Most moms have had moments where they said things they wish they hadn't or lost their cool with their kids. When the crayons end up on the walls or the shoes magically disappear, it is easy to respond in anger. Being a mom is a tough job and even the best moms have their "bad days". If you are having "bad days" frequently or are concerned that you could physically hurt your child, this is not normal. Losing your temper can be a sign of other problems such as depression or anxiety. Please contact your doctor if you are concerned about your moods or temper.
Why Am I So Angry?
If you are finding yourself feeling very angry or irritable there may be reasons for this.
- Are you getting enough sleep? Not getting sleep or not getting sound sleep can affect your mood. Make sure that you take care of your body and get plenty of sleep. If you are feeling tired and cranky, take an afternoon nap. If you cannot take a nap, lie down on the couch and try to get some rest.
- Are you experiencing financial or personal stress? Being under a lot of stress can affect your moods and your temper.
- Are you sick or feeling ill? Not feeling well can also affect how you respond to family situations.
- Are you hungry? Sometimes not eating can affect your moods.
You may want to evaluate why you are getting angry. If you are responding to a physical stressor, you can work on changing your routine. Make sure you are getting proper nutrition and adequate sleep.
Tips for Handling Your Anger
What can moms do to keep their anger in check or to cool down when they are angry?
- Take a timeout. Sit down and take some time to relax and collect yourself. Have you taken a break today?
- Listen to yourself. What are you saying to your children when you yell or get angry? Is this the example you want to set for them? Listen to what you are saying. If this is not something you would want to be said to you, then do not say it.
- Have a plan. Find out what your triggers are. Have a plan in advance for what you will do when you are triggered. Thinking ahead and having a plan will help you avoid simply reacting in anger.
- Practice, practice, practice. When you are angry, make a conscious effort to practice staying calm. Have things planned out to say when your children misbehave and practice using them.
- Sing the ABC Song. Before you say anything to your children when you are angry, sing the ABC song. Sometimes just taking a minute to regroup is all you need to keep from losing your cool.
- It's okay to say you're sorry. If you do lose your temper, it is okay to say you're sorry. It does not make you ineffective to say you're sorry. Think about when someone loses his/her temper with you. Doesn't an "I'm sorry" make you feel better?
- Take a walk or get some exercise. Physical exercise is a great stress reliever. You can try taking a walk outside with the kids.
- Get some time away from your kids. This is sometimes easier said than done. If you can, get your husband or someone else to watch the kids for a while so you can go out or do something for yourself.
- Have a support system. A support system can be as simple as family, a few friends you can call, a church, or a moms' group. Find someone you can call when you are stressed or need to unwind.
- Practice meditation. Meditation is a relaxation technique that helps many people combat stress and negative emotions.
- Try Aromatherapy. Having calming scents in the house can help to create a more peaceful mood.