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