INSIDE: What do you get when you squeeze an orange? Orange juice! What do you get when you squeeze and overwhelmed, exhausted mom? ANGER! Here are 5 ways you can break the angry habit and stop being “an angry mom.”
I was exhausted and just trying to survive for the first few hours of my day. With 3 school-age children, a challenging toddler, and an infant, managing my children during that 1 single hour before (and after) school was always so incredibly stressful! I never had enough patience to go around. Even if I started off well, I always lost my patience at some point with one or more of the kids. By the time my older 3 left for school, I had transformed into an ANGRY MOM.
Are you an ANGRY MOM?
- You yell first and ask questions later (if ever).
- You use an irritated tone with your kids no matter what you are saying to them. (If you aren’t sure if you do this, ask a close friend who will be honest with you.)
- You dread your kids waking up in the morning, from a nap and/or coming home from school.
- Even hearing your kids laugh and play can be annoying. (Ugh – I don’t want to admit this was ever true of me, but it is!)
Unfortunately, I began to form a habit of being angry because I was so used to reacting that way towards my family. And you don’t have to be a mom to form this bad habit! Reacting in anger can be your default at work or just in general.
So what can you do about it?
ACCEPT THE CIRCUMSTANCES
Focus on the positive things that are going on around you in the midst of the chaos. When you feel the anger starting to bubble below the surface, say 5 things out loud that you are thankful for. As hard as it may seem at first, this gets easier the more you do it! (Using a daily Gratitude Journal is a great way to do this.)
NEEDS ARE VERY DIFFERENT THAN WANTS
Yes, there are times when we have a pounding headache and NEED quiet! Other times, we allow our selfish tendencies to creep in and we just want to be left alone. Determine when you actually need a break and when you are being overly harsh out of personal preference.
GRACE SHOULD BE GIVEN AND RECEIVED
Kids will be kids, right? Well, yes, actually! So be gracious when they act like it. When you overreact to their childishness, ask for forgiveness, and accept grace from them when you mess up. (read more about Childishness vs Disobedience here)
RESPOND, DON’T REACT
The kids are fighting so you swoop in to “deal with it” without any real care for what is going on. Sound familiar? Next time – stop, breathe, ask, listen, and then respond. Handling the situation calmly can be challenging, but you will find you are able to actually resolve the conflict and may even prevent it from reoccurring.
YES- USE THIS WORD WISELY
Sometimes we say “yes” because it is easier to give in than fight the battle we know it inevitable if we say no. BUT this actually sets us up for more battles down the road and also leads to confusion about what your expectations are. Consider the long game before answering and be consistent as often as possible.
Breaking bad habits is HARD
When life starts to squeeze, you still may get angry, and sometimes you will have a valid reason. But sometimes, if you are being really honest, you are just being selfish. Either way, it doesn’t really matter.
The more often you practice these 5 ways to break the ANGRY habit, the more you will be able to control your temper and stop being an Angry Mom.
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