Every mother and father on earth, I guarantee have been told this by someone at some point. It is the last thing anyone wants to hear when it comes to their children. Let’s face it whether we want to or not, at some time or another every one of us will take something our kids do personally. I don’t know why but I have a very hard time with this concept. When I think back to things that I did to my mom, If I was angry I would intentionally do something to make her mad. To try to get even, to make her feel the way she made me feel.
Like those days when you take your child out for something fun and spend the whole day with them. They ask for a candy or something to be purchased and you respond with “no honey, you have gotten a lot today”. The next thing you know you have a melt down on your hands, your child is screaming horrible things at you or hitting. Or if inside the car or house, kicking or making a huge mess. It is so hard to deal with this, your adrenaline starts pumping, you are angry and hurt. You start to respond by yelling and threatening to take things away. Which does nothing to help the situation, it only makes things worse and escalates them even more.
In those moments I’m sure we all believe that our children are fully doing this on purpose. I think and feel that as my children get older I have a much harder time with not taking things personal. I often wonder how I would react to a situation if I didn’t take it as a personal attack. How do I remove the emotion, stop myself from arguing back?
Since my son August was born, I’ve noticed myself yelling a lot less at the kids. I just always have him in my arms and I don’t want him to hear me yelling all the time. With not yelling, I have also noticed a difference in my kids. I get a different reaction from them. If we are running late instead of standing and yelling, I walk out to the car and say I’m leaving. Almost always within two minutes they come bursting out the door along with the words “sorry, sorry”. Don’t get me wrong, I still yell, it just takes a lot more for me to start.
What upsets me the most is when I ask my kids to do something like “please go get your pj’s on and brush your teeth” and I get completely ignored. They don’t even acknowledge me, even though I know they heard me. To me, I find it so disrespectful, that’s me taking it personal! I struggle even more when I tell this to myself, It is very hard to change this thought process. I’m not going to lie, I feel like everything from my kids is a personal attack. In the last couple months I have noticed that since I have stopped yelling so much. My kids are actually opening up to me a lot more, especially my oldest. Which is a big deal for me, as she is usually not one to open up about things. I notice my thoughts changing and I’m dealing with all the kids differently. Today my youngest was all over me when I was trying to write and breastfeeding at the same time. I snapped and told her to come back later. I saw her face and I felt horrible, I told her to come back and I said “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean that! I love you and just need a few minutes to finish and then I can help you”. Well she ran over hugged me and said “okay mom, I’ll ask one of the kids to do it”.
It really made me realize, that maybe I cause a lot of the reactions and problems with the way I am responding to the kids. I notice it more every time I change my reaction to the kids. I have done a lot of work lately with my oldest son, not yelling and finding different ways to get him to do things. Recently when I ask him things or I do something for him, he comes to me and says ” thank you for doing that mom”. He never used to say thank you for things I did. So I find myself now before I react telling myself “don’t take it personal”, the change is refreshing. It makes me feel as though I can really change the way I am with my kids. I also notice I am becoming closer with each and every one of them. So I ask you, next time you are angry and dealing with your child. Tell yourself “don’t take it personal” see if it makes a difference in the way you react. It won’t happen over night, it takes a lot of work. There will be days where you revert back to yelling, but as long as you can try again the next day, you are doing a great job.
It is hard not to let motherhood defeat us, or not to beat ourselves up for all the little things we feel we do wrong in a day. Being a mother is one of the hardest jobs in the world, but also the most rewarding. You are raising and creating, shaping these little beings into the people they will become. Give yourself a break, and a pat on the back. Mama you are doing a great job, just keep telling yourself that. Easier days will always lie ahead of the toughest ones.