As moms, there’s so much pressure to be perfect. Since the golden age of television, women have been conditioned to behave, dress, and raise their kids like the flawless moms of sitcom fame. Any deviation from this image of perfection, and we’re shamed by other moms, made to feel inadequate and inferior. It’s no wonder moms don’t talk about the real issues that affect us daily, like struggles with mental health, addiction, and the ugly result of unaddressed stress…I’m talking specifically about mom anger.
Contrary to what social media may have us believe, there’s no such thing as perfection. Nevertheless, there’s a huge stigma attached to “unorthodox” examples of motherhood, and admitting you have anger issues doesn’t exactly paint a nurturing and protective picture of you to your critics.
But, having mom anger doesn’t mean you hurt your kids or even that you’re a mean mom. So what is it then? Simply put, mom anger is characterized by frequent bouts of rage, yelling, and moodiness, resulting from an accumulation of stress and lack of self-care. We’ll discuss some common triggers that ignite this irrational behavior and what we can do to start enjoying motherhood again.
This post contains affiliate links. This means if you purchase an item using my link, I get a small commission. Don’t worry, there’s no extra cost to you! You can read my full disclaimer here.
What Triggers Mom Anger?
When it comes to mom anger, there are many triggers. Often, it’s a combination of these triggers, together with self-neglect, that can turn a happy mom into a snappy mom. So then, let’s get down to it.
So Much To Do, So Little Time
Being a mom comes with an extensive job description. For most moms, this is already enough on our plates. Unfortunately, as we all know, being a mom is a full-time job ON TOP of our already extensive list of tasks. These include our careers, schooling, home-keeping, and whatever else filled our schedules prior to having kids. In short, there’s too much to do, and not enough hours in the day.
Trying to complete a never-ending list of to-dos can be exhausting. Often, we’ll stay up later than we should, or get up earlier than we desire, in order to cram them all into our day. Before we know it, we’re taking on too much and sacrificing our sleep to make up for the lost time. This is when things usually start to go south, thus creating the perfect formula for mom anger.
Not Enough Sleep Fuels The Mom Anger
You can almost guarantee that behind every case of mom anger, lies a very tired woman. Lack of restorative sleep can do a number on our bodies, raising our blood pressure and causing noticeable moodiness and irritability. Sometimes, as in the case of having a newborn, there’s not a lot we can do to improve our sleep situation. Other times, we can do a lot more.
As a mom of two toddlers, I’m guilty of staying up way too late, because it’s the only time I get for myself and with my husband. Often, we’ll use this time to catch up on work and other tasks we failed to accomplish amid the noise, screaming, and chaos of the day. But, after multiple nights of too little sleep, I notice a huge difference in my mood and tolerance for stress. This is usually when mom anger starts to creep in.
All The Noise, Noise, Noise, Noise
Our house is like a circus pretty much all of the time. My husband and I are both home during the day, along with our barking dog, 3-year-old son, and almost 2-year-old daughter. Needless to say, there’s never a shortage of craziness. Toys crashing, feet running, devices blaring, and kids crying is pretty much a perfect recipe for mom anger. Every day reminds me of how I feel after a 4-day binge in a noisy Las Vegas casino. Overstimulated. To top it off, toddlers are total savages!
Kids Are Assholes!
I don’t know about your toddlers, but mine know how to push my buttons. Obviously, I love them so much it hurts, and I’d surely die if anything ever happened to them. That being said, they are total assholes. My son does not listen at all! I can repeat myself a million times calmly, but it isn’t until I become unhinged, that he finally listens. I get that this is just how toddlers are, but that doesn’t make things any less frustrating. I hate that he brings out the mom anger in me, but most of all, I hate that I’ve become “the mom who yells”.
Repetition Leads To Habit
They say on average, a habit takes 66 days to form. If you find yourself yelling more and more frequently, you need to be careful not to form a habit out of being angry. I normally give my kids a few warnings before I resort to yelling. But as of late, I’ve noticed I’ll completely skip the warning phase and go straight from zero to mom anger in three seconds flat. This is a sign we’ve been in the game too long and need to sit out a few rounds.
You know how you can flip a bike upside-down and pedal with your hands to get the wheels spinning? Well, I like to think of stress like a spinning wheel. When you stop pedaling for a minute the wheels eventually slow to a stop, and it takes some effort to get them up and spinning again. However, if you never stop pedaling, things remain at high speeds and it takes very little effort to maintain it. The same goes for stress. If you never take the time to slow down, it becomes so easy to remain and react at that level, completely bypassing the entire wind-up phase. My point is, you need to slow down!
Not Enough Me Time
Self-care is so important, and when you’re a mom, you need it more than ever. After all, you deserve it! But just because we deserve it, doesn’t mean we actually do it. I know I don’t take nearly enough time for myself and I spread myself way too thin before giving myself a break. While I might have every intention of taking some time out, I’ll end up squandering it to catch up on other things. We’re all guilty of this, but when it comes to mom anger, it only lubricates the wheels.
Mental, Emotional, and Hormonal Fluctuations
Sometimes, mom anger can be a byproduct of other things going on in our bodies and in our lives. Such things include mental illness like depression or anxiety, monthly shifts in our hormones, emotional trauma or grief, and many, many more. While we have little or no control over these things, there are things we CAN DO to cope with them better.
Getting Mom Anger Under Control
So, now that we’ve discussed some common triggers for mom anger, it’s important to note that this is by no means a comprehensive list. Now that we’re a little more familiar with the causes, it’s time we talk about how to get it under control.
Make Time For Self-Care
Self-care can be anything that helps to relieve stress and give you a break from the daily grind. Because there are a million ways to practice self-care, it’s important to find what works best for you. These should be activities that you come away from feeling recharged in both body and mind. What works for one person might not work for you, so try out a variety of things.
Because self-care is so important to reduce mom anger, it’s pertinent that you actually follow through with the activity. Schedule time if you have to and stick to it like you would an appointment or other important commitment. Remember, neglecting to take care of yourself is what got you into this mess. Here are some great self-care ideas:
- Take a hot bath. Add salts and bubbles to make it a real spa experience. Listen to music, dim the lights, and light a candle.
- Get some sleep. I cannot stress enough just how important sleep is to fend off mom anger. Take a nap during the day. If you can’t nap, then commit to sleeping in or going to bed earlier.
- Break a sweat. Get your blood flowing for at least a half-hour a day. Not only does it relieve stress at the moment, but consistent exercise will reduce your general stress levels over time.
- Get out in nature. You can combine this with exercise. Just spend some time outdoors on the beach, in the woods, or at a nice park.
- Pamper yourself. Get your hair or nails done. Get a massage, facial, or pedicure. Whatever the case, just treat yourself!
- Meditate. One of the most ancient and effective forms of relaxation.
Get The Mom Anger Help You Need
Anger is a normal human emotion, and sometimes it can be an effective form of stress-relief. But when it gets out of hand or becomes too frequent, it can be extremely damaging to yourself and your family. This is especially true if you’re already dealing with an unmanaged mental health disorder like anxiety or depression. Here are some ways to get the help you need to keep your mom anger in check:
- Make an appointment with your doctor. If you haven’t seen your doctor in a while, it’s a good idea to check in and let them know you’ve been dealing with mom anger. He or she will be able to recommend some solutions. This can be anything from counseling to medication. Whatever the case, the first step is just making the call.
- Seek therapy. Therapy can be extremely effective. If anything, it’s a great way to get things off your chest. There’s no denying we bottle things up. Having the opportunity to release destructive thoughts and feelings from our bodies is incredibly helpful.
- Join a support group. It can be embarrassing to seek group therapy for anger management, and while it’s beneficial, you may not feel comfortable taking such a giant leap. Luckily Facebook has a support group for everything. This is an effective way to share your thoughts and experiences with like-minded people going through the same things as you. Here is a great group specifically for Anger Management. If you’re searching for a mom-only group that offers a broader range of support, this Mom Life group is a great place to start.
Find Your Happiness
Humor is a great way to diffuse anger. Find things that make you smile and do them! Here are some ideas to get you thinking about what makes you happy:
- Play music. Music is a great escape, not only from feelings of anger but a wide range of emotions. Take it one step further by creating a “happy playlist” for when you’re experiencing moments of mom anger.
- Watch a funny movie: Watching a comedy movie is a great activity in a number of ways. It allows you to get in a break, relieve your mind of destructive thoughts, and most importantly, to laugh!
- Animals as therapy. If you’re an animal lover like myself, you achieve great joy from animals. Hanging out with animals is a great way to escape mom anger. Take some time out to play with your pets or visit your local shelter and just hang out with the animals for a bit. There’s a reason why they use pets as therapy!
Be Kind To Yourself
Often, feelings of mom anger stem from self-defeating thoughts and behaviors. When you look in the mirror, are you happy with what you see? How about when you fail at something, do you punish yourself? Sometimes, negative thoughts about ourselves can come out in the form of mom anger. Practice being kinder to yourself. Try to keep a positive mindset, talk to yourself with kindness and respect, and recite affirmations often.
- Don’t dwell on the negative. How do you react to the negative things that happen in your life? Do you replay them in your mind over and over again? Do you suffer from mom guilt over every parenting fail? Do you have an all or nothing attitude when it comes to your goals? This way of thinking only seems to make things worse. If you’re used to thinking this way, it may be time to work on retraining your mind.
Keep Your House Clean
It’s no secret that when your home is clean you feel happier. Likewise, when your house is a mess, it brings about overwhelming feelings of stress and frustration. It also doesn’t help to trip over toys all day when you’re on the brink of snapping. Sometimes we need to change our environment to feel better inside. Give it a try.
Get Away From Your Kids
When it comes to mom anger, there’s no doubt kids are a contributing factor. Sometimes for our sanity, we just need a break from them to recharge our batteries and feel like adults again. THIS IS OKAY! Get a babysitter and have a night out on the town, or drop them off at the grandparents for a day or two. Spend the free time relaxing or reconnecting with your partner.
Mom Anger Summary
I hope you found this post informative and that you’re able to come away with some useful tools to help you conquer your mom anger. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, so practice applying these tips little by little. Eventually, you will get there. If anything at all, I hope you at least realize you’re not alone. As always, thank you so much for reading! Drop a comment below with your best tips to control mom anger. I’d love to hear from you. Cheers!
Prevent Mom Burnout: 5 Stress-Relief Tips To Keep A Level Head
Mom Guilt: Why You Should Cut Yourself some Slack
Anxiety: When To Worry About Worrying
Remember to like Mom Snippets on Facebook and follow me on Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest!