Being a mom is tough. It’s natural for us to feel overwhelmed and frustrated some days. Dealing with temper tantrums, sick kids, runaway dogs, burned dinners, missed meetings, and late school projects causes the pressure of family life’s never-ending tasks, needs, and wants to build over time. It is no wonder that all moms get angry sometimes.
But good moms don’t get angry, right? Or is that just what we have been taught to believe? So we stuff all those frustrations down until, one day, we snap over something minor, like dirty clothes on the floor. We have believed the myth that good moms don’t get angry and that anger is a “bad” emotion.
Anger can often rear its ugly head, leaving moms feeling overwhelmed, guilty, and unsure of how to create a harmonious home environment. But what if I told you that anger can catalyze positive changes? It is possible to be an angry mom and still have a happy home. Let’s find out how!
As we dive into the truth about anger, we will debunk the myth that good moms don’t get angry. The guilt and shame we feel over our anger prevent us from learning how to manage it. The American Psychological Association explains, “Anger is often regarded as negative; we’re taught that it’s all right to express anxiety, depression, or other emotions but not to express anger. As a result, we don’t learn how to handle it or channel it constructively.”
The reality is that being mad isn’t bad. Anger is a natural and healthy emotion God gave us so that we can protect ourselves and respond to injustice. The truth is that good moms do get angry, and feeling angry isn’t bad. My friend Renee, a licensed clinical social worker, taught me that emotions are information that tells us something. Our anger is an excellent indicator of our mental health.
Anger is an emotion that requires self-reflection to understand fully. Monica Vermani, a clinical psychologist, explains, “Anger is widely recognized by mental health professionals as a secondary — what I refer to as a “blanket” — emotion.”
As moms, we must find out what our anger is covering up. Processing our anger can lead us to a deeper understanding of ourselves. Here are some self-reflection questions I ask myself after I have felt angry:
Using these self-reflective questions is a positive step to discovering the root of your anger. We can come to realize that our anger is covering up needs that have gone unmet, unrealistic expectations, or a misunderstanding of the situation.
We have now established that anger is bad and good moms get angry. Let’s dive in on how to manage anger in a healthy way.
Whether dealing with defiant toddlers or moody teenagers, moms need healthy ways to manage emotions gracefully and with composure. Self-regulation is your ability to manage your thoughts, feelings, and actions. To prevent angry outbursts, we can take some time to pause to think before we act. Andrea Bell, a licensed therapist, explains, “Someone who has good emotional self-regulation has the ability to keep their emotions in check. They can resist impulsive behaviors that might worsen their situation, and they can cheer themselves up when they’re feeling down.”
When my anger would flare up, I would slowly, out loud, count to ten to calm myself down. When I started counting and breathing deeply on each count, I noticed my kids realized “Mom is angry” and stopped whatever nonsense they were doing.
Pausing gives you the mental space to calm down and prevent yourself from yelling at your kids. Self-regulation stops self-destruction. Counting to ten was the self-regulation technique I used, but here are some other methods that you might like:
By learning how to control your anger, it is possible to create a more peaceful and nurturing home. Your ability to self-regulate your emotions can provide the foundation for your kids to learn this necessary skill for themselves.
We can understand how to manage our anger by identifying our triggers. The self-reflection questions I shared earlier are a great tool to identify the circumstances that cause anger to read its ugly head. When you know what triggers your anger, you can better control your angry mom moments. Below are some everyday situations that cause moms to get angry:
Taking care of yourself is crucial to maintaining a healthy emotional state. Read my article Self-Care is Never Selfish: How To Lose The Guilt Of Self-Care to learn how important self-care is to your well-being.
Self-reflection helps us to understand our triggers and to create an environment that reduces them. Sometimes, a solution can be simple. Small changes can help us proactively reduce our triggers. Here are some small changes you can make:
Proactively reducing your triggers is a brilliant way to minimize stress and angry outbursts.
Read my article on Useful Time Management Tips for Moms On How To Balance Life and Work to learn how to find the balance you need to thrive in both areas.
Surrounding yourself with understanding and supportive individuals can provide a sense of validation and encouragement. Reach out to friends, family, or other moms experiencing similar challenges. You’ll discover we all live parallel lives behind closed doors. No matter how perfect we may look on social media, no one’s kids are that cute and well-behaved.
Talking with your friends and family is great, but there are benefits to talking to a professional. Seeking support and professional help when needed can provide additional guidance and resources for navigating this journey. I can’t say enough about how beneficial therapy has been for me personally and as a parent. It’s been one of the best things I have done for my children. Investing in therapy is one of the most loving things we can do for ourselves and our families.
In addition to professional help, support groups offer a safe space to share experiences. Books, online courses, and workshops can provide valuable insights and techniques for anger management.
Being an angry mom is not permanent, and it’s important to remember that growth and transformation are possible. Embrace your emotions as a mom and channel them constructively. By understanding the root causes of anger, processing our anger, self-regulation, being proactive about our triggers, and talking to someone, we can create a more peaceful home for our children.
Remember, it takes time and patience to navigate this journey. Give yourself grace and celebrate small victories along the way. With dedication and support, you can transform anger into compassion, fostering a nurturing environment for yourself and your children.
Maybe managing anger isn’t your superpower, but you FOR SURE have one! Take this 2-minute free quiz to find out your secret superpower.
And remember: You’re doing great!