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!