I don’t think I really understood the full extent of the words “anger management” until I became a mother. I understood the words separately (trust me, I really understood anger growing up in a family where all emotions were on the table all the time) but I didn’t understand them together or more precisely the importance of having them together when you have children.
One of the downsides of having children (oh yes, there are downsides and anyone that tells you there aren’t either doesn’t have children or is lying) is that you have to give up the freedom to express your anger any way you damn well please.
Oh no, when you have children you have to learn an entirely new way to deal with anger (at least in front of them). Children, especially small children, don’t understand your anger and interpret it only one way, directed at them. And especially in our family that’s challenging as one of our three needs special care.
So when your toddler won’t stop screaming no matter what you do and you’re at a breaking point where anger is rapidly building up like a fiery volcano in your throat, you have to take a deep breath and figure out a way to stop yourself from exploding. It’s not easy. Well, it might be easy for some but God knows it’s not easy for me. And I have enough experience. But being a mom is even more difficult when it comes to being polite when you are just angry.
At that moment when my eardrums are vibrating from the constant crying and my nerves are completely shot, ALL I want to do is scream at the top of my lungs and run as fast as possible out of the house. At that moment, instead of doing what all my muscles and nerves tell me to do, I have to take a breath and fight my anger and fight it hard.
I have to swallow the huge lump in my throat and wait for the feeling to go away. And it does. In a few minutes usually. But the effort to get through those minutes is herculean.
I miss that freedom but I’m so thankful that I’ve found the strength I need to do the right thing (most of the time anyway) for my children and for myself.
Problem with hair
I’ve always thought that blow drying my hair straight was a kind of betrayal of who I was. I have long thick curly hair (think BIG 1980s hair) and if left to its own devices, it’s wild and quite unruly.
The feeling of betrayal, however, hasn’t stopped me from blow drying my hair for any even mildly important or celebratory occasion. I have the routine down to about 30 minutes from shower to straight smooth shiny hair. And when it’s done…wow…I feel like Samson!
I have the confidence of a woman that’s just walked out of a two-hour fancy haircut session at her favorite salon. But even with this confidence, there is a small part of me (which I ignore most of the time) that feels like a little bit of a fraud. That’s because the smooth straight shiny hair is not really me, the me that I know, the me that is natural and real.
OK, I know, this all sounds a little nuts. You’re probably thinking (that is if you’re still even reading this) that I’m thinking WAY too much about a silly thing like my hair! But, it’s not just about the hair. It’s about who I want to be and what I want to represent to the world.
I pride myself on being real. From what I say (translate…I say mildly inappropriate things sometimes in the spirit of being honest), to how I act (don’t even ask…sometimes I wish I could act a little less real and a little more just-fit-in), to what I wear (little to no makeup most of the time and my hair up in a bun)! Au natural is my main motto.
So when I blow dry my hair, in some ways I feel like I’m turning my back on the real me and trying to be someone I’m not…someone sleek, chic and instantly appropriate. But then again, maybe a little less real and little more appropriate is not so bad!