Breakdowns on the bathroom floor

This was a hard one to post. I definitely hesitated to push that “publish” button but sometimes being vulnerable is important and maybe, just maybe someone else out there will relate and be encouraged.
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That moment when you’re sitting on the bathroom floor, door locked, knees held to your chest trying to hold back the sobs (so you don’t make too much noise for the kids who are in bed and your husband who is in the living room) because you’ve done it again (lost your cool – the nice way of saying it) and you’re feeling like the absolute worst mother/wife/woman ever.

Never had a moment even remotely like that (doesn’t have to specifically be on the bathroom floor)? – Then you can just forget reading the rest of this – you must be the perfect mother/wife/woman. Ever.

I hate admitting it – but at the same time writing about it somehow helps and if it helps anyone else, than it’s worth it- but I am a messy mom. I don’t mean this in the literal sense (although some days that’s true too) but I mean I’m often messy emotionally as a mother. I have a feeling – and I REALLY hope it’s true – I’m not the only one. 😉

While there is comfort in knowing I’m not alone it’s still an awful feeling when you lose your cool and completely fall apart – in front of your kids and hubby and probably the neighbours who can hear you screaming.
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I had one of the above mentioned moments earlier tonight. (I like to write about it while it’s fresh and while I still have the guts to post it on the internet). We had just gotten home from a  great couple of days away as a family which was much needed as we have been incredibly busy lately and still have an incredibly busy time ahead of us in the coming month. We went to the Serengeti for the first time (even though we only live two hours away from the gate). It was a really great outing – we saw lots of animals, enjoyed time as a family and the kids held up surprisingly well with two very early mornings and loads of time in the car. By the time we reached home we were all really tired though and I wanted to get the kids fed, bathed and to bed in good time since Ezra has an introduction day at school tomorrow where he gets to go for the day and see how everything will go when he starts in September. (Maybe in hindsight this was a contributing factor to my breakdown – I can’t believe he’s starting school and I am definitely feeling that whole “my kid is growing up too fast” thing). ANYWAYS, I was edgy from the time we walked in the door. I was just tired and didn’t have the patience to answer all the questions Ezra had while Gabriel screamed every time I tried to put him down or get anything else done. I yelled at the kids a few times for things that were not their fault. Then Hubby stepped out for “ a minute” and wasn’t back almost an hour later as the kids were reaching peak over-tiredness and I was quickly losing it. I called him – he said he was coming. Fine.  I would wait a few more minutes so he could help me with the bath and bedtime routine. Twenty minutes later – still no hubby – I called again. He was just eating, he said; he would be right back. This would be the moment my ball of emotions started rolling down a very steep hill and I was passed the point of trying to stop it.  “Oh you’re eating” I said, “Don’t let me interrupt you – enjoy – I’ll just bathe the kids and put them to bed myself.” I said sarcastically and hung up on him.

Then I marched the kids upstairs while fighting back tears and started their bath. Hubby came in and started helping a few minutes later – I said enough for him to know I was upset (understatement) and then bit my lip and tried not to cry while we bathed the kids, dressed them and put them to bed.

Following this we came downstairs where I proceeded to yell at Hubby about how he was selfish and put his own needs first and left me and it wasn’t ok and blah, blah, blah – trying fairly unsuccessfully to make some kind of point out of my losing it. He said a few snarky remarks (which in his defence were probably warranted given my losing it – but still didn’t help him out much if you know what I mean).

Near the end of my yelling, Ezra called down from upstairs, “Mommy I want you to stop making noise.” My heart then ripped in half. I still “quietly yelled” a little because I just didn’t know how to stop at that point, Hubby apologised and chalked it up to us both being exhausted and that would be the moment when I went to the bathroom, locked the door behind me, sat down on the floor pulling my knees to my chest and completely lost it, sobbing for a few minutes, trying not to let anyone hear me. Thoughts running through my head, tearing through my heart –

“You’re a horrible mother and wife.”
“What is wrong with you?”
“The last thing your kids heard before falling asleep was you yelling and fighting with their Daddy.”
“You are not cut out for this.”
“You have no self control.”
“You’re such a mess!”

These moments don’t happen every day (thank goodness!) but come around every so often – I’d like to think to remind myself that I DO NOT have it all together. (As you can clearly see if you managed to read this far and aren’t one of those perfect moms 😉 ). I don’t even have half of it together. I’m a mess – and admitting that is sometimes the best therapy. It leads me back to the One who knows me – all of me including the really messy parts and still loves me. The One who takes me back every time I screw up. The One who sees my tears and understands. The One who forgives me and reminds me of who I am in Him. So while I completely hate those ‘bathroom floor moments’ – in a way I am thankful for them because they bring me back and show me afresh my absolute NEED for the One who created me for so much more.

So if you made it to the end of this post and have ever had your own version of that messy mother/wife/woman moment – we are in this together. I am here to tell you: you can get back up off the floor, wipe your tears, take a deep breathe and move forward. You’re not a horrible person – you’re human. Thankfully you have a Creator who knows your heart better than you know yourself and He still loves you like no one else ever will. Look to him and start again.


Be blessed mommy/wife/women friends…and know that falling apart every once and a while isn’t the end of the world, but a chance to start afresh with the One who holds it all together – so you don’t have to.
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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Donna Haug
    Jun 28, 2015 @ 21:53:37

    Jade, as you maneuver through the minefield of being a young wife and mother living in another culture with all its joys and frustrations, know that you are not alone!! Been there! Done that! In a blink of an eye those kids will be graduating, getting married and working full time (yes, that’s my situation right now!) and you will wonder how time could possibly have flown so fast … And how you ever survived those early days! Hang in there. Tomorrow is a fresh start. Thanks for sharing your heart. Hugs!

    Reply

  2. jadekenya
    Jun 29, 2015 @ 09:40:22

    Thanks so much Donna 🙂 Glad to know others have gone before me and survived! 😉

    Reply

  3. cjruttan
    Jun 30, 2015 @ 14:26:17

    Thank you so much for sharing your heart on this.. I can relate to this so much. I tend to be very reactionary…and it seems even more so since we are home on furlough and adjusting to life back in Canada. ( Only to head back in a few weeks) It is good to know I am not alone either. Blessings!

    Reply

  4. GILBERT KENYA
    Jun 30, 2015 @ 18:16:27

    Seems like this post is meant foe women only. Sorry for interrupting a girl talk, but why do I find it so familiar? I am not about to make a big announcement of finally coming out in the open about real gender but wait a minute. I find this experience perfectly normal to all human beings. Once in a while, we all lose it. For us men, we might not cry on the bathroom floor, a fact that might reduce our days on earth because of bottled up frustrations, but we do cry too but inwards. The most frustrating fact about such moments is that you are unable to place a finger on the exact cause of your frustration. It even infuriates the more when you realize that you are directing your anger to the wrong direction by harassing everyone around you.
    However, it takes a person with a strong character to admit that this happens to them, and this is an admirable trait. Most of the people I know would want to justify their “bathroom floor moments.” I love the way you express your experiences using the written word. It makes me feel like I have known you for a very long time. Perhaps because it is the best way of I express myself too. That is why I am am one of your blog fans.

    Reply

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