The honest, painful truth is I get angry. Really angry. In fact I have felt genuine full on fucking RAGE. Before becoming a mother I very rarely got angry. I didn’t experience myself as an angry person. Sure I would get frustrated, irritated or irritable but very rarely angry.
Something about motherhood has triggered deep seated anger. And I have yelled and even screamed at my sweet boy. I have stomped and thrown things. I’ve even kicked a few things. I have felt rage fill my entire body.
Both the experiencing of the anger and the yelling at Arthur has been like an atom bomb in my life. I’m always surprised and horrified. The aftermath leaves me feeling shame, embarrassment, secrecy, guilt and self-hate. For a while I really thought I was losing it- turning into a shitty person who fucks up her kid by pulverizing his emotional well being.
I thought I was supposed to be better than this
I thought I was supposed to be better than this. I thought I was better than this. “Who does this?? Who yells at a poor, innocent baby?” I kept punishing myself by calling myself names and not allowing myself to ask others for help with him because I didn’t deserve it. I thought I would just “try harder.” I thought if I shamed myself and told myself what a horrible person I was, that would motivate me to “do better.”
But I really should’ve known better. Shame is corrosive- it steals your personal power. No lasting positive change has ever come from shaming someone. In fact, shaming leads to the opposite of “doing better.”
In this case, shame made me withdraw and so I had even less resources to deal with the challenges of parenting a tiny, needy, demanding human.
Instead of making anger go away like I wanted, shaming myself made it latch onto me and burrow into my body. The anger continued to live in me because it had no where to go. Shaming myself didn’t give me anything positive to say, do or think instead of yelling.
In order to parent more calmly, I had to embrace my anger
Here’s what I’ve learned. In order for me to parent more calmly, I need to embrace my anger. I know it sounds all backwards and messed up and totally wrong. But I have really discovered that I need to allow my anger. It needs to have a presence in my life.
Somewhere along the road of my life I learned that anger is not an acceptable emotion to have or express. That is a LIE. Anger is part of the human experience. Anger can release emotion, notify us of problems and channel power into our life. Who am I to think that I’m too good for anger? I can now feel my anger and welcome it as another emotion that makes my human life more dynamic and fulfilling.
I made a choice to stop judging myself for being angry
The next thing I learned was to become a gentle witness to my anger. I had to force myself to stop judging myself for being angry. Once I did that, anger felt seen. My anger felt heard. It didn’t need to explode anymore. My anger could more easily let me go and I could more easily let it go.
I did some other stuff too like changing my location or activity when I felt myself getting mad. I asked for help so I could take a nap for example. All of these things help and are great behavioral changes.
What helped the most for me though is embracing my anger.
But if that doesn’t help you. Try this Seriously though, I understand how hard it is to admit this stuff and talk about it. If you ever need a non-judgmental place to share and receive support, I am here. I’m waiting for you Mama. Whenever you’re ready. Join a Mamas Sisterhood Circle or set up a date to talk with me just the two of us on a free discovery call .