Stop Being an Angry Mom Now! Here's Help


Despite our best intentions and everything we talk about as our parenting goals, the truth is, everyone sucks sometimes. For everything I write about, it doesn't mean I always accomplish it either.

When I wrote about how we should all stop being mean to toddlers, it was a lesson to myself as well, reminding myself to try to respond in a manner that helped my child learn, rather than just barking "no!" and ripping something from his hands. I don't always follow my own recommendations, and in fact, part of my inspiration for writing that post was I had looked up Dr. Sears' "18 Ways to Say 'No' Positively" for myself, because I seriously needed the reminder.

Then I read blogger "Yummy Mummy" Kim Foster's post "On Being an Angry Mom" and again was reminded that we all mess up sometimes. Plus it helped to know I wasn't alone -- so many of us can relate, and so many of us felt we could have written the same exact words.

Foster wrote:

I wish I didn't get grumpy with Lucy when she plops herself into my lap, with the grace of a camel, and slams the laptop lid shut just as I'm about to write something utterly brilliant and necessary. I wish I could see it for what it is -- her message to me that she needs me. That I need to pay attention. I wish I could calmly explain to her in the moment what I needed to do to finish, and when I'd be able to give her my focus. I wish I had more balance.

And gosh, do I know exactly how that feels. I say, "Hang on, Mommy's working," like a broken record, and while I try to just finish, my kids escalate and drive me crazy. It would be so much more helpful to me to stop for a few minutes and give them direct attention, and then return to my work, but that's often easier said than done. And sometimes I do snap at them, and then feel like a jerk.

Heck, on an especially stressful day, my daughter asks to nurse, and I get irritated with her, even with her touching me. She's only 21 months old -- it's not something I'm proud of, and I always feel terrible when I do it.

Foster has a suggestion ...

What I'd rather do -- what I'm going to try to do every day now -- is reign myself in, be in the moment, think about my reactions, what I'm saying to them with my body, my words, how often I smile, take a second to think before I talk, and give them the benefit of the doubt first. Because if David and I don't, who the hell is going to?

That's how I feel too. Being a mom means that sometimes you're going to suck. But that doesn't mean you should accept your suckiness and just give up -- it means you should constantly be evaluating your causes of stress, the reasons your kids act up (usually because they feel ignored), and try to do better ... and be honest with other moms too when you talk about your struggles. Letting them know that you don't always live up to your goals can help them feel like they're not alone.

Do you feel like an Angry Mom sometimes? How do you do better?


Image via CortneeB/Flickr

emotions, bonding, natural parenting, time for mom


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nonmember avatar jessica

As a single mother who also works AT LEAST 40 hours per wk, i feel like i never have enough time after coming home from work, cooking dinner, cleaning my house,to have quality one on one time with my wonderful 2 yr old before bath and bed time. often times i get grumpy and get snappy. This post makes me feel good that i'm not alone. thank you. :) And for the record, though i have a short fuse, i really make myself aware of what and how i say things. :) Thank you.

Xakana Xakana

Yes. I read this kind of thing, write about it--to remind myself and help connect with other moms struggling with the same thing.

MTNes... MTNester1

Well, now, I was a perfect mom.  Right, Christe?  Right?  Okay, no.  Working weird shifts often left me sleep-deprived and irritable.  I admit it.  But you perservered and grew up well in spite of me.  So even our screw-ups don't always mar our kids for life.  But I'm sure it makes them want to do better.  I hope.

buchm... buchmanbabe

Thnak you Christie for this get reminder! I did it this morning, I snapped at my 22mo son about wanting to nurse and then he was trying to give me his cup and spilled all over me and I was angry and reacted in a bad way. I will be going to apologize right now and try to be better for the rest of the day.

I try everyday to remind myself to look at things from their point of view but that doesn't mean that I always succeed. I needed this reminder to watch my own behavior and to remember that they are kids and I am the adult they depend upon so I need to be there for them first and then I can go back to what I was doing.

PoeDu... PoeDunkMae

Thanks for sharing this.  I think we all struggle with moments like this, even if we won't admit it.  I have 3 kids, a daughter and twin boys that are almost 2, there are 19 months between them.  That alone can sometimes scream stress! LOL Then add in one of the twins dealing with cancer from 3 months of age, and the other one deal with seizures from a year old, yah....there can be lots of stressful angry mom moments.  It sucks.  But we get through it.  I'm so thankful for parenting books and awesome Mommy bloggers who share their experiences and tips.  Won't say every day is perfect, but we get there just fine. 

Pishyah Pishyah

Every single day I feel like a big ol' meanie.  I hate it and I do try to fix it by apologizing, explaining why I had such an angry reaction, trying to direct my kid and his problem solving skills into a way to avoid that happening again, etc.  Still, it continues to happen.  :/

Raynebird Dragonwyke

i'm a gramma now, and daily i watch my daughter struggle, and succeed, in being a mom to a 1yr old daughter.  i raised 3 w/in 4yrs of each other.  i was sometimes a terrible mom to them, but mostly i was a really good mom to them.  they'll all tell you today they loved the way they were raised and want to raise their children the same way.  so, even in making mistakes, we don't always fail, because it's the long haul that ends being what matters, not the moment to moment.  if we stick it out and love them no matter what, believe them over everyone else, trust them when they need it, hug them when they want it, and love love love them, all those horrible "mean mom" moments won't count in the end.  they'll still wind up being wonderful loving young men and women.  and they'll still love you. 

and in the end, isn't that what we really want? :D

Kiki1212 Kiki1212

I have a 1, 2, 3 and 15 yr old. I feel your pain. My husband and I went out on a date yesterday and I felt so free and happy and relaxed. Then we came home to hungry, grumpy, frustrated kids.  Nothing is easy for us, and we often find ourselves feeling bad for losing our cool.  I am getting better, but my husband has a hard time and he really hates himself for losing his cool.  We are learning that its ok to call "time outs" for ourselves.  I am okay putting everyone in a their room so I can be alone for 5 min and regroup.  I am also learning not to sweat the small stuff.



k_hal... k_hall1784

I'm almost always an angry mom. I don't want to be. In my house, its insanely difficult not to be. My 7 year old has ADHD/ODD, and I have about 5 years of extremely difficult daily battles. He can get my blood boiling all on his own. I also have a 4 year old who is ALWAY doing something that she shouldn't be. She's very destructive, hard headed, and cries at the drop of a hat. And then there is my 10 month old. She HAS to be on my hip at ALL times, otherwise she is screaming at the top of her lungs. I've usually got 101 things going at any given moment and it doesn't help that I don't get any help. My dh is always gone and its just me and the kids. I hate the fact that I yell, and say no all of the time. I really wish I could have a better relationship with my children, but seeing as how I get no time to breath without a child around, I don't see that happening in the near future. *sigh*

musik16 musik16

WOW. Thank you for this article.

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