I used to think that my temperamental days were behind me, but then I had a kid. Then I had another kid. For some people, the reality of a tiny newborn was enough to send them into a tailspin. Others say it was all good until the teen years. Some say that Three is the new Two.
That’s me: Three was kicking my a**, and it wasn’t pretty. I realized that I wanted to become honest with myself and with my sons about my anger, in an effort to overcome it.
The hardest thing for me is seeing myself getting impatient or snippy – or the worst, lecturing and berating! – and not being to stop myself from doing it. I keep asking myself, How come I am quick to anger? And how come I can’t parent in the way I know I want to?
Then I remind myself to breathe, and I think about something I heard recently — the competence circle. It goes like this:
1. First you’re unconsciously incompetent (ignorance is bliss).
2. Then you’re consciously incompetent (you mess up, you apologize, hopefully you learn).
3. Then you’re consciously competent (you retreat to the bathroom to cool down before you do something you’ll need to apologize for).
4. At last you’re unconsciously competent (you’re like Buddha or something).
I cycle around this circle on a daily basis. I can go from Number 4 (ooh, we’re all connected and satisfied!) to Number 2 (“Knock that off!”) in a nanosecond, but I am getting better at stopping my complaining before it becomes a tirade. And I’m becoming a downright expert in apologizing.
I’ve chosen to write about my parenting failures and my angry actions in an effort to gain competence. I’ve written about the rocky, not very peaceful road to peace. I apologize to my son and explain how I would like to behave.
I write about these things because I believe in continually drawing myself up from the muck of motherhood into the mirth.
In the spirit of living and learning, and love, I share these “Mad Mama! Moments.”
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May all beings be free of pain and suffering.