I’m writing here after a long and difficult day, where emotions ruled. I decided to take some time to reflect upon the day and then write about it. It’s one way I’m choosing to channel those frustrations.
One thing I’ve come to realize is that it’s ok to be frustrated. Yes, it’s perfectly ok to get upset and let yourself be angry. You’re strong and amazing, but you’re also human. I originally thought I had to be composed all the time and never let the world see me be vulnerable. But then everything got bottled up, and eventually they all heard it anyway. You can be strong while also expressing how you feel. Sometimes it’s harder for us to say what’s going on because we don’t think the people around us will understand. I’ve been there. But it really does help to get the words out, just try it.
How does this expression of true emotion translate to how we react around our children? That’s a different story. Yes, we’re human and we will lose our temper sometimes, but it’s important to try not to react in front of them.
Today I was tested quite a bit. As I stated before, my son doesn’t like to leave school and cries the entire car ride home. In the past few days, this has become a much bigger problem. He now starts hitting me as I take him to the car. Elijah rarely hits and we typically do not have many behavioral issues with him. This is one of the few consistent situations where behavior is becoming a problem.
So he cried the whole way home and he cried once we got through the door. It really didn’t look like it was going to end anytime soon so I went into the kitchen to get him a snack and he screamed. He threw himself on the floor and cried so hard his face began to turn red. He kept pointing in the kitchen, and was trying so hard to communicate but he just couldn’t find a way. The crying and screaming got so bad that at one point I had to turn my back to him and compose myself. If I’m being honest, I almost cried. I felt overwhelmed, sad and stressed out. And then I realized, if I’m feeling this way, he must be feeling it 10 times worse. I picked him up, brought him into the kitchen and let him grab his snack off the counter. I still don’t know what had him so upset, but he did calm down… And so did I.
I haven’t always been able to calm myself down so successfully and I’m grateful that I’ve gotten much better about it. If we get stressed, it will only stress our children out even more. Try to save it for when you have some alone time or someone you can talk to about it, or even just a moment to walk into another room, take a deep breath and compose yourself. It can make all the difference.
There are going to be days that are more difficult than others and I’ve learned that bottling up those frustrations only leads to more stress. I find that talking to my husband about these tough moments is helpful. Because I am a stay-at-home mom, I pick Elijah up from school, I do the grocery shopping with him, and I seem to encounter him at his most challenging times. By communicating this with my husband and close friends, they are able to grasp the bigger picture. It makes sense why it’s not a good idea to bring him to that birthday party or why he’s acting out in certain situations. Even if they can’t understand or relate to the situation, I want them to be informed.
Those frustrating times can feel like a burden, and it’s ok to let yourself feel that emotion. Don’t carry that extra emotional weight around by yourself, let someone else help you.