Friday, April 17, 2009

Angry mummy

I have been reading a book of late (on preparing for marriage of all things*) and came across a chapter on anger, entitled Commit Yourself to Control Anger.

I never would have (prior to children) considered myself an angry person. But I have certainly found, that since having children, I can get angry. Not hitting angry, but certainly yelling angry. I do not want to be an angry mum and I do not want to be a yelling mum - but there are times when I feel sorely tested in this area.

What I read in this chapter sounded at me like a trumpet call.

Who makes you angry? You do! Situations and other people cannot make you angry... You create your own anger. (p198)

What happens outside of us - external events - do not make us angry. Our thoughts do, whether they are automatic thoughts or ones we choose to think. Realising that you are responsible for your anger is to your advantage. You have an opportunity to take control of your thoughts and your emotions. In most situations, your anger will work against you and not for you. It can cripple you and make you quite ineffective. Anger can limit your capacity to discover creative solutions. If no real solution is available, at least you can free yourself from being dominated by the situation and give up resentment. Can joy, peace and contentment reside side-by-side with your anger? (p204-5)

I was struck dumb. The excuses that fill my mind "they are so disobedient", "but that behaviour is so annoying", "they should know better" - are only that - excuses to allow me to fuel my anger.

I must admit, I have felt truly chastened and repentant, as well as challenged. Challenged to stop myself becoming angry, and challenged to ensure that it is joy, peace and contentment that my children see in me daily. A challenge certainly, but a worthy one! I continue to pray that God may give me the grace to do so.

* The book is Now That You're Engaged, by H Norman Wright (I highly recommend it!)


Pip said...

A topic close to my heart - thanks for being so honest about it Wendy!
I've been dealing with this issue since our second child was born. A couple of books have been really helpful in assessing my whole thinking process (similar to where the excerpt was heading) though i still often struggle with it. Might check out the book you recommended.

Helen said...

Yes, I too didn't consider myself an angry or easily cross person. But that all changed when I had children. How do I stop getting frustrated by the little things the children do or don't do? How do I show them I still love them in the midst of my boiling anger?