I have actually been working with my therapist on these types of issues recently. We've identified my guilt feeling as my triggers. I feel guilty all the time; mostly because I was raised in an abusive home (mostly emotionally, but physically as well) and I have *always* felt less than. Less than my siblings. Less than outsiders who seemed to deserve my father's respect more than I. Less than worthy of his love. Just less than. My whole life, I've either given in and accepted the roll of "lesser one" or I've fought back with anger. There's never a middle ground. When I start feeling less than, with my kids, that's when it's guilt and anger and sometimes rage. In the incident you mentioned (to the OP) I totally see that. I would be so filled with rage because I would be nursing the baby and the toddler would want to nurse and so she'd cry and then ds would be upset because I'm *still* not reading his stories....and I'd feel less than. "A Good Mother Would Be Able To Handle This Without Anger" I am less than a good mother...in fact, I'm a bad mother...no, I'm a rotten mother, a horrible mother...and so, to compensate, I'd end up yelling that them.
I'm starting to learn my triggers. DD asks for a glass of juice. I'm doing something else. I'm not a bad mom for not stopping what I'm doing this instant to get her a glass of juice. I'm taking care of other responsibilites (working out, doing bills, elbow deep in dishes). She's learning patience. So, instead of guilt, I feel calm, which holds off the anger. (I hope I don't need to add the typical disclaimer of, I do get her juice more times than not, I don't neglect her, she has had time with me, I'm not ignoring her...
Just to be sure!
But, you're not alone. It is so hard to fight off the things that we were taught so early. My father taught me well that I wasn't important enough to him. So, when I look at an interaction with my children, I automatically want to put my feelings as a child on them. "If I don't get her the juice, she will feel that she's not important to me" But that isn't true. She *knows* she's important to me because I show her that on a daily basis....so not getting her some juice isn't telling her that she isn't important, or that she's not loved...all it's telling her is that she has to wait five minutes for a glass of juice.
My issues *aren't* her issues.
I think (and my therapist tells me
) that being able to identify the problems and recognize your triggers is key. Questioning the behavior and motivaters behind it is so important. But I am thankful that he's helping me through this. It is hard for me, with dh gone and my only IRL support two wonderful MDC friends......I need to hear that I'm a good mom a lot to start believing it. Because I don't. I really feel like a horrible mom, most of the time. It's so hard to change those messages I heard in my heart at such a young age. But I'm working on it. And I can tell that you are too.
Congrats to us! We're breaking the cycle.