Oh boy!

It’s confession time. It’s open-up-my-heart-to-the-world, share-a-nasty-secret and potentially-look-like-a-fraud time.

Yes, I’m a fraud. A “calm mom” fraud.

I’ve actually been telling friends {close friends, only} that I need to change my URL…

I don’t know what I should change it to, but I know that calmjoyfulmom.com doesn’t really feel authentic at the mo… Or at least it didn’t last week.

{Fortunately, things have calmed since then! Sigh of relief.}

So, here’s my confession: I totally lost it last Sunday. I mean really crazy-woman-with-magazine-rolled-up-in-hand-threatening-little-people kind of lost it!

And it really freaked me out!

It freaked me out for many reasons:

  1. It was the evening before the first day of school…a day I really wanted to be just right…
  2. I had really tried  super hard to make the day just right…and,
  3. Well….I ended up ruining it all…

But the biggest reason it freaked me out was because this type of crazy-lady-losing-it hasn’t happened in a really long time. I mean, in theory, I am the calmjoyfulmom, right? The one who coaches other Moms to places of calm and joy. Hmmm…  

So, here’s what happened…

On Sunday we actually had had a pretty good day…we did some Home Depot shopping {without any tantrums, despite taking ages to choose light switches – who would have known?!}. We even watched a family movie in the afternoon.

The cherry on the cake: a smooth last-day-before-school bedtime routine. Yup, I was feeling good. I had read to both my boys separately, then spent some good time talking with my daughter about Middle School.

And then, satisfied with myself as a mother, I went downstairs and bravely took on the task of organizing my kids’ soccer carpool schedule (my middle boy has 3 practices per week, my daughter has one; and in total I share two of the practice carpools with one set of three families, another with another set of families and the last with yet another set of families – all of whom I am SO grateful for).

Don’t bother reading the above paragraph again – my point is that the carpool schedule was complicated and, as they say in the UK, doing my head in.

Tired and head down in a colour coded excel sheet with a calendar by my side, is where my daughter found me at 9:30pm.

I looked through the carpool haze at her with a nasty stare.

She looked back. “I can’t go to bed” she said.

I started to feel my blood warming… She went on.

“I want to go to sleep but can’t because the boys are in my bed and won’t get out”.

Now I can’t really tell you what happened next.

What I can tell you is that, next thing I knew, I was upstairs with a soccer magazine rolled up in my hand pounding my daughter’s mattress like a crazy woman.

Somewhere along the way up to that place, I vaguely recall my mind saying: “They are supposed to be asleep by now. It’s 9:30!! They have school! Tomorrow is her first day of Middle School!! They are ruining everything! I worked so hard so they’d get a good night sleep!”

I know that I desperately needed them to listen. I needed them to do what they were supposed to do. I needed them to sleep…not only for themsevles, but because it meant I was doing my job right. I was a competent Mom who had gotten the night-before-school right. I needed to know that.

So, of course, as any mad woman would, I grabbed one of my boys soccer magazines, rolled it up and started yelling and hitting the mattress like a crazy woman.

The boys went from giggly to terrified pretty quickly.

And I saw myself behaving like someone who had completely lost their mind – which I was.

It was horrible. I stomped away and fuming went back to the soccer schedule downstairs.

There was no noise. All was quiet upstairs.

I couldn’t focus for much longer.

I dragged my exhausted self upstairs to tell my husband what a shit Mom I was. And then I lay in bed looking at the inside of my eyelids feeling rotten.

I couldn’t fall asleep. In addition to the usual back-to-school jitters, guilt, remorse, regret, doubt and all those “I can’t believe I did that” thoughts bounced around in my head.

I replayed the mad woman moment in my head over and over again, imagining what my boys saw when they looked up.

Horrible. Just horrible.

So after a few hours of negative ruminating and mental self-flagellation, I snuck into my 9 year old’s bed and tried to make it all better by being there quietly.

I can’t say that I slept much on Sunday night.

So there you have it. Now you know the truth about me. Calmjoyfulmom isn’t always that calm or joyful. {Ouch, says ego.}

Even though sharing my psycho Sunday moment with you is painful, I wanted to tell you this story because more than being calmjoyfulmom, I want to be a real Mom. A human Mom who still loses her shit sometimes.

I want you to know that you are not alone. That Moms lose their shit. Maybe not all of us, but most of us. We lose it and then we feel bad about it.

So, yeah, Sunday evening was a bad Mom moment for me. And to be totally honest, it is the sort of hot head moment that used to happen to me a lot!

I guess I shouldn’t feel so bad because truth be told, it doesn’t happen a lot anymore, though. I fact it hardly happens these days.

Why do I hardly lose my shit these days?

Well, a few years back, when I saw my daughter replicating my emotionally unregulated behavior and copying me, I got scared {really scared}. And I decided something needed to change.

I started researching emotional  intelligence and mindfulness. I invested in Anger Management Courses, loads of Parenting Courses, and a life-changing Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course.

And while many of these efforts offered tools and strategies to help me manage the hot head moment, none of them helped me to understand why I reacted the way I reacted in that moment.

And without understanding these inner workings, the hot head moments kept coming.

For me, I’d go from zero to ten in 3 seconds or less. It was super hard to calm after I’d hit ten. By then I was already seeing red, already out of control.

I saw counsellors, therapists, life/ parenting/ relationship coaches. And I learned from my clients.

And talking it through helped a lot.

But what really got me over the hump was taking on the personal challenge of working on what lay beneath the surface. I decided to explore the inner dialogue – the shoulds, the not enoughs, the perfectionism, the doubts, the i-got-to-get-this-right – and the pressure this fueled. Pressure that ultimately lead to the explosion!

I had learned that stress is a reaction to threat – either psychological or physical. I learned that threat can look like: me getting it wrong, me failing, me not being or doing enough, me not getting it right.

I learned that I don’t react well under threat. That all of the above meant a lot to me.  

I also came to realize that all of this was in my mind. That it was a mind game. That I was losing that game. And that my kids were paying the consequences.

So, I committed to a calmer, more mindful motherhood journey. I learned, developed and practiced strategies and techniques that helped me “up” my game.  

This is how the tools, strategies and techniques I developed for my Calm Mom Coaching Circle and 1×1 MAMA inJOY work was born.

Mothers were coming to me with similar problems – they’d stress, they’d yell, they’d guilt.

And while I don’t necessarily advocate or believe that 100% no-yelling is possible (because we are human and being a Mom is super hard, after all), I do believe that we can teach ourselves – rewire ourselves- to respond to our Mom-Stress triggers in a calmer way.

In fact I know this to me true because it is something that I have taught myself and it is something that I’ve taught hundreds of clients around the world. Because motherhood is a hard and relentless “game” – for all of us.

The Calm Mom Coaching Circle is a program that I feel super passionate about. It is a game changers for mothers; it is a game changers for their kids.

I’m always here if you have any questions.