Anger Issues

I have a problem.  I am a tightly-wound woman who snaps under stress, who is quick to anger, and who has a hard time getting back into a good mood once something has frustrated me.  No big deal, right?  A lot of people have short tempers.  And it's not like I'm the violent type, more like the grumpy under-the breath creative threat mutterer.

As a teen, my friends thought it was funny.  I was insulting, but witty.  I could cut down anyone with my sharp tongue and not think twice.  I'm not a very nice person.

It never bothered me before, but as a mother... I don't want my children to fall victim to my harsh words, nor do I want them to be as cruel as I can be.

With my hormones trying to balance themselves back out, the stress of staying at home all day with a newborn and a two-year old (plus the almost-7-year-old step-daughter after school gets out) I'm getting to the point where I don't like myself very much.

Sammy is learning to use the potty, and I am so proud of him.  But when Kaya is screaming to be fed but refusing the bottle because her mouth hurts from thrush, the phone is ringing to confirm another appointment with Sammy's developmental interventionalist, and I still haven't had the chance to eat even though it's 2pm... "Pop pi" is the last thing I wanna hear.  It means that he's went potty in his diaper, because I was too preoccupied to remember to take him to the bathroom on time.

Those moments are the ones that make me feel as if I am failing as a parent.

So with that guilt hanging over my head, Lexi will get home from school and start with her attitude.  I'll admit, we don't get along very well anymore.  She hates being here because I have rules (it's a must with two other children as well) and she isn't an only child at our house.  Add that to whatever her other family says about me and we'll start butting heads as soon as she walks in the door.  I swear she disobeys me on purpose, just to see what I'll do.  So, of course, I yell.  I threaten to punish her, I make her sit and listen to me as I rant about how irresponsible it is for her to ignore the things I tell her... I humiliate her.

It isn't my intention to do so, I really do want a good relationship with her.  I want to blame it on stress, on the lack of sleep for the last couple of months, but the truth is that I'm not trying.  She's this sweet little girl that I am making feel like the odd man out because I get so aggravated with her.  I'll yell at her for doing something that I've asked her not to do three times already, but then go play with Sammy and talk sweet to baby Kaya.  I'm brewing sibling rivalry, and setting up a teenage rebellion...

Since tomorrow is her last day of first grade and summer is starting, we'll be spending a lot more time together.  This could be disastrous, or I can get my head out of my butt and TRY.  I'm making it my goal to listen more and yell less, to try and communicate with her without cutting her down... to repair the relationship we used to have instead of pushing her further away.   Then, hopefully, I can use what I learn from fixing my relationship with her to make sure that Sammy and Kaya learn how to communicate effectively and make sure that they grow up knowing I love them as much as I do.

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