when I thought I had an anger problem and then remembered I’m an introvert

Since adding Chiara to the mix, I’ve been reading/thinking/talking about parenting more than I ever have before. It’s not her – she’s almost unicorn baby level of chill – it’s me. It’s me learning what it feels like to be stretched to my limits and operate at full capacity. And what it looks like when I snap.

Anger, friends. So much anger.

Before becoming a mom, I don’t know if I’d ever experienced anger as an emotion before. Seriously. Annoyance and irritation, sure, but … rage? Nope. I’m an Enneagram 9 and the classic problem with that type is “being out of touch with one’s anger,” and I always thought, hm, weird, that doesn’t apply to me. Hah!

A while ago, I had two separate conversations with friends in the course of a week about going to counseling for parenting issues. Specifically, dealing with anger as a parent. And it surprised me that I had never thought of this as an option before, but because it popped up twice, it seemed like something I should consider. But then, all the obstacles – cost, insurance, childcare? And I didn’t do anything.

Then, one afternoon a few days later, I had a fantastic blow up at Evangeline and finally decided – if counseling is what it takes to make this stop, I have to do it.

I ended up making an appointment at the Women’s Care Center in town because a) it’s free and b) I could bring Zelie and Chiara, and I had a conversation with a counselor. I went in expecting her to give me strategies to manage anger, but when I described that I have a 4 year old, 2.5 year old, and 5 month old, and I get angry with my 4 year old when I’m tired, she turned the conversation towards self-care.

Are you getting enough sleep? Do you have help from your husband? Do you get time to exercise, be alone?

And I thought, Wait a second. Is this really the answer?

I consider myself good at asking for help and knowing what I need. The self-care route seemed like an easy out.

Later that day, I started reading a book called Introverted Mom, and found myself laughing in relief. She laid out three truths about anger that RESONATED.

  1. Anger is the natural response to the hard parts of motherhood, especially as an introvert.
  2.  Anger is an indicator to pause or change something (a bodily cue, similar to hunger).
  3. Quiet is a must for an introverted mom.

Oh yeah!! I’m an introvert! Everything made sense again. (I don’t know if I fully recommend this whole book, but it was worth it even just for this beginning part).

I don’t have an underlying anger issue. The self-care stuff isn’t secondary. I need to recharge to be a sane person good mom and partner to Chris.

The book gave me some reminders of ways to recharge and I thought of things I already naturally do, but now I recognize them as necessary.

Here’s what’s working right now:

  • Lighting a candle in the morning darkness
  • Morning Prayer from Magnificat while I nurse (even v interrupted)
  • Playing music
  • Getting out for a run about 2x/week
  • Reading novels while nursing
  • Stepping outside to just breathe
  • Soaking up the colors of the fall leaves
  • 20 min power naps
  • Going to bed as early as I can
  • Conversations with good friends (over Marco Polo if not in person)
  • Giving Evangeline a 20 min show after her quiet time (to bribe her to stay in her room for her quiet time and give myself a little more time)
  • Historical British dramas (Downton Abbey)

 

 

I’m learning to recognize what my “buttons” are, and to step away when I need to. And to note, without judgement, when I am particularly tired or overstimulated … before I lose it. I’m working on making time during the week and a regular time each weekend for me to do something restorative (Chris is a big part of this).

Because then I set myself up to enjoy time with these cuties and they get a happier mama. Win win.

 

 

One thought on “when I thought I had an anger problem and then remembered I’m an introvert”

  1. “she’s almost unicorn baby level of chill” – This made me lol. 😀
    It’s so true, we need time for us, and as an introvert the quiet is 100% necessary! I sometimes go out to my van in the driveway to have a break while my teens or hubby watch the little ones. It is NEEDED.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s