What do you do when you lose your sh*t (aka drop your basket) in front of your kiddos?


I know that I have messed up in front of Olive—said wrong thing, muttered a bad wordunder my breath or acted irrationally impatient.  But this morning, I really lost it. I completely dropped my basket.


I received some news today—disappointing news, but by no means catastrophic. Unfortunately, my chemical makeup doesn't always allow me to see the big picture.  Small things escalate to big things quickly and my ability to cope flies out the window. Add an extra dose of hormones to the equation and well...you get an unholy mess of irrational behavior. Today, Olive was the witness of a 35-year old woman throwing a 3-year old style fit. I threw my hairbrush.  I stomped my feet.  I yelled.  I cried. I fell on the floor. I made a complete ass of myself in front of my precious daughter.


Though I am painfully aware of my short comings when it comes to assessing certain situations in a calm and rational manner, I am usually able to contain them internally. Not so much today. It made me feel very alone.  Alone in this #momfail space with very few friends here to talk to or to have a glass of wine with while they tell me it will all be okay. Friends who say things like: "kids are so resilient" or "she won't even remember it tomorrow". Mostly lies I am sure, but necessary for survival.


I have to think that there are other mamas grappling with the same struggle. What do you do when your precious little one sees the worst side of you?  How do you pick the basket up without traumatizing her for life?  And how do I recover from throwing my own fit while trying to teach her not to?


Please share your thoughts—your experiences.  This first time mama could really use a little mamaraderie.




  • jpc

    it happens. a lot. don’t beat yourself up!! we all do it. Olive knows you love her like crazy and everyone has bad days.
    I have been following and talking to this AMAZING parent coach named Meghan Leahy https://www.facebook.com/MeghanLeahyParentCoach/?fref=ts. Follow her on FB now. she is hysterical and relatable and tells it like it is. She always says you should not be afraid to apologize to your children. i have found that means so much to them, and now when they throw a fit, they apologize to me for their behavior. Shake it off. I am sure it wasn’t pretty, but you two will live through it. xoxo jpc

    on Meghan’s FB page two days ago:
    I threw a REALLY big fit last night.
    A full-on tantrum.
    I yelled at everyone in the family.
    Even the dog.
    I had been holding it together pretty well through the storm. My husband had not been home in a week, I had all three kids, and was working. I was making it all work.
    I knew it could be worse.
    Everything could always be worse, right?
    The messes, the dishes, the food, the laundry….everyone was walking around it, over it, through it.
    And I popped.
    And I really kitchen-sinked it. “No one in this family EVER…” “All of you NEVER….” All of you ALWAYS…."
    Some really professional generalizing happening. A real fit.
    And I made everyone cry.
    I then I cried. And we all cried together.
    The thing was: there WAS truth in what I was saying and my family NEEDED to hear it…but it was like I nuked the anthill. It was truly overkill.
    And the damage was big and messy and the clean-up was long and arduous.
    My 8 yo is still teary today. I will have to earn her trust back…and I will.
    Stress + fatigue + one small annoying issue + feeling attacked = EXPLOSION
    I don’t know why I am telling all of you this except to say that I meditate and do therapy and do yoga and take supplements and journal and have good friends and take meds…AND I STILL LOST MY SHIT.
    Life, if you are living in it in a real way, gets really messy.
    Really, really, messy.

    jpc on

  • Sarah

    I’ve been there…!
    My cousin told me something that helped me though.. Our children will need to know the real us, not only our surface presentation. Adults make mistakes too, and we apologize, dust off our behinds, and carry on.
    This can be an important lesson to your little one, and you can start to lay a strong foundation of sharing things that aren’t always easy or pretty. ?

    Sarah on

  • Natalie

    You are not alone!!!! I always start it with an apology to Z. Mama was very sad and she is sorry she didn’t ‘take a break’ but I took a deep breath now and I am feeling better. End with a hug and obviously this will change the older she gets but it’ll always be about an apology, owning up to being human and losing my shit and telling her next time I am going to try harder to not get frustrated.

    And always know we always get a chance to start over and it doesn’t have to be the next day, it can be in the next 10 minutes or in my case an hour.

    But above all, you are not alone!!!


    Natalie on

  • Sara Grace

    Morgan- I had one of these episodes this morning. Oh, how marriage and parenting can often bring out the ugliest sides of ourselves. I always try to be gracious with myself. I am human. I am sinful. I am imperfect. I mess up. A lot! When it happens I am quick to apologize to my children and try and explain what it was that made me upset and why. With my oldest it has been turning into wonderful opportunities to talk about admitting when we have done something wrong, as well as the importance of forgiveness. As much as I hate “messing up” in front of my children, I also don’t want to present a false picture to them that I am perfect. That would give them unrealistic expectations that they have to be perfect. Vulnerability is a beautiful gift! Hang in there. You are the best mom to Olive and you are doing a wonderful job!

    Sara Grace on

  • Aunt Lorna

    If watching your mom have a complete melt down messes up your child, then Juli should be a “hot mess”!! And, she seems to be a perfectly normal productive person. I know you want to teach Olive to deal with situations without a lot of drama but sometimes a “hissy fit” is just called for.

    Aunt Lorna on

  • Mom

    Perhaps, and hopefully, you don’t remember a rainy Sunday afternoon when you and I went to the grocery in your dad’s car…when we got back in the car, after running in pouring down rain, With arm loads of groceries, I turned the ignition switch only to find there was NO GAS in the car. To say I was upset is an understatement and I believe you learned a new vocabulary that day!!! I don’t think it scarred you for life and I think you continued to love me.!! But do let her know it had nothing to do with her and that you are not upset with her…just circumstances of life. She just needs to know her mommy loves her . And you need to know your mom loves you.

    Mom on

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