Ep 35. How to Recover From a Mommy Meltdown

I'm Ashley!

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In today’s episode, I am really excited to have this conversation with you, although it is a conversation that I think many mamas shy away from, and that is how to recover after you’ve lost your temper.

I know it is not glamorous and it is something that a lot of us keep private and we don’t really want to talk about, and so that is why I wanted to share this topic with you. I want to give you a strategy for how to handle these situations, because we know that we are going to have hard days. It’s not a question of if, it’s a question of when, and so I want you to feel empowered.

Remember, we are not perfect, and we are always going to be faced with distractions and circumstances that we can’t control, and the decision of whether or not we are going to respond positively or negatively. And so, I just want to let you guys know that as we walk through these steps today, I am not perfect and there are way too many times that this still happens to me.

Positive Parenting

So, I get asked all the time, is it too late to positive parent? Is it too late to make changes? Have I already screwed up my kids? Is it too late? I hear that question a lot and I want to let you know it’s never too late. Even if you have grown children, it’s not too late to change your attitude and how you react in certain situations. Those of you that have younger kids can count their blessings that you are learning this information right now, so that you can teach it to your kids while they’re little and are still a sponge soaking in everything that you say.

I came up with a mantra a couple of weeks ago, and I had shared it on Instagram and it goes like this: every day is a new opportunity to make new choices and be someone different. The mantra came about as I was just really tired of always being angry at my kids and always kind of expecting the worst from them. Like as soon as I woke up in the morning, I kind of had this feeling of how the day was going to go, because that’s how yesterday went. I was setting my kids up for failure before they even woke up. Remember the way that we think or the way that we talk about our children in front of them and about them, that is who they are going to become. Because if they hear it over and over again, they know they’re letting us down.

I really want you to start to think about the words that you’re saying out loud in front of your kids. Regardless of who you are talking to about them, they can hear you: and even if you don’t think they can hear you, what if they did? How do you want to shape the developing brain of your child? How do you want them to think about themselves?

This mantra is to empower you, your spouse and your children and to anyone reading this. Just because you made mistakes yesterday, doesn’t mean that you’re that same person today. Just because you’ve messed up in the past, doesn’t mean that you are messed up. Understand that every day is a brand-new opportunity to make new choices, you get a brand-new slate to start over and start fresh. And so, I tell my children that every morning that they wake up, I am going to go into the day without any preconceived notions of who they were yesterday. It doesn’t mean that they can just totally excuse their behavior and think that they can mess up without any consequences.

If you’re just starting out on this journey of positive parenting, I want you to know that there are going to be times where you mess up and you fall short. There are going to be times that you want to revert to the easy, simple patterns of correcting and directing your children to get them to do exactly what you want. Remember that you can make new choices every day and you do not have to continue to struggle the way that you’ve struggled with your children. And if you’ve listened to my podcasts, I have tons of resources for you and I have a lot of really incredible episodes for you to listen to, that are going to walk you through what does that positive parenting journey look like. I’m going to put links to some of my previous podcast episodes that I think would be a great compliment to today’s post. [insert show links]

I know that you came here to figure out how to you recover after a mommy meltdown. I’m going to be teaching you a five-step system and after you’ve implemented this strategy a few times, I want you to teach it to your children and your spouse. It is so incredibly important to be self-aware and to equip yourself and your family, so that you guys can learn how to recover from these meltdowns, but then also how to prevent them in the future. So, let me share with you these five steps.

Step 1: Recognize your Responsibility and Release the Guilt

You need to recognize your responsibility and take ownership of your actions. The way that we react in a situation, it’s our fault and no one else’s fault. You need to recognize your responsibility and avoid blaming your actions on someone else. Once you have recognized the responsibility, I want you to release the guilt. I don’t know about you, but typically my first response after I lose my temper with my children, is first to blame them. But then my second response is to feel massive guilt and sadness about how I acted a certain way, treated my child that way or said those things to my child. Having recognized your responsibility, I want you to quickly release that feeling of shame and guilt in order for you to heal and to do better, because you cannot break free of that until you make the decision to forgive yourself. I want you to say no to that guilt and shame and acknowledge that you feel really bad now, but you’re not going to be in that position forever.

Step # 2: Reflect

Once you release this guilt, the next step is to reflect. Some of you may feel that you don’t have time to do this, it doesn’t have to be as in depth, but it can be super simple. I want you to give yourself some time to cool down after the meltdown to think about what just happened. If you’re able to, write out what you’re thinking and get all the thoughts out of your head. Get them all out onto paper and then review them to figure out what happened.

One of the tips I have for you is to create a safe place for you and for each of your children and be a model to them of what it looks like to calm down. During my Elementary Education internship, I volunteered in a pre-school setting, and the coolest thing that I saw there was they had a beanbag that was called the safe place. Any time a child was having a really hard time, they were redirected to the safe place where there were breathing exercises that they could do and different things that they could be playing with, like a stress ball or a sensory ball that would help calm them down. And so, this is a really great idea for you to have in your own room and to give your kids their own safe space. Another thing that I think would be really helpful during this reflection time is to listen to some calming music and put on some essential oils and allow yourself to reflect. One of my favorite essential oils is called Balance by DoTERRA and I enjoy using it while reflecting in my safe space.

Step # 3: Get to the Root of Your Anger

So, I have this visual in my head, and it is called the Anger Iceberg. Some of you may have heard about it before, but basically what it is, is that what people see on the surface does not always depict the whole story. Imagine an iceberg and the part sticking out of the water is the anger that we all see. That is a secondary emotion that is very visual and very audible, because when people get angry, you can see it and you can usually hear it in their voice. Well, if we went deeper under the surface of the water, some of the primary emotions that we might see under there include feelings such as sadness, inadequacy, embarrassment, frustration, fear, hurt, rejection. All of these feelings are likely to trigger our anger.

We need to figure out why we are angry and what triggered that anger in order to prevent this meltdown in the future. So, when you get really frustrated, take a break, go to your safe place and think about what triggered your meltdown. This doesn’t have to happen immediately, but it does need to happen eventually at some point. You have to get to the root of the anger, because if you don’t, this is going to keep happening over and over and over again without any resolution. I also think it’s super helpful if you can start to write down in your phone, and keep a note of what triggers you so that you can start to formulate a plan of how you can prevent this in the future.

Step # 4 : Reconcile and Reconnect

This is the perfect time for you to apologize to your child or your spouse or whoever you just lost your temper with. Ask them for forgiveness and explain to them what you discovered during your reflection and let them know how you will do better in the future. This is a perfect way to model for your children conflict resolution skills, calming down when you are frustrated, but also owning that responsibility. I think that the more that we can do this in front of our children and show them what it looks like to apologize and ask for forgiveness, they will know how to do that in the future when they need to do the same.

After meltdown situations, I find that I’ve always had really amazing conversations with my children especially with my daughter. As she’s getting older, she’s understanding the fact that her words have more power than she realized. So, I have encouraged her to be really careful about the words that she uses and know that once something hurtful has been said, you can’t take it back. You can ask for forgiveness, but that’s still going to be something that was potentially harmful to one of your relationships.
After you’ve had that time to reconcile and have that conversation with them about the struggle that adults face and that they make mistakes too, reconnect with them, ask to read a book, or snuggle, play a game. Something that allows them to know that you’re okay and that you still love them and that our explosion or mommy meltdown is not a reflection of who they are, but was just a moment of hardship for us.

Step #5 : Recharge

If you look at any of the research about anxiety and depression and why we go to anger so fast, anger is actually a secondary emotion. That’s because we are not taking enough time to reenergize, to refuel and recharge. And so, it is so crucial that you take care of yourself first, if you want to have the capability and capacity to take care of others. I want you to think and evaluate whether you are getting enough alone time to recharge? Are you treating yourself? Are you getting enough proper nutrition? What are the steps that you are taking to make sure that you are taken care of first? Self-care and self-awareness is so crucial, and I know a lot of mamas skip right over it because they think they just don’t have the time, but honestly you do not have time not to.

You could also look on Amazon for a magnesium powder called Calm which is an anti-stress drink that’s really good and it helps the chemistry of your brain to be calm. It also might be super helpful to consult a naturopath to get to the root cause of what’s happening as it could be a nutrient or hormone imbalance, or another health concern or issue that you were unaware of, that’s contributing to the problem. I also want you guys to think about, is this a reoccurring pattern? Are you losing your temper a lot more so than being calm, because if so, it might be a good idea to consult a counselor. Having a counselor and someone that you can speak to can really help you figure out a path to wellness and a path to less of those mommy meltdowns. And so, I would definitely recommend those two things if you feel like this is out of control.

Remember, this is something that you do not have to be afraid of or ashamed of. I think the more vulnerable that you can be, the more willing you are to get the support that you need, the faster you’re going to have a more peaceful and calm environment around your family.

So just to recap the five steps to recover after a mommy meltdown:

  • Recognize your responsibility and release the guilt
  • Reflect on the situation
  • Get to the root of the anger
  • Reconcile and reconnect
  • Recharge and reenergize

I hope that you guys have found today’s blog post to be helpful. I hope that you do not feel ashamed about those mommy meltdowns, because that is actually an indication of a deeper-rooted issue that you need to work through. Don’t feel that you have to do this alone, this is something that a trusted friend can help with, your naturopath or a counselor. I am also here to talk to you guys, so reach out to me over on Instagram @thepurposegathering [insert link].

I would love for you to share this with other mamas, so that they can find peace and empowerment. And also, to remind them that they do not have to live in shame of those mommy meltdowns whenever they happen and that there is a system that they can use to navigate these situations.

I want to let you guys in on a little secret. I’m going to be launching a membership very soon, and it is actually going to be a mastermind community. It is going to be a place for mamas to come to feel supported, but also to be educated. And so that’s just the little teaser that I’m giving you right now and I’m not going to go into any more details, so, look out!

I’m looking forward to chatting with you guys next week. Send me a DM over on Instagram. I love having conversations with you guys, and until next time I’m always here rooting for you. And you are not alone on this journey.


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My mission is to help fellow momtogs (mama photographers!) experience success in business and in motherhood. As an Arizona brand photographer for mompreneurs, I’m passionate about capturing authentic images that show off my clients’ unique personalities so they can connect with their ideal clients. And as an online business coach for momtogs, I LIVE for helping mamas experience incredible transformations that help them build a business they love, without sacrificing their precious time with their littles.

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