the comments!!!)
- Because of the catharsis, which is the purification and purgation of emotions through art or any extreme change in emotion that results in renewal and restoration (source: Wikipedia). As an after-effect: your brain releases endorphins, you’re feeling good, your body relaxes, the circulatory system works better. You will sleep better!
- Because it’s quite silly and easy way of creating a bond with your partner, allowing him to see YOU when you’re the most vulnerable, open and honest.
- Because it’s fun and freeing not to care about all the expectations and simply act like a kid. (especially when you’re spending whole days with kids and need to be the responsible one all the time).
- It actually teaches you how to better express your feelings and cope with stress in a long run. It’s like practicing adulting. Does it make sense?
- Letting all out often times helps you see the object of your trouble from a different perspective; mom temper tantrum as a stopping point of the worrying spiral can be the beginning of the redefining process. You’re shifting from a maniac into reasonable woman manifesting her needs (hopefully 😉 )
I can see clearly now the rain is gone
Just like Johnny Nash sang in the seventies, you can see clearly now. All of the built up emotions, that maybe even have not much in common with the real situation you’re in (because of the thunder-rising spiral of thoughts), are gone.
In the best case scenario, you just had a laugh about it all and now you’re ready to think clearly. Do that. Use the momentum. Whatever you should work on with a completely clear mind, do that now. How about starting thinking about your goals and plans for the next year?