Sunday, December 13, 2015

Never Underestimate the Power of the Meltdown

Well, it's the holiday season.  We all know what that means.  School is out or about to be out for an extended period.  Your kids, their friends, and all of their abounding personal effects will be strewn all over your house.  From one end to the other.  Husbands will be home from work more than usual.  Relatives will be coming by to visit.  Friends will be stopping in. 

Having everyone at home for Christmas is a wonderful thing.  Oh, such a wonderful thing.  There are even numerous songs written about the enchantment it brings and the resulting warm fuzzies.  But, in all of our excitement,  it's important for us, women, the keepers of all civil living and residential order, to lay out some basic ground rules on the front end of the season in an effort to maintain our mental stability and sense of structure throughout these coming weeks of Yuletide chaos. 

So, speaking of that, I had a meltdown this weekend.  You know how we have to do every now and then when we need to reestablish our authority and reiterate the expectations we have of our fellow inhabitants in regards to cleaning?  This emotional display must be done with a delicate balance of just enough feeling and emotion to evoke pity yet with enough rage and passion to evoke fear.  Too heavy with the emotion and you'll have them whispering, "Mom's lost it."  Too much anger, however, and resentment will dampen their desire to embrace productivity.  The meltdown is an art form, passed down from generation to generation, and must be practiced regularly in order to achieve the desired results.  When executed properly, it can be a very effective tool on every woman's workbench.  

Well, one night, I came home from work and the kitchen was a mess.  The dog was licking her dry water bowl.  Backpacks were dropped by the door.  Shoes everywhere.  Dirty laundry filled the laundry room floor.  Cups and empty wrappers covered the coffee table.  Clothes needed folding.  Counters needed wiping.  Floors needed sweeping.   

Davis was staring at his laptop screen.  Carson was zoned out between his Beats and You Tube.  Blair was propped up with pillows, her iPad, and coffee watching sappy Hallmark Christmas movies.  And homemaking mayhem was making its mark everywhere.  Now, don't get me wrong.  They're all generally very helpful but I'd began to detect an air of "This is my Christmas break" coming from them which I thought needed to be nipped in the bud.

So, as a public service to mothers and wives everywhere, I thought I would list the four simple steps to execute an effective meltdown in case you're finding yourself at the starting line of the holidays and you don't like where you see it heading.  I've also put the steps in a easy to remember acronym for your holiday convenience.  Consider it my gift to you.   

V.E.T.O.

1)  Vocalization-  This is an all important first step.  It lays the groundwork for each of the subsequent steps.  This is your one chance to vocalize all of your exasperation, disappointment, and frustration.  It is best to use a firm tone when listing the mounted evidence of their inaction as you look around the house.  An example of this step would go something like this......"Oh. My. Word!!!!  This place is disgusting!  What have y'all been doing all day?  Look at all of these shoes in the floor!  This mountain of laundry!  These dishes in the sink!  Really?  Could someone not, at least, unload the dishwasher?!?  Is that too much to ask?"
           
2)  Exhaustion-  Exhaustion is the step in which you bring down the volume a bit.  It is the segue from anger to the more tender emotions which will help you garner sympathy.  This is your chance to recite all of your responsibilities inside and outside the home and then describe the depth of your fatigue at the present time.  At this time of year, it is also important not to forget to mention the task of shopping for their Christmas gifts and wanting to make their Christmas so special.  This is sure to get their attention.  An illustration of the exhaustion step would be......"I'm just so, so, so tired.  I work all day long and then have to do the grocery shopping, the meal planning, the laundry, endless errands, and getting you where you need to be.  And then I've been trying to finish all of the Christmas decorating, address the Christmas cards, wrap the gifts, coordinate the meals, and run all over town looking for the perfect gifts to make your Christmas perfect and I am so very weary.  And I come home to this.  I just can't do it all by myself."             

3)  Tears- Step 3 is where you seal the deal.  There is nothing more powerful on the face of God's earth than a mother's carefully timed tear.  Do you remember when you would make your own mother cry and how that made you feel?  You wanted to go stick your head in the oven.  Be careful here, though, not to put too much into it.....no sobbing or anything like that.  That could cause them to look at each other wide eyed and discount your outburst as "that time of the month" or "the change" or something.  No, you just want to go for a quiet display of emotion.....just enough to make your mascara run.  A pregnant pause is useful here, too.  It gives them time to look at the crying woman from whose loins they were pushed and reflect on their individual roles in her current suffering.   
 4)  Orders-  If all steps are executed properly, step 4 is the point at which everyone starts asking what they can do to help.  It's best not to answer too quickly.  Perhaps, let a couple of more Maybelline streaked tears run down your face, place your head in your hands, and take a big sigh before you start barking out orders.  This will make them more eager to help you through this difficult time you're having.  Something like this might be appropriate....."Well, you could empty the dishwasher, I guess.....and you could fold those clothes.  That would really help me a lot.  And, maybe, you could clean the bathrooms while I start supper. Sniff."  In most cases, the sight of a mother crying is enough to get everyone moving. 
Sometimes, we just have to stop the snowball's roll before it gets too big.

Is it time for a meltdown at your house? 

Just V.E.T.O..


Y'all have a good day! 

    
     

10 comments:

  1. Oh I so need to pin this list!! Love it!!

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  2. Brilliant! I read your title and just knew this was going to be a good one... I also had my holiday meltdown this past weekend. At the Sam's Club checkout. I left all of my would-be purchases on the belt, thanked the cashier for his time, and walked out. I maintained what was left of my dignity until I reached the car, before I let the tears flow. I could feel the meltdown building up for a few weeks and then I finally reached my boiling point on Saturday. For what it's worth, I do feel much better and think I just might make it through the holiday season now. But I'm afraid I may have to find a new Sam's...

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    1. Oh, mercy! I suppose we never know when the dam will break, Amanda. I'm sure the Sam's man has seen worse. You go back in there with your head held high, girl! Happens to the best of us.

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  3. To funny! And spot on! Yes, the vacation syndrome! Did it work in your favor? Kathleen in Az

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    1. It's working out very well for me, Kathleen. :)

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  4. If I had time to write and you had time to read I'd tell you about the hour I spent last week at a well-known department store in the mall. Suffice it to say that after spending all that time at a register because the register ran out of paper and the new saleperson didn't install the new roll correctly and therefore it didn't print . . . suffice it to say that after all that my bag full of hubby's clothes worth over $300.00 was missing! Whether accidently or shoplifted I know not. I am proud of myself that I actually stayed coherent through the whole episode!

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    1. For goodness sake, Yvette! Where do you shop? hahaha Well, I certainly hope your clothes were replaced or recovered! Sounds like as good a time as any for a meltdown! Whew!

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  5. This just made me laugh! I had my meltdown about a week ago in front of the hubby and the dog. Between having a horrible upper respiratory infection, me leaving for my hometown approximately a week before my hubby joins me, getting the dog boarding situation handled, buying gifts for both sides of the family, returning home approximately a day before we host our friends for New Year's Eve, and then traveling the first week in January for work, I was a bit overloaded. Luckily, my husband recognized all that has to be accomplished, and he is being very mindful to pitch in so I can make it through to next year without crawling into a fetal position!

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    1. Oh. My. Word. Pepita. I'm in a fetal position just reading that! Hubby better step up or it could get ugly around there! Good luck and Merry Christmas, girl!

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