What is this strange sensation coming over me?
My son just spilled his hot cocoa after I had warned him several times to be extremely careful. This was a good 20 minutes after both my kids spilled their berry smoothies all over our carpet. Yes — gasp — the carpet.
Enter mom rage. The sensation is strange and it’s truly terrifying. It’s like a panic attack but driven by anger. It feels like the incredible hulk is exploding through the skin, tearing through clothes, and overpowering all emotions, feelings, and reason.
This is mommy rage. It’s real, and it’s ugly. And not, it’s not funny… not in the slightest.
I’ve never felt anything quite like this before becoming a parent. Until my first child was born, I was largely responsible for my own actions, my own mistakes, my own consequences. Spill a drink? Whoops, my bad. Run over a curb? Mea culpa. I had to accept responsibility for my behavior. I mean, it’s so obvious, right?
Enter children. All of a sudden their mistakes become my problems. Their berry smoothies on the carpet become my clean-up. Their biting and kicking classmates is now me being sent to the principal’s office. And sometimes I get angry. Like, really really angry. Because it’s one thing to make a stupid mistake, but it’s a whole other ballgame to suddenly wear the mistakes, dumb moves, and silly behavior of other little humans that share my DNA.
When I see my oldest picking on my youngest, I get mad. When I’m scrubbing hot cocoa off the floor — again — I can get really wound up. And when my kids start wiping their poop on the wall like van Gogh’s naughty nephews, I’m enraged. I’m pissed. I’m fuming.
It’s mom rage, and it’s like no other feeling on earth.
What can we do about mom rage? Not much. We certainly can’t act on it, not to the level it consumes us. Because I’d LIKE to throw a vase against a wall. I’d LIKE to slam the door as I run out of the house screaming. But no, we cant do that because the kids are watching. They’re waiting to see our reaction. In fact, sometimes they act out with the singular intention of seeing our reaction.
Moms need to take a deep breath or three. We need to take a step back and assess the situation calmly. We need to focus on a tempered, rational response. It’s hard AF, and sometimes I fail miserably and go running towards the front door anyway. But we’re the adults and it goes with the parenting territory.
But mommy rage is very real, and it’s time to accept it for what it is and stop pretending we don’t all spiral into an ugly puddle of fireball intensity from time to time. Moms may be superheroes 99% of the time, but we’re all still human.