Anger is not something I ever thought I would address, because I have no formula for you. It is something I struggle with and I feel I have no basis to provide advice on it. However, I remember how isolated I felt as a young mother struggling with anger. I thought about the progress I’ve made, yet how often I still struggle. I felt the desire to, at the least, let mothers know they are not alone. I will also attempt to share what has helped me and what I continue to work on.
I have a short practical list of ways you can help yourself avoid getting angry. Sometimes there are valid reasons we get angry with our children, like if they’ve dumped all the dishwasher detergent onto the floor. Still, we should not get angry, but that is enough to try anyone. But other times, we snap for no known reason. Our patience is short and we are just plain irritable. I find these are the times I struggle the most. I believe these 5 proactive habits can help us be our best selves and avoid being a grouchy mommy.
1. Get enough rest. When we are fully rested, we are able to handle the ups and downs of the day with much more grace. I know that motherhood doesn’t exactly lend itself to being accommodating with out sleep. But, do your best!
2. Drink enough water. I read this tip years ago, specifically for having smoother days as mothers. I knew it was a healthy thing to do, but I hadn’t realized it would help so much mentally. It does.
3. Eat regularly. It’s the same as the water. We are always more irritable when we are hungry. This goes for our kids too! But it can be easy to forget about ourselves and making that a priority too.
4. Take some time each day for yourself. Ideally, more than one time a day. Of course, that’s from an introvert’s perspective! Carve out half an hour or so where the kids know not to bother you unless it’s an emergency. If you have any nappers, all or part of their naps are a perfect time. We’ve always had a quiet time in our home, and it’s vital to my mental health. Figure out how to have a little of that yourself.
5. Let go of unrealistic expectations. This goes for your kids and yourself. Often I’m angry with my kids because either I expect too much from them, or they’re preventing me from meeting an unrealistic expectation I have for myself. Having perspective and grace for everyone, yourself included, can relieve a lot of pressure that can cause us to explode.
I hope these are helpful to you. Have any tips for avoiding the angry zone?