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Parenting and Rage

post #1 of 1766
Thread Starter 
I would say that I am a pretty good mom, I am patient and kind. I have compassion and energy. I am resourceful and dedicated to my family. I love to teach and sing and be silly. I am a bit of a perfectionist. DH and I believe in AP and really enjoy raising our kids this way. I know I don't have to be perfect ( don't want my kids to have unrealistic expectations of their future wives) LOL but I try to do my best to be a good role model in my home and community. So what is the problem?
I have rage, deep down. I was raised in a voilent home and the scars are there. Some people might say, "I can't imagine hurting my kids" but I can. Never my baby but my two year old. (Please do not worry I am not going too hurt him) That is why I am writing here to get my thoughts out. Tonight my DH is at work and after a fun day I am nursing my 8 month old. My nipples are sore and painful and I a want him to sleep and off me. My 2 yo is trying to fall asleep beside us. He is trying to stroke David's (baby) hair which wakes him up. Then he says cuddle me mommy and tries to get close to me, I start feeling angry. I feel trapped and angry, "please move over, mommy's hot" he cuddles closer, "but I love you mommy" I get angrier . . . Why can't he listen!!!!!! Nipples throb . . . It goes on and on. I start to imagine what probably was done to me. Calling him a name, grabbing him roughly, shoving him out in the hall and slamming the door, or if I was really out of control slapping his butt as I sent him packing, hitting him, yelling.

So I have to stop myself, I chant "that which is the most important must never give way to that which is the least important" Least important - my rage and most important - my child. It is hard. Selflove and selflessness are important parenting tools. I get angriest when I am self-indulgent. When I think that I deserve to get angry, when I want to put my needs first, when I feel sorry for myself.

Parenting is a blessing and a definate avenue for self-improvement.

Sat Nam
post #2 of 1766
I was also raised in an abusive home. My mom was a yeller and a hitter. She use to beat us when she was in a rage and then blamed it on us, "See what you MADE me do."

I have felt that rage at my children. As soon as I feel it start to bubble up, someone gets a time out. Sometimes it's me, sometimes it's one (or all) of them. I think it is better to remove myself from the situation than risk hurting one of the kids.
post #3 of 1766
I was raised in a good loving home. The adored child of two great parents.

But your thread struck a nerve and wanted to say I can see your point.

I would never ever hurt my child. Ever. But thoughts creep in.
post #4 of 1766
Morgraine, I have struggled with a rage issue regarding my toddler (now preschooler) as well. I think recognizing that children are the best gift one can be given is essential to enjoying them.

However, I think that one thing that we as parents are encouraged by various external forces to forget is that we are people too. We as parents DO have legitimate needs (for me, this includes a bit of time for reflection each day) and we should not be ashamed for doing what it takes to remain physically and mentally healthy parents. We are not machines.

Keeping yourself well is essential when it comes to being a good parent. Also diffusing situations before they get to a crisis point is SO useful. And like Embens said, adult time-outs are a good option.

Best of luck - I know how upsetting a situation like you've described can be.
post #5 of 1766
Before I had a child I never knew that I could feel love like this. I also never knew what truly primal rage felt like. I was raised fairly gently, and still struggle with violent impulses sometimes. I think that it's just the intensity of the experience. It triggers strong emotions all over the spectrum.

I have also noticed that the times I feel the most rage are when I feel boxed into a corner, and that the box is usually made of my own expectations or insecurities: "I HAVE to lie here and nurse you until you fall asleep RIGHT NOW, because a. I still need to wash the dishes or b. that is what a Good Mother would do." I try to recognize this and re-evaluate my expectations. My father, who was a GREAT dad, sometimes became irrational and punitive when we were in public, because he is very uncomfortable in social situations. I try to keep an eye on myself for that as well.

post #6 of 1766
Thread Starter 
[QUOTE= My father, who was a GREAT dad, sometimes became irrational and punitive when we were in public, because he is very uncomfortable in social situations. I try to keep an eye on myself for that as well.


Interesting, I know this feeling. . .
Thanks everyone . . . Hearing from you helps me feel more human.
post #7 of 1766
Yes, I know that feeling of being trapped and angry. I had a lovely moment earlier today when I was trying to fix my dad's computer, had DS in one arm screaming and writhing while my toddler grabbed and hung on my other arm screaming because she wanted to climb up and play with the computer I was trying to fix (most likely because she played with it). I have an especially hard time when I'm tired.
post #8 of 1766
Originally Posted by sweetbaby3
I was raised in a good loving home. The adored child of two great parents.

But your thread struck a nerve and wanted to say I can see your point.

I would never ever hurt my child. Ever. But thoughts creep in.

Same here

post #9 of 1766
I have actually been working with my therapist on these types of issues recently. We've identified my guilt feeling as my triggers. I feel guilty all the time; mostly because I was raised in an abusive home (mostly emotionally, but physically as well) and I have *always* felt less than. Less than my siblings. Less than outsiders who seemed to deserve my father's respect more than I. Less than worthy of his love. Just less than. My whole life, I've either given in and accepted the roll of "lesser one" or I've fought back with anger. There's never a middle ground. When I start feeling less than, with my kids, that's when it's guilt and anger and sometimes rage. In the incident you mentioned (to the OP) I totally see that. I would be so filled with rage because I would be nursing the baby and the toddler would want to nurse and so she'd cry and then ds would be upset because I'm *still* not reading his stories....and I'd feel less than. "A Good Mother Would Be Able To Handle This Without Anger" I am less than a good mother...in fact, I'm a bad mother...no, I'm a rotten mother, a horrible mother...and so, to compensate, I'd end up yelling that them.

I'm starting to learn my triggers. DD asks for a glass of juice. I'm doing something else. I'm not a bad mom for not stopping what I'm doing this instant to get her a glass of juice. I'm taking care of other responsibilites (working out, doing bills, elbow deep in dishes). She's learning patience. So, instead of guilt, I feel calm, which holds off the anger. (I hope I don't need to add the typical disclaimer of, I do get her juice more times than not, I don't neglect her, she has had time with me, I'm not ignoring her... Just to be sure! )

But, you're not alone. It is so hard to fight off the things that we were taught so early. My father taught me well that I wasn't important enough to him. So, when I look at an interaction with my children, I automatically want to put my feelings as a child on them. "If I don't get her the juice, she will feel that she's not important to me" But that isn't true. She *knows* she's important to me because I show her that on a daily basis....so not getting her some juice isn't telling her that she isn't important, or that she's not loved...all it's telling her is that she has to wait five minutes for a glass of juice. My issues *aren't* her issues.

I think (and my therapist tells me ) that being able to identify the problems and recognize your triggers is key. Questioning the behavior and motivaters behind it is so important. But I am thankful that he's helping me through this. It is hard for me, with dh gone and my only IRL support two wonderful MDC friends......I need to hear that I'm a good mom a lot to start believing it. Because I don't. I really feel like a horrible mom, most of the time. It's so hard to change those messages I heard in my heart at such a young age. But I'm working on it. And I can tell that you are too. Congrats to us! We're breaking the cycle.
post #10 of 1766
I feel these triggers too and remember what it felt like to be little and unsure if I was going to be yelled at, slapped, pinched, etc for asking for something. So I learned to stop asking

Right now as my own feelings of failure are coloring my every moment I am struggling to not lose my patience with my sweet daughter. I want her to keep asking for hugs.

This morning we were running late trying to get dd to preschool so I can study and I am half dressed trying to get her a bath and she sprays water all over me when dh pops his head in to say hes leaving. I am mad at him for leaving I am mad because Im wet but most of all Im mad at me for feeling this way and all I can do is not scream.

I realize that after I brush dd's teeth (too roughly) and we go into her room the moment has passed because I acknowledged it and did not let it overtake me. Dd helps me pick out a different shirt and we put face lotion on each other, put on coats and when she gets to preschool is is full of kisses and hugs.

With a two year old its a daily battle to not do to her what was done to me - the little abuses like name calling and smaking on the bottom. Its so hard.

I have started to make a silly noise when I want to scream - to difuse the tension. This morning when dd opned a cabinet spilling its entire contents after I said dont open that door (of course its my fault is so full) I went "woo-whoo watch out below" A little silliness goes a long way for me - when I see dd smile I just melt and forget about why I was mad.
post #11 of 1766
I was raised with raging angry abusive folks as well. I id with the triggers also. I just got this new book "Time-Out for Parent's: A Guide to Compassionate Parenting" by Cheri Huber. It is a small book with handwritten print, an easy read. Anyhow she really delves into what triggers us and how to recognizeit, take a moment, and then have compassion for ourselves for having those feelings and gently healing those wounds so we can be healthy happy people and it turn be healthy happy parents and in turn raise healthy happy children.

I am not even through the book but have actually seen some shifts in myself since starting it, and that does not often happen with me.

Thought I would share.
post #12 of 1766
One thing I've noticed is that the exact situation the OP described in this post, nursing, cuddling, and not being able to get a moment of peace gets me too. On New Years Eve I made the mistake of attempting to go to Whole Foods, it was scary crowded, and by the time I left I was carrying a crying kid, and holding the hand of a crying kid, and dropping things in the parking lot. It didn't bother me that much, I was able to just shrug it off. But, the feeling I get when I just can't get a moment free is much stronger, exactly the same situation as the OP described, I can't get my now 5 year old to stop talking or jumping on me until I lose it a little, and I don't want to be like that. I am also trying to deal with this, and I know I need to do a better job, I would never do anything to hurt him, but it is so frustrating.
post #13 of 1766
I am having serious rage issues lately too. I've got an almost 5 yr old, and almost 3 yr old, and a 5 wk old. I can't get in a moment to breathe! It's especially frustrating when the baby is nursing and the older 2 are arguing, or bugging me for something. I get enraged. I've started yelling. A lot. I HAVE to stop this NOW and I know it..but I don't know where to start. I think seeing a therapist would help a lot, but good grief, I don't even have time to go to the bathroom alone! How would I make time to see a therapist?

Sorry for hijacking the thread.
post #14 of 1766

i go there too. and then can't stand myself for doing it. i kinda second what deirdre said....i have noticed that a lot of it happens when i feel that i *have* to do something, whether it's getting a task done, putting ds to bed at a certain time or whatever. the more i have been able to let go, the better i feel. and i have really let go, just going to bed and forgetting it all. and i only have one ds. i can imagine the intensity with two. my dh aslo works at night and i often feel abandoned to take care of the whole night routine by myself.

rage is scary, it has scared me how much i have, it is good to get it out.
post #15 of 1766
Thoughts I have often scare me... the anger in them... because of a very specific and spiritual experience I had in November, I have come to believe that the majority of the truly scarry thoughts I've had (especially when PPDed) were not my own. I believe there are MANY evil/angry spirits around everyone... and their anger is such that they want us all to be angry and sad and hurting and any other neg emotion. So, they yell at us... whisper, talk, etc. constantly... and most people are sensitive enough that they 'hear' it as a thought. This realization has helped me a bit. I still feel the anger and have to really hold myself back from yelling... but it's helped because I can remember that it may very well originate elsewhere and I can MUCH more easily let go of the bad feelings. I can imagine that this all might sound a little hokey... but it's what I've come to believe after YEARS of anger issues that felt and seemed totally seperate from me and my experience.
post #16 of 1766
Thread Starter 
yeah I guess it does sound hocky but it also strikes a cord within. I would be interested in hearing more about your ideas and experiences. I often wonder how the anger can come from nowhere and it is always worse when I am alone with the boys . . . even when things are going well and they are being sweeties.

post #17 of 1766
[QUOTE=bleurae] I just got this new book "Time-Out for Parent's: A Guide to Compassionate Parenting" by Cheri Huber.
I am not even through the book but have actually seen some shifts in myself since starting it, and that does not often happen with me.

I will look for this at the library, I seem to be fighting the raging she-bitch Mother too. I love my children and practiced GD before I even knew it was a method. I was raised in a lope sided family, Dad was the GD parent Mom was the hitter/name caller. Now that I'm older, I undertand my Mothers frustrations as an overworked SAHM. Couple that with the alcoholism, things could be tense at home. I agree that identifying your triggers and then finding a way to deal with them might be the ticket. For me, it's discord. Arguing, fighting, name calling drives me nuts. Even when I see that they are enjoying these interactions, it upsets me. Yes, it's me putting my stuff on my kids and I realize that. I just feel like this stuff can get out of control and boy do we have limited control!

I vented, I hijacked and now I'm done
Thank You for sharing your stories, I really needed to hear them, especially after today. I'm starting to feel human again too.
post #18 of 1766
I too feel this way. Especially since my daughter was born. Not because of her but because of my son. He is kinda high-needs. If he doesn't have your attention then he is into stuff. Mostly he is bad when I am nursing dd and I don't want to get up and chase him around so I yell. I can't stand him sometimes and I really need to fix this before it gets worse. I too was in a semi-abusive house. My mom and dad split when I was 2. He used to molest me and my mom used to yell at me all the time. She never had time for me. So, now I live with my mom again and she still has no time for me or for my children now. Dh and I plus the kids will be moving out soon so that will help. I just have awful thoughts and I too feel such rage. It is good to know I am not alone. I am going to go look for that book right now. Thanks.
post #19 of 1766
This thread is really interesting to me. There seems to be some commonalities about this rage (I feel it to, not just here to analyze everyone else) -
1) older child/newer child combo, generally toddler/baby
2) being distracted by doing something else not necessarily toddler/baby related
3) the rage comes out of nowhere and feels like something outside ourselves
4) family history of not dealing with children well/appropriately (ie how we are raised is what we know)

The thing is for me that I can watch this happening. I can hear the words coming out of my mouth as I am screaming and see me grab DS1 forcibly and know it is wrong, that there are other choices that I should be making. And yet, I feel powerless to stop it. It is as if I get tunnel vision. I can only see my anger and I have to let it out. I can't seem to stop in mid-sentence and even when I do, the anger just sits there bubbling rather than getting it out of my head like when I yell.

I have been trying to pin this on something for awhile now:
- Is it PPD? Hormones? Depression? I have been taking all sorts of vitamins and tried progesterone cream, but it doesn't seem to be an exact correlation. I try to battle depression, but it just doesn't always seem exactly there. I'm not always bummed out, sometimes I'm quite happy, actually.

- Do I need more time away from the children; more me time? I get out regularly, though often with the baby. It's gotten to about once a week for a couple of hours I can go have dinner with a girlfriend by myself with no children.

- Do I need more information under my parenting belt in order to GD? I read Unconditional Parenting and really feel good about the ideas. Sometimes I read it just to get them back in my head. Knowing better does not seem to necessarily equal doing better, however - the rage still comes.

- Am I trying to do to much? This is a really key point, I think. The more I try to do, the more likely it is that I will encounter a rageful moment. The outer chaos I create or allow to happen by attempting to get something done (focus on paying bills, for instance whilst DS1 tears the house apart, or some small project like putting photos in an album or making breakfast even) creates an inner chaos where if DS1 starts hassling me to do something or talking rapidly and emotionally in his 3.5-year-old-speak I can go over the edge in seconds as I find myself totally overwhelmed. And yet, these situations are unavoidable. I must do the things I need to do. How and when I do them can of course be varied, but oftentimes there are good times to start projects yet by the end chaos has erupted, which is difficult to predict. I really can't be sooo perfect and organized as to be able to drop anything in order to avoid chaos. I just don't think it's possible to completely avoid these situations. I don't think I'd ever get anything done if I tried.

Am I making excuses here to not fix problems? I don't think so. I have tried. I have been trying. I made yesterday be-nice-to-Aleks day and it really worked out quite well. Making a concerted effort to not get angry and having that in the forefront of my mind seemed to help. I had a cheery disposition all day, for the most part, and even when I didn't, I avoided rage (which has been in full supply, of late) and was able to explain displeasure in an appropriate manner. I don't know if I could really keep that up though. It wasn't hard at all, but I don't always wake up sunshine and roses, nor should that be expected.

I was thinking that there must be a way to funnel the energy elsewhere somehow. Perhaps mommy time-outs should be mandatory at times. Unfortunately, toddlers tend to not settle for closed doors and angry-looking mamas. They want to know what's up; what they're missing. I think I do take those sometimes.

It just starts to feel so overwhelming when I have these up-and-down days where I'll rage and yell and then calm down and feel fine and then as soon as I start trying to do anything at all, be it lounge on the computer or fold a load of laundry, things fall apart all over again. And then the whole world feels like a mess and my whole life feels so completely awful. All the terrible thoughts creep in and that bummed-out feeling overpowers everything.
post #20 of 1766
I have found (with the help of my therapist) is that my trigger is guilt. I feel guilty for yelling, so I sink further into the depression that I've been fighting for the last several months, and so, I feel worse, so I have less energy and creativity to deal with normal stuff and so I yell more, and feel more guilty...and sink further, and it's this downward spiral that I couldn't seem to get out of.

I do think that a lot of my issues come from trying to separate how I was raised with how I'm raising my children. I grew up feeling unworthy and unloved. So, when I look at my children's faces crumble when I raise my voice, I immediately think "Oh, he/she feels like I don't love them" When in reality and logically, I know that isn't true...I feel overcome by the guilt I feel for making them (in my mind) feel like they are unworthy of my love. It's I know, but it's there, always, in the back of my mind. So the guilt can be crushing.

I am working on when I first feel guilty or angry, I look at it more closely. Is what I am feeling appropriate? Is it reasonable? Usually, it isn't. And just admitting that to myself, I am able to look at the situation more clearly. Instead of getting furious because the girls decided that it would be appropriate to dump a bottle of Hershey's strawberry milk mix all over the kitchen/diningroom/bathroom floors : I realized that my anger was from my own guilt for leaving them alone to play with that, while I was browsing on MDC yesterday morning. : And so, it completely diffused the situation because I was no longer angry with them...and my guilt, in that situation was reasonable. But I didn't yell. So I had no reason to feel guilty or angry towards them. Did that make any sense?
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