I’ve always thought of myself as pretty patient and rational. It takes a lot for me to get upset and, when it happens, it is usually an inner rumble. I have mastered the poker face, and I most certainly do not wear my heart on my sleeve. I’m as cool as a cucumber, and I’ve got an inner zen that took decades to develop.
I’m not that lady spewing obscenities to cars that cut her off. Oh no, girl. I grunt, shake my head and move on.
And then I had a child. As mothers, we talk so much about how our children have changed our bodies, our outlook on life and our schedules. But no one talks about the personality changes. I don’t hear many of my friends discussing how entry into motherhood has resulted in, well, not so good personality shifts.
I can’t remember when I first realized that I had a bit of anger problem. I did a pretty good job at stifling it during conversations and arguments with boyfriends and my now husband, but it never reared its ugly head until I became a mama.
Perfect timing, right?
When I should have maintained that calm and that peace, attempting to parent a toddler sent me in a constant state of frustration. This isn’t because my child is a terror. She’s actually a very sweet and chatty child who, like all toddlers, is inquisitive and curious. Sometimes it takes me repeating things 30 times before she listens. This is the norm, right?
I never thought that I was capable of seeing red and that my child would be the first person to make the Hulk in me rise up.
But what about the days when she refuses to listen, refuses to cooperate and refuses to to pay attention? Logically, I know I shouldn’t expect so much of her. But my little anger dude, the one that sits in the pit of my stomach, he boils over. It takes a lot to quiet him down. Sometimes I have to walk away from the situation, grunt it out, close my eyes and count to five, pray and wish on stars (in the daytime!).
It has taken many failed attempts (in which I shouted at my child—I know, I felt awful), but I’m learning how to regain that peace that I once had. I’m learning how to breathe, take a few quick seconds to remember that I’m raising a little person who doesn’t always get it and to just slowwwwly tackle the situation.
This, of course, is easier said than done. Still, I’m grateful that I’ve recognized the problem, and I am vigorously working on fixing it.
I never thought that I was capable of seeing red and that my child would be the first person to make the Hulk in me rise up. I chuckle when I think about the irony in this. Here I am, a new mom to a kid that I’ve wanted my entire life, and this little booger manages to frustrate me in more ways that I thought were even possible. She is also the same little person who I can hug and snuggle without feeling any grudges. While I can easily go to bed with a huge dose of passive aggressiveness to a situation, I don’t have it in me to be upset with this kid for more than a few seconds.