...because we all have our motley moments!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

G-R-O-U-C-H-Y Spells Mommy

I normally NEVER raise my voice at my kids. I usually talk them through their behavior, offering choices and calmly doling out consequences. "Keep your hands to yourself, or you will go to your room for timeout. It's your choice." Praise comes easily, and I usually have no problem finding something good to hoot over. "You went poops in the potty? Wow! What a BIG GIRL!" "Thank you for putting your plate in the dishwasher without even being asked. Great job!"

But that is not the Mommy heard around our house these last two weeks. I can hardly stand myself sometimes. My poor children bear the brunt of this growly grouch that snaps and snarls at my kids for the slightest provocation. I try not to roar, but I'm afraid I've let loose a few too many times lately. Why? Fighting off a cold, not sleeping well, and, quite honestly, facing a lot of changes in our lives has me apologizing to the kids daily...sometimes several times in a day. I just can't find my patience. "LET'S GO! GET A MOVE ON!" "If you don't climb up into your car seat in two shakes, your bottom's gonna be hurtin'!" "WHO FLUSHED THE BROKEN POTTY???!!!"

The bad thing is, this is a vicious cycle. When I get upset with my kids, it just escalates their behavior. They see me throwing Mommy versions of a temper tantrum and they just give it right back. This has GOT to stop. I don't want to be this kind of mom. My stress is totally transferring to the kids, and they are just innocent bystanders. Little witnesses to my "Monster Mom" transformations.

I'm tired of apologizing to my little ones and feeling guilty for my behavior. I have a feeling part of my problem is a total lack of exercise. Exercise is so good in so many ways: it releases "feel good" chemicals in your brain to improve your mood, it's a great outlet for aggression, it helps to reduce stress, and your body just works better when it works out regularly. So I'm thinking I need to get my move on, for me AND for the sake of my family. They'll never thank me for not roaring at them, but they might never get over it if I don't find a way to banish the grouch.

What do you do when you feel "Monster Mom" coming on?


Liz said...

I turn into a monster when I'm hungry. It happens to all of us. You're absolutely right about the exercise, though. I hope you're feeling back to your old self soon!

Donna said...

Thanks! I hope so, too!

Maria said...

I'm just amazed that you've just now become grouchy with the kids! It is a daily battle with me. When we've had a rough day, then I make sure that at bedtime we clean the slate off and I apologize. They usually apologize for whatever they did to set me off too. Then it's a lovefest and all is well with the world.

I guess they are learning that I am not perfect and that they don't have to be perfect either. What matters is forgiveness and the promise that our love is unconditional no matter what the behavior is.

I know what sets me off is being hurried so, I try my best to give myself enough time to get to and from places. I also try not to plan too many things in one day. Easier said than done, but I'm trying.

Sherrie said...

I agree with Maria, when I am in a hurry, all patience and reason leave me completely! I usually bring it on myself by trying to "just get one more thing done" before we go out the door. In my mind it only takes seconds to change over a load of laundry. But in reality it takes 3 or 4 interruptions and before I know it, I am 15 minutes behind where I think I was. This is when I become the MONSTER MOM. By the time we are all in the car, I take the time to apologize and try to make a mental note of allowing more time. I think that I just have to focus on leaving, and not doing household chores! :)

Donna said...

Maria and Sherrie, you both hit on a good point. It's so easy to get caught up in my own personal agenda. I sometimes forget that kids function best on a slow schedule.

My grouchy mood hasn't just affected my kids, though. I find myself getting overly snarky with my friends and expecting my poor husband to just telepathically know what I'm thinking, how I want something done, what I want, etc. I have even stressed myself out these past two weeks! I'm sick of the grouch!

Hopefully, I will have a good report for you by my next post. This week is Vacation Bible School, which I am helping with, then we head for the mountains and our little cabin in the big woods. I need some serious R&R!

Karly said...

I don't know about anyone else, but it always makes me feel better when I hear about other mommies being grumpy. It just shows me that I am not the only one, so I don't feel so bad. All of us get grumpy at times. This parenting gig is a strenous, round the clock, all-encompassing job. So when you get sick or tired or stressed or all of the above, the end result is a grumpy mommy.

I find chocolate, Starbucks, and a pedicure (preferably all in rapid succession) to be a great prescription for eliminating my grouchiness. Hmm, I think maybe I am feeling a little grumpy right now....

Donna said...

Ha! Ha! You're hilarious, Karly! I'll have to try your prescription for bad moods. Chocolate and espresso are two of my favorites!