All parents have had to deal with tantrums. Unless your child is some magical angelic unicorn, they’ve thrown themselves on the floor, kicking, screaming and wailing because of some horrible injustice like being handed the red cup instead of the blue. It’s easy to compare tantrum stories and laugh with other parents trying to earn top rank for having the kid with the most terrible of the terrible two’s.
But…what about when you were the one who had the tantrum? That’s not so easy to admit.
When mom throws a tantrum
I admit it, I’ve thrown some whopper of tantrums myself. I’m the most patient, loving and gentle mom most of the time. I amaze myself. Until I’m not so awesome anymore.
When I lose it, I lose it big. I’ve cried, screamed, yelled curse words, pounded on doors (because my freaked out daughter locked herself in her room because I turned into a Mom-ster) and even thrown a magazine across the room.
What makes us lose our cool?
We moms have a lot on our plates and wear so many hats. Most of us work fulltime on top of parenting, trying to keep up with household duties and attempting to maintain some sort of romantic relationship with our partner. Yeah, my husband has the same stuff going on, but most kids save the drama for their mama. We’re the ones dealing with vomit, 2 a.m. nightmares, boundary pushing and sassy attitudes. Sometimes it all piles up and we explode. Because we’re human and not perfect.
How do we get our sanity back and make things right with our kids?
Dr. Becky Bailey says “Be a S.T.A.R.” – that’s “Stop, take a deep breath and relax.” When I start to hear myself being ridiculous, I pull back. I might even say, “Listen, Mommy’s being crazy. I’m going to take a little time out and just sit here and think, then we’ll talk.”
Once I pull it together, I admit I was out of line, that it wasn’t the best way to handle things and apologize. Then we talk about what set me off.
When moms have tantrums, there’s usually something deeper going on, just like when our kids do. It’s rarely really about the red cup versus the blue cup, you know? It’s more likely to be about a child who is overtired or unsettled by something going on.
We’re patient and forgiving when our kids tantrum, so it’s important we give ourselves the same love when we do it. And it gives us a great chance to model apologies.