BRUNSWICK, Maine — Jennifer Barbour says her worst moment as a mom happened one spring day while picking up her youngest child at day care.
She’d already retrieved 8-year-old “G” from school, and stopped at the daycare to get “Biz,” who was 5. “G” and “Biz” are the pseudonyms for her children that Barbour uses in her blog, anotherjennifer.com/blog.
At that meltdown moment, Biz wasn’t interested in being picked up.
“On that warm spring day, my presence was the worst thing that had happened to him in recent history,” Barbour, 38, of Brunswick wrote in an essay titled “Let’s Pretend this Never Happened,” which is part of a newly-published collection of such stories, “ The Mother of All Meltdowns: A Bunch of Hot Mamas Losing their Cool.”
“He moved to the sandbox to the playground behind the day care without any acknowledgement of my presence,” Barbour wrote. “With his back to me, he stood with a look of utter disgust on his face.”
Then “G” disappeared into the throng of children, and Barbour melted down.
“I was trying to keep it together in a public situation, but really I just wanted to scream,” the Brunswick writer said during a recent interview with the Bangor Daily News. “I kept my composure until we got into the car. At home, we all went into time out, and sat and talked about it — and it was no big deal.”
Barbour’s tale is among 30 stories that, according to publisher Mommifried Press, take “an honest look at the moments that bring even the strongest mama to her knees. Bonus content reveals the secrets to surviving the most harrowing meltdown with grace, composure, and maybe a little wine.”
Barbour said she was a little intimidated when first approached by Maine-based lead editor Crystal Ponti about contributing her tale, and wondered whether other moms would merely write about problems such as “How much [Marshmallow] Fluff are we going to use?”
But Barbour said the stories — which range from funny anecdotes to a heartbreaking tale by a woman who suffered the loss of her child — offer something for every mom to relate to.
“Our message is definitely like, ‘We’ve been there, we’re not afraid to admit it, it’s all part of being a mom,’” she said.
Barbour studied advertising in college, but said she quickly realized that she needed a creative outlet.
She began blogging while working at Crossroads for Women, a behavioral health and addiction treatment center based in Scarborough, and now blogs about being a mom, and about philanthropy, a topic she is currently writing a book about.
The moms also are working on a new book, although they haven’t yet picked a topic.
“We might do marriage meltdowns, but I don’t know if we’d get away with it,” she said, laughing.
“The Mother of All Meltdowns” is available in paperback for $9.99 at amazon.com.