Looking to find the peaceful mom inside of you, but keep getting caught up in the mom anger, turning you into a mean mommy instead?
We’ve all had our moments, but there are ways to cool off and get recentered, we just need the right tools. Mom anger can creep up really quickly when the stress of motherhood builds up too much. Those tiny humans can make us feel like we are losing our minds, not to mention any hormonal changes we might be going through.
Identify the cause of your mom anger
This is really important because it determines your next steps. There’s a huge difference between being overwhelmed and stressed vs. having postpartum depression or PPTSD, for example.
Do you have a Perinatal Mood Disorder?
Anger and rage can be very common symptoms of postpartum depression and anxiety (among other perinatal mood disorders, the updated term encompassing all postpartum mood disorders).
If you are concerned that you have a perinatal mood disorder that is ratcheting up your mom anger, then definitely get in touch with your healthcare provider for help.
You can also check out this resource to see if other symptoms align for you, and I also suggest BetterHelp to moms who can’t see a professional in person for some reason. It’s a resource that connects you with a licensed profession for online therapy. You can even text if you’re more comfortable with that than phone calls or video chats.
Are you overwhelmed and stressed?
I mean… duh. Of course you are… you’re a mom, right?
Being a mom is so hard, and even though phases come and go, it doesn’t really get easier as kids get older. The job just changes a bit. Throw in a job outside the home, an unsupportive partner, an ailing family member, a chronic illness, or even just a run of the mill cold that won’t let the kids alone, and the overwhelm and stress of motherhood can go through the roof!
Let me clear about something, just because you don’t think you have a perinatal mood disorder, being really stressed by itself is a reason to seek help. Seeing a therapist or medical professional for help can be the best move you could make even just for learning skills to cope with stress.
Beyond that though, let’s talk about some ways to soothe that mom anger that you can do on your own.
Learn to meditate
Before you click out of this blog post because I sound like I clearly don’t understand that you barely have time to pee, let alone meditate, hear me out.
According to this Healthline article, the benefits of meditation are pretty vast ranging from help managing stress and anxiety to improving sleep and fighting addictions. Whenever my mom anger is getting out of control, I know it’s probably because I haven’t had a chance to meditate lately.
I can personally attest to the life-changing magic of meditation, and although it does take practice, it doesn’t need to be you sitting alone in lotus position for an hour every day.
When I started meditating 6-7 years ago, I did it to help me quit smoking. In the beginning, I could barely get through a three minute guided meditation. Now I can meditate on my own in silence for as long as I’d like. But I typically only meditate for up to 10 minutes at a time, which for me is usually plenty for me to get recentered and keep my practice alive.
While doing some googling, I found that the number one answer on how long you need to meditate for is that ANY meditation is better than no meditation.
Just taking a minute to breathe deeply and empty your mind can be the beginning of an incredible practice, and meditation doesn’t mean you have to just sit in stillness and quiet.
Try finding a 2-3 minute meditation on YouTube, or even just going for a walking meditation in nature while you push a sleeping baby in a stroller can have the same mood-stabilizing benefits. Which brings me to the next tip.
Spend time in nature
Getting out into the woods has been shown to have massive impacts on your well-being.
Studies show it doesn’t just lower your stress levels, but can even help your immune system and prevent cancer!
This is again one of those areas where if you think you have a perinatal mood disorder or some other form of mental illness definitely seek out professional help. But, if you’re just extra stressed or maybe feeling like you’re in a rut then getting outdoors is an amazing way to improve your mood.
Luckily, this is something you can do with the kids too! You don’t need a babysitter or daycare because getting outside is awesome for your kids too, whether they’re babies or teenagers.
All of us, kids and adults alike, are spending so much time indoors and in front of screens, which may be necessary for our modern world, it isn’t the most beneficial health-wise.
Some experts say kids should spend at least 3 hours outside every day. Why would we think it should be different for us as adults? We need outdoor playtime too.
Have you ever gotten angry and in the middle of yelling something you realize that you don’t really know where this mom anger is coming from. This happens to me from time-to-time and it gives me this surreal feeling of like… what the hell am I doing? And I laugh.
I turn my yelling into something silly. Sometimes I just change my tone slightly to make it into a silly joke instead of anger, and it makes my kids (and me) laugh.
I’m not trying to cover up my feelings, it’s just that sometimes I realize in the middle of a mom tantrum I realize that what I’m angry about just isn’t that important. What’s more important is protecting the bond I have with my kids instead of chipping away at it with hurtful words or tone.
The point here is that you can shift direction at any time if you realize what’s going on. When you catch yourself in a negative pattern of anger, you can redirect the energy towards something else, like laughter and silliness.
Just because you were angry, and maybe even for a good reason, doesn’t mean you can pull it in a little and change the vibe.
We all screw up and will lose our cool.
You don’t have to hold onto your anger. If you realize you messed up, and maybe you yelled when you shouldn’t have, or were too hard on your kids, you can always apologize.
I don’t want my kids to see me as this infallible dictator in our home. I am a human. A human who gave birth to them, who loves them unconditionally, and sometimes makes mistakes. So when I make a mistake, I apologize.
Forgive yourself for your mom anger
Look, mama. We ALL get angry sometimes. It doesn’t matter how blessed we are, how great our life is, how sweet and beautiful our children are.
We are people. Humans. We have emotions, and one of those emotions is anger.
Raising these tiny humans into adults is so hard, and they know how to push every single button you have sometimes. You’re doing your best, and sometimes that best will come up short.
Of course, you will keep working to be the best mom you can, and how to be a happier mom. But you will never be a perfect mom, and you won’t be happy all the time either! Life doesn’t work like that.
I don’t know a mom who hasn’t had their bouts of mom anger, but these tools can help you manage it. And as I said before, don’t ever hesitate to a professional if you need extra help.
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