Who doesn’t have difficulties sometimes to control her emotions?
We had a doctor’s appointment and we needed to leave the flat in about 5 minutes after a difficult night with lot of wake ups when you finally put your son into the bed as he is sleeping deep but as soon as his little body touches the bed he cries up and the whole sleeping process starts over again, the fifth time… and I quickly wanted to launch the washing machine before leaving but my son had different plans. When did he get so tall to reach things in the middle of the dining table? Well, long story short, he saw his snack there and he fancied one.
So what happens next in the mother’s mind, especially when she is stressed and tired? Frustration, anger, exhaustion and a desire to shout, at least in my case that was it.
We can’t avoid these situations, as much as we try, there will always be bad days and small accidents when our little sweetheart pulls down, throws away or smashes things. That is basically their job at this age, to discover everything around them and see how things land on the floor and what noise it makes and how it feels to taste it. But what we can control is our emotions. It is absolutely okay to feel what we feel in a situation like this, but it is 100 % up to us how we control our emotions and how much we let them take over our life.
Emotions makes our lives full of excitement and vibration, and it is absolutely normal to experience sometimes very strong positive or negative emotions. However, when the overwhelming emotions get out of hand often and they cause conflicts in our personal relationships or trouble at work, when they lead to physical or emotional outburst or there is an urge to use substances it is recommended to improve how we control our emotions.
It is important to feel these emotions but kind of keep them on a manageable level instead of consciously suppressing or unconsciously repressing them which might contribute to anxiety or depression. It is like fire: how nice warm feeling it is to sit next to the fireplace where the fire is under control while when it is left without any obstacle it will burn down everything and if it is extinguished we are left in cold and dark.
What you can do is understand first of all your emotions, what do you feel, what happened to make you feel that way. You can ask yourself if the situation has a different explanation that might make sense and you can define what do you want to do about these feelings, if there is a better way to cope with them. So for example when my son pulls down all the snacks and half of the floor gets covered with small crumbs, I validate my feelings first, that yes, I am furious and stressed. Why is that? Because I hardly slept the night before, I am exhausted and I need to keep everything under control to have some normal living environment and go to doctor’s appointments and I just can’t and it frustrates me to hell. And at my darkest moments, I do think that my son does it on purpose. So, is there a different angle to look at the situation? Yes, my son is most probably not a small villain and he is just trying out things, he is experimenting and maybe with more sleep I could even laugh at these moments. As a first reaction, I just really want to scream with all my frustration or just leave the flat and run away but there might be a better solution, like getting myself out of the situation for a moment and apply some relaxing breathing techniques or take a photo and share this with family or friend to be able to laugh about it together.
What I had done is that I reframed my thoughts and with practising this technique I can manage better the similar situations in the future. It doesn’t mean that I don’t accept my feelings, I do and it is important to validate as these are really difficult situations for me and I am taking myself seriously with accepting how I feel. But I don’t let them actually ruin my relationship with my son or with myself as I don’t need to face with mama guilt.
And this is just one technique to manage your emotions, there are lot of other tools and tricks available. Looking at it holistically, the more you get your life together, the less difficulties you will have to control your feelings. As part of my program for mums you will not only learn techniques for managing emotions but we will work on your overall wellbeing so that you feel great in your body, you take care of yourself physically and mentally so that these situations challenge you less.