If there is one thing that every mother on earth has in common with other moms it is that we have all lost our shit a few times. Yes- we also have many other things in common despite our differences, but we all unconditionally love our children, we all want them to be happy and healthy, and our love runs so deep that we would be willing to sacrifice our life for our child if it came down to it. Not to beat the point to death, but we all love our children deeply, but sometimes they can be downright little jerks and when you add that onto an already stressed and frazzled momma, the result is ‘momma losing her shit! We have all been there at some point and to varying degrees- we have slammed doors, cussed, yelled, snapped on our spouse, snapped on our kids, snapped on the nearest passerby. It isn’t something to be proud of and we would be mortified if people outside our house observed our adult tantrum, but let me tell you a little secret- every mom has been there so it is time we have an open conversation about it! It isn’t glamorous, it makes us feel like crappy moms afterwards in addition to feeling guilty, ashamed, and embarrassed. We have ALL been there so maybe it is time to let that shame go, learn lessons from it, and take comfort in the fact that perfect parents simply DO NOT EXIST! Here are some helpful tips to help you reset after you have lost your cool!
1. Take a ‘Mommy Time Out’
Yes- just like when your child is throwing a tantrum and needs some time alone to cool down, this goes for you too, Momma! When you are in the middle of your mom-rage, don’t add fuel to the fire by continuing to stand in the flames. Remove yourself from the situation, even if that means you have to lock yourself in your bedroom and scream into your pillow. Your kids will be fine, I promise. We have all been at this point at sometime throughout our journey of motherhood and it isn’t pretty. Taking your time out will help you regain your cool and reset your mood and behavior.
2. Forgive Yourself
Dwelling over a mistake you have made is literally going to get you nowhere and I promise you will never feel better if you beat yourself up. We all have bad days, we all lash out, we all mishandle situations… we are human after all. It is one thing to feel guilty over losing your shit, but don’t wallow in your guilt as it will only make you feel worse. Pick apart the steps that led you to lash out and see where you could have improved and take those lessons with you to help prevent the situation from happening again.
Did you scream at your spouse? Snap on your kids? Treat someone poorly? Own up to your mistakes, apologize for the behavior, and ask for forgiveness. Don’t be that person who refuses to take responsibility over their actions, words, or behaviors. Check your ego at the door and remember that there is NO SHAME in owning your shit! This is a powerful lesson to teach your children, too! Showing your children that the all-powerful mom can sometimes act out of line and then taking that responsibility for it teaches them invaluable lessons of humbleness, taking ownership, and asking for forgiveness. Side note- if you lost your cool because of a behavior your child did, it doesn’t mean that they are not in trouble. It just means that you are taking ownership over how poorly you reacted…
4. Reiterate Your Love for Them
After you have apologized, it is equally important to reiterate your love for your children. They can be feeling remorseful, regretful, and upset just as much so it is important to show them just how much you love them. Play with them, read books to them, snuggle with some popcorn and watch a movie, the list goes on… Make sure you make quality time a priority post apology! You don’t want your kids to feel badly about your lack of emotional control so show them that you love them no matter what!
5. Create a New Plan of Action
WTF does that even mean? It means you need to reprioritize your life. Start with what caused you to lose your shit- how can you prevent that from happening again? Figure out new ways to set your environment and relationships up for success. Did you wake up feeling rushed and frazzled and the perfect storm was created when the kids began arguing over which shoes to wear when you were already running late? To avoid that next time, maybe try waking up a little earlier and maybe have the kid’s outfits and shoes set out every night to avoid a potential argument. Re-examine what set you off in the first place and take preventative measures to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
Remember what I said about forgiving yourself and not feeling guilty? Much easier said than done, I know- but it is so important. Once you have reset, it is important to remember previous mommy-melt downs and take away the lessons you have learned to help prevent them from happening in the future. One of the things that I personally try to do is to think and speak rationally when I am on the ledge of losing my cool. I also take my mommy-time-outs before I am at my wit’s end. When I am starting to feel on edge, I make sure I do something that grounds me and forces me to think clearly like exercise, reading a book, or taking the wild kids on a bike ride. I distract myself from my erratic thoughts and force myself to reset before I get to that point. Does this mean I will never lose my shit on my kids? Absolutely not! It just means that I make conscious decisions to help prevent that from happening by communicating my needs, taking time outs before I lose my cool, and when I do lose my cool- it isn’t as intense as it used to be. As moms, we should always be trying to work on ourselves not only as parents, but as people. Personal development is so important because it can help you get rid of unwanted behavior patterns and help you live a more peaceful and fulfilling life.