A Mom’s Journey from Anger to Self Love

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I’ve spent a lot of time feeling angry this year – with myself, with my husband and at the world in a sense. Because somewhere along the way, I fell into that age old cliche of putting myself last – as a mom, as a wife, and as a person – and I started to resent it.

Life gets hard sometimes. I’m talking about the real life ups and downs of 11 years of marriage. My child turning 8 and starting to act like a mini teenager. The battles and meltdowns mixed in with the love that we all have for each other.

During the last few years, I began to feel like my world revolves solely around the needs of others and I lost sight of what I needed to be happy and healthy.

My life has been so focused around being a mom, and trying so hard to make sure my son had what he needed. On meeting the day to day demands of caring for my family. On fitting in my freelance work between school morning drop offs and afternoon pick ups. And just being the one who makes it all work. I didn’t have the energy to make time for me, and my husband and I have not had enough time for “us”.  Because I work from home, I also don’t get that escape that you get when you leave home everyday for an office.

I began to have a hard time answering the question “how are you doing?” and answered in terms of how my son and family was doing. I didn’t know what to say.

When you aren’t getting what you need in your life, all these emotions start bubbling to the surface until they can’t be ignored. Sad, mad, resentful, frustrated, taken advantage of, pissed off, annoyed, lonely, confused, perplexed, longing for something different and most of all – ANGER.

What I have learned from this is that anger is all consuming if you let it be. It builds and builds if you don’t find a way to let it go.  But expressing your anger doesn’t have to have an unhappy ending.

For me, it’s been the reason I have started to question the way that things are, realizing that I need to find my own path again in terms of what I need as a parent, as a partner and as a person in my own right.

Staying angry is not an option for the long haul. It does not make for a happy or healthy life, marriage or family.

A quote from Cristina Yang’s character on Grey’s Anatomy comes to mind: “Don’t let what he wants eclipse what you need. He’s very dreamy, but he’s not the sun. You are.”

What this means to me is that while I am a mother and a wife, and I am selfless and caring in those roles, it doesn’t mean I should give up my own happiness. I need to make positive changes in my life right now and that means putting myself first on a regular basis – not at the expense of others but because I don’t have anything more to give without self-love.

I am the sun. It’s just been very stormy weather lately.

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