How to be a calm mom even when you’re angry

Do you find yourself yelling at your toddler or getting frustrated with your crying baby? These tips for how to be a calm mom will help you to stop getting angry at your child and find the silver lining in every situation of motherhood. 

how to be a calm mom even when you're angry

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“I was constantly yelled at, and always put down by my mother and everything she has ever said to me always has been in the back of my mind and I don’t want that for my babies!”

This is a text I received from one of my friends who felt terrible after yelling at her toddler.

Whether your goal is to not be like your mom or you aspire to be as great of a mom like you had, raising a child requires an excessive amount of patience. 

When you’re only running on 4 hours of sleep and your toddler is screaming because you won’t let her play in the oven (true story), it takes a lot of self control to keep calm and not cry with her.

Despite your past, you can be the calm mom you aspire to be. These life-changing tips will help you get there.  

1. Say yes more often

It may feel like the only word you’re saying all day is no. And that’s probably true. 

When my daughter wakes up we adjust the thermostat and it lights up so of course she wants to touch it. I could say no but what’s the harm with her touching the thermostat while I’m holding her? 

If she changes the temperature I can simply change it back. 

Before you tell your toddler no, stop and think if you could say yes instead. 

2. Time alone 

When you have someone to care for 24/7 you never get time to wind down and relax. You’re always on high alert because you never know when he’ll decide to knock over the trash can or take off his diaper and pee on the floor. 

Having time alone is a much needed break for you to recharge your battery. 

Have someone watch your little one while you take a bath or walk around Target. Also try waking up before your child or enjoying quality time alone (or with your partner) before going to bed. 

3. Creative outlet

When my daughter was 6 weeks old I found myself crying a lot and I felt terrible because I had a healthy baby but I still didn’t feel happy. 

I was struggling to adjust to this new role as mom. The house was always a mess, we ate out almost every night, and my shirt had spit-up on it from 2 days ago. 

It wasn’t until I started my blog that I was able to feel like I was finding myself again. 

Find a hobby you’re passionate about so you can have a creative outlet and have something to look forward to doing. 

4. Walk away

Those times when you feel like your pot is boiling over it’s okay to put your baby in a safe place like a pack n’ play or in their room while you watch from the baby monitor and walk outside to take a breather. 

Being frustrated doesn’t make you a bad mom. 

Realizing how you’re feeling so you don’t take that frustration out on your child makes you a great mom. 

5. Consistent routine

You may notice you get frustrated more often when you’re trying to clean and your little one wants to be held or if you’re trying to cook dinner and she’s overly tired because she skipped her nap. 

Be consistent with a daily toddler schedule or use these newborn productivity hacks so everyone will have less anxiety and confusion about what’s going to happen during the day. 

A few routines to add to your daily schedule include: 

When everyone knows what’s to come and what each day entails there’ll be less overwhelm and frustration. 

6. Exercise

Doing my 21 Day Fix workout videos at least 3 times a week is how I’m able to keep my energy levels up and stay in a positive state of mind. 

It’s been proven that exercise improves your mood. 

Aim to exercise at least twice a week even when you feel exhausted for that extra boost of energy and happiness. 

7. Clean 

Some moms find cleaning to be a therapeutic way to work out their frustrations and enjoy relaxing in a clean house that smells like lavender.  

If you enjoy cleaning, work that into your daily routine so you can always be in a calm state. 

8. Positive affirmations

When you say negative things to yourself like, “I’m a terrible mom” or “I’m so stupid” your brain will start believing those things and try to find evidence to support those claims. 

For example, if you say, “I can’t do anything right” and then you trip over a block while walking through the playroom your brain will say, “Yep you can’t do anything right you can’t even walk through the playroom without falling.” 

Whatever you tell yourself your brain will prove you right. 

Stop saying negative things about yourself and start saying positive affirmations everyday.

9. Be present

“Don’t be a perfect mom. Be a present mom” is one of the positive affirmations I tell myself everyday. 

Holding onto mom guilt and striving for perfectionism will drive you into depression because you feel like you’re never good enough or like your child deserves better. 

Focus on being present and not being perfect. 

10. Laugh more

Have you ever heard the saying, “you’re a stick in the mud”? 

Do you know what it means? 

When someone is a “stick in the mud” they’re boring, dull, blah. 

Don’t be a stick in the mud. 

Loosen up and laugh more often. When your toddler puts the block on her head instead of stacking them like you’re showing her just laugh and keep showing her the right way to do it. 

Be committed to finding all of the silver linings of motherhood. 

11. Express yourself

Do you keep everything held in until you erupt and yell at everyone over the smallest issues?

Your husband walks past the trash can that’s overflowing for the third time and you’re already frustrated that he hasn’t been helping much with anything so now you find yourself yelling about how unsupportive he is and how you feel like a single parent. 

But the thing is, people can’t read your mind and not everything will be done your way and you have to accept that. 

Telling someone what’s bothering you (maybe even multiple times) is better than keeping everything held inside. And if you don’t want to talk to anyone, start a journal and write down any and everything. 

12. Set boundaries

Being a stay at home mom people think I’m always available to run their errands or that it’s okay for them to pop up because “I’m just sitting at home.” 

Set boundaries so people value your time. Prioritize your time and don’t feel guilty about telling someone no when you already have plans to do something for yourself. 

When you say yes to doing a favor for someone else, you’re saying no to your own priorities. 

13. Be flexible

A cause of frustration may come from you trying to stick to a rigid schedule. Although having a daily schedule is beneficial, it’s also important to be flexible with your schedule. 

Things don’t always go as planned so go with the flow and don’t stress about getting off schedule.  

14. Practice gratitude

Every evening, my husband and I will sit down and choose one random topic or item and come up with 5 reasons why we’re thankful for that topic or item. 

Last night we came up with 5 reasons we’re thankful to have thumbs (we actually came up with more than 5). 

When you stop and think about the small things in life that are often overlooked your outlook will change. 

You can also journal every evening about anything that happened throughout the day that you’re thankful for, paying attention to situations that don’t happen everyday. 

15. Read

Getting lost in a good book takes you away from the stressors of motherhood and gets you wrapped up in someone else’s story. 

A few of my favorite books are: 

There’s a mix between personal development and suspense/romance which are my two favorite genres. 

16.Listen to music

“Music can heal the wounds which medicine cannot touch.” – Debasish Mridha

When you feel yourself starting to get frustrated, crank up your favorite song and get lost in the melody. 

17. Pay attention to triggers

An effective journaling topic is to review your day and make a list of what situations caused you to act out of character (yell, cry, walk away). 

For instance, you could journal about why you yelled at your toddler when he threw his block at the tv. Why didn’t you just explain to him why that’s not okay? What were you doing before he threw the block? How were you already feeling?

Dive deep into what could be triggering you to react the way you do so you can work on fixing it. 

18. Deep breaths

Flooding the body with oxygen decreases stress which helps you to remain calm. It also gives you time to stop and think before you react.

Take 5-10 deep breaths before you respond so you don’t act out of frustration. 

19. Give yourself grace  

Have you noticed you say things to yourself that you would never say to anyone else? You may say things like, “why was I even born?” or “maybe I’m not cut out to be a mom.” 

When you strive to be the mom from the movies you’ll fall short every time. 

Your child thinks you’re perfect just the way you are so don’t be too hard on yourself when you don’t live up to your impossible standard. 

20. Choose joy

Before I got pregnant I was working at a religious clinic which was a completely different environment than the hospital I worked at before. 

We prayed before meetings, the chaplain would come around and check on us and the patients regularly, and we were encouraged to pray with our patients. 

I haven’t been to church since Easter of 2015 so all of this praying was like my childhood all over again. 

One day I was sitting at my desk bored out of my mind and I was basically staring at the wall. 

I noticed a picture that had been hanging up since I got there but I never really paid attention to it. 

It was a simple picture with a design and only 2 words. And somehow it has forever changed my outlook on life. 

The picture said, “Choose Joy.” 

It made me think about how much I let outside factors dictate my emotions.

How I get angry when the person in front of me doesn’t drive as soon as the light turns green or how annoyed I get when my husband leaves his used paper towel on the counter beside the trash can.

All of these things are out of my control, yet I let them control how I feel. 

So I decided to choose joy. 

When I got out of bed for work in the morning no matter how much I hated going to work I would repeat to myself “choose joy.”

When I would get caught in 5 o’clock traffic on my way home from work I would tell myself “choose joy.” 

When my daughter wakes up at 5:30am instead of her usual time of 7:30am I tell myself “choose joy.”

This method instantly makes me look on the brighter side of any situation. 

So the next time you’re feeling upset, angry, frustrated or whatever, repeat to yourself “choose joy.”

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