Those who know me generally consider me a calm, low-conflict, get-along-with-everyone individual.
So who on earth was this mother I saw in the mirror? The one with that constricting feeling growing in my chest, the one slamming a door, the one with "that tone" in her voice, or worse, the one shouting?
I honestly didn't know that stuff was there until motherhood uncovered it. Here are seven tips that have helped me deal with mommy anger.
1. Leave the room.
Sometimes walking away really is the wisest thing to do in the moment.
2. Don't talk.
A child's outburst can lead to our own. When they are not being rational, it's far too easy for our words to match their own level. In the heat of the moment, try to choose silence or whispering.
3. Do something physical.
Often anger leads to energy that wants to be released. Stuffing it isn't always the answer, but neither is a huge outburst.
I find something like skipping around the room, turning music on, or jumping jacks helps. Kids sometimes find this silly and it diffuses the tension.
4. Ignore your child.
I don't typically advocate ignoring your darling little ones, of course, but if it's a choice between doing that or shouting at them, I think ignoring can be the best of two options.
I have one child who sometimes asks a running list of silly questions, one after another. If I find I'm really becoming impatient, I will choose not to answer so I don't lose my cool.
5. Take a nap.
Sleep works wonders, right?
6. Ask yourself if it's really important.
It's amazing how in the life of a mother petty irritations can add up to something bigger. If it's not important, drop it.
7. Start all over.
We will lose it sometimes. Say sorry and ask to start again.
Just like children, mamas deserve second chances, too.
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