Sometimes moms throw tantrums, too: 5 ways to deal with emotional earthquakes

By Allyson Reynolds

For the Deseret News

Published: Friday, Jan. 24 2014 7:25 p.m. MST

Allyson Reynolds shares five tips for helping moms keep their cool.

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Maybe you’ve experienced a scenario like this before:

After knocking yourself out to plan a special event for you and your children to enjoy in a fun and meaningful way, they’re not responding quite as you had hoped.

Instead of cooperating, expressing gratitude and looking on with wide-eyed interest as you guide them through this much-anticipated experience, they are either whiny and disinterested, or hyper and fighting about who gets to go first, stand next to mommy, use the blue spatula, sit by the window, etc. Finally, after what feels like an eternity of holding your breath, you lose it, and the whole thing deflates like a balloon.

Here’s another:

It’s 7 p.m. and you are the only adult in the house. No one has had dinner yet, and all you can think about is crawling into bed with a good book and a relaxing cup of tea. One child is in front of a screen when they should be doing their homework, another child is begging for food but doesn’t want anything you’re offering, and another child just told you they need to make a poster TONIGHT for their special report TOMORROW — and there’s no poster board in the house. You’ve been keeping it together for the last 13 hours, but now everything is unraveling, and you lose it. Again.

What is the common thread in both of these examples? (Besides aggravating children.) Mom is trying so hard to be happy, calm and patient for such a long period of time and under such stressful circumstances that she ultimately snaps under the weight of her own inability to bend to reality. (Reality being that she is not infinitely patient.)

I’m assuming you can relate. Why does this happen to so many of us over and over again, and what can we do about it? Maybe nothing more than a little bit of self-awareness and giving ourselves the permission to be human. Of course, modeling self-control and good behavior for our children is important, but it may be equally helpful for them to see that Mom has strong feelings too and to see how to deal with them when they come along.

How do we do that? I’ve already alluded to one idea–allowing yourself to be human – and I’ll give you four more as well:

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