Temper Control: When Parenting Gets The Worst Of You

When I look at that title I keep thinking ‘temperature’ control. But that would be an odd post wouldn’t it. It’s all about temper Control. Although, our temperature can increase when raising two tiny beasts. Temperatures are sometimes through the roof and we need to let off steam into our fridges, and maybe scream a bit too.

Losing yourself in the chiller cabinet in Tesco becomes a brief escape for a mum, who’s kids are whining, bored and pretty agitated. I’ve been known to just stare at the fishfingers a little longer than most, I forget where I am and my mind drifts, becoming deaf to the noise of my children. It doesn’t control my temper, but it does cool me down when I get all hot and flustered.

I know I’m not the only one who transports their entire soul to some other place, completely leaving the stressful situation around them. I’ve seen mums do this while their attached babe keeps pushing the patience boundaries, they’ve probably been pushing those boundaries all morning. All sodding morning.

I’ve also seen the mums who completely lose their mind in public. You can tell a fraught mum by the way she shrieks her childs name, and the grunting to follow. I get it. Really, I get it! I’ve never been at that point where I’ve yelled in front of an audience of strangers, but I have fought back tears, ditched the trolley and left the shop. I’ve also carried on the shop whilst fighting back the tears – we needed milk.

Sometimes you’ll never win at parenting no matter which option you take.

But that’s ok. It’s ok to not feel ok. It’s ok to lose a little control, you’re a human being with emotions too. You’re probably doing this on little or no sleep, how unfair is that. It’s hard to swallow a tantrum easily when it was to follow whingeing all freakin’ morning.

When will it stop?! I sometimes scream out loud, at no one in particular. Because nobody listens anyway.Unless they’re listening to some kind of Disney Character. Then they’re all ears.

One thing I need to remind myself is that my children are more than just that. More than just my kids. They’re their own people and their feelings matter. I may stare at my son’s beetroot red face and think ‘why are you doing this?’, I’ve refused another pack of Cheddars, what’s the big deal? To them it is a big deal, a really big deal. From my perspective, it’d be similar to if we were having a take-away Friday night, and Mr Firstooth had to work. I’d be annoyed and disappointed.

Their reaction to some things is dramatic, confusing and loud. Extremely loud. But they’ve not learnt to hold in their feelings yet like we do, they’re expressing themselves. Ok, on occasion it’s probably because he’s hoping to ‘get his way’, but that tends to make me stand firmer in my decisions. Because as much as kids need their feelings to be heard and recognised, they need boundaries.

Boundaries which are usually set by a fraught, emotional mum. But who’s taking note on our actions? Everyone. Everyone takes note when you’re in public.

You know it’s about to get real when your kids give you ‘the look’, you know the one, the silent open mouth and screwed up face right before that horrible scream they subject us to. When you get this look, you know there’s no going back. There’s no calming the baby terrorist down and your only options are either Fight or Flight. Not literally fight, you’d get in trouble for that. But fight your emotions whether it’s anger, frustration or sadness. I feel it right in my gut when my kids are openly expressing their frustration and anger about something. It’s like being involved in a non contact battle, you’re a little emotionally bruised by tantrums, whining and the need to entertain these tiny people from the moment they wake to the moment they sleep.

I feel it some days where I can’t take another second of keeping calm. Some days I need to work on my temper control. I hate to admit that some days I spend half the time huffing and snapping at my sweet babes. Because sometimes they’re not sweet, they’re incredibly sour. They are awful to eachother and enjoy a juicy tantrum or suddenly become deaf to my voice. Only my voice. They hear Marshalls’ voice on Paw Patrol.

It takes every part of me not to throw a fish slice against the wall or the nappy bag at the car, when I’m listening to a tiny version of myself demanding the impossible. Or whining, just because whining sounds like a good idea for the next four hours of our day. Temper Control goes out of the window sometimes. Toddlers are unreasonable.

I’m not proud of losing my temper and getting upset or Mr Firstooth coming home to a tornado me. I hate that my children see me angry. But this is me, I don’t discipline in a soft way. Sometimes I do. I wish I could all the time. When I have tried the softer approach this tends to make my baby beasts more irate. Weird and incredibly frustrating right?

If you feel like some days you’re fed up with feeling fed up. You’re not alone. Most mums find parenting incredibly stressful, although many won’t admit it. I’ve had a week where I’ve felt more like miserable mum than the mum they’re used to, the mum that dances and sings through breakfast and makes sure we go out everyday whatever mood we’re all in.

I think the only thing we can do when parenting gets the worst of us, is to deal with our emotions as well as ours kids’. Let them ride out their anger, because they will get over it. Soon enough they’ll have forgotten they were upset or frustrated in the first place. It’s impressive how fast they do get over things (I know at the time you just want to scratch your eyes out). We need to let our emotions out too, we’re not robots and tantrums do affect us. Throwing a pillow or screaming in to one does help. I’m not being sarcastic, it really does. Not looking at your terror having a tantrum and breathing deeply is a good way to keep calm. I do this with bloodshot eyes and gritted teeth, but whatever works.

However you handle the tough parts of parenting, stay strong. It’s OK to lose your temper and it’s normal to feel guilty afterwards. Just remember our little dots need a big cuddle once they’ve calmed down, no matter how angry they or we were prior to this. You’ll need that cuddle too, it heals any anger and you can get back to playing with your Lego much quicker.

Temper Control

Sorry for the terrible quality, my selfie cam likes to soften the images. Probably for the best.

For more honest parenting posts, like our Facebook page, we can lose our temper together, or laugh at our hilarious children

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  1. March 12, 2016 / 9:19 am

    I look after my granddaughter, just turned two …and can relate to this! She knows just how to push the buttons..and make an ordinary task a marathon.I have to remind myself constantly that one of us is in control (me) is the adult (me) and is responsible for teaching her about life (also me). And then every now and then, I get the HUGE cuddles, and the cheeky grin and the ‘love gramma’ and it makes it all worthwhile

    • firstooth
      March 13, 2016 / 11:18 am

      I think just before age 2 is when they become very aware of what they’re doing and they become so sneaky and cunning. Yes it’s easily forgotten that we need to step up as sometimes our temper gets the better of us. It’s definitely worth it even for the laughs after a tantrum ”what was that about?!”

  2. March 13, 2016 / 12:19 am

    I think all parents can relate to this. Parenting can be so tough sometimes! I find it hard not to shout at my boys on a regular basis. I always have the best I intentions not to do so but like you say when they have been in a foul mood all day and have moaned at every little thing your temper is a lot shorter than usual and you snap!

    At least we know that we are not alone right?

    Thank you so much for linking up to #KCACOLS and I hope you come back again next week xx

  3. March 13, 2016 / 7:11 am

    I was intrigued to read this post because I’ve just written my own version which will publish this week! Fascinating to see where we cross over on thoughts and where we differ.

    Great post, I really enjoyed reading it. X

  4. March 13, 2016 / 7:56 am

    This is me! Most of the time I am the happy, kind mum I always thought and hoped I would be. Other times I just can’t be nice, especially when I feel that my boy is just deliberately thinking up new ways to drive me to distraction! I always feel terrible after I have shouted at him, so I try to step away from the situation before it happens, but often he just follows me wherever I try to seek sanctuary!
    I enjoyed this post.
    x Alice

  5. March 13, 2016 / 8:13 am

    We can all relate to this. It can be so hard at times, and at the moment I have a threenager who can drive me to distraction. I have never got to the point where I have raised my voice in public and like you said it wouldn’t achieve anything anyway. It can be so hard though and on those days we are counting down to bedtime! #KCACOLS

  6. March 13, 2016 / 10:03 am

    My toddler has just started to “test the boundaries” and I’m not the most patient person in the world at the best of times. I often find myself getting irritated and when I do lose my temper the guilty instantly sets in. #KCACOLS

  7. March 13, 2016 / 10:51 am

    I can totally relate (as I’m sure every parent can) I don’t want to lose my rag but there are times I come close! I have to remind myself Mini M isn’t at the age yet where I can reason with him so I have to be straight to the point & keep as calm as possible (easier said than done) #kcacols

  8. March 13, 2016 / 9:01 pm

    Ooh it’s hard isn’t it. My OH finds it almost impossible to back down/do the post tantrum cuddle but it’s probably the most important one! #KCACOLS

  9. March 14, 2016 / 1:01 am

    Yes, I think it’s like this for everyone sometimes. I am a pretty patient person, and I have never been quick tempered or struggled with anger but even so constant dealing with toddlers, as amazing as they also are, does get to you at times. #KCACOLS

    • firstooth
      March 16, 2016 / 6:50 am

      It’s a lot of pressure as a parent to get things right and try and parent the right way. But ‘right’ means something different to everyone, and children aren’t bothered about our expectations, sometimes they wake up in a bad or mischievous mood just like the rest of us x

  10. March 14, 2016 / 7:51 am

    I think most of us have had a moment of thinking ‘why?’. We usually get melt downs when Little Button is over tired. I usually end up thinking ‘why did I think this was a good idea…!’. An interesting read for #MarvMondays

  11. March 14, 2016 / 8:09 am

    Great post hun. I have a temper and it is so bad if my girly plays up and I’m tired or ill. I’m getting better at biting my tongue or hubby takes over before I blow. I feel awful shouting at her but am good at apologising and cuddling after. Parenting can be so stressful and they really know how to push your buttons xx #marvmondays

  12. yvette morgan
    March 14, 2016 / 9:30 am

    A honest well written post that i think every Mother can relate to, whether they publicly admit it or not, really enjoyed reading it x #bigpinklink

  13. March 14, 2016 / 10:49 am

    I completely get this. I feel so so guilty when I lose my temper but we all have bad days and it’s all soon forgotten when we can cuddle up together on the sofa with some chocolate milk. #kcacols

    • firstooth
      March 16, 2016 / 6:36 am

      The end of the day is where the slate is wiped clean and we can all have a but of respite

  14. March 14, 2016 / 2:35 pm

    This is just brilliant!! I related to all of it!! I am going through a particularly rough time at the moment of being snappy and shouty, and not showing my best side to my children. I wake up every day telling myself that I will regret not enjoying these days when they’re over, and that this will be a better day. But a few hours of incessant whinging, and epic tantrums later, I’m that woman fighting the tears, staring at something in the supermarket, drowning out her children’s screams and dreaming of a beautiful beach holiday, ALL ALONE! Then the guilt for feeling that way sets in, followed by guilt for not appreciating my children, not having patience, not being, well, better… I do wish more people would admit to the stress, I feel very inadequate when I see pictures on social media with hashtags like #perfectday #sobesotted, daily, from the same people! I don’t know why they can’t occasionally admit it’s just a bit shit, and make the rest of us feel better!
    Thanks so much for sharing with #bigpinklink!

    • firstooth
      March 16, 2016 / 6:35 am

      Thank you! We seem to have phases too where the kids will be in a bad and temperamental mood all week and on those weeks I count down until bedtime. Then I sit downstairs and think about how wonderful they are and what a horrible mum I am. But it really is impossible to keep up the charade of being calm when your patience is being tested, parenting is tough at times and it’s natural to feel that way

  15. March 14, 2016 / 5:53 pm

    A great post – it’s so important to be open on this topic. I lose my temper way more often than I’d like and it’s something I’m continually having to work on. Thanks for sharing #kcacols

  16. March 14, 2016 / 7:52 pm

    A really lovely post, I am yet to get to this stage as my baby girl is only 5 weeks old so still in that lovely exciting baby phase. xx

    • firstooth
      March 16, 2016 / 6:38 am

      You may be a parent who has very few stressful days. The newborn stage is so lovely xx

  17. March 14, 2016 / 7:58 pm

    Oh i so get you with this post! I have a tweenager and a stroppy 5 year old. The drive me and each other in sane! I have been know to raise my voice because quite simply, they won’t listen otherwise. If i raise my voice then they know enough is enough. I have been known to vacate to my bedroom for some calm down time on my own or to explode with Mr B arrives home. After all this though i always get a kiss and a cuddle for them both before they go to bed 🙂 #KCACOLS

  18. March 14, 2016 / 8:44 pm

    Toddlers can be such little tyrants can’t they! This seriously struck a chord as I didn’t even realise until I had A how easily I lost my temper and most of the time, I regret it immediately. I need to remember that he sees the whole situation differently to me. Thanks for linking up to #MarvMondays! Kaye xo

    • firstooth
      March 16, 2016 / 6:47 am

      They’re so curious and determined to find out what these boundaries are, that they’ll always push them. I feel terrible when I’ve shouted at my mini-me, but sometimes that’s the discipline they need. Sometimes I’m just being a grumpy cow though and they’ll get a hot chocolate at bedtime as an apology x

  19. March 14, 2016 / 10:01 pm

    I love this. Such an honest and genuine post. I have been particularly fraught today and found myself doing the polite but loud “Where are your trousers sweetheart? Please stop taking your trousers off when the hairdresser is due to arrive any second!!” All squeaked in an unnaturally high pitched and incredibly grumpy tone. Followed by what has felt like constant nagging of a similar nature, all, day, long. Inside I’ve been such a grouch I think that my eye was actually twitching at one point. I hate grumpy mummy, but like you say, we Mummies are human too. Thanks for sharing!
    Dawn x

    • firstooth
      March 16, 2016 / 6:45 am

      Thank you. I don’t think it’s said enough that it’s normal to get frustrated, being a mum doesn’t make us immune to anger, I wish it did though! That did make me laugh, I do the same semi-calm -semi-shouty talking. It shows that we’re at least trying to keep a lid on our shouty voices xx

    • firstooth
      March 18, 2016 / 8:10 am

      Thank you x

  20. March 18, 2016 / 9:23 am

    Great post 🙂
    Dot is just getting to the stage of screeching and mini tantrums. I forgot about the ‘joys’ of it all!
    Laura xx

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