How do you KEEP YOUR COOL when all you wanna do is scream? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 89 Old 03-28-2003, 12:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi everyone. I guess I'm just looking for some support tonight. First off, I should say that my DS is the joy of my life.

Now that THAT's outta the way...do you go along fine, fine, fine and then some days you feel like you are just going to LOSE IT? DS is 14 mos and is definitely becoming his own little person-which brings about so many new challenges, as you all know. Mealtime, particularly dinner is a very stressful time for me. I know I'm supposed to just take it in stride that some nights he just throws all his food on the floor and spits everything back out at me, but some nights it puts me over the edge.

Tonight, I met my DH at the door and warned him about my mood and DS's mood. DH took DS so I could clean up the kitchen. When DS was outta earshot I began to just mutter curse words to myself. I was a raving lunatic. I later hopped in the car to drive around the block for a few minutes to settle down.

Do you have nights like this? Is this normal? Do you miss being able to say (and I'm sorry if I'm offending anyone) F*@CK! when you want to?

On nights like this I think I have trouble figuring out how to balance being a human being with emotions (anger tonight) and being a parent. I feel like I've just set myself up with all these very high expectations of the parent I would like to be. And that trips me up b/c I want to be perfect and we all know that's not possible.

I miss being able to have a good fight with DH every once in a while. Or being able to break a glass or stub my toe and let out a good curse word. I think I'm holding back these little daily angers and they just build and then explode.

I know I'm rambling, but can anyone out there relate? TIA

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#2 of 89 Old 03-28-2003, 12:59 AM
 
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I am right there with you. I don't know how to help, except to say you have company in this department!

I feel sooo guilty for feeling that way on days (like today) when I wanna just crawl into a deep dark QUIET hole and not come out.

count your blessings. My DH doesn't get home until after the runt is in bed, so ... and he's only once taken DS and said aloud that he knows I need a break. I'd love to go drive around the block a few times.

Last week, I went and got Pizza Hut pizza and contemplated staying in the car and eating my dinner just so I'd get to eat my dinner.

Hugs to you!
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#3 of 89 Old 03-28-2003, 01:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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kater07-thank you, thank you. I needed to know tonight that I was not alone. No one really, honestly talks about these daily frustrations. It's like we have to keep all this in the closet. Makes me feel sometimes like I'm parenting in a vacuum.

Next time, eat the pizza in the car. I'm sure it would be the best pizza you've ever had. Plus, you'd come back feeling like a new woman. Sorry to hear that your DH doesn't get home 'til after all the drama is over.
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#4 of 89 Old 03-28-2003, 01:19 AM
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You are not alone. I had a bad day today and, unfortunately, my 13 month old actually heard some pretty bad language. Not directed at her, but, there it was. At one point I just broke down crying as she watched and realized that it's okay for her to see some of these emotions. After the antics, I spoke calmly with her and thanked her for helping me cope. (A glimpse of her pudgy thighs actually pulled me out of the funk.) She surely didn't understand a word I was saying (yet) but I do hope she will someday understand the process.
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#5 of 89 Old 03-28-2003, 01:22 AM
 
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I can totally relate. Trying to get my four yo to get dressed in the morning is a never ending trigger. I know it is an age thing but day to day that excuse gets old. Just once I would like for her to JUST GET DRESSED without any hassle. The hair brushing is another frustration. One morning I lost my temper and just banged the brush on the sink over and over in a fit of rage and frustration. I felt bad afterwards and we talked about it but nothing changed. It is just the age. My mantra. It is just the age.
I feel it coming on and sometimes I just can't control the wave of anger. I usually leave the room or hide in the bathroom till I've released the feelings. Deep breathing helps. But I do feel guilty and sometimes very scared of my anger.

Julianne
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#6 of 89 Old 03-28-2003, 01:33 AM
 
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I can relate too. My trigger is sleep! Not just at night, but also when he's worked up and won't nap. I get really upset. He has certainly heard some language, though I try to contain it to "dammit" (bad enough, I know). If anyone has any tips for staying calm in these situations I am all ears.
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#7 of 89 Old 03-28-2003, 02:49 AM
 
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it is okay to get frustrated and show it. this shows the kids that those feelings are okay and there are healthy ways of dealing with them. (letting it out without hurting anyone). Even if it is just putting them in a safe place, leaving the room and having a good, loud fit!

who says that only kids can have a tantrum?
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#8 of 89 Old 03-28-2003, 03:37 AM
 
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ha ha ha ha!!! (that's hysterical laughter- not funny laughter )

I had to peel both of my whining, fighting, clingy to the point of physically hurting me little darlings off of me the other night so I could storm out of the house and go for a fast, reckless drive just so I wouldn't PASTE one of the little boogers. (ahem. I adore my children. really.) I think frustration and overwhelming feelings of anger are part of the package for parenting. At least I don't know any parents IRL who don't go through this periodically.

I agree with you, Kirr- it's ok for kids to see these emotions so I try really hard to 1) not go so far as to actually frighten them (tho' that would take a lot with my two- they're not especially sensitive like some kids are) and 2) talk about it as I'm experiencing it ("I'm getting really frustrated here! I sure don't like it when I have to ask over and over again and get ignored! Man, it's upsetting to start ffeeling like I have to yell to get your attention! yadda yadda...) I try to keep it in the language of "feelings". It sure doesn't seem to do much in the moment, but the magical thing is that in later circumstances I've heard both my boys use the same technique which actually sometimes helps them defuse things before they escalate to violence with each other.

But I sure have lots of times when I just SNAP , out of the blue- and then I just try to get away somehow- or at least get everyone out of the house, which helps to change the energy of whatever's happening. I always come back and talk with them about it, though, when I'm calmer. Whew!
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#9 of 89 Old 03-28-2003, 04:00 AM
 
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Chiming in! No advice, but I do this too. My youngest is only 9 months, but he can drive me to frustration the thing that gets me is that I get frustrated, and then I vent to dh and dh gets mad at me and says things like "how can he make you mad, he's just a baby?" and I'm not mad AT the baby, but mad and frustrated by certain things, and dh makes me feel like I can't even vent! Grrrr....... I think he does "get it" sometimes, but since he is at work all day he has a higher tolerance than I do ath the end of the day.

"Have faith in yourself and in the direction you have chosen." Ralph Marston

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#10 of 89 Old 03-28-2003, 10:46 AM
 
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You know it is nice to feel you have a safe place to come and air these things out and not worry about being judged
I am glad I am also not the only one who is just holding it together at times. I also put extra pressure on myself because I came from a yelling family, I love my parents but my strongest memory about growing up in that family is the yelling. I have vowed to do all I can to not give that to my kids. Sometimes it is so hard. I have a wonderfully active 2 yr.old ds who if I am not with him all the time he gets into something he should not. Playing with the V.C.R. is his new thing. Anyway 24 hours,7 days a week of this gets to me at times. The weather is warming up so I go and walk,walk,walk until I have walked away all the tension and frustration. Thanks for the post . Need to get ds now I hear tapes flying.
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#11 of 89 Old 03-28-2003, 11:16 AM
 
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unfortunately i'm a 'stuffer' i.e., stuff away any anger, frustration, sadness, (any emotion that i've been taught is unacceptable for the perfect mom to have) until i just snap and have a tantrum. a couple of times i've yelled at ds (which really frightens me b/c he's only 7mos and i can't explain my outburst with him when i'm done), most of the time i can control myself enough to put him down and go into another room and yell or cry for a few minutes.

i was raised in a hitting/yelling family but thankfully with therapy i'm working on getting out of the bad habits i was taught and am able to put some preventive measures in place-- if ds is worked up and won't nap (which happens damn near every day), i'll put him in the sling or stroller and go for a walk. we walk AT LEAST twice a day. also, for the past couple of months i've handed over most of the baby duties (diapers, solids, bath, rocking to sleep) to dh when he gets home so that i don't feel like my day is non-stop baby. before, i had been doing it all b/c, being the perfectionist that i am, wanted it done 'right'. which in turn just made my anger, resentment, exhaustion build up.

both of these things helped me a lot, although the biggest factor has been acknowledging that having these not-so-perfect feelings is PERFECTLY normal, most if not all moms have them, and you can still be an excellent mom even though you get pissed off at your kid and your life every once in a while.

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#12 of 89 Old 03-28-2003, 11:33 AM
 
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Please, please let me join in on your vent. I'm am so frustrated right now, and so overwhelmed with things I need to do I just want to lay down and cry. I told dh yesterday that I was running away from home It's like my 2 boys are determined to push me to my limit all day long. It hurts me because I love them so much but at the same time I want to ring their little necks. I hate yelling, but I find myself resorting to it more and more because it seems to be the only way to get their attention. They are really good kids so why do they act like such brats sometimes. I'm just overwhelmed like I said, with dealing with their attitudes, dealing with a very demanding new baby, trying to prepare for 2 birthdays 3 wks. apart, keep up with laundry, housework,cooking, dealing with in-laws that I'm about to kill, getting the right homeschool cirriculum and I NEED TO GET STARTED ON DD'S BABYBOOK!!! AHHHH! Why can you not take a vacation from motherhood sometimes? Sometimes I just want to bathe ALONE, and poop ALONE and put on a new shirt that isn't covered in spit-up in 5 minutes! Gotta go, my boob is being paged : Thanks for listening.
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#13 of 89 Old 03-28-2003, 12:22 PM
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What a relief to know that I am not the only mama who gets overwhelmed with anger/frustration/exhaustion/etc. and feels like snapping! Just this morning I almost lost if over ds not putting his shoes on so we could go to the park! "Don't you want to go have fun?!?!" I growled. I'm sure he was thinking "uh, not with you, you loony evil twin of my mama."
I do feel guilty too, it's so hard to practice positive parenting while seething!
I don't have any ideas on how to cope in the moment. Sometimes when I'm having a particularly bad day I will leave ds with dh and go see a movie by myself. That really helps me to escape and get a different perspective.
Thanks to all the mamas who have posted and helped me not feel like an emotional wreck but just a normal, hardworking sahm.
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#14 of 89 Old 03-28-2003, 12:53 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by meg
"Don't you want to go have fun?!?!" I growled. I'm sure he was thinking "uh, not with you, you loony evil twin of my mama."



oh yeah, i know my ds has the same thoughts, meg!
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#15 of 89 Old 03-28-2003, 03:11 PM
 
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I have just a 4 month old, but I find myself getting pretty frustrated by the end of the week. I've run out of ideas for entertainment by that point. My df tries to be sooo helpful - so I'm pretty happy when the weekend is here, and he is home to help.

I think right now it would just help me to get out of the house more...I can't wait for spring...
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#16 of 89 Old 03-28-2003, 04:47 PM
 
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There are days where I feel like



I lost it twice this week...

I don't know what I will do to correct the situation but at least I now know that I'm not alone in that boat

Valérie   
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#17 of 89 Old 03-28-2003, 06:39 PM
 
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When I am like that I find some way to get some alone time. Also my son has heard more of his share of cuss words, in fact I am certain I have heard him say "oh sh**." on a few occasions. My dh has a horrible mouth too. I used to freak out about it but I just don't care that much anymore. My friends rule is their son can only cuss in the house, not in public, and it can't be any cuss names, just cussing in frustration. I don't know if I will go that far, but I just figure it is better for him to see me expressing my emotions than stuffing them. Also if I need to fall apart and cry I just do it right there with him, normally he comes and just comforts me. DH and I also fight in front of him, but we try to have fair fights, I know we must be doing ok because he doesn't seem fazed by them at all. I had parents who were confrontation avoiders and never said a mean word in front of me, and then when they came to tell me they were divorcing I was clueless and confused. I also grew up to avoid confrontation, and I don't want ds to do that.
Another thing I learned, give up the "perfect" mom ideal, there is no such thing.
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#18 of 89 Old 03-28-2003, 10:23 PM
 
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haha, I don't. I just scream like I wanna.

sad but true most days. I feel like I have cycles. For about 2 weeks, I'll be the essence of patience and fun mom, for another 2 weeks, I am evil mom who yells and screams and cries and breaks down every five minutes.

I do okay on the swearing, usually go out of ear shot and swear to my hearts content though supposedly I gave it up for lent. :

I said to DH the other day. I need a paycheck for my job and a supervisor so I'll be better behaved. B/c it's sad but true that if I had someone watching me, I probably wouldn't have as many outbursts.

It's just an emotionally draining job, that's for sure.

WOHM married to SAHD, living the dream w/our: 3 girls (14,12,10) and 3 boys (7,5,3) and tie-breaker due Jan 2014

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#19 of 89 Old 03-29-2003, 01:04 AM
 
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I think almost everyone gets to that point. My tolerance level is *directly* tied to 2 things: sleep and my relationship with dh. If he and I are on the outs or if I am just really po'd at him, I have such a hard time.

I do a couple of things....a close friend that homeschools her teens lends me her dd as a mother's helper. That is a really good thing. I let her wear dd out (dd ADORES her) and then she takes a really long nap and the teen even helps me with chores. (She helped me plant my entire vegetable garden yesterday while dd took a 3 hour nap! Doesn't that rule?!

Or I just let dh know and I go to bed at dd's bedtime (8:30) or take a long bath with a popsicle and a book.

It also really keeps me motivated to keep our marriage in tip top shape. I don't let things build up, but resolve them right away. I think that's a really good thing for me, as I tend to "stuff" issues....
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#20 of 89 Old 03-29-2003, 01:33 AM
 
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I can totally relate - Cakes I also have a 4yo and holy cow why can't they just DO WHAT I ASKED YOU TO DO!!! NOW!!! I have never experienced such frustration with her, she just doesn't listen and it gets me so f@%*ing MAD sometimes!!!

I also came from a yelling family, mojomom, and I'm usually pretty laid back. But when you're pushed to the limit, and up half the night nursing lacula, and 4yo won't get dressed even though you've asked, begged, threatened, and nearly busted a brain vein to get them to GET DRESSED it's so hard not to raise your voice out of sheer frustration and ingrained habbit!!

Needless to say I spend time in gentle discipline looking for answers. We now have a "good behavior chart" on our fridge that gives stars or sad faces for certain required tasks. Gosh I hope this works!!

My best antidote is a big 'ol box of chocolate - always amkes me feel better.!
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#21 of 89 Old 03-29-2003, 02:49 AM
 
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I think we've all been to the edge of anger and beyond.

Once or twice I have had to sit down cuz I've been too angry to think.

My stress reliever has always been to act crazy/foolish/odd. In an insane world why not join in once in a while. I do odd dances, make odd noises, and sing weird made up songs. You'd be amazed how funny you can be when you are that 'wigged out'. I'm not advocating a descent into true madness, just ... play acting madness. With kids it is a great distraction for them. They stop what they are doing, or not doing, I see if I can get ds to laugh etc. that usually make some things better. Its hard to be upset at a smiling baby
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#22 of 89 Old 03-29-2003, 03:50 AM
 
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I am all for going the looney toons route, as needed. Although that can backfire on you! (case in point- my best friend was over today and got into some imbroglio with the three boys we have between us and then just blathered something out about "don't get me so mad I blow a bird out my butt!" which of COURSE my five year old immediately picked up and RAN with! I'll be hearing that charming phrase for about the next three months!)


I just remembered, after reading MACMOM's post about cycles- when things are really at the rock bottom pits for me, I'll brew a cup of Yogi Tea's Moon Cycle tea and it most always brings on my period which essentially hits the re-set button for me. I don't know how it would work for anyone who's not bleeding yet after babes, but I think it has all the right herbs in it for women. maybe it will make a difference for someone else, too.
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#23 of 89 Old 03-29-2003, 10:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ahhhh... b/c of ALL of you I can BREATHE again. I know I've said it before, but finding MDC and the other wonderful moms here has really changed my SAHM world. It really has. I can't thank you all enough for always sharing your life with me.

Has anyone ever met a mom who doesn't seem to ever get frustrated? I guess I'm always comparing myself to this made-up perfect mom in my head. Isn't it crazy what we do to ourselves? I had a friend (who happens to be a therapist) say, "Who wants to be friends with someone who's perfect?". And that's true. I generally don't like people who SEEM to have things ALL-together. I just know that there is some seething stuff going on underneath.

I came from a fairly dysfunctional family and I think that's another thing to struggle with as a mom. You have your normal expectations and then if you've come from a less-than-perfect background you just hold yourself up to these sometimes unattainable goals.

Yesterday DS and I had a WONDERFUL day. It was like night and day from the day before. It's like the universe needed to give me that day, KWIM?

This is by far the most challenging, exhausting, emotionally draining thing I've ever done or will ever do. It's just relentless. The need of our children is sometimes bottomless and it's hard to give if you don't have it (either momentarily or in general).

What I think about is -if I have my freak out days with ONE 14 mo, how will I be capable of having TWO? (and DH and I definitely want two or more). I guess I'm just in a slump and need the extra encouragement.

Hope all you ladies hang in there. And perhaps you have some reinforcements now that the weekend is here. I know not all of you do, and that there are lots of different schedules out there, but I hope you have some extra help soon.

Glad to see that we're all in this together
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#24 of 89 Old 03-31-2003, 06:14 PM
 
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Sometime I have wonderful days and sometime I yell and sometime I even curse. It s OK, my my yealled and cursed sometime but I knew she loed me. we all only humans. I tihnk it would be damaging ,in a way, to have mom who is never frustrated. Unhuman
Yes, kids like to explore their boundaries, but you are the parent and it is up to you to make the boundaries. letting you child walking all over you a the expense of your own feelings and dream is not a good idea. it leads to recentment which leads to more anger.
screaming ofhten produces very little results (I know from my own experience) but showing direcet consequences does a lots of good. Do not get into the battle over food. you are letting your son do it over and over again. calmly tell him that next time he throws everything on the floor, he is out of his high chair and the kitchen. Maybe he just loves to play with food. Involve him in food preparation. yes, the flour will be spilled accidentely, and maybe be hw will put to many tomatoes into the salas, bu you both will be ejoying time together.
On Sunday, i was yelling becuase my kids accideltey let the hamsetr out of the abll and were not exactely helping me find him. And then I turned to them sna said, "Fine, I will go wash ddisehs now, let the cat find the hamster... and I smiled" they smiles and started moving things with me in the living room (Hamster is ok)
We all humans, we all feel things. Forgive yourself and find some way to deal with the behaviour (Spread a sheet under the bigh chair, it helps too)
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#25 of 89 Old 03-31-2003, 07:27 PM
 
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Oh - I am so with you!

Saturday my beautiful 2 1/2 year old son just wouldn't take a nap -- I had just came back from my very last class of graduate school and I was primed to sit down and do NOTHING. I was wiped out and he was obviously tired too. But no go. I ended up just laying on the bed and cried -- maybe an overreaction, but I am a very emotional 7 months pregnant as well.

He came in from his room and crawled up in my arms, hugged me and BURST into tears. I felt so bad, but at the same time it was very cathartic.

We had a lovely rest of the afternoon -- read LOTS of books and he went to bed 2 hours early -- go figure!

My advice, I guess, is that it's okay to just "let go" and feel your emotions. That way you feel better and no one gets hurt. Kids are very flexible and really don't remember a single incident of when "mama lost her patience." So be kind to yourself and you will feel better and we all know kids prefer happy, balanced, "at peace" mothers!
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#26 of 89 Old 03-31-2003, 11:59 PM
 
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It's nice to know there are so many other frustrated moms out there. I won't vent since it would largely repeat what has already been said.

Here are a few things I sometimes do when my head is about to explode:

1. Put the kids in the bathtub and let them play while I clean the rest of the bathroom. A messy house makes me feel crazier so if I can have just one clean room it helps.

2. Strap the kids in their carseats and go for a ride. My older son can color, my younger son sometimes falls asleep, we might pick up french fries to occupy them while we drive. I also sometimes just sit alone on the steps in my garage before getting into the car myself and try to collect myself while the boys are contained in their seats and not causing further frustrations (no breaking things or tearing the house apart for at least a few minutes).

3. Sometimes I just lock the kids in their individuals room for a little quiet time. I may feel like an evil mother while doing it, but a little quiet time often does us all good. Occassionally one of the boys falls asleep (tiredness having caused the hyper behavior). I even turned the doorknob around on my older sons room, so I can lock him in. They can listen to music or play with their toys. I can lay down for a few minutes.

Any other coping suggestions? I could sure use more. LOL crazy lady LOL

Tanya
Mom to John (age 11), James (age 9) & Katherine (age 5)
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#27 of 89 Old 04-01-2003, 12:17 AM
 
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This is the funniest thread I have read in a long time...many moments of (which helped after the day I had today...story for another post.).

Whoever talked about cycles is right on. Also the person who mentioned being in sync with their partner. Those two are key for me, too.

good luck, and keep up the laughs!

Mia
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#28 of 89 Old 04-01-2003, 12:42 AM
 
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I'm really enjoying this thread. Lots of good advice and food for thought. Thank you to everyone for being honest and all the helpful hints.

I changed my 4 yo morning routine. I now have her put her clothes out the night before. We are less stressed because there is no time constraint. I have the time to talk to her about what will be appropriate. So far so good. She has gotten dressed without any nagging four days in a row. So our morning is much better.

Julianne
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#29 of 89 Old 04-01-2003, 01:53 AM
 
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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!
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#30 of 89 Old 04-01-2003, 11:55 AM
 
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b'h

from my experience: scream if you feel like it. yell all you want, just don't yell exactly what you would...i.e. when i stubbed my toe last week, i yelled, " hey, i hurt my toe, i hate hurting my toe, it hurts, it hurts, it hurts, why does this always happen, ouch ouch ouch!! etc etc etc"

and lemme tell you, it helps just to let it out in a yell!!

although dd got all nervous, mommy you have a boo-boo??
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