I would never have characterized myself as an angry person before having kids.
And I never would have imagined that I would struggle so much with anger as a mom. But three years into parenthood, I am standing before you now and confessing: I am an angry mama.
At first, I thought this was my new normal. I even considered changing my kid’s future college fund to a therapy fund (because, oh, would they need it!). But after some hard conversations with my husband, I came to realize this is something I can fight, but I would have to be intentional and learn my triggers.
There is power in knowing your triggers. If you know what makes you angry, you can take action to avoid it. So, I began asking myself, “What was I doing when I started to feel this way?” and I found some surprising answers.
Lack of Sleep
As a mom, we know that sleeplessness is part of the job description, but that doesn’t make it any easier to deal with. This is a difficult trigger to avoid, as there isn’t much you can do to convince your teething toddler or sick infant to sleep it off. Some nights are just hard, and for me, that means the days are even harder.
Since I can’t control how much sleep I get, I have found two practical ways to manage this trigger.
- I pray: My faith in Christ is central to my life, and honestly, I have found no better cure to my angry heart than spending the first few minutes of my day asking the Lord to fill me up with His grace and peace and to remove the anger from my chest. Without fail, He answers my cry and my anger is removed and my patience multiplied. I could honestly not write another word in this post and have given you all the tips you need, but I have found other things helpful as well, so I’ll share those next!
- I resolve to take the day slow: The worst thing I can do if I wake up angry is to try to rush around doing the dishes, starting the laundry, and dressing the kids to get out the door. It only serves to increase my resentment and anger. I have found that if I wake up angry, I need to chunk my to-do list and only do what I feel like doing. Usually, that includes having a cup of coffee and a hot shower before trying to do anything else.
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Head on over to the East Texas Mom’s Blog to read the three other triggers I discovered and how I learned to manage them!