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What Makes You Feel Like A 'Mean Mom'? This Mother Has An Answer
  • Parents, most especially moms, strive to raise their children well and have a good relationship with them. But this is easier said than done when you have young kids who seem determined to test your patience every given day. No matter how much you try to keep your cool, the inevitable happens — you lose your temper and raise your voice to reprimand bad behavior — and then immediately feel guilty for becoming a ‘mean mom.

    But being a mean mom doesn’t automatically make you a bad mother. There are valid reasons for this outbursts and one of them is anxiety.

    In an essay for The Mighty, a mom named Jamie R. confessed that her two oldest kids trigger her anxiety. “Anxiety has two effects on me,” she writes. “One is constant and obsessive worry, and the second is anger.”

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    The obsessive worry is something all moms will be able to relate to, especially now that we’re in the middle of a pandemic. But for moms with anxiety, the feelings are heightened.

    “We have a playground right outside our patio. My children cannot go out without me sitting on the patio because I fear they will get kidnapped,” Jamie writes. “If my kids go anywhere in a car besides myself, I sit in constant fear of them getting into a car accident. I call my oldest nonstop until I know he’s safe.”

    When the kids are sick the mom’s brain goes on overdrive. “My mind goes to the worst case scenario. I think they have some deadly disease, so I sit and research every symptom. If my son has headaches, I believe he has a brain tumor,” Jamie writes.

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    More than the worrying, it’s being constantly angry that bothers Jamie the most. She writes, “My kids make any sounds such as mouth noises, and I snap. They don’t listen and I have to repeat myself, and I snap. They argue, and I snap. They make a mess, and I snap. They don’t help clean up, and I snap.”

    Sounds familiar? That’s because it’s normal to feel angry, just like any other person. On our Facebook community, Smart Parenting Village, moms themselves pinpoint the reasons why they’re likely to lose their cool. This includes a messy and noisy home, obnoxious family members, having no time for self-care, and having no one to turn to and ask for help.

    But for moms living with anxiety, the rage they feel can be much worse. Jamie notes she is “living in a state of anger,” and it’s affecting her children. “They aren’t allowed to be kids because of my anxiety. I’m either scared to death for them or I’m angry at them,” she says.

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    Anxiety can consume a person, but more often than not, we don’t even realize it. “It turns you into someone you don’t recognize. It makes you a person you hate,” Jamie writes.

    Again, remember. You’re not a bad mother just because you’re a mean mom sometimes. Anxiety is sneaky, but it can be dealt with. (Click here for some helpful tips from a psychologist.)

    “This isn’t the mom I want to be,” Jamie writes. “I spend every day saying sorry. I spend every day starting over. And I will continue to apologize and start over until I can find my inner peace.”

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    If you feel that you need professional help, the National Center for Mental Health has a crisis hotline that you can tap for free online psychosocial support sessions. Call 0917-8998727 or (02) 7-898-8727 and (02) 7-898-1553 to schedule an appointment.

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