Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Frazzled Mom Syndrome

Recently I was talking to a friend who told me a story about how she went to the store and parked her car next to a minivan. When she got out she noticed the sliding door of the minivan was open but there was no one around it. She peeked inside and she saw three car seats buckled side by side. Then she said, "Once I saw the car seats I knew it was just some frazzled mom who forgot to shut the door." Now, when she told me this I was laughing, but in my head I was thinking, "Oh good. I'm not the only one with a serious case of Frazzled Mom Syndrome."  

My problem started one day during my pregnancy when I came out of the shower and Matt was standing there looking very confused. "Did you just take a shower?" He asked me. "Uh, yeah," I said, now looking equally confused. He said, "Are you aware that the kitchen sink is running?" Apparently, he heard the water running for over 10 minutes and came into the kitchen to see what I was doing. Right at that moment I was coming out of the bathroom in my robe. Hence, the confusion. At the time, I couldn't figure out why I would just leave the sink running and get in the shower. I didn't know then, but I do know now. I did it because Frazzled Mom Syndrome sets in even before the first kid is born.

If you have children, you also have Frazzled Mom Syndrome. Don't even try to hide it. It begins with the first pregnancy and gets exponentially worse with each kid (or so I hear). Sometimes it causes us to laugh at ourselves like the time when I set Reese down in the Pack N Play and went upstairs to look for the Pack N Play. I couldn't find it anywhere. I won't tell you how long it took me to realize that Reese was sitting in it at the bottom of the steps! Sometimes it makes us feel like bad moms like the time I set her in the car seat and put the groceries in the car and then drove about 2 miles before I remembered that I never buckled her in! Sometimes it's even a little embarrassing like the time I took her to see all of my old co-workers and lost my car keys. I had to go back to every person's office to look for them. I finally went to the front desk and the attendant handed them to me saying, "Grey Honda? Yeah, you left them sticking out of the lock on your trunk." Frazzled. Mom. Syndrome. 

On this day, Reese was crying in the car. It was a really short drive and I was in a hurry so I didn't stop. Then she fell asleep and when we got out of the car I realized that her hat was covering her eyes. I felt pretty terrible.
I'm talking about it today because there have been too many times when I felt bad about myself or my organizational skills or my parenting in my frazzled moments. As moms, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to be perfect because we have such a huge responsibility to take good care of our children. But we shouldn't feel bad. We should embrace our frazzled days. Let the funny incidents make you smile and lighten your mood. Let the serious incidents remind you to slow down and remember that things just won't go as quickly or as smoothly as they did when you were only responsible for yourself. Most of all, remember to give yourself a break and know that you're not the only one out there leaving car doors open and faucets running. We're all making mistakes, but we're all doing our best. And we're all still great moms, even despite the occasional flare up of Frazzled Mom Syndrome.


  1. Lisa, you write such great posts. I too have had the hat slide down to cover half the baby's face without realizing it and I rushed to where I was going through her screams only to find that I could have just pulled over to remove the hat. I was literally sick the day I got home and realized that I had forgotten to snap the car seat straps in the carrier. Today's post is definitely ringing true over here! Thanks for the words of encouragement and a little laugh.

  2. Thank you for your comment, Sandy! I just knew I couldn't be the only one out there doing this stuff and feeling bad about it. I hope it helps to know that I too have done both of those things (and many more). But I still think I'm a pretty great mom and I'm sure you are too.