Christy is the mother of three children – a 21-year-old daughter and 16-year-old son from her first marriage and a two-year-old son from her second marriage. She feels frazzled from morning until night, trying to hold down a high-powered job while managing a house, paying bills, looking after children, cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, and taking care of the dog.
Most days, she feels inadequate as a parent. She is estranged from her oldest daughter who told Christy that she wanted to “take a break from their toxic relationship,” and hasn’t called Christy in over a year. Her teenage son spends his time after school in his room, playing loud music and video games. He is rude and disrespectful. Their relationship is marked by frequent fights about homework, curfew, and driving.
This morning, her toddler had a temper tantrum when she took him grocery shopping and refused to buy him a candy bar. She felt so embarrassed at the cold stares of everyone in the grocery store while she tried to calm him down. When they returned to the car, he refused to let her buckle him into his car seat, throwing himself backward like a stiff board. She completely lost her temper and yelled at him that he was “a bad boy!” By the time she got home, she was filled with self-loathing. She tells herself that if she were a better mom, her children would measure up. She wonders how she can ever cope with her stress and anxiety.