- MOAM introduction
If you're a mother, you've seen this happen to your kids -- the unfurling process where once normal children become entirely unglued and morph into irrational feral creatures, leaving everyone in their wake to pick up the broken pieces, figuratively and literally.
If you're an honest mother, you'll probably realize that meltdowns aren't just child's play. We moms can melt, too -- all wet from screaming and crying, unfolding in slow motion and epic proportions -- and, just like our kids, we face our own assortment of broken pieces in the aftermath.
The Mother of All Meltdowns, a newly-released compilation of essays from 30 diverse mom bloggers, holds this as its key premise: moms (good moms!) all have breaking points. Sometimes that breaking point is when you discover that your daughter has cut off her own bangs, or when a stranger asks when you're due to have your baby three months after you've delivered that baby, or when you suspect that your toddler has flushed your wedding ring down the toilet, or when your entire family succumbs to the stomach flu the night before Christmas.
Through the transparent presentation of these authors' worst moments -- the outburst, the tears, the self-doubts, the botched attempt at moving a child's finished Lego construction -- we, as readers, are quietly invited to recall our own rough patches where we behaved less-than-ideally. Most importantly, we're reminded that we're not alone.
The book's forward notes that each contributor brings her own writing style, acknowledging that "if you're a word nerd, the grammar police, or anything in between, a good dose of Prozak might be in order for you to read this book." Instead, the preface explains that the book's focus is honesty, not perfection. In other words, drop the red pens and grab a relaxing cup of coffee or tea instead.
Typical of compiled anthologies, I gravitated toward a few entries more strongly than others due to the individual writer's way with words or how her experiences and perspectives dovetailed with my own, which is to be expected.
Overall, I finished the book with affirmation that I'm not the only mom who's been there, done that, regretted it, moved on, and -- here's the best part -- lived to mother another day. And what mom couldn't use a bit of that?
The Mother of All Meltdowns is available in both Kindle and paperback editions.