How to Stop Being an Angry Mom

Do you struggle with being an angry mom?

We all get angry and yell at our kids at times, but if this is a consistent problem for you, then it’s time to examine why you’re an angry mom, and learn how to stop being one.

How do you get out of the negative cycle of being angry, yelling at your kids, feeling guilty, apologising – rinse and repeat?

Reasons you’re an angry mom

Before we talk about how to stop being an angry mom, let’s look at the reasons why you’re getting angry.

Frustration because your kids aren’t listening to you

This was a huge factor for my anger. And it wasn’t my kids’ fault, it was mine. Because I wasn’t making my expectations clear and following through.

Related: How to get your kids to listen in 3 easy steps

You’re not planning

If you’re living by the seat of your pants, then your life is likely a bit chaotic. This leads to frustration and irritation – which almost always comes out in anger.

You grew up in an angry household

What example did you have of conflict resolution? If your parents fought and yelled a lot, then you’re likely “programmed” to resolve conflict in the same way.

Related: How your past affects your parenting

You’re doing too much

Being a mom is challenging at the best of times, but when you’re tired and weary it’s really easy to lose your cool and yell at your kids.

You don’t know how to regulate your emotions

Perhaps you were never taught how to deal with your own emotions and you just act on whatever you’re feeling without ever examining your inner processes.

Related: 6 Ways to stop being an angry parent

You don’t have a routine

Your life is disorganised and chaotic and your kids will react to this chaos by being harder to manage. Not knowing what comes next creates insecurity and your kids will act out because of it.

You’re giving too much grace

You’re trying to be too nice, want to be liked by your kids, don’t want to be the one to lay down rules or set boundaries with your kids – all resulting in anger because your internal, unspoken boundaries are being crossed.

You’re not getting time alone

Time for yourself is important. As you’re told on the airplane, the oxygen mask in the plane is for the parent first, then you see to the child.

You can’t save your child if you’re dying yourself.

Related: How to take a break from your kids

You’re stuck in negative thinking

You’re feeling unstimulated by mom-life and wishing you could escape, or thinking thoughts like: “Why does this have to be so hard?” “I can’t wait for these kids to grow up”, “No one ever listens to me”, “No one cares about me”.

You’re worried about something unrelated to your kids

It may be finances, a friendship, extended family struggles, or issues between you and your husband. These unspoken anxieties will make your anger flare up way more easily.

You’re allowing your kids to manipulate you

If your kids are getting away with stuff, manipulating you, saying things like, “You don’t love me”, or “If you loved me you’d let me…” then you may subconsciously feel your boundaries are being crossed and angry as a result.

You feel unappreciated by your family

If you feel like you’re the only one doing everything, and no one is valuing your input into the home it will affect your feelings in a big way.

You have unresolved trauma

Anger is often the result of unresolved trauma. Is your anger based on current situations or triggers from your past?

Processing your trauma will help you become more peaceful and less angry.

How to stop being an angry mom

Let’s look at some ways to stop being an angry mom

Identify triggers

What makes you most likely to yell and get angry? Make a mental note of those things. Why do they make you angry?

Make a plan for how to handle your triggers. What will you do instead of yelling? Therapy will help you to work through “old” anger.

 Know your history

Understand when you are projecting old anger onto current situations. Process any trauma. Learn to recognise when you are responding in unreasonable ways to current situations based on your history.

Plan ahead

Having a plan for your days and week will eliminate chaos and stress that leads to meltdowns and anger.

Planning will make your life more stable, your kids will feel secure and be easier to manage, and you will experience way more peace in general.

Check out my life planner for busy moms!

Mockup of life planner for busy moms

Discipline better

Create clear expectations for your kids and then follow through on them.

Train your kids to help with chores and lighten your load.

Related: How to get your kids to obey without force

Simplify  your life

Cut out excess activities and stop the crazy rush. You may just be tired from being too busy and not having time to catch up on yourself.

Learn emotional regulation

Learn to recognise the beginnings of anger and frustration and take yourself to one side and get calm so you can relate to your kids without anger.

Take yourself to your room if necessary (I did this a lot!).

Pray and surrender your feelings to God and allow Him to calm your soul.

Ask yourself what you are feeling before you feel angry.

Since it’s a secondary emotion, you’re always feeling something before you feel angry. What is it that you’re really feeling? Powerless? Overwhelmed? Unappreciated?

Learn to deal with underlying feelings

If you’re feeling unappreciated, deal with this in three ways: 1) Accept that your lot in life as mother is hard and often unappreciated. Submit to it. 2) Ask for help. Express your feelings. 3) Consider that you are possibly doing too much for everyone. What could they do for themselves that you are doing for them instead?

Start a routine

Create a skeleton schedule with your absolute basics in it. Do this for 2 weeks and then add in one or two extra things. Keep your life simple, unhurried and as free of stress as possible.

Catch negative thinking

Why is this so hard, when will this end? Why cant my kids just ….? Those are all thoughts that lead to negative feelings. And negative feelings build and usually come out in anger.  

Learn to harness negative thoughts and insert positive thoughts in their place.

Romans 12:21 tells us to “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.”

Take alone time

Go and pause, pray, deep breathe, analyse. Are you tired, anxious about something unrelated, is PMS catching you unawares?

It’s ok to take care of yourself. Boost your happy hormones naturally. Take me-time and do some self care.

Download the list of self-care ideas for busy moms below:

Related: Ways to practice self-care

Find a support system

Find a group of moms that will pray for you, encourage you, and keep you focused when the days are hard.

I’d love to have you join my Facebook group for moms

Related: 12 Ways to find yourself again after motherhood

Apologise when you do get angry

Kids are very forgiving and will usually respond well to a sincere apology. Own your feelings, don’t blame them for your anger.

Sample of a bad apology: “You make me angry when you don’t listen to me. If you would just do what I ask, then I wouldn’t get angry and yell at you.”

Sample of a good apology: “I’m sorry for getting angry with you. I am frustrated with you because you aren’t doing what I asked, but I had no right to yell at you like that. I’m sorry.”

There are lots of reasons for being an angry mom. Most of them are resolved fairly easily and with a little bit of planning and self-management.

Here’s to being and un-angry mom!

About The Author

Jennifer Lovemore

Jennifer has three grown kids and is married to her best friend, Richard. She started this website as a platform to help families, and specifically women, to take control of their lives and grow themselves spiritually, mentally & emotionally, and to discover their God-given purpose and live it out with confidence. She is a trained Life Coach and has diplomas in relationship counselling and CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy). She is a certified SYMBIS (Save Your Marriage Before It Starts) facilitator. She lives in sunny South Africa.

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