“I remember hearing a mom saying how patient motherhood had made her. How her life slowed down and she was calmer. I slumped back in my chair while everyone agreed that they too felt calm… and I wondered… why wasn’t I calm?
I wasn’t calm as a mother. Actually, if I’m being honest, motherhood made me angry.
I’d wake up in the morning hoping for a good day… hoping I’d be calm and serene. Hoping I wouldn’t lose my mind… but then it would slowly creep up. ‘Luca stop annoying your sister and pick up your toys…’ ‘Sofia don’t open that drawer’… ‘Guys I’m trying to make you a healthy lunch… one you probably won’t even eat…’ ‘c’mon guys… stop getting into that…’ and then the anger just bubbles… it’s just bubbles and bubbles until it’s in my throats and I scream ‘oh my god!!!! JUST STOP!! LUCA! SOFIA! I ASKED YOU TO STOP!!!’
The anger bubble pops. And then… I cry. I cry because I just lost my temper at the most two beautiful human beings in my life… I cry because I think I’m a horrible parent and I cry because I have this uncomfortable guilt that hurts my heart because how could I yell at people I love? What kind of mother yells at a child? A little child? What will they remember of me when they grow up? Why am I so angry??
But then I went to a therapist… and I told her how horrible I was… how angry I was. and she told me, ‘you’re not angry. You’re scared.’
Remembering that makes me cry.
Yeah I was scared. I am scared. I was terrified. I was anxious out of my brain. The anxiety had turned into anger. Once I understood that, a load was off my shoulders. Understanding that my anger, my explosions, my regrettable rage was triggered by my anxiety and fears. Fear over someone getting hurt, anxiety over them not getting the right food, scared over a stupid conversation that happened yesterday… all coming out of my body in that moment I once again felt powerless.
For some of you, it might be anxiety, and for others it might be that you’re just really freaking stressed. Or you’ve spent too many lonely days alone in your thoughts with no one to help you through them… That’s tough.
There is relentless pressure on parents, on mothers, the pressure we put on ourselves because well, our brains never shut off… and the pressure from society where we have to bake cookies and be perfect and love every bit of our lives otherwise we are ungrateful and a bad parent.
But the truth is sometimes we lose our mind because we aren’t perfect. We are human beings. Human beings lose their mind all the time.
It doesn’t always feel good to lose my mind but now I understand my triggers, and it helps me. And medication helps me… there’s no shame in it for me. Putting up my hand and saying I can’t do this every day and I deserve better, it helped me.
I’m not perfect, I am still learning… some days I still lose my mind and cry… but those are less and less because I know where the bubble is coming from now. I know now I don’t have to be so controlling, and it’s okay if I do like a bit of control.
I know now it’s anxiety erupting… and I know that I have an amazing relationship with my kids. I love them… I love them more than my heart can contain, and I’d die for them. And they love me… and our love is bigger than anxiety and it’s bigger than guilt… and when they grow up they’ll remember the good times, because they will far outweigh anything else.”
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