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Me + Man Tantrums, or Mantrums

I celebrate conscious men who realize when they’re acting like giant babies. My coach Bob Conlin copped to an epic mantrum this past weekend, and he’s such a conscious leader I should’ve paid attention to the astrological forecast. Perhaps one would be in my future too….

“Nah, things are going really well right now! Bob should lock down his mantrum.”


My clients agree: there’s something particularly satisfying about watching our coaches struggle with the same stuff we do. 🙂

Consciousness alone separates us from apes, and prior generations of bottled-up men. As a grown man, the real pain of a meltdown isn’t whatever triggered it, or whatever we’re losing by not getting our way.

The pain is in hearing venomous words leave our lips. It’s the yelling voice, seemingly possessing us in a moment of anger, that we simultaneously wish to retract and have stricken from the record. Actually, let’s just seal it in a vault, bury it, and never speak of it again.

“I’ll be outside, aggressively watering the garden.”

But the beast hath been unleashed, and the collateral damage is done.

The older our kids get, the more sickened I get by rage and anger. It’s not that I don’t think we all deserve to indulge sometimes. It’s that anger is already everywhere in a cold and cruel world, and our kids don’t deserve it at home.

The Soul would never agree that anyone deserves it, ever. We only deserve love, patience, and understanding. Alas, this isn’t the spiritual plane and we’re all working through some heavy karma.

My son is 6, and we witnessed a pretty sweet tantrum the other day. We were attending his sister’s race event. A toddler clearly wasn’t having it with something, and did the red-faced, stomp-and-scream. Arms folded. Shrieking and violently pulling away from his parents. Leon thought it was funny, and I reminded him it wasn’t so long since he played the tantrum card. He’s been such a sweetheart lately, it’s hard for him to recall any moments of blind rage.


I wish the same could be said of me…


Once you’re in the clear from tantrums with your own kids, it’s easy to feel sorry for younger parents. There is something completely ridiculous about the spectacle of a tantrum, but there’s also an opportunity for compassion. For the parent, and especially for the child who’s blowing their stack like Yosemite Sam.

I did my best to practice compassion, even though I did find it mildly amusing.




My mantrum blew in from the South last night, at a firey 85 nauts. No one saw it coming. I had a great dinner with the kids, sharing funny stories from growing up. We all laughed, and read books together before heading up to bed.

For some reason, when I was in the kids’ bathroom The Beast was awakened. Their GFI outlet controls the power for our master bath. I still can’t comprehend why our electrician wired it that way. Their outlet went bad, and earlier in the day we realized we had no power in our bathroom.

The fatigue from a long, epic day was catching up with me– fast. All the stuff I write and preach about, I had done it by the book yesterday. 1 hour of meditation. 4 miles of a brisk run. Smoothies, supplements, getting the kids out the door. I wrote most of the day, then produced a new e-learning course end to end. I was feeling productive for sure, but was also pushing myself too hard.

Fast forward to the kids’ bedtime, and the outlet made me blow my circuits.

For the next hour, I managed to treat just about everyone in our house like shit. I asked them what they were thinking. I made Elliott clean the basement, and then the kitchen when all she wanted to do was chill after a couple hard days. Worst of all, I made it a miserable house for Gayle to come home to after work. She was sitting down to eat dinner at 9PM, after going solid since 6AM.

To make her dinner even better, I aired all my grievances about the kids, our house, and life in general.

I apologized before falling asleep, but it was still with me through my meditation this morning. I joked about it, but a lingering stink hung in the air. Instead of piling on the love, I swung into Mr. Fixit mode.

I called the electrician. “Oh, Friday’s the earliest you can make it? I guess that will work.”

It didn’t work for Gayle. She grabbed a new outlet at Ace Hardware, killed the breakers, and installed it perfectly. She then installed a new light fixture in the hallway.

Sitting quietly in our room afterward, I asked her: “Do you think you’re better than me, because you worked solely on the solution versus making everyone feel like crap about the problem?”

She said: “Oh yes. I definitely do.”

More evidence that the Divine Feminine is needed to heal the planet. Our masculine crap doesn’t cut it, even we’re thinking we’re Mr. Fixit. In reflecting on it today, my anger getting triggered yesterday was yet another test from my guru. It was also another short term failure on my part that he (or our family, Thank God) won’t hold against me.


My practice areas:


1 – Ensure each child knows that I regret my behavior, and it wasn’t personal. They will also know I’m actively working on this.

2 – Make Gayle (and the world) know how fortunate we are to have her. She teaches me every day.

3 – Chill the hell out and don’t flip the Dick Switch.

I must remain vigilant with my anger, and find ways to process it that don’t include playing The Mantrum Card.

I celebrate conscious men who realize when they’re acting like giant babies. But I celebrate conscious women even more. Gayle is a model citizen in taking no shit, but also in offering compassion when she knew I was in pain. She reminded me how lucky I am today. Can’t do anything but agree.

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7 Responses

  1. The beauty in your imperfectness is not in the imperfection itself, but in the willingness to lay it all out there as a lesson for the rest of us. And yes, as a coach who regularly demonstrates what NOT to do in many arenas, it’s useful for our clients – and family – to see that we’re not perfect, and that we’re relentlessly in pursuit of better. Not perfect, not even pretty. Just better. Love to all you crazy Carters, and let Gayle know I’ve got a spot for her if she decides she needs to run away from home for a few days.

    1. Kare, as I (finally?) start learning more about what it means to be a coach, my love and respect for you just shoots through the roof. So blessed to have you in our lives, and thanks for the sweet words… Your wisdom means so much. Let me know if Gayle randomly shows up 😀 -kc

  2. Thank you for sharing your struggle and words of wisdom. The comedic narrative is incredibly helpful in keeping your story humble and planted firmly the ground. Well done.

    1. Hey Stacy, great to hear from you. I LOVE that Chiavaro Design exists on the West Coast no less! AWESOME. Well done yourself. Thanks for reading along and for following my work. Just trying to stay in my truth and share the downs as well as the ups uPS UPS 😀 -kc

  3. Nice job documenting your slip. Yes, your wife and kids will forgive you – but not sure what your particular ‘mantrum’ looks like – hopefully it didn’t involve releasing negative hateful words that your kids will internalize. I have my own ‘fitster’ at home – it doesn’t happen as often but our grown children rarely visit and I can’t help but think they want to distance themselves from the negatively. I know that’s not your household Kris – but for the others reading – words matter – and they matter forever despite forgiving hearts.

    1. Hey Deb thanks for reading and for your comment. Yes, I’m extremely careful to never use deliberately hurtful words or anything personal “you are so….”. We try to only ever focus on the behavior and how it makes us feel. However, you can’t control what kids internalize and that’s my biggest fear. At the end of the day we also try to make them feel very loved and respected. Always open to new suggestions! Much love. -kc

  4. Great story, I suspect the Mantrum originated because really you want to fix the wiring, mine generally come from things where in my heart I know I should have resolved x already. I wrote my sons a backstop letter many years ago to say “If you ever find yourself things about something I said that implied less than total love, I was tired, drunk, angry at something else and I never for one second meant it”. I have not had a drink now for I think it is 8 years funnily enough I never wrote the date down. My boys tell me the letter is redundant but I am glad they have it. Keep up the great work, there are times when I truly value your reminders and some of your meditations have become poems I recite internally when I need to reground myself.

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