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  • Am I A ‘Momster’? What To Do When When Everything Seems To Make You Angry

    Mommies and an expert share the best ways to handle 'mom outbursts.'
    by Dahl D. Bennett .
Am I A ‘Momster’? What To Do When When Everything Seems To Make You Angry
PHOTO BY Shutterstock/facai
  • Am I turning into a momster? This was the question one mom asked herself in a recent Smart Parenting Confessions episode on the Calamansi app.

    It turns out, she is not alone in her outbursts — other moms have had similar moments, too. Here are some of their #SPConfessions:

    Confession 1: “I have anger issues… (Minsan) sa sobrang galit ko hinahagis o tinatapon ko ang mga toys (ng anak ko). Wala na kasi akong ginawa, from the moment I wake up puro na lang household chores.

    Confession 2: “I am only 27 years old, feeling ko ang laki na ng dala ko, kargo ko lahat. Kami lang dalawa ng nanay ko ang laging nasa bahay. No nanny, no helper. Hindi po ako masaya at hindi ako masayang maging stay-at-home mom. Lahat ng mga friends ko, career women. Gusto kong maging hands-on mom but I also need support.

    Confession 3: “Nitong mga nakaraang araw lagi kaming nag-aaway ng anak ko. Ayaw niyang sumunod sa akin. Is it because lagi akong nagagalit? Kapag pinapagalitan o napapalo ko siya, hindi ako nagso-sorry. Hinahayaan ko lang siyang umiyak. Minsan nakaka-guilty rin. Sabi niya, ‘Para daw akong momster.’”


    How to handle emotional outbursts

    Moms from our Smart Parenting Mom Network, along with a psychiatrist, gave their two cents on the different situations based on their personal experiences.

    Communicate with your husband

    “Actually ako, I also tried to be a stay-at-home mom,” says mom Debbie Villanueva. “I love being a hands-on mom talaga pero sabi ko parang mauubos ako. So, what I did was I talk to my husband na sabi ko, ‘Love, hindi ko kaya na ganito. Kung walang mag-alaaga kay baby, hanap na lang tayo ng yaya.’”

    Mommy Debbie adds that communicating with her husband helped solve the problem. She went back to work and was able to continue breastfeeding by pumping at work. She was able to keep her career and be a mom at the same time.

    Time management

    On dealing with taking care of the children and managing the household while still keeping a career, another guest, mommy Diane, says working around a schedule is important. She says she strictly keeps a 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. work schedule.

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    Outside of that time is dedicated to her children. She wakes up early and makes sure to prepare their breakfast and lunch. After work, she prepares dinner.

    She recalls, “I wanted to be a hands-on mom but suffered from postpartum depression for 11 months kaya I was looking for other options na makaalis ako.” The set-up helped her a lot.

    Echoing Mommy Diane’s solution was guest psychiatrist Dr. Joan Mae Perez-Imperial, a training officer of the Department of Psychiatrist of the Veterans Memorial Medical Center and a faculty member of the Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health.

    “Slowly, you can explore mga options na pwedeng flexible work,” says Dr. Perez-Imperial. “There's still that balance kasi may degree of flexibility for the mom para hindi naman siya completely mawala doon sa kanyang purpose to be functional and to grow sa kanyang profession.”

    Learn to channel your anger

    Mommy Debbie, who has two toddlers, realized that she tends to take it out on her kids whenever she feels stressed. Then she realized what she was doing was not right.


    “Ba't ko sila idadamay? Parang na-realize ko na 'yung mga things na I cannot control, hayaan ko na lang. So, icha-channel ko na lang 'yung anger ko, imbes na sa kanila, eh du’n na lang sa paglilinis ko — ‘nakakainis kang dumi ka! Sige matanggal ka!’” she shares.

    She has also since practiced gentle parenting which she learned from celebrity mom advocate Saab Magalona. “So, pina-practice ko rin with my children na kahit magkalat sila, hindi na ako magagalit kasi nandiyan na 'yan, e. Kung kalat na 'yan, kung magagalit ba ako, lilinis ba 'yan?” she explains.

    Dr. Perez-Imperial agrees with Momy Debbie’s approach to anger. “[Debbie] learned how to adjust and adapt. How we behave 'pag tayo po ay nagagalit or naiirita can also affect our children,” she points out.

    She warns children have the tendency to model how their parents behave in a certain situation.  “Meron tayong tinatawag na social modeling, 'yung namo-model na behavior (ng parent) pwedeng tingin ng mga bata ganun ang way of handling that kind of situation,” she adds.


    Learn how to step back

    To manage heightened anger, Dr. Perez-Imperial says that parents must learn how to step back and let the situation cool for a while before taking action. “Pwedeng meron tayong gawin or meron tayong masabi which can be very hurtful sa ating mga anak at ang hirap na pong mabawi iyon,” she says.

    The best way is to retreat — in the kitchen, in the bathroom, in the bedroom. “Hingang malalim, inhale, exhale,” she suggests.

    “Make sure lang po na bumaba muna ang ating emotions para paglabas natin ng kwarto, mas kalmado po tayo at wala tayong masabi, magawa, that can have a negative impact doon sa ating mga anak.”

    What makes you feel like a mean mom? A mom has an answer here

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