Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
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I can't tell you how relieved I am to hear other mamas are going through this, too. Or rather, to see other mamas concerned about this issue and tangled up in it getting together to ask for help. I was feeling very alone and crazy on this particular issue and I think dh was somewhat at a loss. He trusts me so much to be a good mama that I think he simply did not know what to do to help me out on this. I've been thinking about all the various ideas tossed about. We are on vacation right now, so I can't actually test to see if anything is working, though I am already trying to take better care of myself and start up some good habits that will help me manage my own energy better--ie not get so tired which makes my nerves fray instantly.
I totally get getting crazy about the messes though. In general my house is a mess all week until the weekend comes. Ds is not yet 3, so the messes he makes alone are not as great as 2 could do. Now that he can say he's sorry, I find my own rising anger gets curbed immediately. Sometimes I'll tell him he needs to say sorry now (and if he's hit me or something, come give me a kiss), and he usually does. Then I thank him for saying sorry. And when he says please, I thank him for saying please.
I've also tried to start using humor more to shift energy in a diff. direction. I've put myself on time out a few times. We often sit with each other for our timeouts, ds or mine, ha, ha. And when I see he's about to throw a mini fit, I'll threaten to chase him down with a kiss attack.
Even so, my worst memory in the past 3 months is of an afternoon where I totally lost it when he wouldn't help me pick up his toys on the carpet. I ended up on my hands and knees pounding the carpet and yelling at the top of my lungs (that if he didn't help me right now, the toys were going in the trash...). Sometimes I yell "rational" things: mommy is very, very angry, grrrrrrr. Needless to say, I ended up hoarse. The dog and ds were looking at me like I was crazy. I cried. And later wondered what the heck? I also apologize when this happens. I say I'm sorry, ask him if he was scared, and try to explain a little. But it's horrible. I can only hope it goes away.
One comment about this being a form of violence makes me feel even more committed to stopping. Just seeing how it affects ds makes me want to stop. But I also wonder if I start thinking of my yelling as if it were spanking or beating--things I wouldn't do--it might help put this behaviour in the category of things to never, never do. Does that make sense?
In any case, thanks for all the great posts. Good luck, mamas.