How Not to Lose Your Sh*t as a Mom

4 coping mechanisms to prevent a mama meltdown.

How Not to Lose Your Sh*t as a Mom

We’ve all had those days as a mom, when you’re teetering on the edge of sanity. Your kid won’t get dressed, you’ve just run out of milk, the baby is crying and you know you’re going to be late for that very important meeting/yoga class/girlfriend meetup/whatever you had planned for YOU today...and there’s nothing you can do to stop it. You’re. Going. To. Lose. Your. Shit.

Trying to take care of yourself in the midst of motherhood is hard work! Nobody knows that more than Randi Zinn, author of Going Beyond Mom: How to Activate your Mind, Body & Business After Baby. Her book is filled with advice, guidance and inspiration for any mom who’s looking to redefine herself after baby...or maybe just define herself for the first time. Which is no small feat when you’ve got a million balls to juggle and you’re on the verge of, um, losing your shit on a daily basis.

Below, Randi talks about how to prevent what she calls an “emotional tsunami” and how to get yourself back on track of taking care of YOU in the midst of taking care of everything else.

What's a "Beyond Mom" and why do you feel it's so important to you as a mother?

A Beyond Mom is a mom who is cultivating SELF in the midst of being a Mom. In other words, the woman who wants to have a voice, a purpose, and a passion is not forgotten! This is incredibly important because you will be, ultimately, a much happier individual when all parts of you are part of your daily life and not put aside in a little box on the shelf. Motherhood can be so much more dynamic when you are present with who you really are...and your kids benefit from a very present, aware mama too.

Tell us a little about the concept of an emotional tsunami. How is it especially relevant during motherhood?

Emotions are high in early motherhood. Life looks different from how it did before baby came along: you’re functioning with way less sleep, little free time, and way more hormones. It’s very easy to lose your shit. We also come to depend on our support system and our schedule for the simplest of things- if that is shaken, we can experience an “emotional tsunami” or the feeling like our emotions are taking us over. But does it have to be that way? If we’re practicing tools of mindfulness (which is essentially the ability to be aware in the moment that you’re losing it), you can choose another path. The end result can be more peaceful and probably more productive.

Give us an example of an emotional tsunami you experienced recently.

I found that I lost my shit a lot more with my first child over moments like when my husband was traveling over a holiday weekend and leaving me solo, or when I felt like my husband wasn’t “doing it right,” and he fought for his rightful place to take care of our kid and make mistakes (he was right!). But recently, I’ve lost my shit more with my older child when HE is having an emotional tsunami and I’m too pooped (and occupied with my younger child and my work) to deal with him.

There’s been some screaming, some crying, and some rapid heartbeats. It’s not a side of me that I like. I’m learning though, over time, to use my own tips and take a pause, go in the other room, take some deep breaths, remind myself that this too shall pass. These tiny practices allow me to step in with so much more clarity and compassion (for my kid and for myself) and somehow the emotions don’t take more over. And like anything else, with practice, it gets easier.

Why is it so important to learn how to cope with en emotional tsunami once you become a mom?

Motherhood is intense. Add on any other commitments like starting a business or running a project and it can feel like more than any woman can take. And yet, we are a more whole individual when we have that which is ours alone. So how do we do it? We take baby steps to stay grounded and clear, even in the face of losing it.

Here’s what I do:

1. When I feel the emotions rising, I take a pause. So if that means putting my son in his room in “time out” or putting myself in my closet to breathe for a few moments, I do that.

2. I take a few deep breaths and literally imagine my mind clearing (visualizations help).

3. I speak from my belly. Let me explain. When i’m upset, I notice i speak from my throat (which feels more constricted and emotional). When I speak from my belly it seems to be more grounded and truthful….and i make more progress.

4. If I need more time, I take it. Especially when it comes to conversations with my partner. If I feel like a conversation isn’t complete but my emotions aren’t in a grounded place, I wait until I feel more grounded to continue. It sounds so obvious, but most of us don’t take that time and that’s when the emotional tsunami wave pounds.

Buy Randi's book on Amazon here.

Photo by Tim Goedhart on Unsplash.

In This Article

    14 toys that will keep your kids entertained inside *and* outside

    They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

    With fall in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in outside-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

    From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

    Wooden doll stroller

    Janod wooden doll stroller

    Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.


    Detective set

    Plan Toys detective set

    This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.


    Sand play set

    Plan Toys sand set

    Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.


    Water play set

    Plan Toys water play set

    Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.


    Mini golf set

    Plan Toys mini golf set

    Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.


    Vintage scooter balance bike

    Janod retro scooter balance bike

    Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.


    Wooden rocking pegasus

    plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

    Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.


    Croquet set

    Plan Toys croquet set

    The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.


    Wooden digital camera

    fathers factory wooden digital camera

    Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.


    Wooden bulldozer toy

    plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

    Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.


    Pull-along hippo

    janod toys pull along hippo toy

    There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.


    Baby forest fox ride-on

    janod toys baby fox ride on

    Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.


    Balance board

    Plan Toys balance board

    Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!


    Meadow ring toss game

    Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

    Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.


    We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


    This post is brought to you by Staples. While this was a sponsored opportunity, all content and opinions expressed here are my own.

    One of the biggest changes in my household once my daughter started homeschooling was that, suddenly, everything and everyone in our home had to start pulling double duty. While I was used to wearing a lot of hats (mom, wife and WFH employee, to name a few), suddenly our dining room was also pulling shifts as a classroom. My laptop was also a virtual teacher. Our living room hutch was also a school supply closet.

    If I didn't want my home to be overrun with an abundance of clutter, I had to find products that could multitask. Here are 10 products that are saving this WFH + homeschooling mama right now.

    Stylish storage cabinet

    Whether I need a place to keep the printer or just want to keep crayons and colored pencils organized, this pretty cabinet provides a mixture of exposed and hidden storage without clashing with my living room decor.

    White board calendar + bulletin board

    With so much on our plates these days, I need a visual reminder of our daily schedule or I'll forget everything. This dry erase version makes it easy to keep track of Zoom meetings and virtual classes—and I also love using the corkboard to display my daughter's latest work from art class.

    Natural Recycled 3-Ring Binder

    From tracking our curriculum progress to organizing my family's paperwork, I can never have enough binders. Even better, this neutral version is pretty enough that I can display them on the bookshelf.

    Bamboo storage drawers

    The instant you start homeschooling, it can feel like you're suddenly drowning in papers, craft supplies and more. Fortunately, these simple bamboo drawers can be tucked into the cabinet or even displayed on top (seriously, they're that cute!) to keep what we need organized and close at hand.

    Laminated world map

    I love this dry-erase map for our geography lessons, but the real secret? It also makes a cute piece of wall decor for my work space.

    Rolling 7-drawer cabinet

    When you're doing it all from home, you sometimes have to roll with the punches—I strongly recommend getting an organizational system that rolls with you. On days when both my husband and I are working from home and I need to move my daughter's classes to another room, this 7-drawer cabinet makes it easy to bring the classroom with us.


    From our first day of school photo to displaying favorite quotes to keep myself motivated, this 12"x18" letterboard is my favorite thing to display in our home.

    Expandable tablet stand

    Word to the wise: Get a pretty tablet stand you won't mind seeing out every day. (Because between virtual playdates, my daughter's screen time and my own personal use, this thing never gets put away.)

    Neutral pocket chart

    Between organizing my daughter's chore chart, displaying our weekly sight words and providing a fits-anywhere place to keep supplies on hand, this handy little pocket chart is a must-have for homeschooling families.

    Totable fabric bins

    My ultimate hack for getting my family to clean up after themselves? These fabric bins. I can use them to organize my desk, store my oldest's books and even keep a bin of toys on hand for the baby to play with while we do school. And when playtime is over, it's easy for everyone to simply put everything back in the bin and pop it in the cabinet.

    Looking for study solutions for older children? Hop over to Grown & Flown for their top picks for Back to School.

    Work + Money

    Mama, all I see is you

    A love letter from your baby.


    I can't see past you right now, I'm so small and everything's a little blurry.

    All I see is you.

    When you feel alone, like the walls are closing in, remember I'm here too. I know your world has changed and the days feel a little lonely. But they aren't lonely for me.

    You are my everything.

    When you feel like you don't know what you're doing, you're making it look easy to me. Even though we're still getting to know each other, you know me better than anyone.

    I trust you.

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