Do you ever find yourself getting frustrated with your kids, and then at the end of the day, lying in bed, you wonder why you let things get to you so much? Maybe it’s just me, but this happens more days than I would like to count at our house. So today I’m sharing the top 6 reasons I get frustrated with my kids, and why my kids should not be the subject of my frustration. I’m slowly learning to chill, and looking at each situation from a different perspective is helping me along in that journey!
The top 6 reasons I get frustrated with my kids:
- For Making Us Late – It never fails, we will be hurrying to get somewhere and Little Man will decide to walk as slowly as physically possible. Or he’ll try to run back inside to grab a stuffed animal. Or he will decide he should take the steps backward instead of just going down them normally. It drives me bonkers, and more than once I’ve found myself speaking harshly to him as I tell him to hurry up so we won’t be late. But the truth is, it’s not his fault we’re running late. He’s two, and it’s not his job to make sure I plan enough time in our day for him to explore the world at his own pace. I know that he’s slow, all toddlers are, so I need to manage my time accordingly instead of trying to pass the responsibility and frustration off on my son.
- For Acting Like Kids – How many times does my son do something wild and I scold “WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT???” As he looks up at me, completely confused and goes back about his business. In reality he doesn’t have a logical reason for what he’s doing. He’s a kid. He’s just experimenting with different things and figuring out how the world works. Sometimes that means I find kitchen utensils in the toilet bowl. Occasionally it means I catch him feeding raw onion to the baby or having a “who can make the loudest noise” competition with his sister. None of these things are ideal, but instead of yelling at him or expecting him to act like a refined adult, I need to embrace his childhood a bit more. I need to learn to see the fun in everyday objects, and laugh at his creativity more than I try to squish it down. Some of the things he does are wrong, and that doesn’t mean I should correct him, but my attitude when I’m correcting is what really needs work, even more than his maturity level as a two year old.
- For Needing Me – I might as well admit it, sometimes, by the end of the day I’m “all touched out”. I don’t want to hold any one or snuggle anymore, I’m just done. Naturally, those are the days that, even when daddy comes home the kiddos still want to sit on my lap or cuddle with me before bedtime. As I sigh or roll my eyes my hubby always graciously reminds me “they love you so much honey”. Oh what a good reminder those simple little words can be. I may be tired of being touched at the end of the day, but my kiddos are still openly showing their love and affection. This is a blessing, and I need to remember, while I’m in the moment, to look at it as such.
- For Being Picky – There are some days when my son seems to take a small eternity to decide what clothes he wants to wear, what book he wants to read a storytime, or what food he wants to eat for snack. “It’s such a simple decision” I silently fume as I wait. I get so irritated and worked up over his pickiness and indecision that I don’t notice that I’m the same way. It takes me a long time to decide what sounds good for dinner, there are some days I try on multiple different outfits before choosing what I want to wear for the day, and don’t get me started on the amount of time I could spend in a library picking out a new novel to read! Sure, these are small decisions in the grand scheme of life, but, that doesn’t make them any less exciting to a 2 year old, and I certainly don’t have room to get angry with him for having his own fashion opinions or taste for food, if I do the exact same things when given the chance.
- For Embracing Life – First thing in the morning my kids leap out of bed, excited and ready to take on the world. They are singing, banging on things, screeching, and hopping around from the minute I get them up from their beds. Kids love life, and they live it to it’s fullest. There’s nothing wrong with this pure happiness & joy that they possess, and yet, first thing in the morning it can seem a bit much, and I find myself getting frustrated with them for being happy. When put that way, i’s just crazy.
- For Struggling With Things Even Adults Have Trouble With – I’m talking about disappointment. When a toddler is disappointed, he typically throws a temper tantrum. This can be hugely trying for the mama of said toddler, and definitely a source of much frustration… but in reality, the little guy or gal is just learning to deal with a new emotion – disappointment. This is something that most adults are still struggling with. Sure, as adults, we don’t throw ourselves backward on the floor or scream until we’ve created a scene, but we don’t always react in the most dignified way when suffer a disappointment either. When I get angry with my son for throwing a fit my maturity level is not that much more developed than his. In that moment I’m frustrated (disappointed) that he’s acting this way, or embarrassing me, and I react poorly. Just as he’s reacting poorly to whatever set him off in the first place.
Well there you have it! All of these reasons look pretty ridiculous when written out like this, but they are still real emotions and struggles that many of us deal with on a daily basis. I hope this serves as a good reminder to all of us, to be a bit more patient and a bit less cranky with our kiddos. (Definitely putting myself at the top of that list of people that need this reminder!)
What about you? Do you find yourself getting frustrated with your kids for silly reasons? How do you work through it?
This post is a part of a series called Confessions of an Imperfect Mother. Click that link to read more about this honest and encouraging series and find a list of all 20+ posts it includes thus far!