We’ve all experienced mom anger – that specific brand of “I know all you did was turn the oven fan on, but I’m going to lose it.” Today, we’re talking with licensed mental health counselor Bryce Reddy of @MomBrain.Therapist on Instagram, who just might be able to help us manage that feeling, and maintain a little more sanity. With the constant stress and pressure we face every day as moms, anger has a way of pouring out of us onto our family, and that’s usually quickly followed by guilt and shame. Which is why it’s important to learn about our emotions and what leads to overwhelm so we can find a way to manage it, not just for our families – for our mental health and wellness too!
I can’t wait to dig into this with you inside the UM Club Facebook group and with our weekly UM Club hangouts!
Guest Expert Bryce Reddy
Bryce Reddy, known on Instagram as @MomBrain.Therapist, is a mom of almost three (one is on the way), and a licensed mental health counselor specializing in maternal mental health, living in New England in the US.
In This Episode We Talk About
- 00:35 – All things mom anger related.
- 1:10 – What inspired you to start working on this?
- 3:17 – What are some common causes of mom anger?
- 7:58 – The different ways mom anger can present itself.
- 15:00 – Internal and external anger.
- 17:45 – Ways to mitigate mom anger.
- 19:07 – What do the stress-relief routines work for?
- 21:55 – What are some things to do when you start to feel angry?
- 27:35 – How can single parents deal with this?
- 31:32 – Recovering from an angry outburst.
- 36:38 – Resources
Watch the Video – Mom Anger and the Overwhelm and Emotions of Motherhood
Listen to the Audio – Mom Anger and the Overwhelm and Emotions of Motherhood
The Temper Toolkit
UM Club Waitlist
Mom Anger Reflection Questions
- How do you deal with anger? Do you find yourself lashing out and yelling more than you’d like?
- When do you usually notice you’re in a state of overwhelm? Is it after outbursts, or do you notice it ahead of time?
- What takeaways did you have from this episode? How do you think you can implement some of Bryce’s prevention strategies?
- What do you do to repair after escalated angry situations?
Read the Full Conversation
Today we are digging into all things mom anger. I think it’s something we’re all familiar with, have experienced, and I know in becoming a mom, it was something I was surprised to have so many angry feelings come up, because I wasn’t necessarily an angry person beforehand. So I think that’s something a lot of moms deal with, and I’m really excited to dig into it a little bit more with you.
Yeah, it’s a big topic that comes up all the time, that doesn’t always get maybe the airtime it deserves.
Mm hmm. And people can kind of feel more alone not hearing things about it. So I’m really happy we’re able to have a conversation to let people know that there’s others feeling similar ways too. So, what has inspired you to really dive into this topic particularly? I know mom anger and mom guilt tend to be some of your main topics within your Instagram account.
Yeah, so I mean, I think it’s something that comes up a lot in terms of this kind of sense of shame that moms can feel around, like the various emotions and reactions that they’re having to motherhood. You know, I think that we go into motherhood, so often thinking it’s just going to be like this – I don’t want to say fairy tale – but it’s kind of really like “I’ll just be usual me, but I’ll have kids.” And you know that there’s so many other components that go into becoming a mom, and our emotions react and respond to that. And so what I was hearing from moms in my DMS and in my comment sections and everything, was that there was this kind of underlying anger that they were feeling and they weren’t quite so sure where it was coming from, what to do with it, and were feeling really alone in that.
Mm hmm. Now, you said it comes up a lot in DMS and comments, is it something that you found is actually quite common?
I do, I do feel like it’s pretty common. I mean, I think like I said before, it’s under-discussed. But I think our feelings of frustration and anger and even rage on the one end of the spectrum are happening. And if we don’t give others an outlet to talk about these things, and to voice these frustrations that they’re having, then they’re just kind of letting them simmer inside themselves, and giving some air to them and allowing them to break forward. There’s a relief in them.
Definitely, I know we’ve chatted about it a lot, and with Mom Truth Monday’s, and often anger blurts out, but there’s a lot beneath the surface, that’s actually contributing to the anger in the moment. So what is something you’ve seen as really common causes for this?
I think one of the biggest ones we see is just kind of those unmet needs that are lingering below the surface. You know, mothers are just continuously pouring from their cups, right? And there’s just only so much we can give before we’re just depleted. We’re not having that time to recharge. And those needs are not going to be met unless we put some effort into them, and some intention into them. And I think when we’re walking around running on empty, we’re just so much more likely to kind of feel those angry feelings and react and express those angry feelings, even if that’s not really what’s going on.
Mm hmm. Yeah, it’s just there’s so much coming out all the time. Like we all have our limits. So at one point, it’s going to come out in one way or the other.
It is, and it can be like the simplest little things, you know? I think I saw a post today and it was about the oven vent, that noise that we hear when our oven kicks on right? It sucks up the smoke or whatever. And this person was talking about sensory issues around that, in our homes, and I responded to that and I said, “oh my god, the oven vent sets me off, if I hear it click on.” Because by the time dinner comes around, I’m like – maybe I haven’t eaten enough, I’m probably getting tired, I’m tired of people touching me and asking me questions. And then that oven vent clicks on, I’m like “UGH,” I have to jam it off, right? So I think that there’s so much stuff coming at us all the time and trying to figure out kind of what it is that’s just triggering us.
Yeah, it’s funny you mention that oven failing. Because I’ve never straight up identified that as being a trigger for me, but our fan has three different settings, I always put it on two – that’s my comfort level for it. And if something’s really giving off smoke or whatever it might be, my husband will just come over and touch it again. And just like sets me right off. And now that you bring it up, that’s what it is, it’s one of my triggers. It just brings the noise at that extra volume right up on my head; it’s just too much.
Yeah, and we have to be so mindful of that sensory input that’s coming at us, in terms of what we’re talking about, like unmet needs. And, you know, we can’t underestimate the amount of sensory input that we’re taking on everyday as moms as well, whether it’s noise, touch, even like the smells we are constantly smelling, those simple little things. And kids moving around really fast and running by us, we’re bending down and we’re picking up – we’re doing all of these things all day and we have so much sensory input and so little rest to recover from that. And being mindful of the sensory input that is coming in and knowing when to turn things off, literally and figuratively, and be able to move forward.
Yeah, definitely. I found personally earplugs have really helped because, like you, it’s the dinner time that seems to be that pinnacle stressful moment; for morning out the door, I’m more energized for the morning and can handle it a little bit easier. But when it comes dinner time, you’ve already had the full day of sensory overload, everyone’s getting hungry, tired, the noise is going crazy, and it can just get to me too much. But having just earplugs can be really helpful for taking things down a little bit more.
Oh, for sure. I used those loop ones, but I even recommend going to the drugstore, like CVS around here or whatever. You can get those little tiny foam ones or whatever – I’m like “just get those things,” put them in your ears when you need to kind of take everything away. It’s not going to make it so everything is silent, but it just takes things down just a notch. So that you’re able to just take a break, a little bit of a sensory break for yourself.
It’s really helpful for just whatever your big trigger is. And to be able to just cut it down a little bit can make a really big difference.
So I’d love to kind of dig into different ways that mom anger can present itself, because I know I have my experiences, but everyone experiences things a little bit different, and it’s nice to know the other ways so they can know they’re not alone.
So one of the most common one we see is that bubbling agitation that we might feel inside of us, you know that kind of just ready to burst, think of a bubbling pot on the stove, right? You know, it’s getting higher and higher and higher. And just that sense of internal agitation, we see yelling, we see passive aggressive behavior. So doing things like making comments either to your kids or your partner, whoever. Yelling, swearing, stomping around, kind of like all those signs of agitation, irritability, all those things are rising. And we’re gonna be getting these little hints along the way that it’s happening. And so often we’re paying so little attention to ourselves, because we’re so focused on everyone else, that we don’t even notice those little tiny signs that things are escalating, the pot is starting to bubble more. I think the best thing we can do is kind of learn those little signs for ourselves, that it’s rising. So that we’re not trying to wait until we’re already angry, we’re already exploding, to make interventions.
That’s a really good point that you make, that we’re always so focused on other people we’re not necessarily checking in with ourselves, and so it can just kind of happen; and that’s when we notice it, instead of a little bit earlier in the steps.
Yeah, so one thing I always recommend to my patients and to people in general is having these if-then moments. So like when I get in my car, I’m going to check in with myself. You know, when I sit in the driver’s seat and buckle my seatbelt, I’m going to check in with my thoughts, my feelings, my emotions, all those things. And it doesn’t have to be this 20 minute process, it’s really just a check in to take a deep breath, and just sit there and breath. I feel a lot of tension, I’m feeling a little reactive, or my brain is going a million miles a minute. And it’s just really those little opportunities through your day, you know, three or four times during your day, when you can really intentionally connect with yourself. And that gives us the opportunity to first of all, practice that skill, and second to just have these little set points during our day. So we’re not getting to the end of the day and feeling like it’s all kind of bubbling up in there. So I always try and think of times that you are naturally slowed down, like brushing your teeth, or, you know, locking the door, or sitting down and buckling your car seat, once you get in the car, sitting in a red light, whatever. And take those little opportunities to kind of check in with you and see you where you’re at, you know?
Yeah, and I really like how you’re incorporating it into the routine too. Because often it can be hard to start to implement things like that, especially multiple throughout the day. But if you’re able to attach it to something that’s already routine, like brushing your teeth, or locking the door, it’s a lot easier to actually implement and get consistent with
Right, that kind of habit-stacking mentality. You know, if I attach one thing to something I already know that I do a billion times a day, which is like buckle my seatbelt, or take a deep breath before I step in the door after work. Those are little things and little moments that you can kind of just take that opportunity to just connect and nurture yourself.
Yeah. And when you’re able to check in, see how you’re feeling and really be intentional with it, you can then start to look and say “okay, I need more help,” in one area or the other. And it really can help mitigate that. I really like that tip. I haven’t heard that before, I think that’s really helpful.
Oh, good. Excellent. Yeah, it’s one of those little things that we can do to just set some intention, and connect with what’s going on inside of us, because like we said earlier, it’s so easy to get to the end of the day never having done that, you know, or get to the end of a month and never having done that! We’re just on autopilot day after day. And we just have so little time to do that for ourselves. So it’s a little tiny thing we can do during the day.
That’s something I’ve actually kind of implemented for a while when it comes to work things. So say like before this interview, I always make sure I’m sitting down at my desk, five to ten minutes early, and checking in with myself and setting an intention for it. So I really like how you carry that over for all aspects, really.
Yeah, and I definitely relate to that as like a work-piece as well. And it’s so funny how we’re willing to do it for certain parts of our lives, like compartmentalizing right? As opposed to just kind of our everyday routine, because I do it with work stuff too – really, so much easier. I used to have a private practice and I would sit down before each patient came in, and I would take a deep breath and I would like clear myself of whatever I’d heard in the last session, I would have some sips of water and I would make sure I didn’t have to use the bathroom, and all these little things that I would do that I would never do with my kids, like it would never even occur to me to kind of do that. And I started doing it in little bits and pieces. I would have a cleansing drive home, or I would have a snack before I got home, and I would drink a bottle of water, and I listened to some music or sat in silence. And those were just those little things to kind of check in with myself and clear my energy before I did walk in the door to see my kids. To be in a good space to kind of greet them and welcome them without kind of carrying everything else I’ve been carrying throughout the day.
Yeah, yeah I really like that. Inside the UM club, we’re going to, starting next month, do different challenges in terms of self-care, and that could be drinking water or meditating or all different things, and I think that might be one of our challenges for the month, is to do this check in throughout the day. I really love that.
Yeah, that’s such a good idea cuz I love those challenges. They really – I don’t want to say force us, but they encourage us to make some intentional change, or just put intentional thought behind something, and change comes naturally from that.
Yeah, bring it to our attention, and kind of put our energy into it. And things can kind of snowball from there.
Now when you talked about the different ways that anger can kind of come out, it was a lot of outward facing, generally on the people around us. Is that how you generally see anger pop up? Or is there sometimes an internal side to it too?
There’s definitely an internal side, I would say the outward stuff is what brings people to therapy and brings people to talking to a therapist, because they’re really kind of feeling some shame and some guilt around that, right? You know, they’re having some feelings about what it looks like. But usually that inner stuff has been going on for such a long time that they’ve kind of disconnected from it, and they’re just like, “that’s just who I am,” or, “I’m just high strung, I’m all these things.” And it’s when it’s finally bubbled to the surface that people are like, “I need to talk about this, this is not working for me anymore. And this is not working for the people around me.” So those inner things are gonna be things just like that internal restlessness, right? That internal agitation that we feel, kind of noticing that your thoughts are a little bit harsher, a little bit more impatient, feeling more impatient, kind of holding tension in your body. And all of those things are really easy to ignore, but having a moment where you’re screaming, and yelling at people about cereal on the floor, or whatever,those are things that make you take notice, you’re like, “I have to pay attention to this.” Because this doesn’t feel good, this doesn’t feel okay. Or it reminds me of maybe something when you were a kid that you experienced, or it just isn’t in line with who and what you want to be for your family or your kids or yourself. So those are the things that bring people to wanting to address it, less so than I think the internal stuff.
I think that it almost ties into how we’re talking about how we’ll do things for work, but didn’t necessarily carry it on for ourselves. It’s with the outwardness, it’s when it’s starting to affect the other people, that we tend to start to address it or do things about it.
Yeah, and people’s perception of us, because they think that we’re so much less likely to pay attention to our own internal states. But we’re really conscious of how we’re presenting and how people see us, whether that’s like a five year old that lives with us, or it’s our patients, or our clients or whoever, our co-workers, you know, we want to be seen a certain way. And when anger starts, like kind of bubbling out of the surface, and we start getting reactions about that, that’s when we’re kind of struck by that.
Yeah. Interesting. So, what about ways to mitigate it? We’ve touched on a little bit, but do you have some more tips for that?
I love that you’re doing these challenges, because I think that’s a great preventive skill, right? You know, like I’ve said a million times, once the anger train is kind of off the rails, it’s off the rails; there is no saying, “I’m going to pause and calm down now,” I’m screaming and yelling, right? Imagine it like we’re driving up a hill, right? And we can only go so far, until we have to follow the loop down. There’s a rising and a falling, that’s a natural response with anger; we’re not just going to make the dynamite not explode or unexploded, so to speak. We’re not gonna take it back. But we can do a whole bunch of things before that, and have routines and habits along the way that can play a preventive piece of it all. And I think that that’s where we need to put most of our energy, because the more we can kind of take care of what happens beforehand, the less likely we’re going to have to kind of go through the whole cycle of anger.
For the kind of routines and habits, do you find they’re specifically targeted towards not being angry? Or is it more so kind of taking care of yourself and your mindset?
I would say taking care of yourself, right? I mean, making sure you’re getting to sleep, making sure you’re eating food, making sure you’re using the bathroom when you need to, you’re asking for help, you’re utilizing help when it’s offered; all of these seemingly little things go a really long way. And I also want to include making sure that you’re taking care of your mental health in terms of being proactive about anxiety and depression, and being able to say, “you know what, I think this feels really intense. This is more than making sure I’m showering every day, this feels like maybe I need to talk to somebody about anxiety I’m having, or struggles I’m having.” And that is a preventive measure as well. So being thoughtful and realistic about what your anger is telling you you need.
Mm hmm. You really need to take the time to reflect on it. And it might not necessarily – most of the time, it’s not that immediate situation where things happen, but taking the time to reflect and look throughout your day, and maybe see how all the things piled up.
Yeah, even with my kids – I’ve been telling you before we hit record, right, they have a half day today, and everyone was kind of bickering and fighting. And there was a lot going on, and I found myself feeling really kind of pent up, like that kind of bubbling under the surface, right. And then I think about it, and I’m like “I ate an early lunch, I hadn’t eaten in a while. I didn’t sleep very well last night.” All these little things that kind of added up to that. And when I saw my husband, when we did the kids switch off, I was like “I need to go to bed early tonight. When I get in, I need to eat, I’m gonna take a walk before I put the kids to bed.” I had this list of things that I knew that if I do them, I can kind of regain some balance for myself. And I know there’s a lot of privilege in that, that I have that opportunity to do it with a parenting partner. But being mindful of kind of that rising agitation and saying “what is it going to take to turn that volume down” for me, and for you, in particular, out there listening, to just being open to listening to what our anger is telling us it needs, and reacting and responding to that in a kind of nurturing way.
Yeah, that’s perfect. That’s just leading into what I was going to say next. And there’s a lot for preventative, and trying to take better care of yourself and manage things. But then as you start to see things bubble up, what can you kind of do at that point? So you touched on some of them now, what are things that you find can be helpful for others?
I think you have to always be mindful of that feeling for yourself, knowing what your signs are that your anger is rising, because it’s gonna be different for all of us. You know, whether it’s education, whether you’re feeling that tension in your body, you feel your breathing is kind of becoming a little bit more intense, or you’re just feeling snappy like you want to scream at someone. Being able to take a step back from that, non-judgmentally, and say, “I need to take a deep breath, I’m going to go in the bathroom, and put water on my face or wash my hands. I’m going to think about that and I’m going to drink a glass of water before I do anything next. Really connecting with yourself, getting out of your head and into the physical space that you’re in. And reminding yourself “I am here, I am now, I am in this moment, and what can I do to kind of just ground myself, what can I do to kind of take it down a notch.” And sometimes that means like walking outside, taking a deep breath of fresh air, and looking at the sky or feeling the wind on your skin. Like all those little things are just giving yourself a moment to pause, and being able to say, “this is where I’m at right now, I’m struggling, how do I want to move forward from this moment?” And we really have to be intentional about taking that pause, that kind of putting our foot on the brakes, engaging our nervous system and letting it know “I can calm you down. We don’t have to kind of keep escalating, we can just tap the brakes.”
Yeah. I like that. And we all have different things that work for us, it’s just taking the time to recognize that those work and really making it a priority. And I like how you mentioned you check in with your partner and you let them know “I need this.” And that’s something that I think a lot of moms can struggle with is just saying, “no, you know what, you’re the parent on duty right now and I need this time to do this.” And that it doesn’t have to take a ton of time, but we need to really make ourselves a priority and be intentional about that. It can be a short amount of time too, you even mentioned like five minutes, you can go into the bathroom, have a quiet space, wash your hands and really check in with yourself.
And I think having that conversation, first of all with yourself, like “what are my things? What are the things that I know can kind of help me pump the brakes on kind of the anger train, so it’s not coming off the rails,” but also having a conversation with your parenting partner so that they know. And when they see you kind of escalating, they can be like, “do you need to take a walk?” Not in a condescending way, but in like, “I can see that you’re heading somewhere that I know you don’t want to go. How can I help you right now? Are you hungry? Can I make you something?” And being able to kind of cue one another on those things; My husband can always tell, he’s like “do you want to go walk the dog?” Yes, I do want to walk the dog, I’m gonna go. So we can kind of see that in each other after so many years that we’ve been together. But we’ve also had these conversations over time that we kind of know, giving each other – I don’t wanna say an out – but an opportunity to go meet a need that you know is going to kind of help bring down the level of tension or speed in the moment.
And it’s a practice, like you said, it’s over so many years, and we’re always working on it. And I know my husband will want to sweep in and help, which is great, and then in the moment, sometimes I’m more reactionary to it. And so it’s kind of learning that too, and knowing he’s not trying to take over, he’s really trying to help and support me. And so it’s a lot of practice, checking in with yourself throughout that, and with your parenting partner.
Yeah, and being able to reframe that, he or she whatever is not judging me, they’re handing me a life ring. They’re saying, “let’s tap out, let’s switch off here, do you need a minute?” And that’s how we view it sometimes, and as long as it actually truly is intended to be helpful and non-judgmental, which is also part of the process that comes before that. But being able to just hand over a life ring – and we do it for each other. I think anybody that’s raising children together, in a partnership, is going to need life rings every once in a while, because it’s a lot, and I’m sure there’s single parents out there as well, that wish there was, and have to send themselves life rings one way or the other, or set up other protective limits.
Yeah, that’s something I was gonna touch on too, with single parents, they definitely don’t have the privilege of having that person to immediately hop in, but there are options for them too. I know, an UM Club member, I can’t remember who it was, just within this week was just having a really hard couple of days. And so she called her mom and was like, “mom, I need some help. Can you take the kids for a weekend?” And she was more than happy to sign up and take the kids for two weekends within the next month. So it doesn’t always have to be a within-your-house parenting partner, it can be any kind of village or support person that you can do this with.
Yeah, and it doesn’t have to be in the moment too, we can use that preventively as well. That’s awesome that she was able in that moment to be like “I need help.” But also saying “what do I truly need each month? Do I need someone to bring me dinner? Or go out to dinner with a friend, and have someone, a friend or someone, stay with my kids, or grandma whoever.” Saying “what are the little things I can do that I know release pressure for me, and allow me to kind of return to a place or return to caretaking for my children, in a better space, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, all of those things.”
And sometimes you got to get a little bit creative too. It’s funny, one of the biggest things I did this year for my mental health was get a robot vacuum. And it might seem odd, but I love that thing, and the amount it has taken off of my mental load is incredible. Whenever I would see dirt on the floor, it would be triggering and frustrating. Now I have to deal with it, and it’s dirty, and then it’s this whole process. But now none of that is there. If I see it, it’s like “oh, gotta make sure I turn Fred (the robot vacuum) on and make sure he deals with that later.” So it’s not always going to look like a person coming in to help, because I know that’s not accessible for everyone, but you can get creative and try and think of those other ways that, like you said, relieve that pressure for yourself.
Yeah, I think that’s such a great point that sometimes we pay for our support! You know, not everybody has the privilege of having either a parenting partner or even family close by. I mean, we don’t have family near us, and so we’re always like, “oh my God, look at that family, they have babysitters!” You know, grandparents taking their kids for the day, how magical, right? And not everybody has that. And financially, not everyone can hire someone to help clean the house, or mow the lawn, or buy the robot vacuum, or any of those things. But we can think of little ways that we make our lives just slightly easier. And sometimes, one thing we talk about with parents all the time is paper plates. Sometimes we just need a paper plate night.
I love that, that’s a great one!
Sometimes it’s just little things where we say, “I can just throw that out,” or having cereal for dinner one night a week, and having that be the plan. Not as like, “oh, I don’t feel like cooking, let’s do it.” Saying Thursday night, we’re eating cereal, cereal and toast and whatever, I’ll cut up an apple. But giving yourself these little opportunities to, I don’t want to say take a break, but relieve the pressure of the day to day.
You’re full of great ideas, I love the simplicity of the paper plates.
Sometimes it’s just those simple little things, right? I mean, extravagance is unrealistic. And for a lot of families, we just have to think of different little ways that we can kind of relieve that pressure. It’s all pressure relief.
Yeah, definitely. So I think we’ve done a really good kind of talking about mom anger in the full process. But I would love to touch a little bit on when we do have those outbursts. Kind of the recovery afterwards, whether it’s with children, which is often where we tend to have most of our guilt after that happens.
Yeah, so I would say my biggest piece of advice in terms of after the explosion, is first of all, put your detective hat on, and stop yourself from getting judgmental towards yourself. So there’s the judge, and then there’s the detective. You want to be the detective, okay? You want to say “what was going on? What happened, why did that happen? What was up with that?” It’s so easy to slip into the mindset of being like, “I am awful. I’m the worst mom ever, what’s wrong with me?” All those things. And that is completely unhelpful, all that does is kind of lead you into the next anger cycle. But if we’re able to kind of really put that detective hat on and say, “what was up with that?” Like I mentioned myself doing earlier, I ate lunch too early today. And then when we had the half day, I didn’t have my usual routine. I knew I slept awful, right? So we have these things, and that tells me a lot, right? That’s a lot of information for me to work with.
And when we do that, we’re a lot less likely to kind of bash ourselves, and it’s easier to look at it as data collection. You’re just collecting data, we’re not sitting there and bashing anyone, including ourselves, or our kids, or anyone, we’re just collecting data. And maybe our kids didn’t sleep well the night before, or maybe they were hungry, and that was kind of setting their behavior off and triggering us. When we’re able to kind of just look at it as like detective work, data collection, that takes a lot of our pressure off for ourselves and helps us make a plan for moving forward.
And then the second piece of that is apologizing, right? Being able to kind of acknowledge what went wrong, to our kids or whoever we lost it on. And say, “you know what, I messed up, I shouldn’t have done that, my emotions got the best of me.” And really just what we call repair; so when we lose it with our kids, we call it rupture. And then when we are able to make up with them, we call it repair. So rupture and repair. It’s the pulling apart, and then the repair is the putting back together. And we want to be able to put ourselves back together with our kids and show that we’re human. We’re not robots just like them. We all have big feelings and emotions. And we can recover from that. And I think there’s a lot of learning opportunities that can happen in that recovery.
Hmm, definitely. It’s funny you say “put the detective hat and look at all the data,” you sound exactly like Melissa, my business coach, who I believe you’ve done some sort of things with too. But it’s so helpful to remove yourself from the personal situation, and just look at the facts. And it’s easier to just be easy on yourself. You’re human. When all of these things happened, it makes sense that that’s the event outcome from it. And just giving yourself grace, it’s an opportunity to teach your kids about human emotion and how we repair from that.
Because we are all humans, and they’re humans, too, and allowing them to see us as humans, there’s a gift in that.
I think that a lot of us were raised with kind of parents arguing, not in front of kids ever. And so we tend to be a generation that’s trying to be more open with those kinds of things to show how you can argue and how you can repair from it after, and they’re really good skills to learn. And it’s nice if you can learn those in childhood and adolescence instead of later as an adult.
Which a lot of us are doing, right? I mean, a lot of us are learning how to acknowledge and feel our emotions, and give them space and grace and all those things. And because we didn’t see it as kids – just because things have changed, things are just different. And what we know is different about kids, and what we know is different about humans and mental health and all those things. There’s been a transition in not a very long period of time. Thirty or forty years, right? And I think kind of going back, and kind of just learning these new skills and putting them into practice, and showing your kids that we’re just imperfect humans just like them, and going from there.
Our kids are so lucky.
Yes, they are!
So I was wondering, do you have any other resources for people that feel that mom anger is a really big issue for them, and they would like to learn more? I know you have a temper toolkit; what can you offer for a resource?
Yeah, so I have the temper toolkit, which is a paid course resource. I also have little things, I’m building up an Etsy shop, so I can set you up for that. But it’s still in the beginning stages. I’m working with parents right now on working on their phone and social media use, so finding ways to kind of create more balance around that. But I also recommend people’s public libraries; there doesn’t have to be this kind of barrier to accessing mental health resources. Going to your library and looking – I know in my library, the children’s section has a whole parenting area, they have stuff on anger, they have stuff on self care, they have stuff on parenting in general, and learning new skills. It doesn’t have to be something you spend a ton of money on, you can simply go to the library, you can ask them where to find stuff, librarians are great resources. And utilizing things like that, I’m a big proponent of as well. And also talking with your healthcare team. If you are feeling like anger is impacting your everyday life, and you need more support around it than posts on Instagram, or the library. Being able to say “this is what’s going on, and I need some help.” Self help is great, but healthcare is a pretty great thing as well. I know it’s not always that easy to find a therapist or to find a medication provider if you’re struggling with anxiety or depression, but making the judgment call, saying “I want to look more into this,” and really seeing what the next steps are for doing that.
Exploring it, and when you know it’s really negatively impacting your life. It’s just take it step by step, and look at ways that you can improve your situation.
Yeah, so little tiny things. It’s all about the little stuff, in my opinion.
Yeah, definitely. Well, thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me and provide all of this great information. And thank you for all of you listening. If you are listening, as this gets posted, we will dive into this and chat about things in our weekly hangout on Thursdays. If you would like to connect more with Bryce, it is @MomBrain.Therapist on Instagram. So I will add all the links in the show notes and thanks again.
Thank you so much for having me!
And that was our conversation with Bryce! If you want to chat more about what we talked about, make sure to join us inside the UM Club Facebook group, group chat, and weekly Hangout – we’ll be breaking down everything Bryce said and figuring out how to work it into our own busy lives!
Mom Anger Reflection Questions
- How do you deal with anger? Do you find yourself lashing out and yelling more than you’d like?
- When do you usually notice you’re at a state of overwhelm? Is it after outbursts, or do you notice it ahead of time?
- What takeaways did you have from this episode? How do you think you can implement some of Bryce’s prevention strategies?
- What do you do to repair after escalated angry situations?
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