Tag Archives: Anger

Pause Before You Speak

Before Miss M was born I remember reading that “having a baby is like throwing a hand grenade into a marriage”. Nonsense! Said I. Not my marriage! We have endured long distance separation, migration, 7 whole months of 24/7 togetherness in often arduous physical and emotional conditions while backpacking in Southeast Asia! We have our moments of course, but we’re a rock solid team! Oh, how the mighty have fallen…It’s been quite a rough ride, particularly recently, and I think we’re both still adjusting to the change in pace and priorities that parenthood brings, especially coming from a background of such freedom and being a little later in life and therefore perhaps more set in our ways that we had imagined.

So it was with great hope and high expectations that I finally reached Chapter 7: Living with Partners in Sarah Napthali’s Buddhism for Mothers, yesterday morning. I was inspired! Loved it! We are not alone in our marital struggles as we adjust to the changes the past 2 years have brought us. I saw clearly where I might try and improve things and to my enormous surprise and delight my husband, who is not a reader, scanned all 20 pages and paid attention to the summary. We were on the same page!! We were moving forward!!

Until 10pm last night when he made the mistake of questioning a credit card payment in relation to my party planning business, which sent me into a spiral of rage stemming from a) I was too bloody knackered to look at numbers and how dare he be so inconsiderate as to bring this stuff up so late on; and b) ohmygod have I overcharged one of my very first customers and  messed up my very first order ohmygod! And all our shared Buddhist learning from that day went straight out the window. Big time. Especially the part about skilful speech, I am ashamed to say…

We pulled it back together, but not until a lot of mean things had been said. However, as my gran always advised, we did not let the sun go down on our anger (well, it had already gone down, but you get my drift). And this morning I awoke to a cup of tea and a little bit of Me Time in bed before the day began. We don’t do Valentine’s Day, but I think this an appropriate day to start over and resolve to work much harder on my marriage, beginning with being constantly mindful of this powerful little piece of advice: pause before you speak.


Australia Day Blues

I am not feeling very Zen today (whatever Zen is exactly). I was fine until just after morning tea, when we had agreed to go out, but husband took forever to get his arse in gear (or so it seemed to me) and then just when I thought we were finally about to leave the house he started faffing at the computer saying he needed to check which account to do shopping from. Why? Why must this always wait until we are at the front door?? And all downhill from there…

Oh, I am feeling all twisty inside!! Filled with simmering resentment and anger! A combination of PMS (curse these raging hormones), disappointment that period clearly imminent as we are in third TTC (Trying To Conceive) cycle,  and the fact that it has been raining for days on end have combined to turn me into the least mindful mum imaginable.

There was one brief break in the weather and I insisted we all get down to the ocean for a quick walk before I lost my mind completely, and that did help a bit. However, it occurs to me that perhaps I should have gone and done that by myself and cleared my head, as might have been wiser for all concerned, especially given the mad dash back to make sure we didn’t veer too far from the Miss M’s new routine, and my inability to respond nicely to any comment, however well-intentioned…

So, one step forward, two steps back on this journey of mine. Husband is cooking dinner tonight, which I possibly don’t deserve, given I did kind of demand it in ranting, shrill tones of which I am now ashamed…perhaps I can still make good though. I’m shut in my sewing room trying to regroup self. Helps to write it out.

And, breathe…

A New Approach

Temple near Pai, Northern Thailand

Miss M woke up his morning at the glorious time of 6.10am! I made a mug of tea and took it back to bed with Buddhism For Mothers  until the even more glorious time of 7.30am, as it was my husband’s turn to do morning milk and play (part of me misses breastfeeding after 16 months of that unique closeness with my girly, but the rest of me in all honesty absolutely relishes the freedom that ending that chapter of our lives has brought!). Once again I felt inspired by this book and even shed some tears at the wonderful realisation that I am far from unique in my deep-rooted resentment and frustration with regard to various aspects of Motherhood (although of course I don’t wish them on anyone!) and that these feelings can perhaps be overcome and replaced with a sense of much needed peace, if I’m willing explore the solutions offered to me in Buddhist teachings.

Unfortunately after this marvellous start to the day, I then checked my email and was confronted with a continuation of Wednesday’s wider family conflict. I had just finished a chapter about dealing with negative emotion but didn’t imagine I’d be calling upon it within minutes of closing the book! As it was, I instantly forgot everything I had just read and began bashing out a lengthy point by point retort full of anger mixed with hurt and guilt. An hour later, emotionally exhausted, ready to be late for an appointment and having spent no precious time with Miss M, I started thinking about what I had read earlier. It finally dawned on me that I could perhaps try to control all my negative emotion instead of being carried away by it. I tried to be mindful and focus on what my body was doing, how I was holding it, my breathing. I calmed down enough to realise the absolute futility of an angry, point-scoring response. Instead I sent a short paragraph explaining that I’ll be in touch in a few weeks. I managed to end on a note of kindness that in all honesty I didn’t genuinely feel, but I wished it was genuine and I hope that is enough to diffuse things for the time being, while I sort out my emotions and decide how to approach these latest relationship difficulties in a calm and mindful manner.

From joyful relief to angry hurt in the space of a few minutes, and it was only 8.30am! But, despite my uncontrolled initial reaction I had managed to get it together in the end. Maybe there’s hope for this grumpy ol’ mindful mama wannabe after all!

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