I can vividly remember moments as a child that I was having a tantrum or acting out over something. I can remember sitting on the sofa crying and just wanting someone to ask me if things were ok. To assure me that it was safe to talk to them if needed.
I had multiple siblings and parents who would laugh as I yelled, screamed, cried and swore because I was so upset. They called me "Helly" anytime I would have a tantrum.
All I needed was for someone to talk and listen to what was going on.
Times were different then. I think every generation has their experience with trauma and how they were raised.
My parents would have experienced physical discipline. By hand or belt. That was the social norm then, even teachers would use that way of “teaching” right from wrong.
Then my generation where you typically experienced a lot of yelling, blame and shame which ultimately set you up in an environment to lie, close off and not feel comfortable to talk it out.
Growing up feeling really shitty about the emotions you were experiencing, that it was important to “tuffin up” which ultimately left you feeling worse about having emotions and what you were thinking.
How can kids do better in that environment? How can kids learn and grow from the emotions and feelings they are experiencing?
Being a mom to two girls can be challenging. The attitudes, the emotions, the lack of listening...but my heart wanted so badly to be a positive influence and role model in my girls lives. I wanted them to experience positive parenting, to know that I was and am a safe place for them. I wanted to break the cycle for them.
BUT things started to take a turn...for the worse.
I was becoming a mom I didn't recognize....I found myself experiencing mom rage more often than I wanted to admit.
I was finding myself going to bed sad or crying because of the yelling match I just had with my 6 year old. I was feeling extreme guilt over every little outrage that would happen.
Bedtime was a nightmare. Often someone in tears.
I was feeling at an all time low with my parenting strategies. My heart knew that a shift had to happen.
I knew that the things I was doing (yelling, stomping off in frustration, playing the blame and shame game with my kids) needed to end. I knew positive parenting techniques were top priority and in order to break the cycle it had to start by me learning to change what I knew as parenting strategies.
That's when I reached out on my social media and asked other mommas for some suggestions. Books, podcasts, groups..you name it, they recommended it to me. Something I’ve been beyond thankful for.
I bought a few of the recommended books and followed some of the pages or groups and the wealth of information that is out there is truly amazing.
So here I am, on this new journey of breaking the cycle. Committing to continue to educate myself on ways I can positively raise my children to be kind, smart, independent and strong women in this world. Who will stand up for the things they believe in, to not feel guilt over the emotions they are experiencing and to know that good and positivity trumps fear and negativity.
Knowledge is power and when we come together to share the resources we have and the things we know, only good can come from that.
I am so excited to lead a Positive Parenting book club over in my online community. Where we meet once a week to chat about current books we are reading to increase our knowledge on positive parenting strategies and implement them into our own lives. Thus making a major shift on the future generations.
I take a look at the potential triggers.
- My phone. When the kids are around and I find myself mindlessly scrolling through facebook, or doing work on my phone, I find myself more on edge for whatever reason. Anytime I have one of my "mom rage" episodes, it's typically when I am doing something on my phone.
Knowing that is a trigger for myself and my "mom rage" I need to make it a priority to have phone free time when I get home from work, until my kids go to sleep.
I need to start making it a priority to do my online work during the daytime, when my kids are at school. And that if I need to get something done when they are home to communicate that with them and let them know that mommy needs to do something on her phone for a moment. Communication is HUGE friend. Especially for the littles.
I need to realize that the mindless scrolling is not worth it. If that's going to cause me to lash out, why allow it to happen? Setting a timer, for 15 minutes of scroll time, will be so much more productive for me.
These are the positive steps I will be taking going forward.
Black Bean Brownies
Something we need to truly take seriously. It happens. It has happened to me more times than I can count. It could be over the smallest thing, just a look and I snap. I can feel the rage take over and my voice deepens. That's when I start to yell.
Instant regret. Every single time.
Why did I lose my cool? What the fuck actually came over me at that moment?
"You're a bad mom, you're the worst mom... I hate you" are words I hear from my 6 year old. It crushes me. I don't want to be labeled any of those things. All because of the mom rage episode I just had. Like a toddler, throwing a temper tantrum that cannot be controlled.
So, what causes mom rage? This is the question I find myself asking. So I google.
I dealt with postpartum anxiety, and still deal with anxiety. It's usually always related in some sense. If I'm feeling anxious or overwhelmed, you bet a mom rage episode will be happening. You can read my journey on that here.
A lot of it is stuffing down all the things until there is just no more room to stuff.
Stuffing the emotions in, the words I'm not voicing, the feeling of doing too much, being too busy, not taking care of my body and feeling under appreciated. All of these things play a huge role in mom rage.
Mom, I want you to know I see you. I feel your pain, I feel your struggle. I am you. I have dealt and still deal with these things.
It's about becoming aware. Becoming aware when it happens and finding the triggers.
Is it your child, your spouse, your pet, your job, your coworkers? What is causing the build up of things on your body? It could be multiple of these but figuring it out is key.
Once you figure out the things that are causing build up, causing you to stuff down all the shit, make it a priority to fix it.
If it's the negative coworker, spouse or family member filling your cup with negative words, let them know that.. They may not even realize they are acting that way and it may help them make a shift. If not, do what's best for you, and that may mean cutting them off.
Whatever it is, acknowledge it. Become aware and decide for yourself to make a change.
For myself, meditation has been helpful. I do a mindful meditation before bed.
Find and follow someone you enjoy for this. There are so many options.
Utilizing my wellness tools like essential oils have played a huge role. I've done some therapy sessions with these that have tapped into deeper memories and feelings and have allowed me to begin the process to heal.
Talk with someone. Find a friend, a family member, a counselor who can listen to your words. Listen to the feelings and things you have been stuffing down. Holding it in is not OK.
(just remember to not get stuck in a negative word vomit limbo with this person. Fill their cup as you want yours to be filled up.. because we don't want to be that negative person in someone else's life)
Express your feelings and emotion to your partner. How can they really know how you're feeling about something if you don't tell them? How can they know you don't feel appreciated if you don't express that? They are your partner for a reason. Create open communication for the two of you.
Take time for self care. Not just a massage, getting your nails done or a shopping spree. I mean real, raw self care. Diving more into you. Fueling your body the way it needs to be fueled.
My friend Katherine had once said “The ideas of self care can be more damaging and destructive because your spending money you shouldn't be spending or your putting things into your body that are actually making you feel worse not better. Real self care teaches you the tools to manage your body and your mind so you can live the life you were created to live”.
How powerful eh?
And lastly, eat a nutritional diet. Balanced, whole, healthy meals to fuel your body which in turn will fuel your mind. You can learn more about how the gut and brain connection works here!