I am not proud of this, but it’s a fact. I suffer from #momrage. It’s a real thing. I used to be a relatively normal, albeit often anxious human. Motherhood has made me straight up crazy. My emotions are higher highs and more angry anger that I would ever thought possible in the twenty-nine years I spent with my pre-motherhood self. Every time I feel those toddler like emotions (which are often toddler induced) creeping on I want to simultaneously shatter some pottery and go bury my head in the sand, ostrich style, out of embarrassment. I used to judge mothers (before I had kids) for complaining (venting) about their challenging spawn. Now I offer a blanket apology. You can 100% be both grateful and a little bit rage filled as a mother to young children. Does this sound familiar to you? Here’s some scenarios that recently have given me all the mom rage.
Whether my tiny people or my sweet big person, when a member of my family cannot seem to hear my voice I tend to lose my cool. Everyone on some level wants to be heard. Maybe my need for that is higher than your average mama bear’s, maybe my offspring are really good at the ignoring mom game. This is one thing that really gets my blood boiling.
I struggle a lot with self-image in a lot of facets of my life, but being (and being perceived as) a good mother is HIGH on that list. Being a mother is my job, my passion and what I believe to be a current calling at this point in my life. Sucking hardcore at it is not something in which I am very interested. Chucking food in a restaurant, screaming blood curdling screams in quiet places (ironically making me wish I could do the same), or using uncalled for physical force on others (also ironically making me wish I could do the same) fills me with such frustration and such guilt. I don’t want to be a ticking time bomb of a mother and all of these behavioral issues are so, so normal. But, is my internal reaction?
Does it seem to you that everyone else’s children (save a few seriously saintly mothers of heathen children I have witnessed in Walmart) are calmer and better behaved? And when that fails because kids will be kids, the mothers are calm enough to have you suspect sedatives or sharing Julie Andrew’s bloodline? Maybe it’s the social media generation where everyone appears squeaky clean, but jealousy is a major mom rage trigger for me.
Honestly though, I get the most mom rage filled when my own needs aren’t being met. When I am particularly exhausted, like most people, I am have the shortest fuse with my loved ones. This, as I previously mentioned, is not something I am proud of. However, recognizing my short comings in the first step in helping me grow.
I know parenting is a longggg haul and I am still virtually at the starting line. Just ask my own mother, who fields calls from her thirty-one year old blogging daughter on the daily. I haven’t even experienced teenager girl door slamming, my son bringing home a really terrible girlfriend, or many other far stressful milestones. The learning curve of motherhood is far steeper than anything else I have ever attempted, and I was a competitive Irish dancer. I challenge myself (and you if you’re with me) to look around my little world and witness the true beauty that is the trenches of toddlerhood. I want to be one of those well-meaning and slightly annoying grandma’s telling young mother’s to soak it all in. Anything worth doing is a challenge. And for the time being I will just sing myself Daniel Tiger’s anthem, “When you feel so mad that you want to roar, take a deep breath and count to four: one, two, three, four.”
Rage is a symptom of post-partum depression and anxiety. If you find that you are experiencing it to the point of interfering with your daily life please check out resources such as Postpartum Support International at postpartum.net or 1 (800) 944-4773.