What’s Your 7 Minutes in Tahiti? (Fending off the Mom-Meltdown)

Female leg walking on the beach in the ocean - Narrow depth of f

As a parents we’ve all lost it! Snapped. Acted in ways that we’re not proud of. I know I have. And when this happens, all we can do is forgive ourselves (once we let go of the guilt), and seek out ways to prevent the snap or meltdown or the losing of our shit or whatever we call it when our own behavior fails to meet our own expectations. Not to mention, the needs of our kids.

I discovered the key to my own meltdown prevention one evening, during the usual routine. You know it. The one that’s similar to a cyclone. It strikes weekdays between the hours of 4:00 and 8:00 pm.

A typical Evening Cyclone, and the surprises that pop up within it, render me useless by 9pm at which point I rip open a jumbo chocolate bar and plant myself firmly on the couch.

Those hours, leading up to bedtime, are action packed.  They involve an endless flow of food preparation, cleaning up, followed by homework, varying activities, and more cleaning up. Then, bath time and the sorting out of everybody’s things. And, of course, we can’t forget the unpredictable tasks of tantrum management and the keeping of sibling peace (insert frazzled expression).

On the above mentioned, and ever so insightful weekday evening, I was unknowingly on the verge of a discovery. I was also on the verge of a meltdown. My role as peacekeeper was wearing thin and my patience was waning. The girls were messily brushing their teeth. I was sorting the dirty laundry into piles.

My chocolate + couch time was feeling very far away.

I took a few deep breaths, willing my patience to hold out.

Twenty minutes more.

I can do this!

Then my youngest decides (for no apparent reason) to scratch her sister who does not retaliate but instead screeches the most ear piercing, window breaking, instant headache inducing shriek.

Deep breaths.

My eyeballs are, pretty much, akin to those of a bug, at this point.

“You’re alright,” I say to Zed.

“NO story for you tonight,” I inform Mini.

I start to shuffle them all towards their rooms, insanity creeping at my heels.

And then, the front door opens. Hubby is home from work. Up the stairs he comes.

This is my cue.

“I’m outta here,” I say, in a matter of fact manner.

Hubby’s brow furrows.

I turn and walk away, peeling my clothes off layer by layer as I go. I don’t look back but I’m pretty sure they’re watching me.  I open the door, turn on the water and step into the shower. The perplexed look on my hubby’s face is the last thing I see and then steam surrounds me. For that moment, and the six to follow, I am alone in Tahiti.

I immerge from the shower, a new woman. I throw on my robe and I’m ready for story time.

Seven Minutes in Tahiti, for me, on that day was a simple shower. It dissolved the meltdown in its tracks. Sometimes, I find that sending an SOS text to a fellow mom often does the trick too. She’ll text back a photo of her son, missing his bangs or a confession that she’s just been hiding in an undisclosed location scoffing ice cream.

Ahhhhh, 7 Minutes in Tahiti. Where do you find yours?

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17 thoughts on “What’s Your 7 Minutes in Tahiti? (Fending off the Mom-Meltdown)

  1. Evenings can be too much! Now I understand why I got grounded at the age of 10 for sneaking out of my room to turn off the hallway light when I was a kid. Irrational for sure, but damn, I understand it now!!

  2. Shannon, another great story! I love your writing. It takes me back at least 25 years when I struggled with a husband on the road for days, juggling to drive the kids to their various activities (usually with one not wanting to go to the others) and the sibling rivalry! It was challenging!!

    • I’m glad the memories are coming back for you. Hectic and important times! Although, the years that you’re living now are both fulfilling and liberating- always something to look forward to and all those memories to reflect on.

  3. Pingback: Seven Minutes in Tahiti- Fending off your own Meltdown | Shannon Day's Martinis & Motherhood

  4. Love this! And this method will come in handy as your kids get older. Taking a “Tahitian” time out when your teenager is showing his or her teenage attitude and you are ready to have a major melt down will be a savior to you in years to come. I probably should have taken more trips to Tahiti with my teens. But I get to try again with with my younger ones. Thanks for the reminder! Great advice!

  5. Pingback: My Tahiti: The Martini | Shannon Day's Martinis & Motherhood

    • The last time I was in Tahiti I could hear a voice in the distance shouting “I’m done Mommy”- needless to say the lovely scents of Tahiti were quickly replaced the moment I returned home…

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