I crashed and burned today


Please pray for me. I crashed and burned and was not a very good mommy to my children this afternoon. I feel terrible.

I don’t understand it. I had the day off, so I drove downtown, went to confession, and then to mass. I was feeling great today. Went to pick up my children from school, and two of the children were fighting about who got to sit in the front seat. I yelled at one of my kids and went off on them for a few minutes.

How can a person go from feeling so good, praising God, being thankful for all He has done and given them, and then turn around just moments later and start yelling at people!? It just doens’t make sence to me.:frowning:


it makes sense to me as when u r feeling so good, you lose control and the slightest thing that is going wrong gets on your nerves. You are not in control of your emotions when you are feeling so good… you are not in an equilibrium…
i have felt that happen to me too and thats the reason why when i feel ecstatic, i do tell myself to calm down as i dont want to let my guard down and allow the devil to take over.

i hope this makes sense


sounds like you went off on the kids after they needed to pipe down a bit… thats not evil… thats being a parent.

people beat themselves up for feeling human emotions… be who you are…


1.) You are human.
2.) Patience only goes so far with children, esp. in the family car, where Mom is driving and needs to concentrate on driving, not their petty behavior. I might have done it differently, but there would have been yelling. Yelling is not a sin, necessarily, and it’s an awfully good attention-getting device.

Quit beating yourself up.

If you prefer another tactic, try this: Pull over at the first available safe opportunity. Don’t say anything. Just pull over and sit there and wait for them to calm down. If they continue bickering while you’re pulled over, reach over to the radio and put on your favorite station (and one the kids don’t like). Turn up the volume every half minute until they are quiet. Turn the volume down and resume driving.


You’re human!

I think the rule should be: Kids in the back seat. :thumbsup:


Many parents have experienced similar situations, Mom of 4. Children can be quite enraging at times with their repeated petty bickering. I’ve certainly blown a gasket a few times.

The tricky part is apologizing without letting the ingrates off the hook.


Oh boy…do I hear you on this one! I have “crashed and burned” more times than I can count. Sometimes, if I’m feeling good, and “doing everything right”, it is even more irritating when those around me aren’t doing so. Just know you’re not alone. The best thing to do is to talk to your kids and tell them that you know that you over-reacted. Let them know that fighting over petty things is not acceptable, but you shouldn’t have yelled at them so much. Tell them the consequences the next time they fight like that, and then stick with them when it happens again. Sometimes, it helps to have it firmly in mind what consequences/discipline will be for certain repeated behaviors.
Don’t beat yourself up. Just pull yourself up by the bootstraps and keep trudging along! I think most parents will have to admit that they’ve been in the same boat.:o


If anyone has the answer to kids fighting, it will help a lot
of people. This suggestion here doesn’t work on my kids,
they are louder than any radio, and there is no "waiting"
for them to calm down, it only escalates. I have asked
them in quiet moments why they behave like this when
they know it’s wrong, and they say because they are bored.
In our family, the oldest sits in the front seat, but kids can
always find something else to fight about if they want to.

Imagine how God must feel about the behavior of His kids.
Do we have to be crucified to get our kids to behave?
Even that didn’t work on many of His kids.


I used to threaten my kids with the classical music/opera station on the radio if they did not behave in the car, it always worked

if we beat ourselves up every time we had mommy meltdown we would have to spend our time hiding under the bed, forgive yourself and make tomorrow a new day.


Mommyof4 – I think it is mostly spiritual warfare. Kids being kids, yes, but why just then? The devil wants you to despair – especially after a spiritually uplifting period because then you start to question if what you just went through at Mass and confession were really real or was it just a mirage. Or you feel like a hypocrite. Or you wonder if you will ever overcome your vices.

The best way to fight back at the devil is to be humble. “Look at me, Lord. I can’t get very far on my own. Lord Jesus, please help me to keep my eyes fixed on you.” The devil can’t do much with that.

Every parent has been where you were (me, yesterday!) You’re not alone, just keep fighting the good fight for your family! :slight_smile: God Bless.


The way I handled the fighting over who gets to sit where in the car is that I had assigned seats. Period. The oldest ALWAYS gets to sit in the front . If she wasn’t in the car, the second oldest got to sit in the front, and on down the line. And I never had a problem again.

I did the same thing at the dinner table…each person had the same seat at every meal.

OP…relax. It’s okay that you lost it. Welcome to being a parent. Just shows how we are not perfect and we are always dependant on God.


I pull the car over. My car was rear-ended by some woman who was yelling at the kids in the back seat once…it is not safe to drive when you’re being distracted like that. When you’re at the wheel of tons of steel, and especially in a school zone, we could easily be talking life and death.

You pull the car over and silence is enforced before you go again. Not just polite conversation…silence, and I don’t care whose “fault” it is. It takes two to have a fight. Maybe it is just my kids, but sitting in stone silence in the car with a mother who isn’t going to be doing you any favors any time soon is not their idea of a good time.

When our kids fight over a toy, they can wave that “bye” for awhile. If they fight during an activity, there is a moratorium on that activity for awhile. If there is taunting, the taunter is banished to examine his thoughts for awhile. This is particularly enforced at mealtimes and in the car.

Most kids are going to fight. They fight less if there are negative consequences, right or wrong, but they’ll still fight. You do, however, have to teach them how you expect them to conduct an argument and what is and is not worth arguing about. That is a skill. You learn it quicker with pointers. With any luck, they’ll know how civilized people handle a point of contention by the time they marry. :rolleyes:

(You and the DH do have to model how civilized people handle a point of contention, just as an aside. :smiley: )


Thank you all so much for your encouraging words and wisdom!

I was really feeling like a failure last night - both as a mommy and as a Christian.

Shortly after I wrote my origingal post last night, I became ill with the stomach flu, so I wonder if my short temper and bad mood were partly due to my illness.

Anyway, I’ve had a lot of long talks with God over my behavior since yesterday, and we’ve decided that I need to really work on self-control. I need to develop some skills that deal with issues that don’t include yelling.

Thank you all again.


Why do so many people think that being Christian is equal to being “nice”?

There’s a lot of parents who shirk their Christian duty in order to maintain the guise of being “nice”.

Do your duty as a parent first. Then worry about whether you ought to act like Barney the Purple Dinosaur.

There was a time when the only discipline concern that parents had was whether the child got what they deserved or not. Now, psychologists have parents so worried about whether they were feeling angry when they did something or not that parents *don’t do anything *for fear that they may be doing it out of anger.

Well, when your kid lips back to you, perhaps you ought to feel angry. Like guilt, anger is one of those feelings God put in us in order to make us act.

The problem comes when parents are angry at other people, then take that anger out on their kids. But that is addressed simply by the question of whether the kids got what they deserved.


Mommy of 4,

I’ve been doing some serious addressing of this issue myself over the past few months. I’ve only got 1 little guy who’s just over 2 years, and while he certainly can provoke my temper at times, there are other triggers as well that don’t seem that important in hindsight.

I’ll share links to some of the reading I’ve been doing lately that has really helped, both in controlling my temper and in forgiving myself when I lose it.

There was a question w/ many comments on another Catholic website here.

My archdiocesan newpaper did an outstanding 7-week series on each vice and corresponding virtue. Here’s the link to the article on Anger and Meekness.

From that article, I read a sentence that really made me do a double–no, triple!–take (of course the article did discuss the difference between justified & unjustified anger):

[quote=][size=2]Anger is the daughter of offended pride that cannot bear contradiction, and of selfishness that seeks its own comfort and convenience.[/size]

[size=2]I wrote it out on an index card & it’s sitting over my kitchen sink, for frequent meditation. Doing so has helped me take the core causes of my anger in most circumstances (pride & selfishness) into the confessional with me.[/size]

All of this may or may not be applicable to your situation, but I thought I’d toss it out there for anyone else who might benefit, as well.


It is the law in Illinois.


I second the theory that when you are feeling good, you are more apt to be bothered.

When you’re in a state of happiness, little things stick out more. They are more obvious against the glow, KWIM?

Also, you may have felt refreshed and happy from your adventure, but it was different from the routine and that may have subconsciously stressed you out. Ever heard of that saying: you need a vacation because you went on vacation?


Sounds like you are a good mommy but not perfect. Know any parent who is that is breathing in and out? Those parents are in heaven!:wink:

Blessings to all the mommys and daddys,


I read in a book that in order to get your kids to calm down, tell them to clasp their hands together until they have calmed down. Their energy is then redirected their hands and hopefully the excitement will settle down. This book was focused on toddlers but I wonder whether it would work for older kids too.


As others have said - don’t beat yourself up. Perhaps it was your inner strength or the grace you received in the Sacraments earlier in the day, but it’s important to note that even though you went off on them, it didn’t progress further.

You may want to use the experience as an opportunity to teach the children and for personal growth. I’ve found with my children and others, a parent admitting they were wrong and asking forgiveness goes a long way to how children handle issues with their peers.

Pray for increased patience - remembering in order to develop the muscle you must continue to lift heavier weights and so in becoming more patient, your patience will be tested more.

When our kids start to escalate, I pull the car off the road and, if it’s a safe area, turn the car off, get out, and stand outside the car. If it’s the first time, the kids will wonder what you are doing (and probably stop fighting). I’ve found, after a time, my saying I was going to pull the car over and get out signaled the kids that I was about to loose it and they stopped fighting - at least long enough to get home.

Yes, they still argue, but they’ve learned that we will only tolerate so much and in certain places. Otherwise (if it’s a safe place) we will walk away and/or impose consequences.

…Think how fondly you will remember these years when they become parents themselves - or priests and religious trying to help parents through these years…:slight_smile:

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