Thursday, July 19, 2007


It’s been a tough week. A week where I talk to my children from between clenched teeth and lock myself in the bathroom so I can count to ten. every. day. So I’ve been thinking a lot about HALT.

Snickollet’s recent post about the AA slogan HALT, the four emotions known to trigger destructive behavior, has been helpful. Sometimes, and I hope I’m not the only mommy out there who does this, my reaction to my children’s behavior is disproportionate to what they’ve actually done. And usually, my extreme response has more to do with my own emotions than with their behavior. This slogan tells you not to let yourself get too:
So I’ve been taking inventory of my triggers and have found that HALT just doesn’t cut it for me. Yeh, yeh, I know. They’re all on the list, but I need a much longer word to keep my emotions in check.

HAILT. First I have to add “Ill,” because when I’m sick, Pleasant Mama is no where in sight. The other day I woke up with a migraine and it was all I could do to get my kids ready for swimming lessons, barking orders while reclining on the couch, avoiding bright lights and trying to hold my lunch (or dinner, from the night before).

SHAILT. Stress wigs me out. And it seems to be my greatest trigger. When I have a tight deadline or am worried about finances, all a kid has to do is drink from the milk jug (yes, Kaleb, I know it was you!) and my right eye starts twitching, real crazy-lady like.

SHAILUT. I know, it’s really not a word, but we’ll go with it for now. And I’ve added ”ugly.” Because, come on girls, we all know that it’s difficult to be pleasant when it’s nearly lunch, you’re still not dressed, smelling ripe,and the UPS guy wants you to sign for a package. Your kids are acting like he’s Santa, and the youngest, with just a diaper on, escapes the house and makes it halfway down the block before you catch him. With all the neighborhood as your witness (Okay, so maybe some of that is based on personal experience.) Deep cleansing breath.

SWAT HILU. And I’ve added “What the…” because sometimes that’s all you can say when you see what your children have done (Okay, so there are times when their extreme behavior is proportionate to my extreme reaction). And there’s a much more interesting word combination in there somewhere, but my mother’s reading this blog, and I want to maintain my PG rating.

So there you have it. My own personal triggers, and it amounts to one Scrabbleable word and a Hawaiian turtle (yes, I googled it).

The morale of this blog is, as long as I’m aware of what I’m feeling, I can better manage it.

Now excuse me while I retreat to the bathroom so I can count to one thousand.

Ladies, what are your triggers? Do share. We’re all friends here.


Annie said...

I share all of your triggers! And, I will add frustration.

Frustration on the potty training thing is driving me absolutely crazy - frustration - or impatience maybe?

Absolutely Bananas said...

Mine would be:

PHAT! Oh, and that's a trigger too... but with a big PHat F!

Shauna said...

Your triggers are my triggers. Must be something with the name. :)

Plus sleepless and hormonal.

Mama Zen said...

Let's see.
Mine would be:

Hmmmm. . .

Slackermommy said...

"as long as I’m aware of what I’m feeling, I can better manage it", so true! That is the key. My triggers are rude, mean people, when my kids fight or backtalk, and when I don't feel good. If mamma ain't happy then no one is happy!

Anonymous said...

Mine are

fear (mine or others)
danger (real or perceived)
stress (about once a month. So maybe that's actually pms.)

I don't trigger very easily, but when I do, there's hell to pay and I'm not very rational. :-) I love your blog, Shauna.


JaniceNW said...

How about when your teen tells you to F*** off? Yep. That's a killer.

Stress of school~exams, grades, time to study, yadda none of my 3 males get it.

Tired is HUGE!

Atitude~not mine~theirs!

Annie~very few kids show up at university registration in diapers! Trust me.

When your oldest son who is mildly bipolar quits high school his senior year. One of the toughest.