Do You Have A Child Who Knows How to ‘Push Your Buttons’?
What is it exactly, about these little people that we bring into this world, that makes them oh-so-good at pushing our buttons?
So many buttons.
Ones we didn’t even know we had.
Giving birth isn’t just about making babies.
It’s about the birthing of a Mother.
It’s about redefining who we are – as a woman in every relational role we’re a part of.
And its about the creation of a whole new part of ourself.
No matter how long you may have wanted to be a mum – you can’t truly appreciate the emotional challenges that will present themselves to you until you’re in the thick of things – parenting.
And this can hit hard for some mums earlier than others.
When your little one doesn’t sleep well at night, when a baby doesn’t feed as you expect it to, or doesn’t take to breastfeeding easily, or doesn’t take the bottle, or doesn’t want to be held by anyone but you, or isn’t happy being strapped into the capsule in the car (or pram), or doesn’t stop crying (or screaming), or doesn’t want to share, doesn’t want to get dressed, put their shoes on, just doesn’t want to listen….
These instances can be an emotional trigger for mothers.
And, it can feel tough.
Buttons. Have. Been. Pushed.
Perhaps one of the (many) lessons that our offspring can teach us (and very early on at that), is that we must surrender our need for control.
(however you may describe it).
As a mum, we no longer have the ability to control (as much) of what happens throughout our day.
Shower. Rushed (and often later than we’d like).
Food. After everyone else is fed. Quick ’n’ easy.
Clothes. Not the size we used to wear. (And often spoiled with food, saliva, poo or vomit).
Fun. Not much time for that.
Uninterrupted adult conversation. Daily challenge.
A clear, relaxed, peaceful mind. Umm…?
You get the drift.
But if you try, even in the slightest, to resist what your little bundle (or person) wants or needs at any moment in time, be prepared for consequences.
And then buttons – pushed again.
So, what can you control, once you’re in the thick of motherhood, you might be wondering?
The way you RESPOND.
Your reactions are probably so familiar to you. Your reactions are what you tend to ‘automatically’ do in those tough, sticky or stressful situations. Like when your child breaks something after you told them not to touch it, and you get angry and yell.
However, when you respond – you’re taking a little pause, you’re allowing a little conscious space to distance your dialogue or actions from whatever is happening in front of you. You’re acknowledging the situation, and how you’re feeling, and then making a choice to behave in a certain way.
And once you start to respond much more throughout your day, you can learn to live with a greater sense of peace.
You can show your children what it’s like to love them unconditionally.
And, you can learn to be much more self-compassionate too.
So, when you think of the mother you imagined being, what does she look like?
What does she do?
How does she respond to her children?
Now, how can you change those little little moments in your day, the ones that ordinarily push your buttons, and turn them into moments of learning, growth, connection, love or self-compassion?
Wendy Gilroy is a Mother of 2, and a professional Counsellor for women. Wendy has a degree in Psychology, a Masters degree in Addiction Studies, and a Diploma of Counselling. She lives in Sydney, Australia, and offers secure ONLINE counselling for women around the world, as well as telephone, face-to-face and home visit services for mums.
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Disclaimer: This is for information purposes only. If you have any concerns about your physical or mental health, please consult your healthcare practitioner for medical advice.