But before we get too far into managing mom anger, let me just say that I’m so glad you stopped by! If this is your first time here, welcome. You will find great content on SELF CARE, PARENTING, RELATIONSHIPS & MARRIAGE and more. THIS IS A GOOD PLACE TO START.
OMG. I don’t want to be a mom anymore.
I’d be lying if I told you the thought hadn’t crossed my mind once or twice…ahem…maybe more.
Don’t judge. Mommin’ is hard, y’all.
Now, before you roll your eyes or decide that I should be put in my place for saying something so horrible, let me also say this: Being Mom to my kids is my very favorite thing in the world. But favorite job or not, it comes with A LOT of challenges and MAJOR complexities.
You get it, Mom. It’s your job, too.
And as we work to shape our kids into awesome human beings, there are moments when the success of that concept still feels light years away.
The thought of a mom-escape usually pops in my mind when one of my little
monsters angels does something to break the rules.
You know…the screaming…the fighting with each other…the back-talk…😖
And when one of these chaos-causers happens, I feel anger bubbling up from the core of my being. Sweet, happy, easy-going momma quickly mutates into the dreaded ANGRY MOMster! 😡
Ugh. Anger. It is a universal emotion that we all experience. And while there are healthy ways to manage that emotion, it usually manages us.
It also tends to feed on itself. Rarely do we see anger dissipate after allowing the steam to escape. It is notorious for pushing us toward overreaction.
Remember the “fight or flight” responses? Anger triggers one or the other in your body.
LET’S TALK ABOUT SCIENCE, BABY. LET’S TALK ABOUT YOU AND ME.
(Those are the nerd-mom lyrics…you’re welcome. 🤓)
Meet your frontal lobe.
This gal runs the show and is the queen of rational behavior.
Make sure to send her a nice thank you card for controlling all of your decision-making and problem-solving skills.
But when you start to feel anger, another party steps in…your amygdala.
This little lady controls emotion and the fight or flight response. She’s fast. In a matter of milliseconds, she can process CRAZY amounts of information, which is pretty stinkin’ amazing.
Because of her, you can act first and think later, and at times that can be uber beneficial.
WHEN ANGER STRIKES, a reaction is triggered. Blood is sent rushing to the frontal cortex, clouding your thought and causing Queen Rationale to be stopped right in her sweet lovin’ tracks.
During this reaction, stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol are also released. They flood your body making your blood pressure, temperature, breath rate and heart rate all increase.
All of this prepares you for either fighting or flighting, and it happens super fast.
Now that you know what happens to your body when you get angry…
I want you to think about your average day.
How many times do you feel this reaction occur? How many times does your anger button get pushed?
If your house is anything like mine, some days are better than others, but every day is undoubtedly challenging.
It is no wonder we fall into our beds exhausted every night feeling like we’ve been through the ringer!
It is also no wonder that over time chronic anger can lead to some pretty major health problems like…
- High Blood Pressure
- Risk of Coronary Disease
- Digestive Irregularities
…just to name a few!!!
Since all of those sound super UN-awesome (and like the end of a prescription drug commercial), I wanted to put together a list of ways that you can MANAGE YOUR ANGER SO IT DOESN’T MANAGE YOU.
1. When you feel the anger start to rise, the first thing to do is to TAKE A DEEP BREATH.
This sends oxygen to your lungs and will help regulate your blood pressure and heart rate. Yep, breathing…it is magical. So deep breath on 1….2…..3…..BREATHE.
2. CHANGE YOUR TEMPERATURE.
Splash cold water on your face or put a cold washcloth on the back of your neck. Remember that your temp rises when the anger reaction is triggered. By shocking your system a bit, you can interrupt the cycle and stay in control.
3. BE PHYSICAL.
Doing a physical action can satisfy the need for a “fight.”
Many times in response to anger, parents use a swift swat on the rear to satisfy that need and to bring justice. I’m not here to talk disciplining tactics (at least not in this post…), but I will say this: Though I am a proponent of fairly strict discipline, I also believe that discipline doled out in response to anger is ultimately ineffective in curtailing the behavior in the way in which we hope.
It also models a lack of self-control and encourages reaction as opposed to well-thought, intentional action.
I feel like this is a good time to add in these hashtags in reference to myself #guilty #beenthere 😳
Anyway, if any of this sounds familiar, don’t stress. After all, we’re trying to reduce the effects of that response.
Remember this: IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO MODEL APPROPRIATE ACTIONS AND REACTIONS TO THE PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE.
Yes, if you’ve been doing the same things for a long time, it may feel weird to make a change at first. It may take a while to get into a new habit, but you can definitely do it!
So when you feel your anger button being pushed (or jumped on repeatedly), channel that need for a physical release into something else: Run up and down your stairs a few times, jump rope for 30 seconds, do a set of kettlebell swings…
Whatever you do, just remember that it is PERFECTLY ACCEPTABLE for you to take a parental time-out…it will not make you look weak or allow your kids to “win.”
Do whatever you need to do in order to stay in control of your emotions. When you do this it is better for EVERYONE involved.
***Note***If you are a spanker, know that it can be done once you have controlled your emotions. All discipline will be more effective when done after your rational self has regained control.
4. After you’ve gathered your composure, re-enter the situation and BE ASSERTIVE, NOT AGGRESSIVE.
Keep your tone direct without escalating to a yell. Remember that anger feeds anger.
Remind yourself that this is your baby, and they are still learning. Repeat after me, “I love this kid. I love this kid. I love this kid.”
5. Know that a BAD MOMENT DOES NOT EQUAL BAD MOM!
I’ll say it again…a bad moment does not make you a bad mom (more on that here). You’re gonna mess up (and so are your kids)! Just take a breath and fix it.
6. Practice SELF-CARE.
I know how it is. You repeatedly put yourself at the bottom of your to-do list. Everyone else’s needs push your needs to the bottom every single time…and let’s face it. That to-do list NEVER ends.
If you don’t put yourself to the top once in awhile, you will find that your cup quickly runs out and you feel ragged.
I bet you’ve been there. Am I right?
Well, Momma, as great as it is to meet everyone else’s needs, it should be a priority for you to meet your own. If you’ve been around here long, you’ve heard me say it before…You can’t pour from an empty cup.
So today do something for yourself. Fill your cup.
7. USE THE #oneFABmother MANTRA PRINTABLE.
I created this as a reminder to re-center in the OMG moments of motherhood. I have one framed above my desk and look to it often. You can get your own copy by putting your email in the pretty pink box below! 🙂
Next time you feel the MOMster about to take control, remember these tips and you’ll not only be a better Momma, but you’ll be leading those sweet kiddos by example.
Thanks for reading along, and make sure to share this with a momma who could use some extra cup-fillin’.
And be sure to comment below!