I like to think of myself as a fairly laid-back parent. I don’t sweat the small stuff, and I let a ton of shit go. Like that time one child gave himself head-to-toe permanent-marker tattoos right before we were supposed to go out to dinner. I simply sighed and walked out the door.
And that time the other child took a crap in the backyard, using it as his own private bathroom even though the actual bathroom was a mere 50 feet away. I sighed again, maybe a little louder, then put him in charge of his own poop patrol.
And when all the males in my house, including my husband, leave the toilet seat up, I sigh extra loudly (and I might slam it down), but I do not lose my shit.
Like I said, I can be chill, easygoing, and calm AF.
But sometimes my sighs sound a little more like growls, my deep breaths verge on hyperventilating, and my IDGAF attitude turns into FTS in a hot minute. I can be impatient, dramatic, and emotional. I have what you might call a “short fuse.”
To put it bluntly, sometimes I lose my fucking shit.
Whether it’s because there are thousands of baseball cards strewn about the house or because I just sat in a puddle of pee on the toilet seat or because Spawn No. 1 hit Spawn No. 2 with a plastic ninja sword, causing an avalanche of tears, sometimes the deep breaths and time-outs just don’t cut it.
Some days are such epic shitstorms of nonsense, assholery, and shenanigans that even a barrel of wine wouldn’t help.
Deep breaths, calming music, and chai tea are great ways to de-stress from a cloud of bad news and frustration. But when you’re dealing with a Category 5 hurricane of calamities, then essential oils and a brisk walk around the block look like amateur hour.
You need to recalibrate with a “Fuck this shit!” and some serious pillow punching. And maybe even some foot stomping and door slamming for good measure as you head out for guilt-free retail therapy.
I firmly believe that sometimes you just need to lose your shit for a minute, rein it back in, get over it, and carry on. Yes, “keep calm and carry on” might be the ideal. But for some of us, “lose your shit occasionally and carry on” is far more realistic.
This should go without saying, but let me be clear that losing your shit means an emotional purge. It does not mean getting violent or turning into an emotionally abusive asshole. Losing your shit does not mean scaring your children or hurting relationships. It simply means that you acknowledge your ragey emotions, let them out in a responsible and somewhat appropriate way, and move on.
So how does one lose their shit responsibility and appropriately?
Step 1: Remove yourself from other humans, most importantly your children.
Step 2: Lose your shit.
Step 3: Calm the fuck down and carry on.
When the shit really hits the fan, sometimes you just need to lock yourself in the bathroom and vomit up a string of nonsensical, incoherent expletives. You need to call your BFF and vent about how your children are trying to drive you batshit crazy with their constant bickering. You need to binge-eat Cheetos dipped in ice cream with a side of marshmallows and cookie dough. You need to flip your husband off behind his back because how dare he ask if it might be “that time of the month” when you simply asked if he had ever learned how a dishwasher works or knew how to put the milk back in the fridge.
There are times when another calm request to “get your coat on” won’t suffice, and you have to pull your beloved offspring close to your bosom and hiss in your best Stephen King horror movie voice, “Get your freaking coat on…or else” (even if you have no idea what “or else” actually means).
You sing instead of speaking your empty threats to take away screen time for a week just so your kids know you’re capable of losing your mind in addition to losing your shit. And then you hide in the hall closet and scream as loud as you can.
Look, most of the time I’m able to calm my frazzled nerves with a little Bob Ross, online shopping, or singing to ’80s music in the kitchen. But sometimes that just doesn’t cut it. Sometimes I need more. Sometimes I need to totally lose my shit, purge myself of the negativity, and carry on.
Because unless they start selling an essential oil called “Fuck This Shit” or those deep breaths are laced with cannabis, sometimes the “woo-woo” just ain’t gonna cut it. But an emotional cleanse of venting, swearing, and generally just letting it all hang out is just what the doctor ordered.