When children are often dysregulated and tantrum, often, you blame YOU. Others may blame you, too, and that judging takes its toll. And when we don’t know how to handle those dysregulated children well, we parents start to feel like we are yelling all the time. Then we start feeling anxious, overwhelmed and have trouble falling asleep. When you finally crawl into bed, exhausted, you re-experience your child’s aggressive behavior and words that they yelled at you and all the sordid details of how you handled it – or didn’t handle it. You start to feel as if you have changed. You want to make “sense” of your child’s words and deeds and feel helpless and overwhelmed at what to do. Here are some examples of what you might be feeling:
“Anxiety is in every corner of my life: sleep, family time, girl time, and one-on-one with my husband. I do a lot of crying.”
“Some days we start out in a great mood and then something sets my child off and then the rage begins. I don’t say “yes” to too many things because I am always fearful of another meltdown.”“I used to be a pretty relaxed, calm, confident mom prior to my second child. Now, I am easily overwhelmed and have trouble experiencing joy.”
“When my children arrive home…my anxiety increases.”
“When I have quiet time I’m literally replaying my words and feelings in my head.”
“My husband and I constantly bicker over who did what or why the tantrum happened. Our marriage is very fragile.”
“I feel like I am a shell of the happy woman that I once was – I have no ability to do more than routine, daily activities.”
When you are in this place, it can become increasingly difficult to maintain compassion and stay calm. Especially because you also feel guilty about not feeling compassion. Until after the fact. This causes you to shut down and withdraw. There is an answer to seemingly unending frustration. It starts with reaching out for support and ends with Self Care. You MUST take care of yourself. You must get sleep, laughter and plenty of hugs to be a good parent. Understand the nature of your symptoms: you need techniques for dealing with your children in a positive and firm manner, you need a support system and you need to take care of yourself. That last one? That might be the first thing to deal with. I challenge you to do more of that, this week. Let me know how it goes.