{SQT} Seven Ways To Stop Anger From Stealing Your Day

seven quick takes friday 2

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.)

anger management

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!


25 thoughts on “{SQT} Seven Ways To Stop Anger From Stealing Your Day

  1. Thanks for this! You and I are on the same wavelength – I’ve been such a grump lately and every time I yell I feel like the worlds worst mother. All of these are such great suggestions.

  2. Oh, boy, did I need this today! I’ve been yelling at my grandchildren so much that it is not even funny! On the other hand, if you knew my grandchildren . . . 😉

  3. My week certainly had its moments – at some point I handed the toddler over to a sister because I just couldn’t take it anymore! Actually making the point to step back and think why your buttons are being pushed is the hardest thing, I find. Thanks for posting these takes to fall back on x

  4. Thank you so much. It is so good to know I’m not the only one struggling. And to read real advice, not just “Don’t yell or you’re abusive”

  5. I think the hardest thing about parenthood is that it’s always your fault, even when it isn’t, you know? The injustice of the whole thing is enough to make you angry even without provocation.

  6. Great list. I’d add to it, making sure all children are also properly fed and rested. Because they have as hard a time as we do behaving well on a badly-fueled tank.

  7. #6 Don’t engage

    Best advice for a 13 year old dealing with middle school drama. Currently went through this one, and advised to be patient and doing get trapped. My child overwhelmed asked me to step in, because it wasn’t going away and we could document the passive aggressive/trying to get a reaction type behavior. I wrote the email the teacher, but my child was great as to explaining herself exactly what was occurring and simply wanting the other student to stop it. You don’t have to like everyone or be their friend, you just can’t be a jerk. Not that I like calling someone else’s child a jerk. But well, just stop it. OK, you don’t like my daughter.
    And if was my daughter being a jerk, tell your parent/teacher and I’ll talk to her.

  8. I find the time change is always hard on me, let alone the kids. Everyone is hungry and tired at the wrong times. Multiply that by eight people and over the course of a week it’s enough to use up all my will power. By Tuesday. So then I let everything slide. School, chores, mess, behavior. And then everyone is yelling, especially me! Just when I’d been patting myself on the back for doing better lately. I’m not glad you had a hard week, but I’m glad to know I’m not alone! Time for the sign of the cross. 🙂

  9. thank you for this. Last confession when I mentioned my anger, my priest said “No really what’s up with that? Always with the anger.” and then i had to stop myself from GETTING ANGRY WITH HIM 🙂 sheesh

  10. Bless you for being an honest mom, and apparently my twin for this week!!! I hear you, and to borrow another momma blogger’s term, we’re momrades – you’re not alone in this army trying to raise kids! I’m pretty sure this is part of our path to sainthood. Surely these years the martyrdom and punishment – and when they’re grown and good people adults, that’s the miracle?

  11. This is so beautiful, Kelly, and great reminders for me as I pray and work for constructive use of my own anger. I have actually found much healing and freedom in yelling at God since I learned of the psalms of lament where the bible totally endorses and God like a loving parent totally welcomes getting it all out into those loving arms and big shoulders. And on the heartbreaking retreat after the death of my oldest (nursing toddler, car accident, originally planned as 18 month weaning celebration) the sister who was my spiritual director told me “I had the most profound mystical experiences of my life when I started cussing God out.” She pointed out that if I felt that way inside God already knew it–that whole omniscience thing –and would rather I release it in prayer than be ripped up inside or take it out on someone (DH, for instance). I found it very true and healing and so have my own directees, especially survivors of abuse, over the years.

  12. These are excellent points, Kelly! Way to persevere through the tough days-you’ve got this! (or at least, God’s got this, and He’s holding you!) I would also add (for me at least) that going outside is super important! Every time I feel like I’m about to flip my lid, I try to get outside, even for 5 minutes. Being in fresh air, in a different setting and out of a stressful atmosphere helps me out tons on many occasions! In fact, when my husband and I had several of the tougher conversations or disagreements during our engagement, we would usually have them outside, when walking around, which always seemed to help me cool off.

  13. Totally identify, and I find it is so hard to enforce the necessary rules when I am exhausted and burned out. Great post.

  14. I hear you Kelly!
    I tend to slip into obstinate teenager mode and ignore my own responsibilities & routines.
    Sleep, healthy eating and keeping up the basic routines & consistent consequences seem to be key to keeping our ship sailing, but I think you make a great point about being silly too!

  15. Thank you for posting this. I have been struggling with this awfully lately. As for #6 … I have three littles–3.5 and two that turn 2 next week–and I find myself yelling at them and saying things as if they are adults who should know better. Yikes.

    It’s such a vicious cycle, being “angry mama” and then feeling the crushing guilt that follows and breaks down my emotional reserves even further so that “angry mama” comes back on the heels of my resolutions to do better.

  16. I don’t have kids, but most of these are applicable to everybody! Working in customer service means my blood pressure spikes about 18 times before lunch some days. In truth though, it’s often not (just) about the customer. It’s about not eating breakfast, or staying up late the night before, or “forgetting” to pray. These are great reminders!

  17. I’m so happy to hear that others have weeks like me as well!! I’ve noticed as soon as I become lax about my prayer life & dinner planning, everything goes downhill from there! I work 2 nights/week 7p-7a, and if I don’t work in nap time for myself, I may as well wave the white flag for that following day.

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