Mum Rage: Finding Better Ways To Handle ‘The Angry Mums Club’

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I’ve been reading an article in The Sunday Times by Minna Dublin author of ‘Mum Rage: The Everyday Crisis of Modern Motherhood’ which I found thought provoking.

I’ve written, given talks and coached many mums around handling habitual anger as it’s different from the everyday flashes of anger we all feel.

Kids are frustrating, overwhelmingly irritating at times and exhausting – they push our buttons intentionally and unintentionally but it’s what we choose to do with our anger that’s the important part of parenting.

Parenting can be a rewarding but challenging journey, and it’s not uncommon for mums to experience moments of intense frustration, anger & incandescent rage often referred to as “Mum Rage.”

It’s important & essential to recognise these feelings and find healthy ways to cope.

Equally important is the role fathers can play in supporting their partners during these challenging moments.

I thought I’d explore strategies for handling mum rage and how fathers can be allies in this process.

Strategies for Handling Mum Rage

Recognise and Accept Your Emotions:

The first step in managing mum rage is acknowledging and accepting your feelings. It’s normal to experience frustration, exhaustion, and anger as a parent.

Practice Self-Care:

Ensure you’re taking care of your physical and emotional needs. This includes getting enough sleep, eating well, and finding time for activities that rejuvenate you. Meeting up with friends in the evening without the kids, going for a dog walk or gym run, making time for a hobby you enjoy that relaxes you.

Deep Breathing and Mindfulness:

When you feel anger rising, practice deep breathing exercises or mindfulness techniques. These can help you stay calm and centred in the moment.

Take Short Breaks:

If you feel overwhelmed, it’s okay to step away from the situation briefly. Let your partner or a trusted family member take over for a few minutes while you collect yourself.

Seek Support:

Talk to friends or join parenting support groups where you can share your experiences and learn from others who have been through similar challenges.

Communicate Your Needs:

Let your partner know when you’re feeling overwhelmed and what specific support you need. They can’t read your mind, so open communication is key.

How Fathers Can Help

Be an Active Co-Parent:

Actively participate in childcare duties. Sharing responsibilities can reduce the stress that often triggers mum rage. Make dinner & breakfast for the family, unload & upload the dishwasher, be on top of the children’s daily, weekly and monthly schedules and routines – clean the bath, wash the kids hair, wipe the surfaces, help with homework, spellings and find a babysitter from time to time as a surprise.

Suggest and Offer Regular Breaks:

Recognise when your partner needs a break and encourage her to take one. Offer to watch the kids while she takes time for herself regularly!

Listen Actively:

When your partner expresses frustration or vents about her day, listen without judgment. Sometimes, just having someone to talk to can make a big difference. You have two ears and one mouth for a reason – don’t rush in to recue or ‘fix’ everything – just hold the space for your partner to express their anger or frustration.

Validate Her Feelings:

Let her know that her feelings are valid. Avoid dismissing or trivialising her emotions. Never pooh pooh her strong emotions & feelings.

Learn to Share the Load:

Understand that parenting responsibilities should be shared equally. Recognise that both of you as  parents have unique strengths and can contribute in different ways. Talk to teachers, doctors, dentists, be the proactive parent who sends or replies to a child related email to the nursery or childcare provider.

If you have a parenting problem from toddler tantrums to teenage indifference talk about it together – your partner’s problem is yours too. So seek out solutions, ideas, and help by being proactive.

Show Appreciation:

Express gratitude for your partner’s hard work as a mother. Simple gestures like saying thank you or acknowledging her efforts can boost her morale.

Encourage Self-Care:

Encourage your partner to prioritise self-care and offer to support her in finding time for activities that help her relax and recharge. It’s not selfish – it’s selfcare – a hugely important part of parenting.

Take Parenting Classes Together:

Consider attending parenting classes or workshops together. This can strengthen your co-parenting skills and help you both feel more confident.

Managing mum rage is essential for the well-being of both mothers and their families. It’s a natural part of parenthood, but with the right strategies and support from partners, it can be effectively managed. Fathers play a crucial role in creating a nurturing and harmonious family environment by understanding, empathising, and actively participating in parenting responsibilities. By working together, you can navigate the challenges of raising children while preserving your own mental and emotional health and sanity.

Mothers are notoriously bad at asking for help and support – to reduce mum rage don’t be that mum.

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