Anger Management

Sarah - posted on 10/19/2013 ( 17 moms have responded )

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I have been a SAHM for over 2 years. I have a 2 yo and 8 month old. I am very active with them, ie. taking them to the library, YMCA, park to meet up with other sahm's, etc... but I still feel trapped by them. I fly off the handle with my temper when I've had too much. My husband has been pointing this out to me for quite some time as a major problem, one that concerns him. I know I have a temper, I know the way I respond to my boys is not acceptable sometimes (especially my 2 yo). I guess I feel like a freak or something, like this is abnormal, unacceptable feelings and struggles. Does anyone have anything similar they struggle with? What has helped?

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Verlan Fondren - posted on 10/22/2013

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Perhaps you need some me time.. That age is quite demanding and I applaud your efforts to keep them busy. One thing I use to do, and this may sound corny, is count to 10... slowly. If I was still upset to where I wanted to yell, I would count again. Of course my children started saying... Mommy's counting!! LOL! Also ask your hubby if he can manage a bit and go get your hair/nails done. Or even take a leisurely drive or walk around the neighborhood to gather your sense of self. Even a little break will do you a world of good. It is normal to feel "trapped" because they are your world right now, 24/7. But remember this when those crazy moments come up... they will not be this age always. I miss those days when my children demanded so much from me. Now they are off being teenagers and preteens and I look at them and realize that within the next 5 years they are going to begin marching off to college. Enjoy this time while they are on your knee because soon enough they will be on your heart. Good Luck! V.V.

Sierra Gayle - posted on 10/21/2013

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You said you feel like your the only one who has this problem. You are not abnormal, and you are not a freak. Hundreds of people had a hard time with their temper. I suggest taking some time to read your bible when you feel like you have had enough!! Pray to God if you don't have the time to read your bible at that moment, ask him to give you the strength to keep calm. I hope this helped!!

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Libny - posted on 10/21/2013

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Kelly what an amazing way to look at being pulled from a task. Babies need us and slightly older kids interrupt bc they know there is something we can do for them. Instead of getting frustrated that the dishes keep piling up I'll remember this lol

Sonya - posted on 10/21/2013

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To expand on Kelly's comments. My husband reminds me of the story of a rancher who took his wife away for a weekend while their boys were teenagers. When they returned their neighbors jokedly remarked, "Weren't you afraid that you wouldn't have a ranch to come back to?"

The rancher's response was key for me to remember, "I am not raising a ranch---I am raising boys to be men."

The laundry will always be there. So will the dirt. The children will not.

Julie A - posted on 10/21/2013

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I LOVE these comments! So many ppl overlook the fact that time flies!! i do! its easy to get caught up in everything else.
I have a 2 yo and 10 month old . I have to step back and take a deep breath. Life is so short, our children and time with them is the most precious thing in the world! I stay at home so I don't miss out, there will be plenty of time for work when they start school. Just try to keep the big picture in mind all the time!

[deleted account]

Amy, when I was a younger mom, I used to feel the same way. I found something that really helped me a lot was to redefine what I considered a "productive use of my time."

When I was being pulled from a task I wanted to finish because my son was pulling all the books off the shelves in the library, or getting into some other form of mischief, I would think to myself....."What is more constructive: Teaching my son responsibility, or finishing the dishes?" Or "What is more constructive: Building a strong bond with my son that will insure he will come to me for advice and guidance when he's a teen, or finishing the laundry?"
I started to at every single interaction I have with my son, and look for the ways in which I could turn that "distraction" into an "accomplishment." Now, when he pulls me away from my housework or any other task, I am grateful because he is giving me an opportunity to teach him. As he has gotten older and older, these opportunities are fewer and fewer.

Amymrogers77 - posted on 10/21/2013

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I want to feel like I am doing something valuable or constructive with my time , as I feel all should do... So I think when I got upset with my girls today it was because I just couldn't get things done.. One would cry or they would both be crying for the same toy and there is do much to be done around the house... I want to be the best mom I can for them and I regret getting so upset

Amymrogers77 - posted on 10/21/2013

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I was so upset with myself today for feeling short tempered with my 2 girls that are about to be 2 .... They do not deserve to be yelled at, they are just trying to explore the world around them...

Libny - posted on 10/21/2013

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Sonya thanks so much for sharing your wisdom. God knew exactly what I needed these past few minutes. I just ordered the book you recommended.

Sonya - posted on 10/21/2013

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Sometimes, Libny Mateo, knowing you are not alone--is encouargement enough. Glad it helped.

I had a great-grandmother encourage me when I had 4 children under 5 years old---she told me "This was the best years...."---afterward they grow up, they leave and they are not 'under your wings' and your protection. I remembered that through the years, as I changed diapers and wiped noses...With older boys that are leaving the nest and choosing their own directions, it is those memories that are precious. Hang in there.

Libny - posted on 10/21/2013

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Wow Sonya the last part of what you wrote really hit home about me doing this bc of love and being so many things for our boys for a short period of time. Just need ways to better handle moments of anger with a three year old. This too shall pass.

Sonya - posted on 10/21/2013

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Sarah, If you don't read the book- how do you know what is in it?

The video takes a case where they have misused the principles in the book. The Pearls explain very clearly NOT to discipline in anger. Not to inflict pain that is excessive. The video shows what someone did in anger, and excessive. They do not advocate that abuse.

Pain does motivate. You go to the dentist, because you have a toothache. You also go, so you won't experience any more pain....that motivates. Excessive pain is not what they are suggesting, enough that would change their behavior to listen to you the authority.

When you try time out---it is a form of pain only if that child wants to do something else.

Someone will always take principles and abuse them. Do not throw the baby out with the bathwater...evaluate, discern and decide. What works is the gem you save.
Thanks for sharing the video---it reminds that there is a wrong way with every principle---

I should hasten to say---start enforcing that you are the authority when they young--and you won't have so many problems when they are older.

I am not endorsing hitting nor beating....please understand that---look to the principle and apply it as you need.

[deleted account]

I agree with you--that book is horrendous!! I did read it, and I was appalled.

I think a lot of moms fall into the trap of doing everything for their families and nothing for themselves. When was the last time you did something JUST FOR YOU?

It is good to set aside at least 30 minutes everyday just for yourself--read a book, take a quick run, draw a bubble bath and enjoy a glass of wine with some candles and good music. That is your "ME Time."

In addition to ME time, you need social time on occasion--maybe once or twice a month or so. Time to interact with adults in a social setting completely unrelated to your kids. Go out for open mike night at a local wine bar with a few girlfriends, do one of those BYOW painting classes with a group of your girls, see a local band, etc.

Chatting with moms at play dates and story times is great, but we need that autonomy from our children to keep ourselves from feeling trapped by motherhood. We are not JUST mothers--we are the same women we were before we gave birth, and now ALSO mothers. If you let motherhood take over your life completely, you lose a big part of your life that makes you the unique, beautiful person that you are. When we do things for ourselves to keep that part of our lives in tact, we can be better, more relaxed mothers because we don't feel so trapped. Instead of feeling trapped, you know that this is only a part of your life, and you can do that part well.

I hope this makes sense....not great with words. Take some time for yourself and watch your temper improve.

Sarah - posted on 10/19/2013

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All your advice was helpful except the book referral. I am sorry, I have to be honest and say I don't agree with any of the parenting principles used in their book and here is why:



I will NEVER read this book or endorse others that do.

Sonya - posted on 10/19/2013

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I have eight boys and there are times that they will bring out the very worst in me.
Anger is not acceptable---but it is human.

Things that may help:
When they have disobeyed--do not allow them to continue until you have reached the boiling point--If you discipline with the first offense, in a kind, soft voice, you shouldn't have to get to a point of raising your voice. If they continue to ignore your voice, you have to direct the discipline not at their actions, but at their attitude. Discipline quickly--before you are angry.

There is a time every day when the boys are more rowdy---I call it the witching hour because that is when it brings out the witch in me. It is before dinner, before my husband gets home, when I am trying to pull together a dinner...they get rowdy, I get angry. I've done several things to avoid this--although it doesn't always work is to prepare dinner in the morning---so all I have to do is heat it up, or stick it in the oven when the 'witching hour' descends.
Another help is to take them for a walk or take them outside where their energy can be used constructively.
Boys need to wrestle. When they do, they know that the 'little one always gets hurt.' So if you play, don't cry.

Children remind me that I need God. I'm not as perfect as what I thought I was. You are right there with the rest of us....this problem should bring you to Him because we all need His help.

A book on discipline that has helped our family keep their sanity and their discipline is "To Train Up A Child" by Michael and Debi Pearl---a Mennoite Family that gives Biblical principles for family life.

Much of the anger can come from not getting enough sleep--when I look back on our married years---I realized that 18 years of it I was either nursing, pregnant or up all night with a toddler....that's alot of sleepless nights---take a nap with your children. Make them lay down, read to them. If they don't sleep, at least you get rest. That helps you be able to cope with the next battle.

Sometimes the feeling of being trapped--is because you do not know what to do--read the book on discipline and that should point you toward control of your children. That will go far in the anger issue.

You might have consider, if you feel trapped because you wanted to do something else and then you became a mom---you are looking over the fence and thinking the grass is greener over there. If that is the case--you might want to evaluate your priorities and find support with other moms. I remember calling my husband in the middle of the work day (I can't now) and ask, "So WHY am I staying at home?" He would say, "Because you love us." And I would say, "I need something better this minute."...he would say something else and I would feel reaffirmed and get my second breath before getting back in the trenches with the boys....because it is a battle---no matter how well behaved they are---you are their cheerleader, their encourager, their instructor, their....you name it you are their world---but only for a few short years.
That's another thing that helps me---this too shall pass---then you will miss it.

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