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Jul
21

Living Life as a Mad Mom: Hope and Help for Angry Moms

By
by Jill Hart

I know firsthand was life as an angry mom is like. I spent almost two years trying to control my temper and failing miserably. It took a confrontation with someone close to me for me to really take a good, hard look in the mirror and realize that the problem was bigger than me. My anger was out of control. I had turned into someone that I didn’t recognize and my family was suffering because of it.

Soon after that confrontation, my kids and I were in the doctor’s office because one of them was sick. After the check-up, as the doctor was getting ready to go I mentioned to him briefly that I’d been struggling with anger. I remember saying, “I’m not sad or depressed. Just really angry…all the time.” Having known us for quite a while (in fact he delivered my son), he gave me a prescription for an anti-depressant and wanted me to try it to see if it helped. I really wanted it to help. I wanted to be a good mom, a loving mom, and at the moment I felt an ogre.

Fast-forward a couple of years. I was no longer taking the anti-depressants and the anger was still an issue. One day, during an appointment with a med-student (I had gone in because my hands were swollen), she decided to check my thyroid levels because of some other symptoms that I described such as weight gain and exhaustion. It turned out that things that I assumed were part of a mom’s normal life (what mom isn’t over-tired? and many of us are still carrying around a little ‘baby fat’, right?) were actually a medical issue with my thyroid. I’m thrilled to tell you that after a year of treatment, I’m on my way to being “normal” again and the anger is no longer an issue.

For me, it was a medical condition. For other moms it can be postpartum issues, the after-effects of giving birth or a traumatic event in their lives that changes them from the fun-loving women they know themselves as to stressed-out, angry moms. If you relate to any of the above, read on for a few tips that can help you find help … and hope.

1. Get Help – The first step, of course, is to recognize that anger is something that you’re struggling with and that you may not be able to handle it on your own. This was a huge hurdle for me and looking back, I wish I had done it much sooner. Make an appointment to talk with someone you trust – a close friend, your pastor, a doctor, a counselor or someone else that can help you find the cause of your anger.

2. Make Sure They Hear You – I made the mistake of mentioning my anger to our family doctor at the end of an appointment for one of my kids. As a result, he didn’t have time to spend with me and because he trusted what I said – that anger was the only symptom I was aware of – he did went ahead and put me on Prozac instead of having me come back for a screening.

Don’t do what I did. Make an appointment for yourself. Go, sit down and explain what you’re feeling and experiencing. In my case it turned out to be something that Prozac couldn’t help with – my thyroid.

3. Take Care of Yourself -When you’re dealing with anger one of the best things that you can do is give yourself a break. Build some time into your schedule to take a long walk, a bath or something else that helps you unwind. If you need to vent, call a friend or even write it out on paper just to get some of the anger out of your system (be sure to throw the angry notes in the trash).

4. Be Honest With Yourself – Looking back I can see that I was caught up in the game of pretending that everything was fine instead of letting my friends in on the struggles I was having. I had to get to a place where I was forced to be honest – with myself, with God and with those around me. I can tell you firsthand that it was a huge relief – a burden lifted from my shoulders – when I was able to sit and tall honestly about what I was feeling.

5. Let People Help – Another mistake I made was thinking that I needed to be super-mom. That I needed to have it all together and be able to do it all. Over the last couple of years I’ve learned that it’s okay not to be good at everything and that it’s okay to let others help once in a while. And now I’m strong enough to be able to reach out and help others.

It took sickness for me to be able to let go of the standards I had been holding myself to. It took getting to the point that I could barely get out of bed for me to go and get help. I was angry and frustrated for so much longer than I needed to be because I wouldn’t let myself reach out for help. If you see yourself in any of the above, please, please email me or reach out to someone that you trust. Find hope today!

About the Author:
Jill Hart is the founder of Christian Work at Home Moms, CWAHM.com. Jill is a co-author of the upcoming book So You Want To Be a Work-at-Home Mom (Beacon Hill, Sept. 2009). Jill welcomes work-at-home questions at http://AskJill.cwahm.com. Learn more about working from home at http://www.cwahm.com/work-at-home/ .

Comments

  1. Susan Manchester says:

    I am an angry grandmother raising a violent, disobedient 6-year old grandson. My anger probably stems from the fact that this grandson’s parents, my youngest son and his girlfriend are just going on their merry way while I struggle to raise a difficult person for the sixth time. In fact, my son is helping his friends where he lives to raise their three daughters. My grandson has ADHD/bipolar and some kind of psychotic issue. These neurological and mental health problems are exacerbated by the fact that my grandson spent a year with my son and his then girlfriend who were, and still are, devil worshippers. There is no telling what kind of influences they invited into this little boy’s life. I have to face the fact that at this point, no matter what I do as far as discipline or teaching with this boy, it may not make a particle of difference in his ability to be a viable citizen. My attempts to get help have included requesting prayer from ALL my friends, and trying to find a pastor who could pray over and anoint my grandson to eradicate the nasty influences he may be carrying around.

  2. Jessica says:

    Jill,
    Thank you for your honesty, for having the courage to overcome your challenges and to share you story, and for the encouragement you offer all your readers.
    Anger is one of many “dark” emotions that challenge our faith and our sense of self, and working oneself out of what can become a cycle of those dark emotions can be very, very difficult. But breaking free of the cycle is worth the struggle.
    Ms. Manchester, please don’t give up on that grandson of yours. “Faith overcomes fear” is something to never forget–have faith that he can grow into a good person and use that faith to strengthen your will to do what it takes to get him the help he needs, whether it’s pastors, doctors, therapists or other resources.
    God Bless!

  3. Amy Schneider says:

    Sometimes we moms and grandmoms walk around thinking we are the only ones experiencing things like anger, jealousy, resentment, and other things we hate to admit. I experience anger and the guilt it brings almost immediately after my “rants and raves”. I feel so unchristian-like, immediately ask for forgiveness, only to find myself back in the same place again hours and sometimes even moments later. Thank you Jill for sharing your anger with us because I would never thought about my thyroid. I have been seeking help for adult ADD! Nothing works, I feel like my days end with the to-do list even longer than when I started. I just don’t have the energy to do the day-to-day home chores and my oldest daughter catches the main part of my anger. I feel like no one understands and if I hear “calm down and take a deep breath” one more time, I just might scream! No wait, I already do that. Again thank you for just making me feel like I am not alone with my anger issue, this actually alleviates some of the pressure to be “super-mom”.
    To the grandmom raising her grandson, I will pray for you and the boy. God can heal anyone and any situation. May God bless you. Remember with faith just the size of a mustard seed you can do anything.

  4. Debbie says:

    Yep – I’m an angry mom. Not always. But more often than I’d like. I get frustrated about (fill-in-the-blank) and then I get angry and it flows out to the people in my life. Makes me sad, too, because I don’t want to live this example for my children or bring this into their lives.

    Thanks for sharing your story, Jill. Makes me think. Makes me feel hopeful.

  5. Marissa says:

    I have been a stay-at-home mom now for about 4 years. I have struggled with anger and other emotions. I believe the main cause of our struggles is our sinful nature. When God blesses us with children and gives us this huge responsibility of taking care of them, we sometimes lose ourselves. I began to dwell on this, and in so doing, I became a selfish and angry mother. I slept in too late, I didn’t do daily cleaning that needed to get done, and I lashed out at my children and husband a lot. It was not until I was honest with myself and God that He was able to help me overcome my emotional state. I believe that God was with me through my struggles and was teaching me what selfless love truly is. We need to stop and think about what is important, what is good, noble, and right. Think on these things each and every day, and the peace of God will fill your soul.

    As far as frustration goes with disobedient children, I believe that God has something to teach us through disciplining our children. He teaches us patience and persistence. Discipline is about loving your children. It’s about wanting them to grow up knowing the grace of God. If you don’t want a disobedient child, you must be persistent and consistent. Never give in to disobedient behavior. I believe that every child has a slightly different temperament, so some do not require as much training in good behavior. My 4 year old has been a challenge and it seems that my 2 year old will also be a bit of a challenge also. But, I plan on sticking in there and getting through the training process, because I can now see some light beginning to shine through my 4 year old. Through all of the spankings (not hitting) and the time-outs, she is still a happy and healthy 4 year old that loves her Mommy and Daddy despite that fact that we don’t always let her have exactly what she wants when she wants it. We are firm but loving parents. We do not yell at our children, because we believe it “provokes them to anger” also. Although we are not perfect and we sometimes forget to check our anger at the door, we learn from our mistakes and communicate what we’ve learned to our children. They are listening, despite what you may think.

    Romans 5:3&4 “And not only so, but we glory in tribulation also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope…”

    Do not lose hope!

  6. Traci Keene says:

    Yes, I am another very angry mother. I just recently became a single mother when “dad” just got up and walked out. I have three young kids and the youngest is Autistic. I feel like from the time I get up in the morning, till the time I collapse at night, I am yelling, screaming, and just a raving mad woman. The bad part is I feel like I can not go to my pastor and talk with him, because my ex that walked out proposed to me in front of the whole congregation. Now, three months after he left us he is married to woman he only knew two weeks. The anger surrounds me. I have spoken to my Dr. who has put me know on three different anti-depressants that have done me no good. He has also checked me Thyroid and though it is slightly enlarged it is nothing my Dr. is concerned with. I am so tired of being angry all the time. Just about two years ago now I turned my life over to Christ but I feel like I am no Christian due to the feelings I go thru everyday. I will continue to pray for a solution to this life problem because this one is not so easily solved.

  7. Krista Dunk says:

    Traci,
    It sounds as though your anger is not stemming from a physical or chemical issue. I’m not a doctor, although I would imagine that prescriptions are not what you need, nor will they help your struggles. Here is an interesting quesiton to ask yourself – Were you angry before your ex left?

    Either way, you have been devastated by this situation. Your depression and anger stems from that pain. The healing will come when you do not allow this person to continue to abuse or “wrong” you (which it sounds like he certainly did). Forgive (although he doesn’t deserve it) – forgive for yourself. Father God has forgiven us (hugely) eventhough we don’t deserve it. When we forgive, we can rid ourselves of pain. Do it for yourself and your own sanity. I’ve heard people say, “unforgiveness is like drinking poison, hoping the other person dies”. So true. Forgiving does not indicate you approve of what he has done. It is also a process, not a one-time shot.

    You have a lot to offer the world and your kids. Take back your emotions. Be a consistent person of integrity. Let your beauty shine. You are stronger than you think. Find someone who knows you, that you trust, and who will tell you the truth…even if it hurts…because they love you.

    You can do it Traci! I pray that this is helpful.

  8. Emily says:

    To Susan Manchester:This is my first time on this particular website but A few scriptures come to mind like 2 Timothy 1:7 – For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, of love, and sound mind(NIV). God is clearly using you to lead this grandson of yours to him. You are the light in his life right now. Do not be discouraged with the struggle you are facing. Colossians 3:13 – Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you(NIV). Your grandsons violence is starting to wear on your nerves. It is just the enemy using him. You know he has been subject to some awful things. Love him honey, more than anything love him. You can and will over come this for you and for you grandson In Jesus Name. You need to get some annointing oil and pray and fast over you, him, and your home. Rebuke the enemy from you, your grandson and home. Keep asking people to pray for his deliverence. It will come In Jesus Name! Do not give up!!!! Please let him stay with you forever! Remember to pray for your son and his gilrfriend and the people they are around. Even though they don’t know it, they need your prayers. I will be praying for you and your grandson and your the deliverence of your son and grandson. Praise God, I know this is going to pass. And remember, 1 Corinthians 10:13 – No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it(NIV).
    AMEN AND IN JESUS NAME LORD, I PLEAD THE BLOOD OF JESUS OVER THIS SITUATION GOD, IKNOW THAT YOU CAN MOVE OUT THESE DEMONS THAT HAVE COME AGAINST THIS WOMAN AND HER FAMILY GOD, DELIVER RIGHT NOW FATHER IN JESUS NAME, I REBUKE THE HANDS OF THE ENEMNY OFF OF THIS FAMILY RIGHT NOW GOD, NOT MY WILL FATHER BUT YOUR WILL BE SONE IN THIS SITUATION GOD, YOU ARE THE LIVING WATER JESUS AND I PRAY GOD THAT RIGHT NOW YOU COME INTO THE HEART OF THE FATHER OF THIS CHILD AND DELIVER HIM ALSO GOD, RIGHT NOW I CLAIM DELIVERENCE FOR THIS FAMILY IN JESUS NAME, THANK YOU FOR YOUR DELIVERENCE JESUS, AMEN AND AMEN!

  9. jill says:

    I had the opportunity to speak on this topic today on our local Christian radio station. Already getting feedback. We’re not alone in our struggles, that’s for sure.

    How are you ladies doing? I’m praying for each of you!

    ~ Jill

  10. Heather says:

    This article is great. I have had some similar issues, but I remain without a diagnosis. Every time I read something like this I really feel like I have a thyroid issue–but the time I was tested it came back, well, ok, was what the doctor said. Meanwhile I am heavier and tired and more irritable…My doctor said depression or chronic fatigue. But, I have not been on anti-depressants for a long time now, and when I was, they didn’t really help (we tried a few) I just felt more tired. I am printing out this article to take to a new doctor. I miss me!

  11. jill says:

    Heather,

    Definitely do get it checked. I had “subclinical hyperthyroidism” (what a mouthful!) and they wouldn’t have found it if they hadn’t done additional testing.

    ~ Jill

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