It’s the end of the day, your child is in bed and you’re ready to finally take a moment to sit down and relax.
All of the sudden, “Mommy, I need to go potty.” You remind them that they are big enough to go on their own. They hang out in the bathroom for what seems like forever, before you go check on them they have their underwear around their ankles and come out laughing. Who isn’t laughing – you. You help them finish up and get them back to bed. After asking for water and another trip to the bathroom your frustration begins to build. So how do you manage the mounting frustration and keep it in check?
I’ll start by saying it’s not easy.
Doesn’t this kid know it’s dark and time to go to sleep? Here are a few ways to keep your frustration in check.
- Take a deep breath before responding. This helps to calm the nervous system so you can keep calm and carry on.
- Keep your voice steady. Raising your voice or yelling is not going to help them or you decrease your frustration. It might feel good in the short term, but if their was ever a way to fuel your mom guilt and create more stress for you and your child, this is it.
- Stay grounded. Our children are very sensitive to our energy. The more we can ground, the more able we are to get through this moment in time.
- Be aware of your emotions. You may not even be aware of your frustration level. Children have no sense of time and want to be with us. They may often feel like they are missing out so they procrastinate in order to not miss anything. Acknowledging their thoughts and feelings around this helps them feel understood. You may let them know, “I know it’s really hard to go to bed sometimes, but sleeping will help you play with your friends tomorrow so you can have so much more fun.” You may tell yourself, “This is frustrating right, but this moment won’t last forever.”
- Talk it out with a friend or partner. Talking about our feelings is a natural release. Being able to process how you feel can normalize the feeling since everyone goes through this. Most people want to feel validated in their feelings. If you need some help, ask for it. If you just need to be heard, let the person you are talking to know.
Parenting is hard.
Frustration is par for the course. Knowing that the feeling is not forever is important to remember. Always remember that you are going to make mistakes. No one is perfect. The repair is the most important. Let your child know that you were feeling frustrated and that you sorry for yelling. It’s important to role model for our children how to apologize when mistakes are made. So don’t be too hard on yourself. Remember that you are human and you will get through it.
Please note that this article is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice from a doctor or mental health professional.
If you are feeling overwhelmed and frustrated, I’d love to help. Feel free to contact me for a free 15 minute consultation.