I wish I could say that I was always calm, patient, and peaceful when it comes to parenting and family life. That would be a lie, however, and I definitely get frustrated and angry—sometimes without even really understanding why. I’ll catch myself snapping at one of my children (or the whole lot of them) and wonder who I’m really angry at? Is it really them? Something that happened with work? Myself? Or even something that happened long ago?
I often have to remind myself that my children are NOT me and they are not extensions of me. They definitely do not behave like me and I am so often tempted to make comparisons between them and myself “when I was their age.” It is not even a fair comparison. I was nudged into taking on responsibilities much younger—cleaning house, making my own money, cooking the family dinners, etc. from the time I was 12 or so—my kids haven’t had to do any of that. Sometimes, I get rather crabby that they are NOT doing more, but then I have to realize that I am not really angry at them, I am really angry that I have had to be so responsible for so many decades! I think I get a bit envious that they have me for a mom and have the life they do and that really isn’t their fault at all.
Other times, things might happen with work, or an interaction with someone else and I lash out at the wrong person (if there ever is a “right” person to be lashing out at). If I remind myself that most of the time my emotions are about ME and not about my children or someone else, I can try to minimize my inappropriate grumbles and outbursts.