The SECRET to Becoming a More Patient Mom
I didn’t realize how impatient I was until I had children. My kids seemed to bring out all these hidden emotions inside of me! I quickly realized I was not the most patient mom.
With 3 kids there is always noise in our house. It’s usually around dinner time, I feel anger starting to boil inside my body.
I’m hungry! Can I have a snack? When is dinner ready? But I don’t like that for dinner (whine whine whine).
All while the baby is crying at my feet as I’m trying to put something safely into the oven.
Have you ever been there?
If the answer is yes, you are normal. As moms, there are moments when we feel frustrated. That’s inevitable.
Especially living in these times of uncertainty stress levels are definitely heightened. So it’s natural that when your toddler tests your patience or the baby is whining all day you start to feel irritated.
But there are strategies we can use to be more patient moms with our babies, toddlers, and kids.
In this post, I share three ways to remain calm and not lose your temper. Keep reading to find out how YOU can be more patient with kids!
RELATED: Ways to find peace in our homes during this stressful time. READ: How to Create Peaceful Homes Families Want to Come Home to
Losing Patience? Lost Your Temper? There is help!
It’s natural to feel irritated. We can’t expect to never feel frustrated as a mom. BUT we can find ways to positively cope with this frustration. Find ways to deal with the difficulties of life without screaming at our kids all the time.
As a psychologist and mom, I’ve found a way to manage my frustration and not lose my cool every day.
So what’s the first step?
First, we must check our thoughts.
Usually, after I lose my temper and yell at my kids, they start crying.
One day as I sat with my crying kid, I became tired of feeling angry. I realized I need to take control of my thoughts.
When my thoughts spiral out of control that’s when the anger starts bubbling up and inevitably the yelling starts.
But how do I stop myself and actually do this in the heat of the moment?
The first step to changing your thoughts is to recognize what you are thinking.
I want to share with you the cognitive triangle. This is something I learned as a graduate student in psychology and it changed my thought life forever.
Our thoughts, behavior, and feelings are all connected. If we want to change how we are feeling (frustrated, overwhelmed) or change our behavior (yelling at kids) we can do this by changing our thoughts.
It sounds simple, I know. But when we take a step back and analyze our thoughts, we may realize many of our thoughts aren’t helpful or rational.
When I start to feel frustrated about all the snack asking or the “I’m bored” talk. I notice my thoughts are negative.
“Why do they ALWAYS bug me? Can’t someone else just take care of this? I just want to be alone. Kids are so annoying.” I’ll be honest, I’ve thought all of these things before.
But they aren’t helpful. When my kids push my buttons and I’m already in a downward thought spiral, the outcome just isn’t going to be good.
So instead, I need to check my thoughts and tell myself “It’s okay if he whines a bit. You can ignore it. This moment will pass.”
Then enforce your boundary (saying no to the snack before dinner) and try to ignore the rest.”
Other times I say to myself “This is hard. It’s okay if they are a bit whiney. We will get through this together. What can I do right now to bring some joy back into our house?”
Instead of focusing on the negative, I stop the bad thinking and try to reframe the situation. It may even go as far as writing down 3 things I am thankful for right at the moment to help switch my brain in the other direction.
Step #2: We must identify our triggers.
If we want to stop yelling at our kids, we have to be aware of our own emotions and feelings. Are we at a boiling point? How are we feeling? Are there things we can do to stop ourselves before we get to this boiling point?
FIND YOUR TRIGGERS.
For me, it’s feeling tired. When I’m not getting adequate sleep I am much more likely to lose my temper.
Baseline anxiety is another one. When I’m anxious it impacts my entire house. Then I become less patient with my kids.
So what are your triggers?
If sleep is a priority for you, then you need to start making it a priority.
If making dinner without interruption is a trigger, then brainstorm ways to handle this time of day before it happens.
Can I put out a tray of fresh veggies for the kids to snack on? What about planning screen time during dinner prep?
Whatever your triggers are, take a step back and brainstorm solutions.
Do this so you prevent getting to the boiling point and even if you do reach the boiling point you have a concrete plan to help de-escalate.
Ask yourself: How can I improve the situations that tend to stress me out the most?
Whether it’s preventative measures or things you can do in the moment, think about it.
Every now and then it’s good to take a self-analysis and see how you are doing. Don’t let your big feelings reach a boiling point.
Take a few moments before you reach your breaking point to refresh and reset.
Motherhood is hard. We can’t do this alone. If you need “me-time” to refresh try to find ways to add this into your day.
Whether it’s asking your spouse for help, your family or friends for a few hours of babysitting. Do it. Do it for yourself and your family.
It’s okay to ask for help or ask for a break. It doesn’t make you a bad mother. It makes you human.
Step #3: Find Perspective
Another strategy that has helped me time and time again is to find perspective. This is so important when I find myself losing my patience and ready to scream at my kids.
I challenge my thoughts and tell myself this stage won’t last forever.
There will be a time when I can cook dinner without interruption. A time when I sleep the whole night through. Whatever stage you are in, it won’t be like this all the time.
Also, remember you are not alone in this. It’s normal to have moments of confrontation. If you lose your temper, you are not a failure.
Dare I even say it’s okay if your kids see you lose it once and a while? Our kids need to know we are human. Life is hard. Everyone gets frustrated.
It’s how we deal with that frustration. If you have lost it on your children and said things you regret, talk to them about it. Apologize, and explain how you felt in the moment.
Sit down with your kids. Have an honest discussion about emotions and apologize if you need to.
Then brainstorm together ways to improve the situation. What could you have done differently? Show your children how to problem solve by working through this together!
Kids have moments of anger and mommy can have them too.
It’s unrealistic to think kids won’t ever push back or annoy you.
It’s a normal part of life. But you can learn the tools you need to remain calm and parent your child joyfully.
Finally, be honest with yourself. Talk to your spouse about it. If you need more professional help, do not be ashamed. Talk to a counselor or doctor about your feelings and get the help you need.
So what about you? Do you lose your patience with kids? How do you deal with your anger? Impatience?
I’d love to hear from you in the comments below! You can be more patient with kids!
Also, be sure to connect with our community of moms on Facebook and Instagram for more support and encouragement.
Man I loose it more times than I care to admit with my three but this list sums up how I deal. My role as a mother is forever growing me.
This is a post that I truly needed to read! I get major mom guilt when I have lost my patience and I “lose it”.
Being a parent is hard work and there’s really nothing that prepares you for the constant demands and mix that with all the other elements of your life and it’s more than one can handle. I find stepping out of the situation helps and I can re-group and re-approach. (I don’t leave my kids alone and drive away….)but just stepping out of the room for a minute or two can really help. I will even say to my kids (I have 4) “Mommy, needs a minute to think” . But ya my patience is tried!
Great tips! I have definitely been there. When I had my twins, I was there more often than not. Learning when to walk away and give myself a “mommy timeout” helped a lot too.
I realize that I loose my cool with my daughter when I haven’t had a break. I usually have kid free weekends but since festival season has started, my little lady and I hang out on weekends. So I have been able to get a break during the week and it really helps.
Oh gosh, I lose my patience all the time! I totally thought I was a patient person before I had kids. I’m a work in progress.
Hi Lauren! I have teenagers and I still lose my cool with them. We are human. As kids get older, they start talking back and want to argue. I find it helpful to take a deep breath and remember not to engage with them in an argument when they are being moody, etc. Good luck!
I’ve been there recently with newborn woes. It was HARD. But I struggle more with losing patience with my toddler. It’s super hard to remind myself that it’s not that big of a deal. And recently I lost it so much that I had to apologize to my son because I told him mommy wasn’t being very nice. LOL.
These are such important steps to take to keep control. It can be so easy to get upset when you’re exhausted and your kids are pushing you to the breaking point. These are really helpful to redirect before it becomes anger.
Wow, this post is really great. It sums up so many of my emotions and thoughts while nursing my 3 months baby girl. And then I feel so ashamed, as I am trying so hard to feeling impatient again. This post has really helped so so much! Thank you!
I really needed to read this! I use to yell at my son all the time and stop when I received God! I was doing great but now I find myself going backwards and my husband isn’t helping at all! I’m always in the prayer closet because I refuse to go back to where I came from!
I truly enjoyed reading this and related to it. We live in a large city and have time schedules. Lately though I’ve really been conscious and realized my 3 year old doesn’t know time and schedules and that’s actually a beautiful thing. So when he wants more time to play with me before heading to the next thing I take a deep breath and enjoy the moment. I’m on a schedule not him. It’s actually been very positive and allowed us to really enjoy the small moments in life. As mothers, wife’s, professionals, etc we’ll always have somewhere to be but being in the moment is the most important lesson we can teach our children.
Hi, I came across your advice in the middle of being stuck in the hospital with my daughter. She is 19 months and she has been fussy, kicking , screaming , and it’s frustrating because the doctors are all trying to help her. This is not normal behavior for her and for sure I have become impatient and yelled at her . I then think to myself and end up in tears, simply because I know that she is still a baby and doesn’t understand much of what is going on. I searched for ways to not lose it on my child and I came across this . Thank you , this helped me in such a very tough time as a mother . I felt alone, but now I feel relatable and feel like someone understands .