My love goes away when I’m angry

The other day, I had a beautiful conversation with my preschooler. I had yelled at him earlier in the day (I don’t think I’d ever yelled at another human being until I became a second-time mom, now it happens at least weekly!). After we had both calmed down, I attended to repairing our relationship. ⁣

Me: I hope you know my love is always there, even when I’m feeling angry and even when I yell. My love is always there. ⁣

O: Yeah, but not me. My love goes away when I’m angry. But it always comes comes back. ⁣

Wow. Sometimes children blow me away with their honesty and capacity to voice what is true. I want my son to feel the steadfastness of my love, but the truth is, when I’m very angry, it is very hard to simultaneously feel that anger and also feel the hugeness of my love for him. But after that anger abates, you can bet I find the love still there after all, strong and true. I love the journey of learning to be more radically honest and radically loving that is parenting.

my love goes away when i'm angry but it always comes back

Published by Emily P.G. Erickson

Emily P.G. Erickson is a writer with a master's degree in psychology. Her helpful, science-backed journalism and essays about mental health, mindfulness, and motherhood have appeared in The New York Times, WIRED, Romper, Elemental, and elsewhere. You can find the latest from Emily at www.emilypgerickson.com.

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