So you’re working on breaking the anger habit.
You’ve had a few successes. A few times when you would have lost it in the past, you haven’t lost it.
But one day you get to the end of your rope and you lose it. Again.
It happens. Breaking the habit takes time.
It takes time because it’s a habit (that may have been around for generations), and you’re learning new habits to take its place.
It takes time because it’s not just you who are making a change. Your whole family’s changing and learning new ways to be together — they can’t help it — when mom makes a change, it affects everyone.
During those times when you lose it again, here’s what you can do:
- Know that this is a normal part of breaking the habit.
- Tell yourself: “I’m doing the best I can.” Be gentle on yourself. Stressing out and beating yourself up over losing it can stress you out even more.
- Apologize: “I’m sorry I lost my temper. You know I’m working on not doing that anymore. I care about you.”
- Next is your opportunity for “the redo.”
Sometimes you can ask in the moment: “Can I have a redo?” It might feel silly, but (if your family’s willing) re-enact the conversation or the situation and this time respond to it in a healthy, helpful way. Practice being the patient mom you want to be. Fake it ‘till you make it!
Sometimes an immediate redo isn’t appropriate, but you still can reflect on the moment: Think about what happened. What button was pushed? What did that feel like in your body? What feelings were you having? And maybe: Why were you having those feelings? Try talking about it or journaling. (If you’re seeing a counselor, tell them the story.)
Develop awareness about that button that was pushed. Then next time, that’s your chance for “the redo.”
Life is messy. Nobody’s perfect. Redos are an acknowledgment of that and an opportunity for grace.
And what better lesson can we teach ourselves and our children? Let grace in with the redo. <3