Faith,  Motherhood

Postpartum: Overcoming Anger

I generally don’t consider myself to be a person who gets angry easily.

Trained to be patient

Working with kids with special needs for the past 6 years, I really feel like I was in patience training school. No matter how much my hair was pulled, my skin was scratched, or face was spat at, I was able keep my emotions steady. I really felt proud to be working in the field that I’m in and to keep at it to the point where I’m pursuing a higher degree in it. I found that I truly enjoy working with children and teens with behavioral problems and to teach them appropriate ways to communicate instead of defiance or tantrums.

Even in my relationship with my husband, I have rarely gotten angry. I would rather become frustrated, sad, or disappointed over certain situations. Even if I was upset or slightly angry, it would not be so expressive as to cause misunderstanding and hurt.

Maybe I’m talking myself up here to be some sort of angel by saying, “Oh, I’m so patient because I work with kids with special needs.” or “Oh, I never ever get angry.”

However, LET’S TALK POSTPARTUM. Let me warn you that postpartum me has not been the prettiest.

Feeling overwhelmed now

I am guilty of being selfish, losing my patience, and becoming quick-tempered.

My postpartum struggle

Having a baby changes not only your family size but pretty much EVERYTHING. The way you do life needs to be completely modified. How you sleep and wake up, when you wash up and shower, when you go to the bathroom, when you eat and wash dishes or do laundry. Setting up babysitting arrangements and going back to work, meeting up with friends or going out for the day.. all of this needs to be changed. Whichever way you did life before, you need to make some major adjustments.

When you are in your postpartum, you have to realize you just pushed a baby(or babies) out of you. That alone is CRAZY! All the pain and hard work has paid off when you hold that little one in your arms..right? (or so I think) While the hospital nurses are there to support you immediately after birth, you are pretty much on your own afterwards. As a new mom, it is quite an adjustment and if I’m talking guilty truth here… having a baby or TWO BABIES is hella hard. Your life is flipped completely upside down. YES, I am so so thrilled and honored to mother these two littles, and I don’t want to admit it, but it’s also a bit traumatic. While I only had to care for myself and my husband, I now have these 2 guys, whom I’m responsible for. I have to do everything I can to keep them alive and healthy by feeding them and attending to their every need.

My struggle at work and school

I am now in the heart of the work grind and getting things done for school with a goal in mind to graduate at the end of this year. I have recently been feeling overwhelmed with my work and school situation. The spring time is most busiest time for school psychologists because that’s when we get a lot of referrals for psychoeducational testing. I have been bringing work home and dedicate at least 2-3 days a week working on these cases. While I do feel that I have grown over this past school year in my ability to work efficiently and thoroughly, I am feeling the weight of all the work now as I have entered into this busy testing season.

Are you running on empty?

Taken from Pastor Jeff’s sermon from a couple weeks ago, I did a self assessment of how I am living my life. To briefly highlight the points on what happens when we start running on empty:

  1. We become irritable
  2. We become scattered
  3. We become resentful
  4. We feel like running away or giving up/quitting

I am guilty of 1, 2, and 3. And I definitely do not want to get to the point of number 4, but I know I will if I don’t let some of my expectations go. I have become irritable with the people around me. I became forgetful and lose my focus that I am definitely becoming a scatter-brain. (Although getting a planner at the beginning of the year has helped me tremendously in getting organized). I become resentful and become like Martha in the bible, who complained, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me” (Luke 10:40). I realize I too am becoming too performance-driven and over-complaining that I am serving alone, when I’m not. I know that my husband is doing everything he can. I know he is working overtime hours and he already has so much on his plate with all the people he manages at work. He comes home and he continues to serve me and the boys with so much patience and love. He plays with the boys, attends to my every need, and helps with so many chores in the house.

But why am I still complaining?

I still have whole list of things I am grumbling about. He does the dishes, but I say it needs to be done now. The TV is on, but it’s distracting and I say it needs to be turned off. The laundry has been sitting for over a week, and I’m just annoyed. I’m annoyed that I feel like my house is a mess, and I’m annoyed that things aren’t going the way I want them to be. I am upset and I’m letting him know.

He’s being so loving and supportive and patient with me everyday. He tells me that he loves me everyday. He hugs me and kisses me and tells me that I’m beautiful. He assures me that I can do it and encourages me when I feel down. Yes, we do still get into arguments and he gets upset at me here and there, but in an overall picture, I know he always loves me and shows it to me. And here I am, telling him this and that, conveying that what he does isn’t enough. What’s wrong with me?

Overcoming the struggle

Honestly, I am just venting as I process how I have been in the last few months. I haven’t liked how I’ve become lately, but I learned this: no matter how much work piles up or how overwhelmed I may feel taking care of my twin boys, it gives me absolutely no right to be unkind to anyone. period.

I realized while God has blessed me double portion (literally), I am also being humbled double portion. I am learning and being more refined as a person as I go through this crazy season in my life.

Here are a few practical things you can do to breathe peace into your life everyday.

  1. Have gratitude and count your blessings
    • You have far more than you realize. What a blessing it is to be married and to have children. To be blessed with good health!! To be blessed with a safe place to live and to be provided with food to eat everyday. What’s even more. I really thought having a baby would be financially burdensome, let alone TWO babies. But everyday we are provided with far more than we could ask. The list is endless!
  2. Speak truth over yourself.
    • I have bible verses written on a post-it note and have it next to my bed. I also put up a letter from my husband, which also serve as reminder of his constant love for me. Sometimes, I relisten to prophetic words spoken over me, reread sermon notes. They all have been good reminders when I forget who I am.
  3. Take a day each week to destress.
    • Take turns with your husband to watch the kids and dedicate one day to destress. This has been truly life-changing for us!

Here’s a bible passage that has been highlighted to me early this year. I read it almost every night and especially on the nights when I become upset and angry. When I read it, it gives me such deep peace. Dear friend, I hope that you too will fight through the struggle and overcome.

Psalm 4:4-8 4 Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. 5 Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the Lord. 6 There are many who say, “Who will show us some good? Lift up the light of your face upon us, O Lord!” 7 You have put more joy in my heart that they have when their grain and wine abound. 8 In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.

Leave a Reply