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Often, when we feel like yelling or completely losing our cool with our kids, we blame it on anger (and them!). But usually, the behavior is rooted in fear—our fear.


Fear of losing control.

Fear of not having the answers.

Fear of raising entitled kids.

Fear of judgment.

Fear of someone getting hurt.

Fear of chaos.

Fear of being wrong.

So what if I told you that if you’re a yeller (like I was), that it would serve you well to learn how to be scared with integrity—how to feel fear without panicking, and how to be afraid with confidence.

Doing this results in modeling the same thing for our kids, which teaches them over time how to slow down and feel instead of avoiding the emotion. It also allows us to succeed at changing this behavior pattern that we so desperately want to switch up.

The next time your little ones do something that lights the fire of rage in you, consider these 10 phrases that will help you pause, breathe and respond, instead of reacting in fear. Many of them you may choose to say internally, but remember that saying them out loud in front of your children is a beautiful way to model for your kids how to process emotions in a healthy way.

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1. “I don’t know what to do, and that’s okay.”

Take a break from: “STOP IT NOW…OR ELSE!”

Example: “I don’t know what to do to get you to stop fighting, and that’s okay. I’m learning, you’re learning, we’re all learning.”

Explained: Many of us take birthing, breastfeeding and CPR classes before our kids become toddlers, but parenting classes on how to influence another human being with integrity (how to get our littles to do what we ask of them) usually aren’t on the list. So knowing how to handle misbehavior, irrational requests, hard to stomach attitudes and sibling squabbles doesn’t always come naturally.

Lean into learning about positive parenting through a class like The Foundations Course and be okay letting your kids know you don’t have all the answers, but you’re committed to learning.

2. “They are strong, I am strong, my family is okay. I will respond.”

Take a break from: “WHY CAN’T YOU JUST LISTEN? I AM SO SICK OF THIS.”

Example: “My kids are strong, I am strong, we are okay (even though it seems like there’s a three-alarm fire in our house)… so I will take steps to respond.”

Explained: Our fears about “what if our kids never learn” can kick into high gear when misbehavior and emotions start to soar. In a calm time, cement this belief system that your kids are incredibly smart and learning every day about life…as are you. Even though it seems like there’s a fire drill when misbehavior arises, it usually isn’t the case, and you can take steps to respond (instead of reacting like a volcano).

Creating this space between the stimulus (their misbehavior) and your response (how you handle the situation) is essential to breaking a yelling habit.

3. “I need your help.”

Take a break from: “I HAVE TO DO EVERYTHING AROUND HERE AND THAT IS RIDICULOUS…DO THIS NOW OR ELSE!”

Example: “I’m feeling overwhelmed and angry and don’t want to yell…I need your help.”

Explained: Kids (especially “power kids” who are built with a strong desire to lead) have healthy needs that are important we pour into. The need to feel powerful, the need to feel valuable, and the need to feel like they belong all play into their behavior (and misbehavior).

Engaging their help in times of chaos empowers them while also helping us to lighten our load. Teaching them that it’s ok to ask for help, and that problems don’t have to be solved alone are essential lessons that all children need to learn.

4. “I’m going to take some time to calm down, so I don’t do something I regret.”

Take a break from: “YOU MAKE ME YELL. IF YOU WOULD LISTEN, I WOULDN’T HAVE TO RAISE MY VOICE.”

Example: “I can feel myself spiraling out of integrity, so I’m going to go into the bedroom to calm down, and then I'll come back to talk about this.”

Explained: The fear of being out of control can cause us to yell when we don’t acknowledge how much feeling “out of control” scares us. Take notice when you’re starting to sense that tornado sensation and take a moment to calm the storm.

Light a candle, go to the bathroom, read a page of your favorite magazine, turn on an essential oil mister, or simply sit on the stairs and take a few deep breaths with your hand on your heart. Creating this self-calming space to allow yourself to feel and move through the fear will do wonders to guide you to have cleaner action when you head back to deal with the misbehavior at hand.

5. “I feel scared that __________, I am not okay with ________.”

Take a break from: “YOU ARE GOING TO GET HURT, I SAID STOP IT…NOW!!!!”

Example: “I feel scared that someone is going to get a finger slammed in the door, I am not okay with you arguing next to the door.”

Explained: Using "I" statements shows your kids what it looks like to take responsibility for your own feelings instead of using "you" statements that often make others feel accused and combative. Expressing feelings in this way helps your kids understand why your limit exists and the reason it’s so important they listen. It also helps you feel heard while being firm with your limits.

6. “Freeze…_______________ (ask for what you want).”

Take a break from: “STELLA…NO! WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?”

Example: “FREEZE…I need you to walk in the parking lot like a turtle.”

Explained: Consider replacing general commands with specific action requests that give kids clear directions on what you want them to do. When we take a break from yelling at kids with what we don't want them to do and replace it with a clear, firm call-to-action their little brains visualize that behavior (instead of thinking about what they’re tempted to do).

7. “I feel angry and it’s okay.”

Take a break from: “WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME, WHY AM I SUCH A MEAN MOM?”

Example: “I feel angry and that’s okay because anger is a healthy, human emotion.”

Explained: Anger is one of the five basic feelings that guide us in life and that other emotions stem from, not a “bad emotion,” or one we should be ashamed of in any way. Anger helps protect us from danger and can move us to action when injustice is present. However, our fear of anger and the actions we take when it is present is what often creates problems in our lives.

Viewing anger as good (not a negative emotion that should be hidden) allows us to move through it with integrity, instead of trying to avoid it. To help process this strong emotion, consider using a stress ball or doing 20 push-ups if you’re a mover by nature, writing in your journal if you’re visual, or calling your bestie (who you know will listen) if you lean towards audio learning.

8. “What am I scared of?”

Take a break from: “NOOOOOO, I SAID NOOOOOOOOO!”

Example: “What am I scared will happen if I don’t yell?”

Explained: When we think that yelling is the only way to get their attention or make them stop, it’s helpful to pause and figure out what it is exactly we fear won’t happen if we are gentle with our words and actions. After you identify this, you can communicate to your kids in a clearer way about what you want (vs. focusing on what you fear will happen), which helps you focus on your strength instead of your fear (a much more joyful way to live!).

9. “Kids, can you please help me? I feel like I’m about to lose my cool and need your ideas.”

Take a break from: “THAT’S IT, I’M DONE! TIME OUT! NOW!

Example: “Kids, can you please help me? Remember how I told you I’m trying my best to stop yelling, but right now, I feel like I’m about to lose it…I need your ideas on how I can keep my cool!”

Explained: After a few months of modeling self-calming and teaching self-control strategies, your kids will become great teachers that can help you remember to walk the talk when you feel like you’re going to implode. You have to remember to ask them though!

10. “I am strong, capable and have a choice.”

Take a break from: “I’m never going to change, I am just a pistol and nothing else works with my kids.”

Example: “I am strong (even though I fail sometimes) and capable (even though I doubt myself), and I have a choice (even though I feel like my back is up against a wall).”

Explained: Be sure to journal or record in a baby book the times when you kill it as a mom—the times when you set out to be patient, and you succeed, and the times when you choose kindness and compassion. Successes like those, no matter how small, define you as the strong, incredible and amazing momma you are.

Stay in learning to make sure your tool-kit is always full, and be sure to take a moment to say an “I am” statement like this one, as they can help you reset, power up, and self-guide the future you want to create.

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Sometimes it can feel like toys are a mama's frenemy. While we love the idea of entertaining our children and want to give them items that make them happy, toys can end up taking the joy out of our own motherhood experience. For every child begging for another plastic figurine, there's a mama who spends her post-bedtime hours digging toys out from under the couch, dining room table and probably her own bed.

Like so many other moms, I've often found myself between this rock and hard place in parenting. I want to encourage toys that help with developmental milestones, but struggle to control the mess. Is there a middle ground between clutter and creative play?

Enter: Lovevery.

lovevery toys

Lovevery Play Kits are like the care packages you wish your child's grandparent would send every month. Expertly curated by child development specialists, each kit is crafted to encourage your child's current developmental milestones with beautiful toys and insightful activity ideas for parents. A flip book of how-tos and recommendations accompanies each box, giving parents not only tips for making the most of each developmental stage, but also explaining how the games and activities benefit those growing brains.

Even better, the toys are legitimately beautiful. Made from eco-friendly, sustainable materials materials and artfully designed, I even find myself less bothered when my toddler leaves hers strewn across the living room floor.

What I really love, though, is that the kits are about so much more than toys. Each box is like a springboard of imaginative, open-ended play that starts with the included playthings and expands into daily activities we can do during breakfast or while driving to and from lessons. For the first time, I feel like a company isn't just trying to sell me more toys―they're providing expert guidance on how to engage in educational play with my child. And with baby kits that range from age 0 to 12 months and toddler kits for ages 13 to 24 months, the kits are there for me during every major step of development I'll encounter as a new mama.

So maybe I'll never love toys―but I will always love spending time with my children. And with Lovevery's unique products, mixing those worlds has become child's play.


This article was sponsored by Lovevery. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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Summertime is here, mamas! And while we couldn't be more thrilled about beach outings and pool days, both of those activities require one major thing—getting into a bathing suit. No easy feat when you're not pregnant (FYI: we tested many and these are our favorite five), but it's even tougher when you are prego and your body is changing daily.

To help, we've rounded up 15 super-cute maternity bathing suit options for you.

From sweet one-pieces (like Old Navy's watermelon-pattered cutie that has matching options for dads, toddlers and girls!) to color-blocked bikinis that will ensure your bump gets nice and tan, we've got something to fit every mama's personal style and body. Because we want you to love your pregnant body and celebrate it—you know the saying: Sun's out… bumps out!

The best part? They start at just $22! Happy shopping, mamas.

1. Motherhood Maternity ruffle front one-shoulder swimsuit with UPF 50+

Motherhood Maternity One-Shoulder Swim

Super flattering with a ruffle and in navy polka dots, this suit will be your go-to all summer long.

Price: $39.98

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2. Hatch Antigua maillot

Hatch Antigua

Did we mention we love ruffles? This beauty from Hatch is sweet as can be, and while it's on the pricier side, the quality is there and it will last you multiple pregnancies.

Price: $218

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3. ASOS Design maternity recycled glam high-neck swimsuit

Asos maternity high neck swim

Who says you need to be in a boring black bathing suit all summer? Let's embrace color (and some sexy drama!) with this high-neck suit that will have everyone asking where on Earth you found such a fun maternity look.

Price: Sale $33.50 (Regularly $48.00)

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4. Motherhood Maternity 'Beach Bump' maternity one-piece swimsuit with UPF 50+

Beach Bump Swim

This suit is anything but plain with it's adorable "beach bump" sign.

Price: $39.98

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5. H&M Mama swimsuit

H&M Mama Swim

Spice up your pool days with this super fun pattern that is also super flattering—after all, it's hard to spot flaws with all that leopard going on. The wrapped top, low-cut back and ruched siding all add to why we love this one so much.

Price: $29.99

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6. Hatch color-block bikini frutto

Hatch Colorblock Bikini

Show off the bump in this color-blocked bikini that looks like something straight out of the 1950s.

Price: $208.00

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7. H&M Mama swimsuit with ruffles

H&M Mama Swim

Bohemian perfection, this suit is perfectly on-trend for the season.

Price: Sale $24.99 (Regularly $34.99)

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8. A Pea in a Pod rib knit striped maternity one-piece swimsuit

A Pea in a Pod Striped Swim

Preppy but also a little bit sexy thanks to the cleavage-baring peephole, this suit screams "summer" in the best way possible.

Price: $98.00

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9. Summersalt Maternity ribbed voyager bikini top + bottom

Summersalt Maternity Ribbed Voyager Bikini

Summersalt is one of our favorite swimwear brands and they just released maternity options! Giving their ubiquitous high-waisted bikini bottoms the prego treatment, this is one suit that will grow with you from first to third trimester.

Bikini top price: $50.00

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Bikini bottom price: $45.00

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10. Pez D’or stripe one-piece maternity swimsuit for Nordstrom

Pez D'or Stripe Swim

Love you some stripes? Then you can't go wrong with this halter-neck option that is flattering and cute all at once.

Price: $98.00

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11. Old Navy Maternity halter v-neck swimsuit with UPF 40

Old Navy Maternity Halter V-Neck Swimsuit

We're obsessed with this suite for two reasons: One, that crazy cute watermelon pattern! Two, the halter cut with tiny peephole is perfection and there's lots of support thanks to an extra strap at mid-back.

Price: Sale $22.50 (Regularly $44.99)

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12. Gap Maternity tie-back print one-piece suit

Gap Maternity Tie-Back Print One-Piece Suit

This one-piece is as pretty as can be with it's tiny floral print! We love that the straps criss-cross in the back and that the sweetheart neckline drawcord is adjustable.

Price: Sale $58.99 (Regularly $69.99)

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13. Pink Blush ruffle trim ruched one-piece maternity swimsuit

Pink Blush Light Blue Ruffle Trim Ruched One-Piece Maternity Swimsuit

Oversized ruffle? Check. Removable straps? Check. Ruched siding? Check. Adorable baby blue hue? Check.

Price: $46.00

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14. Jojo Maman Bebe flamingo halterneck maternity tankini

Jojo Maman Bebe Flamingo Halterneck Maternity Tankini

Tankinis for the win! Perfect for pulling up when you want the bump to get some sun, but tugging down when you don't want to show some skin.

Price: $59.00

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15. PregO Maternity Wear roll waist dot bikini set

PregO Maternity Wear Women's Maternity Roll Waist Dot Bikini Set

We love how sporty chic this suit is and that you can wear it after pregnancy, too.

Price: $68.00-$72.00

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Babies love it when their mamas sing to them, and Carrie Underwood's son is no exception. But does he love his dad's singing? Not so much.

If your mom has a voice like Carrie Underwood's, chances are your lullaby standards are a bit higher than most. And, if a recent video from the singer is any indication, even Dad's singing may not quite make the grade.

The country singer shared a cute video clip of her son, Jacob, reacting as her husband, Mike Fisher, sings him a song. Let's just say the little guy isn't having it: Jacob cries throughout his father's mini-performance...That is until Mama steps in to sing the same song.

The clip shows little Jacob calm immediately when he hears his mom's voice (relatable, right?). Mike takes that opportunity to step back in and resume his vocals...but Jacob begins to cry again. "Everyone's a critic," Carrie captions the adorable video.

But don't take this to mean you have to be a recording artist in order to sing to your children! Even the most tone-deaf among us can (and should!) sing to our babies—not just because it's fun, but also because singing to your babe comes with some pretty awesome benefits. The act may even improve your baby's attention span and increase positive their reactions towards you, as we've previously reported.

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While Carrie and Mike opt to belt out the song "I Still Believe" by singer Vince Gill, you don't have to get too fancy. Singing a good old-fashioned lullaby to your kids is a great idea (they work for a pretty good reason). We are fairly certain that most babies out there love the sound of their mama's voice more than just about any sound (with the possible exception of the "Baby Shark" video), so keep up the family singing sessions even if you don't have a hit song on the charts.

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I am generally not considered a sentimental person, and I do not keep a lot of junk. When I moved to college, everything that wasn't part of my closet fit into a single trunk. By the time I got married, I had shrunk those keepsakes down to a single box. When I got pregnant, the box had shrunk down to a tiny container I shoved under my bed.

Then we had kids.

The sheer amount of stuff we received from well-wishers was overwhelming. I figured that we needed most of it—babies are high maintenance, right?—and took comfort in the fact that when our child got bigger, we could ditch the bassinet and the bottles and shrink down our lives again.

I could not have been more wrong. The stuff continued to pour in, and it became impossible to throw anything out. Some of it was useful and consumable, like diapers, and some of it was thoughtful and small, like a special stuffed animal, but most of it was simply too much…like the 1,398 toys that began a procession through our lives over the next three years.

It was nobody's fault. My children have four grandparents, two great-grandparents, and five aunts and uncles within a 20-mile radius. Many of them express their love through purchases. Constant purchases. For Christmas, birthdays, Easter, St. Patrick's Day, your regular Saturday. There was bound to be a build-up.

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The problem was that my children received so many presents the gift-giving itself began to lose meaning. Every time a family member came by the house, my 3-year-old expected a treat.

The amount of stuff piling up in our house started to grate on me, but I didn't know what to do. My oldest child has the memory of an elephant: the other day he cried because he couldn't find a specific drawing that he made in preschool 12 months ago. And my family was constantly checking up on their gifts: "Where's the special bear I gave you, little guy? Do you play with it a lot?" I didn't want to offend anyone.

Then I had an evening that changed my life as a mom. We went to a friend's house for dinner; they had young kids too, about a year or so ahead of us. We walked in and I was shocked at how completely their house had been taken over by their kids' belongings. You couldn't see the living room floor because there were toys everywhere—not in use but stacked up to the ceiling. They apologized for the mess, and it didn't seem to bother them, but I was panicking on the inside.

Was this what was in store for me as a parent? Were my children going to accumulate so much that I wouldn't be able to find my own life under all the mess?

We went home that night and put the kids to bed. And I ransacked. Three years of accumulated playthings, old "special" clothes, and my concerns and ideas about disappointing our relatives, were all ruthlessly sorted through.

If I was going to be a good mom, it would have to be on my terms, and my terms included the right to dispose of accumulation. It included the right to gently but firmly inform relatives that we may not have room for the stuffed bear as big as a house as a Christmas present this year, could there be a special place at their house to keep it? It included the right to shape my family's values, even when they clash a little with those closest to us.

I love our extended family very much, and I am glad they shower my children with affection, including gifts. But every mom has her own way of keeping her sanity, right? And for me, the key to a happy household now includes the occasional purge, when the kids are looking away, and knowing inside that your family will love you anyway.

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If you buy Parent's Choice baby formula at Walmart you need to check to see if your product is being recalled.

The manufacturer of Walmart's Parent's Choice Advantage Infant Formula Milk-Based Powder with Iron, Perrigo Company, is recalling the product because it may be contained with metal. There are no reports of babies experiencing adverse effects, but the company says it is proceeding with the recall out of an "abundance of caution stemming from a consumer report."


If you buy this formula look on the bottom of the tub to check the lot code and use by date. If it is lot Code C26EVFV with a "use by" date of February 26, 2021, it is part of the recall. Don't use it and take it back to Walmart for a refund.


These tubs retail for just under $20.

The FDA suggests "consumers with any health-related questions should contact their healthcare provider", and you can also call Perrigo Consumer Affairs at 866-629-6181.

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