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Mad Mom Makeover series
Once per week during the months of March and April, Rear Release Regroup and MTO (Mom Time Out) is featuring a special guest post dealing with “mom anger” and how to cope with those “blow it” moments!
These dear moms offer words of encouragement, support, and wonderful tips for when that old temper flares! This will be a valuable resource, so be sure to stay tuned each week – and if you’re not on our email list, you may sign up here to make sure you don’t miss a single post!
Today, my special guest is someone I’ve come to love and respect on a personal level over the past year as she is in the same phase of life as me. Pat Fenner is a mom of five – with two out of the nest and three still home. She has much wisdom to impart on the subject of anger in mothering. She possesses an eloquent writing style and blogs at PatandCandy.com.
Don’t let your anger make you sad
There is a depression that does not stem from sadness. It’s beyond the blues… It’s not related to the weather, not seasonal, and you many not even consciously know the cause of it.
The root of it may not be obvious to those around you – but they will surely feel its effects.
It’s depression caused from anger turned inward.
Now please understand that I’m not writing from a clinical viewpoint. Although I did have studies in psychology and counseling and therapy as part of my college degree, the words here are from my own heart and experience, and, as such, I pray will touch and bless your own situation.
When my two oldest children were young, I had a real problem with anger. By that, I mean that when I was frustrated or tired or irritated or put-out, I didn’t have the tools to handle my emotions. Even now – almost 30 years later – it hurts me to remember how that resulted in pain and confusion and sadness for my kids.
As time progressed, with prayer and study and maturity, I learned to recognize the signals in my life of both the anger and its accompanying depression. Most importantly, however, I learned how to be proactive and deal with them before they became serious issues…
How to be proactive and deal with anger-induced depression. Mad Mom Makeover Series.@MomsAMCoffee Click To Tweet
The “tipping point”
It was mid-afternoon, and I had just spent a morning nursing and changing diapers. The results of the sleepless night prior, combined with exhaustion, dealing with a sick infant and entertaining a bored 2-year old were taking its toll. I needed a nap, and neither of the wee ones were cooperating. I snapped (to put it mildly) at my 2-year old – all the while watching his face crumple under my ire. As my heart broke, I realized I could not continue to parent this way: something had to change.
Other signs of anger-induced depression
I can’t speak for everyone, but these were other characteristics that convinced me I had a problem. Perhaps you may identify with some of them, too:
- An easily-triggered temper
- A consistent, nagging feeling that you’re never enough
- An irrational fear of conflict and avoidance of difficult issues
- Over-attending to my kids to the exclusion of my husband’s needs
- Yelling at the kids
- Being inconsistent with discipline
- Being inconsistent with teaching them chores – taking the “It’s easier to do it myself” approach
- Not being empathetic to my kids’ frustrations and expecting too much from them
What can you do if you find yourself in the same boat?
Although it may present itself as depression, or even a chronic case of “the blues”, realize that you’re dealing with anger. While you may or may not have the ability to get to the root of it, there are things you can do that will at least help alleviate your symptoms. As always, I’d strongly suggest to start with prayer. Ask God to help you get a handle on your emotions, and protect those around you from its damaging effects. Ask him, too, to show you the roots of it as you’re able to deal with them; and finally, ask him for healing from the inside out. Other things you can do are:
- Find a friend you can let off steam with;
- better yet, find a friend that you can pray with, after letting off that steam;
- exercise your gratitude muscle;
- talk to your husband about your day. Force yourself if you have to!
- Be pro-active and come up with a person and plan for when you’re having a really bad day
- Find counseling help when things get really bad.
8 ways to deal with anger-induced depression - Mad Mom Makeover Series Part IV Click To Tweet
There are many faces to anger…and different ways in which its effects are felt. Thankfully, my children don’t (consciously) remember that event. But also thankfully, that event served a greater purpose: helping me come to terms with my anger, heal past hurts and pain, and learn how to model grace and mercy to those around me, even through the frustrations and stress of day-to-day life.
Come join us at MTO!
MTO is a closed Facebook group for moms in the trenches, tired of reacting to daily conflicts or annoyances in family dynamics with anger or frustration.
At MTO you will find a place to share your story and interact with others who have been there too.
You will find support, encouragement, Scripture Pillars, Goals, and a plan of action for attacking those feelings of overwhelm and frustration.
Click the picture or any of the orange links to>>> join MTO today!
Come on, mom – we’re waiting for you!