I’ll admit it. I occasionally lose my cool and yell at my kids. I don’t mean to reach the point of anger, but I'd be lying if I said it never happens.
These aren’t my proudest parenting moments. I do my absolute best to calmly explain to my toddlers why their undesirable behavior is wrong and discipline them accordingly, but they aren’t exactly the most reasonable people on Earth.
A few examples come to mind showing their general lack of reasonableness:
I could go on and on.
I realize individually these things aren’t a big deal. In fact, from an outsider’s perspective, they are actually pretty funny. But most parents can understand how patience dwindles after a few of these scenarios happen before 9 a.m. Taking away toys, time outs, and loss of privileges are all effective to some extent, but I’ll admit, my kids do tend to straighten up when they can tell I’m really mad.
I was at lunch with a friend a few months ago and we were discussing our equally difficult mornings with our kids. She mentioned that lately, she’d been an angry mom. I’d never heard the term “angry mom” before, but it really made me think.
How often do my kids push me into angry mom territory?
I don’t want to be an angry mom. I want to teach them right from wrong and to control their emotions. Calmly talking through disagreements and identifying reasonable solutions are things we work on everyday. I don’t want them to yell when they are mad or upset, so why would it be alright for me to act this way? How can I expect them to learn from me when I’m the one losing control of the situation?
I don’t have a magical solution or potion to cure Angry Mom-itis. Some days, awareness of my actions and noticing when I’m starting to lose patience is enough. Other days, a glass of wine (or more) at the end of the day helps relieve symptoms. But in reality, I’m human and I can’t say I don’t snap from time to time. I’m not perfect and my kids will undoubtedly continue to push my buttons (I truly fear the teen years). But since my lunch with my friend, I’ve started talking to my kids about my reactions as well. As they get older, I hope that these conversations will encourage them to talk about their feelings and they can begin to resolve disagreements on their own, whether it is with me, a friend or a teacher.
Parenting is tough. The toughest job I’ve ever had in my life. I still have plenty to learn, but there is one thing I know for sure. I don’t want my kids to look back at their childhood and see me as an angry mom.
This article originally appeared on Scottsdale Mom Blog.
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