Overcoming #MomRage

No one has willpower like a mother.  The amount of restraint it takes to keep from slugging your kid in the face when they spit a loogie on your glasses?  The sheer godliness that is used when your pre-teen rolls their eyes at you and ignores everything you just said to them?

Last weekend was a long rough one around here.  My step-daughter's ADHD was in full swing as she ignored everything I told her and antagonized her little brother, who would then turn around and make his baby sister cry.  I was screamed at, hit, bitten, and argued with.  Messes were made and never cleaned up, eyes were rolled in my direction, and there was constant fighting between the kids.

I can honestly say that I understand why child abuse is so common.  No child should ever be in pain, especially not by the hands of those who are supposed to be protecting them, but I cannot claim to have never had the thought of picking up my three year old while he's kicking his little sister and chucking him into a wall.

I hate having these thoughts.  Daydreaming about locking your kid in a closet?  Fantasizing about scenes from Flowers in the Attic?  It doesn't seem right.  But Moms - if you have these thoughts, I am here to tell you, it is completely natural.

It's what you do with those thoughts that decide what kind of mom you are.  Now, I'm not trying to turn this into an Anti-Spanking controversy, because you all know how I feel about spanking my kids.  I am simply saying that I am proud of all of my mama peers who have the strength to bottle their anger and attempt to calm the situation without resorting to violence.

Just remember, the reason our children push our buttons is because they trust us enough to test out their limitations.  If your little ones are being rotten little stinkers, it's because they love you enough to know that you will provide boundaries and keep them from getting hurt.

A few things to keep in mind (learn these when you're calm, and apply them in those rage moments):

  • Our children look to us for their sense of self.  Calling them names, belittling them, or any other kind of verbal abuse will have a long term effect on not only their self-esteem, but how they measure their self-worth.
  • Food, shelter, love, safety - those are the things that parents are supposed to provide for their children.  These little people depend on us completely, so anger towards them hurts more than you can imagine.
  • If you show anger and your child doesn't seem phased, it's probably because they've seen too much of it already.  Empty threats, raising your voice constantly, and even spanking your kids does more against you than for you.  They eventually learn to adapt to your anger and will no longer be afraid of the consequences.

When (not if) you get to the point of being enraged at your children, try these tips:
1.  Breathe.  Sometimes you just need to take a couple of deep breaths and count to ten before reacting.  This will help you be more rational.
2.  Take a break.  If you get to the point of wanting to throw things (hey, it happens) put your children in a safe location and walk away.  Take 5 minutes to calm down, maybe jam out to a favorite song, and then go back to doing the mom thing.  Sometimes that few minutes will be enough to figure out how to handle the situation.
3.  Get a babysitter.  Respite care, having your mom watch the kids so you can spend a few hours to yourself, or hiring a babysitter so you can have a night out can really renew your spirit.

Remember, by handling things calmly and efficiently, you are more likely to see positive results in your children's behavior as well.

Some resources that you may find helpful:
 - If you feel angry and frustrated and aren't sure where to turn, you can call 1-800-4-A-CHILD for support and resources to help prevent child abuse.
 - 10 Ways to Calm a Crying Baby
 - What is child abuse? Learn more here

How do you avoid "Mom Rage?"


  1. I commend you. It has to be harder to raise a child nowadays than when my parents raised me way back in the 60's and 70's. I know I pushed my mom to the limit more than once. I feel bad about it now when I think back. We were punished when we were bad. We were spanked and we have not suffered long-term effects from it.

    I do think at times a swat on the bottom would help. I am not talking child abuse. Just an attention grabbing swat.
    Unfortunately a person can't do that nowadays for fear of a long prison term and children being taken away and put in foster care where they are more likely to be abused worse than the swat on the butt the parent gave.

    It is a sad world we are living in today.

    Just my opinion. Please don't be hating on me for my opinion.

    1. I'll give them a swat if they're doing something dangerous or hurting their brother/sister, but honestly: Prison and CPS aren't why I don't spank, it's more that I don't want to hit my kids in anger. That's abuse to me.

  2. Thank you so much for writing this post. I'm actually in tears knowing that I'm not just this awful, terrible person who never should have been entrusted with kids. I have to hide in a bathroom or bedroom at least 20 times a day. 98% of my time is spent with my children, and only my children (8yo who is severe ADHD & a 3yo who has her daddy wrapped & gets whatever she wants). I have caught myself saying hurtful things to them, and that's when I started perfecting the art of running to hide for a few minutes.

  3. For me your most important point: Our children look to us for their sense of self. Calling them names, belittling them, or any other kind of verbal abuse will have a long term effect on not only their self-esteem, but how they measure their self-worth.

    slehan at juno dot com


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