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?