10 Tips For Healing Through Mom Rage (yes, it's a real thing)Nov 02, 2022
You know this all too well. That moment when you've completely exploded in what feels more like rage than mere anger. And the guilt that follows...sometimes it's just all too much.
I was this woman. I am this woman. Who is this woman? Constantly asking, “when did I get so angry?”.
Every single day I talk to moms who say the very same things.
👉🏽I’m so angry now.
👉🏽I’m yelling all the time.
👉🏽I have no time to myself.
👉🏽I suck at this and at that.
👉🏽I hate that I feel this way.
👉🏽I feel like I've turned into a monster...you get where I’m going.
Typically when we talk about mom guilt, isolation, depression, and so forth, we’re given so much information and so many “steps” that we always end up at the same place.
Even when we find something that gives us some hope, a light at the end of the tunnel, it only takes one more minute of the crying or lack of sleep that can send us right back to where we don’t want to be.
So, what the f*ck can you do? What can really help you heal and find peace and joy in life, like you once had, or like you've never had before? Well, the first step is to identify what's going on here.
Rock with me on this one...
What is MOM RAGE and do you have it?
I had never heard of "mom rage". It's not something people walk around openly discussing. "Oh hey girl, guess what? I turned into a literal she-hulk today, and screamed so loud for the first time in my life that I'm chronically hoarse!." Not happening.
But this new term is actually quite important, because SO many moms are secretly dealing with and shaming ourselves through it.
Mom rage is a phrase that describes this overwhelming sense of anger/ rage that causes a mom to feel like she's literally exploding with anger. Many times it feels uncontrollable, and for most, completely unrecognizable.
What can contribute to MOM RAGE?
Motherhood is interpretive. Situations aren't inherently stressful or traumatic - it's our perception of the event. This is why for one person having a spouse with kids is terrible or great, while for another, not having a spouse with kids is terrible or great.
Nursing for one mom was beautiful and intimate, while for another, isolating and depressing.
So though there is no one isolated event, there are surely some contributing factors:
- postpartum stress, anxiety, depression, PTSD, psychosis
- feeling overwhelmed and under-supported
- insomnia or sleep deprivation (the night shift is no joke)
- a lack of self care (it's just hard to find that rhythm, I get it)
- the stressors of going back to work (for some before their physical and emotional healing has occurred), being under paid, in debt, or any work/financial triggers
- lack of communication or feeling heard, seen, valued
- the feeling of losing yourself and your identity (which I share tips for in my ebook/ audio book "Wild Mama")
- being completely tied down to the role of motherhood
- feeling lost in the chaos, or overly domesticated in the world of parenting
Truly the list is exhaustive. And it's not that in the moment, mom knows exactly what's causing the rage to pour out. It does feel something like an exploding volcano.
The root of this may be hard to identify. But motherhood in itself is a trigger for most.
We aren't taught how to parent, what to expect, how to respond, how to handle emotional overwhelm. School doesn't prepare us, past generational parenting techniques don't equip us. And the fast pace of everyday life certainly leaves us feeling overwhelmed even before the children come.
What can you do about your MOM RAGE?
I don't want you to feel like all hope is lost. It's absolutely not. BUT, you (all of us really) are in a moment where the mirror of your life is strikingly vivid for the first time. And it tends to bring up a lot of buried memories, traumas, and so forth.
Many people would suggest the first thing you do is find a therapist. But I would caution, not so quickly. It's a viable option, but not necessarily the first one.
Yes, it is incredible to be able to recognize what trigger may be causing the explosive mannerisms. But to rehash those events on a daily or weekly basis as a way to find healing through it, may not be the best pathway forward for every single mom.
As humans, we are REALLY good at using our memories to validate our feelings in the present. AND we are exceptional at using our imagination about potential future occurrences to do the same. What do I mean by this?
Basically, we use memories of the past (which are hardly ever remembered as they were and are totally based on biased perception), to be the reason behind why we are the way we are. And then we use our anticipation of the future based on those past memories to validate why we are the way we are.
When we use the past to dictate our present, and anticipate future events based on our limited knowledge of only that which we have experienced, we are essentially living each present moment in the past.
And I can assure you, that going over a memory that caused trauma only makes your body and brain feel as though it's happening all over again.
The brain doesn't know the difference between an event happening right now in real time, or that which is only in your mind. If your attention is there, the energy is there, and you FEEL it. Once you feel it, your brain will give you a thought to match that feeling (hello feedback loop).
Again this isn't to say that therapy isn't the way to go. But it may not be for you. And now may not be the best time.
You don't need to think about the past or the future. Right now, you need to practice a little thing called self grace.
We are not here forever. Our time here is limited. You can spend that time replaying past events. Or you can give yourself the energy to create the person you want to be right now.
Your mom rage is a real thing that requires you to sit down, breathe, and find a new life mantra for this most nuanced moment in your life.
10 tips to start your path to healing right now:
- DON'T RESPOND WHILE ANGRY. I won't even pretend like this is easy. Because the rage literally lifts up from your toes through your chest, up the throat and out like hot lava. And it comes out at a 10! But, as you start on your path to finding some healing through the rage, the first thing you want to do is create a new norm for yourself. Right now, it's to respond immediately. Compulsively. Try SLOWING DOWN YOUR REACTION TIME. Even if by 3 seconds. And wait until the emotion has subsided. If you don't do it the first time, try again and again. And remember, sometimes you do need to respond immediately (recognize the moment). Just do your best.
- STOP AND TAKE A BREATH. If you were talking to your child and they were getting upset, you might encourage them to stop, take 3 breaths, and calm down. We need to do the same thing. Before the explosion (step away, close your eyes, just go inward), take three deep breaths. At the end of the third breath say, "Everything is alright." Repeat until you FEEL the energy calming down within you.
- WALK AWAY (OR DO ANYTHING ELSE) BEFORE THE EXPLOSION. Sometimes you need to just walk away. Sometimes you absolutely cannot. But in either instance, what you can do is literally ANYTHING else before the explosion comes out (like counting trees, rubbing your thigh, humming, etc). It may seem like you're trying to distract yourself. And you kind of are. But not a total distraction from the situation. You're simply trying to slow the reaction time, and curb the rage.
- PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR BODY LANGUAGE. If your body language is terrifying, your child will feel it (and it could contribute to more stress and anxiety on their part). Notice how your body changes when the rage starts to build up. Once you notice it, change your body position. This movement literally shifts the energy. Wait to respond until you FEEL the energetic shift.
- CONTROL YOUR RESPONSE, NOT YOUR BABY/CHILD. Remember, at the end of the day, the only thing you can control is your response to any given situation. Try not to harp too much on trying to control their response. Just start with you. And give yourself patience while you do it. This is a healing process (not a one day thing).
- ASK FOR HELP WHEN YOU NEED IT. Sometimes the burn out of motherhood can hit you when you don't even realize it. And the overwhelm of life can cause you to take your fear, anxiety, frustration out on anyone in close proximity. When you need help, ask. And if the help is offered, be open to taking it.
- AVOID REPLAYING GUILT-BASED THOUGHTS OR MOMENTS. There are times when you scream at your child and feel like you've broken them for life. And you replay it in your mind over and over. And then tell it to your spouse. And then your mom, and then yourself again. And each time, you feel sick to your stomach. Well, your body and brain are reliving it every single time you retell or rethink it. Try and find ANY other thought that feels better than that one. And try again tomorrow. Be thankful you have tomorrow ;)
- GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION TO TRY AGAIN NEXT TIME. Give yourself a chance. You did what felt so unnatural to you (mom rage is so strange to experience). And it eats you up inside. I know this. But you MUST give yourself a chance to try again tomorrow. Your child will wake up and give you another chance. At the very least, try and do the same. Don't wake up beating yourself up about what you did last night. That night is done. You have a fresh start every single day you're alive to try again. So just try.
- DON'T MAKE YOURSELF THE VILLAIN AND VICTIM. Don't beat yourself up for the rage, and then shame yourself. Don't become the victim of what you did, and also destroy yourself about it. We ALL make mistakes. And we are ALL learning how to parent. We are ALL learning our children. And we are ALL learning ourselves in this new space. It's ok. Give yourself grace.
- IT'S OK IF IT TAKES TIME. Yes, I know you want to get over this like yesterday. But what you're doing now is rewiring your brain, shortening your reaction time, becoming more conscious and less compulsive, recreating how you respond, and redefining emotional addictions. Give yourself space and time to figure it out. Try these tips, and be forgiving of yourself. Release your mom guilt. Know that you ARE NOT ALONE. And just do your best.
Be kind to yourself. You are doing SO much. Be gentle. Be easy. Be loving, to YOU.
What you should do next:
#1) Subscribe to my newsletter below for weekly tips, inspiration, tools, and truthful information to help you feel more confident and ready for your journey into and throughout motherhood.
#2) Click here to receive a FREE copy of my #1 most downloaded book: Birth Goddess. This book offers my top 10 tips to have an empowered and peaceful labor & childbirth.
#3) Start your course today! Join other birthing goddesses just like you who are stepping into their power and experiencing incredibly peaceful, trauma-free childbirth. After working with over 3,000 moms, I can honestly say there is something here for every one ;)
#4) Visit the Freakuency Fit Library. Want more information but not sure where to start? Browse the collection of books & audio books covering pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum. Find what you need to have the experience you deserve.
#5) Click here to grab a copy of "Wild Mama": 10 steps to self grace and love when you feel like you've lost your identity. A very powerful quick read for anyone hoping to add more grace, patience, joy, and forgiveness of self during your postpartum healing.
With love & light xo
Written by Danielle Jai Watson @DanielleJaiWatson
Founder/ Cosmic Doula @FreakuencyFit
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