questionshow do you manage stress when you can't take a…

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Make my body busy and let my mind fantasize away. Let me tell you, that "Calgon, Take me away," is BS. Even with the bathroom door closed, there's no getting away from some one wanting something. Even if it's just one of the 4 pets begging to be let in to "help."

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If you have access to a class on meditation or read up on how to relax your body with deep breathing - with lots and lots of practice, it is very useful in the situation you describe and which I too experienced years ago. I do know what you are saying, and I do know that even though it sounds minimal, it does work. You do need to take every single opportunity to take time for yourself and your husband without the kids wherever possible - go out on a date night - dinner and show if possible. It does wonders to get out of the situation even for a few hours and have your mind elsewhere. I used to feel guilty about wanting time out from parenting for a bit - but it usual and normal and benefical. No guilt allowed!

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A long time a go I developed some things that I believe work. (you must believe).

Put your tongue on the roof of your mouth, the idea is your tongue is a big muscle and the most relaxed position is on the roof of your mouth. (you must believe).

You can spin the situation. You say hey look how important I am, how awesome am I, is this not great? (you must believe).

I have a heavy metal song that I hum.
Smile. It helps! (you must believe).

Look at it from their point of view.

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Teach the kids and your SO to cook and do laundry, then drink. Heavily.

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@klozitshoper thank you. In the past there was a period when I was really prone to anger. I later learned I was severely iron deficient so in retrospect my constant irritation made a lot of sense. In order to stop myself from yelling I would sit down and put my face in my hands and focus on my breathing and allow myself to feel angry until it dissipated. Sometimes I would need to cry.It was a painful process.

Yelling is an attempt to "vent" anger onto others, to punish with fear, but we are a punishment free household, so that just doesn't work for us. (For those of you who just went "huh? Your kids must be totally out of control" I assure you, we get compliments from strangers all the time on how "well mannered" and "well behaved" our children are! Effective parenting can be done without punishments, including mild ones like time outs). I'm all for meditation/yoga but perhaps a DVD would be more realistic. Attending a class seems a bit daunting! Dates do sound NICE, though. :)

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I have found that a deep breath and a few seconds with my eyes closed is quite useful to dispel immediate anger and frustration. I have an 18 month old daughter, and as much as I may read intent into her actions, she (usually) doesn't do things on purpose or with malice. I keep reminding myself of this, or keep it in the back of my mind, and that helps. It also works with well-meaning husbands.