Nobody ever plans on being the “angry mom”: Return to the version of motherhood you once dreamed of

You never planned on it, and it’s not the thing you would choose if you felt you had a choice. But here we are: you are the angry mom. Yelling, screaming, ignoring. Threatening and shaming your kids. Using disappointment as an emotional weapon. 

Punishing them almost daily (when was the last time they even used the iPad?). Feeling so fed up that even when they do do something the “right way,” your natural response is to just ignore it or acknowledge their efforts sarcastically.

This isn’t how you imagined it, when you first held them in your arms. Whether the circumstances surrounding their birth felt blissful or like some cruel mistake, the moment you committed to them, you really did have every intention of doing your best by your children.

So what happened?

For some of us, we had mothers we aspired to. Mothers who cooked delicious homemade meals, made our house feel like a home, always seemed to have time

enough to connect with us and hear about our day, even in the midst of an endless string of busy days.

Others of us had mothers we vowed we would be nothing like. Mothers who behaved as if we were a burden, or were emotionally checked out in an unhappy marriage and treated us as an extension of that reality. Mothers who hurt us with their words or their looks. Who picked us apart for our appearance, our interests and all of our life choices. Maybe they, too, yelled, and maybe they didn’t. Either way, they didn’t seem concerned with making us feel safe, or seen, or protecting our self esteem.

Happy or sad, we may look back on our childhood memories with a much different perspective now. We may wonder how our mothers did it- keeping it together with all the responsibilities they had on their plate. We understand now how much harder it must have been to be a mother than how it looked at the time, and experiencing our own failures simply increases the respect that we have for her. Or we may find ourselves identifying more with our own angry and withdrawn mothers more than we thought we would.

The real question is, how did we end up in a space where we are now connecting with our children as the worst versions of ourselves? And is there any hope that we could come back from this, to restore the relationships that we deeply desire to have?

After all, we aren’t monsters. We see the gap between where we are now and where we want to be. It’s just that having high expectations without a clear roadmap for how to get there inevitably leads to failure. Not to mention shame. And who has ever felt motivated towards sustained, positive change based on shame alone?

The parent-child dynamic is one that shapes in both directions. In other words, it’s transactional. Just as we influence our offspring by how we talk to and interact with them, those same exchanges influence who we become as parents and as people. Whether I practice impatience or patience with my child, I am becoming more of that. This may sound like really bad news to those of you who are currently struggling. But let me help you see the good news here, too.

If we become what we practice, then the opportunities we have to change are actually endless. Even if it takes repetition over time, we aren’t locked in to anything negative we perceive about ourselves! It is conceivable that we could go from being an angry mom today to a more grounded and calm mom thirty days from now.

Obviously, the more quickly we want something to change, the more time and effort we will need to invest in that change, especially in the beginning. After all, old habits die hard. So what we really need to decide is, how badly do we want it? Do you see a strained relationship with your children as a minor inconvenience? Is it something you just laugh over drinks about with your girlfriends? Do you and your partner complain to each other about your children and countdown the days (or years) until they’re gone and no longer living in your house?

If this describes you, and that’s the extent of how you feel about the relationship with your kids, then this article probably isn’t for you. But I’m going to assume, since you’re still reading and going along on this ride with me (I’m glad you’re here by the way!), you are probably experiencing a conflict between what you say you are okay with, and what you actually want in your heart of hearts.

It’s okay if you can’t quite imagine a happier household just yet. In fact, your children might be struggling with that, too. Won’t it be fantastic though, when both of you are pleasantly surprised by how much your dynamic has changed, once you arrive at the 2.0 version of you? Both you and your minions can finally arrive at a space where you get to know each other all over again, without the constant heightened emotions, slammed doors and raised voices.

Hear me out while I suggest a couple things that could make a major difference in how you experience parenting.

  1. Subconscious healing work, like Hypnotherapy. Yes, getting hypnotized. I don’t mean some kind of mind-sweep where you are no longer yourself and lose all your memories. I mean, giving yourself permission to enter a highly suggestible state so that you can identify the sources of your challenges with parenting and accept new suggestions for how to move forward differently, with a lot more joy and lightness. For most people, this is very effective and can work surprisingly quickly. And if you’re skeptical, I can relate. I wouldn’t believe it either if I hadn’t taken a gamble to experience this for myself. I encourage you to give it a try if you can find even an ounce of willingness to experiment, for the greater good of saving the connection with your children.
  2. Yoga. Really all kinds. Any kind. I am especially fond of recommending Vinyasa and restorative yoga for greater emotional health and balance because they complement each other so well. Vinyasa focuses on flowing movements that increase the oxygen uptake in your body, gets your blood flowing and helps you feel playful and unstuck, all of which are great for your mood and releasing pent up emotions. And Restorative yoga trains your body to deeply relax and to slow down the flow of your thoughts, as well as allowing you a form of “wakeful rest” that is great for regulating your entire nervous system and improving thinking, problem solving and communication.

That’s it. Those are my two main suggestions for practices you could start working on today that could lead to a major improvement in your parenting style over the next thirty days.

Of course, there are other factors to consider, based on your situation. You may need to get a medical evaluation to ensure that there isn’t an untreated hormonal imbalance, such as low thyroid, or some kind of extreme vitamin deficiency.

You and your partner may benefit from doing an evaluation of the stresses each of you is facing and how you could be more effectively supported. This is especially true if you are carrying an unsustainable amount of the household management tasks (a la “Fair Play,” The documentary).

And your children may have their own unidentified conditions that are making them unusually difficult to handle, which is likely also impacting how they see themselves, and would be best sorted out quickly. For their benefit and yours.

The great thing is, you can still benefit from the power of the two tools I mentioned above, even if one of these other factors is at play, because you’ll have more capacity for problem solving when you are treating yourself with care and consideration as a regular practice.

When mama’s happy, everyone else is a lot more happy. So never fear putting yourself first now and again. Done the right way, your family won’t suffer for it; they’ll just be that much better off.


Ready to start showing up as a much happier and more fulfilled mother? 

Than be sure to check out my course offering SELF LOVE SKILLS- it has all the tools you need, and none of the ones you don't to access your new steady state of calm! 

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