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‘The moment I realised I needed a break – being a mum is the hardest job I’ve had’ – Cristalle Hayes

Mummy rage is a genuine experience.

I realised this while sobbing into a glass of cold water – feelings of anger and frustration coursing through my body, my throat was tight, and I was clenching my jaw. What was happening to me? What had triggered all these feelings?

Moments before this flood of rage, I had just sat down on the sofa with a drink, and then my baby started crying. At the same time, my toddler asked for a snack. They were both hungry; no reason to internally lose my cool.

I was on my own with a newborn baby and toddler. I was exhausted and thirsty. All I had needed was 10 minutes to myself and even have some lunch. However, my kids were busy doing the things that kids do. My newborn baby needed constant cuddles. My toddler, who was missing having his mummy’s sole attention, followed me around, asking me to play and demanding snacks. I felt guilty I couldn’t give him enough attention; I felt guilty that I couldn’t console my baby enough to make some space for myself.




So, like a pressure cooker, it all erupted.

Reflecting on the situation, I realised that maternal anger and mummy rage are normal and understandable reactions to challenging situations.

After the kids were finally settled, I took some deep breaths and had a good cry. Later on, I spoke with a friend, and we giggled at the absurdity of our situation. She mentioned how she lost it with her husband for having a nap. “HOW DARE YOU HAVE A NAP WHEN I HAVEN’T SLEPT IN TWO YEARS!” she had screamed at him.

I confessed that I was finding this a bit much, and my friend said with kindness, “We are parenting in a pandemic, and this stuff is hard, give yourself a break.” I found myself repeating these words back to her when she rang me sobbing a week later because her child had thrown a tantrum in a local shop, and the looks on people’s faces had left her embarrassed and angry.

Sometimes, the pressure of being a mum and carrying the mental load can provoke rage. Mums are often in place of lack: lack of sleep, lack of time to themselves, lack of self-care. At the same time, they have the best job yet most demanding job in the world. So, what can mothers do to reduce the rage when it all gets too much?

Breathe. Taking 10 deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth can hugely help calm your nervous system down when your anger has been triggered.

Have you ever experienced Mum Rage? How did you cope with it? Have your say in the comments below




Journalling, mindfulness and meditation will help you to understand your anger and learn your triggers.

Give yourself a break. Appreciate how hard this is and the profound work that goes into motherhood. Check-in with your internal dialogue. Do you sound judgemental and harsh? Soften that voice and speak to yourself as if you were a child. Kindness and compassion are excellent antidotes to anger.

Once you are aware of what can trigger your rage, when you are getting to that situation, start to notice when the anger appears in your body then acknowledge you are angry, accept it and validate it.

Get support from safe people around you. Talk it through with your mummy friends or with an objective therapist. Figure out what’s going on underneath the anger. Maybe it’s shame or maybe it’s fear. Reflect on those emotions through journalling and mediation.

Cristalle Hayes is an existential and trauma-based psychotherapist and author of Angry Mother Assertive Mother: From Maternal Anger To Radical Repair




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