Mommy Meltdowns

The Huffington Post   First Posted: 02/16/11 10:23 AM ET Updated: 11/17/11 09:02 AM ET

What is the rudest question you can ask a woman?

According to "30 Rock" star Tina Fey, the answer is, "How do you juggle it all?"

In "Confessions of a Juggler," an essay in the Feb. 14 issue of The New Yorker, Fey touches on a longstanding fear of mothers everywhere: being seen as incapable of coping with the stresses of raising a child.

To be precise, Fey's essay explores the demands of juggling motherhood and a career, but a telling passage reveals, perhaps unintentionally, which of the two she regards as more stressful:

The ear-nose-and-throat doctor I see about some stress-induced canker sores offers, unsolicited, "You should have another one. I had my children at forty-one and forty-two. It's fine." Did she not hear the part about the stress-induced canker sores?

Which begs the question: why does admitting that parenthood isn't a walk in the park -- or asking a question that may demand such an admission -- carry a social stigma?

Brooke Burke, co-host of "Dancing With the Stars," recently appeared on ABC's "Good Morning America" to talk about her new book, "The Naked Mom," in which she reveals her own struggle to balance work and family. Of her decision to write the memoir, Burke says, "I'm one of those mothers where I'm not ashamed to share my challenges and my difficult moments and also the things that I did right and the things that I'm learning."

The implication here is, of course, that there are many mothers out there who are ashamed to share their troubles.

The negative correlation between happiness and parenting has been tossed around in the press with some frequency in recent years, yet when a mother (or father) seems to crack under the strain, it still comes as a surprise. But should it?

Psychology writer Wray Herbert raised the issue of parental stress in a Feb. 2 piece on The Huffington Post, writing:

Study after study has shown that parents, compared to adults without kids, experience lower emotional well-being -- fewer positive feelings and more negative ones -- and have unhappier marriages and suffer more from depression. Yet many of these same parents continue to insist that their children are an essential source of happiness -- indeed that a life without children is a life unfulfilled.

Why might this be? Perhaps because admitting defeat is not an option. Despite the growing presence of Mommy Bloggers and the rise of "Mom-Lit," the pressure to never let them see you sweat endures. Mothers are still expected to have it all -- and have it all together.

So tell us, HuffPost readers: Is it rude of us to ask you how you juggle it all? Do you feel pressure to keep your parenting problems to yourself? Have you ever had a mommy meltdown, or at least come close to having one? Please share via the link below; your fellow parents will thank you for it.

Have you ever had a mommy meltdown? Share your story below!
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This meltdown was the worst. I peed my pants. I. Literally. Peed. On. Myself.
love2quilt:
Whomp, there it is. Me, in all my glory. This is what my life has come to. Two degrees, small business owner, wife and mother of 2, and now I will only be known as The Urinator. I accept defeat WORLD!! YOU WIN! I peed the fight right out of me. How did I find myself in such a situation, you ask? Well, pardon the pun but it all started because I was pissed. Literally and figuratively. Let's take a look back, shall we?...~cue wobbly screen and Mike Meyers~ "biddily-doo, biddily-doo, biddily-doo".





So there I was, waiting on the refrigerator repairman for visit # 14. I. kid. you. not. And if you are saying, "Shari! There's a lemon law! Insist on a new refrigerator!!", then I need you to give me your address so that I can come over and punch you in the face. Don't worry, I won't stay long. I'll just ring the bell, you'll answer, PUNCH, back in my car, and I'm gone. I do not have the strength to go into the entire story w/ you, just like I didn't have the strength to tell repairman # 8 what was wrong w/ my fridge. I told him, "You are not Kevin. Kevin is my repairman. He knows what is wrong. Last time they sent Robert. Robert had to call Kevin because he knows what is wrong. Robert didn't know. He called Kevin. Robert and Kevin spent 2 1/2 hours trying to fix it. Needed another part. Kevin said he would come back because he knows what's going on. You do not. I will not tell you what is going on for fear of flying into a rage that I may never recover from. I'm sure your family loves you and will miss you when you are gone. If I have to repeat my story to one more person, that person may not live to tell the tale. Save yourself and go get KEVIN!!! Of course then he said that Kevin could come tomorrow (I'M NOT WASTING ONE MORE DAY!!) and it was already 6:30pm...my window was 1-5pm. Which is why he was here at 6:30pm. They enjoy showing up 90 minutes past the window. I know this. I have done extensive research on this in the form of scheduling FOURTEEN VISITS!!!!!!!!! Now in Kevin's defense, his company has only been on 6 of the 14 calls. The previous visits were split between 4 different companies. None of them spoke English, only Russian. I,...

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