POSTPARTUM RESOURCES

Is Mom Rage Real? How To Deal With Anger And Find Calm As A Mom

Let’s Thrive Postpartum | Mom Rage

We’ve all been there, right? That moment when you feel like you’re about to turn into a fire-breathing dragon because… well, whatever just set you off. Mom rage is a real thing, and it’s totally normal. Buckle up as Kelly Siebold and Ashley Moore talk about how to deal with it before it boils over! Tune in and discover what pushes your buttons and how to spot those signs before you lose it. Plus, we’ll brainstorm some hacks to chill out in the moment and keep things calm. You’re a superhero, but even superheroes need a stress-relief toolkit!

Watch the episode here

Listen to the episode here

Is Mom Rage Real? How To Deal With Anger And Find Calm As A Mom

 

Mom Rage

We are glad you’re here today. We’re going to talk about a topic that I guess I feel very much in social media right now. It’s very much a buzzword. We’re going to talk about mom rage. Ashley, is it a real thing? 

It is a real thing. Sometimes, if you have a therapist or you’re talking to somebody else, we might call it maternal rage or maternal anger, but most people out there are calling it mom rage. Sometimes people say it a little tongue in cheek, but it is a real thing. It happens to me, I would probably maybe go out on a limb and say that most moms out there have experienced it. 

I feel I know what mom rage is. I’m pretty sure I’ve had it, right? Where a lot of times we feel in society as a mom, we’re supposed to be very happy all the time, peaceful, and give our child a loving environment. Then, out of nowhere, the amount that you want to scream at somebody and let it all out, and I’m not an angry person. Ashley, what does it feel like if you’re having mom rage? 

A lot of people describe it, and I can say with experience myself as well, that it is feeling a little out of control. It might be screaming, it might be throwing things, it might be being a little more forceful than you might be at times, but overall, it’s this feeling that you’ve suddenly snapped and are out of control. You feel this surge of anger, and everybody gets angry and frustrated at times. Mom rage is more of this big surge of anger that feels very scary. People describe it as feeling very scary afterward, where you’re like, “I don’t know where that came from. That is really out of the norm for my personality.”

 

Mom rage is a real thing. It’s a sudden surge of anger that can make you feel out of control and scared. Share on X

 

That makes sense, and if you are already struggling after having a child, maybe you’ve got postpartum depression symptoms or anxiety. Ashley, how does mom rage play into postpartum anxiety and depression? Is it a symptom? Is it something different? How do all these relate to each other

It can be a symptom. Irritability is a common symptom of anxiety and depression. Mom rage can occur in anyone, regardless of whether you are experiencing or have been diagnosed with anxiety and depression, but they all go hand in hand because so much of it has to do with these feelings of guilt, feeling overwhelmed, feeling you don’t have enough support, and all of those factors can contribute to everything that has to do with our mental health. 

Mom rage is something that doesn’t mean that you have postpartum depression or anxiety. It could be a symptom of it. It could also be something that people are just experiencing on their own and also far beyond the postpartum period. Maternal rage can happen really at any point in motherhood when there’s this confluence of factors that are building up. 

That makes me feel better, as a mom who’s experienced bouts of this, to know that it’s a normal thing  we don’t talk about a lot. It can happen at any time in childhood. Maybe she’s going to be ten one day, and I’m still going to have this amount of emotions that’s going to come out one way or the other. I am thinking about that, where does this come from? We love our child. We’re trying to do the best we can for our child. Why do sometimes you just want to scream at them so badly when that’s not logical, that’s not acceptable, and it’s something you don’t want to do, I guess? 

A lot of times, we will go back and say that it has a lot to do with a huge amount of unmet needs for the mom. Which makes sense, right? You think about the idea of a mom being a bucket, and you’re giving and giving and pouring and pouring all day, every day. No matter who you are really as a person, if you get to a point where your bucket is empty and it’s not being refilled, there’s so many emotions there.

Anger, sadness, frustration, disappointment, all these different things. A lot of times the easiest way for all of those emotions to come out is anger. And I wanted to note this, anger is what we also call a secondary emotion. It normally happens as a result of a bunch of other emotions that are going on. That’s why when someone is angry, if you go and dig deep enough and ask, really, there’s something else there. 

They are sad. They are feeling guilty. They are deeply disappointed. They’re very embarrassed. They’re frustrated. There is always something going on. When we think about the unmet needs of mothers, the list could go on and on. It’s different for every mom, but it could look like a significant lack of support in motherhood from family or a partner.

We always joke about, “Where’s this village that everybody keeps talking about?” Some people have more of one, some people have nothing. There’s a lack of support. There could be relationship frustrations with your partner. You could have multiple kids and you’re trying to navigate having a baby and kids. You could be going back to work and feeling guilty about that. You could be a stay-at-home mom and feel very misunderstood about what that role looks like. You could have poor sleep or eating or exercise. There are so many things, but a lot of it goes back to unmet needs and you’re running on empty. 

 

Maternal rage often stems from unmet needs. When a mom's bucket is empty, emotions like anger, sadness, and frustration overflow. Share on X

 

Let’s Thrive Postpartum | Mom Rage

I’m a mom, and my bucket is empty, right? Let’s put in the scenario. If you’re a mom reading and you hear yourself and you say, “Yes, check. I don’t feel I have a lot of support.” My village isn’t there. I’m working around the clock. I’m tired. To go from my bucket being empty to that moment of rage where I want to yell at my child. What causes that shift? Is there anything I can do to prevent that from coming out as rage? 

Sometimes people can pinpoint specific triggers for their rage or anger. Sometimes it’s triggers for low-level anger and annoyance that slowly over time builds up. A lot of times I start by trying to figure out what is it that triggers frustration and annoyance or do something that triggers these big moments of anger. Is there anything for you, Kelly? What do you think? 

 

Causes And Triggers Of Mom Rage

I have been thinking about this. I knew we wanted to talk about mom rage. Had a couple of bouts in the last few years of mom rage, and they’ve been very different things. One of the things that I know we haven’t talked about that I just want to throw out there is my first mom rage happened at around month three or four.

I know we’ve talked about our journey and the fact that I went on medication for antidepressants, and I started just constantly having mom rage. I remember one time I screamed at my child, who was four months old. I’ve never yelled at really somebody before loudly, much less an innocent four-month-old who’s In her diaper. I think that was one of those moments where I didn’t feel me. I would not do this. She didn’t do anything. 

I realized my antidepressant was giving me mom rage. I ended up going back to the doctor. We switched stuff. If it’s something that’s just constantly there, you may want to look and see if there are any medication factors. I had a side effect of my first antidepressant, and it was rage. After that, I have had a couple and for me, I’ve been trying to sit down and think of what was my trigger you mentioned. You mentioned there’s that unmet need, but mine is overstimulation. 

Usually, when my dog is barking because she wants to go outside, my child is screaming because she just fell or she needs something, and the TV’s on. I also usually am trying to get something accomplished. I’m trying to get us out the door for a dentist appointment. I’m trying to do something and it just comes out. I instantly get raged up and have to remind myself, “Kelly, how do I work through this?” The stimulation is a lot for me and all that’s going on. 

The auditory overstimulation is super common with moms. It’s something we think about a lot with kids. When you think about kids that are easily overstimulated, you’ll hear about kids that have, they’re overstimulated by clothes and by sounds and all these things, but it happens with moms all the time. I’ve recommended to some moms that when they’re in the car or at home, they can have one AirPod in and listen to some calming music, or they make these little earplugs now that you can put in that diffuse certain levels of noise that soften all the background noise. Some people find it helpful. 

 

Overstimulation is a common trigger for mom rage. Too many loud noises or a chaotic environment can push a mom to her limits. Share on X

 

It’s for me too. I mean, I know when there are too many loud noises going on, I get real snappy, real fast. I’ll walk around and everything’s getting turned off. iPad off, toys turned off, turn off the dishwasher, anything that’s beeping. That is something that is so incredibly common for moms. Some people are also being overstimulated by a mess. You walk into the playroom and there are toys everywhere. 

You come home and you walk in, and everything is a mess. It’s very overwhelming. A lot of these steps that a mom can take is acknowledging it. To acknowledge, “I am overwhelmed. I am angry.” Try to piece together, “I am overwhelmed in this scenario.” “I get overwhelmed in this situation.” Try and pick something that no one’s ever going to know exactly why. We’re never going to know every single detail  in our lives. It’s not possible. I don’t know that I would want to know that anyway. 

Trying to find a couple of things where you say, “I know this is something that bothers me.” Once you’re aware of it and you acknowledge it, then you’re able to do something about it. I have a professor who, and I say this to everybody, told me a long time ago, “Once you have awareness, then you have a choice. If you’re aware of it, you can decide to do or not to do something about it.” That sense of control feels pretty good.

It does. I think even just going back to the word over-stimulated, I didn’t know what that was. It’s a buzzword on social media and mom groups. Sitting down thinking, “What is this?” Then realizing it is the noises. I’ve come to learn that I’m very sensitive to overstimulation. I didn’t know that was a real thing two years ago. Being aware and thinking, why am I annoyed right now? What is it? And taking that moment and saying, “I’m annoyed, these eight things are bothering me.” Eight out of the eight were stimulation. 

Two, saying it without saying, “I know I’m being dramatic, but this makes me feel this way.” We don’t need that qualifier on it. It’s unnecessary. It’s just mean and that’s a lot of times I think what society’s voices are telling us as women, “You’re being dramatic,” or, “You should just be able to power through.” If something’s making you feel uncomfortable in any way, guess what? That’s okay. 

Add the word, “You’re being hormonal into that.” That is also one of those things, “You’re a female, it’s hormonal.” That brings out the mom rage instantly.

You feel invalidated. I tell women all the time, that a lot is going on out in the world that invalidates us already. Let’s not do it to ourselves. Acknowledging that something makes you feel a certain way is a way of validating yourself. I am uncomfortable and frustrated when there are lots of loud noises, period. That’s all you have to say. 

 

Acknowledging your emotions without self-criticism is key. Validate your feelings and recognize what overwhelms you. Share on X

 

I’ll add, “I’m sorry about that, to everything.” I invalidate myself, trained that way by society and how I grew up, but being able to do that and not say, “I’m sorry,” at the end, just it is period. Ashley, we both had mom rage. It works, think through what it is. In my first one, I mentioned my child was four months old, and there wasn’t a lot of damage. 

 

Repairing Relationships Post-Mom Rage

I picked her up, hugged her, and I realized I had an issue, but she’s getting older. Your kids are getting older. They know if Mommy yells at them, Mommy is their safe place. That instantly makes me feel Mommy is not safe anymore. Regardless of whether your child is two or fourteen, right? What happens when that eruption comes? What do you recommend that we do to repair or fix it? 

This is one of my favorite things to talk about with parents because it is very natural and healthy, in a way to feel, right, some guilt. Little amounts of guilt, that tells us, I don’t normally act this way. I don’t like that this happened. If we don’t feel guilty about anything, that can help us check our behavior sometimes.

Yes, you’re going to feel guilty. If you have this big eruption and this rage episode, it doesn’t feel good for anybody. If you can say to yourself and you acknowledge to yourself, “That did not go the way that I wanted it to go. This is not how I would handle situations as a mom.” That puts you in a place of saying, “Now, what am I going to do about it?”

One of the things with kids, no matter how old they are, is you can always reconnect and repair. What that might look like, you may not be ready to do it at the moment. Sometimes we need a little while to calm down for our nervous systems to re-regulate. Sometimes if we get upset, our kids might have some big behaviors because then they’re feeling all their feelings.

Everybody might need a little bit of time, but whenever that seems appropriate. With my son, I do a lot of this at bedtime. We’re reading books. We’re very close and cuddling. I’ll often say, “You remember earlier today when mommy’s voice got loud?” He’ll say, “Yes.” I’ll say, “I feel that probably felt a little scary for you.” He’ll say, “I don’t like it when your voice gets loud. It does feel scary.” I’ll say, “I’m sorry that that was how I responded in that situation.” 

“What I want to do and what I’m going to try and do next time is take a deep breath, maybe walk away, and take a break before I say something. That way, Mommy’s voice will stay a little bit calmer.” He’ll say, “Yes, that sounds like a good idea.” That’s it. What can I say to you about what I heard from that? 

The first thing was you said, “Mommy’s voice got loud.” You talked in a child’s language of what happened, not “Mommy was frustrated” or “Mommy did this.” It was an actual physical sign, “Mommy got loud.” From there, it was, “I’m sorry. Here’s why, and here’s what I’m going to do.” I love that. “Mommy’s frustrated” because that would have been mine. “I’m so sorry, I yelled at you, I was frustrated, I’m sorry.” That doesn’t say, “Hey, I’m not going to do it again.” 

Right, you can close the loop. Some kids, if they know what the word “frustrated” means, it’s okay to say, “I got frustrated and I yelled.” I try and say think about what you want, what you would want your kid to do as they get older, and what we see in other adults as people owning what they did. Saying, “This could be how it made you feel. I’m sorry, I’m going to try and do this differently next time.”  

It’s soothing for us, it feels good, but it’s also a lesson for our kids, and it’s okay to say when you’ve messed up. It’s okay to say, “This is what I’m going to try and do differently next time.” Sometimes as kids get even older, there are even days when my son will say, “I could have taken a deep breath too. I got really angry and yelled.” I said, “We both could have taken deep breaths.” There have even been days when he called me out in the middle of me raising my voice and said, “Mommy, you forgot to take a deep breath.” 

We’ve had this conversation so much. She goes, “Deep breaths help mommy and me in this situation to calm down.” We’re not even there yet. I love the fact that that is something you two are connecting with and he is learning about his own emotions. Well done, mom.

They’re always listening. No matter what kids are hearing, for better or worse, they see everything, they hear everything. When they’re hearing good things, it comes back out at some point. 

Going through it, if your needs aren’t being met, you’re probably triggered by something. If you erupt or have rage or react in a way you don’t want to react, then it’s looking at that reconnection and repair conversation with your child. Ashley, let me ask you a question about that. Is there any way in that loop? You’re mad, you come out, you reconnect, you repair, is there any way to stop it before you erupt? Is there anything you can say, “I’m in this moment, I’m triggered.” Do the deep breaths work? Any suggestions for us to keep it from happening at the moment?

 

Building Awareness and Emotional Regulation

There are a couple of things. It doesn’t always work. We know anger happens sometimes so fast and so quickly but the more that you’re trying to be aware of yourself and how you’re reacting to situations, sometimes you’ll start noticing when it’s starting to build up. In those cases, sometimes, distance yourself from whatever is overwhelming you or causing the anger. 

 

When you’re aware of your triggers, you can take proactive steps, like taking a break, to manage your anger before it escalates. Share on X

 

Can you go to the bathroom for 30 seconds, close the door, and take a couple of deep breaths? If you can’t, can you distract yourself with something at that moment to try and interrupt this anger spiral that we put ourselves in? If your spouse is nearby, sometimes spouses, you can have a look that you give each other or you can just say “I’m tagging out.”

I work with couples all the time. If you know this happens with your partner and you start to notice it, say, “Go take a break, I’m going to tag in.” Have this agreement that you’re going to take over because a lot of times what is overwhelming to one parent for whatever reason in the same moment is not overwhelming to the other parent, and vice versa. 

You can trade off to give each other that space in the moment, but know that it’s not always going to work long-term. Trying to figure out what is it that you feel you are missing. What is that unmet need? How can some of those get checked off or filled up just a little bit weekly, some daily, some monthly, whatever that is? 

 

Finding ways to meet your unmet needs, whether daily, weekly, or monthly, can help keep your emotional bucket from running empty. Share on X

 

Try to have an open dialogue about what is hard or what’s not going well, so that your cup’s just not as empty. When it’s not as empty,  and everybody has weeks when they’ll think, “Gosh, I don’t remember if I felt angry at all this week, everything seemed to go okay.” Probably because of all these other things and parts of your life. Maybe they were going better. Maybe they had the attention paid to them that they needed, and you were able to feel more confident, calm, or peaceful. Insert whatever word. 

What so many of us moms want, myself included, is that peaceful, calm, and relaxed parenthood that you imagine getting to do. Ashley, let me ask you this. If you’re a mom and this is new for you and haven’t thought it through. I had to sit down and think through what was causing my anger. How do you become aware? You mentioned that you can’t change something if you’re not aware of something. How does a mom start to become more aware of how she’s feeling and in those moments, bigger needs are being met? How do you start looking inward to be aware of that? Any ideas? 

I think a lot of times, mom rage is not always, but it’s pretty obvious. It’s something that happens, and a lot of times, pretty right after it happens, you’ll realize, “This is not how I am all the time. That didn’t feel good.” The first thing is just recognizing that there are times when maybe you’re not feeling quite yourself. Where you’re feeling really angry, where you’re feeling really tired, where you’re feeling anxious and nervous.

Honestly, sometimes what I do with little kids is I’ll list out a bunch of different feelings, basic feelings, nervous, scared, angry, happy, bored, and confused. I’ll say, “Go through and tell me what are times that you’ve felt these feelings.” You have to sit and think about it. When you’re not aware of your feelings and you’re going through the day, you’re not always thinking, “This makes me angry, this makes me scared, this makes me nervous.”

Once you start identifying some of those things in a conversation or just with yourself, again, your brain is now aware of it. It’s really hard for our brains to let things go when we bring them up to our consciousness and our awareness. Once you say, “This makes me happy, this makes me angry, this makes me sad,” we know these couple of things and it makes it easier to identify them in other parts of life. Then it takes practice and it’s hard because once you’re aware of your feelings, you’re aware of your feelings. 

Yes, you are, and you’re right. They’re going to be there until you can address them, good and bad. What about your day suddenly you have a great cup of coffee and you’re by yourself and you’re quiet on the front porch and you think to yourself, “This makes me happy.” That’s a good thing for you to acknowledge because other things that pop up or in the middle of it, you’re driving to daycare, your child screaming in the back and she’s throwing things. You’re thinking “This makes me anxious.” Just naming stuff throughout the day strengthens that muscle. 

Just naming it. That is a hard thing because we do want to qualify things all the time. “I don’t know why they’re acting this way.” If you just say it because you’re feeling it, nothing bad is going to happen by just acknowledging an emotion, because it is just a feeling. Feelings are feelings. 

 

Societal And Cultural Influences

It is. I feel my perception, a lot from being a female in society, is that it’s not OK for women to be angry or rage. You’re saying that it’s OK that we all have these feelings and you don’t have to qualify them. 

Let’s Thrive Postpartum | Mom Rage

Yes, and it’s more than okay because if you don’t acknowledge it, you’re suppressing it. Everybody is angry at times. Feelings exist whether we want them to or not. Everyone experiences the full range of them. If we don’t acknowledge them, then we’re suppressing them. When we suppress them, it builds rage because we’re not able to say what we feel. We feel we can’t say it. That builds rage in and of itself. 

I tell people sometimes to think of your brain as a refrigerator and all the contents of the fridge are all of your thoughts and feelings. The stuff that gets left in the back of the fridge that you’re not cleaning out, that you’re not cycling through, it’s going to rot and it’s going to stink and smell. That is some of our more unhelpful feelings, rage, anger, or resentment. Those things that don’t feel good to everybody. We’ve got to clean the fridge up. Sometimes I even ask myself, “What’s going on in my brain? Have I cleaned it out today?” 

That’s a great analogy because I feel no matter how many times you go through and clean the fridge out, there’s always something in the back that you didn’t realize that was there from last time. Having that visual, I need to clear this out. It’s only the fresh new stuff that’s good and hasn’t spoiled, isn’t there? 

Yes, and sometimes it’s just thinking about it. Sometimes it’s okay to sit back and say, “Today was hard. I felt irritated this morning.” You don’t have to say it out loud. You could think it to yourself. You could write about it. You could paint a picture about it, whatever it is, but just acknowledging on some level, “I felt happy this time today.” “I felt angry at this point today.” “I was frustrated.” 

Once you’re aware that you were frustrated when this happened, you can decide whether you’re going to do something about it or not. Sometimes we don’t need to do anything about it but sometimes we could say, “I do need to talk to my partner about this. I think some resolution here would feel good.” That’s okay. 

Maybe it’s where I get overstimulated. These things are too much for me. Maybe I’m going to try to reduce the stimulation during those hours when I know I can be triggered easily, even by those basic things. I’m going to take the batteries out of some of the noise-making toys. 

Take the batteries out. We have things that have run out of batteries. I’m using air quotes because you can’t see me, but they run out of batteries quite often because we just can’t handle it. I intentionally didn’t buy toys that make noise for my second child, and it’s been okay. 

 

Practical Tips and Tools

Right now we’re in a phase where we hate toys that make noises. It’s the most amazing phase. It’s a new thing because it’s helping me not feel over-anxious from hearing just all the time. Bring it back to what you said. You said a lot of mom rage comes from often a buildup of unmet needs. What can a mom do? Is there anything that we can prepare for, especially if you’re already struggling with postpartum depression and anxiety to help support your needs or go through ways to prevent this? 

One of my favorite things is making a plan, especially if you’re pregnant or newly postpartum. Make a postpartum care plan for yourself. Remember, this is all about you, mom. Baby has a plan, baby’s okay. You need a plan for yourself. The plan that you have, Kelly, through Thrive Postpartum is so all-encompassing. 

It covers all of these needs, your social needs, your mental health needs, your physical needs, eating,  and everything. When you think through it, again, thinking through something brings it up to awareness. If you’ve thought about it, it’s in there somewhere. Walking through and just thinking and having the conversation with your partner, with yourself, or with supportive family about what your postpartum plan looks like, you’re going to already have some of the stuff in place. 

I notice I get really angry faster when I’m hungry. What are we going to do about it? Do we have enough food and easy-to-cook things in the fridge or in the freezer that I can pop in the microwave? Or if it sounds, think through that. Can I call someone to come and take over for a few minutes? Who am I going to call? When you have a plan, there’s just so much less thought that you have to put in everything. As moms, we know that the less thinking that we have to do and decision-making in the moment, the better life is. 

As Ashley mentioned, we’ve created a postpartum mental health plan specifically for moms. Again, you’ve planned everything for your baby, but this is for you and it’s free. We want to share this with moms in your life, so download it for free at WeThrivePostpartum.com/Postpartum-Plan. We will put the link as well directly in the show notes. 

It’s free, come download it. Ashley mentioned it’s quite a few pages, but it’s worth looking through all the things that you can pre-plan in your life to meet some of those needs. We built it so that every couple of months, you can go in and redo it because you’re going to have very different needs when you’re pregnant than when you have a six-month-old or a two-year-old. Come back in and readapt it, but we want to help you plan to make some of this easier for you. Again, it’s free, come download it and use it. 

Even if you don’t consider yourself right now to be a postpartum mom, looking through a plan like this might help you identify some things that are triggers that you’re not thinking about. We can’t think about everything all the time. Looking through this, you might say, “I’ve never even thought about that. I do think that’s something that is a trigger for me.” It’s helpful for anyone. 

Agree, and with so many moms, whether you’ve been diagnosed with postpartum anxiety and depression or not, but if you are in one of those things where you just feel you’re struggling and this should be a little bit easier, this was designed for you. This was to make it, help you figure out ways to be easier and just help you build that plan to support yourself because everybody’s needs are different.

I love knowing that when these feelings of rage and anger hit and I want to scream, and I don’t feel like I’m usually a mad, angry person, there’s something that just helps in my soul to know that this is a situation, this is not me. I’m not a bad mom that this happens. It’s not honestly just a social media term. How does thinking through mom rage help you in your real life? 

In my real life, I know that it happens. I feel guilty. I try to not attach so much shame to it by avoiding it. Lots of things we avoid in life. When I have those moments, I will say to myself, “Ashley, you let your emotions get too big right now. Why? What was going on? Were you tired? Are you hungry? Are you feeling exhausted? Do you need help? Do you need support?”

I’m trying to have this conversation with myself if this is a sign for me that something’s not getting filled up. What do I need to do? It puts me in a place. It’s being on the springboard. I need to go make a snack. I need to go get a smoothie. I need to go to yoga tonight. I need to have extra cuddles with my kids. I need some quality time with my husband. What is it that I need? Being able to identify just one thing and then making it happen helps and it feels good.

You’d also look forward to hopefully reducing it next time. Will you go for us one more time before we wrap up and tell us again, what you say the formula that you say to your son? I would like for my own needs to have my plan of, “I need to apologize to my daughter. I had just done something that she wasn’t called for on her end.” She’s having big emotions for it. How do I reconnect and repair? Will you walk us through that one more time? 

Sure, I like to start it by acknowledging what I did, “Mommy’s voice got loud.” or, “Do you remember this morning when I said this or when this happened.” Then you can say as a parent what the feeling was, “I was feeling frustrated.” We don’t need to add on the “because,” adding the blame, kids, they probably don’t even remember. If you think about when somebody’s talking to you, you don’t want to hear them because that’s all you ever hear. If somebody said, “I was angry because…” 

I’ll say, “Do you remember this morning when mommy’s voice got loud? I was feeling frustrated.” I’ll try to guess how that might feel for them just to build a little bit of connection. I wonder if that was scary or I know when I hear loud voices, that feels scary for me. A lot of times your kid will nod if they’re old enough, they’ll nod and acknowledge or they’ll say, “Yes, it was.” 

It gives that connection. It lets them feel heard, which is the best feeling in the world when you feel somebody understands you and knows what’s going on in your brain. Then you say what you’re going to maybe do differently next time. “I know that when I get angry, taking a deep breath helps me. I forgot to take a deep breath today. I’m going to try and take a deep breath next time. I’m going to try and take a break next time or I’m going to pause and take a sip of my coffee or I’m going to go get a snack so that maybe next time I don’t let my voice get as loud.”

You can say sorry, or whatever it is that feels good for you. I tell parents that apologizing doesn’t mean that you’re permitting the behavior. Just because I don’t want to permit myself to do that every single time, just when a kid does something, acknowledging a feeling doesn’t mean we’re permitting for it to happen.

Whatever you can do to rebuild the connection, basically say, “I’m sorry, this is what I’m going to do next time.” Big hug, cuddles. It is a wonderful moment to have with your kids. And they appreciate it. I always say it’s what I want my son to be able to do. I want him to be able on the playground to say, “I’m sorry that I said this. It probably made you feel sad when I said this. I’m going to do something different next time.” That is what we want. 

It is. Wouldn’t that be amazing if that’s what everybody did? That we acknowledged it, and how do we repair that? I even write this down in my phone for notes for me to do this, because I know I’m going to need to do it. Maybe we’ll include it in the show notes so that it’s just something that you can copy and paste and save for future use, should you need it. I think that the reconnection repair process is so key. 

I, as a parent, don’t know that I’ve been taught new examples of how to do that in today’s world. Thank you for that. It’s good to know, we went through a bunch of stuff and mom rage is real, it’s very normal. As Ashley, as you mentioned, it comes a lot from unmet needs. Looking at what your triggers are and then how do you fix that reconnection and repair process? 

Look at using a plan so that you can have your unmet needs met sooner so that you are less likely to have mom rage in general. I feel that could be a guidebook right there for moms of just something we should all know and be taught over and over again. Ashley, what did I miss? You have shared such amazing insight with us right there. I feel like this is gold and thank you for this. 

That was a great synopsis, Kelly. You’re right, it would be a good guidebook. Maybe we’ll do that too on top of everything else. 

Just even knowing that this is okay. I remember when I yelled at my three-month-old, my husband looked at me like, “What is happening?” It wasn’t okay but to know that it was coming from something and I wasn’t a terrible mom. 

You’re never a bad mom and sometimes, I tell myself, “Whatever affirmations you have to say today, I’m not a bad mom, I’m a tired mom, I’m a hungry mom, I’m an overwhelmed mom, but I’m not a bad mom.” 

“I’m the perfect mom for my child.” Ashley, thank you for giving all of us steps that we can follow. You even gave us a little playbook on how to work on that repair once this does happen, and just gave us a safe space to know that this is okay and we’re not bad moms. Thank you on behalf of all of us reading. This was so very helpful. 

Always a pleasure chatting with you, Kelly. 

You as well, but we will see you next week. Thanks.

 

Important Links:

 

DOWNLOAD FOR FREE: Mental health plan

JOIN THRIVE TODAY

 

LATEST PODCAST EPISODES

FEATURED BLOGS

6 Steps to Tame Mom Rage

6 Steps to Tame Mom Rage

As a mom, have you ever had a moment where extreme anger suddenly and unexpectedly exploded from you? If so, this could likely be mom rage – a real emotional outburst that can feel scary, followed...

Get resources directly in your inbox

We’ll send you regular postpartum support tips in our Thrive Newsletter.

You can unsubscribe at any time. Read our privacy policy.