You know that moment when you need to breathe into the brown paper bag to stop yourself from hurling? That’s what parenting, specifically being a mom, sometimes feels like to me.
Tonight I had to go into the restroom and hold a towel to my mouth to muffle the sounds of my sobbing. I thought of the brown paper bag as I breathed, then cried, then breathed.
Parenting sometimes feels like a vortex of emotions where one second all is calm and the next moment it’s tantrums and screams and tears. Sometimes I find myself flowing so gracefully from one emotional transition to the next. Just this afternoon as my youngest was about to spiral over because a song was playing that she didn’t want to hear, I thought, wow what have you done to the person that would lose her temper in this moment, where did you get this calm woman?
That’s the funny thing about impermanence though. The good comes and goes just as much as the bad does.
Then our oldest woke up from a nap and was ready to lose it in the restroom. She was in tears and didn’t know why (needed dinner, I knew that) and so I held her in my lap and let her have a good cry, and reassured her and comforted her until she was ready. But then she got sidetracked before heading to the dining table to eat and by the time she made it there she was a whole new title wave of emotions.
You know when you shake a bottle of soda and then open it and all the contents come spewing out, imagine it’s your emotions and you’re a mom. And suddenly everyone in the house is losing it and both girls have hit full blown meltdown mode and even the parents are about to jump ship and somehow someone covers the spewing mess and is containing it and even though it feels like the bottle might blow from the pressure of being contained forcefully, it happens. That was me and my own emotions. I don’t know that I’ve ever felt such utter frustration and loss of control and then suddenly a metal door is slammed and nothing of what I’m feeling can get out and so it all gets shoved back in and sort of explodes inwardly.
So I shut down and couldn’t even speak anymore. Thankfully by then my husband had also regained his composure (he’s typically more calm than me anyway) and distracted and played with the girls after they ate.
But the whole night I continued to have this feeling. I don’t know if anyone can even understand. It’s like the door that slammed on me and pushed my emotions back in where they were coming from just got stuck into a nasty ball inside me. I don’t know how to get the toxins out now and it feels like this heaviness weighing inside me.
All I can do is pray and remember impermanence.