The following is a guest post by Tabitha Pilen.
When you are trying to get your kids to obey without yelling, it feels impossible to stop being an angry mom.
But here’s a huge helping of hope for you, Mom… Overcoming the angry mom who lurks inside is possible.
You were struggling to end the bedtime battle and lost your temper for the umpteenth time this week.
Your anger boiled over like hot acid onto your children leaving all of you in tears. Now, you realize that something has to change. You must stop being an angry mom before your children are permanently damaged.
Welcome to the judgment-free zone, my sister.
How I stopped being an angry mom (and you can too)
As a recovering angry mom, I understand exactly how you feel because I was stuck in a habitual pattern of angry outbursts, constantly carrying the weight of failures like a backpack full of bricks.
But this is what I have learned… just because you lost your temper again doesn’t mean you are hopeless. You can stop being an angry mom with these practical tips:
S – Spend time taking care of yourself.
When I became a mother, I assumed a very self-sacrificing attitude.
In my mind, being a mother was synonymous with skipping showers and late nights. All of my energy was being poured into motherhood, and I had very little time left for taking care of myself.
The result wasn’t a “Mommy of the Year” trophy.
Instead, I was left feeling resentment towards 1) my husband who always found time to do what he loved, and 2) these little bodies who constantly needed my undivided attention.
T – Tame your inner thoughts.
As my attitude became embittered, my thoughts would run wild.
I had long, imaginary conversations in the shower, planning sour comebacks.
Instead of letting my thoughts create fictional scenarios that would leave me angry for no reason, I had to stop the giant snowball on its destructive path before it ruined everything (and everyone) I loved.
So, I chose to dismiss the negative thoughts as they came and spin each notion into a positive.
For example, instead of walking into the kitchen and becoming totally frustrated by the pile of garbage my husband forgot to take out, I look at the garbage and take a deep breath.
My thoughts come slowly: “My husband is easily distracted. He forgot to take out the garbage again but I am so thankful that he helps me with chores around the house. I wonder if there is a way I can help him remember the garbage each day?”
O – Open up to someone trust worthy.
The biggest lie you can tell yourself about being an angry mom is that no one else every feels this way.
Have your thoughts ever strayed like this: “All the other moms seem so perfect. No one I know struggles with anger. I must be a bad mom.”
An amazing thing happens when you find a trustworthy person to talk to about your emotional struggle; you will find that most people have the same problem.
You are not alone. You are not an unfit mother.
You just need someone to talk to.
P – Pay attention to your triggers.
When I began paying attention to my thoughts, I noticed there were times my fuse was shorter than others.
Keeping a journal of your moods can help pinpoint your triggers.
After your next anger episode, consider what you were feeling prior to the outburst. Write down anything you notice about how you feel, your environment, current stresses, etc. When you have a collection of entries, look for patterns.
Then, eliminate as many triggers as you can. I am not telling you to get rid of your husband and children. But, if the pots and pans come tumbling out of your cabinet every evening making you fly into a rage, take the time to organize the cabinet.
Flip your mood and stop being an angry mom
You can stop being an angry mom. Defusing your temper is possible.
Get even more help to change your emotions with my free printable, Flip Your Mood Fast, which includes 8 practical ways you can stifle the angry mother inside.
Chin up, friend! Keep striving to overcome your anger. Renew your hope for a peaceful home. You can become an even-tempered mother.
This is a guest post from Tabitha Pilen, who is a mom to four children ages 14 and under, is overcoming mommy rage and depression. Although not perfected, she continues the journey to complete recovery and invites you to join her through her book, Even-Tempered Mother. You can also find Tabitha writing about raising a family with sense on cents at MeetPenny.com.