Over 3 days last week I received 3 emails in a row that inspired me to write this post - on my day off. Because it's so taboo and absolutely essential to talk about our rage.
When a woman in our community sent me her member story I had to stop everything. First, because of her incredible story and deep honesty and also because of her question to the community. She writes:
"I'm so disappointed in myself. I'm discovering that I yell at my toddler frequently. Can I get some communication tips for talking to an almost 3 yo? My husband and I have also made a commitment not to hit the children. We don't have effective tools/tips that aren't hitting. We are struggling with how to properly discipline and offer punishment."
It struck me because yes, we need strategies and new ways of thinking about behavior and discipline, but we also need to be supported so we don't feel so disappointed in ourselves all the time. The pressure to always be calm and patient while at the same time being expected to do it all without any breaks can make motherhood feel impossible.
Just the day before, a woman in one of my motherhood circles send our circle the New York Times Article The Rage Mothers Don’t Talk About.
This part of the article echoes what SO many of us experience:
"I have not yet found the golden ticket to serenity, but I have noticed that when I manage to exercise, make art and eat healthy food, I have a longer fuse. In toolbox lingo: These things fill up my patience cup. Unfortunately, as a working mom with a small child I am not swimming in spare time, and cooking, running and unpaid hobbies often fall to the bottom of the to-do list."
When we take care of ourselves, we are often able to find more calm. To let the tantrums roll off us more easily. In the absence of that, a hard day can not only lead to yelling but often leave us questioning ourselves as mothers.
But it's so much more than that.
The next day, a dear friend sent me this incredible post: Mother Wound Healing: Why It’s Crucial For Women. This paragraph immediately jumped out at me:
"Mothers may unconsciously project deep rage towards their children in subtle ways. However, the rage really isn’t towards the children. The rage is towards the patriarchal society that requires women to sacrifice and utterly deplete themselves in order to mother a child."
Every single day I hear incredible mothers say they never feel like enough. Messages from society and even from our own mothers perpetuate these feelings of failure. We have to start to heal these wounds.
The post is a great introduction to the mother wound and also includes steps to take to take to heal and embrace ourselves without shame. It's seriously deep work.
And we're here for those hard conversations. To bring them into the light. To go through it together and remember that we're not alone in navigating motherhood in a society that doesn't value us.
We'll dive deeper in Motherhood: Redefined this fall and hope you'll join us.
Thoughts on pregnancy, birth and motherhood.