I am often embarrassed how I react to my young kids: Am I alone?

Discussion in 'Toddler & Pre-School' started by babytobe, Jun 14, 2019.

  1. babytobe

    babytobe Well-Known Member

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    I need a safe place to be honest... please don't shame me. I just need to know I'm not alone, and I need to get these thoughts out so I can move on in a positive way.

    I have 3 children. One 5 year old, one 3 year old, and a newborn. We are doing ok, BUT...
    I often react badly to the two older kids when things aren't going the way I want them to go. When my husband or other people are around, I definitely tame myself more, but when I'm just with my kids all day at home (or wherever), I tend to loose my crap more. And I feel SO GUILTY about it. It's almost enough to give me anxiety about it. I love my children to death, and once they are in bed, I feel TERRIBLE about some of the things I said or how I reacted during the day. It's not every day, but it does happen often. And I swear to myself I won't do it again the next day, but eventually I do again...

    I always wonder if it is just me? I think in general, my kids are doing ok and I think I'm doing an ok job parenting over all, but I am embarrassed and ashamed to admit how immature I act with these precious little human beings sometimes. For example, sometimes I get so frustrated that I will mimick their whining or tantrums, or swear under my breath (and sometimes they may hear the swear words a bit), or just sort of throw a tantrum myself. Sometimes I think, if someone played a video of all my bad parenting moments, the authorities would take my children away!

    I also say things that would just make them feel guilty, like it's their fault that mom is so grumpy and tired, and if only they would listen and do things the way I want, then mommy wouldn't have to loose her crap...
    Obviously, I know this is WRONG> I know it's ok to show some frustration with kids, but I'm aware intellectually that I should not be reacting this way to my kids. And when I do react in the wrong ways, it totally doesn't help!
    Usually I am reacting when I'm overtired, or I've set my expectations too high or have picked the totally wrong moments to want something a specific way (I'm learning that it helps to pick your battles at the appropriate time).

    Anyway, the guilt. I feel so guilty. I feel like I'm the only mom who is actually the worst mom behind closed doors. I know my kids know I love them, and we all come together after we've had "freak outs" at each other and make sure we're all ok, and we talk about how we can do better next time, but for goodness sake I NEED TO DO BETTER> I am the parent! I'm the one who should be steady and teach the kids how to not react.

    I'm glad I go that out there. I just worry that I am ruining my kids sometimes. I hope they don't remember me as such an angry, emotional mom. My mom was so patient with me and I don't remember her freaking out like I do. I know all the right things to do moving forward... I just need to DO THEM! Like taking deep breaths before I react, giving myself a time out if I need it, sympathizing with their feelings but sticking to boundaries, etc. I just need to "practice what I preach". I just feel embarrassed. I didn't even swear before I had kids! Now I swear... a lot! Mostly under my breath, but the bad energy is still there. I just never saw myself becoming so unhinged. I really love my kids a lot.

    Thanks for reading if you got this far. I hope I'm not alone. The guilt is eating at me.
     
    #1 babytobe, Jun 14, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2019
  2. Witchrose

    Witchrose Well-Known Member

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    You're definitely not alone. It sounds like you are being too hard on yourself. I think nowadays too many parents worry about being some kind of mythical, perfect parent. Let go of that expectation. :) You're human. You're going to have good days and bad. After a bad day, maybe reflect on how you could try to handle it differently another time. But don't beat yourself up about it. It's life.

    One thing that makes me feel better is after a bad day with my son, I always tell him that tomorrow is another day. Maybe he misbehaved today, but tomorrow he can be better. Maybe today I lost my temper. But tomorrow I can try not to. And so it goes.
     
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  3. babytobe

    babytobe Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for your reply, Witchrose. That's exactly what I needed to hear. ❤ After I posted this last night I felt a lot of guilt released. I am human just like every other mom, and we have our good and bad days. Reflecting on them and choosing to learn from the harder days and move on in a positive way is the best I can do. Walking around feeling guilty and fretting that I'm not the perfect parent isn't going to help anyone! Thanks for the well-rounded perspective.
     
  4. OnErth&InHvn

    OnErth&InHvn Waiting on Bee

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    Nope, not alone. You're doing a good job. Take it 1 moment at a time every day!
     
  5. BabyGirl999

    BabyGirl999 Harry's mummy!

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    You are not alone. I feel exactly the same. I feel like I am always yelling and shouting, I try so hard to be a chilled mum but it is so hard. I love them SO MUCH but they are hard work (aged 8, 6 and 2). I also feel constant guilt, even tho they have regular park visits, go to pool, cuddles, I read them stories, we visit their friends, we play in garden on bikes, make buns, etc, etc, etc!

    The guilt is awful!!!

    I also think we put our mums on a pedestal, I remember her being kind and patient with us, yet she I not overly tolerant of bad behaviour with my kids!!! Possibly we have rose tinted glasses!

    All I can say is give yourself a break. It is hard. It really is. Just try to enjoy. But I agree with you and I am glad I am not alone!!
     
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  6. keepinitreal1

    keepinitreal1 1st time mom

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    You are not alone. I felt like I was reading something I wrote, to be honest. Too often I find myself guilt tripping my youngest and of course, he’s way to young to understand what I’m doing so it’s not only completely pointless but also leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth. I sometimes cry when I watch him sleep and I think that as horrible as that sounds, those are the moments that make me realize I need to do differently tomorrow - and I really try.

    You’re a good mom! Only a good mom would know that she can always do better. please be kind to yourself!
     
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  7. babytobe

    babytobe Well-Known Member

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    My sister and I were just talking today about how we totally remember our mom being so patient, but in reality she did have her meltdown moments too! And my mom is the same with my kids.... way less patient and tolerant of their bad behavior. I guess that's encouraging that I remember my mom for the patient person she was most of the time, and I've mainly forgotten her "bad" moments.

    Today was a much better day. Thanks for your encouragement and understanding.
     
  8. babytobe

    babytobe Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your reply! It's good to know I'm not alone. It was so good to talk to my sister today. She doesn't have kids yet, but she was saying all her friends with kids say the same thing about feeling guilty and how hard parenting can be. She was so encouraging and reminded me that my kids are doing well and they know they're loved and feel safe with us.

    I hope we can both move forward with more patience with our kids, but you're right...let's be kind to ourselves! Dwelling on the guilt won't help. Thanks again.
     
  9. DobbyForever

    DobbyForever First Time Momma

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    You are not alone, but turn it in to a teachable moment. I sometimes lose my s* with my students because I’m exhausted at home mentally and emotionally. So I can be super blunt or rude sometimes. I model the same reflection I ask them to do when they break a school rule: identify what the unexpected (we don’t say bad) choice was, what triggered me to do it, and what I should have done/will do next time I have that trigger. But you actiallly have to work on it. I don’t teach empty apologies in my class.

    You sound exhausted and overwhelmed. What are you doing to take care of your stress? You’re snapping for a reason. You can’t take care of your kids without taking care of you first. Can you get a break?

    I will be honest, as a teacher this concerns me.
    1. If you modify your behavior in front of people, that’s a clear indication you know what you are doing is not okay. So you need to stop doing it.

    2. Everyone slips up, but telling your kids they are the source of your unhappiness and fatigue (even if you don’t say it all the time) can really mess up a young child’s mind. You are teaching them to accept abuse and undermining their confidence, which will lead to major problems later in life.

    I’m not trying to mom shame you. And you are definitely not alone. But just because other people do it doesn’t make it ok.
     
  10. claire_leaf

    claire_leaf Member

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    Please don't be hard on yourself.

    Have you ever thought about the rage and anger you are experiencing were the only way to make yourself heard? The fact you recognize you have some behavior patterns you to want to change means you are making great progress toward freedom from the behavior. I felt uneasy around kids for most of my life, yet I wanted to have kids. Now I have a son, love him - and still find myself uneasy around kids when I'm upset and/or tired.
     
  11. _Meep_

    _Meep_ Mum of two fantastic girls

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    You just described me.

    I always worry my neighbours can hear me if and when I shout. They must think I am awful. :(

    I have anxiety (admittedly it is better these days) and tend to get overloaded/overwhelmed when there is whining or fighting going on, and then I snap.

    I disgust myself with my anger/the things I say sometimes.

    My kids are doing fine and of course it is not like this all the time, but on a bad day I am truly a piece of shit.

    Doesn't help that I am tired and stressed and my OH doesn't really help with the kids at all.

    I try to pretend I have a social worker sitting on the sofa and that helps but some days there is nothing I can do to control myself and then I end up crying come night time when they are in bed and I wonder why I have to be such a bitch.

    You are not alone.
     
  12. babytobe

    babytobe Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for your honesty. I appreciate the feedback, even though it's a bit hard to hear. Since I posted the other day I have been really trying to keep my cool, and every day that I've done better over all, my confidence is stronger to continue doing better...
    I am taking care of myself, and my husband is very helpful in that regard. I needed to be honest about my bad moments, but now that I've had a number of good days under my belt, I think I can see the overall picture more clearly, and it's not that bad. What I mean to say is that, yes, I have snapped at points with my kids, but in general, we have good relationships and our home is a peaceful, good place to be. I was feeling terribly guilty about those bad moments, and I needed to "air" them out, and in doing so, I felt like I could move on.
    Your advice is good about using it as a teaching moment.
    I can see what your saying about how kids could internalize some of those things we say when we're shaming them. I don't want to do that and I'm being careful to check myself before I respond. I still won't be a perfect parent but I know each day I can keep doing better.
    The days I am tired it's definitely more difficult. But that is life... circumstances won't always be perfect.
    A few days ago a good friend aired out her own recent shameful parenting moments to me, unprompted. I don't wish bad moments on anyone, and i know its not an excuse to continue in bad behavior, but the anxiety I was having about my parenting was really making me feel like a monster. It was important for me to know my feelings of frustration are normal. And knowing I'm not alone in those feelings helps me to feel empowered to move on in a positive manner. Does that make sense?
     
  13. babytobe

    babytobe Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for this perspective and your honesty. I do think I'm slowly making progress towards freedom from the behavior, and airing it out here was another positive step.
     
  14. laura109

    laura109 Well-Known Member

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    You are not alone at all!! Mum here to a testy 4 year old. Ive also got an 18 month old. I think its so hard to be home all day with small people. I think its lonley and tiring and constant once you have more than one child.

    I find the worst thing is the mess. I get the house nice and she undoes all my hard work.i often find the day i need to spend some time doing chores is the day she turns into a bored, lets whinge and trash the house toddler. Then i get moody, tired, irritated and all the rest.

    We had a holiday last month. We spent 2 weeks at the coast. I did alot of thinking. Before we left for the holiday we were clashing all day everyday. I was so angry. Her behaviour was depressing me. We actually had to stop meeting a friend as her little boy was fed up of my daughter chasing him about and getting over excited. We spend more time alone now than we ever have. But anyhow on holiday we bonded and chatted more. Since she has been back shes at least 30% better. We have more positive days. We laugh more. We chat more. I try remind myself in september she starts school. We will be apart alot more and that upsets me.

    My advice would be try and refresh. Whether thats going for more walks, a weekend away or spending an hour outside. Out the house is always a good place to be. Try and chat more to them and you might feel they are happy having your attention in a positive way. My daughter had started to feel negative was the only way to get attention.

    Also remember kids are naturally selfish at this age. Your trying to feed, love, clothe them and raise them, invest in them, clean a house, shop cook and possibly work. All that before you even dare think about your needs as a person. Its testing. So yeah some days you will snap abit. We all do. I think! You probably just need a little break or a few changes to your day. Its so full on though. Sometimes i wake up and thibk another long day ahead with no adult conversation. Xx
     
  15. DobbyForever

    DobbyForever First Time Momma

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    You are NOT a monster and nobody is a perfect parent. I am glad to hear hubs is giving you a break, but it doesn’t sound like enough. When you get a break, is it really a good break? Do you get out and see your friends or totally disconnect? I went away for a weekend, and it was so rejuvenating but it didn’t undo 2 years of exhaustion.

    Honestly, we are have our moments. So I like to model to kids that adults aren’t perfect either and are still practicing. It’s a big reason why my students connect to me more than their other teachers. I don’t put myself on a pedastol of perfection. I think 3 and 5 is a good age to really start talking about emotions, and being frustrated and angry and tired are all part of the human existence.

    If your kids are act, look, and sound happy. You’re doing fantastic.
     
  16. sezzolou

    sezzolou Well-Known Member

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    This is me lately also. I have 3 boys aged 6,4 and 6 months. My 6 year old is easy behaviour wise but is quite stifling wanting to be on my knee, hugging me and constantly tells me he loves me (again and again) which i always say back. I think he does it to compensate for my 4 year old who is the complete opposite and spends all day telling me he hates me and hitting out at me and having tantrums which im pretty sure is due to jealousy of our 6 month old. The baby is easy and always happy and sleeps amazing so i am automatically drawn to him more at the minute as im struggling with feeling overwhelmed and stifled by my other boys but i guess its a vicious circle that i cant seem to break out of. Today has been the worse day so far with my 6 and 4 year olds. They are in bed now and in having a glass of wine and hoping for a fresh slate and no shouting tomorrow. Makes me quite nervous of the uncoming summer holidays as ill still be on maternity leave and with them 24/7 while my hubby works 6 days a week.
     
  17. Symphony7

    Symphony7 Well-Known Member

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    Hun, you are DEFINITELY not alone. I feel this all the time. I think it’s important to recognize our limitations. We can’t be perfect. Own up to that tobyour kids - “mommy made a mistake”, apologize, and just try to be better but realize you will probably make the same mistakes again. I think it’s important for kids to learn about mistakes from adults owning up to their own and apologizing. I noticed that with my students at school, my hardest behavior kids were always so appreciative if I slipped up and then told them I made a mistake and was sorry.

    If it makes you feel better, I swatted my daughter’s butt today because she just wasn’t listening and got her too hard and she started sobbing and I felt like a B. Hated myself afterwards but she’s been trying my patience all day and I’ve been struggling. She was just as silly and snuggly this evening despite it.
     
  18. babytobe

    babytobe Well-Known Member

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    Just came back to read more of your replies....
    It's so good to know I'm not alone. Sezzolou, my kids sound very similar to yours! My oldest (5 year old) is very touchy and loving and always telling me how much he loves me, and my second (3 year old) is always telling me not to give her kisses lol. And I feel drawn to my baby too....their needs are more simple as young babies I find. It feels like a break compared to dealing with the 3 and 5 year old.
    We've been doing ok since I first posted this thread. I responded badly to my son today and it reminded me to come check this thread again. I find I've been catching myself sooner when my stress is high and I'm about to or in the middle of responding badly. It always helps to catch it at any time...the end result is better usually and the kids witness me calming down and I know it's good for them to see that.
    Symphony 7 I think you're right about owning up to our imperfections to our kids. My kids always appreciate when I admit my faults and we brainstorm together how we all can do better. My son is so sweet and will gently tell me to calm down sometimes and he also tells me he prays for me❤. We talk about good language to use when we're upset too. I guess I'm learning about as much as they are through this whole parenting process! He's such a sweetheart (when he's not driving me crazy lol).
     
  19. Bevziibubble

    Bevziibubble Well-Known Member
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    You're definitely not alone. I am the same at times. No one is perfect and parenting is hard work :hugs:
     

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