I Can’t Keep My Cool

– – – because I am a woman!

Well, let me say this before somebody out there gets mad at me.

Some women can keep their cool from month to month and from year to year; and we are very thankful for them. But some of us are struggling at least for three or four days out of a month trying to keep our “nice attitude” from turning into a nightmare. And during those few days of the month, we scare the people who live with us to death.

My Berhan knows how to go around my mood but my kids used to struggle to understand it. When they were little, it was a very strange and sometimes scary moment for them.Let me give you one example: So, I get up in the morning and clean my kitchen as if nobody’s business. Then the next thing I know, one full cup of milk will be on the floor.

On good days, I believe that kids shouldn’t be screamed at for being kids. If they spill milk, it is okay. They are just kids. (I learned this from Dr. Kevin Leman’s books) But when I’m in “my week,” I can’t tolerate any drop of milk on the floor.

Well, around my period, I will scream at my kids if they spill anything as if they took a gun, aimed at me, pushed the trigger and missed me.

So, I discussed with my husband what I needed to do about those few days of my life out of a month. I didn’t like what I always felt right after I screamed my lungs out at my kids. Their face seems to say to me, “Who is this woman?” because their mother usually doesn’t react like that for spilled milk.

So, as we gather together around the table to pray for one of the meals (usually on weekends), I began giving prayer request to the whole family saying something like, “I’m so sorry for screaming at you yesterday and please pray for me so that I won’t be that much angry for every little things. Would you please guys pray for me and help me?”

I learned early on that when I get upset, I choose to hide myself in my bedroom or restroom and breathe in and out many times until I don’t feel any anger. (BTW, I still do that whenever I get upset).

However those “I’m sorry and please pray for me” statements and hiding myself in my bed/restroom didn’t help me that much.

So, one day I decided to have a small meeting with my kids (family meeting is something the Banko’s do often whenever there is an issue to talk about).

I think our youngest son was in third, our daughter in fifth and our older son was in seventh grade. I knew I couldn’t discuss the topic to all of them at the same level. So, I made sure that the level of explanation about my dramatic week out of a month must be at our youngest son’s level.

I don’t remember exactly what I said to them but of course our older son at that time knew everything about the woman’s cycle and for our daughter, that was the year I began telling her about being a woman and she had some understanding; but our youngest son didn’t know what on earth I was talking about. All he got out of the meeting was this: “Mom sometimes has an unpleasant attitude; and when she does, she hides herself in her bedroom.”

After our meeting, the following month, my daughter was the first one to pick my “not good mood” in the morning. So, we didn’t talk that much in the car when I dropped them off to school. When I picked them up later that day, my youngest son was in a very good mood. So, while he was opening the trunk of my car to put his backpack, he said, “So, mom, where are you going to take us for snack?”

My daughter immediately said, “Stop! She is dangerous today!”

I was dangerous up until that point and when I heard my daughter, I broke into laughter. That day went very well!

Then the follow week, I was taking one very important phone call and went to my bedroom to talk privately. I didn’t know that my youngest son didn’t like the fact that I went to my bedroom and closed the door.

So, he came to my bedroom, slowly knocked the door and asked, “Mom, is your period here again?”

Oh, how I laughed that day! But at the same time, I was very happy that my kids are not taking Mommy’s “not-good-mood” personally and they don’t say to themselves things like, “Our mom’s mood is not good today because we are not loving kids; our mother doesn’t like and love us anymore.”

Do you know kids think that way? Yes, they do. They are “egocentric!” When their parents get a divorce, they think that they are the reasons. When their parents are mad at their boss, they think that they caused it. And when their parents buy for them that expensive game console, they think that they deserve to have it because they are awesome. So, open communication and discussion with our kids solve that problem.

Yes, it is good to let them know what we do and why we do it so that they know that they are human beings, we are human beings, and most importantly so that they don’t feel like “we came from a different planet.”

So, the message for today is this: It is always good to let others, including our kids, know that we are human beings. And letting them know what is going on in our lives help them deal with us and help us deal with our “seasons of life.”

Let’s not leave our loved ones in the “limbo.” Let’s practice to let them know our life circumstances which can turn us to somebody else we don’t want to be. And to tell you the truth, it helps us too manage our emotion and hormonal upheaval when we find ourselves surrounded by people who understand our circumstances and seasons of life!

If we are women and can’t keep our cool for the whole month, let’s tell our kids and husbands to help us instead of leaving them for their assumptions. Leaving especially our husbands for their assumptions is too risky because they may assume that we get possessed by an evil spirit whenever we are around that week. Can you imagine them wasting their times trying to fast and pray to rebuke the devil out of us? Yes, that is just not a good scene.

If you are a husband reading this, be romantic to your wife as you try and understand why your wife turns into a “monster” for few days in a month. Once you understand her cycle, you can actually turn your wife’s crazy outburst into fun.

Do you want a Bible verse for my last point? Here we go:

“Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them (with your wife) according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.” 1 Peter 3:7 (KJV) –

Live with your wife according to knowledge – the knowledge which can save you, your marriage and your wife from your assumptions! ///