It’s been a rough week. I really needed another week off after the craziness of my previous week off, however, I do want to be able to wrap the school year up before next September so, back to work it was.
My kids would be quick to tell you I’ve been yelling a lot. I’ve been in angry mom mode most of the time. It means that by the end of the day I’m emotionally spent, usually feeling like the world’s worst mother and pledging to myself and my kids that I’ll do better tomorrow.
Sometimes, it’s just an off day. Other times, it really is a persistent funk that I have to conscientiously work myself out of. And I’ve found it doesn’t help to save those Pins that promise to help me “yell less”. If I’m already to the point where I feel like yelling, not yelling equals bottling it up which simply means more internal anger that’s got to find a way out later.
The trick is to prevent myself from becoming angry or annoyed in the first place. As I thought about what was setting me off, day after day, I could easily see the patterns. When I thought to times when our home ran the smoothest, it was when all the following conditions were met. Here now, seven ways to deal with or prevent angry days (and where I’m failing exactly.)
1. Pray. The obvious one right? Yet how often when we’re frazzled and pushed do the brink do we actually stop and pray? (Yelling or cursing at God doesn’t count.) When I’m having a bad week, I also often fall out of the habit of daily prayers. Instead, I decompress by surfing the internet, laying in bed avoiding the world or reading a magazine. Maybe I should try this instead?
2. Take breaks. Put on a kiddie show, send everyone to their beds to read, whatever! But stop what you’re doing and calm down. Don’t wait until you’re ready to explode. I should’ve taken a break here and there after the crazy week and weekend I had; gone to daily Mass solo, spent an hour alone in my bedroom reading, or even taken a long walk in the evening or early morning. But I didn’t, I just jumped right into the next week and have tried to push through ever since.
3. Take care of yourself. While I’ve been pretty good about getting at least seven hours of sleep, my eating has been insane. I’m eating stuff I know will make me sick out of sheer laziness and frustration and consuming higher levels of caffeine than normal. What a vicious cycle! I’m a fool if I think treating my physical body like crap will equal a cheerful demeanor (or clear complexion).
4. Plan ahead. I’ve been doing bare minimum meal planning which always leads to the previously mentioned lousy food bingeing and last-minute meal stress. It’s been every man for himself at breakfast, lunch and snack times which always bothers me because around here that means seven people (two in massive powerchairs) cramming into our kitchen, making a huge mess and usually still complaining about hunger within an hour. Plus, by 5:30, any potential dinner is still a solid rock in the freezer. When you consider the rest of my week was planned to that same bare minimum level, it’s easy to understand why no one knows what the heck is going on around here and I need to yell and repeat instructions throughout the day.
5. Everyone has to follow the rules or face the consequences, always. When I think to the incidences that really pushed my buttons I see situations that I let get out of hand. My children were allowed to not finish work or turn in work not completed neatly or correctly. I tolerated bad attitudes, slacking, and violations of our screen contract. If I stop enforcing the rules, can I really get mad when the kids misbehave? And can I blame them for yelling or arguing with each other when I’m freaking the freak out about every. little. thing? Somebody put me in time out!!
6. Don’t engage. I’m a grown woman but man, when one of my kids gets mouthy with me I have a hard time letting it go. Often times, the situation could be easily diffused with no tears or yelling if I would just simmer down and not try to force my point or get in the last word. I don’t have the time or energy to get into battle of wills with my kids over every little thing; why do I try???
7. Be silly. Your’s truly was the least joyful, most sour-faced grump ever. The only time I remember laughing was when an argument between my daughters got so ridiculous I couldn’t help myself. (Which didn’t help.) I even forgot to break out my fairy princess voice and dance moves. Without some light-hearted moments, everything felt heavy and everyone was pulled down.
Thankfully, I can always choose to do better, and my children, God bless them, still love me flaws and all. Occasional bribes/ gluts of Halloween candy help too. (For them, not me. See above.)
Now I’d love to hear how your week was by comparison. Write it down then link it up. Remember to include a link back to this post so your readers can find the rest of the Quick Takes. I look forward to reading your posts!