Monday, August 15, 2011


I have a bad habit.  I'm a yeller, but it's not really yelling, it's more like snapping.  I did it before I became a mom and I still do it.  It's time to come out of the closet with this one.  I don't like it, but I need to accept it before I can change it.  In August my happiness focus is on Parenting, so I'm really trying to tackle this one.

At first I've just been trying to be aware of it.  Noticing when it happens and what triggers it and this is what I've found.  I'm at my snappiest when I'm deeply engaged in something, like paying bills or making dinner, and Isabella is whining/crying for no good reason.  My definition of a good reason for a toddler to cry is that she's in pain, hungry, wet, has a dirty diaper, is uncomfortable, or bored.  A toddler's definition of a good reason for crying can include, but is not limited to, her sticker isn't sticky anymore, the battery in her toy is dead, The Wiggles are over, there's a stray strand of hair on her arm, or she can't reach her block because she threw it under the couch.  I hate whining, hate it.  It's like nails on a chalkboard for me, couple that with me being engrossed in something else, especially when I'm alone and don't have someone to distract her, you have the perfect storm for snapping.

So now that I know my triggers, what can I do to avoid them?  I can try to handle most tasks when she's napping.  If I do need to do something when she's awake, I can try to make sure she's comfortable before hand, maybe with a dvd or a snack.  But I can't avoid yelling all together.  Honestly, sometimes kids just need to get yelled at a bit.  I got yelled at, sometimes my mom still yells at me.  I come from a family of loud talkers, snappers, and yellers.  But I am trying to be aware of it.  So when I can't control the outside situation, I can control what goes on inside because I always feel guilty for yelling, especially if it's loud and it startles her.  And just to be clear, I'm not talking about danger yelling like "Get that wet fork away from the open electrical socket."

So I can try to stay calm and take a few deep breaths, leave the situation for a few minutes if it's safe, try and calmly talk her out of whatever nonsense she's whining about.  And, I don't know I guess just practice responding in a calm way.

What do you do to stay your anger?
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mtendere said...

For me, I am super snippy when I am tired, not feeling well, or PMSing. I've found that just recognizing that helps me a lot, because I can say to myself "calm down, you're just tired." Of course, sometimes that doesn't happen until after the fact. I also have to really watch misplaced anger - like I'll snap at Sprout when I'm mad at my husband. I hate that. Another thing that helps when I'm in a frustrating situation (bathtime/tooth brushing is a trigger for me), I make sure to have a distraction - music, a podcast, even just me singing goofy songs. If I can focus on something besides the fact that I'd like to chuck the whining squirmy baby out the window, I can push through. And if I'm lucky, I can even end up having a laugh with my girl.

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