Maniacal Mommy Mind

Posted: January 31, 2011 at 9:05 pm

I made it through the day! I feel so much better right now too. I knew that still focusing on eating well and getting in activity would help overall. It certainly did. I ate my typical meals and completed the 3rd level of the Slim in 6 Circuit workout. An hour of body movement always helps cheer me up.

Now are you ready to learn the details of the last two nights? Middle of the nights are not my emotional friend. The past two nights I have experienced a severe case of “Maniacal Mommy Mind”. The diagnosis:

Maniacal Mommy Mind occurs when all sense of reason leaves the mother, resulting in unnecessary feelings of guilt, doubt, unattractiveness, resentment, and more.


That disease does exist and I have lived to tell about it. Here’s how it all plays out…

Step 1: Braedon wakes for one of his night-time feedings. 45 minutes later I put him back down to sleep. He won’t fall asleep. I try to soothe him, yet he still fusses.

Step 2: Peter wakes up from the commotion and offers to help me out. I proceed to get all “mommy territorial” and tell him the following: No. Go back to sleep. You have to get up for work. Its my job to handle Braedon.

Step 3: The exhaustion sinks in. The tears start trickling out. I feel overwhelmed too easily in the middle of the night. Peter, still calm, comes in and saves the day. How does he do that?! Then, proceeds to calm me down and try to help me fall back asleep. I start crying more.

Step 4: The following happens -

  • I believe I should have been able to handle Braedon by myself. I begin questioning if I’m good enough as a mom and then, as a wife, because Peter lost sleep for work.
  • I go over how Peter does so much. He comes home and immediately lets me get away for an hour to get in a workout for my “me-time”. I proceed to feel guilty over wanting me-time and working out.
  • I’m exhausted and emotional which makes the fat-talk all too easy to slip in.

Step 5: I proceed to break down with these crazy thoughts and get swallowed by the “Maniacal Mommy Mind” until I finally crash back to sleep.chartIn the morning, as tired as I may feel, I DO regain perspective. Part of motherhood is the 100% commitment and it is truly a blessing. Peter and I are a team. I should not have so much pride that I inhibit him helping meet my needs. Some days and nights will present challenges. They won’t last and I can manage. I do not want to lose the positive relationship I built with myself, so I give up the negative talk and choose to care for my body. (And sometimes re-read things like my guest post for Samantha to keep myself in check.) So Maniacal Mommy Mind, it’s about time you leave me alone. I know better than what you try to tell me. Oh, do I know better. This is my mind now.


Question of the Evening – If a mommy = Have you ever faced Maniacal Mommy Mind? Not a mommy = What do you have trouble getting help with?


53 Comments to “Maniacal Mommy Mind”
  1. I know that 100% without a doubt I would have had the same sturggle you did last night. I always feel like I shouldn’t accept help and that is a definite struggle for me. I had feeling/looking weak, which is so crazy!

    I’m glad you gained perspective this morning!! Love you!

  2. Girl, I have so been there. I can remember the desperation of a baby who refuses to sleep so well. Hang in there, mama. <3

  3. I am 100% sure you are not alone in this. I can’t really relate, but I can relate to the feeling of wanting to do it all…or a lot of it, since my husband works much longer hours than I do. Glad you are feeling better!

  4. Allie says:

    Aww I can see how frustrated you must feel. You are not a bad mom at all! Be happy that your husband wants to help and get all the help you can 🙂 When a couple becomes parents, they both know they will lose sleep-not just the mommy. I hope you feel better 🙂

  5. EVERYTHING is better in the morning but the hours of 2a-6a after not sleeping, a baby’s demands and needs, nursing, the whole routine…those are the darkest (no pun intended) hours. Things do get better in the a.m. even with little to no sleep. We have ALL been there in the middle of the night as moms. Hang in there hon!

  6. Well it seems like you turn a rough time into a really great lesson- keep up the positive thinking!

    While I don’t have children yet, am I the type to try to do it all without asking for help…I’m still working on leaning on my husband when I need help with tasks- though he always makes it known that he’s there for me.

  7. Have definitely had this struggle! It was hard! It will get better! And I totally agree…the more exhaustion, the higher level of crazy!! 🙂 I remember nights where my hubby would ask if he could help and I would do the same thing you did! Everything always seemed to be better in the morning!

  8. Sarah R says:

    Can Manic Mommy Mind occur while pregnant with your first? Or is it just the fluctuating hormones?

  9. haha I was like you left a guest post on my blog?! ha another Samantha obviously 🙂

    I know what you mean, I face the mommy guilt all the time. It needs to stop!

  10. Runeatrepeat says:

    Thank you for sharing this tough time. You have a ton of readers who are in the same position or will be one day. You really shouldn’t feel guilty. You are doing the best you can and that is enough.

  11. Kat says:

    1. Those diagrams were just marvelous. Gold star for you on that one.

    2. God Bless Peter. You two are SUCH a team. One of the most important parts of your (and any!) relationship is that each of you have the ability to pick one another up and build one another up when you’re down. I can’t even begin to imagine how challenging some of the moments motherhood throws at you are. But I am smiling right now, knowing that you have such a wonderful companion by your side.

    Keep your head up!

  12. lindsay says:

    I think thats a fear of mine when I do become a mom. The emotional exhuastion. Buts it people like you that make mommyhood realistic, and treat it as a blessing, as it is! thank you for sharing this!

  13. You are doing an amazing job! I can’t relate 100%, but I know that I have had times when I feel guilty when I ask for help. I hate asking for it, but sometimes we need to.

    I have said it time and time again, but you really are an inspiration. I hope that down the road when I get married and have kids, that I can be as amazing as you. 😀

  14. Caree says:

    Ohh, I have soo been in the same exact scenario and feeling the same feelings! Hang in there. Definitely take it one day/night at a time!

  15. you are an inspiration to me (and other future mommies out there too i’m sure!). i know i’ve never met you personally, but i can absolutely tell that you are the best mom to m & b. you’re amazing!

  16. Michelle says:

    Yes, yes & yes. I have definitely been here. It’s so hard to ask for help sometimes because you convince yourself that you SHOULD be able to do it. There’s nothing wrong with a little delegation though!

    Hang in there mama — hormones are definitely still CRAZY right now. You know that this too shall pass (and yes, this is my mantra!). You’re such a GREAT mom, wife, and person. Don’t forget it!

  17. YES YES YES I have had the MMB…I can remember when my girls were newborns and I had to call my mom over to come help me. I felt so defeated 🙁 I had trouble breastfeeding and I felt depressed…BUT I now realize I did and still do the best I can everyday and because of that I have two beautiful, healthy, intelligent, amazing daughters. Us moms do some things right! And Tina you are def. doing a lot of things right!

    • Tina says:

      So true. That’s all we can give is our best each day…and its okay if some days we have less to give as long as we still give our best. 🙂

  18. Helen says:

    Hang in there! I have had MMB, and to be honest with you still get it occasionally. My boys are 8 & 4 but we still have moments. Just remember that sometimes all mommies just need a moment to cry, then it is all better in the morning light! I know how you feel about the whole husband working issue, I am like that in the summer since I am off of work. You have a good mindset in realizing that you are a team, remember that you do work as well so let him help. You have the most demanding job of all – MOM 🙂

  19. I see this as my future…eeek!

    I already have these sentiments in everything I do. For my Birthday, I asked my hubby to make the low-tire lights go off in my car and then I felt guilty because he did it. No one can win…

  20. Stephanie says:

    ONE time I had a nursing son, a puking sick 1 1/2 year old, a puking sick 3 year old and a MIA husband. I’ve had some maniacal mommy moments…for sure. 🙂

    It will be a new day and a new situation soon enough and I say cherish this moment for what it is. You’re exhausted and tired from working! Working at home! Peter is working to provide and you are working to create a home and be a great mom. It sounds like Peter is pretty amazing and realizes that when he comes home…his family is still the most important job. Don’t let the guilt get you!

    And remember..this too shall past.

    • Tina says:

      He is such a GREAT man. I always feel so lucky to have him. And yikes on that night you had. I can only imagine how difficult. I would be a mess!

  21. I’m so very guilty of this in the workplace. As a new manager, I have a hard time giving up things and letting my assistant do them. I hate asking for help and I especially hate asking for it when I think I can do it better and more efficiently.

  22. Tina, honestly, I dont know how you do it. Two little ones, blogging, and still managing to keep a healthy and positive outlook, even if you do have bad moments. You are an inspiration.

  23. Shannon says:

    I’m up for a nighttime feeding now and suffering the same thing! Noah James is not sleeping well right now and I’m dreading getting him back down. Even though my mom is here visiting and Dave is still up, I feel like I should be able to do this alone. It’s my job. Thanks for the laugh and the perspective 🙂

    • Tina says:

      Isn’t it great knowing others out there are going through the same thing…and we’ll all be past it soon enough. 🙂

  24. I am not a mommy, but I have had a hard time in the past letting anyone help me, particularly financially. “I’m a big girl and I can do it myself” was my attitude so often. Being in school has really taught me how to ask for help around the house, and to also accept help when it shows up in many forms… God works through the wonderful people he puts in my life to help me mentally, spiritually, physically, and financially, and I am learning its okay to not try to be Superwoman!

  25. Oh dear–hang in there, mommy!

  26. Oh Tina, the exhaustion is unbearable and overwhelming! I hope you get some rest today.

  27. Sarah says:

    I’m not a mommy, but I do face the same kind of overwhelmed/guilt/fat talk when I’m exhausted. The only things that help are rest (which isn’t always possible), being really honest with God, and repeating truth to myself over and over (and over) until I believe it.

  28. Heather says:

    oh man, i totally get the same way when i start to become overwhelmed…ESPECIALLY since i’ve been sick lately. i feel like i should be able to work out and cook food and clean the house and take care of the dogs the way i want to, but just don’t have the energy for it. i’ve found that nate has a way of calming me down and just letting me know that i don’t have to be superwoman!

  29. marcia says:

    Looks exactly like my brain! It helps when you have a supportive partner that can deal with our “crazy” too. Thank God for them! The guilt is usually the biggest piece for me…and it’s usually unnecessary. I try to act all big and bold and take my “me-time” like a trooper and then feel guilty over how freely I took that time! ha…the cycle! Highs- and lows that will level out in I know you are well aware of!

  30. Oh, man have I dealt with this. Except I can’t go back to sleep…I’m really dealing with some insomnia issues. Any advice?

    Thank God for our husbands huh!

  31. That has to be super frustrating. I get over-stressed super easy and break down. Yikes. Glad Peter is so helpful. I’m not sure how calm my husband would be in a similar situation. He very much likes his me time and seriously likes his sleep time. He will not even volunteer with me on the weekends if it is in the morning because he wants to sleep. Wow. I hope maybe a baby will win his heart over and he’ll get over it. You are an AWESOME Mom, Tina. You set a great example for your children too with getting in your workouts. I know I really admire your dedication! It’s tough, at least for me.

  32. I think it’s safe to say we have all been there at one point or another. Hang in there sweetie! xoxo

  33. Kelly says:

    That sounds like every night in my life except minus the kids.

  34. Heather says:

    I have to admit, I don’t feel guilty about my “me” time. I’ve always had it since C was a newborn and I think it makes me a better mom! Though, if I had 2 I’m not sure how I would feel – that’s a whole other ballgame…. 🙂

  35. Oh, yes. I have been there. Things do usually seem better in the morning. Hope you had a better night last night!

  36. Julie says:

    Been there. Done that.
    I have no words of wisdom other than…you are completely normal and everything you are going through/thinking is completely normal and you should never think less of yourself or your skills as a mom.

    Having said that, you WILL still have maniacal mommy brain often and when you are having those tough conversations with yourself in the middle of the night, just remind yourself that all the other moms have gone through this and you ARE NORMAL! Or if you want to take a Zig Ziglar approach…Better than normal!

    Stay strong ~ you are doing it just the right way. Trust yourself.

  37. Mandy says:

    Oh man. How I can relate. You are doing a great job 🙂 Hopefully I’ll get to see you tomorrow!

  38. Oh my goodness, this post described me to a tee when we first brought our son, John, home from the hospital. As I’m sure you know, it definitely does get better. Hang in there!

  39. Girl, I totally know how you feel. It seems worse after the 2nd one comes along? It’s like, you want to be super mom and do all these things (clean, take care of kids, yourself, hubby, feel good about yourself) and there aren’t enough hours in the day. And really if there were, you’d still be too tired. That’s how I felt anyway. It will get better. I think hubbies have a tendency to make things seem pretty easy lol.

    • Tina says:

      It is a different ball game with the 2nd. I find a lot of things MUCH easier but the sleep is a bit harder. No time to slip in a nap. LOL

  40. Sarah says:

    Oh wow, I’m super impressed by your mommy skills. I don’t know how you and all the other moms do it! Hopefully those sleepless nights will become much more restful soon!!

  41. You have such a wonderful perspective Tina. I’m not a mommy yet but can only imagine the struggles I’ll be faced with. I think having other supportive women like you around to read words of encourangement would make it easier to deal with.

  42. I am not a mommy and certainly have no advice. But I wanted to tell you that during my prayers this morning I suddenly found myself praying for you and after reading your post I just wanted to let you know that I will be continuously praying for you. You are so strong and so much better than the Maniacal Mommy Mind!

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