Yesterday was a grey, wet, January day with added crud. Firstly I felt pretty blah, tired, unmotivated, and miserable for no good reason. Secondly the children have been challenging my patience levels enormously of late. They’re just being children, and siblings but basically enough already! It feels like I’ve been spending large chunks of my day either motivating them to get something done, dealing with squabbles or asking Robo boy, repeatedly, to please not teach his little sister to say poo, bum, head as it doesn’t go down well at toddler group. They’re definitely testing my anger management skills.
Then the universe decided not to play ball. Firstly my card wasn’t accepted whilst shopping online meaning no elastic glove holders for the kids, mildly frustrating. Then on the school run, an unfortunate lady at school accidentally brushed Wonder Girl’s face with her hand, and I assume her ring as she left a sharp little cut on her cheek, cue meltdown. Not good since I needed to get the boys to their post school swimming lessons.
Finally having calmed down Wonder Girl and got all the children strapped into their seats in the car I sat down ready to drive them to swimming class. Only the seat was in Purpledad’s driving position, and it was stuck. Usually you pull a handle underneath the seat whilst jiggling forward and it moves. Not today, it was stuck fast I jiggled, and pulled, and jiggled more. Finally, and believe me I’m deeply ashamed of this, I lost my rag!
I’m telling you this in the interests of self improvement. I’m taking responsibility for my actions hoping to find better anger management skills. So here goes. Yes I shouted, and I cried, and I may have roared a little. All with my worried looking children sat in the back of the car. As I said I’m deeply ashamed.
In the end my kind neighbour managed to jiggle just the right way and unstick my seat. I pulled myself together, drove to swimming and all was well but. The bit. The bit where I lost control is haunting me. I don’t want my children to have to see me lose control like that, it’s probably very scary for them to see the person they depend on, for virtually everything, in this state.
So I’ve written a list of ideas of things I can do next time I get stressed and angry. I propose that my first line of defence is to shut up. Not talking when I feel like the things I want to say are not constructive would mean not shouting at the children, or Purpledad, or being disrespectful when they’re making me cross. Next I’m thinking the good old classic deep breaths, concentrating only on my breathing and letting the frustration out via breath. If I need to I will take time away from the situation, especially if it’s the children arguing or suchlike that’s winding me up. Finally I will try to focus on why I’m angry and how practically in that moment to improve the situation.
What do you think dear readers? Do you get angry, and lose your rag? If not how do you cope, do you have strategies, I’d love to hear them.