Some days I just snap.

I don’t know what it is that officially puts me over the limit, but I have a hard time dealing with anger as a parent sometimes. I can’t tell if it’s a mix of frustration, exhaustion, busyness, depression or what, but some days are not very pleasant in our house. I would imagine juggling trying to work and parent adds to the intensity of the stress level. I am also feisty too, so I am sure that doesn’t help. I didn’t officially come from an Italian family but I sure feel Italian sometimes.

As a mom, I wonder why I often get pushed to my limits when I love my kids so much.

I feel like I’m pretty patient most of the time, but when something gets me fired up it’s hard to take a step back and calm down. I can easily see how this anger, if not managed, could lead to seriously destructive behaviors and outcomes. I’m thankful that it hasn’t gone to such an extreme in the scheme of things, BUT, it doesn’t mean it’s okay.

I also notice that when I snap, usually it’s within a string of a few days where I am extra irritated.

This time in my life is just hard.

I have an infant and specifically a toddler that tests me every darn day.

About 50x a day.

Wait, make that 50x/hour.

I can see it in her eyes. That look of defiance as she puts her little toe over into the re-stricted zone of the street while keeping laser-like focus on me, just waiting to see what my reaction will be. Or after spending two hours trying to get out of the house, everyone is finally dressed and ready to go, so naturally she decides to take off her shoes. Or when we are in the mall and she whines, leaves an epic path of destruction behind her as she touches everything in the store, and then finally spills my coffee all over the diaper bag.

It all adds up.

I think the last time I remember really snapping with no warning was when I was putting her in the carseat as we were leaving the gym. I was in a great mood (go endorphins), and then she kicked me in the pubic bone with one of her last minute tantrums. I freaked the s*** out, because that stuff hurts! I’m pretty sure I yelled “f***” and I’m sure if anyone saw this occur they would have been scared for my child’s safety (maybe exaggerating a little, but I was MAD). I literally went from 0-120 mph in 2.5 seconds. I also am not really a profanity user at all, but at that moment I was. It just happens. While it can be preventable, we are all human.

And we snap.

So how do we deal with anger while parenting?

1. Give yourself some grace.

This stuff happens sometimes, and you have to forgive yourself and forgive your child. Everyday is a new day. Try to keep that in perspective.

2. Find healthy outlets.

Get out of the house. Exercise. Hang out with friends. Get time away from the kiddos. You will totally come home feeling more refreshed and feel like loving your family more because you are not overwhelmed with all of the negative emotions that seem to quickly build when you are in the trenches of daily life. On a spiritual note, Jesus helps too :). Knowing that he desires peace for you and your family, and that this is most-likely just a season.

3. Don’t take yourself so seriously.

Sometimes we just get cranky because we are taking everything too seriously. Try to think about what it’s like to be a kid again. The joy you felt, the creativity, the exploration; wouldn’t it be nice to be a kid again? I also heard a fact, and don’t quote me on this, but toddler girls have just as many hormones flowing through their bodies as teenage girls. That’s a lot of sass and helps explain all of the tantrum tears.

4. Go on a date with your spouse.

It is positive for both of you to get out of the house and tend to your relationship. We are SO BAD at this because we always feel busy and tired, but it is something that we need to work on as our family gets bigger. When we are in a good place it seems to make everything in the house run a little bit smoother.

5. Do something fun as a family with no expectations attached.

Get your kids out of the house and do something fun with them. Try to choose something that you know will not create a lot of stress, and if it goes great then that is a victory, and if it doesn’t, lower your expectations and just remember how thankful you are to have your family.

6. Lower your expectations.

This goes along with most of it, but often in life we get upset because our expectations of someone or something were way too high. I totally see myself having way too high of expectations for my kids sometimes, which affects my attitude towards them. Sometimes I just to need to reset and remember that I have control over my own emotions and reactions towards my frustration.

Oh, and don’t forget about wine.