Handling relatives

Handling your children

Ease uncertainty, be open

It’s so hard when PMS/PMDD is taken out on the kids. You feel like the worst mom, constant guilt and bad conscious. You wish you could do so much more and I’m here to tell you that you can ease the situation for your children. I’m a parent coach and moms exploding is one of the most common problems moms face. PMDD, other mental illnesses or just being mom. Everyone loses its cool sometimes, this is how I advice parents to handle it.

The first thing is to be open to the child. Children have palps; they often feel and know something is wrong, but they don’t know what is wrong. As children are pretty good at blaming themselves for what’s wrong, you need to open up and talk to your child. If you’re not feeling well, or someone else doesn’t feel well in the family or something negative happens in the family like illness, separation, or stress at work: Take responsibility and talk to the child about it. Uncertainty is often worse than the truth. So my advice is to sit down and talk about it openly and clearly and update the child as time goes. Tell her that you’re working on finding out what’s wrong and that your mood doesn’t change your love towards your child. 

When my youngest son was 2,5 years old I was diagnosed with PMDD, I had no idea what was going on, and I had two toddlers depending on me, suffering from my terrible temper and depression for two weeks every month. I’ve been looking for help for six months, and finally, I got it. Even though my children were small, I could see they were suffering, and I did my best to explain how I felt and that they didn’t have to worry. Mommy’s taking care of it. I’m looking for someone who can help me to feel better. When I finally got my diagnose, I could prepare them and explain why I felt as I did and that it didn’t change my feelings towards them. In time my treatment and lifestyle changes made our lives so much better.

To break the steps down:

  1. Talk about how you feel and why with your children (no matter how old they are).
  2. Tell your children that you’re working on getting it better. It’s hard for them but it’s your responsibility as an adult.
  3. Explain that your love for them doesn’t change.
  4. Keep updating them continously what’s going on, how you feel, any breakthroughs

When having a bad day

When having a bad day it’s important to see it for what it is and accept it. Lower your expectations of the day if necessary. If you’re with your children and can’t leave them with someone else and the only thing you want is to be alone in peace and quiet, trust me I’ve been there!

Talk to your children and explain how you feel and what you need. If you need to be alone for a bit, don’t be afraid to say so. This doesn’t mean you don’t love them or that they feel they’re not being loved, if you are afraid your children will think so I want you to know it’s in your mind, not theirs. If they’re small put on the telly, YouTube, or a game so you can breathe for a moment.

There are a lot of people saying you shouldn’t do this, that kids shouldn’t have too much screen time. What I say (and I’m a parent coach) is that the most important factor for wellbeing children is wellbeing parents. So if you’re not in balance do what’s necessary to take a break and get back to balance (as much as possible). Be proactive and try to take small breakes before exploding.

To correct your mistakes

When you and your child fought, been at loggerheads or disagree, explain what happened, how you felt, why you got upset and acted like you did or said the things you said. Be sure to tell that it was not the child’s fault. Anyone can become angry and people react differently in affect. Your reaction is never the child’s fault, which is important to emphasize, especially for young children because they have a tendency to assume guilt for what does not work in relationships. When you give the child an explanation he/she no longer needs to wonder what happened and why. By apologizing for your behavior and telling them that you are working on the problem, you take responsibility of yourself and your behavior and allow your child to avoid taking responsibility and guilt over something they can not handle. The good thing with doing this is that you teach your child both to talk about feelings and how to apologize.

Handling your partner

Communicating clearly

A common thing that create misunderstandings in relationships in general is that we often don’t speak of what we want, need and feel. Instead we expect our partner to understand it which in turn is an impossible task since most people aren’t mind readers. This becomes especially important when we have moodswings and at different end points. Even though we might have explained how it is to our partner it’s not easy to keep pace and know the current mood and what we want. Therefore try to always update on how yo feel, what you want and what you need. It might feel like you’re always talking about yourself and that you’re completely self-absorbed but it’s actually the opposite. By being clear about where you are at the moment and what you need to feel good, your partner don’t have to guess and try to read your mind. Always being on the edge trying to figure out what someone is feeling and needing is emotionally wearing. You can ease that for your partner and this doesn’t mean he/she have to obey every single wish or that he/she can’t say what he/she want or need.

Agree on a strategy

  1. Try to become aware of your emotions, and thoughts and tell your partner clearly.
  2. Be authentic, don’t say what you don’t mean. If you’re angry, frustrated, annoyed, or sad, say so. Don’t act like you aren’t and try to hide it.
  3. Agree on a way to handle your emotions and certain situations that reoccur. For example, if you’re often firing up, try to pinpoint your triggers and recognize when it’s about to happen and take a break and leave the room before you do so. This is a matter of practice. You’ll probably fail a lot of times. Remember that you won’t get it right every time, the importance is that you try and eventually you’ll get it right more often but making a change takes time. Be patient with yourself and celebrate the successes instead of beating yourself up for the failiures.

Let them get back to balance

Just as it’s hard to not feel well it’s also hard to see someone you love suffer. As we aren’t able to deal with things as usual, their responsibility becomes bigger as well as their emotional strain. When we’re feeling better we need to find balance again. What we need in order to get there is individual but we also need to let our partners space and time to get back to balance as well in whatever way they need to do it in. This need compassion and understanding from both sides in order to work and so that both you and your partner can get back to balance as quickly as possible. Again, talk about what you need in order to get there and help each other.