For the most part, motherhood brings out the best in us. It makes us caring, selfless... and all those other motherly qualities. BUT... it also has potential to bring out an anger that we might never known ourselves to be capable of.
Yes, MUM RAGE is a real (and common) thing. The problem is, it’s rarely talked about, since it is generally safer to talk about sadness than it is anger.
There’s usually always a tipping point, where the relentless cacophony of daily life meets exhaustion, eventually breaching the mother’s threshold of calm restraint and all capacity for rational adult behaviour.
Yes, we know the irony of a fully grown adult throwing all her toys out of the pram in response to irrational toddler behaviour! In fact, sometimes it is even possible to feel your mature, grown up self looking on and tutting in disapproval as the MUM RAGE unfolds. It’s not pretty, but as a knee jerk reaction and inevitable side-effect of ‘patience prodding’ (think water torture... but with repetitive noise!), it can feel utterly justified at the time.
Inevitably, it is always quickly replaced by shame, guilt and overwhelming adoration for the little monkeys that ten minutes earlier caused the mental implosion. Talk about an emotional 360!!!
With regards to managing MUM RAGE, the approach is two-pronged.
1️⃣ Changing how we manage the depth of exhaustion that leads to mum rage.
2️⃣ Making it ok to talk about the phenomenon of ‘losing your s*i*’.
Other factors involved in mum rage
Taking it personally
If a child does something which is the opposite of what you say, our logical brain interprets the disobedience as a personal insult, rather than what it actually is - the early learning and development process of testing boundaries and growing independence. If we didn’t take tantrums quite so personally, they would no doubt be slightly less infuriating.
Being tired and sleep deprived can perpetuate a short fuse, particularly if the exhaustion and time deficiency leaves little opportunity for any outlet to pent up frustration, such as exercise or hobbies.
So what’s the solution
Take time to recharge
Being rested and taking time for yourself is essential for your mental health, and for your capacity to handle stress in a calm and productive manner.
Don’t take it personally
It’s easier said than done, but sometimes talking a step back from a situation (if safe to do so) and counting to ten before reacting can do wonders preventing angry outbursts. Consistency and discipline is more effective than fear, and composure is essential for putting this into practice.
Ask for help
Sometimes, parenting can take you to such depths of exhaustion that you might need a little help hand resurfacing. Don't be afraid to ask for help.