I’m not exactly sure why (hormones, fatigue, aches and pains?), but every time I am pregnant I become very angry. Not all day, and thankfully not at my husband or kids (well, not all of the time), but lets just say I have a short fuse and if anyone makes my day more difficult, woe betide them. With #4 on the way, and the other 3 under age 9, I have a lot going on. So for instance, when a sales clerk (who obviously would rather be texting her boyfriend) can’t be bothered to look for something I just know they have, or a rude lady cuts the line at the grocery checkout or the bank ….my swollen feet stamp on the ground and I see red. I know, these are all small things, but when I’m pregnant, they really don’t seem small at all.
A good friend of mine, K, who recently gave birth to her #3, fired 2 of her staff when she was pregnant. She also admitted to being an angry pregnant woman, and I vividly remember her getting ticked off with someone at the mall practically every time we went shopping together. It was pretty scary because these people are totally defenseless against a heavily pregnant woman. Now that K is back to her sweet old self, I’ve become the dragon lady, in my 4th fire-breathing incarnation. The poor husbands who have to live with this Mrs.Hyde syndrome have to get some sympathy. On our last family holiday, I fumed at our travel agent (who failed to book 3 child meals after I reminded her twice), the hotel receptionist and flight attendant to name a few. By the end of the trip (remind me again WHY its a good idea to travel in your 2nd trim?), hubby said I had to relax and try not to work myself up into a fury every time things don’t go well.
And he’s right. After a bit of web digging, I found that there are prenatal anger effects on the fetus and neonate. One study showed that one hundred and sixty-six women were classified as experiencing high or low anger during the second trimester of pregnancy, and the babies of Moms who showed the high anger were prone to bad sleeping patterns and so on. Whether or not that’s true, I don’t know. What I do know is that I’ve been angry with all of my pregnancies, and all of my kids happy and healthy – equally different in good ways and bad.
It doesn’t hurt though to curb that anger, which can’t be a good thing pregnant or not. Parenting mag gives some sound advice:
If you find you’re frequently furious, try:
* Walking away. Avoid discussions that’ll only make your blood boil — tell the offending party that you’re feeling sensitive and you would rather not talk about the issue. Then give yourself a half-hour and take a stroll, whether it’s around the office or around the block.
* Staying active. Swimming, tennis, walking, gardening — many types of regular exercise can keep your hostility barometer in check while helping to relieve physical discomforts.
* Writing it out. It can be very cathartic to vent on paper — through journal entries, poems, or outrageously nasty letters that you never mail.
* Taking a mental health break. Whether it’s a day off work or a two-hour escape from the kids, pamper yourself: Get a facial, see a movie, buy a pair of shoes.
* Seeking professional help. If you find your anger is making it hard to function, consider talking to a therapist.
Photo via Floyd Brown