Some days are hard. Sometimes my limited store of patience gets burned up too quickly and I am left suddenly hot and cranky and wondering "Where did this come from?"
Some days it is hard to be a happy mama. Mothering isn't always smooth - nor is it always easy to be a happy wife. Sometimes it feels like everyone in the family is just_not_listening_to_me.
Today is one of those days. I lost my cool - I've got "the poops". I have failed in my anger management.
Do you ever have days like that?
The old pleasure of expressing anger
I actually find it quite difficult these days to be angry - really in the moment volcano erupting angry - as I used to sometimes get (long before husband and kids). That youthful rush when that annoying person in the office finally goes too far and you feel yourself sliding into justified red-faced indignation and you snarl the perfect biting comeuppance...that can actually feel good in that moment of release...
Anger and parenting
But feeling and expressing anger as a parent?
That is tough for me, and probably for you too. I don't feel I can allow myself the self-indulgence of it. When I do yell, I immediately feel like a horrible person and try to pack all of those scary feelings back away.
It truly breaks my heart to see my child's face crumple when I have gone too far and yelled.
And over the years of being a parent I have learnt the important balm of saying "sorry" for losing my temper - again, this is very different to saying sorry to an adult IYKWIM. Something along the lines of "I was wrong to yell, but this is what I was feeling...I am sorry for yelling at you. Why don't we clean this up together."
To be clear, I do think anger is a legitimate emotion: I think it is important for kids to see that parents have big feelings too; and sometimes anger is the absolutely most appropriate response to a given situation.
But I also think it is just too easy to jump into anger when you are parenting very intense kids or in an intense situation (such as homeschooling). You need to give yourself a little breathing room to feel it, then decide what to do.
Hitting is not a healthy expression of anger
This is why we don't smack our kids: I was hit as a child - and I could feel all that anger come flowing from my parent into me as a punishment and a shaming.
You know that distress of watching one of your children hit another child. The hypocrisy of then using that same method to discipline your child...I just can't do that. But I have certainly yelled - and have always regretted it.
There are better ways to deal with anger when you feel it than to pass it on to your child.
So, today I am asking myself...
What is going on with me? Do I just need a break?
Hold on, then deal with it
So, I (mostly) hold on to it. Try to keep the sorry-for-myself tears in until the door closes and the rest of the family are out for the rest of the day.
Thank goodness it is "homeschool park day" today and I can be here alone.
And instead of my inside melodramatic voice complaining endlessly about all of the horrible choices I have made for myself while I struggle not to be a cranky pants all morning (ahem...this is NOT a very clearheaded or reasonable voice you understand) I finally get the chance to sniffle and sigh and moon about when the family has gone out. To tap out a slightly sooky blog post...
Give it time
Being alone in a quiet house does wonders.
Quality time to look after me - just me - for a few hours.
You know, I think all parents need a bit of that kind of quality time.
(Oooh, might use the chance of this free time to laminate some long overdue timeline pics and then watch some "just for mum tv" : )
What makes you feel better when you have been a cranky pants?