Overcoming mom rage is 100% doable, so if you are struggling right now, know that with a few new tools in your tool belt, you can stop yelling and snapping and start feeling better.
What Is Mom Rage?
Let’s start off with the facts—mom rage is the simple feeling of anger as it applies to motherhood.
We call it “mom rage” but really it’s no different than when you feel angry towards your husband.
I don’t mean to downplay mom rage, but I do mean to normalize it.
Mom rage is just that—NORMAL.
All healthy humans experience anger. There’s no point in time where you “graduate” from anger as a feeling.
That said, there are helpful and unhelpful ways of navigating mom rage, and that’s what this post is all about.
- What To Do After You Yell At Your Child (blog post)
- How To Cope With Negative Thoughts As A Mom (free class)
Mom Rage: What To Do In The Moment
My goal isn’t to help you never experience mom rage again, because that would be impossible. Instead, my goal is to equip you with tools to help you 1) manage it when it comes up and 2) reduce how often it comes up.
Let’s start with what to do when mom rage comes up in the moment.
This is when you already feel the feeling of anger. Instead of reacting to it by yelling or snapping, or avoiding it by eating cookies or online shopping, you can learn the skill of processing anger. This is simple, and while it’s not always easy, it’s like learning to ride a bike—you’ll fall down, but as long as you get back up and keep trying eventually you’ll have this skill with you forever.
The skill of processing mom rage in the moment requires: 1) naming the emotion, 2) describing the emotion in your body, 3) welcoming the emotion to be there, and 4) breathing through it.
You can feel really angry and not make it a problem.
All feelings are welcome; all actions are not. This means that you can learn how to feel anger without actually yelling, snapping, etc.
I have a course inside the Mom On Purpose Membership where I teach you exactly how to process negative emotions.
Mom Rage: What To Do Out Of The Moment
While I can’t turn you into a robot who never experiences anger (nor would you want me to), I can help you reduce it so that it’s not a top feeling for you.
The way you reduce how often you experience mom rage is by managing your brain. Your brain is wired for survival, not happiness.
For example, when your kids are fighting at bedtime, your nervous system is activated because it perceives them fighting as “danger” so it creates alarm bells going off and before you know it you’re thinking, “this shouldn’t be happening” and you’re feeling mom rage.
Managing your brain means that out of the moment, you coach yourself to determine 1) what you are currently thinking (that creates the anger) and 2) what you want to think instead (that creates a better feeling).
For example, if you currently think, “my child is so disrespectful” every time he hits you, what do you want to think the next time he hits you that won’t create mom rage? For example, you might want to think, “wow my child must be in a lot of pain and feel out of control.” This thought might create feelings of compassion, curiosity, and strength. This doesn’t mean you allow hitting. Hitting is an action and you can hold that boundary for your child. But you experiencing mom rage isn’t useful here either. You can be sturdy, calm, connected, and hold the boundary.
My Experience With Mom Rage
I want to share my personal experience with mom rage. Not only have I coached hundreds of moms to help them with mom rage, but as a mom of two littles, I also have experienced mom rage. I think it’s so important that I share my story so that you know it really is normal! There’s nothing wrong with you (nor with me) for experiencing mom rage.
When my first son was a newborn and he wouldn’t transfer from my arms to his crib without waking up, I used to get so mad. My thought would be something like, “this isn’t normal and shouldn’t be happening.” I have to say that after a few nights of experiencing tremendous mom rage, I quickly was able to coach myself out of it and it was life changing. Instead, I thought, “I expect my son not to transfer and that’s okay; this is just a season.” I was able to accept reality instead of resisting it and the mom rage was significantly reduced.
Another experience was when I had two kids under two and I had the thought, “we should have more help” and every time I thought that I felt completely disempowered. Thoughts can be true and still not helpful. So, I coached myself to think, “my capacity is growing, and I can handle this.” I felt much more empowered with these thoughts.
A Final Note
Mom rage is management and can significantly be reduced, regardless of your past (like if you grew up in a home with a lot of yelling) and if you’ve tried a thousand times before. The combination of the strategies above will help you overcome mom rage once and for all. For more support, tools, and coaching with navigating mom rage, join me inside the Mom On Purpose Membership.