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how do you deal with your anger??

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
I'm struggling.
Things are really hard right now.
I come from a family that taught emotional-stuffing and always chided me for being "too sensitive" when I tried to express my emotions before they became a huge problem...needles to say, I struggle with expressing my emotions in a healthy way today.
I have a very spirited 3.5 yo and a non-sleeping 9mo baby who is turning out to be pretty spirited himself.
I'm not sleeping.
We just moved several states away from friends and family.
I don't get much time to myself at all.
DH really tries hard to help but ds (baby) requires so much attention that is often solved best by bf'ing that it's hard for him too.
DD (3.5yo) totally resents ds at this point. Is frustrated with my lack of time for her. Is (unfairly) targeted by me when I am angry and so, is likely confused too.
Things are pretty volatile here.
I want to be able to deal with all the negative energy I have in a better way but everything I read that has to do with anger-management seems unattainable...I cannot get any more sleep (I wish to god I could). I cannot avoid the things that set me off (my kids, the housework, lack of time for myself), I try to practice yoga...but it's not regular b/c of aforementioned lack of time.
I HATE yelling at my kids. I hate feeling indifferent at times. I want to be a good mom. I feel like I used to be a good mom b/f I had two.
Please don't misunderstand. I love my kids more than anything...I just spiral into negative thought patterns so easily, which lead me to anger, indifference...and I used to be such a positive person
Please help...any suggestions are appreciated...I want to be a better mama.
Sorry if this is rambling...
post #2 of 28
I was a better mom when I just had one.... and then a better mom when I just had two... it seems that my patience and tolerance deteroriates with each addition to the family. I'll follow this thread.
post #3 of 28
to you, mommas... I have no idea how to deal with anger and I'm horrific at it. I'm seeking therapy, that's all I got.
post #4 of 28
I only have one, i'm expecting again and i am DREADING ending up in a situation like this.

Have you tried opening a dialogue with DD about it all? Give DS to DH for 20mins (even if he puts him in the sling/wrap/stroller and takes a walk away from you so you can be alone together) and say to her "i have felt so sad sometimes recently. It's hard hving a baby around sometimes, and i miss our time together and feel so mad with myself when i shout at you because i'm tired."

I ALWAYS tell DD how i'm feeling (she is also 3.5). If i yell because i'm mad but not really at her, i later sit her down and apologise and tell her i was being unfair and that i felt mad and sad but it wasn't her fault. I will even stop myself mid-yell and say "oh i'm sorry DD, i'm just so sorry and i need a hug" and she will run up and we hug and love on each other and then she can tell me how she's feeling (which she does, positives and negatives). It's how i usually diffuse things when they're reaching fever pitch. That way i figure DD isat least IN the loop of why mama is acting crazy and we both have a chance to talk about how the day is going and how we feel about it and then have ideas on how to improve things.

We often shower together and i'm kind of planning on keeping that "our" time when the baby arrives, becase i will ALWAYS need to shower so we will always get that time at least. I am terrible for planning time with her which gets knocked out by other at the time more urgent things, so i figure 10 ACTUAL minutes a day is better than 60 theortetical ones.
post #5 of 28
I couldn't read and not send

I, too, went through an anger thing earlier this year due to some major life changes.
I don't have any advice since everyone needs something different, but there's a thread over on the Personal Growth (I think) board that has an anger thread.

I lurked there for a long time getting tips and tactics to deal with what I was feeling. Some good advice there!!
post #6 of 28
I have three kids under 6 and constantly deal with explosive anger and then guilt. I am trying so hard to stabilize my emotions too. I went through serious PPD with the third babe, and that didn't help matters. I'm seeing a counselor every other week to work on this. Mostly she gives me gentle strategies like being prepared (ie having changes of clothes and underwear for when DD deliberately pees in her pants at the park), taking time-outs for myself, deep breathing, etc. It is still a constant struggle to control my words the moment I begome angry. I will follow this thread and see how others respond. I think our own childhood has a great influence on this - I came from a physically violent childhood. I am not physical with my kids, but definitely get verbal. Hope that you find help and peace.
post #7 of 28


Seriously, I would hire a sitter/mother's helper and literally buy some breathing room for everyone.

You have too much to do and too much going on -- it is alot momma. Yeah it's great to master our emotions, but it's better to give ourselves some breathing room so they don't boil over to begin with.

Look at preschool for DD??? Screw the housework. Order take out a few times a week. Find ways to give yourself less to do.

Also, this is a tough phase. Babies don't sleep which really wears out the whole family. At lot of your emotion is exhaustion. Fortunately, the worst of the sleep loss will pass and you'll eventually get more sleep which will give you more reserves to draw from.

Hang in there momma.

V
post #8 of 28
I'm starting therapy for it. Maybe that's an option for you?
post #9 of 28


You're not alone mama. I get so angry with DS sometimes too. This week has gone relatively well but boy on Monday I was so mad at him I yelled so much

I'm not sure what really helps... maybe picturing the scared, sad look in my baby's eyes when I start on a tirade? Sometimes I also put him in his room for a few minutes and go downstairs and just breathe. I can't even imagine having 2... you are amazing.
post #10 of 28
Thread Starter 
thanks for the hugs everyone and the support.
it's good to know I am not alone!

I think that exhaustion, guilt and *shoulds* are my definite triggers.
I am such a different mom when I've had enough sleep!
and yeah, guilt sucks...it's so hard to be nice to yourself

my real issue is expectation.
when I'm sitting nursing ds back to sleep for the umpteenth time and I'm supposed (see there it is) to be getting time to myself or much needed sleep and my mind starts with the "he SHOULD be sleeping more...he SHOULD just nurse back to sleep laying beside me, I SHOULDN'T have to get up and rock him too...all the other babies I know his age ARE sleeping...etc"
or when dd is pushing my buttons and having her own rotten day it's the "she SHOULD be able to follow my directions when I've said it 10 times...she SHOULD be better at playing with her brother...she SHOULD blah blah blah"
or the real kickers..."I SHOULD know better than to let myself get angry...I SHOULD be able to nurse both my kids whenever they want...I SHOULD be calm and happy and patient and ever-giving ever bloody moment of the day"
you get the gist here...
the SHOULDS get me all the time...expectation is a big problem...and rationally I KNOW all the above statements are absurd...but it doesn't stop them from creeping in when I am vulnerable.
I do talk to dd a lot about what's going on in our lives.
a frequent refrain "mom, I don't like our baby, can we get a new one??" "I understand it's hard to have a baby in the house, you wish things were easier...but ds isn't going anywhere, want a hug?"
I always apologize and explain my actions to the best of my ability when I've misdirected my anger toward both of them and yelled about something stupid.
I wish I could afford a babysitter/nanny but that's not an option...
thanks again for all the kind words...today is a good day!
post #11 of 28
Can your dh take the kids out some mornings (weekends?) so that you can catch up on sleep? My babies always wanted mommy when I was around, but were satisfied with daddy if he took them somewhere fun and interesting.

Some strategies I've learned for dealing with anger since becoming a parent:

talk though your feelings while they are building, but before they are overwhelming: "I'm getting frustrated. I need a break!"

take a mommy time-out, even if it leaves the 3 yo screaming alone for a minute or two. Take some time to breathe.

When you want to yell, whisper instead. This has been hugely successful for me, and comes naturally now. I might say the child's name loudly, or just "Hey!" to get their attention, but then whisper forcefully.

When dd was smaller, I would sometimes flutter my hand on my heart while explaining to her that I was feeling overwhelmed and on the edge. I guess I was mimicking the feel of my heart pounding inside my chest. It came to be a good communication method for us--using a gesture we both understood instead of words that can be hard to express when you are very upset.
post #12 of 28
I used zoloft when my kids were that size.

It helped me with my temper a lot.

It didn't solve any underlying problems, but it really helped me through a hard time.
post #13 of 28
I wanted to send you hugs. It is so hard to be happy and rational with not enough sleep. I am the same way, the shoulds set me off. Luckily I am finally getting some sleep (enough not as much as I would like but enough) and I have finally surrendered to parenting which really changed my world. I wish I had advice on how to do it, in my situation I just sort of gave up and things just let up. Sorry if I am no help just know you are not alone. Another thing that helps me is I started reading some mommy blogs that I find inspiring and it sort of gets me through the day. I also chant "this too shall pass" constantly through out the day.
post #14 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dukey25 View Post
I wanted to send you hugs. It is so hard to be happy and rational with not enough sleep. I am the same way, the shoulds set me off. Luckily I am finally getting some sleep (enough not as much as I would like but enough) and I have finally surrendered to parenting which really changed my world. I wish I had advice on how to do it, in my situation I just sort of gave up and things just let up. Sorry if I am no help just know you are not alone. Another thing that helps me is I started reading some mommy blogs that I find inspiring and it sort of gets me through the day. I also chant "this too shall pass" constantly through out the day.
I would love it if you'd link those blogs.

OP, I have a 4/5 and a 1.5 y/o and also struggle with anger. And sleep deprivation. It really, really, really sucks.
post #15 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommy amber View Post
my real issue is expectation.
when I'm sitting nursing ds back to sleep for the umpteenth time and I'm supposed (see there it is) to be getting time to myself or much needed sleep and my mind starts with the "he SHOULD be sleeping more...he SHOULD just nurse back to sleep laying beside me, I SHOULDN'T have to get up and rock him too...all the other babies I know his age ARE sleeping...etc"
or when dd is pushing my buttons and having her own rotten day it's the "she SHOULD be able to follow my directions when I've said it 10 times...she SHOULD be better at playing with her brother...she SHOULD blah blah blah"
When I do this, I am able to stop by thinking these things by (1) imagining my kids grown up and moved away (that makes me sad, and want to hold them closer now); (2) reading about moms with bigger problems (kids with special needs, illnesses, and worse) to put things in perspective; (3) saying "I think he SHOULD, but I guess for some reason he can't." and then giving in to and accepting that I really can't control them - a feeling like like riding a roller coaster (that beings down the tension in my body and hence my kids tension - helps the nurser fall asleep and the non-nurser feel more at peace).

But (and this is a big big BUT) sleeplessness is SO hard, that it can undermine all those strategies. When my DSs were 3.5 and 9 months... that was pretty much rock bottom for us, in terms of negative interactions between DS1 and me. With lots of work, things have steadily improved since then (knock on wood).
post #16 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by RiverTam View Post
I used zoloft when my kids were that size.

It helped me with my temper a lot.

It didn't solve any underlying problems, but it really helped me through a hard time.
I'm seriously thinking about going back on my anti-anxiety meds after the next babe is born. I didn't want to be on them while pregnant, but I'm definitely "rough around the edges" without it.

Also, ITA with everyone who said lack of sleep is a huge trigger. That does it for me. I've been struggling with anger issues too. They get worse as the day goes on.
post #17 of 28
If I had another baby, I would absolutely stay on my medication for the duration. The difference between me on meds and off it is incredible and a little scary. I am so glad I have access to Zoloft. It makes such a difference in my life.
post #18 of 28
Wow. I have an 8 month old daughter who forgot how to sleep longer than 3 hours at a time a month ago, so I'm also sleep deprived and get irrational sometimes. I wondered what it would be like if I had a toddler and a baby, and that's what you've got. I don't really have advice for you, but I like some of what I read above, especially the woman who is honest with her DD and apologizes for being angry sometimes. And having DH take them somewhere. I think that's what I'm going to do this weekend, ask DH to take DD for a looong walk without me, so I can get a nap in. Although it's rainy, so it might have to be a drive.

Hang in there. It can only get better, right?
post #19 of 28
Sleep deprivation brings down the best of us. I was a "shoulder" too, with #1 and I really feel #3 has been so easy (after the first few weeks) b/c all the "should've's" are gone. I just realize how little control I have over the big "shoulds" like sleeping through the night, taking good naps, etc etc. It's helped a lot to give up the control. Do you think you have a control issue with anger as the symptom?
post #20 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dandelionkid View Post
Sleep deprivation brings down the best of us. I was a "shoulder" too, with #1 and I really feel #3 has been so easy (after the first few weeks) b/c all the "should've's" are gone. I just realize how little control I have over the big "shoulds" like sleeping through the night, taking good naps, etc etc. It's helped a lot to give up the control. Do you think you have a control issue with anger as the symptom?
oh, I am SO control freak...I'll be the first to admit it...I have huge problems "letting go" but am working on it!
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