Being a mom is no easy task. So why is there so much pressure on us to perform at our peak 24/7? Mom rage is something so many of us experience. But the biggest problem is not many of us are comfortable with speaking about it publicly. If you’ve experienced that rage with your children, this is for you.
As moms, we wear a million hats most days – we are the head chef, chauffeur, nurse, tutor, maid, and more. With all of these responsibilities, as well as being a good mom and partner, this is where the rage can set in. We ask ourselves, “Why don’t I have the help?” “Why am I doing all of this and then some on my own?” “When do I have time for myself and not only for my family and children?” If you feel this way, you’re not alone!
There are many things people will suggest that may help the rage subside—for example, a full night’s rest and some alone time to focus on your thoughts and feelings. Or maybe just drop a few of your responsibilities that are not helping the rage and the angry feelings. Sure, these may help your everyday human being, but unfortunately for us moms, some of these things don’t feel like they might ever be attainable because our newborns won’t let us sleep and our toddlers don’t want to leave our sides.
The good news is there ARE some things that you can do to help yourself in these situations.
Comparing yourself to other moms can cause you to feel a lot of rage. Feeling like you’re not keeping up with the Joneses or doing as much as your neighbor down the street is not healthy or helpful. There is a reason why the saying goes, “comparison is the thief of joy.” It makes people feel less than and unworthy, which is far from the truth. All of us moms do things differently and that’s okay. As long as our children are safe, cared for, and loved, we’re all doing a great job.
Setting realistic expectations for yourself and your family members can also help your mom rage. We need to remind ourselves what stage our children are in and recognize that tantrums and meltdowns are probably age-appropriate. Our kids are learning about their emotions and life. This is why having lower and realistic expectations can help us remain calm. And keeping calm will help relax many of the situations you may find yourself in with your children whether you’re at home or on the go. So don’t sweat the small stuff. And if something happens, that is beyond your control, release it. It’s a disservice to you to hold onto anything negative that is not within your power to change.
I know you may feel like you cannot leave your child or children when it feels like all hell is breaking loose. However, your anger and high emotions are not helping the situation. First, make sure your children are in a safe setting, then step away for a minute or two to take a breath. Then you can return to the situation with a more level-headed approach. You will calm the situation and put out the “fires” a lot faster this way.
It’s important to note that mom rage does not make you a bad person or a bad mother. Children are constantly learning, growing, and pushing their boundaries. As they go through the different stages of life, there are things they have to grow and learn from that may trigger your “mom rage.”
When they’re newborns, the constant crying might get to you. As they learn to walk, they will constantly get into things they shouldn’t be, which can drive you batty. And as they grow up and start to attend school or daycare, they will probably learn things from other children, such as bad words and bringing home attitude, and all of it just might make you want to scream! All of these things are stages we all go through as mothers. We each have different coping mechanisms, but sharing our experiences with one another can be helpful.
The anger you’re experiencing can sometimes feel like you’re not cut out for the job as someone’s mom, someone’s role model, someone’s superhero. It might make you feel alone, sad, and full of despair. The constant thoughts of “Am I enough? Am I everything they need and want in a mother figure? Am I doing any of this right?”
It’s important to realize that your child or children are just that – your children. They are surviving and thriving because you care for them. You’re doing the best job that you can as their mom. There’s no ounce of doubt in their mind that you’re not the absolute best mom that they could ever have. You’re a great mom – even if that rage pops up every once in a while.
There is an excellent quote about motherhood by Linda Wooten, and it reads, “Being a mother is learning about the strength you didn’t know you had and dealing with fears you didn’t know existed.” It’s a wild ride, this motherhood thing. We are forced to face uncontrollable circumstances day after day, no matter how down and out we may feel. Mom rage can pop up in these instances. But you need to know that there’s a whole team of us out there, and you’re far from being the only one experiencing this feeling.