SAHM Life: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
Ever since I got pregnant with my first child it was a DREAM of mine to stay at home. I mean how awesome is that? Kick back with the baby, cuddles all day, watch some TV while she naps on you and get some errands done. The best part is watching her grow up since I’m home all day with her – how big of a blessing is that?!
Okay, maybe with the first child it was easy peasy SAHM life, at least for me it was pretty chill. But once you throw another baby into the mix things get a bit more complicated. I made the big jump from 1 to 3 kids overnight. Yep, twins! And after that I had even more reason stay home with them because I really wasn’t set on selling my left leg in order to afford three in daycare.
Before I get into why the SAHM life isn’t for me anymore, I want to point out one obvious thing. I’m fully aware of the reality that the grass is always greener on the other side. Moms who work will always want to spend more time with their kids and vice versa: moms who stay at home will most likely jump out of their panties at the first person who offers to watch their kids while they run an errand without them.
The reality is, you’re always going to want what you can’t have. However, I’ve experienced both worlds and nothing has tested my mental health more than staying at home with my kids has.
Yeah, I just said that. And I’m fully aware that some moms might be appalled that I would admit such a thing. And that’s okay.
Disclaimer: I love my kids. I’m grateful and blessed. And I’d like to end this weird stigma around mothers talking negatively about a certain aspect of motherhood. Motherhood is beautiful. It’s amazing. It’s miraculous. But just like anything else, there’s some parts that are not easy and women should feel comfortable discussing these topics with ease, with zero judgement and with solidarity. You’re allowed to vent and still be grateful and in love with your children. Not everything is 100% perfect and beautiful and its okay to talk about the things that aren’t.
Fellow mamas, my undying love and gratitude for them doesn’t discredit the fact that there are some things about motherhood and staying at home that just makes your blood literally boil to the point of explosion and your initial reaction is to just say “adios bitchachos I’m outta here” and walk out into the silence. (Out of the house, that is).
Because really, it’s either that or you let mom rage fall over you again. What’s mom rage, you ask?
It’s this fight-or-flight response when you’re at your wit’s end from the whining, crying, spills, messes, fighting, not listening, throw some general overwhelm, depression and/or anxiety in….mix it all together and that’s mom rage. And it’s scary.
It’s what feels like you’ve just summoned a demon into your body because your physical and mental state are not your own anymore. You’re shaking, you’re hot, you scream at the top of your lungs until your throat hurts and you honest to God could morph into some abominable creature at any moment from this intense rage that just came out of nowhere. Everyone is crying, and now you’re crying, so you escape into your room because you feel like an awful mother who can’t even handle her own kids. “Why did I scream like that? What’s wrong with me?”…. And one of your little minions crawls into bed with you to be comforted, crying and sniffling and calming herself down as you pull her closer… whispering in her ear “I’m sorry. I love you” for the second time that week. And you cry even harder because you can’t believe how you reacted and you don’t want to act like this to your precious children.
You lost your cool again. And it’s probably going to happen again tomorrow. But it feels like you have no control. It just happens.
Moms, dads, kids, anyone reading this….this is mom rage. And we absolutely hate it.
If you’re a mom, stay-at-home or not, you probably get it. I know I don’t speak for all moms, but if you have no idea what I’m talking about and you think I’m a lunatic that shouldn’t even have kids – maybe you’re right. But no, I envy your patience and control. Really, I do. And I swear I’m working on it.
After staying home with three toddlers, I’m ready to say peace out. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
I feel like I can be a better mother if I spend some time away. I want to miss them. I want to leave my house, do work with my life that involves more than just my kids. And hold up–there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to be a SAHM and rocking it. It is no less of a “career” nor is it any easier. I’m just saying that I personally, at this point of my life, want to do more and want to do something different.
Will this cure my mom rage? No. But I have experienced the mental and physical improvement when I take some time to get away for myself.
Not every SAHM has the privilege to go to work or go back to school, I get that. But I’ve decided to do both of those, and it’s going to be a crazy freaking ride but nothing is as scary as staying home with twins, right? Hah, totally kidding….kinda.
Am I just overreacting?
Are you kidding me?! Now I’m overreacting.
An overreaction would be a quick holler at your child and you move on with your day. This kind of rage is debilitating at times. It’s a kind of rage that causes you to slip into a short state of depression, anxiety, or just hopelessness. It’s like a ripple effect for the rest of your day. Any sudden movement from your child and you’re ready to let it fire again. Even an innocent “mommy where are you?” and you’re fuming. You just want to be alone. Because being alone far outweighs petrifying your children with another psychotic outburst.
Hmm…psychotic? That’s how it feels sometimes.
Moms, I leave you with no advice. I’m trying to get a handle on my own mom rage and I want you to know that you’re not alone. You are no less of a mother and you are still a GOOD MOM.
But do take care of yourself, some way some how. Your kids need you to be okay. SAHM or not, taking care of your mental health is for their own good just as much as yours.
One thing is true: you have nothing to be ashamed of.
I want you to know that this is nothing to be ashamed of. Sure it’s a little embarrassing that your neighbors can hear you screaming and spitting balls of fire at your kids on a Tuesday morning before 9AM….but I mean real shame. The shame that makes you feel like a bad mom and effects every other aspect of your life….Let’s have none of that, okay? Because this shiz is hard enough to do, don’t make it even harder on yourself by tearing yourself down for your honest efforts.
I have large bets that either you or someone you love is dealing with mom rage right now. It’s just not something that is casually discussed.
You are not alone
That’s the only thing I can say to you right now, and honestly I think it’s the only thing you need to know. We don’t have to have all the answers and we don’t have to try and make “Mom of the Year.” Pshh. Okay.
But when you’re in the midst of your mom rage and you storm off to your room to be alone again, just know that this crazy mom is thinking of you, and I don’t think you’re crazy at all. Your kids are just A-holes sometimes. And they probably get that from their father. (kidding)
Maybe your husband just doesn’t understand and you feel completely alone in this. And man I know how lonely that feels. But please, know that you’re so not alone in this. You have me, and most likely millions of other moms who just don’t know how to get the conversation going. But I just started it for you right here, okay?