This morning, after I calmly suggested that I wasn’t getting enough help around the house and perhaps it was time to bring the cleaners back,  a member of my family (who shall remain nameless) suggested I had been “triggered” by the sinks in the kitchen.

Is there anything more triggering than being told you were triggered?

In full mom-melt down mode, I stormed through the house pointing out all of my triggers –  the dust that was cascading down the stairs, the shoes that were strewn throughout the house, the laundry scattered around the guest room waiting for “someone” to put it away, the two Roombas calling for “someone” to put them back in their docks, the dog barf on the carpet upstairs that I stepped in because no one cleaned it up, the trash piling up in my car, the crust that has formed in one of the bathroom sinks and the stray floss that never makes it into the garbage can, and need I say it to anyone who has been following my misadventures. . . the pile of mail on the counter that WAS STILL UNOPENED.

So was I triggered? Yup. Sooooo triggered.

But it’s not by one thing. It’s by all the things. And the feeling that, more often than not, if I’m the one changing to accommodate the people in our house. Finances not getting handled properly? I took it over. Cleaners stressing out the dog and my husband? I took it over. Mail not getting opened. You got it, I (generally) took it over.

Going over our to-do lists this past weekend with the kids, I pointed out that they shouldn’t complain because my list was so much longer. Their response? “That’s because you are mom. It’s your job.”

Which is bullshit.

Cleaning the house, in particular, is not my job. It’s our job.

My job is to tell my husband and kids what we need to do, and then not do it myself because it’s not happening fast enough, or because I don’t want to hear the complaints, or because someone will accuse me of being “triggered.”

We have a family meeting scheduled for this weekend because something is going to change. And if they complain? They will finally understand what “triggered mom” looks like.

4 thoughts on “Triggered

  1. “Is there anything more triggering than being told you were triggered?”

    It’s sort of like being told you’re being defensive. Well, duh, when attacked, what else are you going to do? “Turning the other cheek” is all well-and-good … the one time out of ten that it’s actually the right/effective response.

    Actually, that’s not quite right. When I’m told I’m being defensive, I say, “My bad” … and promptly go on the offensive. “The best defense is a good offense,” and all that.

    I’m sure that it’s not lost on you that your levers are limited. But they aren’t absent. Make those levers (keys to the car, permission to go out socially, not having to sleep in the garage, ) visible, or, at minimum, have them handy.

    [grabs popcorn and site down waiting for Monday’s blog post]


  2. Yup yup yup yup.
    That was me about three weeks ago and they were so surprised!
    Why? Did the filthy toilet (we only have one bathroom) not make you think I’d flip out when I got home from my 4-day-trip (I’m a flight attendant)? I know for a fact my teenagers would refuse to use a gas station toilet if it looked this bad. Did the litter box full of cat pee and poop not make you realize I’d get angry on the cat’s behalf? How about the sticky countertops covered with crumbs? The dirty placemats? The dishwasher filled to the brim with dirty dishes? Why is it our job to point out the obvious and then be told “you’re always mad when you come home from work”?
    So I wrote a list titled “How to avoid a Mom meltdown”, I tried to include humor (my job also includes preserving their psyche apparently – how about MINE?) and I pull it out every time I leave for work.
    So far so good, they’re at least trying.

    I’m coming home a day early tomorrow.
    I’m already bracing myself.

    You are SO not alone.

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  3. Just like being told to calm down will cause people to inevitably ramp up. I hear you. My children are now 12 and 9 and it’s like pulling teeth to get them to do the most basic things – turn lights off, put clothing in the hamper, whatever. I am with you sistah!

    Liked by 2 people

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