As I explained yesterday; I am starting a blog series dealing with anger. I will not be addressing this topic daily but it will be frequently. I am excited to start this new journey of journaling and accountability for this area in my life. I hope that others are encouraged by this as well.
I am starting my series with the book I am currently reading: She’s Gonna Blow by: Julie Ann Barnhill. The author has a funny way of presenting the honest truth of angry moms. She tells personal stories and experiences while also conveying her message of how to deal with anger. At the end of each chapter; she includes questions that help the reader focus on what is happening in their life. A group of friends and I have been answering these questions together and discussing them as a way of accountability. In order to prevent infringing on copyrights; I will not be typing out the actual questions. I will incorporate my answers to most of the questions as I summarize the chapters in my posts. (Click She’s Gonna Blow; if you are interested in purchasing the book in order to follow along with me).
In the first chapter How Did I Get Here?, Julie Ann Barnhill shares a couple of experiences which made her ask that very question. “Aha!” moments which revealed to her that she had a problem with anger. One moment was three weeks after her son was born and her (at the time 18 month) daughter proclaimed loudly in public “Big bottom, Mom! Big bottom!” Likewise, I really saw how bad my anger was soon after Audrey was born. Already exhausted and hormonally challenged; I realized I was taking my stress and emotions out on my just turned 2 year old–Kendal. It seems that when I am with other kids that are not mine; I don’t have a temper and can easily control any emotions. I generally have a lot more patience with other kids. With my kids; it doesn’t take much to set me off (even after over a year of working on it). I prefer being in group settings with other kids when doing projects (like decorating Easter eggs, making gingerbread houses, etc) because I have fun. If it is just me and my girls, the perfectionist in me would causes me to get stressed and not have fun (and makes it miserable for the girls). My main anger triggers are stress and lack of sleep. I also do not have tolerance when Kendal hurts Audrey or when either of the girls do something that they have been told not to (and disciplined for) over and over. When Shane & I get into arguments and are angry at each other; it is easy to transfer that anger to anything the girls are doing.
Barnhill then described her “what every mom longs to be” list before children: “dynamic, involved, compassionate, fun, inspiring, and loving.” After having children her “good mother” adjectives did not measure up: “impatient, discontented, irritable, depressed, disappointed, and angry.” She also shared letters from other moms experiencing similar problems with anger. Before I had children I usually communicated anger by yelling. Although I have been an angry person most of my life; I think the intensity has definitely increased since being a mother. I still frequently yell out of anger; which I know completely has the opposite effect. I am very blessed to be able to stay home with my kids but before kids I envisioned being a stay-at-home mom as fun and fulfilling. Generally after spending a full day with the girls by myself; I am ready to completely pass the parenting roll to Shane as soon as he is available–so that I can go hibernate.
I believe that problems with anger are often justified or kept secret. Personally, I really need continuous and active accountability in this area. Most of my friends know that I have an anger problem and a lot of my church knows because of giving my testimony a few months ago. Only the friends who I have been accountable to over the past year and a half really know how bad it is. If this is a problem area in your life; I encourage you to find a close friend who you can share with and who can help hold you accountable.
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By Julie Ann Barnhill / Harvest House Publishers
I would love to hear your thoughts and stories if you have ever dealt with anger in your life!
Please feel free to comment on my posts and/or e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can find links to all posts in this series on the Anger Series Index page.