Parents, you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers.

Or just as likely, we’ve got questions and you’ve got answers.

Challenge: Keeping Your Cool

I don't want to be the mom with an easily heated, overactive temper, but I am.

Vote up!
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Email this article


What if none of us had tempers?

It's a question that occurred to me tonight, post putting the kids to bed and stuffing my gullet with far too much charcuterie.

I went to wash my hands after I finished eating and caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and thought:

"Okay, we had a pretty good day, right?
The kids were happy.
They had a fun evening.
We all had fun.
We'll sort of.
Okay, the kids acted up.
They got in trouble.
They got in trouble a lot.
I yelled at them.
He yelled at them.
Ugh. We both yelled.
We suck.
We're horrible parents.
Today was a horrible night.
We ruined a good night for everyone.
Okay, we didn't ruin it, they did, by their behavior.
Maybe the night wasn't ruined.
I guess we had a pretty good day.
The kids laughed a lot.
They were predominantly smiling.
They had a mostly fun evening.
We all had blast, sort of.
But I yell too much.
Daddy yells too much too.
We both yell too much.
We must work on yelling."

I then concluded my inner monologue with a self-appeasing, free-myself-from-guilt-so-I-can-enjoy-my-wine,

"I guess the night went okay."

Before I left the bathroom to return to my hubs, the comfy couch, and Netflix, I began to ponder...

What if none of us had tempers?

What is the point of a temper and why in the heck was one bestowed upon every one of us?

Merriam-Webster defines a temper as "a state of mind dominated by a particular emotion."

And, when most of us think of or refer to someones "temper," typically we are referencing how quickly they become angered or get riled up.

For most people, I would assume (and hope) their general, day-to-day TEMPERament is at least moderately tranquil.

But, for sahms, wahms, or even mothers who are balancing kids on top of a stressful, outside of the home career, the calmest we ever feel, I suspect, is right when we wake up and just before we go to bed.

And, that's only if our anxiety decides to chill the heck out.

Still, don't get me wrong, 'cause I don't want to be Mrs. Sally Serene who is eerily chill all of the time, but a bit more quiet, stillness and lack of agitation would be appreciated.

It's easy to blame my poor moods on my three young, innocent and well-meaning children, but it's not right.

I frustrate far too quickly.

I'm insecure as heck.

I'm an overthinking, overanalyzing, under-commonsense-using woman who is a mother trying her darndest to raise respectful kids who feel happy, have fun and feel loved, while she aims to feel happy, have fun, and feel loved.

Their sibling fighting? It upsets me.

Their non-sharing? It irritates me.

Their loud talking for no reason at all? It baffles me.

Their extremely close proximity even when I'm on the toilet? There is no good reason for it.

Their spills. OMG, why are there so many spills?

The random questions and the neverending "but, why?" retorts. I. CAN'T. EVEN.

I repeat, I can't.

I can't with it all.

At least that's how it feels when I am right smack dab in the thick of challenging moments or even merely just the more monotonous ones.

And when I feel like I just can't --

answer any more questions
clean up any more spills
say "please share" on more time
ask them to lower their voices


have company in the bathroom

I lose my temper.

I get loud, and I talk fast and I pretty much bark the law which I overdramatically avow is my right to lay down.

But, here's the thing...

I don't want to be that person.

I don't want to be her.

I don't want to be the mother that screams at her kids FOR BEING KIDS.

I don't want to be the parent who can't keep their cool.

I don't want to be someone with an easily heated, overactive temper.

I want to be in control.

I need to be in control.

I need to focus on being in control of my emotions and not simply controlling my kids, their thoughts and their actions

Yes, they need to "behave," (what a relative term that is), but kids don't behave when or because they are being controlled.

I'm going to say that again --

Kids don't behave when or because they are being controlled.


Kids act appropriately when they understand people and life, and this only happens when parents have modeled for them how to be in control of their mind and the feelings that they have bopping around inside of it.

Moms and Dads, it's so effortless for us to blame our parental missteps and flaws on our offspring, but doing so, well, that's the biggest and most costly mistake we could make.

So, what if none of us had tempers?

Would that make for a better world, better parents and better kids?


But, that's not possible.

What is possible, however, is

1) us parents working harder on self-control and self-regulation


2) discussing with our children when we fall short in exercising such.

In an ideal world, we'd all be sweet to one another, and no one would ever get perturbed over the actions of another.

Scratch that.

In an ideal world, we'd all be exactly who we are, making the same mistakes and taking the same missteps because, without those, we wouldn't be open to or seek out betterment for both ourselves and our children.

Today we had a pretty good day, right?

But, then why I am replaying the day's events and my less than model-mother behavior in my head?

Because that's what good mothers do.

We think about what we can do differently tomorrow to improve ourselves and our family's standard mode of operation.

Today, the kids were happy, and for the most part, they had a fun evening.

Yes, they got in trouble, and yes, I yelled at them.

But, here's the kicker...

After I yelled, I apologized, and we had more fun.

All three gleefully tired kids went to sleep in good spirits.

Tomorrow will be fun.

They will probably act up.

So will I.

We will talk about our behavior.

We will apologize.

We will move on.

And, when we move on, we will grow.

But, if none of us had tempers, that wouldn't be possible.

So, I guess, if I'm honest, I'm just a tiny bit grateful for the tempers of me and mine.

This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.