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It’s no secret… I spend a lot of time on Pinterest. I read all kinds of articles from motherhood to marriage, from recipes through to activities I should (but probably never will) do with my kids. But the one type of article I see over and over again is always ‘how to stop being an angry mom’.
Maybe it’s because it hit home a bit, or maybe it’s because it’s incredibly common and I’m definitely not alone. But I have a few issues with these articles, and trust me, I have read a lot of them.
You see, I am an angry mom. At least, I have been. I’ve been through the angry stages where everything just gets to you. I still have my moments, we all do. But for a while, I just didn’t know how to get myself out of it. So I read article after article trying to find the answer.
Most of the articles talk about ways to change our behaviours, ways to redirect our anger, or ways to ask for help around the home so we aren’t so angry. Which, don’t get me wrong, is completely valid. But it misses one key point.
What does being an angry mom actually mean?
Being an angry mom means we haven’t taken enough time out for ourselves.
Being an angry mom means we have been putting everyone else first.
Being an angry mom means we aren’t being heard.
Being an angry mom means we aren’t being supported.
Being an angry mom means we need help but don’t know how to ask for it.
Being an angry mom means we need to love ourselves more.
Before we can ‘fix’ our problem of being an angry mom, we have to actually figure out what being an angry mom means for us. Why have we gotten to this point?
At the crux of it all, it’s because we aren’t being supported in one way or another. This doesn’t mean our husband isn’t doing enough to help or our kids are entitled or lazy. It may mean that you’re not doing what you need to in order to support yourself.
For me, it wasn’t a behavioural thing. It wasn’t that my kids were naughty, I mean, they’re cheeky as all get-up and sassy to boot. But that hadn’t changed. They were always like that.
It wasn’t that my husband didn’t do enough. If I’m being completely honest, he does more around the house than I do (like, way more) and that hadn’t changed either.
It was because I had stopped looking after me.
I had stopped exercising and moving my body, my hormones were out of whack and I felt awful. Because I felt awful, I was eating poorly, which made me feel even worse.
Such a simple thing meant that I wasn’t able to cope with stress in ways I normally would, so the stress of my job and of the business started building up, which meant it started spilling out into the home environment. I couldn’t calm myself as easily so I’d get snappy and cranky. Which would make me stress more about how I was acting towards my family, and it just kept perpetuating the cycle.
It wasn’t until I actually sat down and looked at what I was doing in my day versus what I wanted to be doing in my day that I realised a big key component I was missing was exercise.
As soon as I added movement back into my days, the change was like night and day. I was happier because I was doing something for myself, my body was happier because it was able to regulate my hormones easier, I was eating better because I didn’t feel so sluggish and the effects flowed onto my family life too.
Now, this isn’t to say that you need to go out and get yourself an exercise routine and add another thing to your day in order to stop being an angry mom. But you do need to work out what being an angry mom means to you.
Perhaps it is because your husband isn’t doing enough around the house and you need to work out a better system.
Or maybe financial stress has you worried and you don’t know how to manage it.
Anger, as a mom, comes from a place of overwhelm, which is a result of not being supported in some way. Figure out where your support is failing and start taking steps to combat the overwhelm and you’ll be well on your way to calming your inner angry mom.
Being an angry mom is not a bad thing, you’re not alone and you’re not going to be in this angry phase forever. You can move through it and find your happiness as a mom again, and know how to identify these problems in the future, hopefully before they lead to overwhelm and anger again.