When All You Want to Do Is Hide in a Closet…

What do you do when all you want to do is hide in a closet & not exist anymore and the last thing you want to do is interact with your kids &  “reconnect”?

The question above was originally asked to me after I posted What to Do When Being Mom Makes You Feel Mean.  The original questioner said she saw mostly suggestions for reconnecting with kids in that post, and at this point that was the last thing she wanted to do.

Dealing with the days when all you want is to hide in a closet

I’ve been feeling about this way the past few days, so it seems like a good time to post this. Please add your ideas in the comments – we all could use the support and I don’t have a ton of answers for this one.

What do you do when all you want is to hide in a closet?

It’s a dang good question, and hard to answer because usually the answer isn’t neat and tidy.

So I’ll tell you what I do – and not all of it’s helpful, but I seem to have made it through each time, so take it for what you will.

In these moments I can’t beleive I’ve gotten to this place in my life – how can my ‘dream come true’ leave me empty and unmoored? These are the Dark Pit Parenting days and they usually occur when I’ve had my umteenth day of no time to myself.

I don’t remember what it’s like to finish a thought.  The simplest remedy might be to get some babysitting, but amid all the tasks needed just to keep humans, dogs, cats and fish alive I have yet to manage that bit of arrangement heroics. I think ‘How does this ever work in any kind of smooth way?!’.

I feel lonely and hopeless and in need of chocolate.

If I’m lucky I also have chocolate in the house. Good dark chocolate.

I begin to junk out on Facebook or repeatedly checking emails. This is one of my first signs that I’m sinking. We’ll put it in the not so helpful category.

I make myself a cup of coffee. And then another.

I go in my room and hope the kids don’t destroy the rest of the house while I call my best friend. This is the invitation for kids to get out the cupcake game with 100 small pieces, trail yogurt drips through the house and wrestle with each other until somebody is crying.  We will still put this in the helpful category, because the sanity savings of talking with someone who Gets It are worth the mess and tears.

Take care of yourself emotions map-001 Related: 6 Health Checks to Do If You’re Feeling Grumpy all the time

The mood drags on and I stumble through another day.

My kids seem worse and worse.  Their normal behavior feels like a personal affront.

I vaguely think again that I ought to arrange a babysitter and get some time to myself. Instead I congratulate myself for managing self care basics like drinking water and eating food at regualr intervals between the chocolate.

I tell them to go outside. Go OUTSIDE. Go. Play. Out. Side!!

Put on a movie.

By day two or three of this, no matter if I am faking a kind voice or not, the kids are reacting to my mood without even realizing why they’re grumpy.  They get into whining at me and each other, hitting one another and searching out anger buttons that I thought I had deactivated years ago.

I think things like, ‘I really should change our moods by taking them out of  the house, maybe go to the park.’

However, given that in the past couple days I’ve spent a good deal of energy ushering my thoughts away from visualizing hauling off and wailing on each of the kids, I sure as heck am not feeling up for changing the shouty/pouty dynamic by taking the kids to the park.

I spend some time wondering why in the world I have a blog about parenting, much less about parenting joyfully.  I worry for a while on that and then decide to worry about my parenting in general, my motivations for life, the writing and everything, the current state of gender equality, why I’m too serious… This is not in the helpful category.  I realize I need to avoid any social media that gets me comparing myself to others at this point.

About this time I probably start writing. Writing in a journal, writing a blog post, just writing and rearranging those thoughts and I begin to get a grasp on my negative thinking.

I think back to the other times I’ve been here in the parenting dark pit and I think, ‘I made it out. Things will change. Things will get different.’ I reflect on the words of a wise friend who said, “I’ve prayed for sleep and I’ve prayed for patience and now I’m just praying for grace.”

And I pray.  I’m not sure to who or what, but grace is what I’m looking for.


Also helpful:

Mantras to try to push away negative self talk

How to Pull it Together When You’re Parenting on Empty

Am I drepressed or is it a Case of the Mommy Blues?

If you need someone to talk to, please reach out. 

 I would really like to know your answer to this quesiton – what do you?

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  1. Sarah Rubenstein says

    I really appreciate your vulnerability and willingness to share! Thank you :)

  2. Laura Clout says

    I appreciate it when someone posts an honest post about the rough times. Sometimes all the shiny, happy stuff just makes me feel crap!

  3. Emilie Leeks says

    I agree with the comments above – I definitely appreciate you sharing, and making me feel like I’m not alone on those very difficult days! Thank you :-)

  4. Clover Collardson says

    Loving you and the reminder that some parenting days are just plain hard and that’s it. Chocolate gets me through a lot too, like today. 😉 It’s become a staple in my kitchen.

  5. Creative With Kids says

    Hoping you’ve got some good chocolate on hand Clover. Love to you and yours.

  6. Sarah Coats says

    Thank you for being brave enough to share this. My husband travels a lot for work. He’s currently been gone for 8 days and as well as a toddler who misses her daddy I’ve had a teething screaming baby (who hasn’t slept a wink for 4 days) and I’m all on my own. When I look at my newsfeed all I see are posts telling me I should be grateful, embrace the moment, connect etc etc. Your post resonated with me this morning and I thank you for that!

  7. Nicola White says

    I have felt this way for the past few days. Completely in the rut & although I know I’m not the only one, it’s still comforting to read the complete honesty of how we can feel at these times. Thanks.

  8. Jules says

    Oh, wow, I’ve been here for the last few months with zip energy. Thank goodness for summer and being able to send children outside.  Have you been outside lately or been in the water?

  9. Brandy Duncan says

    This was a good one I think Bianca :) I’ve felt that way many times but it does always get better

  10. Mazlita Tahir says

    Thank you. Gives me courage to admit that I too would like to hide in a closet sometimes.

  11. Nicole says

    This post made me feel so human. I’ve been feeling extremely guilty for having these very same thoughts, to the point where I am completely doubting whether I am a “good mom” at all.
    I would really like to subscribe to your newsletters, and I’m not sure if it’s just my browser or what, but when I try to subscribe, nothing happens. If you could manually add me to the list I would be very grateful.
    thank you.

  12. tbonetjs says

    I love this, so ridiculous how accurate it is….well at least to some of my days.  Esp the facebook/emails coffee.  Its so easy to feel like you’re the only one feeling this way, that all of the other moms are out there building activity tables, playing at the park, just being better than you.  Thanks for putting this out there, in a way that’s not complaining just being honest.

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