Do you remember that Tim McGraw song, Angry All the Time? Even if you’re not a country fan, it’s a great song with a powerful meaning. Some suggest the wife in the song became an alcoholic and her husband couldn’t live with the disease any longer. However, I believe it’s a story of a husband and wife who raised their children and simply grew apart. Perhaps due to guilt, anger and frustration. Perhaps due to mental illness. Perhaps due to life.
I heard that song again recently and I cried. Like big, fat, ugly, can’t stop tears. I do not want to be that wife. I do not want to have that life. I do not want to be angry all the time.
Present day, I’m sitting on the couch in our living room.
My 5-year old is begging for attention in new ways. His dad is working a lot, so he’s entered this “feel sorry for me phase” because he wants me to coddle him. It’s challenging.
My 3-year old is begging for attention in her same temper tantrum ways. The tantrums are lasting longer and getting louder.
My 1-year old is weaning. He also has a bacterial infection in his eye and an ear infection. My boobs feel like bruised beached whales and it hurts to hold him but he’s begging for my attention by crying louder and louder.
Suddenly, I screamed. At the top of my lungs. As loud as I possibly could. I didn’t say anything, I just screamed. Louder than my 3-year old and louder than my crying baby which is impressive. I’m crying as I type this out of embarrassment. Also, my throat hurts. I’m not even kidding. I screamed that loud.
- I realize I probably need help with childcare. But that’s just not an option for us right now.
- I realize the kids probably need their dad to be home more. But we are going through a season, and that’s just not an option for us right now.
- I realize I definitely need a break. I get small ones, but a long break is just not an option for us right now.
I do not consider myself an angry person. I’m actually quite bubbly and funny… at least I think I am. I also do not consider myself type-A either. I think I have a pretty good ability to go-with-the-flow when things don’t work out. But there are trigger moments throughout my day that make me want to scream, and this week…I did.
I am sharing them with you for two reasons.
- I want to be held accountable for the changes I am about to undergo as I seek a happier mom life.
- Perhaps, you can relate. I realized recently I sometimes am an angry mom because I started to feel it from the kids. My 5-year old will say things, like “Are you mad, mommy?” “I’m scared to tell you what happened.” or “Can you just smile?” That last one rips my heart, soul and gut out. He knows it brings an immediate smile to my face so he uses it frequently…but he shouldn’t have to.
Here are some reasons I get angry. The first step is to admit your faults, so I can work toward being a less angry mama:
- They don’t listen to me. If you’re going to judge me, go elsewhere. I don’t need it. I instill discipline with them, but sometimes that makes me feel even angrier or meaner, so it’s something I struggle with. My husband tells me they don’t respect me. That hurts. But he’s also rarely here. Don’t judge him either. He’s working toward something for our family like millions of Americans are doing.
- My expectations are too high. Oh, this is especially true with my oldest. Almost every single day I get frustrated with him for one reason or another and I quite literally have to step back and say: “he’s only 5.” I was an only child, so while my parent’s expectations were also high, I was also their only child so all attention was on me.
- It’s hard for me to put myself in their shoes. But, I’m trying. I’m reading books like Siblings Without Rivalries to better understand how their brains work. I didn’t have siblings, so it’s hard for me to relate. I’m not using this as an excuse, but there are many times I completely forget they are just babies. These children are my life, my best friends, my entourage, my hood-rats….I often forget they are also just little kids.
- I have guilt. We all do. Whether we work from home, work away from home, don’t work at all, etc. But my guilt lies at the end of the day. When they are all tucked into bed. I feel guilty for my frustrated I LOVE YOU TOO! when they say goodnight to me for the 37th time. Recently, my husband was a little frustrated with how the nighttime routine was being prolonged and I overheard him get stern with our 5-year-old. I waited about 5 minutes and went upstairs and my son was sobbing, and my heart shattered. NEVER EVER EVER do I EVER want to put my children to bed scared, sad or mad. I understand some life un-expectancies are inevitable, but not something like this. My husband didn’t even realize there was a harshness in his tone. He joined me in our son’s room shortly after and laid with our son in bed all night long.
- I need an outlet. We all do! Whether it’s a night out with friends, or reading a book and a bubble bath…we all need an outlet to let go of our anger so it doesn’t boil over on our children. For me, it’s this blog. It’s the words you are reading right now. The truth. The rawness. The embarrassment. The hardcore facts of our life full of challenges and triumphs.
So back to the couch…
After a screamed, all the kids looked up at me like baby deer in headlights. They were scared, and they didn’t know what to do. So I laughed. I laughed so hard my bruised, beached whale boobs were throbbing. And you know what? They started laughing too. We all sat there for about 5 minutes making each other laugh louder than the next, and it was genuine. It was 100% true love.
Smile. Laugh. Hold them. Take a deep breath. Breathe them in. These days are fleeting, and I refuse to let them remember me as an angry mama.
This is something I’m genuinely working on. I’d love to hear your thoughts on how you manage these trigger moments throughout your day. Feel free to share below!
LatoyaMay 30, 2018 at 10:07 pm
Thank you for sharing your story Shanisty! I literally have been feeling like this for a while now. Afraid my daughter will view me as an angry Mom. I only have 1 child so I can’t begin to imagine the frustrations with 3. It’s nice to be reminded that it’s ok and to just breathe through it all. This was an awesome read friend!
ShanistyMay 30, 2018 at 10:09 pm
Hi Toya! Great to hear from you. Thank you so much for sharing. It’s not an easy thing to admit, as I really want to be a fun happy mother at all times…but that’s just not reality. I love seeing your little one grow from afar. <3
AllisonMay 30, 2018 at 10:16 pm
There is absolutely no reason to be embarrassed, Shan!!! I have trigger moments every single day. I go bat$#*+ when my older one hits my little one. It completely sends me over the edge and sometimes even in tears. I would just die if my older one actually ended up seriously hurting the little one on my watch! I try to put myself in her shoes, but I just don’t understand why she resorts to hitting. As always, thank you for your honesty! Fingers crossed for an anger-free day tomorrow 🙂
ShanistyMay 31, 2018 at 11:22 am
Love you! Thank you so much for sharing. It’s not easy. Luke has started pushing…. like WTH??? Why??? He’s not like that at all and it breaks my heart…. but just chalk it up to one more thing that will put me in the looney bin. hahah. thinking about you.
DavinaMay 30, 2018 at 10:30 pm
You are NOT alone. There was a time when I handed my crying baby to his dad, picked up my keys and left. I drove around 270 twice. I just needed to escape reality. I needed to be alone with myself and think for me for once. It was an eye opening experience and I still have guilt for “walking out” on my son. He was safe and in the care of his father… but I still felt like I left him. He needed me and I left. In reality, it wasn’t that big of a deal. But my point is that we put so much on ourselves that we make so much out of the little stuff. I love your honesty. And I feel so much closer to you after reading your blog. Keep it up. You’re doing a great job!!!!
ShanistyMay 31, 2018 at 11:23 am
Thanks for sharing, Davina! I totally feel you about wanting to just escape to a quiet car and drive!!!! Maybe that’s what I’ll do next time. hahah. 270 is a long journey and such a great idea! haha. You’re doing a great job as well… keep it up 🙂
Erin ColeMay 31, 2018 at 12:04 pm
I feel every word… it gets easier and then harder again. BUT, I love my life completely at the end of each day and thank God when I have a moment to.
SanibelMay 31, 2018 at 1:05 pm
Thank you for sharing this! You are certainly not alone. I have been there, that place where you just want to talk out the door and leave them on the other side of it. Keep finding moments for yourself. You are doing a great job!
BethMay 31, 2018 at 1:36 pm
I remember having those same feelings. My oldest is 14 and I remember having moments of frustration and screaming, leaving the room to cry in private. My youngest is 5 and I really try hard to not be that way, but sometimes you get overwhelmed. I hate to admit this but your mommy guilt will never go away you will always feel guilty over something. We all need a break every now and then even if its 2 min in the bathroom to just breathe.
AshleyA.H.May 31, 2018 at 10:32 pm
Reading this right after a really rough bedtime routine gone a’wry…whew momma, most of us have been there. But it is good idea to realize what our kids will remember about us. Were we constantly mad instead of happy? I really hope I can turn it around to be more happy. I try to make them have rational responses to things and they are 4 and 3…I think that might be irrational on my part 🙈
StephanieMay 31, 2018 at 11:10 pm
Thanks so much for being completely honest about the emotions you are experiencing!!! I only have one 2 year old, but I also have 2 dogs (who at times feel like kids) and I feel angry at times as well. I’ve yelled. I’ve cried because I yelled. At times I feel alone in this parenting thing. Then I feel guilty for getting resentful towards my husband and for feeling alone- I should just be thankful that I have him and enjoy the time we get (I miscarried his brother at 9 weeks). Knowing I’m not alone is EVERYTHING!!!!!! It definitely allows me to have some grace for myself!!!!
RachelJune 1, 2018 at 10:52 am
I completely understand where you are coming from. Motherhood is just plain hard. Give yourself some grace! Know that you are not in it alone. I have found an amazing resource in helping me feel connected to other Moms and to help me to know that this is a season and God has called me to be right where I am -He is walking me through this and will carry me when I am frustrated, turning into Hulk Mommy or feel defeated. Check out http://godcenteredmom.com – I promise you won’t regret it. I am praying for you!