Even the best moms get mad at their kids. Living under one roof it’s impossible to be happy all the time, here’s how to cope.
I was speaking with a friend the other day going through a very difficult time.
Mother of four, pastor’s wife and her son had a brain tumor. She said life was hard right now, particularly because one of her other children was being extremely difficult.
Very defiant and extremely demanding.
The hardest part, she said, was trying to pretend she wasn’t having these negative feelings so she could act normal around the child.
We talked a bit longer and a truth became evident, the reason she didn’t want to feel how she felt.
We mothers don’t think we’re allowed to get mad at our kids.
What's in this post...
Can we get mad at our kids… really?
Let’s dive into some reasons that it’s okay to “get mad” or feel what we feel, and how to do that in a way that
Emotions are neutral, they don’t make you “bad”
Emotions are not good, they’re not bad, they are neutral. If you feel angry that doesn’t mean you’re sinning.
When your child does something sweet and it makes you happy, that doesn’t mean you are virtuous. If your child does something naughty and it makes you ticked off, that doesn’t mean you are heartless.
Mothers are humans and humans experience all the range of emotions. If your boundaries are not kept then you’ll feel angry, bitter, and resentful.
That’s how life works.
We can feel angry, and still be under control
While we can’t control what we feel – at least not in the moment – we can control what we do with it. I admit that I can be fairly relaxed and laid back throughout the day even with small little ones melting down.
There comes a time – however – when enough is simply enough. I have been known to yell at the ceiling, smother my face in a pillow, and beat the couch. Mature? Maybe not.
Better than screaming or hitting my child with the pillow? Infinitely.
Ready to try and deal with this temper of yours? Let this checklist help you get a handle on it.
Feelings of angry, bitterness, and resentment are signals something deeper is going on
You tell a child not to do something five times – you know they understand you – yet they do it and something breaks.
Anger and frustration are normal reactions.
A normal response to this is not stomach butterflies and the urge to snuggle on the couch. It’s okay to feel frustrated when children are disobedient.
It’s also okay to make our rules and boundaries clear, consequences known, and then our home will feel under better control anyway.
Possible needs if we are are often frustrated and mad
- You need more time to relax and recharge
- Or, perhaps, you need to crack down on discipline
- A better daily mom schedule might help you feel more in control
You can, of course, use your emotions to help you understand what’s going on.
Show your children how to handle their emotions, by example
Adults aren’t the only people in the house trying to learn to manage their emotions in a healthy manner, right?
So are your children!
In fact, the way they learn is by watching you. I think it’s healthy and right for children to understand that their actions have consequences. And to learn that you can have intense emotions and still maintain control.
If they break all the rules, this doesn’t mean you withhold love from them. But getting angry at something wrong is not withholding love.
Truly, you can be angry about a behavior and even discuss those angry emotions in a healthy non-damaging way.
Don’t beat yourself up, mama
Don’t fear that your kids will be scarred for life because you got mad they colored all over the walls with a Sharpie.
You don’t need to think you are a horrible mother for getting ticked off to high heaven when your 3 year old broke your favorite vase even though you’d told him repeatedly to leave it alone.
Feel what you feel, then respond with wisdom and love.