Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Bodhi Day and Anger Management

Since today is Bodhi Day, which is the Buddhist holiday to commemorates the enlightenment of the Siddhartha, I thought I'd talk a little bit about mindful breathing and anger management...

When I was in about 10 years ago..I had a temper that could start a fire as quick as wink. I could be described as being quick to anger and quick to forget. I've noticed that the older I've gotten, the better able I am at controlling my temper. (Either that or I just don't care anymore.) Unfortunately, over the last few weeks the flames of my fiery temper have been stroked more frequently and they are burning bright.

Little One has not been feeling well the last few days..which leads to a fussy, crying, screaming baby that seems to be inconsolable..which leads GiGi to be grumpy, impatient, and frustrated. In the logical part of my mind, I'm telling myself..there is something wrong with LO, she is either hungry, in pain, overly tired, or over stimulated (dysregulated) and as her GiGi, it is my job to figure out what is wrong. reptile brain just wants to scream, yell, run away, and be ANGRY...and resentful.

In the current issue of Mothering Magazine there's an article called Managing Mama Rage by Tera Freese. In the article she talks about how to take care of your anger and how to deal with a fiery temper. She gives some techniques about how to breath through your anger.

Tonight, as soon as I got LO home from SO's shop she started fussing, then it escalated to screaming uncontrollably. I got her to sleep while walking her around in the sling and laid her down, but she woke up about 5 minutes later, only to scream some more. Nothing I did seemed to make her feel better...I kept thinking about the article and the breathing techniques that she recommended..well..I couldn't remember a darn one of I just started he' know that breath they teach you in Lamaze..the “he he” breath..

Did it work?..well LO was startled at the strange sound so for about 2 minutes she stopped crying but once she figured out that it wasn't a risk to her, she began screaming louder then I was he'ing. Did it help me? It did help me to be more present..and to recognize that I was quickly losing my patience. I was about to the point of laying her down in the crib and walking away (to the Bahamas) but part of me doesn't want her to feel abandoned.

SO finally got home, to find me sitting on the couch with a half naked baby (I started stripping off her clothes thinking she may be hot or just something different might stop the screaming) on the verge of tears.

Where am I going with this?? well, I guess as a good mother, it is our responsibility to recognize where our rope ends...and to realize that we don't always have to tie a knot at the end of it. We can let go of the long as we don't hurt ourselves or others, its okay to face our anger. It's okay to ask for help, it's okay to leave the baby someplace safe and take a breather. Slap on the earphones and listen to some Metallica (BTW, I had to look up how to spell Metallica, cause I don't listen to them normally). It's even okay to say to LO..I'm angry, I need a break, I love you. It doesn't make us bad parents, it actually makes us better humans.

What techniques do you use to take care of your temper? And what do you do when you've reached the end of your rope?

1 comment:

  1. I didn't realize it was Bodhi day! Thanks for sharing that!! :)

    I have started talking to Val like that. "I get sad when you are crying and I don't know how to help you." Now that she can talk back we've had conversations about it. She will say, "I cry like baby." "Mama your turn - cry like baby." I pretend cry and usually she comes around.

    We have done breathing together and yoga and dancing when we need a change of pace to break a pattern. I try to be creative and honest with her. It's not wrong to feel overwhelmed but it's wrong to treat them poorly because we do. They don't know how to express themselves unless by crying and other lashing out unless we openly do it so they can learn from us.

    You are doing right by your LO. You are amazing. Sending you lots of love! Thanks for sharing your story. You are not alone.