A is for anger

A is for anger

Once upon a time I used to be an even tempered, ever smiling person. I got along with almost everyone.. at office, with the maids at home.. everyone. I remember one of my nephews was quite a fan because ‘Chachi (aunt) is always smiling, mama,’ he would tell my sis-in-law.

And then I had the twins.

One day my two-year old was throwing a tantrum and I remarked, ‘Gosh! what a temper, she has!’ ‘Well she’s your daughter, isn’t she?’ shot back my maid. That’s not true, thought I even as I felt the anger bubbling up. How cheeky of her, I thought. But I let it pass thanks to the years of training of not being rude and also because she was years older than I was.

Then a few days later I was having a specially bad day. All my maids were on leave (I had three and one point of time) and the husband was travelling. All alone with the twins who were well into their terribly terrible twos it had been a harrowing day with the cooking, cleaning, feeding, bathing. Finally late at night dog tired, I walked into the bedroom with the two bottles of milk. There were the kids with their beach baskets pouring water on the beds. ‘Pool…’ Lisped my daughter. 

And I exploded.

I don’t think I’ve talked about this incident but the look on my daughter’s face after that hard whack on her backside remains with me even today. She didn’t cry.. not at all. She just stared back, uncomprehending. I cried then. 

Oh..the regret!

That was the day I realised I had a temper and that I had to do something about it. 

The first thing I did was to start yoga. I am still not sure whether it was truly therapeutic or whether it was the simple idea of doing something about the problem, but I felt better. The fight was not over though, is not over. It’s been a continuous struggle.

In this struggle I was directed to The Orange Rhino by friend and blogger Shailaja who successfully completed the one-week no yelling challenge. They have some very useful tips to offer harried mums out to conquer their rage. Do take a look. 

The twins are almost 8 and anger is now a familiar feeling. It still wells up suddenly, without warning, in a flash. However, often I find myself prepared to meet it. I have learnt to recognise the red flags, so to say, and begin to prepare to not yell when I spot them. Spilt milk, broken crockery, the early morning rush, even the continuous noise when they’re simply having fun are all red flags.

That’s the positive change I  like to dwell upon. Not everytime do I succeed but I’ll get there someday I hope.

Linking to ABC Wednesday, which is starting it’s 14th round. Isn’t that Absolutely Amazing! Do join in. 

24 Replies to “A is for anger”

  1. Lol.. SSJ.. Maybe it'll work the other way for you. Once you do have a husband and kids maybe you'll turn into this patient saint!!

    Shailaja.. Your story was very inspiring. Still trying to gather the courage to take up the challenge.

  2. As Aparna mentioned above, I just made a resolve today to do some blog hopping and commenting, after a long time.

    Am so glad I did!

    I can completely relate to the outburst and how you reacted. It's a process, this no-yelling thing, and a slow one, but very satisfying at that, when completed:)

    Thanks for the mention, OM 🙂

  3. Richa: it does get better but I wonder if it ever goes away.

    Naba: tell me about it!!

    Lisa.. Oh that's so true.. Kids do bring out the best and worst in us.

    Ashwini: absolutely right.

    Carver: as we grow older the triggers become fewer too. Wish I'd get older and wiser sooooon.

  4. It's always nice to watch children play and put everything out of place, as long as your children arent doing it. It does take a lot of patience to handle such times in a controlled way.

  5. Nothing really brings out the best and worst in a person than a child, does it?! Patience is tested sometimes to the brink of madness. We've all been there. Kudos to you for searching for an outlet to help keep calm in those frustrating situations. And when all else fails….there's chocolate..and wine after they fall asleep! 🙂

  6. I won't say I understand what you must have felt..But I'm glad that you recognize the red flags now…But I understand the stress..I'm not a mother yet but I know some things are triggers… I have an anger issue too….sometimes I just can't control!

  7. Imagine the look on her face no? A look which is not sad or perhaps stressed only shocked. And I can understand what you must have felt, once I smacked my sister for something very random and she didn't cry only looked on. I still get welled up remembering that time. Of course I have been trying ever since to calm myself down.


  8. Aparna: Mercifully.. For me too. Spanking is pretty much under control. But sometimes the yelling is so bad I feel a whack would have been better instead..the devil and the deep!!!

  9. I am so behind on my blog reading, as I was telling myself this morning. Good to know that we have blogged on similar stuff, and I can't tell you how much head nodding was happening when I read your post! Water on the bed .. Yikes!!! I would have reacted so similarly :(. With a lot of practice, I now stop, take deep breaths and try to ask questions instead of yelling. The spanking bit I have got "mostly" under control, mainly because it was substituted by yelling :P.

  10. Jyothisdayout: omg I hadn't even begun to think of teenage.. Now I'm totally freaked out!

    Kalpana.. You're right, except it's so tough.

    Amit: thanks

    Shilpa: calm, cool collected… That's what I'm aiming for 😀

  11. Roger.. It did help me.

    Kathy: Hmm counting and walking away.. That's a thought.

    Photowannabe: that's just the first step.. Hope I can take it forward.

    Magpie.. Yeah I was a favourite aunt too. But being a mum is a completely different thing.

    Leslie: thanks for the encouraging words.

  12. I know the feeling. Kids can really test your patience. But then over the years we mellow down, learn to ignore and get less worked up over things and even learn to accept certain things!!

  13. I remember those fun days of my youth when I used to love to play with kids and the kids loved me to bits. My niece and my nephews can vouch for the sweet aunty of theirs. Ever smiling, ever happy. Then, like you said, kids happened!

    My second was born when my first was a year and a half. And I had no help at home. So you can imagine how much my temper would have been tested. I guess at some point we learn to control the anger.

    I have two teenagers now. Anger has taken a completely new turn. Now I just choose to ignore things that make me angry. Listen to music with my headphones on or go for a walk. 🙂

    The first step to changing is knowing that something is wrong. So don't worry, you will get there. 🙂

  14. I think the most important point is that you have recognized that you tend to get built-up anger and that you've done something to try to release it in positive ways. And that is good!

    abcw team

  15. I have a nephew level experience with twins and while it's adorable for the family, I'm sure for the mums it's quite harrowing.

    As for the temper, yoga helps. I don't know how but it does.

  16. It's always good to be aware of your emotions.
    I think we all lash out from time to time. It's what we do with the incident that's important.
    Great post.

  17. Like you, I have 2 but they are not twins. There is 5 years between them. I think every parent has felt that. It happens. But..that swat of the butt was deserved and you meant to correct them and did. It is not that there is no remorse afterwards, because I find there always is..BUT sometimes you have to lay down the law and let them know what is acceptable and what is not. In the long run, they end up better for it. Yoga probably helps loads. It helps me to count and walk away. Good luck to you!

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