Ashley Does: Mama Meltdown

I had a bit of a panic attack last night.

I am returning to work full time, after being a stay at home mom (and work from home mom) for seven years.

SEVEN. YEARS.

I thought I was fine. I have a goal in mind. Working outside the home is required for this goal. My girls are older now, I won’t be missing any firsts while they are in school or daycare. I’ve got this. Right?

So. Very. Wrong. 

This post should really be dedicated to my husband. Joe’s an amazing guy. He works so hard and is a fantastic partner and father. I could not ask for a better man. He has stood by me through all my crazy (and I’ve thrown a lot of crazy at him) and even when we’ve gone through impossibly hard times, he’s never once walked away. He’s strong.

He needed the strength last night when I abruptly started ugly crying while brushing my teeth before bed.

We were talking about how I applied for several jobs yesterday and was excited for a few of them. There were a few I was pretty convinced I wasn’t going to get but I had to apply just so I would know for sure.

Then, the tears started.

I couldn’t stop them. I ugly cried, right there in front of my husband, in our bathroom, to the point that I couldn’t breathe. I was hyperventilating.

The thought of not being here with Caroline during her last year before school was crushing me. I could physically feel the mourning sitting on my chest.

We don’t have a perfect stay at home mom situation – I work from home and if you’ve read my blogs you know that that is a hard balance for me to strike. There are days she watches too much TV. There are days we spend the whole school day running errands. It’s not all crafts and mommy-and-me classes. It’s work.

But I’m going to miss that work.

I’m going to miss taking her to the park or the zoo or the library on a random Wednesday.

I’m going to miss snuggling in my bed watching cartoons after we drop the big girls off at school.

I’m going to miss her discovering new knowledge or skill while we’re playing or exploring.

I’m going to miss my little shopping partner.

I’m even going to miss helping the big girls with their homework after school.

I’m going to miss a lot of things.

My panic attack was simply me trying not to allow myself to acknowledge the fact that a season of my life is about over. I know all the reasons I am returning to work. They are valid. They are my reasons. I am at peace with this decision, and the fact that I am so torn up about it seemed completely irrational to me. So I pushed it down.

Luckily when the dams broke, I had my husband there to hold me, remind me that I am still going to be a good mom when I’m working, and then put me in the shower to wash away the tears and the plugged-up nose. (Yeah I was a hot mess to say the least.)

I am obviously still going to miss the stay at home mom work. But I’m glad I had my Mama Meltdown last night. I had to acknowledge the feelings, I had to let them out, and I had to move on.

Seasons change and new, exciting phases start. And just because I am mourning the passing of one season doesn’t mean I’m not happy for the next one that’s coming.

Feelings are complicated, guys.

Sometimes, they just need to come out in a loud, dramatic, meltdown. At the end of the day, however you do it, letting yourself feel your feelings is the best thing you can do.

Healing

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