Oh mamas, I need some sympathetic ears! I'm having a hard day. I'm taking a moment away from the kids before I lose my temper yet again this evening. For the most part I've been doing so well, really keeping my tone modulated when I get upset, taking a few breaths before reacting, things like that. Today I am tired, still getting over being sick, and have been with the kids for 12 hours and counting. Dh has been working long hours lately, so I'm with the kids all day every day, 6 days a week, no breaks. Even when DH gets home, I don't get a break.
How do you stop yourself from yelling when you don't get a break? If you're just really burnt out and honesty can't carve out any time for yourself in the day? I'm sitting here typing this while 2 of my kids are screaming at each other behind me, and I just have to tune it out so I can even write this. It's so hard to find any patience when I'm so worn down. (OK full disclosure--just stopped 1/2 through that sentence and got in a conversation with one of them that turned into yelling--great.)
Anyway, I'd just love to hear some other people's strategies when they are in this kind of situation. On your own, no help, burnt out, and the kids are on your very last nerve! Thanks.
I am alone with 3 kids almost all the time too. It can get really hard sometimes.
I try to stay aware that my mind can go into disarray when I'm stressed from the kids.
If I need to yell or talk in an emotional voice, I usually start out by saying, "I am SO TIRED! I'm having a HARD time right now. I'm trying to get my patience back, so I need a few minutes to feel ok again. Please just give me some time and then I can ...help you.......give you this.......hear what each of you have to say....... do this for you............"
I am not a robot and to act like a robot or June Cleaver is not reality. Sometimes you HAVE to show emotion.
Looking aggressive and yelling threats is awful, but being human and saying how you feel in a stern serious voice is okay imo.
I find that speaking my mind and stating what my problem is will teach them to understand their own emotions and to speak up in the right way for themselves.
But just so ya know......
I am still losing it every once in a while.
The kids fighting and bickering makes me snappy.
Ignoring it doesnt work. Sometimes if I scream "Just stop-- Just STOP IT!" They stop.
It drives me crazy! Then they will be quiet for a little while and I feel like a monster.
Springlily - it sounds so stressful with how hard you've been working and getting no breaks is just the worst. I'm sure you've been trying to come up with some solutions but I wonder if you'd like some help in brainstorming other ideas? I can say some of what's worked for me, though in the end none of them are a guarantee. One major thing is that I have to really resist my own urge to sit on the couch and disengage all day long. So the more tired and in need of quiet time I am, the more we end up getting out of the house. We go to the playground, story time, or friends' houses. My kids tend to do a lot better in public, as do I. My DH tries to be here for either the morning rush (part of it anyway) or the evening crazies. It's so helpful to know that I can sleep an extra 30mins while he gets the kids up. Similarly, when he gets home it's my time to check out for a little bit. We also do a rest hour most every day which coincides with the little one's nap. I'm not sure how old your kids are but I wrote about it here. Lastly, I can sometimes get the older two to agree to watch a movie while the little one plays nearby. That then frees me up to take a nap or read a book. I'm still working on how to get craft/creative time in...
As for how I'm doing with the yelling, it's really up and down. The therapist leading our adoption group talked last week about how we end up taking in all of our kids' emotions. So anything that's too big for the kid to handle, resulting in difficult behaviors, we end up taking in for them. She definitely has a point and I'm trying to be more aware of when I'm feeling at loose ends and how to then calm down from that. I believe next week is the session on self-care and I'll be ready to take notes! Today we spent a lot of time with others and the kids got lots of exercise. I didn't yell. Yesterday I started the morning with yelling... I'll keep trying. Every time I can avoid the yelling I think is a victory and helps my kids both heal from their difficult beginnings and learn how to regulate their own emotions. I just have to remind myself it's worth it to work on even though I can't be perfect right now.
Married to DH since 2006. Adoptive mom to DD1 (June 2002), DS (Jan 2006), and bio mom to DD2 (May 2009).
Just wanted to say thanks for this thread, everyone. It's an inspiring idea, one that I have pretty much every night about the next day, but hadn't thought about really committing to it in this way. It's also reassuring to read about all these other mamas' daily challenges that sound so much like my own.
Keep up the good, honest, heartfelt work, everyone!
This is an awesome thread! The reward and the accountability to others is the exact things I learned in my psychology class, it is supposed to be pretty effective. My DD is 14 months, I dont yell, yet. Hope I can keep it that way!
I yell, poor baby, he is too little to really understand why he is frustrating me, and I only yell out of anger not to get attention as we are a quiet bunch. I feel crappy when I do it and it sets the mood for the rest of the day. Not that I can blame him, having his mommy yell at him and being all confused
Thanks everyone for sharing your experiences with such honesty. It is so reassuring to read other people's comments and feel like they are telling my story!
I have two toddler boys and stay home with them full time. I keep Hilary Flower's "Adventures in Gentle Discipline" by the bedside to read while nursing or whenever I need to remind myself that I am not alone in my frustration. Some days we do great and I feel like I am in sync with my 3.5 year old. I feel happy and proud of us as a family. Other days... I call my husband in tears and am sure that I have become a horrid mother. I have been tracking day by day on my own, celebrating good days and forgiving myself for bad days. I have lots of other mom friends, but I never call them in those moments because I know that they have their own challenges and don't need my negative energy. Also, it is embarrassing to share those moments because I feel so defeated. I have never posted on a discussion site like this, but it seems like a great place to connect without bothering my friends. My family is also not available to discuss things with because they are advocates of more authoritarian discipline. I have to gloss over behavior problems with them so that I don't hear about how I spoil my children.
Anyways, yesterday was rough, but I took a 2 minute break instead of yelling and I processed it with my son later when we were both calm. Today, so far, has been great. And the boys are taking a rare and precious simultanious nap! I have been doing much better about moving on from slip ups and not letting it turn into a feature-length "bad day".
Thanks so much everyone!
I have three kids - ages 8, 5, and 2, and I stay home full time. I often feel like I can't take one more minute with the kids and I want to scream my head off because I just simply need a break from all the neediness and drama. One thing that has helped me so much is to find "mother's helpers" in my neighborhood. These are girls ages 10 - 14 years old or so who I pay about $3 an hour who hang out with the kids while I am at home but doing other things (sometimes laundry, sometimes sleeping, sometimes reading a magazine alone in bed). It has helped me tremendously to just "check out" while the kids play with an older girl. One girl started helping me when she was 10, and by the time she was 14 years old I could actually leave her with all three kids while I left the house and ran an errand or went for a nice walk. She was completely comfortable handling all three kids, and they listened to her and had a great time. I know it's sometimes hard to find help, but it sure is worth looking!!!! : ) Somehow, when I can get away for even a short time, my mood improves and I can face my kids again.
That is a great suggestion. I think that it would help so much to have a couple hours per week to bustle about the house uninterrupted and get projects done and off my list.
As everyone comes out for the nice spring weather, I am going to start asking around.
I'm so glad I found this thread. I just started an accountability thing with my husband where I basically use the 12 steps for overcoming anger and yelling one day at a time. I just started today, though, and while I was able not to yell or get angry all day, it was an easy day because we spent most of it at my parents' house and church so ds was fully occupied and stimulated. My 20 mo. old is very active and spirited and not many days go by where I'm not afraid for his life. He climbs everything, puts everything in his mouth, darts away from me in public, and is obsessed with yet not afraid of cars.
When he's not turning my hair white and taking years off my life with putting himself in danger, he's such a sweetheart. Except when he's throwing food, screaming for keys/knives/cell phone/whathaveyou, or pulling my hair. Another thing is the crying and screaming. I just don't know how much is normal, but it seems like my dh has a super-high tolerance for whining and crying whereas I can barely stand the sound of it. If dh is doing something with ds in another room and there's crying, my bp skyrockets and I usually yell at them both across the apartment "WHAT'S GOING ON IN THERE??!!" Trying to stay quiet and calm and cool when ds is screaming is physically and emotionally so hard for me, but let's face it, yelling at him to stop hasn't worked so far.
I want to join you moms! Yelling with an angry, horrible face is unfortunately when all my awful parenting moments come into play. I too want to start today with a new "voice" and not yell at my kids:) I will keep u\you posted on how I do.
Oh I need this thread so much!!! I HATE that I've become a yeller, but I admit I have. I haven't read PP yet except a few on the first page but want to say I agree that raising your voice can be necessary. I often will call to them outside "Turn off the hose please!!.....Boys! Turn the hose off, NOW!" And if it's not in a mean, scary voice, I don't think of it as yelling at them. It's more like shouting but not in an angered way. But my kids don't deserve to be yelled at. I don't like being yelled at. I know they don't like it. My 6 y/o is VERY sensitive and will hang his head if I come down on him too hard. He tends to be perfectionistic (first born) and I really have to watch that I encourage and uplift him rather than be a tyrant.
Today I will commit to being in the moment and not letting stress rule my behavior. No yelling today!
Super crunchy Mama to DS1, DS2, DD and wanting a bunch more! We homeschool, bed share, homebirth and baby wear. We're attached, we only cloth diaper and we don't vax. There's a lot more to us than that, but it won't all fit.
Ugh, by way of an update: I have so, so failed over the past week. Pride goeth before a fall...I thought I was doing great, checking in with DH about my attitude, welcoming opportunities to be patient, gloating about myself basically. Then I woke up with a massive back spasm one day, and DS knocked over a blender full of pancake batter in the fridge, and I lost it. I put him straight in his room for time out so I could clean up, so I avoided yelling at him per se, but I definitely let loose on some bad language while sopping up batter. So I was already feeling crappy about that when I ended up having to go to the ER for the pain in my ribs. I seriously thought I had broken one during one of my bronchitis-related coughing fits and ended up spending 2 days in the hospital only to be told it was just a spasm. Extremely painful but ultimately not dangerous or noteworthy. Add in some sleep deprivation and anxiety and you have the perfect recipe for the disastrous argument I had with DH tonight, where I was probably 99.5% to blame for the conflict. I feel so discouraged right now. My husband and son don't deserve to be with the banshee I've become during this pregnancy.