Today a friend who has a newborn and a toddler was looking for advice after she had a bit of a shout and was feeling bad. This is what I said:
IMHO the biggest thing you need to adjust is the judgement you’re heaving on yourself. We all make sarcastic comments (they don’t understand, it’s OK) and we all lose it and shout. Last week I hurt myself while Wilde was nagging me and I howled in pain and anger like The Beast yelling at Belle. I beat myself up for days over the sight of Wilde sitting square shouldered on the bottom step looking at the door and sniffling “I waiting my Daddy come home.” Literally, I felt like hot garbage for days. We are all only human. To be very honest I think it does children a disservice when parents only ever act like SuperNanny robots. It’s ok for them to know that you too, have limits or that if they put pickles in the toaster that you will be cross.
In my experience those outbursts of frustration and anger come when I’m putting too much pressure on myself. It’s always a culmination of 3 or 4 things niggling at me. The laundry, needing to strip the beds, did I remember the organic cherries, have I signed up for the gym yet (oh gosh I’m so overweight now) and then BOOM!
What I do is I take pressure off myself. Literally I just say fuck it if no laundry gets done this week. So be it. Or I decide to leave the dishes in the sink. Or I go sit in the garden instead of multitasking. My house can look perfect when they’re all off at school, when their lives begin to happen more and more elsewhere. And trust me it happens super-fast. I know these days and weeks feel long but before you know it you’ll be explaining to them about puberty and it will seem like the years went scary fast.
I think you’re better than a good enough parent. I think you’re excellent. Just the fact that you worry about yelling means you’re not the kind of parent that needs to change. I’ve seen those parents in action, they have no self awareness.
Cut yourself some slack sister. We’ve all been there. Your children will be ok. They are loved and safe and cherished. 💖