Mommy anger is one of those secret sins that so many of us struggle with. Daily.
You get it, right? We love our kids more than life itself, and yet, at the same time, our kids can bring out the tears, frustration (and pure anger) unlike anyone else!
We’re embarrassed by mommy anger because, hey, we’re supposed to have everything together. Who wants to be “that mom” who loses it in the grocery store?
We know that anger can be destructive, and we want to set a good example for our kids. How can we tell them not to yell, when we’re yelling at them?
And most of all? We hate who we become when we’re in “angry mom” mode. It’s horrible to feel out-of-control of our emotions, especially when we’re talking to a loved one.
We want to get help, and yet we’re also afraid to tell anyone else about this struggle because we’re afraid of the potential judgement and condemnation, especially from other moms (unfortunately, we moms can be pretty good at that).
Worst of all? The guilt from mommy anger can be incredibly overwhelming, leading to feelings of self-loathing and hopelessness.
Moms, can we come out of the shadows and admit that we all get stuck in “angry mom mode” from time to time?
Every single one of us deals with it. And for the sake of our kids, our marriages (and our own self-worth and mental health), it’s something that we need to start being real about, ladies.
I’ve been writing about anger a lot lately—not because I’m a expert psychologist, but because I dealt with habitual anger for a long time and God has brought me much healing in this area.
I see so many fellow Christian women who are suffering under this weight as well and I want to share what I’ve learned (and am still learning) as an everyday mom who parents extremely emotional, passionate kids.
The biggest thing I’ve had to learn is that if I want change then I need to be the one to make it.
I pray regularly that my kids will grow in certain areas, but I’m learning that their behavior cannot dictate my response. I can’t wait for them to be different for me to stop being angry.
I’m not going to promise to solve your anger issues, but friend, can I offer some suggestions and mindsets that may be helpful?
5 Ways to Switch Out of “Angry Mom” Mode
1) Take it moment by moment.
You don’t have to deal with every emotion all at once. Sometimes even the emotions of “this moment” (TK) are overwhelming enough! What are you feeling in this moment? Tackle that, and only that.
Write it out. Pray it out loud. Go into the other room and cry if you need to. But focus on the one thing (not everything).
2) Accept responsibility for your own behavior.
This is not always easy or pleasant, but accept that you may play a role in the situation. If you messed up, apologize. If you are having a bad day, recognize that.
Our minds (and emotions) are affected by everything else going on in our life, and some seasons are just plain harder than others. Let that truth bring you understanding as to why you may be more emotional, but don’t let it give you license to let your emotions run rampant.
3) Begin identifying anger habits in your life.
We all have certain situations that bring out the anger in us. Maybe it’s a certain behavior your husband exhibits. For me, it’s a certain comment my kids make. Prayerfully consider why that situation makes you made.
At the same time, try to notice when you tend to get angry the most. Is it around a certain time of day, for example? Is it when you’re doing a certain activity? In my “7 Days to a Less Angry Mom” course, we dig deep into these habits and begin determining the true root of these regular stressors.
4) Take three simple steps when dealing with in-the-moment anger.
Here’s what I do when I am overwhelmed by anger.
5) Should you still get angry, use your anger as a teachable moment for your kids.
Because we are imperfect beings, there still will be times when we lose our cool and anger gets the best of us.
However, God is so gracious! Even through our failures, He allows us an opportunity for His spirit to shine! Many, many times I’ve watched him turn a parenting mistake I’ve made into a learning moment—for me and my kids. And in terms of anger, here’s 5 ways he’s taught me to turn those angry mom moments into teachable moments.
6) Get a fresh start whenever you need it.
We teach our kids all the time that forgiveness is available. But do we allow ourselves to practice forgiveness with our own selves?
God’s grace isn’t a license to continue to live in habitual anger. But we can’t forget to give ourselves the opportunity for a do-over too. When we fall, God’s waiting there to pick us up, dust us off and set us on the right path toward change.
7) Be patient with the process.
Change is slow, and it rarely happens in a nice straight line. In fact, as we’re changing, it often feels like we’re taking one step forward and two steps back!
I find encouragement in celebrating the little victories. Sometimes, especially during a really rough season, I write down the good choices I did make to stay calm and not respond in anger. I’m a firm believer that tiny choices make big habits. And if we can remember and keep practicing those tiny choices to stay calm, then we eventually will see progress.
Dealing with mommy anger isn’t easy, but I want you to know that you are not alone. So many moms struggle with this, but there is hope and healing available.
I’m praying for you today as you deal with mommy anger in your life!