Being an angry mom

The wafer thin line of juggling parenting and oneself..

The pressure to deliver, to achieve, to be perfect at all times, in all walks of life is so daunting for a woman that cracks are bound to develop with time. As if being a daughter, sister, wife and a career woman is not hard enough, we also have expectations of becoming a mother and then being the best mother to our little one.

I might be the most collected person at work but at home, the slightest thing can irk me. In fact, I am a completely different person at home. The Zen vibe that I pride to carry with me disappears the moment I am at home. Does that mean I am not at peace at home? Or does my family possess the unusual ability to tick me off on the wrong foot, most of the times?

When I became a mother, I had vowed to myself to not be a ‘typical’ mom. I didn’t want to be the mother yelling at her child, losing her cool, chasing behind the park with a snack box in hand. Eight years of motherhood later, besides the chasing with the snack box, I have pretty much ticked everything else off the box.

Before being a parent, it is easy to dish off advice and words of wisdom on how to manage your household, work and family. But honestly, nothing prepares you for the transition in your body, mind and life. The fact that parenting and motherhood consumes you as an individual is not something which anyone tells you. 

Motherhood is way harder than anyone tells you. The reality of motherhood versus the expectations and rosy images that are often depicted in movies and books can be quite unnerving . Honestly, for me, the first few months of motherhood was downright difficult, tiresome and depressing. Nobody had prepared me for the constant physical and emotional exhaustion, body aches and the fact that the woman before motherhood ceases to exist after her child’s birth.  The easy-go transition that I had planned post-motherhood was nothing like the reality that was my life.

I find no shame in admitting that it took me close to a year to gain some control back in my life and understanding and accepting the changes that come with motherhood. I learnt to compartmentalise, channelise and chalk out a day that gave me time as a mother, writer, wife and woman.

There are certain things that I consciously worked on to calm myself down when I am angry, which helped me connect with myself and get a better grip of my emotions:

  • Being a writer and a diary writer from childhood, I started writing down my emotions, the highs and lows of the day.  This helped me understand what were the points which triggered my anger and I could then consciously work on being collected at those times.
  • While I had names for all the anger phases of my child: hangry (hunger which leads to anger), tangry (tiredness that lead to anger), slangry (lack of sleep causing anger) and general irritability and mood swings which result in short temper. I forgot to realise that I could be dealing with irritability and mood swings for those same reasons too. I learnt to eat at regular intervals irrespective of how my day is going and get at least 6 hours of sleep everyday. An hour of Netflix post my daughter’s bedtime didn’t hurt either!
  • When things just didn’t seem to be going my way, I learnt to take time-outs. I read some good old thrillers and detective series novels. I enjoyed venturing into the fictional world and getting a respite from the reality of mundane living. 
  • I also find going for long walks with my playlist on every morning helps tremendously in uplifting my mood for the day. I have made it a point to see-off my daughter at her bus stop and go for a hour long walk with my music at least a couple of times a week. 

While these might not work for everybody, these things definitely help me feel like the ‘old pre-mom’ me is still there and make me calmer, happier and having a lot more control in my daily life. 

Over the years I have made peace with the fact that nobody ever tells you, your pre-mom life is over. The impulsive decisions, reckless behaviour, lazy long weekends and unplanned moments are over. And, while the changes that come initially with motherhood is hard, very, very hard; the rewards are extremely fruitful. The joy in seeing your child grow makes up for all the long hours, trying times, crazy, angry mom moments and that smile of theirs can clear up any self-doubt that is bound to arise on the way.

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