Mum rage is real but should be talked about and managed

Mom rage is real but should be talked about and managed. Image: Andrea Piacquadio

Parenthood is not for sissies: More women succumb to ‘mom rage’

Parenting is hard, and rage isn’t anything to be ashamed about. It’s all in how you deal with it and there is help.

Mum rage is real but should be talked about and managed

Mom rage is real but should be talked about and managed. Image: Andrea Piacquadio

Ask any mom (or dad) – the struggle is real. And rage is also real. Even though many would not admit it and feel ashamed.

According to psychotherapist Anna Mathur, more women are seeking help for anger issues, and there are easy ways to help you cope when you just had enough.


Staying calm when littles ones desperately want to hold on to their independence can be tiresome and tricky, even for “trained professionals” like Mathur.

In her brand new book, The Little Book of Calm for New Mums, Mathur shares some helpful insights into dealing with the chaos of parenting and anger.

In an all too familiar scenario for parents, she tried to stay calm as she dealt with a screaming baby and a toddler refusing to be wrestled into his buggy. Using her professional training, she took deep breaths, telling herself she could handle this distressing, if fairly typical, parenting scenario.

“That’s when the rage hit,’ the married mother-of-three admits. ‘I had been deep breathing to calm down but suddenly, I couldn’t take it. Instead, I grabbed a plastic toy digger and hurled it against the floor. It didn’t shatter, so I did it again. I needed to break something,” she said in a Daily Mail article.

The toy didn’t break and Mathur (37) didn’t feel any better.

‘I was hit with a torrent of shame. Shame that I’d let go, shame that my toddler was now screaming in what I imagine was fear, having seen me deliberately smash his toy. That moment sobered and scared me like no other. I knelt on the floor and gave my children a hug. I apologised and explained it wasn’t their fault,” she adds.

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“Rage can be confusing for our children, upsetting and destabilising,’ Anna adds. ‘But these moments of rage can also act as important learning experiences. Apologising is important — it completes the circle of communication and restores a sense of safety.’ Anna believes that there is a rising tide of women indulging in similar displays of anger that have been christened ‘mum rage’,” Mathur told Daily Mail.

“Rage doesn’t fit with the gentle, patient ideal of motherhood that we hold in our minds, which is why expressing anger can feel like such a shameful taboo. Yet anger is a human response to circumstances, and in motherhood there are many stressful moments to navigate.”

Exhaustion, postnatal depression, busy schedules and divorce can sometimes only ad to the pressure of parenthood.

Anna Mathur.


Through her own parenthood struggles and sessions with patients, Mathur get to see motherhood challenges that are often hidden and not openly spoken about.

“Many feel they need to prove they’re thriving, but the truth is it’s often far more of a struggle than we let on. Like a pressure cooker, if you don’t have a healthy way to release those feelings, you risk your emotions shooting out in an uncontrolled way.’

Mathur shares a few anger coping techniques as reported by DailyMail.

  • Lower your standards
    Stop trying to do it all. You can’t. Look over your to-do list and ask yourself what can be ditched, delegated or demoted. Accept any offer of help. Consider whether perfectionism is having an impact. What corners can you cut to get through?
  • Reframe your rage
    If you find yourself feeling full of rage, recognise it as being overwhelmed. We can easily shame ourselves for being angry when we’re really just utterly depleted. But when we criticise ourselves, we’re less likely to be productive. As a quick fix, try breathing in for four and out for seven until you feel your body calm.
  • Make time for rest
    Allow your children to see you slow down and relax sometimes. It teaches them the importance of rest. Even five minutes on the sofa will help. Imagine plugging yourself in like a phone charger.
  • It’s about the highlights
    Think back to your childhood and the things that made Christmas feel magic. I bet it wasn’t the big things or gifts, but the small things. Think about what small things might make you feel content.


In her book, The Little Book Of Calm For New Mums, Mathur offers readers a three-step technique for handling anger: first, feel compassion for yourself, rather than labelling yourself as a bad person. Next, talk through your feelings with someone you trust, diffusing the emotion. Finally, identify what you’re feeling and what you might need. If your anger is a symptom of feeling overwhelmed, how can you change that problem?

Mathur is also very active on social media and regularly shares insights.

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