The Breaking Point or How Crying in the Closet Strengthened Our Family Vision 

While they discussed options for celebrating Mother’s Day, I excused myself from the dinner table, retreated to my closet, and cried.

It was that kind of weekend. Preceeded by that kind of week.

Overscheduled

We had something every single day this week. Extracurriculars, meetings, appreciation dinners, commitments at our parish, a work thing for Superman, a performance, a game night and our weekly “junk night,” which both gave way to new plans for hanging out with both our parents. Full week. 

Intensity

Little Miss can be intense sometimes. She feels very deeply and can empathize with almost anyone. Her heart is full of compassion, which sometimes leads to worry of others. She’s also extremely hard on herself and the child can have a temper that you wouldn’t expect from someone so compassionate. 

She’s gifted, which means her brain is wired differently. It also means her normal emotional scale is much higher than the average child her age. Add to that a week like the one described above, and it’s a recipe for disaster. 

Sleep Deprived 

I am a planner. Superman can be a little more spontaneous, but he likes contingencies. Little Miss thrives when everything is planned and when things go according to said plan.

I’m pretty sure we were all sleep deprived this week. Superman and I had nearly no couple time together, as we fell asleep nearly immediately after getting home (late) and getting Little Miss to bed. 

It was also Teacher Appreciation Week last week and we wanted to bring coffee and donuts and treats to the teachers in the morning, which meant leaving the house earlier to buy these things. Which meant waking up earlier. 

By Friday, we were all a little spent. 

Pumpkin Spice Latte Face

Rachel and I have a “PSL face” that we use when we see or hear something crazy. For Rachel, it’s almost involuntary. For both of us, we use little emojis to let one another know when we’re feeling a little PSL face-y via text.

Friday

Here’s my Friday evening text to Rachel:

We were supposed to have a family game night at home Friday night. We opted to hang out with my parents and brother for a little bit, came home to a mini junk night (with a glass of wine) and Barbie and the Secret Door. It’s one of my favorite Barbie movies. I fell asleep on the love seat with Little Miss in my arms. Not exactly the family time we’d planned for.

Saturday

Saturday began blissfully, but by the end of it, the exhaustion set in in Little Miss. We got into tiny arguments over everything and I fell asleep before Superman came to bed. Rough afternoon and evening. 

Sunday

This day, too, began well. We were united in goal and mind. As the day unfolded, though, timelines began to shrink and change and the window of our usual Sunday movie and junk night grew smaller and smaller until it wasn’t a feasible option.

Little Miss didn’t react with her usual intensity. Instead she said just above a whisper, with tears in her eyes, “We didn’t get very much family time this weekend.”

My hear broke a little, but then we sat down to eat dinner and began discussing the week, including Mother’s Day. There I was, feeling like a failure as a mother  (and, yeah, okay, also a wife) after hearing my daughter’s words about family time and she suggested to Superman that they give me some time by myself for Mother’s Day. 

I broke. While they continued to discuss options for celebrating Mother’s Day, I excused myself from the dinner table, retreated to my closet, and cried.

There’s Beauty in the Breakdown 

You know that Frou Frou song from Garden State, “Let Go?” Listen to it here if you don’t. There’s a line that says, “It’s alright, ’cause there’s beauty in the breakdown.”

As I sat in the dark of my closet, weeping, I was able to see clearly. This–this hectic, overscheduled, overcomnitted, bursting calendar family we’ve become–is not what I want for us.

Our Family Vision 

Superman joined me in the closet and I expressed this to him. There, on the floor, in the dark, we redefined our family vision.

1. Our immediate family comes first. If we’ve committed to a family game night, nothing can supercede that.

2. Weekends are sacred. Obviously, we will attend Mass and Faith Formation on Sunday, but we will not schedule things that distract us from family time on the weekends.

3. Make time for play. Poor Little Miss. We have several parks nearby and the girl definitely had a good supply of playthings, but when we’re always running, it’s hard to squeeze that time in. Play time is going to take priority. She’s a child. She needs it. We do, too.

About The Author

Hail Marry Blog

We’re Kristi & Rachel: best friends married to two awesome guys that we met on Catholic Match.

10 COMMENTS

  1. Anni H. | 8th May 17

    This is amazing – thank you for exposing your raw experience. I think we all get to that point, and I am so happy you found a solution to tackle the stress head-on, all circulating on the family as priority… especially on the weekends!

    My son is headed to private PreK next year, and so I am looking forward to having two Sundays a month dedicated to just “family” – Mass and family.

    Routine park play is definitely on my bucket list for increased attendance as the weather continues to get warmer and more beautiful!

    Thank you for sharing! I love your family mission!

    • Hail Marry Blog | 8th May 17

      Thank you, Anni! I think we’re still figuring out our family unit as a newly-formed one, but what’s been the norm has got to go! 😀 Here’s to more park time for both of us!

  2. Sara | 8th May 17

    First of all, I assume you have a walk in closet? I’m imagining myself squishing into my tiny apartment closet with all the junk to cry haha. Second, I love the part where you say “It’s my favorite Barbie movie.” Isn’t that so funny, that we as parents, have developed an affinity for kids movies?! It’s inevitable.

    Really, though, I love how this post ended. It’s so good that you were able to prioritize. To step back and really see what your family needs. We all need to do that sometimes. I totally get it that mother’s day brings even more stress – when all we want is just a little time to decompress!!!

    I’m praying for you get your relaxing mother’s day this weekend!

    • Hail Marry Blog | 8th May 17

      I do, in my bathroom. Technically, I was just outside of the closet and I’m the bathroom, but…I’ve loved Barbie movies since I was a teen (young at heart, I guess?). I feel like I’ve been careening toward this inevitable moment for a bit. I’m just glad it happened and we can move forward, together, as a family, united in mission. Thanks for your prayers! <3

  3. Sterling Jaquith | 8th May 17

    We are very protective of our family time too! I’m good at saying no, a lot! It’s hard if it’s for church or friends I really like, but in the end, being crazy and stressed running to and from things just isn’t worth it.

    • Hail Marry Blog | 8th May 17

      I am not very good at saying no…I feel like this is a step in the right direction, though. 🙂 Thanks for reading!

  4. momstersraisingmonsters | 8th May 17

    Wow. This is amazing. I’ve been feeling a little bit like this this last week. I’m so glad for those goals you have! I need to slow down for a few days and get un-busy.

  5. lesliesholly | 10th May 17

    Bless your heart. I feel that way a lot. There is never enough time and it seems like the urgent always wins our over the important. I think I need a closet break down too!

    • Hail Marry Blog | 10th May 17

      It was definitely a tough moment, but the resolve it brought caused today to be a stay home day, and that brought me to this right-now moment: “Checkerboard has been wanted because of it’s pattern. You’re going to JAIL!” Checkerboard, by the way, is the new name for one of our favorite blankets and jail was the cabinet…

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