“Who is this woman yelling? It can’t be me!”
But I couldn’t stop it.Why didn’t I control it? Why didn’t I stop it? I wanted to be in control of the yelling, but I wasn’t. I struggled with yelling, and still do. My temper can be ridiculous at times and having kids only proved to show me just how ugly it is. It is something I try to work on daily and some days my exhaustion wins out. I hate the way my kids look at me after I yell at them. I never want them to look at me with that unbelief that this woman who they lovingly call Mama would dare to react in such a way. It hurts me to my core and I repeatedly vow not to do it again, but yet, it happens.
I know that yelling doesn’t help the situation. In fact, it always makes everything worse. I always think it will make me feel better and in control. Ha! Yeah right. I should know better by now. The absolute truth is that it does NOTHING. So why don’t I do anything about it? To be honest, I try-really try! Part of the anger stems from my depression that I struggle with everyday (read that post here). But I realize that this is only part of my issues with anger. Yes it is a big part, but what I have learned is that my issues with depression and anger are what I make of them. If I let the anger rule our house, it is on me when my home is chaotic. That seems like a big weight on my shoulders, but the old saying is true: “If mom ain’t happy, nobody is happy!” In my struggle with anger I am learning that my children follow my example and match my mood. That is what makes it so important for me to learn to comfort and control myself, for the sake of myself AND my family.
I tell you all of this because I want you to know that there is someone else out there going through the same emotions as you. When I was really struggling with my anger, I felt alone. I mean, who else could possibly act like this with their kids? I had to be the worst mother in the world. I would cry and beat myself up over my latest outburst. Something had to change. Now, I am not here to tell you everything is all sunshine and flowers! I still struggle daily, BUT I have learned how to manage my anger better and will hopefully one day soon deal with it no more.
To combat the angry momster that invades our home I have started doing a few things to help. These are the things that help me and might not help you the same way, but maybe they can be a starting point for you.
Remove myself from the situation:
This was my saving grace when the twins were infants. So many days were spent just taking turns comforting a screaming baby and even the most patient person can only take so much constant need for attention. I would always place them somewhere safe (such as a crib) and then step outside for 10-15 minutes. Silence, yelling, sitting in the fetal position, and even crying may have happened during that time by myself, but one thing was always true: it gave me the slight break I needed to regain myself and try again. Now I’m not saying that you will be perfectly calm upon leaving your break, but nothing seemed to reset me quite like walking away from the situation. The hardest part of this one is knowing that your children are crying for you. That was really hard the first couple of times I had to deploy this tactic, but I knew that for me to remain calm and in control I had to give myself time to breathe. My kids were always just fine and were better taken care of when I gave myself a quick moment.
This is something that seems to really help when I can’t quite walk away for a moment. I simply stop and take some deep breaths in through my nose and out through my mouth. This isn’t always the most effective, but even in the most aggravating moments this at least lets me step back for a second and slow down.
This one kind of goes along with deep breathing for me. Sometimes it just helps me to tell myself that it’s ok to cry and that I am stronger than I think. I repeat positive mantras over and over while I try to calm a fussy child. One of my favorites lately is Judges 6:12, “The Lord is with you, Mighty Warrior”. Just saying something encouraging helps me to drown out a little bit of crying and refocus myself.
One thing that I have also been trying is an essential oil blend for stress. (Find it here) Essential oils are something I have always wanted to try and thankfully a friend gave me some to help with rebalancing my emotions. I simply rub some behind my ears or on my wrist, and occasionally, drop a few drops in a bath. Baths are also a great way to relax and regroup if you get a break on a particularly rough day. I take one when the kids are all sleeping or my husband is home and it always seems to help my spirits.
This tactic is one that I wish I had been doing all along. When I feel particularly angry and helpless, I pray. I pray that God would give me patience and help me know what to do to regain control. I know that God hears my prayers and that He can give me the peace I need at that moment.
The one thing that helps me the most is knowing that I am not in this alone. Thankfully I have friends and family that I can confide in and call for help. I also know that not all moms and dads have a built in support system and feel like they are in this alone. If you only get one thing from this post please let it be that you are not alone in this and you are not the only one dealing with anger. You can defeat the momster inside of you! If you need someone to confide in or vent to, please feel free to send me an email or find me on Facebook. We, as parents, should be here to lift each other up during the hard time of parenting. You don’t have to do this by yourself!
Thankfully this ugly momster’s visits are few and far between, but the times she shows up it stays with me and the kids. It leave a bad taste in my mouth. It makes me feel like less of a mother. And I’ve had enough. I’m putting my foot down this time.
Anger won’t control me anymore.