A few weekends ago, I saw the effects of my power very clearly. I woke up fine and cheerful. I made pancakes (it was pancake day after all). Then bub needed a breastfeed, so off we went to a more comfortable chair to relax while he drank. When I got up again, I went to tidy up the kitchen but as I passed the dining table I noticed that everyone had left their plates there! My temper quickly flared – I was not the household maid!
A few more incidents along these lines occurred, ones that I could have easily turned around with some guidance and by letting my children follow my lead. Instead I let myself get more and more entrenched in cranky-land. And by the end of the day everyone was in tears (well not my husband, but everyone else!).
So I have decided to catch myself before I get into this downward spiral.
Setting a daily intention is helping me be mindful about the mood I set for the day. And when I feel myself getting cranky I try to talk with kindness, ask my husband for help and use the moment to teach my children. Getting us all outside to ride bikes or play also helps. But sometimes I might need to just take a moment to myself to clear my head or walk around the block!
Most of all I am learning to be kind to myself.
It’s hard isn’t it, being the one who sets the mood, and finding the grace to step back and change our attitude, for the benefit of not only ourselves, but for our family. I get caught sometimes, and once it has all unraveled, I step back and realize just being mindful and choosing a different mindset would have stopped all of this in its tracks. Always though, there are lessons learned, and I, like you have learned that sometimes stepping back, taking a few deep breathes, and getting outside help, and can change my mood pretty quickly. And yes on the being kind to yourself, we are, after all, human.
‘finding to grace to step back’ – yes! It is hard but it makes life a nicer ride 🙂 And yes, getting outside can make such a difference. I often think of how you go for big walks – we are trying to do more of the same xx
I have found the exact same thing here. I had the best intentions today but our day went down hill quickly when I got annoyed. My older son is very sensitive to my moods. It puts lots of pressure on me, but I’m trying to respond in a more friendly manner more often.
Good for you 🙂 I don’t think we need to be perfect, but mindful of how our mood impacts the rest of the household certainly can help!
It’s so easy to get your cranky pants on… I try to catch myself, but some days are definitely harder than others.. especially when no one listens to me which seems to be ALL. THE. TIME. Happy face, deep breath ;-p
I’m so glad I’m not alone in this, but yes, deep breath, we can change it up and have a good day 🙂
I notice this all the time. My husband has started says ‘90% of arguments are caused by tone’, and he’s obviously doing some serious hinting. But it’s true. I get frustrated, and then the kids get clingier, and then I get more frustrated…. But if I stop and cuddle them and give them my calm attention, they go off and play happily on their own. Crisis avoided…
So very true!! It is a bitter pill to swallow admitting it, but I have to agree that I hold the biggest share of responsibility for the tone of the home here too. I do try hard not to let little things be the trigger for bigger arguments, but it happens!!
I’ve heard this referred to as being ‘the queen of your home’ and have written about it a few times because I’ve been working on ‘setting the tone’ for… ahem… years now. Sometimes I do well, and sometimes not so well, but it always ALWAYS helps even to just be mindful of this concept!
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