My inspiration for this article? Level eight frustration. It may have even been a level nine.
It has been a while since I felt myself lose some sense of emotional control. It was not only surprising, but I found I didn't know what to do!
So, I decided to share my experience as a means of therapy, yes, but to assist you with yours.
Frustration is Normal
First of all, know that frustration is normal! You're not going to lose some parenting Olympic award simply because you were human.
I find that pretending I'm the perfect parent or that my toddler is always absolutely amazing is detrimental to my character. It also creates a false image of what my child is like.
So, take it from me and all the moms I've consulted that frustration is normal. Expressing yourself is healthy.
Your Little One May Also Be Frustrated
If you're frustrated, the chances that your little one is also frustrated is very high. Children are naturally sensitive. Because of the bond we have with them as well, they're able to pick up how we feel and immediately project our reality of frustration back to us.
Whatever frustration you may feel, your child probably feels it twice as much or more. You still have more life experience dealing with frustration than they have so far. So, while it may seem like they're the ones driving you crazy, remember they probably understand you more than you realize.
Identify Why You're Frustrated
Today my son seemed to be even more magnetized to the most dangerous things around the house. Ever had one of those days? I bet you have. You may even be experiencing it right now, and that's why you're reading this article!
It seems like no matter how much you childproof things, kids still somehow find the most unsafe places. It felt like that was the real root of my frustration because it was building up a lot of anxiety. I did not deal with it as well as I usually do.
However, I was stressed out before the day even began. So, I knew it was not him per se. He's gone after the most dangerous things before, and I've handled it far better than a day like today. The anxiety simply compounded my frustrations.
Ask For Help
When you are frustrated, you may feel like nobody understands what you're going through. In fact, sometimes, when people try to say they get it, you just get even more frustrated!
Woosah! It's time to call for reinforcements: ask for help.
Nobody needs to understand what you're going through for you to get help. Being understood is great, but that's just a bonus.
The go-to move maybe just to vent, but if it doesn't solve the root of the problem, it's only a bandaid to a real solution, which is to take a breath and vocalize your needs, not (just) the problem.
If you need a few minutes alone, say, "The best way I can be helped right now is to have a few minutes alone because I feel frustrated."
If you need help redirecting your child's behaviors, say, "I need help. I can't seem to get him to stop doing xyz."
Whatever you need, make it clear, so you can then deal with the real issue you're facing.
All Done Frustration?
I felt a lot better when my son fell asleep.
"Now I can take deep breaths," I said—time to deal with what's really bothering me because he'll be up before I know it.
We, as parents, are dealing with a lot of things simultaneously. Just remember frustration is normal, but taking it out on others, especially our kids, breeds more discord. They too will become frustrated. So, identify the source of your feelings and communicate your needs for help clearly.
Be sure to read my tips on deescalating frustration because sometimes we're already in the thick of it!
Parenting is awesome. Sleep is overrated. Every day is an adventure.
Meet Our KeaMommy Contributor: Nadia Rumbolt
Nadia Rumbolt is a mom of many trades, including creative writing, blogging, van life, minimalism, veganism, the beach, nature, and the occult.