Nothing I read prior to having kids hinted of the dark side of life that I was about to enter.
I’d had glimpses of my rage prior to having kids. Times like when I found myself having hit my cat out of sheer frustration that I couldn’t keep him off of the counters. Still I had no sense of the magnitude of eruptions I was about to experience. Even more horrifying was that these volcano-like, red-hot rages were directed AT my precious babies.
I’d envisioned myself leaping over a tall building if need be for my kids. In sooo many ways that came to pass.
I slaved over organic, home made bread recipes, made with such wholesome ingredients that they often resembled bricks.
I leapt up in the night, at least at first, when my son woke up, anxious to meet his every need.
I breast fed for 19 months. My son had serious colic as a baby that was the start of his life-long issues with dairy products. Extended breast feeding helped me feel sure that he’d get the calcium that he needed.
I tried sooo hard to be the perfect mom. As soon as I heard I was pregnant, I left my well-paid, secure government communications job so I could devote 100% of my time to being a great mom. My devotion saw me becoming a parenting educator to fill the local need that no one was filling, in hopes of getting the answers I needed. I took classes with Dr. Gordon Neufeld, one of THE world’s foremost developmental psychologists in order to learn how to be the parent I’d vowed to be at their birth. I was determined to stop the dysfunction that had caused me so much pain when I was growing up.
Yet even after being accepted as a mentee of Gordon Neufeld, into what became his renown Neufeld Institute, I was still raging at my kids. The dark underside of my life seemed to be slowly but surely gaining traction. It was like a river eroding the banks of our family’s happiness. I was not breaking the family pattern that I so wanted to shift.
My rages may have only happened 2% of the time – 5% MAX. But none of us felt safe as a result. I didn’t trust myself, and my kids never knew when they’d get blasted.
My rage dramatically eroded all great attachment work I was so carefully doing the rest of the time.
I felt like a Monster.
I judged myself as not deserving to parent. Yet what was the alternative? I understood suddenly why some moms drive into a lake with their kids in order to die and take their kids with them.
Fortunately, slowly and surely over the years I learned how to get to a place where my anger was so under control, and so infrequent, that at one point one of my teenage children commented that I never got angry. It has been such a gratifying journey, as nothing mattered more to me than being a great mom, which I’m now clear that I am. Yes, I made many mistakes, and my kids did suffer as a result. But studies on resiliency show that children raised with no challenges actually are less resilient! So while I wish I had learned better tools sooner, that was a great consolation at the time. Now with two kids in their twenties who are doing well, I can offer you my personal story as hope that you, too, can deal with your monster mama urges, and get to a great place. I also can offer that of so many of the moms who have worked with us in our coaching program.
Thank you for helping me transform from Monster Mom to the Mom I always dreamed I could be. ~ Beth Ann, USA
If you’d like help with learning to keep your cool when you feel like you are in danger of erupting, we have a popular pause button challenge that parents have found super helpful. I’d love to help you to learn how to keep your calm when your emotions are heating up!
“The breathing with a twist worked great, and we had the best getting ready for bed that we’ve had in ages. Thank you. ” ~ Anonymous
Check out the summary page with the videos and worksheets from of our Pause Button Challenge! It can be great to do the challenge live, and this can get you started!
It’s NOT your fault that you are losing it with your kids. You just need some better tools AND some support to parent in this very stressful time.
“I am a much calmer mum. It’s now rare that I lose my temper and yell at my kids.” ~ Rebecca, Australia
If one of your triggers is your kids saying mean things to you, check out our blog post: When Your Kids Say Hateful Things (greatparentingsimplified.com).
Comment below if you found this helpful!