Motherhood. It ain’t easy all the time, is it? The hardest aspect of being a parent for me so far, 13 years in, is the cooking/meal planning etc. It never ends! Like….neeeeeever.
Breakfast, lunches, dinners, snacks. The endless choices! The endless demands! The endless preferences. I like this! I don’t like this!
The actual crying.
I mean, WTF? I cook you a nice meal and you have the audacity to cry!?
Clearly, I am failing as a parent if my child cries at the sight of a rice bowl.
At least, that’s where my mean-spirited mind goes when I want to hold someone accountable for the mess of my child, crumpled on the floor yelling, “I want pizza!” at the sight of the healthy meal I prepared with love and care.
How can I be raising such an ungrateful little shit?
I actually threatened to quit being the family chef the other morning after some snarky comment from my youngest. Honestly, sometimes I just want to say, “F*&% this! Cook for yourselves you thankless, spoiled brats!”
Well, that’s not actually true. I have lost it on them before. Like, major expletive-filled freak out!
But now I know better. I know the signs my body gives me. I know my limits. I know how to handle this particular challenge.
And here’s what I did recently when I almost quit being the chef:
Ok, so I am guessing most of you know already the importance of breathe work as a tool to calm yourself and I’m just a little late to the party. But in the event you are not already utilizing the amazing, calming powers of breathe in your parenting, this is for you.
If you do anything to care for yourself, I highly recommend you do this!
When every single ounce of me wants to explode into a fury, I take a breath. And then another. And probably about 10 more. I remove myself from the room, if needed, and I breathe it out until I’ve calmed down enough to not lose my freaking mind.
And just why is this so powerful? Well, for starters because most humans don’t like feeling out of control. And most kids really don’t like seeing their parents out of control. But really, breathe and the act of breathing in and out deeply and slowly calms our nervous systems, almost instantly. It’s works so well! It’s like a magic pill, minus the pill.
For a more scientific explanation on why deep breathing calms us down, click here.
The important takeaway here is the scary “oh my god, here it comes outburst” that rises in my gut and my chest has been deflected.
No scary outburst = a safe, loving environment for my kids to be kids and for me to be in control of myself, my emotions, and my communication. Not to mention how I am modeling for my kids how to manage tough emotions, thoughts, and the like. They see me inhaling deeply, exhaling deeply, walking away, and they instantly become more aware of the what’s going on around them. It actually takes them out of their meltdown and into empathy.
We’re human, not robots. No one is seeking perfection here. We’ve all had many-an-outburst with anger that erupts into a violent tirade! Hell, it still happens occasionally. As I said, no one is perfect. But I hate the way it feels. It’s awful.
Yet when we can notice the urge to scream and catch it just before it happens and choose to transform the frustration or pain by releasing it through our breath, we can then better articulate why we’re so pissed/annoyed/frustrated. We can better listen to our kids. We can show up as the parent that is responsive, not reactive, which feels so much better for everyone.
So for all your screamers out there, are you game to try it? Get yourself super close to losing it…and then take a breath. And then another. And keep going until you feel the volcano inside you subsiding. And see what happens next.
I’d love to know it goes or if you have other tricks you use to calm yourself down when all you want to do it quit.