Parenting is far from easy. I am sure you realized this during the first sleepless night or the first time you got spit-up all over your new chenille sweater. It's not just the poopy diapers and vomit that gets under our skin. We are under a ginormous amount of pressure to raise these little ones into respectable human beings. There is a lot of information out in the world telling parents not to yell, not to swear and not to let electronics babysit their child. I agree, that these are generally good parenting techniques. However, we have to remember that we are emotional beings, just like our little ones. We become angry, sad, scared, and worried, just like they do. When you spend all weekend creating summer memories at the arcade, beach, and amusement park, only to be told "I hate you!", you are bound to become angry. When your child dumps flour all over the kitchen that you just spent hours cleaning, you are allowed to feel frustrated. It is in these moments that we become overwhelmed with emotion and engage in those behaviors that we are always told are wrong. Instead of allowing yourself to fill up with guilt and shame, see this as the perfect opportunity to model how to take accountability and repair relationships. Taking space to calm is key. Have the kids chill out in their rooms, put on those electronics to entertain them, and you take a breath in another room. Once you have regained your composure, go knock on their doors and explain that you are sorry for yelling and becoming so heightened. Validate their feelings, clarify your feelings, and end with a hug and an " I love you". " I am so sorry I yelled at you like that. I was just so angry that the flour was all over. I will try to work on yelling, because I don't like to scare you like that. I love you so much." It might not be roses and butterflies right after the situation, but it is teaching and healing.
If you feel like you are becoming dysregulated frequently, or if you are physically harming others, yourself, or property, please reach out for professional support. It takes a village!