OK, so I don’t really know what’s up with the craze over the game Angry Birds, and please don’t try explaining it to me, either. I work on a “need to know” basis, and I don’t really feel that understanding the attraction to that game qualifies.
But I do know about angry moms – because I
was am one.
I’m not talking about the “losing your temper once in a while” type, either. I’m talking the “stuffing it ‘till you explode” type…and while I’m not proud of that, it has given me a very generous perspective towards moms who lose it.
A while back I read a post from Ruthie Gray, of RearReleaseRegroup.com, about anger. This is a woman who has walked a similar road to mine in terms of experiencing, and then coming to terms with, that explosive “mommy anger.”
Yet I felt a little embarrassed reading her article because it hit a little too close to home. Kinda like when you’re sitting in church or listening to a speaker, and you could swear they were just in your kitchen last night! Or they were listening in after the kids got home from school a few days ago and you blew it…
It brought me back to the episode that first revealed to me that I even had a problem. My oldest was about 2 years old, and our 2nd child was a newborn. As you can well imagine, exhaustion had set in, and that’s never good, right? So anyway, the baby had settled down to a nap, but my 2-year-old was just NOT wanting to have any part of naptime, and I could feel my temper growing in giant leaps. We were relatively new to the area, and so I had no one to talk to, nobody to call, no friends or family to take the kids while I grabbed a nap, and I. just. BLEW. It! 🙁
I don’t even remember what I said, but I DO remember the face of my sweet little son as he just crumpled under my ire. Yuck. It was so NOT one of those parenting moments that you cherish or share proudly. But you can bet that it got me into high-gear to find help to keep that from happening again!
How I began to deal with my angry mom self
First things first: I prayed. Oh Lord, how I prayed! I prayed for me to have a softer heart towards my kiddos, I prayed for friends to help me deal with those episodes, I prayed that God would introduce me to older parents to become friends whose wisdom I could glean from, I prayed that He would lead me to books that might help me understand just why I was so angry. And as a way of showing His love for me, friends, He absolutely answered each and every one of those prayers…
Of course, receiving answers to those prayers alone doesn’t magically solve the problem. What followed were years of experiences working through tough situations with the kids, and developing vulnerability in meaningful friendships with ladies (mostly) who could mentor and pray for and pour into my new-mommy life.
But wait – there’s more!
Because even though God can indeed make all things new…we remain fragile and sinful human beings… So just about the time that I thought I was getting this “anger thing” under control, toddlerhood arrive in our house…and then health issues with one of our children…amid multiple major travel opportunities and moving our entire household…and then starting to homeschool…and the teen years…and well, I think you get the picture here, right?
Life continues to happen…and we continue to need God’s grace!
Similar to the diligent approach that many recovering addicts take about their illness – once an addict, always an addict – I realized I had to grab a hold of that attitude, too. I learned over time that I need to always be diligent about my anger because that is a part of me. The Word never tells us to not be angry, just that we are not to use it as an excuse for sin.
And so being that I’ve walked both the “mommy anger road” in the past, and am today on the journey at a much healthier place, I’m confident telling you about a free tool you can use in your own battle (and anyone who does experience this will attest to the fact that it is indeed a battle!).
You Don’t Get a “Do-over” but You Can Get a Make-Over
Sometimes, like I experienced so long ago, we know we need to do something about our anger, but we don’t know where to start!
I’ve already downloaded and printed it out, and if you are needing a tool right now, and at a loss as to where to start, well then, my friend, maybe you should, too! (And if you do, look for me over in Ruthie’s private Facebook group, Mom’s Time Out. Guess the kiddos aren’t the only ones that need that either, right?)
If you’ve read to this point, I want to leave you with this thought: I’ll be praying for those of you who struggle with “mommy anger” and trusting that God will continue to hold you in the palm of His hand as your walk along in your journey…
Pat Fenner has been homeschooling her 5 children for 20 years, learning and changing her methods quite a bit during that time. Preparing for a soon-to-be empty nest, she shares what she’s learned and encourages others in the journey over at PatAndCandy.com. Join them over a cup of coffee and sign up
to get useful and creative parenting and homeschooling “members-only” helps.