Chronicles of a Busy Mom - Managing Your Temper
Updated: Sep 3
It had happened again, I lost it and snapped. I immediately felt a sense of shame and disappointment in myself but the "Yoruba woman" in me was stronger; rather than back down, I doubled down to show who was in-charge.
One of my 2 year old twins was throwing a tantrum screaming and head banging, I was having a migraine, and it was that time of the month. I had tried to ignore him at the start, but his scream was piercing through my soul. I finally lost my patience and snapped. I felt bad because this is one of my weaknesses and I am trying to work on not shouting at my kids. Of course, as usual the shouting did not make the screaming stop; it made it much worse and I of course doubled down the endless cycle of yelling and screaming. To my surprise my 7-year old son, whom I teach to be kind and gentle with his baby brothers looked at me and in the most mature way said " Mummy take a deep breath it's ok, Bilal,(the screaming toddler) breathe,"
SubhanAllah! here I was doing the opposite of what I teach my kids. At that moment all my anger disappeared, I felt an immense sense of gratitude to Allah that my 7-year old could remind me to be mindful of my response and teach me to use some of the skills we teach him to use when he is upset. Soon it became a beautiful sight as my crying 2 year old tried to mimic the breathing exercise and soon his twin brother also joined in. They finished lunch in peace and later that evening when we had another episode of tantrum and head-banging I redirected him to breathe which he did(Masha Allah! he had the cutest face trying to mimic the breathing exercise, lol...). I always tell my husband that toddlers are such beautiful dynamic beings that Allah created to test our true patience. They have the capacity to elicit the best and worst emotions from you. They can be the cutest and most loving beings and then flip over to frustrate all the patience out of your soul. However, that is toddlerhood, that's who they are, that's what they do, being cute and loving up on you while also testing the limits and trying to use their tears and high-pitched screams to have their way.
As parents, I'm sure if we could all raise our kids to be wonderful Muslims without ever raising our voices I'm sure we would all sign up for it but the truth is we are humans we are not perfect, we will lose our cool sometimes but we need to redirect ourselves and hold ourselves to higher standards while striving to be better. A few key points I use on myself: 1. Acknowledge your weaknesses. It is only by accepting that we are not perfect that we can start to work on improving. 2. Be merciful and kind to yourself. Do not overwhelm yourself with guilt, remember point number one that we are not infallible; we will err from time to time but it doesn't mean we are horrible parents. 3. Always seek the help of Allah for truly there is no power or strength with anyone except with Allah. Even the prophets (peace be upon all of them) made du’a to Allah for righteous kids. It does not happen just by our efforts. A good reflection is from Surah Ibrahim verses 39-40. Prophet Ibrahim (AS) starts by thanking Allah for the blessing of his children and then made du’a to Allah to help him and them be an establisher of prayer. 4. Be humble. You are the parent, but it does not mean you're always going to be right. Listen to your kids and acknowledge your mistakes and do not be shy to say you are sorry. The way my sons’ eyes light up whenever I say the word " I'm sorry, mommy was wrong", is priceless! Part of being an intentional parent is knowing that you're not always right, you can learn from your little ones. At the end of the day parenting is a journey, the road is not going to be smooth at all times but as long as we continue to strive to be better with the right intentions Allah will bless our hustle. To all my mamas out there on the brink of breaking down, you are not alone, parenting is hard and exhausting but it is also a very beautiful and rewarding experience from Allah; so treat the gift that Allah has given you well, for we will all answer to Allah, how we tended to this trust.
Umm Zayd is a Paediatrician who is happily married with 3 boys. She loves to help children and adults alike and believes in learning through shared struggles and experiences, especially with respect to motherhood. She is also passionate about positive parenting, letting go of the idea of perfection and learning to embrace joy in our everyday lives.
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