Oh me, me, me! My mom friends and I inevitably end up on this topic when we get together. Recently I have started to worry that my 3 year old's acting out was in part a consequence of her witnessing my occasional outbursts and "bad mommy" days. But today I was in good form - smiling, patient, available - and she was still a little monsterette.
Things that work for me:
Planning ahead definitely helps. Picking out clothes the night before, as previously mentioned, is a must.
Knowing my triggers. As I also have a 3 month old, being tired is a big issue. I plan a nap into my day (and actually manage to get one about 50% of the time).
The first "anger event" is guilt-free, 'cause lordy knows I can't always seem them coming. After that I try to change course to avoid the next one.
Ignore it. If I can't pacify my DD and she's still whining and crying. I just go on about my business, preferably in another part of the house where I can't hear her so well.
Get outside. Today I had both of them wailing for about an hour. I slapped a jacket on my DD's otherwise naked torso, shoved her feet in shoes and put the screaming DS in the stroller. We were quite a racket for the first block or two but for whatever reason fresh air and movement work wonders.
Have Me time. I joined a gym this year with an on-site child care. I strive for 3 times a week and try to make this time inviolable. I am worth the 53 bucks a month.
Join Flylady! If you haven't heard of her, check out http://www.flylady.net
. She helps you keep on track with your housework, and when I'm having a bad day I nearly always find something inspirational in her daily email.
Oh yeah, and I pray for strength!
Good luck to us all!