Why do moms get angry?
There are so many reasons why you could be an angry mom.
And if you are a mom struggling with patience and want to be calm and kinder to your children, it’s helpful to find out what triggers anger for you.
I don’t remember myself as an angry person before kids, but after having them I started losing patience easily.
Little things started to irk me and I became more impatient than ever. Even my daughter started mentioning how angry I am. I started to get the wake-up calls.
I started thinking about how difficult it must be for my daughters to live with an angry mom.
That’s when I started digging deep to find out what triggers my anger.
Though it’s impossible to control anger 24×7 as a human, we can definitely work on reducing it. I have found working on the triggers helps me to control anger a lot of the time.
So what are some common anger triggers for moms?
COMMON ANGER TRIGGERS FOR MOMS
1. YOU ARE STRESSED
As a mom, we have to juggle a lot of tasks at home and at work. And if you have other problems going on in life – be it in your marriage or if you are facing other personal tragedies, it can all add up.
And children are usually easy targets to vent your anger out. The fact that they have their needs and that they call “mom” for each and everything can make you all the more frustrated.
I have found that in my pre-kids life I could have more than enough time for myself and work on my problems sitting alone. But after kids, we rarely get the privacy to remain undisturbed for some time.
And at the same time, you have many responsibilities of cooking, getting them to sleep, eat, etc that could also lead to overwhelm when you are already stressed. In such moments it’s easy to take our anger elsewhere – on our kids.
So what are moms to do?
We can find healthy ways to deal with stress. One practice that helps me to deal with stress and anger in general, is meditation.
If I begin my day with meditation, I find I am calmer and I can be more present and mindful. When I am not present and thinking about my problems I am more stressed and tend to get angry easily.
Other stress-relieving practices are:
- Wake up before everyone and have some time alone in peace
- Do exercise. Exercise is a great mood-booster
- Talk it out. When you are focused on the daily grind, mommy life can become lonely. Remember to connect with other people and release your tension
- Journal. I do journaling as part of my morning routine. And on the days I do journaling, I am in a great mood and I am capable of dealing with stress more efficiently.
- Indulge in self-care activities even if it’s for ten minutes a day. Make it a priority to do something for yourself every single day. Even relaxing with a good book can help you.
ANGER TRIGGER #2-TAKING THINGS PERSONALLY
We do a lot for others in a day. And to say motherhood is a thankless job can seem true many times in a day.
We take a lot of effort in keeping our living space presentable or at least “liveable”. How can we not get annoyed when others don’t make the same effort as us, right?
And sometimes the meals we make are outright rejected because it’s not their favorite or we made it twice in a row. It’s easy to feel angry when children (or partners) don’t appreciate our efforts.
Other scenarios include when kids don’t do listen to what we say. They do just the opposite because they want to exert power too.
Well, no one is right or wrong here.
When I encounter such moments, what I do is try to be empathetic. I talk a lot about empathy on my blog because it is a great virtue to have and one that will help us a lot in parenting too.
Our kids are not old or emotionally matured enough to understand how we feel or why we do what we do.
But we could be more emotionally mature, right?
If you think about it, when we were kids we wouldn’t understand why our moms wanted us to keep our room clean. Or we didn’t know why everything had to be kept in its own place.
But now we get it and our kids don’t. Only when they are in our shoes, they learn the effort needed to run a home, earn an income (if you are working), and raising kids at the same time.
So when they don’t do what we say, it’s because they are people too. And they need to feel they have choices and control too.
Also, they could be having a bad day or they are feeling needy. Whatever reason it may be, remind yourself constantly that they are children. They don’t know what you know.
So when you feel angry for kids’ behavior, make it a habit to view everything from their perspective too. I try to let them have their way if a battle is too unnecessary.
And I am letting go of the idea that kids should obey me. Yes, I want them to listen to me and respect my demands. Because I know they are not old enough to know what is good or bad for them.
But at the same time, I try to understand everything is not about me. They are entitled to have their own opinions and impulsive reactions.
But it doesn’t mean they don’t love you or value you. It just means they are whole human beings who have thoughts and feelings too!
ANGER TRIGGER#3- BEING CONTROLLING
If you are a control-freak, I can easily guess why you are a mom struggling with patience. Because I am a control freak too! Or should I say I am a recovering control freak?
When you are a controlling mom, you want everything your way. You want everyone to do what you say because it can feel unsafe for you when things don’t go as you plan.
Your anxiety rises, you feel stressed and you are angry at your children for not listening to you.
The problem with being a controlling person is that they are afraid of the unknown.
They are worried about so many things going wrong and how they would deal with them all.
Instead of staying confident and prepared for the unknown, they try to prevent the unknown from happening, which is impossible. Often this can come across as anger or fear.
Controlling people often give directions to people around them. So if we are too controlling and our kids do not play along with our directions, we get angry. Since it is easier to control children than adults, we try to exert control over them.
The problem with being controlling is other people would find it hard to live with control freaks.
We can’t let kids be messy and do their things in their own imperfect way, which is also necessary for them to learn.
And imagine being on the receiving end of getting constant directions and instructions on what to do every day!
It is frustrating and tiring to have to try to live up to other’s expectations right? There is no room for mistakes and you can almost never satisfy a control-freak.
When I realized how my controlling nature is going to affect my kids, I was shocked.
And it had already started affecting my mental health badly. Being an angry mom is no fun at all.
So I started practicing letting go and start submitting to the flow of life. When things don’t go as planned, or when unexpected things happen, I try to surrender.
Surrender to the flow of life.
And I also started to embrace the flaws and imperfections in myself and others.
After all, change is not all bad. Sometimes, good things happen out of unexpected changes.
So, let go of feeling the need to control kids’ behavior and start loving spontaneity.
Start accepting the fact that kids may not want to do the things you ask them to do exactly at the time you want them to do it.
Respect their need to control their choices too, of course, if those choices are harmless.
TRIGGER#4- SWEATING THE SMALL STUFF
I mentioned about picking the right battles above.
So, moms, when you pick your battles, be careful. If you are picking battles, let it be a worthy one.
If your daughter wants to wear the red frock instead of the blue one, let her wear it.
If they don’t want to wear the jacket even though it’s cold, don’t let it affect you. Let them learn from the natural consequence.
Stop trying to worry too much about their failures or consequences when they do things their way. It can make us take things personally and be angry.
Examine yourself when you get angry. If things that trigger you are small things, learn to let go. Your mental health is so worth it.
I promise you will get better at letting go, with practice.
TRIGGER#5 – WORKING WITHOUT BREAKS
You can’t keep giving with an empty cup. Take time to recharge and fuel your energy tank.
It is easy to fall into the trap of working and giving and then forget to take time out for yourself.
I know when I have not taken time to relax, I am easily annoyed and tend to snap at my kids.
So to stop getting angry at your children, prioritize getting free time for yourself by doing something you love. And also, try to get “kids-free time” by asking your spouse or other family members to do babysitting.
MOM ANGER REASON#6- HIGH EXPECTATIONS
Another trigger for mom anger is having high expectations from children.
Do you expect your kindergartener to write all the capital and small alphabets without making mistakes?
Do you expect your 5-year-old to clean her room every time she is done playing?
Do you expect your 7-year-old to bake a cake without creating a mess?
Though high expectations from parents are said to be good for good performance and results, you cannot set your bar high without considering their age and their abilities.
Kids live in the moment. So letting them be kids can help us mothers to stop being angry about their actions all the time.
MOM ANGER REASON#7 – HAVING NO ROUTINES
I love having routines. And recently when I got the wake-up call that I am a control freak I learned why I love my routines so much.
It’s true that I need to give up my controlling tendencies to a certain extent. But it doesn’t mean I need to ditch my routines too.
Routines help to have a structure in your day as well as your kids’ day. So it is easy to get everyone on board when you want them to eat, sleep, and study on time.
You can keep the balance between all that you want to do and what your kids want to do when you have routines.
It helps to avoid overwhelm and also anger at not having things done.
But if you find yourself angry when routines don’t go as planned every day, it may be the controlling nature that’s coming out.
Set routines, but don’t be too rigid about it.
It’s okay if your kids go to bed one hour late than usual. The world is not gonna end when it happens and you all will be fine the next day. I promise!
COPING STRATEGIES FOR UNDERLYING EMOTIONS
As I said, I didn’t have anger issues before kids.
For many moms, anger arises as a result of the transition they have had to have from living freely to a life filled with responsibilities.
Not everyone is able to cope with it well. All of us have different capabilities in managing stress and dealing with a different range of emotions that come as a result of dealing with little humans. Hence, some moms are calmer and others, angrier.
There may be a lot of other frustrations like your spouse having more freedom than you (as most moms are primary caregivers), your basic needs of proper sleep, nutrition, love, quiet time, etc. not being met.
To solve your anger issues, it is important to understand the triggers. And make use of proper channels to release the unprocessed emotions so that they don’t build up and make you a constantly angry person.
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HERE ARE SOME WAYS TO COPE WITH YOUR EMOTIONS
Journaling: Write down about the events or behaviors that make you angry. Think about why they are there and what judgments you have about them.
Journaling helps you to process deep emotions and let them out. You may also get better ideas to deal with your problems and vent as much as you need.
Meditation: Meditation helps a lot in centering your focus. When you do daily meditation, even if it’s for 10 minutes, you are wiring your brain to focus. To focus on the breath and to not get carried away by the overwhelming emotions and thoughts.
It is a good practice to have to enjoy being in the present and not to worry too much about your kids’ behavior in the future or other worrying thoughts that moms usually have.
Meditation helps me to be aware of my anger when it starts to boil up inside me. My mind gives a warning like, “Here you are, kids are acting up and you are going to get angry again. Remember to focus on your breath and calm down”.
And I can tell you this little warning has helped to control my anger many times and develop more patience with kids as a result.
Get professional help: If your anger issues are badly affecting everyone and you can’t seem to control it, consider getting professional help.
Professionals can always see what we can’t and help us to heal from past traumas or identify any other hidden triggers that we have not been able to process yet.
Were you able to identify any of the anger triggers? What would you add to this list of mom anger triggers? Let me know in the comments below!
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