I follow a few peaceful and gentle and zen mamas, and their work is inspiring and moving. But at times it seems all their struggles get alchemized into heartwarming stories, and I find my eyes glazing over or rolling right up into my head.
As much as I value the peaceful and gentle, I am drawn to the voices of the "scary" and "brutiful" and "broken" mamas.
The heart-bursting joy of parenting can't be separated from its gut-wrenching hardship. The children whose sleep you watch and hair you stroke are the same ones on your last nerve who you can't wait to put to bed.
Parenting can fill you up, but wow can it take you down. There are days when everything feels hard and you're so worn out and irritable and you're trying to hold it together but you keep snapping and maybe you yell and for a moment you recognize just how much anger you're carrying around inside and how often it's leaking or even bursting out of you onto your kids and you know it has to stop. You have to stop. You're not abusive, but you can be hurtful. And you're done, you're really done, but how do you change?
How do you get better at handling your anger?
Stuffing it or hiding it doesn't work. You can't just stop being angry. You know, you've tried. So get curious. Bring your anger out into the light. Sit down with it, have a cup of tea, get to know it. Get practice talking about it without blaming yourself or others. Get connected to people who can hear you without trying to solve your problems. Give yourself the gift of time and opportunity for tears about what's hard. Figure out what your anger has to tell you. Becoming a friend to your anger, you'll become easier on yourself and on your child.