My heart crumbled inside as I uttered words that I never thought would escape my mouth. “Just shut up!”
For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.Matthew 12:34 ESV
Mom rage is not commonly spoken about in Christian circles and that is quite a shame because it is raging a hidden war on our families and our health. How to deal with mom rage is a question we must ask ourselves if we are finding our words and actions are becoming rageful and sinful.
What is Mom Rage?
Mom rage is essential a feeling of uncontrollable anger that many moms feel during pregnancy, postpartum, and beyond. The term mom rage specifically began to gain more traction during the pandemic as mothers were thrust into a position of new anxiety, pressure, and expectations.
If you explore articles about mom rage, many of them conclude that mom rage stems from unrealistic expectations that society and circumstances have placed on mothers. Maybe no other article summarizes it better than this one written by Minna Dubin from the New York Times.
In the article, she succinctly summarizes the correlation between sheltering in place and mom rage. Yet many mothers shy away from sharing their struggles because of another hot term called “mom shame.”
So, we find ourselves battling with rage that we do not like yet find any escape from.
Maybe the answer lies not within a modern society’s view of mom rage, but instead within the pages of an old book: the Bible.
A Biblical Response to Mom Rage
Mom’s rage is not a new phenomenon, although I think it is safe to say that it has surfaced at a higher degree based on the pressure mothers face in this society.
In fact, the Bible is full of Bible verses about anger. Dare I say all of them do not excuse the emotion? Mom’s rage is understandable, but not excusable.
The piece missing from all the articles I read without a biblical background missed this key emphasis:
Mom rage is wrong. It is sinful. It is wrong.
Do not become convinced that your sinful angry actions are excused just because the circumstances are justifiable.
What Does the Bible Say about Anger in Parenting?
I have never been a person to explode in anger. That is until I had my children. Just typing those words makes guilt spill over into my heart and mind. Yet it is true. When my oldest was around two years old, the ‘honeymoon’ phase of parenting evaporated, and I was left isolated as a working mom who has the heart of a stay-at-home mom.
I found myself exploding in anger over the most trivial things. As my anger became more calloused, the guilt piled higher.
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.James 1:19-20
The Bible speaks directly to my parental anger. The sin of anger brings brokenness into my life and the only cure is Jesus.
There are a lot of modern cures for mom rage or parental anger. Group therapy, counseling, and meditation are all antidotes mentioned by Dubin in the New York Times article linked above.
Yet let me offer another option: repentance. This isn’t to say that sometimes we need professional help. We certainly do.
Repentance is going to turn us away from ourselves, and toward the only one who can truly forgive and help our brokenness: Jesus.
For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.2 Corinthians 7:10 ESV
Your guilt, or lack of it, should cause you to rest in the Gospel reality. Your sin is covered by Christ’s blood. It should not cause you to take your rage lightly, but instead, spur you on to repentance and sanctification.
We will still mess up. Our brokenness is deep and our will is weak.
Three Practical Steps to Deal with Mom Rage
As we learn how to deal with mom rage, here are three practical steps we can take to repent and turn away from rage. Remember that there is a difference between anger and rage. Anger can sometimes be a helpful emotion! Jesus even became angry during his earthly ministry (John 2). However, rage is a feeling that is out of control and often leads to sinful actions.
One of the most convicting verses that I have ever read that pertains to motherhood is from Proverbs 14.
The wise woman builds her house, But the foolish pulls it down with her hands.Proverbs 14:1 ESV
I often ask myself “Rachael are you being a wise woman who builds her home, or are you being a fool, who is tearing it down?”
Anger can tear a home down. Be that mama who builds her home instead of tearing it down. Gentleness will also allow you to enjoy your children so much more. Be honest with yourself. When your fits of anger pass, are you honestly enjoying your children, or is anger destroying that part of motherhood for you?
Here are three practical steps for overcoming mom rage.
Know What Triggers Anger
Almost 100% of the time what triggers my anger is working from home. Unfortunately, my circumstances cannot change, but knowing my trigger helps me plan proactively for preventing it.
Finding support can be as simple as reading a book on the subject, finding an accountability partner, or seeking professional help. Finding support will depend on you and your unique circumstances.
Find a Better Response
Understand the consequence of your anger and find a better response that works for you. Once we understand the consequences of anger, we can start to plan for a better response. Maybe when the rage surfaces, you need to put yourself in ‘mommy time out’. I have found that I am much better equipped to handle my emotions when I take 10 minutes on my elliptical machine.
Are you dealing with mom rage? I want to leave you with this final encouragement:
God has uniquely equipped you to be your children’s mother. Trust that he has given you all that you need to parent them well. Your only hope is in Christ, who has forgiven you and reconciled you to Himself. Praise God! As we learn how to deal with mom rage may you be encouraged that you are not alone and there is hope.
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