1. Take care of your basic needs
Especially in this day and age, moms tend to juggle so many tasks, often walking a career path while having a family life. Unfortunately, a high percentage of women are still in charge of most of the house chores and child care, besides working outside the home at the same time.
According to Gallup News, Women still handle main household tasks in U.S., among 12 categories, men only manage 2 types of duties more often than women: yard work and keeping the car in good condition. But of the other 10 chores, 8 are mostly done by women, including laundry, cleaning the house, preparing meals, caring for children on a daily basis, and grocery shopping.
In terms of domestic duties, we moms still do more work than our husbands, and these tasks are not only time-consuming but physically demanding. Lifting hefty kids daily to wash them and put clothes on them, juggling heavy pots and pans, wrestling with a bulky vacuum cleaner and dragging around a basket full of laundry.
Mom, you really need to take care of yourself, even if that is easier said than done with never-ending chores. When your body pays the toll for all that hard work you keep dutifully loading onto your day, it is hard to cope with your struggle emotionally.
Force yourself to take regular breaks, even if it’s just ten minutes here and there to catch your breath, grab a cup of coffee and nibble a snack.
2. Do not take it personally
We often get irritated when we feel like we are not managing our day well enough, whether from physical exhaustion or a high-stress level. That’s when we feel our self-esteem plummet along with our self-love. As luck would have it, this is usually the moment when your child screams back at you or refuses to listen, just when their attitude is most capable of piercing your heart like a sharp blade.
Children express their confusion, need, dissatisfaction, fear, and boredom with crying and screaming mostly. It is nothing about you that makes them act that way – they just do not know any better way to express their uncomfortable feelings.
3. Understand kids cannot think on your level
It would be great if our children could think and act in the mature and thoughtful ways that we do. But they need time to grow, and you have to remember that their childish manners will not be with them forever. When their silly actions and words anger you, just breathe and let them be children. The important thing is you will be there to help them grow into amazing adults, and they need all your patience and understanding to get there.
4. As much as kids need you, you also need them
That soft warm feeling of cuddling your child cannot be replaced by anything in this world. When you feel riled up from all the day’s chores and the unfinished work piling up on your desk, take a deep breath and just get down next to your child and cuddle with them. Watch them talk to you and watch how they play, breathe in their scent and feel their soft hair brushing your chin. Forget all the other things waiting for your attention for a while, such as your child’s extracurricular activities or the nutrition of your picky eater.
When you’re having a difficult day, ask your child, “Baby, come to mommy. Could you hug mommy for a while? I’m having a really difficult day.” Your child will not only gladly hug you, they will also seek out your warm cuddles when they are having a tough day.
5. Your anger can actually scare kids without visible signs
Even though your kids talk back and scream, when you raise your own voice, they can fear you – though they might not show it.
According to Persistent Fear and Anxiety Can Affect Young Children’s Learning and Development by the Center on the Developing Child, Harvard University, when children are exposed to persistent fear during the developmental process, they may not develop healthy patterns of threat/stress regulation.
We want our children to be more cooperative and listen to us, so we can get on with our day without struggling every step of the way. But as much as we want our children’s cooperation, we never want them to succumb out of fear.
6. No one wants to be yelled at, even when they are wrong
Simply expressing your frustration with anger can hurt your child’s feelings. They might miss your point entirely, and wind up thinking about you in ways that are totally opposite to what you intended.
You want them to know that what you want is to teach them to do the right thing and learn the right manners. But what happens if all they take from you is that they are not good enough to make you happy, and that you do not love them?
One day’s explosion will not change your child’s mind about you, of course. But if your physical and mental exhaustion push you to lash out at your kids daily, you are slowly chipping away at your precious relationship with your child. However small and invisible it might be in the beginning, if your anger stays with you every time you deal with your child, that little chip eventually becomes a visible crack that can become a gaping hole.
7. Lower your expectations
If we want any relationship to last long and stay pleasant, the shortcut is to lower our expectations. As simple as that may sound, it can be really hard, which is probably why it works so well.
If you do not expect anything, even a small, kind gesture can trigger your smile. But if you are expecting things that are never going to happen, your frustration will grow tremendously.
8. Be ready to correct your child 999 more times on that one wrong behaviour you just yelled about
Along with lowering your expectations, if you just told your child not to toss his socks under the bed, get ready to repeat that 999 times more. Guess how happy you are going to be when you’ve only said it 450 times, and you see his socks drooping over the edge of the laundry hamper.
Like getting your husband to not leave the toilet seat up, it is really hard to change another person’s behaviour with our words. Only patience and time can help you.
9. Focus on praising your child’s good behaviour
If you wrack your brain, even your most naughty child will have one or two things that make you nod in approval. It can be as small as being the first to come to the dinner table, or being the one who actually enjoys taking a bath, unlike his siblings.
Start with that one small thing and tell him how happy you are for that. You might be surprised how hard he is willing to think about what else he could do to get more of your sweet words, instead of getting yelled at.
If the praise does not change your child as a whole, it will definitely stir up some warmth between you – especially in that child’s heart.
10. Reduce the burden on your overloaded shoulders
Being a mom is hard because most of us cannot take a solo vacation from it every year, or quit altogether. We moms always have more than enough people to care for, but not many people to care for us when we are down.
When you feel sick, the last thing you want to do is get up and move around. But what do we do as a mom? We get up. Because there are chores to be done and mouths to feed.
However tough you might be, this mommy role can definitely take its toll on you at times. Before burnout hits you, please find a system that works for your family, so you can manage your day without falling apart in front of your kids. For example, reach out for help if you can, or if your kids are big enough, utilize a chore chart to your children to chip in.
How does an angry parent affect a child?
An angry parent can frighten a child, increasing their anxiety. According to the article, The Long-Lasting Effects of Yelling at Your Kids on Healthline, angry parents can have long-term effects on their kids, like anxiety, low self-esteem, and increased aggression. Parent’s angry yelling makes children more aggressive, physically and verbally, as well as scaring them and making them feel insecure. Moreover, it could make children susceptible to bullying, since it skews their understanding of healthy boundaries and self-respect.
In conclusion, Your anger doesn’t just jump out of nowhere, but more likely builds up slowly until it reaches the top and bursts out of you. Catch it before it happens by monitoring your mood throughout the day and the week.
When you get overwhelmed by the amount of tasks you have to deal with and notice yourself starting to snap at your kids more than usual, your stress level is rising and your patience is drying up.
Clear your head by organizing thoughts in a notebook or on your phone. Whatever can wait, set aside to a later date and focus only on the things you can manage for the day. If your children add extra work by acting out or do not follow the routine, do not think of it as a failure. We all have days that don’t go according to plan.
Your health and sanity are much more important than worrying about delaying the laundry or skipping your kid’s storytime.
Take a breath. Cuddle yourself tightly in your arms. You’ve done enough for your family for one day, and you are an awesome mom. You are the one your kids would never trade for anyone in this world.
Please leave your comments on how you manage your rough days to keep from getting angry at your kids. I would love to hear from you!