So I had a Mommy Tantrum…

Sometimes I get tired of having to ask for help.

I mean can’t you just read my mind, or something? My sighs? The slamming of the cabinets?

I grew up in a family in which I had to become adept at reading body language and assessing the emotional temperature of a room – so I learned how to read minds –so why can’t you?!

Short-circuiting, crossed wires and blown fuses happen when a family is affected by alcoholism or any of the other –isms. Those interpersonal relationships are not fueled by love, compassion or respect; instead, they are driven by fear, anger, worry and shame.

When someone’s life is based in fear and a hunger for control, he/she acts from an instinctual place. A place that is primal, reactive, and in the extremes. He/She lives from the gut – not by the heart or intellect. There is no gray area or thinking as to how this behavior affects others. Behaviors are self-centered, narcissistic, passive-aggressive, and abusive (physically, verbally, and emotionally). And it gets handed down to the next generation until someone breaks the cycle.

those with knowledge

I didn’t learn tools for living in my home. I learned how to follow directions and stay out of trouble. I l was raised to fear God and pray a bunch of prayers by rote for atonement of my sins. I didn’t learn how to connect with others, or with God, – I learned to live my life for the wants of others. I was taught that drama and extreme emotions were the keys to getting my way, that manipulating others was the only way to get help and to be passive-aggressive when I didn’t get what I wanted. And that someone should be able to see what I am thinking and act accordingly.

Those” tools” landed me in a bunch of unhealthy relationships; including my marriage (in the early stages).

I have long since stopped being passive-aggressive and feeling the need to manipulate others to get my needs met; however, I still have a problem with thinking that other people should be able to read my mind.

I need to break my cycle. I want to break my cycle.

I had a “mommy tantrum yesterday and it scared me.

My daughter turned 11 and she invited several girls to sleepover to celebrate. I had a lot to get accomplished and I didn’t plan on any deviances from my to-do list: Lacrosse game in the morning – check. Dinner set up for tonight – check (thank goodness for my hubby).. Laundry washed and dried-check. Bathrooms cleaned – check. Grocery store for drinks and breakfast – heading there. Leaving her cleats at the lacrosse field – uh, not check – not in the plan!

The cleats set me off.

Why, why, why can’t she keep track of her stuff? (hindsight = hmm, probably because she has ADHD and needs reminders). We were heading to the store to get some missing items ( 20 minutes away from the field) and she tells me, “ Mom, I don’t know where my cleats are!”

What do you mean you don’t know where they are? You had them on!

I can’t find them. Remember we had to switch into our tennis shoes for the turf and I must have forgotten them.

Then the verbal outburst ensues. Defamations of character and chunks taken from her self-esteem. All from me. Her mother – the woman who went through aggressive fertility treatments and two rounds of IVF (in-vitro fertilization) to conceive and carry this precious child who turns 11 today.

I drove her to the field and the cleats were there.

I drove her home in silence, steaming with anger and frustration that my plans were derailed.


Why am I acting this way towards my daughter?

Because I have not spent enough time with God to break my pattern. I am still trying to handle it on my own – and we can see that is not working for me very well as I was not taught healthy interpersonal skills from my family of origin. I need to turn it over.

It’s okay that she’s not perfect – I’m not, so why do I expect it from her? We all make mistakes – and that’s all that was…a simple mistake. Rather than taking a breath and trusting that it would all work out, I had a mommy tantrum.

I had too much on my list and I didn’t ask for help – from God, my husband or my daughter.

I am not happy for how I behaved toward my daughter, yet I am grateful for the realization that I need to change my interactions with her.


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16 thoughts on “So I had a Mommy Tantrum…

  1. I admire you being so honest here. I know we’ve all had those moments. And this: “I still have a problem with thinking that other people should be able to read my mind.” Yeah, I suffer from that more than I should too. I think I said it just this week to my husband: “Didn’t you pick up on any of the signs?” when he didn’t “get” me. ha. We’re living and growing though, so any progress is appreciated.

  2. I can honestly say that I relate and totally understand. My 9 year old has ADHD too and I’ve been in similar situations. Know you aren’t alone I’ve said things to him that I’ve later regretted and repented for. Like you I have my “to-do lists” and if it ever goes off track It makes me crazy! 🙂
    Thank you for being real. I pray others will see this and see they aren’t alone either.

    • That’s all I could do as well. I apologized and told her I had a mommy tantrum. I had too much on my plate and I was super stressed. Not an excuse, but at least she understood that I was remorseful and it wasn’t intentional . I sometimes think God gave me a child with ADHD because He wants me to feel I don’t need to control everything…

  3. I can completely relate, Kristin! I have mommy and wife tantrums all the time. No matter how many times I say never again, some little thing will set me off… I think it definitely has a lot to do with control issues. Those of us raised in dysfunctional homes felt so out of control as children that we want to control everything as adults. That’s my take on my many control issues anyway :). As you said, we all make mistakes. You caught yourself and apologized to her, so many kudos for that!

    • Yeah, control, or rather, lack thereof, is the main trigger for so many interpersonal issues. I am learning that we need to have more realistic and less idealistic expectations of ourselves and others -and it’s probably better still to have little to no expectations!

  4. I had a mommy tantrum on Wednesday. My daughter’s shoes were bothering her on the way to school so we had to stop and empty the wood chips from the playground out of them. I was worried about being late and was NOT gracious about this problem. I felt terrible, and asked her forgiveness a few minutes down the road. I think breaking the cycle relies on the question you asked, and I also asked myself – why? Why did I have a tantrum? Because I was tired and anxious and instead of paying attention to my own feelings, I completely ignored them and my daughter’s. Thank you for this post. It makes me feel much less alone.

    • You’re most welcome. It’s not my finest hour; but I am human. We’re all human and that means we make mistakes and errors in judgment. Life is not easy and parenting is the most demanding “job” out there. My daughter had a texture thing for a while and it drove me batty -i just wanted her to get dressed so we could get on with our day…she had other concerns! The beauty is that we can recognize it and rectify it and forgiveness and grace can be shown. We can be more cognizant next time (we hope!)

  5. This hits straight home to me today after I lost it with my husband in the supermarket today. I have so much to do and he just cannot remember anything I ask him too. But i shouldn’t have lost it. I forget to turn to the one who is waiting to help me. I needed this to remind me. Thank you xxx

    • Sara, you are definitely NOT alone in that respect. We are all so incredibly busy these days and that busyness detracts from our inner guidance – God’s GPS, if you will. My husband works A LOT of hours and doesn’t get home until 8/9pm most nights,I work full-time out of the home, and most evenings I feel like a single parent running my daughter here and there and taking care of stuff in the house — it’s exhausting. But because of that, I have realized how important it is to have time to myself – to make that time so I can be the person God desires me to be. It’s not going to be easy-peasy, that’s for sure; but self-care is vital to my sanity – and yours : ) (( hugs))

  6. I appreciate your transparency. I’ve had mommy tantrums, too, and some of them were especially ugly. I like what Charles Stanley says about being more likely to react badly … when we’re Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired (HALT). I’ve found that definitely to be true!

    • Oh, thank you, Melissa. I sometimes tjink we need mommy refresher courses or continued education courses so we don’t feel alone and so we can better prepare for the current or coming stages !!! Then we could say, ” oh, i just passed my tantrum certification! ” or, “I have the tools down pat when my tween gets an attitude again, ” or even, ” I was able to spend time to take care of me and I didn’t feel guilty!” Wouldn’t that be awesome?
      HALT is one of the acronyms that is taught in Al-Anon as well. It is SO true that those four things have such impact on our emotional thermometers!
      Thanks for stopping by – and know you’re not alone in the mommy tantrums ((♡))

  7. Oh, thank you for sharing this. I’ve had more mommy tantrums lately than I’d like to admit, and it’s nice to be reminded that (1) I’m not alone and (2) I can change that pattern by reaching out to God (and, when needed, other people He provides) for help.

  8. Hi! I’m visiting from the link up at Ordinary Moms, Special Kids. I completely resonate with the mommy tantrum. I have them, too. I don’t often find others willing to share those kinds of stories with world so I greatly appreciate your honesty about the fact that it happens. None of our perfect and we all make mistakes. I also appreciated when you said you expect something along the lines of perfection from your daughter. I struggle to expect the same things from daughter. But WHYYYYY??? All that does for us is add strain an anxiety. Anyways, I’m following along on your blog now. I’m glad I came by!

    • Hey there! Oh yes, that vicious cycle of expectations-perfection-control-anxiety-worry….. we are not alone in the stresses of parenting kiddos with unique needs…. they have their gifts yet their quirks sometimes get under our skin…. i’m with ya!!

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