This post has been in my head for a while, but it is a very emotive topic, for me and I have been in two minds as to whether I should share it. Then my most favourite friend, Ansie, shared this article with me about “mom rage” and everything in this post resonated with me so much I new I had to share.
This is not about anyone of my children, but rather about me and how I have experienced motherhood. It is also not about my husband. They are not the cause of the deep, intense rage I have felt build up inside me at times. This is, rather, my story and my experience.
I don’t remember what day of the week it was or when it was exactly, but I do remember that evening so clearly. It was the first time I threw a mug down our passage. It wasn’t something that just happened. It had been building for a few days. I had felt, like a volcano bubbling underground, silently, growing bigger and bigger, louder, and louder. And just like a volcano, the bigger it grew, the hotter it became. I could literally feel the heat of the rage flow through my body. It was terrifying. I had no control of it. I tried to fight it. I retreated to my room, to be on my own and try to stop the fire from raging.
1 kid followed me.
2 kids followed me.
1 kid needed food.
1 kid needed to tell me a story.
1 kid launched into a mother effing tantrum because I was lying down for FIVE EFFING MINUTES.
As I stood up to go get what they needed I felt the rage, like lava, bubble up and explode. Before I knew it, I threw the mug that was in my hand across the passage. It was equal parts terrifying and equal parts liberating. I frantically looked around for something else to throw. There was nothing. So, I YELLED. But I yelled so loud and in such a primal way I scared myself.
(1 kid waited for me to be done and then asked, unphased if I could get the snack now)
The silence that followed was deafening. I swear I could actually hear my heart beating because it was beating so fast and so hard.
I made the food.
I listened to the stories.
In silence because I did not trust myself to open my mouth. I was not sure what would come out.
It was the first time I had ever experienced such an intense rage that took over control of my body. It was not the last time.
It is not something I feel all the time. I don’t walk around like a big ball of raging anger. It happens slowly, when I am not really expecting it and erupts loudly.
I don’t think that there was one single thing that caused the rage to boil over and explode in the way that it did. I think it was a collection of small things that I could just no longer keep control off and the only way my body could get me to release them was to let this intense anger boil through my veins and explode out.
The last four years have been brutal on our family. We have waged so many battles, it has felt like all I do every day is wake up, put out fires, fight to survive, feed people, plan schedules and repeat day after day.
I don’t have time for myself, not really. I am drowning in the needs of those around me and I can’t even blame them because they didn’t ask me to do it – but if I don’t then who will?
The reality is someone WILL do it. If I don’t make dinner tonight – someone in the house will make a plan. If I miss a meeting or buy the books a day late, the world WILL keep turning. If I say no and a kid is disappointed, they WILL survive (and maybe even learn something).
I am not sure I know how to do that.
If you have ever experienced this, know that you are not alone. What you are experiencing may not be covered in any parenting book (although it should be) but that does not mean it is not real.