Managing My Anger.

393 days of loving more!

This is a hard post to write.
You know, sometimes it is just really hard to share the truth.
And not because it is that horrifically awful but because I don’t want to hear myself speak the truth. Because I don’t want to relive the truth. I don’t want to feel the frustration and disappointment all over again.

And that is what I feel right now.

Yesterday wasn’t a good day. I simply wasn’t the mom I hope to be, I wasn’t the mom I know I can be but more so, I simply was NOT the mom that my oldest needs me to be. I wasn’t there for him yesterday. I wasn’t there for him. And that just breaks my heart into a thousand pieces. He is so young and trying so hard to navigate his social anxiety and he needed me to help and instead of being as patient and empathetic as I know I can be, I was snappy and irritable.

Did I yell at him? No. (Phew. Then I would really be feeling dreadful.)
But did I pick him up less gently than I would have liked when I put him in time out? Yes.

Did I keep piling on expectation after expectation on him when I knew he couldn’t handle them, or anything at the moment and just needed me to help him calm down? Yes.

Did I start to get all exasperated with the situation instead of crawling under the dining room table with him and just holding him, and loving him, and telling him how much I love him and that it will be okay? Yes.

Like I said, yesterday wasn’t such a good day.

My son hid under the table because he was struggling. He was overwhelmed and angry with me for saying “no” to something and didn’t know what else to do. It was actually quite brilliant – he made a fort out of the chairs so no one would bother him and so he wouldn’t bother anyone and get in trouble. He built a fort to protect himself…because I didn’t offer him the safety that he sought.

My son barricaded me out. And while it is wonderful that he demonstrated how to handle his emotions on his own, it still was a hurtful reminder that I wasn’t there for him. That I saw his S.O.S. signs and ignored them because I was frustrated at the moment. That I sensed my OWN S.O.S. signs that I was losing it and ignored them because I was tired and embarrassed by his behavior in front of our guests.

I don’t like any of the definitions of Anger so a while back I created my own. I try to keep myself in the G and under range otherwise yelling becomes more and more tempting!

Yes, I sensed that I was Annoyed and I let it grow to Negative feelings. I started thinking, oh he is acting so awful, instead of thinking, oh he is acting so overwhelmed and wanting help. And I let that negativity push me into an awful state of Grumpiness where all I did was be short and snappy with him instead of patient and loving. (By the way, short and snappy? Not really helpful in situations like this!)

I would love to lie and say that when I sensed I was heading past the grumpy stage, when I sensed that I was headed towards Exasperation (and potentially yelling) that I walked away and listened to all the advice that I share with you on my blog – like having a hug-of-love instead of a tug-of-war, like stomping my feet like a Rhino to stomp out my frustration, like “snapping” out of it – and that helped me keep my growing anger tame and helped me be more loving, but I didn’t.

And I would love to lie and say that even when I knew I was being overly snappy, even when I knew I wasn’t reaching my hands forward to pull the chairs back to go under the table with him but rather abruptly putting them on my hips in pure exasperation, that I finally heeded my S.O.S. signs and walked away for a breather so I could squelch my growing anger.  But I didn’t.

Oh and I would love to lie and say that I finally sat patiently on the floor near him and waited for him to come out of hiding instead of leaving the room, but I can’t. I can’t lie.

But what I can do? What I did yesterday. After feeling disappointed in myself that I let myself get past level “G” of anger, after feeling disappointed that I let myself get all exasperated instead of using one of my tips to get to a place where I could be empathetic, after feeling disappointed that I didn’t do what I know I needed to do in that situation, I finally said to myself the one thing I say to many of you all when you feel frustrated from yelling:

“Forgive yourself. You are only human. You are not perfect and you don’t need to be. Pick up and move on to the next moment.”

Yes, I am only human. I am not perfect. And that’s okay. Yes, I don’t yell but yes I do still have moments where I wish I parented a little better, a little softer, a little more lovingly. Yes, yesterday was one of those days. GOSH how I wish I tore back the chairs and grabbed my son in my arms and held him like a baby and told him “I love you. I know it is hard and I know you are frustrated with yourself and with me. But we can get through this, okay? Just let me hold you and love you. We both need it.”

GOSH how I wish I did that because then I wouldn’t have felt all frustrated, sad and annoyed with myself later that day for not staying as cool as I like. But again, I didn’t pull the chairs back and I did get more frustrated than I like but dwelling on it longer than I did would not make matters better. Dwelling on it yesterday, and even today, will just bring me down and keep me from being able to try my best in the next challenging moment. And dwelling on it, well I learned early on that dwelling, especially when I feel like I “failed” is a big ‘ole trigger. Yes, it is pretty hard to keep my emotions in check, it is very hard to keep them G rated or below, when I am dwelling on something.

So yesterday I forgave myself, I loved myself and celebrated that I didn’t yell and eventually when I did all that, well I was able to love my son how he deserved and how I wanted to. It was a little late, but better late than never….

*

I wrote this post Tuesday. Today we had another hard moment. But today, I immediately dropped to my knees and went under the table with my son. I can honestly say that if I was still dwelling on Monday’s episode (which by the way, the old me would have been), I wouldn’t have been able to go under that table today because I would have been in a huge twit still, completely incapable of remaining calm and loving. Yes, I would have been stuck feeling even more exasperated. So yeah, not dwelling feels way better.

 

 

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16 thoughts on “Managing My Anger.

  1. I too am familiar with days like ur Monday. I continue to find your insight revealing and refreshing. Thank you for posting this.
    The wisdom and intuition that guides our children is remarkable. One if my boys gives himself time outs. He will go off and sit on his own and when he is ready to at he comes back to the group.
    I try every day to get my head in a space where I can recognize my emotions before they are visible to the rest of the world. Forgiving myself is very important, as you have said.
    😉

  2. Thank you for sharing this post, even though it was difficult for you. I’m so impressed that you didn’t yell. And just the fact that you’re actively trying to be a better parent speaks volumes. Thank you for your honesty, so that the rest of us know that we’re not alone as we too struggle with our anger issues.

  3. You are such an inspiration to me! I have been following you for about 2 weeks now and you have changed my life so much for the better in this short amount of time! Thank you so much for doing what you do and for being you! I admire your honesty! I’m so glad that I stumbled upon your page! My kids, husband, and I have been working on yelling and misunderstanding of each other ( my husband and me especially) We have been making a huge effort to make sure we understand what the other is trying to say versus assuming we are being attacked! Lol I have been so much happier and I can really see it in my children! I’m not saying we are perfect, because we are far from it! We are just improving more and more every day! I have no yelled since you started your second 30 day challenge..which is HUGE for me… We’re talking about the mom that couldn’t make it through the day without hitting every level of yelling.. And then some! I just want to thank you and let you know how much I appreciate you and what you do! 😀

  4. Great job expressing yourself! You made the next day better. Let the past day go! I too deal with an ADHD daughter 6yrs. When I have a great day, I am teaching her skills. When I have a bad day, she is also learning that we are human and get overwhelmed too. There is no real “mother of the year” award, but if there was, I would nominate you! I follow other blogs and while they are funny, they have a negative tone and/or language. I am thankful that I have found your blog because you have silently helped me on my own journey to being a better wife, mother and self.

    Thank you!

  5. I can not thank you enough for posting this today!! I was in tears by the end of it. My son always goes to a particular spot in our living room & t frustrated because he is “hiding” from me. I now realize why & can now better handle it. We had an episode yesterday, and instead of sitting with him, I got mad. Had I stopped & realized then what was bothering him, like r thinking about it, things would have been much better. Thank you for posting this & reminding me to stop & breathe!!

  6. Thank you for this! Our family is going through a really difficult time and sometimes I struggle to remember my kids are going through it too and I need to be there for them too. Thanks!

  7. Thank you for being honest. I am in the process of writing about my own tough day with my oldest yesterday and appreciate that others have the same kinds of days, and can be honest and share their less-than-stellar moments. we are only human, i’m glad you decided to forgive yourself!! Thank you for this post.

  8. I just want to thank you for this post. Thank you for the reminder that we all have hard times…but there is always the moment to stop and forgive yourself and take action to do things differently the next time. Thank you for reminding me that my sons will always need me to love them, to hold them and help them get through the tough times in life. And finally, thank you for helping me change for better so i can work towards being a better parent!

  9. Thanks for the post! I really needed that today… Sometimes its so hard to manage your emotions and then they end up getting the best of you. Congratulations on handling it like a champ!

  10. Thanks for being brave enough to be honest! That is so helpful for me (and I’m sure for other moms).
    I think your honesty is what is the most encouraging out of all of that… just realizing that other moms get tired and exhausted and have days like that helps bring it all into perspective.

  11. Words cannot even express how thankful I am for your honesty. I can imagine hard these posts are to write, not to mention publish, because I’ve written them in my journal only to go back months later and rip them out, tear them to pieces, and throw them away for fear that someday someone will find out what an awful mother I am. Your courage is changing lives.

  12. I found your blog at the time I need it the most. I’m encountering some difficulties with my oldest (2 1/2) and I don’t know how to handle it. Thank you for your posts and your encouragement. Knowing there are others out there who struggle like me help me to be better. Your words are like food and water to someone who was stranded in the desert. Seriously. Or some metaphor like that.

  13. Thank you!! I had to stop reading midway through because the truth of your words rang so true and loud for how I have handled things wrong; how I take frustrations out on my kids that don’t belong to them. It reminded me to stop and listening and although I am not glad that other mothers have children that have anxieties, I am comforted by knowing I am not the only mom who does not always handle the situation the best way but the best thing is that it is important to move on and learn from this inside of letting it eat you heart as I do so many times also. Sorry for the long ramble. Thank you for sharing you words as they are a huge help to me today.

  14. I have tears streaming down my face as I read some of your posts….It is all to familiar. I love your ANGER defintion…and find myself in familiar situations with my boys..the bickering/fighting is a huge trigger for me. I need to learn to respond with humor and kindness and patience. I am SO very sad after a big yell–how it breaks my heart because I feel it takes little piece of their heart every time I lose it with them.

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