I definitely need to join you mamas. I have quite a temper. I think I always have. To some extent I know what helps. Plenty of sleep, time to myself, reduce stress in general, good nutrition, exercise, etc. Those things combined with self awareness and self discipline on my part. The problem is that the first three can be almost impossible for me to get sometimes and I find that those are often the most important. On the days when my husband lets me sleep in, I'm a different person. My patience is endless. I have lots of energy to focus attention on my very high needs 3 yo. But when I've been up half the night with the baby and then up at 5:30 in the morning or if I fell asleep at 8:30 the night before from sheer exhaustion, so didn't get my "me time" in the evening, that's when I feel short-tempered, resentful. I also find that if I'm angry with my husband, but he's sleeping or away at work, I have a hard time not taking out my frustration on dd. It's like I have all these horrible feelings spilling out of me and no where for them to go.
I have been to therapy, but I'm not currently going, as I didn't find that I was getting much help from my previous therapist, though it probably isn't a bad idea to try again. I have also found some minor relief from nutritional supplements, but I often fail to take them regularly. I just hate having to take a ton of pills.
Loneliness is often a problem for me as well. When I have grown-up companionship I often can be very patient. I'm very extroverted and I need to hang out with other adults to fill up my cup. We moved to where we live currently almost 2 years ago and it took me a long time to make new friends, and now that I have I find that if we really fill our days with playdates and such that I am much happier, and as a consequence more patient and even-tempered.
But I also feel so challenged daily. I'm beginning to wonder if I was fated to have a HN daughter like I do as a test or a challenge to learn to really overcome my emotional volatility. Like if I'm able to rise to the challenge of parenting her with loving calmness, and patience, then I'll be able to handle anything. In general our stress level in our home is very high. Dh works a lot. Lately he's been putting in 40+ hour weeks at the office (at the office before 9 and doesn't leave until after 6, usually working through lunch) and then he comes home and works in his home office from 8 until 1 in the morning. He's rightly exhausted and then the baby wakes us up at night, but I'm already exhausted and I still need his help at night. We seem to be fighting about this a lot. It's hard for me to feel sympathetic when my own needs aren't being met. And I really resent having to pick up the slack when he's overwhelmed with work. On the other hand, I have been trying to remind myself how lucky I am to have two healthy beautiful children. Like in the middle of the night when I used to get so angry or just cry if I was being kept awake, now I try to hold my baby and just enjoy him. Or I try to connect with dd as much as possible and enjoy all the things that are wonderful about her, so that when she does start to frustrate me, I'm so filled with love for her that it lessens my anger. Sometimes it works, but other times it doesn't. But I suppose that even when I blow up, the quicker I can regain my calm the better, so it's best not to make myself feel horrible because that can make it harder to regain my calm.
Jennifer, mama to darling dancing Juliette, and sweet baby Jameson