There are days you feel like you’ve done everything right.
The eight year old melts into a puddle of tears because you won’t let her have a playdate with her favorite friend.
Your pre-teen fights with you after a long day of school over a project due tomorrow that he should have begun working on weeks ago.
Your three year old lets a wild baby bunny into the house and it takes 45 minutes to find him and chase him back out, not to mention the clean-up that was needed as a result (yes, this really happened)!
In times like these….I end up struggling with my long-time nemesis: anger. And I’m often the one who loses the struggle.
When we realize that anger is a problem for us, we need a way out. We need to change our mindset so that we can stay calm with our kids when frustrating, “wild baby bunny” situations arise.
This doesn’t happen overnight, it takes time in prayer and the recognition that we need the grace of God even more than we did before!
But I truly believe that it is possible to be a calmer mom so that we can deal rightly with the difficult situations and so that our relationships with their children can be characterized by grace and peace, at least on most days! :)
Here are two mindset changes that I believe can help us to stay calm instead of responding in anger.
BE A PROACTIVE, NOT A REACTIVE PARENT
Consider some of the events or moments that trigger mom tantrums. If I don’t get enough sleep, and then consequently don’t feel well, that is the time when I tend to be more snippy with my kids. Obviously I can’t always get the sleep that I want but by recognizing that this situation puts me in a more tenuous mood, I can start identifying when I’m beginning to get worked up and feel my anger rise.
If you are able to do this, no matter what your trigger, it enables you to find a tool that will keep you from losing control. It might be taking a deep breath and leaving the room you might be reaching over to hug your child. Whatever it is, you can help us to be proactive about situations rather than reactive with our emotions. Don’t be ambushed by your anger.
RECOGNIZE THAT YOUR KIDS ARE NOT IN CHARGE OF YOUR EMOTIONS
When my eight year old whines and stomps her foot because she feels like I’m being unfair, when the pre-teen and 6 year old are hollering at each other over who gets what Lego creation, when the 3 year old cries and screams because I won’t let her have more cookies, I don’t have to match their reaction with those same emotions.
Moms, we truly do set the tone for our day and our home. Pray for God to give you a peaceful countenance, even if you don’t “feel like it”. Ask the Holy Spirit to prick your conscience when you are starting to allow your kids’ emotions to determine your reactions. Make a point of communicating to your kids that you’re starting to become frustrated so you can work together to get everyone’s emotions under control.
Is anger and losing control a struggle for you too?
I’ve read many books on losing my temper as a mom over the years, and the one I mostly highly recommend is She’s Gonna Blow: Real Help for Moms Dealing with Anger by Julie Ann Barnhill. I read this along with some friends in an online book club a few years ago and I’ve referred to it again and again.
This book combines both “theory” and real, practical measures you can take to manage “mom anger”. The woman who writes the book is not judgemental at all, because she’s been there, done that, and can sympathize while also providing solutions that actually work.
Click the photo below or click HERE to check it out on Amazon!