Keeping Your Own Anger in Check pt. 2 - Page 11 - Mothering Forums

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Old 10-26-2004, 11:48 AM
 
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Hi,

I've been lurking for a while now - didn't feel I much new to add. But I like this question. I guess we do often feel angry and then talk ourselves out of it. One thing I found helped me was to acknowledge my own feelings - like saying to myself (in my head) with a voice like a 3 year old, "I don't want to cook dinner for these 3 screaming kids. I want to go out for a walk by myself....."

And then after I acknowledge my feelings, let it be OK for me to feel that, it kind of puts it in perspective too. Because if I was consciously thinking that I would react differently from if I was just feeling it inside without voicing it.

- dcm, thanks for the reminder about that dialogue. You're right it's a good thing to remind myself that I can't change it (even if I wished my dh hadn't of.....) and that I can handle it!
Maybe I'll try some post-its!

arcenciel WAHM to 14 and 13yo DS, 9 and 5yo DD

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Old 10-26-2004, 03:58 PM
 
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Well, I don't have a solution either but I wanted to add that this is my worst time too. The end of the day, when I am tired and the baby is tired and fussy. Usually that is when DD1 decides to pee her pants while sitting on the couch or somethign too. Plus she gets resistant to going in the bath, gettting out, putting on her PJ's whatever. She slows down so much that we have a 2 hour bedtime routine and it is getting to me. Cleaning up the poop and pee is getting to me too so she is going into pullups so I don't do something I regret. The irony is that at preschool she NEVER has an accident but at home she does. Even since DH had his knee surgery.
ONe book I am finding helpful is "the anger habit". It helped me to see that my anger is a habit that got reinforced because it works. If I get angry, DD1 will get with the program KWIM. OF course, at what cost? But it does help me to look at it as a habit, and to acknowledge that although I am solely responsible for the anger, it is an interaction and DD1 has her part in that. Once you step out of the interaction, the other person will step up their behavior because you are not behaving according to the pattern anymore. This is true of adults and children I think.

Good luck and big hug
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Old 10-26-2004, 04:46 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nuggetsmom
Once you step out of the interaction, the other person will step up their behavior because you are not behaving according to the pattern anymore. This is true of adults and children I think.

Good luck and big hug

That is so true, isn't it?
"If you want others to be happy, show compassion."
"If you want to be happy, show others compassion."
(Dalai Lama)
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Old 10-26-2004, 05:58 PM
 
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Thank you all so much for this thread. It really was just what i needed. I was already jsut starting to work on this so the timing is great.

One thing that I foudn helped me was to get to why my self-talk was so full of "I can't handle this." because that seemed to fuel my anger. So I looked at where my sense of incompetence at being a mom came from in my past and at first it didn't make sense to me: I've never been a mom before. But then I realized that when I was little I had on some level decided that I needed to take care of my mom (she was single). Of course as a little one, I coudln't really "mother" my mom, but I took that on and then always felt incompetent. Well, once I saw that I was basing my current actions on the assumption that I couldn't do it well because of this past, it really lifted a cloud for me.

Now, at least, when I do get mad (which is less often) I am less likely to spiral down in my "I'm a bad mom" stuff. And like you've all said with the positive talk--well now there's a space for the positive talk because I can wipe "I can't handle this" off the slate if YKWIM...

Anyway, thank you to everyone for all these posts. You don't know how much it's needed!!

Mom to 11 y.o. lawyer, 9 y.o. actor, and 4 y.o. pilot. I believe 'em on those, too!

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Old 10-26-2004, 06:48 PM
 
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Wow...good things to think about. When I lived with my mom (disabled...we got to experience both neglect and abuse), I was the "mother." I cooked, cleaned, etc to the extent I was able at 4 years or so...I never connected that it could be helping me feel inadaquete as a mother today. This makes sense when I think about when I tend to get angry...it's when I start thinking about how I am seen as a parent (usually).

It makes sense that the most deep sinking direction I've been given lately (in both co-counseling and meditation) is acceptance. I have always kind of accepted myself in the way I want to be, never really accepting that I may not be the mom that happily fills the car with muddy kids covered with ice cream. I am learning to accept who I am (I prefer less mud in the car and ice cream is for special occasions and not right before dinner...can you tell this was a recent issue for me?) Right now I'm kinda rigid and certain things floor me. It was so important to try and keep things clean, etc to look normal, no wonder I'm still this way. One thing I do notice, is that when I accept where I am, I have more slack and can be more flexible. So, I accept that I'm rigid and it makes me more flexible...that sounds kinda zen, huh?
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Old 10-27-2004, 01:04 AM
 
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You ladies are awesome... I get so much from all of you. From this thread, from all of MDC...

Got so much out of recent posts. Mami2f3-I could have written your post. I immediately go to "I can't handle this" b/c of my own experience being parented. And it directly affects my parenting. I think I've said this before, but I think it took me 30+ years to realize that not *everyone*fills their head with negativity about themselves and their abilities. There are people with healthy self-esteem who can say to themselves on some level that they can handle what comes their way. They remember to breathe, take care of themselves. I've learned a lot, but I still rarely can put this all into practice. But I'm learning...

Hotmama-I really believe that it's all about acceptance...on every level. But most importantly, self-acceptance. So hard, but so worth trying to acheive. I think all my negative behaviors stem from this. And I think that this is where MOST negative stuff stems from in the world. Think about it: one mama feels so bad about herself and then parents her children with a sense of shame or worthlessness, never accepting herself. Then, her children feel the same. And it just keeps getting passed on and on and on.....
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Old 10-27-2004, 02:17 AM
 
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Hi, yes, i've been known to yell but i'm proud to say that I made it all the way to when I had a 3yo and a 18mo old before I'd ever lost it! I have 1 8yo girl who is so sweet, always helps and wants to please me. I have a boy 6 that whines, hides and ignores me all the time! And the 2yo is pretty innocent yet and I see him more as following his impuses. So I'm glad that only 1 of the 3 triggers me, I usually just want help cleaning up. Dh is pretty gentle but he cannot be reponsible for trying to get the boy to clean up or he gets frustrated too....so I've been trying to get chores more scheduled and it seems to be helping....

Anyhow I have a trick---when I feel like yelling I whisper---
Everone whispered "Why are we whispering????"
I said "So I don't YELL!!!"
"Ohhhhhh" they whispered
And now they know that if they get past the whisper there'll be trouble, I haven't gone there yet!

to all of you, you can't fix a problem if you never admit there is one
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Old 10-27-2004, 04:10 AM
 
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Wow! Maybe the not coping is the key? I knew for a while that it was my thing. My recent therapy has helped me also trace it back to my childhood and feeling I had to look after my Mum, which as you all said, is something that we couldn't cope with then. So now it's usually something little that starts me off. Somebody drops something on the clean floor, etc. which doesn't matter when I feel good, but if I'm finding it hard is just enough to make me lose it.

Bearsmama - I would have classed myself as one of those people full of self-esteem, etc because I really am a confident person. I can handle anything. Except my kids sometimes... I don't think I ever had a bigger challenge in my life

Thanks for keeping this going and reminding me of what I want to be doing.

arcenciel WAHM to 14 and 13yo DS, 9 and 5yo DD

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Old 10-28-2004, 12:47 PM
 
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I lurked through the original thread. Just found this new one - so far have only had time to read pages 1 & 16. Sorry if this is a repeat, but I want to recommend the book "How to Behave so your Children Will, Too." Good ideas for parents of toddlers to teens. Thanks all for your ideas & sharing bad days. Slowly but surely we will all improve!
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Old 10-28-2004, 03:35 PM
 
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Well I almost made it a full week without yelling. I was so proud of myself up until yesterday. I don't even remember what the initial trigger was, but I blew up big time and even threw my own temper tantrum by stomping my feet while screaming :

I know part of it was triggered by dd's clinginess and whining yesterday. And if she didn't get her way, she decided to hit me (which is usually always a trigger for my yelling). At one point I had to call dh to come home from work (it was about time for him anyway) because I knew I was going to lose it soon (and I did-you'd think I could've stopped knowing how I was feeling). I left the house 10 minutes after dh got home because everything was hunky dory in dd's eyes while she was happily playing with dh. Made me feel even lower than I already did.

I tried today waking up with a brand new attitude because it's a brand new day, but it's really not working. She is really pushing my patience and I have already felt my blood boiling almost to the point of explosion (which I may have if I hadn't been in public when this behavior was occurring). I have been trying to stay calm, use self-talk, ignoring the behaviors, but nothing is working today. I am so glad I am going away for the weekend without dd and dh. It couldn't come at a better time.

Thanks for letting me vent and giving me a safe place to do so. I promised myself I would be accountable to you all which is why I am posting this even though I am embarrassed by my behavior. Here's to the strength to make it through the afternoon and evening after she gets up from her nap.
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Old 10-28-2004, 05:40 PM
 
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Here is something that I have been trying, but I don't know how well it will work for others. I imagine that either someone I admire is in the room or that a camera is on me at all times. How would I want people to see me parent? What would my GC mom think if she saw me yell at her most precious grandson? If I just pretend that all the world knows what I am doing, then I do much better than if I think I am working in private.
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Old 10-29-2004, 01:03 AM
 
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That's a GREAT idea annab... I'll have to try that.

I have a 22 mo. old son and a 20 mo. old drug-exposed foster daughter (as well as an 8 yr. old foster daughter with medical problems), so yelling is a regular thing around here... In 7 months we went from parents of 0 to parents of 3!!! I've just been trying to make it from day to day by keeping the household going, and making sure the kids are alive and fed, with all the chaos and screaming going on, and my temper has been short. But I realized that I don't want to be like my father- I don't want to be yelling constantly, I don't want to be angry and stressed all the time. I want to be the mother I thought I'd be before I had kids. :LOL I know that every day my kids are learning and growing, and that every thing they do is another opportunity to learn a life lesson. I don't want my kids to learn that their mama is mean, and she yells a lot.

Ugh. It really is hard to change a learned behaviour, especially one that comes out when my emotions are running rampant and I don't feel in control of my feelings sometimes. Like when I'm mad, I'm MAD. And it takes me awhile to cool off. Ive been getting better... But I do lose my patience more often than I'd like to, and I do better when I'm around others so I'm going to take annab's advice and try to imagine that someone is watching me. I know I'll feel better if I can read about others' experiences, and get direction, opinions, and advice... Thanks mamas...

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Old 10-30-2004, 02:12 AM
 
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Hi Ladies,
Welcome to Decembersun...sounds like you have a lot going on in your house. Remember to breathe...

Easier said than done for me today. I had a major freak-attack this morning. DS#1 is sick, and I was trying to get him into his car seat and this has been such a huge power struggle for us lately. The whole week I went w/out freaking out. But we had an appointment and he just refused to get in (some may say I should *make* him get in, but that doesn't work around here). I yelled at him. I'm not a name caller, but when I lose it, I lose it. I had to cancel the appointment, the one for which my DH had stayed home to help me, and then I brought DS into the house and just lost it. DS was in the kitchen, and I was a distance away and just did one of those "release" screams. Just at the top of my lungs, out of control. DS was so scared. I had to leave the house for a few minutes and then came back in and apologized to him and then had to leave again to gain some control.

How do you all deal with a REALLY challening child? What happens when you're pushed to the limit???
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Old 10-31-2004, 02:25 AM
 
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For me, when I get to that point- when everything/ everyone gets on my nerves- I take a moment alone to recharge and start over. If that means popping in a video for the kids so I can go outside and water my flowers, or just go into my room for a minute, I'll do it. I know that doesn't help you with a challenging child, but that's what I do when I feel like I can't handle it. It usually only takes a few minutes and I can "start over" and I feel much better.

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Old 10-31-2004, 11:41 AM
 
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December-Thank you. I have to really get to know my triggers even better so I can nip these things in the bud before they happen.
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Old 10-31-2004, 11:57 AM
 
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I've been lurking on this thread for a long time. Just wanted to give a shout out. As a single parent I have had to come up with creative ways of cooling off.

and I constantly pray for more patience and serenity...

peace
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Old 10-31-2004, 12:54 PM
 
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Hey ladies, glad to know this thread is here!! I've been trying for a long time to stifle my inherited anger; my mom's is worse than mine and my grandma's was worse that her's. This is something that I feel I definately do NOT want to pass on to my 2 girls. I had a pretty good handle on it before the arrival of dd #2. Now I just find myself blowing up all the time again : It's so frustrating...which is probably part of the problem, I get stuck in loops of frustration and anger and it takes me a long time to cool back down. Dh helps alot, he is a really calm kinda guy, unfortunately I think that I have helped him discover his angry side . I'm looking for advice on how to deal w/ a very girly (which I am not) fairly whiney and VERY emotional 31/2 yo. Any and all suggetions would be greatly appreciated, as I feel that I am dealing w/ some sibling rivalry, not negative at all but more of the energy draining kind. Some times I feel that it's all I can do is to just get out of bed!! Maybe there's a lil depression going on too (I just proof-read, and that what it seems like) Any way, thanks for reading my rant
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Old 10-31-2004, 07:39 PM
 
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Also remember that 3 1/2 is classically a difficult age for parents to deal with. It's hard and something new and different is around the corner.
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Old 11-01-2004, 01:54 AM
 
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mommaluv&boomin-

Anyone ever read Loving Your Child is Not Enough-Positive Discipline That Works by Nancy Samalin??? She has a good section on anger. I think she does workshops and stuff, too.
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Old 11-04-2004, 07:02 PM
 
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mom2savannahgrace and bearsmama I am HEARING you!!
What you have shared is really where I am and it's so hard to get out of it. And it seems that once I'm triggered, I can't get out of the rut. I mean I've gotten really angry in the past two weeks and while I will pass a day or so with no big blow ups, I feel that I am a time bomb. I mean anything can send me off. And I can't bring the anger level down to zero--I can cool off a bit, but I can' t seem to get back to happy mommy. The other morning, I went to sleep late (my fault? I had work to do) the night before and ds2woke up at like 5 something, which dh kind of handled (it's a tiny house, nohting goes on wihtout everyones participation), ds2 was in the bathroom with dh and ds1 wanted to get in but ds2 was holding the door closed. Dh kept telling ds1 to go around to the other side, but ds1 kept pushing and then yelling and making ds2 yell and I LOST it! I yelled, "Do what your father says!" and grabbed him and took him around and put him in through the other door. He started yelling and screaming and I picked him up and put him in his bed and told him to stay there. I was yelling all this and so was he. It was pretty ugly.

In that moment how do I get back to GD? HOw do I stop the rage in my head/body?

I did eventually go back and apologize bigtime and hug/kiss etc., but ACK! What am I teaching him? (that's rhetorical, I know the awful example I am setting.

Interesting: my parents weren't yellers. Where does this come from?

Mom to 11 y.o. lawyer, 9 y.o. actor, and 4 y.o. pilot. I believe 'em on those, too!

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Old 11-05-2004, 12:18 AM
 
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mami2F3-

The only thing that helps me at all is trying self-talk. But it's WAY hard to give yourself the postive words when all you want to do is yell.

You know, I think even if you don't come from yellers, kids will make you ANGRY. It's just normal. Wouldn't it be weird to hear of a mama who NEVER got angry with her child? It's not the anger that's the problem, it's what we do with it, right?

We are all struggling with something. I don't think you're setting an awful example. I just think you sound like the rest of the mamas I know and the mamas here who struggle with these issues. Keep trying,mama. And know that we're all out here...
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Old 11-05-2004, 06:15 AM
 
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I too am a yeller. And I hate it. I find myself getting so angry at my almost 3 yo and 16 mo that i'm yelling at them almost constantly. I don't want to be this person, and I definitely don't want my kids to be this way. I hear my ds yelling sometimes, and that's just wrong. I don't want yelling to be what he gets from me. What can I do to curb this behavior?

Advice?
J
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Old 11-05-2004, 03:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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... but I've been reading.

I've noticed a lot of people posting their issues with yelling. If you've read earlier posts here, you know it's one of my big issues, too. I just wanted to share a situation that happened in my house last night.

Both DH and DS have colds and stayed home yesterday. I work at home, so it was a bit of a pain to have them around. Generally DS (almost 3) was very well-behaved, but by evening he had run out of steam. I have several major projects I've taken on and had to handle a few unexpected calls yesterday that totally disrupted my work, so I was STILL working at 7:15 PM, when dinner was finally ready.

DH was trying to get DS to do something and DS was refusing and whining and grumping. DH has a tendency to be cajoling and wheedling w/ DS, which I totally hate, and I was losing patience with all of them. Basically DS was hungry and I was trying to get everyone to the table to eat. When DS started melting down, I hit boiling point.

With the last whine, I turned to him and yelled, "HEY!" fully intending to continue yelling at him to leave the room until he could control himself. I lucked out enough, at that moment to catch him when he was taking a breath and actually looking at me. I realized that I was yelling and about to blow, so I stopped for a second and took a breath.

Here's what I ended up saying: "Calm down, please. Let's take a deep breath, ok? Cuz I'm getting really frustrated, too." [Deep breath] "Oh, I think I need another one, ok?" [Deep breath] "Wait, one more for me." [Deep breath] "Now, why are you upset?" DS was able to tell us what his issue was (didn't want to go potty before eating) and so we were able to give him an alternative (go after dinner, before show) and everyone got to the table.

It's nice to share the successes, however small.

ex-Californian, making my way on the East Coast with DS (10), DS (6) and WAHDH. Former extended BF'er, co-sleeper, and baby-wearer. Remembering how to garden.

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Old 11-08-2004, 08:55 PM
 
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Hi, I'm a mama,
and it's been......2 hours 10 minutes since I've yelled.
I've been trying to make my way through the first thread and this one. That first thread has some wonderful ideas! I'm so relieved to find other mamas struggling through this and I want to hold myself accountable. My dd is only 19 months old for stink's sake! She is napping right now but I feel sick to my stomach about my yelling at her earlier. I have been under so much stress lately and sleep deprived, and all the mean ghosts from my childhood are hovering about me when a stressful situation arises.
I keep thinking, if only I could stop everything for a few days and breathe, I could start all over.
I think this weekend I am going to pick a day and go out for a few hours alone. I've been wanting to do it but life gets in the way. I think I need to let go of the guilt about getting away and realize it will actually be better for my baby girl. I can become the more patient mama that she deserves.
to other mamas and thanks for sharing your struggles too.
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Old 11-08-2004, 10:43 PM
 
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Greensleeves, I'm glad you joined us! The guilt is just horrible, isn't it? And you are SO right. Letting go of that guilt is a MUST. If you hold onto it, then you feel worse about yourself and are then much more likely to have an even shorter fuse. There is a huge and very important difference between guilt and regret.

In addition to positive inner dialogue, what I have had the most success with is simply not taking the tantrums and push-button behaviors personally. I think that in the midst of some of my dc's "worst" behavior, I have a tendency to think "If I were an effective parent then my children wouldn't be behaving this way." Which is an idiotic thing to think, but I think it's also a pretty common fallacy. So just yesterday, as my older dd was melting down in the back seat and had been carrying on in a VERY annoying way for more than ten minutes, as I was on the verge of really laying into her verbally, I thought to myself, "This is not my issue. She is tired, she needs to release some stress, so let her do it. It isn't about you." And I turned up the volume on the radio just a bit so I could hear the music, I let her fuss and fume in the back, and not long after we got home, we were both fine. That may sound strange but simply releasing myself as being the catalyst or the cure for her state of mind made it possible for me to not react negatively to her.
Not sure if that is helpful or not, but there it is! :LOL
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Old 11-08-2004, 10:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Greensleeves - I remember the 18-22 month period being one of the hardest to handle. New mobility and independece = difficult toddler!

ex-Californian, making my way on the East Coast with DS (10), DS (6) and WAHDH. Former extended BF'er, co-sleeper, and baby-wearer. Remembering how to garden.

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Old 11-09-2004, 01:01 AM
 
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Hi Everyone,
Not much time tonight, but I saw Fianna's post and wanted to chime in. Fianna-I've been coming to big realizations about my parenting and my children's behavior, too. And what you said about your DD's behavior not being about YOU really hit home for me. This is a big issue for me. I've been sort of co-dependent on DS's behavior for a long time. I've always thought that his behavior was a reflection of my parenting. And my realization is that it is NOT always about me. Yes, sometimes it is (like if I've woken up on the wrong side of the bed). Letting myself "off the hook" a bit has really helped me. In fact, a little de-taching for this attached mama has really helped. I wonder if this rings true for others???
Oh, and the positive self-talk really helps, too. But this is a toughie for me.

Thanks Fianna and others tonight. I'm checking in but no time tonight.
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Old 11-09-2004, 01:52 AM
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I have been lurking off and on for some time. i am a yeller, too. I am trying to stop. I am very busy right now but hope to start posting regularly by next week.
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Old 11-09-2004, 01:57 AM
 
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mmgarda-I'm so sorry about your recent miscarriage.
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Old 11-09-2004, 02:19 AM
 
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ANGER!!!!

I haven't felt anger this much and often since I lived at home with my brother. I'm 32, Dds 2.5 and 14 mo. Dd1 is whiny/crying/screaming dramatic child (I've got another post about that, specifically).

Thank you for pointing out that their emotions are THEIRS...this is so hard to remember. I have such a hard time drawing emotional boundaries, I guess. And doing so would probably be a much better example for my 2 dds; I don't want to raise two co-dependant doormats, after all.

DH has been out of work since mid-January, and this has plusses (he's always OK with helping with the kids when I need it), but the minuses (aside from $$) are that I still feel like I have to try hard to keep the girls away from him/or I do things differently, just knowing he's around; nap time can become "quickie" time instead of "mom time," which is not all bad, but then mom time somehow dissapears...

Anyhow, over the last few months, I have been having rage like never before. I would not describe myself as a yeller. I think most people would think me a sort of calm person. But between regular marriage-straining fights with DH (one night I really really wanted to hit him, I just felt crazed) and horrifying anger at my older daughter (I have grabbed her roughly & yelled on more than one occasion) I hardly recognize myself. Some days I feel I'm on a hair trigger. I know that on other days the same thing would happen & I could deal with it...and I just can't.

The combo of the $$ situation (I had been doing a very small amount of work from home, and now unemployment $ will end in a month) and the out-of-control anger has gotten me to take a part-time job outside the home. I start Wed. at a picture-framing place. Mostly I was looking for a calm, methodical environment where I could do "work meditation" with little thought or responsibility, and return home refreshed rather than burnt out. It's 6-hr shifts 4x a week, though, and I'm having some anxiety. I think the kids are ready for 4 hr stretches with DH, but not sure about 6. They're both still nursing. This would just be over the holidays, though, 2 mo.

Am I crazy? is this a reasonable thing to try? It's hard not to feel like a failure for wanting...no feeling like I HAVE to get away from my kids to get myself together.

DH says "it's an unknown, just try it."
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