Are you nodding your head in a YES like me? I would never admit this in front of my husband or my own mother but I for sure know that deep inside it’s my own anxiety that transforms me to that one – the angry mother. If feels like anger but it’s really anxiety at the root of all this.
Like a glass of spilled milk is a perfect recipe for disaster. Or the anticipation of that happening. You very well know that you will drop the milk if you continue to talk and gesture with your hands with that full cup of milk placed right in front of you. It has happened so many times. So WHY can’t you remember this simple thing? Do I HAVE to remind you of this every single time? You are 7 year old now, you are old ENOUGH to remember this and take charge. But in real life, it doesn’t happen. What happens really is my eyes popping out in frustration when the first few drops spill out. It could be the anxiety of getting late for drop off at the school bus stop. What if we miss the bus? What a mess that would be! Why can’t my son press the lift button as soon as he is out of the house while I am lugging his school bag, water bottle & my mobile phone in one hand and his left over breakfast in the other. Why don’t you sense the urgency?
Getting late for that class which is billed at Rs700/hour to me or the doctor’s appointment where it could be very embarrassing to not reach on time. And that I may have to wait for a whole hour or 2 before he decides to take me in. Getting late for anything for that matter is a bad omen. The anxiousness that comes along when kids start howling or throwing tantrum right in the middle of the shopping mall or park or when guests come visiting. Or when they carelessly walk around the house carrying snacks and spill it all along the way. That you very well know we cannot allow you chocolates and ice-cream every day. You know that it’s not healthy. That it could lead to obesity and a life-long struggle against it. But despite umpteen discussions the first thing you want after getting off the school bus is to head straight to the shop close by to buy one. How bad is your sweet tooth? Wasn’t the snack in your tiffin and dessert at school’s lunch enough for the day?
And what follows this bout of anger and harsh language is much worse. The guilt, the prospect of undermining self confidence in my child. Sometimes I even feel that I am just not cutout for motherhood.
I wish I could be less anxious, that I could be more in the moment. That I could be more of a YES mom than NO-NO mom. But Alas! This is real life.
Am I doing something about it? Yes, I do think so but maybe I need to try harder a little more every time it repeats/ I fail.
Some techniques that have hugely helped me in NOT transforming into an ANGRY mother
I try to avoid multitasking when with kids. This helps me take charge of the situation incase it occurs. Hunger and fatigue multiply my chances of bursting outs by many folds. Hunger is easy to tackle and I just take a downtime if I am fatigued. That means I let him have his way with food, choice of toys or some TV time. It helps that I acknowledge my short-coming. So I have made a list of my trigger points and everytime I land up messing up, I take out that note and write the date on it. So it sort of acts as an encouragement to see that I have had a 5 week of success. On the other side, if there are too many mess-ups then it acts as a good stick. Basically I monitor my anxiously as a serious task.
Do write about your struggle with anxiety, being an angry mother and how you tackle it in the comments.. Maybe I can pickup a technique or 2.