Friday, April 24, 2009

Anger Management not Applicable

Since I'm a stay at home mom now, I've been looking forward to joining the local MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers). I spent some time on the MOPS website the other day and got the names of the mentors. I recognized one of them as a lady from my Tuesday night BodyFlow class and approached her on Tuesday to ask a few questions. She was super excited that I was interested in MOPS and was more than willing to tell me the date of the next meeting, explain the childcare situation, etc. An awkward moment occurred when she told me about the last meeting. "We had a wonderful speaker last week," she said. "Well, not that the subject matter applied to anyone. It was about anger."
I laughed and said, "Yeah, I bet no moms of preschoolers ever deal with that!" Then I realized she wasn't joking. She looked at me like I had just admitted to child abuse.
Now that I'm away from the embarrassment of the situation, I realize how ridiculous it was for her to assume that mothers who are tired, hormonal, and weighted with the responsibility of not only keeping their little ones alive but also providing an "enriching" neural environment would never have to deal with something so base as anger. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that I'm sure I'm not the only one who has lashed out for no reason at a wonderful, but momentarily clueless husband. I'm probably not the only one who has wanted to slap the fifth person who said, "Oh, a c-section, huh? You took the easy way out." And I suspect I may not even be the only worn out woman who has ever looked at a screaming newborn and said, "I don't know what you want!!!!"and handed him off to whoever would take him for just fifteen minutes.
Hopefully, most of us already know how to deal with these moments of frustration and rage. But I can see the benefit of hearing a comedic teaching on the subject if, for no other reason, it just lets us all know that we're not the only ones. Few of us will need the kind of intese therapy or medication for anger management that would otherwise leave our children in danger. But I think all of us could use a moment to hear another woman laughing and nodding and saying, "Man, I've been there." I sincerely hope, despite this mentor's comment, that MOPS is a place for real women with real emotions who will be honest with each other. Because I really don't have time to go to a meeting of the Stepford wives twice a month.

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