I know – you couldn’t help it. You had been pushed, and pulled on repeat a million times over. Your emotional cup was empty. You just had enough. And before you could stop yourself you were stood there, shouting at this little beautiful being, spitting out words of anger because you just could not take any more.
As soon as you had done it you felt hateful – full of self loathing for the mum you had become at that moment. For the words you had said. And for the effect that it had – your child standing there, hands over their ears, trying to protect themselves from your threatening voice. In that moment you had become a monster, and as far away from the parenting ideal that we so desperately try to clutch at in this modern day. You felt so guilty and frustrated that you reached that low today. You wished you could turn back time, take back the words.
Hear me now
You are not a terrible parent because you shouted at them. This was one moment in time. Think about all the other moments throughout the day that you are loving, giving and nurturing.
Think about all the things you do for your children. Think about how much of a good parent you want to be – and the proof is right here because you’re reading this and the fact that you are beating yourself up so badly about that one moment that you lost control today, maybe yesterday too, and maybe more often that you choose to – shows that you CARE. You CARE about your parenting, the parent you are and the impact of your parenting on your child. If you had shouted, and didn’t care then perhaps you could call yourself a bad parent, but it’s so painfully obvious that you are not.
You are human
And we humans are not perfect. We all have our flaws. We have tempers. We can be pushed beyond our limits. We can feel our emotions too much.
And know this too – the garden of life can not always be rosy. Yes we know that shouting at our children is not good for them, and losing our rag is just part of the delicate balance between the positive and negative side of parenting that just is. But trust me – you are not the only mum who shouts at their children.
Today I couldn’t control my emotions and I threw down my mum mask at the school gates and opened up about what had happened minutes before, and the days before, and the weeks before only to be met with….not judging…but empathy.
Yes, we can keep the moments we are not proud of to ourselves and only show everyone the best version of ourselves but it’s when we open up about our shortcomings that you realise that a) we are all the same and b) you are not the only one having a meltdown at your kids. Just as you are yelling behind closed doors, how many of your neighbours might be yelling at their children behind closed doors? I heard at least one on my five minute school run this morning. You get the picture.
And know this too
Just because you yelled one or twice or three times it doesn’t mean you are on a slippery slope to yelling all the time. Sometimes we just need to blow our top and it’s all over for a long time. Sometimes it might roll over to the next day. It depends on what is going on your life. If you’re running on empty – sure, you’re more likely to shout at your child or children just as I did this morning. If you’re happy, supported and well rested then you are far less likely to shout in this way.
Life can be hard
So please mama, as I say this to myself now, so I say it to you now. Give yourself a break. You are not a bad mum just because you shouted at your child or children. You are just human. And being a mum can be hard. If you’re reading this because you’re just shouted at your child and you’re feeling insanely guilty, here’s a great article on 5 things to do after you’ve shouted at your children (which just proves, it’s totally normal).
Stay strong mamas. And remember be gentle with yourself – you’re doing the best you can.