DH was outside, I was inside having a rough time with the kids.  I think it was summer and the windows were open.  When DH came in, he said, “you realize, when you yell at the kids inside, all the neighbors can hear”.  I said, “you realize, when I’m yelling at the kids inside, I’ve lost all care for the neighbors”.

Anger As A Mom

Prior to having kids, I wouldn’t have considered myself an angry person.  I do have red hair, so that gives warning to anyone approaching me that I may have a short fuse, and most people will heed that visual warning.  I would have considered myself more of an emotionless person, but after having babies and all the highs and lows that encompasses, well, my emotions have gotten well out of control

Which means my heart has grown three times its size!  And the highs that come from that love are immense.  But the lows can leave me an angry, bitter mom.  Wondering what path in the road led me to this point and willing to bring down everyone around me.  Including my children, unfortunately.

When I’ve hit my limit and lash out, unfortunately the brunt of it hits those sweet bundles of love I call my children.  And then the inevitable mom guilt kicks in, emotionally kicking me when I’m down.  I’m surely the worst mom.  No, I am!  Ok, you might be too.

Too Much Anger

I think it’s important to say, before we go much further, if you feel your anger is out of control, having an impact on your relationships with your partner or children and/or important parts of your life, you may want to seek help.  Counseling can help make it better. A licensed medical health professional can help you with coping mechanisms and techniques for changing your thinking and behavior.

I could go on about the long term effects an angry mom has on her children, but no one wants to go through that.  Me or you.  And no one is judging you for the anger.  But, if you need help, its ok to ask for it, for a better relationship with your kiddos and yourself.

Getting Angry

One of the first steps in managing your anger is understanding what’s hit your buttons.  Yes, at first glance, when your kids threw their cup of milk at their sibling, that is what caused you ultimately to yell, but chances are you didn’t go from 0-60 with one thrown cup.  Chances are, the anger built.  For me, some of my triggers are:

  • I don’t feel considered – from first eye opening moment my children have only selfishly cared about their needs and I’m stumbling around in my pajamas, wishing for that first cup of coffee, getting demands from my little dictators.
  • I’m tired – even though my children are older, there are still sleepless nights from growing pains, nightmares, or little snuggle bunnies that seem to be made of knees and elbows
  • My hormones – Aunt Flo always seems to visit me the day after a very bad day
  • I’m overwhelmed – whether from a messy house, a looming deadline, or expectations of myself imposed by me or others, I’m just not living up to the person I want to be.

Understanding my triggers, in a quiet, calm moment, is almost hilarious because its so clear how to solve it – take care of myself, recognize when my period is coming, quit procrastinating!  But, in the moment, with those things holding me down, a mere jump on a couch is likely to set me off.

Anger Management

I can’t forget the day things were going really badly at my house (not just one day).  Conveniently it was St. Patrick’s Day and I had aspirations of trying to figure out how to make an Irish Coffee (turns out it is way more complicated than just pouring Jameson into your warm brew) for dinner.  As the day got worse and worse, I decided to start “practicing” quite a bit earlier in the afternoon.  For me, the act of cooking and the inclusion of Irish Whiskey made that afternoon a lot more bearable.  However, making Irish Coffee every time the kids ride that last nerve could really make you drunk all day.  Fun in theory, but not practicality.

Anger Management Tips

Visualize them as a baby – if visualizing everyone in their underwear works for nerves, this should work for your toddler-teenager.   The point here is to remember that they aren’t trying to make you crazy, or if they are, its because there’s another problem at play.  They really are innocent, have the best intentions and need their best mommy.

Call them a sweet nickname – if the adage, “children become what you call them” is true, calling them a sweetheart reinforces their goodness, to you and them.

Time out – not for them.  For you.  Even tell them you are giving yourself a time out.  It might induce just the giggle that will help break the tension for all of you.

Lower your expectations – every time I look ahead and expect I’m going to have a busy, productive day, my children seem to shoot the hell out of it.  In the middle of writing, they’ve injured themselves (doing what you told them not to do in the first place).  In the middle of folding laundry, they will STARVE without a snack.  And you start to feel more and more behind!  Stop, realize the goal for that day is to have a great relationship with your kids and everything else is just a bonus (and realize you will never, actually, ever, finish the laundry).

After the Anger Came Out

If you weren’t able to catch it in time and the anger came out, its not too late to save the day.  Model to them what you would like them to do when they are angry.  Apologize.  Without the “but”.  Saying, “I’m sorry I got angry, but….” negates the whole apology.  Own your end of it.  Consider talking about what you’ll try to do better next time.  Then hug it out.

How do you manage your anger?  Tell us by commenting below or continue the conversation on the Bleeping Motherhood Facebook page.

Facebook Comments