The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Moody Mommy

I have been swung by my moods ever since I can remember, from the infrequent highs to the more common lows. Each mood pinched me like a currently popular article of clothing that everybody else wore with style, but somehow mine was the wrong material and size.

Not quite right.

As a child I was aware that others were not having the same life experiences as I was but I could not understand why.

I recognized that there were things you could control and things you could not. I put my moods in the same category as the weather. Certainly there must be a scientific explanation but I could never understand it, let alone control it.

I learned how to cope. I mastered matching my energy to the tasks at hand and retreated when I needed to. Being alone was the best way I knew to regain my balance.

But now I have a family of my own and time alone is a luxury. And as a respectable member of the PTA I can no longer rely on my self-prescribed doses of mochas for depression and marijuana for mania. Medicating my anxiety disorder has not worked out so I am trying hard to find my balance naturally.

Trying to parent with my particular brain chemistry is especially challenging. It is not just that I have no patience. It is that I do not understand patience. I share my children’s demand for instant gratification and truly relate to their pain. But I do not know how to guide them through by showing them a better way. I feel unable to set a better example because I do not know what that would be.

How can I teach what I never learned?

I worry that my children are destined to suffer as I have. I want to protect them from everything. I want to shield them from the judgments of others and I hope to teach them not to judge themselves too harshly. I just want them to fit in and be happy. I study every tantrum for evidence of something other than age appropriate bad manners. Are they “okay?” To me, every child appears to have a mood disorder. Almost all of the behavior I witness seems “inappropriate” but can I be objective?

As I watch for signs of trouble I try to be supportive and provide them with outlets for their frustration. I highlight choices we can all make to handle our feelings successfully.

I never got the help I needed as a child, but now I hope that my children and I can help each other.

By Cathy Burke


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In parenting it is hard to gain perspective when you're "in the thick of it." For all of us. And you know what "help you never received" as a child. Hopefully you can use this to reach out and receive any assistance from others when your children need it or things are too overwhelming. That perspective you're lucky to have.
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