I can point to countless times on my own parenting journey when I saw red after my children didn’t “listen” to me. Maybe you can relate?
During those moments of deepening anger, I could feel my heartbeat quicken, my face become hot, and my patience wears ultra-thin. I would experience a rage within myself that shocked me and felt so out of character. People in my inner circle would likely never describe me as an angry, ragey, short-fused person. Yet, I’d find myself time and again, about to explode on my child who, quite frankly, was behaving in a developmentally appropriate (albeit frustrating) way. I mean, whose kid doesn’t require a few nudges to brush their teeth, pick up their room, or turn the TV off, right? Why was my child’s “not listening” to me so damn triggering???
It took me years to figure out why, but after diving into inner child healing work, it finally began to click for me that my child not listening to me was actually kicking up dirt from old wounds of how my younger self felt when I wasn’t being heard.
It catapulted me back three decades when I felt helpless, powerless, and well…unheard.
We all know that feeling whether it came from our parents, our teachers, our coaches, or other adult caregivers in our lives. For some of us, those moments were (thankfully) infrequent and fleeting. For others, not being heard or feeling invalidated by the people raising us was chronic. And, left unchecked, that unhealed wound showed up years later in our “mom rage.”
What I’ve learned is that our rage and anger and utter exasperation that surfaces in motherhood are a series of divine invitations to pump the brakes and tune in to what needs our attention, healing, and love.
Yes, sometimes, we just need a glass of water and a nap.
But other times, we need to slow down and be with our unresolved pain. It’s still there, asking us to tend to it, learn from it, and heal from it so we don’t pass that hot potato of pain on to our children. Sometimes, that requires therapy. Or a safe friend/partner. Or journaling. Or tears…so many tears. Maybe it’s all of the above. There is no magic formula or linear path to healing. The one thing that is required, though, is loads and loads of self-compassion, courage, and tenderness.
So, if you struggle with the mom rage that so many of us do, first, know that you are not alone. Second, know that you don’t have to carry that rage with you forever…healing is possible. And, finally, know that you are *not* broken. You are whole, worthy, and loved just as you are.
I’m grateful to be on this journey with you tending to these wounds, raising ourselves, and lessening the load for the next generation. That’s what it’s all about. You’re doing life-changing work.
Ready to take a deeper dive into this work?
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