The stress level in our house is a little high these days. With a move on the horizon for us we just don’t have a free minute. There has been more yelling, door slamming, and pouting than usual and I would like to blame it on my 3-year-old, but this mama has done her fair share as well. The stress is really getting to me. I have so few moments to myself because every spare second I have is spent keeping our house show ready and with 2 kids that is no easy task. I find myself getting irritated at the smallest things and before you know it I am not mad I am in a rage. That’s right a rage; the kind of rage where you want to slam your bedroom door and punch your pillow. I get so spun up about little stuff that I lose my cool and yell at my kids, as if that wasn’t bad enough the wave of guilt that comes over me when I look at their little faces kills me. What can I do? There just isn’t anymore time in the day to get some mommy me time. I can’t tell perspective buyers to come back later. I know I need to get it under control because this is not the way I want to parent, this is not the way I want to feel, and I’m sure my kids don’t like it much either.
I googled “Parent anger management” and can across and article about Hot Buttons from Partners in Parenting. It really gave me a sense of calm reading the article and let me know it’s okay to be mad sometimes. There are also a few tips on handling your anger and make you feel like less of a crazy person (which is something I need.) I also found something I wasn’t looking for, a story about changing parents behavior. The key points suggest that most parents set themselves up to fail by setting unattainable goals (hmmmmm my husband says this all the time, please don’t tell him that someone else thinks he’s right.) As parents we tell ourselves we shouldn’t yell at our children as often as we do, but maybe we aren’t losing our cool as often as we think. The author suggest keeping a log of such incidents for a week or so before but a plan into action which seems easy enough so I’m on board with it. She adds
While implementing your intervention, continue to track how often you yell. You may even want to track how often you wanted to yell, but didn’t. Seeing progress on paper can keep you motivated in practicing self-awareness and maintaining your intervention so that the new behavior you’re seeking becomes the new habit. Then, you can cross that “should” off your list!
Another thing I have been doing to help tone down the rage is taking a Mommy Time Out, but that it is not always the option. For example when we are shopping and Gabe refuses to share a snack with the
screaming demon sweet baby sitting sister sitting in the cart. AFter I force him to give her some a meltdown ensues. Now I can’t just walk away for a few minutes and let them have at it, but believe me I want to! Instead I have a few mantras that I like to repeat.
I can handle this. Be calm.
I am doing my best. Breathe.
Everyone is safe and loved.
I am sure the other shoppers think I am nuts walking through the store with 2 small kids screaming while I am mumbling to myself, but hey the other option would be to sit down with them and cry too. (I am not above this, but I try refrain from mental break downs in public.)
Overall I know it will get better. My children are well-loved and well cared for. I am not a perfect mom, but I am the best mom my children have and that is all I can ask for. Well that and maybe to go pee alone once in a while…
Do you have any tips for keeping calm when life gets hectic?