Anger and Frustration When You’re The Grown Up

by Ginger on November 22, 2011

in Mom Thoughts

Yesterday I wrote about my son’s joy, his exuberance, and my love of being there to see him in those moments.

Which of course, in typical karmic fashion, meant that last night he pushed every button I had, made me so mad I was shaking, bit me so hard it left a nasty bruise, and generally pushed me to every bad parenting choice I have. I yelled. I cried. I gave time outs. I withheld treats. I was so angry, so DAMN ANGRY–in part at my two year old for pushing and for hurting me (he bit me, hard, and wouldn’t let go. I literally had to pry his jaw open to get him to stop), and in bigger part for knowing AS IT WAS HAPPENING that I wasn’t in control.

Now, my not in control is still pretty damn controlled. I’m not one to fly off the handle often, and even being pushed to the brink, the default was yelling and removing myself from the situation. But it still sucks when you’re inside your own head going “For the love Ginger, he’s TWO. You are the GROWN UP. You need to calm the fuck down because you are the PARENT.”

I put him to bed without our nighttime ritual of reading books and rocking in the rocking chair singing songs because I needed to step away from the situation and calm down. He wailed and cried “Rocking Chair, Rocking Chair, Rocking CHAIR” while I tried to collect myself and 1) get past the frustration and 2) let it go. I’ve talked over on Noodle Knobs about my problem sometimes with holding a grudge against the toddler a fact that makes me feel like a crappy (but realistic) parent. This was no exception, but with the added bonus of needing to stop holding a grudge against myself.

It’s hard, this parenting thing. It’s hard to try and always be the example, to be the best of you, to do right. Of course you’re going to have moments when you fail both yourself and your kid. It doesn’t make them easier to swallow, but all you can do is try and do better next time. To take a deep breath and count to 100 and get outside of the space where you’re angry and frustrated and so disappointed in yourself that you’re not sure where to go next and move to the next step.

For me, last night, that next step was going back in to Jackson, drying his tears, accepting his “sorry bite” and kiss, and rocking him in the rocking chair while singing You Are My Sunshine before putting him to bed the way we always do, with a hug and a kiss.

And then taking a deep breath and telling myself I’ll do better next time.

Heather November 22, 2011 at 5:38 pm

Oh, this made me whimper. I haven’t gotten to make up for the bathtime incidents, because that IS our ritual. It is killing me. She just gets yelled at, and she is big enough to know that she is being a brat, but too young to understand why it’s so frustrating. This age is TOUGH.

Kelly November 22, 2011 at 5:50 pm

Oh, I feel you. Every day. This age is so hard because there is no reasoning, no explaining. They are little crazy people, and it’s hard to be the grown up sometimes. Really well written, thank you for sharing this.

Suzanne November 22, 2011 at 6:03 pm

This is such a heartfelt post. I could feel my own anger/guilt/tears rising while I was reading. A new light: you can be an example to him in this, too. How to cool off after losing your temper, how to say you’re sorry, most of all that you love him no matter what.

emily November 22, 2011 at 7:25 pm

i think this might be one of the very first blog posts i’ve read where the blogger doesn’t come to some sort of happy, contented ending. kids are tough, kids do hurtful things, and sometimes those things can’t be undone with a craft project and complacent thoughts.

my mom was a social worker at a psychiatric hospital for many years prior to my birth. once we got to the age of four or so, when we were pushing her buttons beyond the brink, she’d stare us down and just say monotonously, “it’s child abuse time, guys.” it sounds like a horrifying threat, but yeah. that got the message across.

Mama Durso November 22, 2011 at 8:00 pm

Yes. I related completely. Every word in this post totally rings true with me, except for the being in control when you’re not in control. Me? I’ve been known to yank my son’s leg a little too hard when he’s been wiggling around trying to keep me from wiping his butt. I’ve been known to withhold things he wants just to be vindictive. I try so hard to be a nonviolent, non-aggressive parent and I fail at least once every day. But, like you say, I’ll do better next time. After a good cry. And some wine.

Stephany November 23, 2011 at 6:18 am

I am not a mom, but I have been a preschool teacher, and can completely relate to this post. Two is SUCH a tough age (I had a class with twenty of them. Shudder.) and there are just times when you get so worked up, you have to step aside and give YOURSELF a time-out to cool down. (This is when having a co-teacher/partner comes in handy!) Sometimes, it’s just hard to forget that they’re two and behaving like a two-year-old. Hugs. Hope today is better. <3

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks November 23, 2011 at 7:36 am

Parenting is a far cry from a perfect ritual. It’s always going to be a work in progress. Because, the minute you think you’ve got it, something changes and you’ve got to figure it out all over again. You’re human. Don’t begrudge how you reacted. Be thankful that you were able to step away, compose yourself and snuggle with Jackson before he went to bed. He knows you love him. He’s a very lucky boy.

kate November 23, 2011 at 2:37 pm

Sometimes when I sing Amazing Grace to Beckett (and Camden) at night after a VERY rough day, week, night, etc.. – I wonder if I’m singing it more for me or for her…. 🙂 Take care – you ARE doing a good job!

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