Saturday, 13 October 2012

Adult size tantrum

Image from here
Before we had kids, people referred to the Geege and I as 'laid back'. We were. The Geege was so laid back he was on the verge of being horizontal. Me? I was definitely laid back but I had a bit of a highly strung edge. A sense of squirreling for a rainy day; even if I regularly turned a blind eye to my bucky teeth and fluffy tail.

But we were kind and gentle people; rarely an angry word was exchanged (except perhaps when suffering PMT). We had nothing to be angry about. Life was good.

It took me by surprise that all of the kids have been so good at tantrum throwing. Sometimes they make me laugh, with their text book moves. But their strong will and angry tone as they repeatedly voice their latest must have, has always taken me aback. Where did they learn that? Where does that anger come from?

Today I released my inner-toddler tantrum to produce what can only be described as an adult size tantrum. It felt so damned good as I was throwing children's doonas and clothes from the hallway onto their beds. Shouting about them not listening to me. I raged. Steam was practically coming from my ears.

After the one minute explosion, I felt dreadful. Childish. Stupid. There was silence. I skuttled off to the backyard to hang the washing, taking big cleansing breaths as I did. Tears were welling in my eyes.

Not one of my shining parenting moments.

I apologised and hugged my kids when I came back inside. I told them I behaved like a two year old. Even Mums have bad days, I said. They all breathed out. Phew. She's back, I could hear them think.

The boys laughed. They re-enacted my moves several times as the afternoon progressed, and couldn't wait to tell/show their Dad when he returned from work. The Geege's eyebrows raised as they did. The Minx told him I scared her. God that hurt.

I know I shouldn't have lost control. I know I undid a whole lot of lessons about dealing with anger. I am not even entirely sure where it came from.

I love my children dearly. I love being their Mum. But I can get overwhelmed. Dew Drop slammed my car key in the front door this afternoon, bending it in half, rendering it unusable. It cost us about $150 to buy it after he lost the original key when he was just a toddler. I think they call that the straw that broke the camel's back.

My laid back self is now visited sporadically by an angry old cow. She speaks of feeling 'punished'. Of needing space. And quiet. Who is she and how do I keep her happy? Better still, how do I get her to go away because life is a whole lot nicer for all of us without her presence.

Ever had a tantrum in front of your kids?


17 comments:

Sarah said...

Every now and again and then I grovel for forgiveness from my kids. It's an awful feeling when you lose control but the relentlessness of being on call 24 hours a day can make you behave in odd ways. Walking (read stomping) when my partner is finally home from work helps. For my ass and my sanity.

Photographer Mum said...

Yep. A few times. It sucks...

E. said...

I've had a few adult sized tantrumss. Not all the tme, but occasionally. Like you I apologise and feel bad. But I guess it hels show that parents are human too.

The kid saying the were scared though? I've had that too. It was heartbreaking.

Seana said...

Yes sadly, I have lost the rag. And shouted then wept twice in the school holidays. Not the most effective parenting technique. I always am so sorry and do apologise to all. Then forgive myself, life gets too much.

Kelly Exeter said...

Oh honey! I've not had an adult sized tantrum but I only have the one small child. Given the tantrums I used to throw as a teenager though when my 4 younger siblings were driving me crazy ... I am sure if I had 4 kids, I would be the same. I think a measure of you is the fact that it freaked them out ... and also that they were able to joke about it after the fact. I'd be more worried if they WEREN'T freaked out and scared!

Ali said...

I sure have and then I feel terrible afterwards.

Liza @ Life with 3 under 3 said...

yep, I've lost it and in full view of the kids too - screaming about not picking up toys or something petty like that and I too have felt the shame afterwards. We all have a limit, we all blow up occasionally but we're only human. Don't feel bad. Tomorrow is a new day xxx

Mama of 2 boys said...

Oh MM, feeling a little guilty, I will admit I have had many. And I always have the same reaction you did... feeling silly and regretful and making up for it with lots of cuddles and quiet chats. I think our limits are seriously pushed once we become parents. It's a lot harder to be that laid back, fun-loving person, when we're constantly on call and in demand.
Please don't feel too bad, your littlies adore you and you're a lovely, caring Mama xo

joeh said...

Don't beat yourself up, people lose their stuff sometimes, better they learn this from you then a future teacher, boss, or spouse.

sascedar said...

now see, i see this as a positive learning experience, for lots of lessons. a) our actions impact on others, even our saintly mothers. b) everyone loses their shit sometimes c) the people that love us will show us how to apologise and make amends. and, yes. done it myself. don't hold on to it. :)sarah

Emily said...

Not yet, but it's just one two-year old. I'm sure it's on the way. There have been many step outside and breathe moments!!

Well done on the apologising and explaining afterwards. That's gotta be the bit that counts in the end. x

River said...

Not a full-blown tantrum, but I did lose my temper a few times. It's good for kids to find out that Mum can be angry, but still love them and apologising with hugs is a good lesson for them too.

Diminishing Lucy said...

My love, I used to tantrum nearly every single day. Badly. It would take next to nothing for me to lose my shit.

I am ashamed.

I have grown out of it now - they are older, at school, and I am working - the stay at home thing for me was, in hindsight, not good for my temper.

I am amazed and in awe that you have so very few tanties - a credit to your inherent laid back nature...

xxx

Elisa {With Grace and Eve} said...

Yes recently actually! Miss three was awfully concerned when it was over, asking if I was okay and wanted to go to bed! Insert mother guilt right there!! xx

Maxabella said...

Of course I have! I slammed my fist down so hard on the kitchen counter one day that I nearly buckled over with the pain, but even that didn't stop me from screeching 'look what you made me do!!!!!''. It was around this time that i chose humour as my preferred parenting path. There was no other way out. x

emma @ frog, goose and bear said...

You are definitely not alone there MM - I hear you! I wish I could say I've only had the odd tanty... it's tough work this mum gig!

Kymmie said...

Thank you. Thank you for this honesty. Thank you for this post. I did my banana on the kids the other day. Not one of my finest moments. Also done with my husband in viewing. Oh yes, I'm classy. He did state afterwards that perhaps I shouldn't wait so long to get it all out.

Sometimes we just need a very handy punching bag instead. It's hard this parenting gig. And some days are harder than others.

xx

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...