What can we do as a mum when we’re feeling frustrated by our child, their attitude or their behaviour? We’ve all been there, it happens to all of us. Feeling frustrated can be the first step in a cascade towards anger and us ending up yelling at our children and then the guilt of yelling. So how can we stop it before we start to fall down this cascade and end up being the type of parent we don’t want to be?
There are 3 easy things that you can do to help reduce your levels of frustration and ease the pressure so that you can help avoid the anger cascade that so many parents who are faced with frequent challenges fall into.
1. Walk Away
If you’re starting to feel frustrated, if you can hear it in your voice, or feel it in your body (often in your stomach or notice your heart or breathing quicken), then walk away. This is, of course, assuming that you’re in a place where you can walk away for a minute or two. When you walk away and remove yourself from the stressful situation you reduce its effect on you. When you walk away, take three deep breaths. Perhaps repeat to yourself a mantra or an affirmation.
“Calm” or “I am feeling calm and relaxed”
Once you’ve done this, then return to the situation and manage it. You’ll find it a lot easier!
A quick note, if you can’t walk away then still take the deep breaths and say a mantra or affirmation, just keep going for as long as you need to while still in your child’s presence until you can step away.
2. Gain Perspective
Often when we’re feeling frustrated at our children, we’re looking at them, their behaviour, what they are doing and what they should be doing, from the perspective of an adult. A quick way to change how you’re feeling about their behaviour or the situation you find yourself in, is to ask yourself “What’s going on for my child right now?” This simple question helps get you out of your head and moves you to the perspective of the children. It facilitates empathy and a solution to the problem as when you know (or can at least guess) what’s going on, then you can pinpoint a possible solution.
3. Get Some Help
Feeling frustrated on a regular basis is often an indicator of stress. Parenting can be hard work, and mums who are in the thick of it can be prone to chronic stress. Stress has a negative impact on our lives. It can make us not enjoy our children or being a parent. Individuals with chronic stress report a lower quality of life. It can impact our relationships with our partner or husband, family, and friends. It can affect our physical health and can be a contributor to perinatal or parenting depression.
Feeling stressed every day, hanging out for ‘wine time’ or overeating chocolate or junk food, is not the way to be a good mum. Our kids need us to be the best we can be (not perfection, just better than feeling bad about ourselves and our parenting) so that they can be the best they can be.
Offloading and debriefing with friends and family can be helpful, but unless they can help us with creating a plan to feel less stressed and move forward, then they can actually help us continue feeling stuck. Have a rant, but then contact a professional who specializes in parenting to help you out.
Have a coaching session with me. Get to the bottom of your frustration and get yourself enjoying life again. If I don’t think we’re a good fit, I have a number of services I can connect you with.
Feeling constantly frustrated is not a part of normal healthy parenting. It’s okay to have been this way in the past, now is the time to move on from it, let go of the mummy guilt about past behaviours and move to where you want to be.
Remember that our kids grow up too fast for us to be unhappy.
It’s okay to reach out for help
Here’s to your relaxed and happy parenting.