You can find the previous posts from this series here:
One of my biggest concerns during my hormone issues was WHAT ABOUT MY CHILDREN? What will this do to them? Won’t this hurt my children emotionally?
Fortunately, I didn’t get physically violent, as some do, but I did tend to get VERY mean. I yelled about anything and everything. I was impatient and irritable,and I didn’t really want to be around them. I couldn’t stand the noise, and the demands which required energy that I didn’t have.
So, NATURALLY, I was worried about them, and with good reason! My pastor helped me with this so much.
He encouraged me to explain to my children what was happening and why. He had me use the example of a car.
“A car needs gas to run. If there’s no gas in it, you can kick it, hit it, push it, but it WON’T RUN. Why? Something is missing, so it can’t work right. Well, something is missing in Mommy’s body too. That is why I act mean and yell, etc. I DON’T WANT to be that way, but my body isn’t working right, and sometimes I respond wrong to you.”
After explaining that to my children, they were in tears! They felt sorry for ME instead of themselves! It was so important that they understood, and knew it wasn’t anything they had done.
Also, I always apologized after I responded wrong to them, and was harsh. I would immediately regret my outburst, and end up going in the other room and crying. Then I would go to them and tell them how sorry I was, and reassure them that I loved them. I tried to teach them that people don’t LIKE to act mean, but often have a problem causing them to act that way, or they are hurting.As I hugged them, they would pat MY back, comforting me. So, they were learning compassion through this.
My kids were also VERY quick to forgive. They always responded well when I admitted my mistakes and apologized. Their hugs and expressions told me it was okay. (I wish we were that forgiving as adults!)
Let me just clarify a little here. I am NOT excusing the behavior that often comes from our messed up hormones. I found that I COULD usually control my outbursts, and hide my irritation, if I prayed a lot, and TRIED really hard. Sometimes though, it just snuck up on me, and I didn’t handle it well.
The best thing that I found when this was a regular monthly thing for me, was to plan for it, and lighten up on things as much as necessary. As soon as I sensed the irritation starting to come, and my mood getting bad, I would realize I needed to be prepared. I would try to get some time alone, and extra rest. Do what you need to in order to make it less of a problem, if you struggle like I did.
At the same time, when you do go through the depression it can bring, or find yourself being totally out of character and control, don’t be TOO hard on yourself. Realize why it is happening, and that you aren’t just an awful person. Be forgiving, while also doing what you can to help yourself.
(Next post – What About My Husband?)