Even if you’re not an angry person, you may find yourself blowing up at your kids sometimes, then wonder what happened. It may happen when a series of small, ordinary annoyances add up to a big explosion and you may feel guilty or disappointed in your parenting afterward, but you’re definitely not alone. It’s mom rage and it happens to the best of us, especially during the pandemic.
Child therapist and mom Deena Margolin explains that rage is the “fight” part of the “fight or flight” response. She says, “You’re reacting in survival mode rather than consciously responding to the situation in front of you.” But rage is a natural response to stress and parenting coach Susan G. Groner suspects the main trigger for mom rage is our lack of control over others. Sound familiar? If you find yourself raging, here’s how the experts suggest dealing with it in a healthy way:
- Give yourself a break – Remember you’re human and it’s natural to have a range of human emotions. You probably wouldn’t be critical of a friend who told you she was going through this, so try to be that kind to yourself.
- Lower expectations – Breaking the habit of micromanaging the family can save you from some rage-filled days.
- Validate your child’s feelings…and yours, too! – We’re quick to try to fix our kids’ unhappiness, but sometimes they need us to just say, “I understand how you feel and I don’t blame you for feeling that way.” Moms have feelings, too, and when a rage-y moment happens, forgive yourself!
- Get to the heart of the matter – Look for the triggers in your life and when you find those annoyances that build-up, try to see them more objectively so you can lengthen your fuse.
- Remember that social media is not real life – You’re definitely not the worst mom around and all those perfect-looking moms on Facebook and Instagram also lose their tempers, yell and have messy houses.