Mom anger is the hidden epidemic among women. More visceral, potent, and harder to tame than other anger, moms often don’t have language to talk about it. We feel we can’t say, “I’ve been so angry lately. I’ve yelled at everyone for days and I need help.”
So we just don’t talk about mom anger. Yet our explosions behind closed doors continue.
I’m a recovering angry mom.
According to my son, I haven’t been angry since he was in 6th grade (he’s in 12th grade now). Here are some things that triggered me to no end and what I did about it.
4 Reasons I Was An Angry Mom (and What I Did About It)
1. I Abandoned Myself
From making everyone else’s favorite dinner, to making sure everyone else had great clothes, I took a back seat. That works for about 24 hours and then I just got bitter. At some point, I became resentful and didn’t know how to turn the ship around. Change for this happened slowly over time. I began to insert myself, making requests, and requiring whatever I needed for my sanity and self-worth. Often, it was time and space away -just a few hours off one night a week- did wonders for me.
2. I Lost Myself
No one else’s fault but mine, I forgot about my skills and dreams. I let the intensity of the first few years of having a baby become the new normal of life – even though he was 5 and could do a lot for himself. In changing mom anger on this front, I began digging around for personality websites, and remembering what I loved to do (writing, and visiting new places). In time, I began doing bits of these forgotten pieces of my life BC (before child). This eased the pressure on my family to become my identity- which they never were. They just wanted me.
3. I Lived Overwhelmed
I didn’t say “no” because if I could do it, I should. If I had the time and energy, how could I say no? (guilt trips galore) And then my health depleted and I realized I would have to have a bigger picture than just saying yes to everything. So, I began creating a few vision and mission statements. If the opportunities or requests popping up weren’t a part of them, they were a no.
4. I Felt Powerless
Life felt like it was happening to me, and all I could do was yell back – mom anger at it’s finest. I had to learn skill sets that included walking away from a conflict, dealing with inner pain, and a few parenting skills that I could trust. Moms with power don’t feel the need to yell.
Nothing changed overnight and I learned to say a LOT of apologies that propelled me to continue trying to get anger under control. But over time, I learned what that triggered me most and could pre-emptively listen to their messages instead of unleashing them on others who didn’t deserve it. Through time and understanding, mom anger can be healed and loved and taken care of.
Vikki Spencer is a mom coach, speaker and author of Momifesto: 9 Practices for Phenomenal Moms. Buy your copy from Amazon HERE.