We’ve all been there, and I firmly believe that anyone who says they haven’t is lying. We’re human beings, and sometimes the reasons for our lack of patience aren’t even necessarily all that logical or rational, but that’s life!
My point is, sometimes this mamahood thing gets you right under the skin. You might not even be able to pinpoint why. Or, you’ll be able to pinpoint exactly why…
“…because if the bloody child takes those bloody shoes off one. more. time when all I want to do is get out of this bloody house then I really just might………..”
Not only is it perfectly normal to have days like this, it’s also perfectly fine too! Having an impatient, pissed off day once every couple of weeks (days/hours?!!!) is way better than holding it all in and then exploding monumentally.
That being said, no-one likes that bitch ‘mum guilt’ and she usually comes knocking after an episode of losing one’s shit. So here are my tactics for surviving the impatient pissed off days without necessarily having to blow up like a puffer fish.
1. Choose your battles
On a no patience day, you really need to give yourself a minute to sit back and work out what it is actually worth fighting for. If you don’t have any plans which involve leaving the house, do you really need to have the battle over getting dressed, or can they just win that one for today? They want the blue plate after you’ve put their food one the green one? Whatever, have the blue plate.
The washing of an extra plate is way more favourable than the shit-storm tantrum on a no patience day. If you make a conscious decision that for one day you’re going to ignore x, y, and z you’ll find your patience levels increasing just a teeny tiny bit for everything else.
2. Take a Step Back
I don’t mean this;
Take a step back and evaluate yours and your child’s behaviour. How can you resolve this issue without conflict? (This is for the ‘I am the zen master of patience’ days)
I DO mean this;
Take a literal step back. Maybe even 10 steps. In fact, take as many steps as you need to enter the kitchen, then close the door behind you. Sit in the kitchen drinking coffee, preferably with a chair against the door, until you are ready to go out and re-face the child(ren).
If you inadvertently start feeling like a bad person half way through your coffee, remember that kids thrive developmentally the more free play they engage in. Not only is a time out good for you, it’s amazing for them too. They will learn to play more independently from you, their confidence will grow, and they will develop their imagination.
You will drink a hot cup of coffee, and possibly eat a
slab slice of cake.
3. Count to 5
Or 10. Or 50. Or whatever number it takes until you feel just a teeny bit calmer and less likely to blow your top! I find it helps if I close my eyes (mainly so I don’t have to look at the source(s) of my extreme frustration). Counting in your head, or quietly to yourself is fine, but you might find that counting out loud will have the kids curious enough about what’s going to happen that they stop doing whatever annoying thing it was they were doing in the first place!
On a serious note though, counting is a great way for everyone to calm down when life gets heated. I regularly ask Amelia to count to 5 when she’s really freaking out (and I’m on top Mum form) and it usually calms her enough that she can tell me what the problem is in a way I understand.
There’s no such thing as perfect
So these are my top tactics for dealing with the worst days in the most realistic way possible. But I think above all, the best ‘tactic’ is to accept that you’re not perfect, you are human, and that it’s totally okay to not be perfect.
Everyone has bad days, and you are not the exception. Nor should you be, and you should never feel that you have to be. I’m by no means saying that we should all happily be going about our every day shooting evils at our kids because they’re totally in the way of us having actual adult fun. But I am saying that having a bad day doesn’t define you, or make you a bad mum, it makes you human. Accept it, and move on from it.