I remember being a kid and having screaming matches with my dad. On the one hand, I was a redhead (It's gotten darker over the years. Not sure I can even call it auburn anymore!), so I sort of wrote it off as being expected. On the other, I always wondered if it was because my dad was impatient, short-tempered and a yeller that it was a learned trait. Don't get me wrong - he's an AMAZING father. But his biggest regrets now are those times he fought with us. He apologizes all the time, so I've been trying really hard not to make the same mistakes. Especially since I thought I could just avoid teaching my kids those habits. Until I had S. I've mentioned it before, but she had her first tantrum at 4 months. So now knowing a lot more of it is innate and that I had managed to outgrow the outbursts (except for rare occasions) has helped me reconcile that part of me that I'm not too fond of.
At least, I thought I'd outgrown them.
I've found over the last few months that I am absolutely awful to S at times. I get so angry that I am shaking and have to walk away from her. I've even told her I have to put myself in time-out. I know part of it is that the last six months, she was 2.5-3 so she was pushing my buttons more, and Baby R was born so I was sleeping less. Certainly a dangerous combination. But lately I feel like Pandora's box has been opened, and I can't put the anger away. I'm set off by the tiniest things, and I overreact to her so often. It kills me to see that I've crushed her little soul. I know that words are more hurtful than anything because you never forget them. I try to bite my tongue and use "I" phrases - "I am very angry right now!" instead of "You are making me crazy!" Sometimes I'm successful. Sometimes I'm not. She's the most amazing child, and I know that her tenacity and fiery personality will be assets to her. I want to foster the positives and show her how to manipulate that temper into something wonderful. But I feel that I'm failing at doing that.
I know I need to do some things to help my mood - exercise, eat better, get more rest, do meditation/yoga. I need to do those things for more than just my temper, but this may be the biggest motivation I've found so far. Because I want my baby girl to know how much I love her; not think I'm constantly frustrated with her.