You’re not alone. Every parent has moments that we look back on and wonder why we lost our cool like that. Maybe it's an afternoon where you’re feeling extra irritable or “ triggered” by your kids' normal behaviors. Maybe it's a single episode of exploding at your kid when they make a mistake and then regretting it. Sometimes we find ourselves in a longer season of coming across as the “mad mom” or “explosive dad”.
I personally have an ongoing frustration with my oldest child who is now technically an adult, as he just celebrated his 18th birthday. For as long as he has been going to school, he has struggled with being ready to leave on time. I know he's capable of getting up and leaving on time because this fall when his football coach made it clear that arriving on time for school was a requirement for being eligible to play in the Friday night game, he did whatever it took to hot-foot it out of the house in time.
But now, the football season is done and that external motivator isn't there. We are back to frustrating mornings of poor time management. I've tried many approaches to help him succeed. The most recent approach has been letting him choose to be late for school and explain it to the teachers himself. The end result was that he was late for school everyday for a week! I'm not seeing him learning from his mistakes quite yet
Today he was late again, and I became a “mad mom.”
Can you think of your last angry parent moment? What led up to it? Usually it's a combination of factors. Something in our kids' behaviors, what they do or don't do, what they say or don't say, gets under our skin. But how resilient we are to these frustrations and our ability, in the moment, to pause and think of the response we want to have rather than reacting on our first impulse has a lot to do with how well our own basic needs are being met.
When we have unmet needs we are going to feel more irritable, frustrated, impatient and inflexible, just like our kids feel when they have unmet needs.
So the next time you find yourself feeling like the “mad mom” or “explosive dad”, consider these possible unmet needs and how you can meet them to help you stay more balanced and regulated.
How do you feel when you think about the fact that summer is at least half way done? It's ok to have mixed feelings about it. Summer can hold so many fun things, swimming, picnics, parks, fireworks, fairs! At the same time, for my family and lots of families that I work with, there is some summer burnout that happens around this point.
Summer burnout can happen for kids and for parents. It might be kids feeling a bit bored and starting to feel that all this time off is getting old. It might be parents feeling tired of all the driving to activities, or juggling their work while kids are at home, or navigating siblings fighting or whining.
Here are a few ideas to help you enjoy this second half of summer, block burnout and build some more fun memories:
Parenting is no 9-5 gig! When we dreamed of starting our families, we knew it would be amazing, challenging, rewarding and tough!
When the parenting seasons are really tough, parents are at risk of feelings of guilt and burnout. This parenting job doesn't come with paid vacation, or "off duty" hours. If you're struggling with feelings of parenting guilt:
"Nothing I do is enough"
"I'm messing everything up"
"I don't have the time I need for my kids"
"Everyone has this figured out better than I do"
Or Parental Burnout
"I don't know how long I can keep doing this."
"I love my kids, but I don't want to be around them."
"Enough already, I just feel like escaping."
Check out this one hour recorded webinar on Persevering through Caregiver Guilt and Burnout
The recorded webinar takes an empathetic look at parenting guilt and burnout and equips you with practical strategies to help you persevere and regain balance and joy in your parenting experience.
This webinar is for any parent or caregiver feeling guilty or burnt out.
*Adoptive and foster parents are at high risk of burnout, as are parents of kids struggling with mental health or are neurodiverse. If you or someone you know could use support please reach out.
Bonus: The recorded webinar comes with discounts on all the other products and parenting tools and courses available from Lives Touched, including the Family Healing and Growth Course
Reach out if you could use support on your journey.