Friday, July 2, 2010

My temper

People are always surprised when I tell them I have a temper. I'm not sure why. I guess it's because, on the surface, I appear to be a very calm and quiet type of person. I guess I do have a lot of patience. After all, I used to work as a special education teacher which required a LOT of patience. But there comes a point when I just reach the end of my tether and I explode! Unfortunately, it's usually my family that bear the brunt of my frustrations (especially Chris!) I've been known to do and say some pretty silly things in the middle of a rage. Even throwing things and breaking things is not unheard of.

I think having kids has really brought the issue of my temper to the forefront. Don't get me wrong, I love being a Mum but kids just have a way of doing things sometimes that frustrate you. Or irritate you. Or just plain make you mad! I have been known to yell and scream at the kids when things such as fighting or whingeing or not listening to my instructions have been going on all day. Not really the ideal solution to the problem! But hey, I freely admit I'm not a perfect Mum ;)

I've been working hard on my temper since having kids. It all started back when Jacob was born. I was diagnosed with PND when he was about 7 months old and was really struggling with controlling my temper with him. I used to feel such incredible anger towards him when he wouldn't sleep or 'conform' to what I wanted him to do (luckily I'm a lot more relaxed parent now ;)) I started seeing a psychologist who worked with me on strategies to control my temper. We worked a lot on recognising the signs of anger and learning to walk away from the situation or utilising strategies to calm down, as well as changing my thought patterns, ie. instead of thinking 'you're tired. You need to sleep now' thinking 'it would be nice if you went to sleep but it might not happen'.

All of these strategies I continue to use but controlling my temper is still something I battle with on a daily basis. I have to mentally make the choice not to explode every time I feel this anger. Sometimes I win the battle. Sometimes I don't. But I'm getting there.


CatWay said...

I know what you mean, I can be much the same (and people say the same about me seeming so patient). For me, it seems to be to do with not allowing enough time for myself. And like you, seeing things as already not perfect (the glass is already broken) really helps.

Sue said...

I don't think people would be suprised that I have a temper - I am a Taurean after all, but yes I would have said you are a very calm person outwardly, mind you Chris is a bit bloody perfect so that's enough to make anyone mad! ;) But, PND is predominently a perfectionsist illness so when your idea's on what's acceptable in the home are challenged by a baby it can set off anger. BTW peple that hold it all in are most likely to get cancer.

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