When Anxiety Presents As Anger

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“I’ll never be a mom that yells all the time”

Those famous words, you hear them all the time. Usually said by women who aren’t moms yet. I was that person. And if I’m being honest, I wasn’t the mom that yelled a lot…when I had one child. My first child was easy going. On top of that, I worked full time, so I wasn’t around her 24/7.

Enter my second born. My firecracker, wild child. I started staying home full time during his pregnancy. After he was born, I suffered from horrible postpartum depression and anxiety. As he got older and mobile and into everything, I noticed the yelling happened more often.

Then we had a third baby, and a fourth, and with the addition of each kid, came more and more yelling. It took me until about a year ago to realize the yelling went hand and hand with my anxiety.

There would be days I would wake up anxious. Other days, the anxiety would creep in through the day. Add in quarantine and I found myself anxious and yelling more than I ever imagined. Most times, after a few hours of the kids not listening or constantly fighting, something seemingly minor would make me snap.

One day it all made sense. I realized that my anxiety presents as anger.

I had to take a step back and try to fix myself. I didn’t want to be a mom that yelled all the time. Don’t get me wrong, I still yell, but here are a few things I’ve found help calm my anxiety and cut back on my anger and yelling.

It’s okay to cry.

I’ll admit, I’m a crier. I cry when I’m happy, sad, mad, and you guessed it, anxious. It’s okay to cry and it’s time to normalize that. I’ve found, personally, getting in a good cry is an outlet for some of my anger. Let it all out, mama.

Get outside if you can.

A change of scenery can work wonders. Fresh air is healing for the soul. The kids can run around and get some energy out which helps both of us. Sitting in the fresh air helps clear my head and let’s me refocus. Some days it’s almost like a re-start to the day. When the weather isn’t so nice, I give the kids some screen time and take a nice hot shower. I find things like this get the kids away from me for a bit to help calm my anxiety.

Ask for help.

Reach out to a friend, family or even your significant other. Contact your doctor and discuss your options. You’re not weak for needing help. This parenting thing is hard. Add in anxiety and it’s even harder. You don’t have to be a superhero and do it all. In fact, I think it’s harder to ask for help than to not. Admitting that you are struggling might seem hard, but it can completely turn your day around. Sometimes a little company or a hot meal is all you need.

Apologize and give yourself grace.

Even if your child doesn’t quite understand. It never hurt anyone to apologize for your actions. A simple “I’m sorry for yelling” is all it takes. Then you move on and give yourself grace. We’re human, and we all have bad days. Dwelling on those bad days won’t help in the long run. Every minute is an opportunity to change the course of the day. Of course, some days the anxiety doesn’t go away, but tomorrow is always a new day. Another chance to learn and grow as a person and a mom.

Always remember that yelling doesn’t make you a bad mom. Dealing with anxiety doesn’t make you a bad mom. You’ve got this, I promise.

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Alyssa is a 30 year old stay at home mom and full time student who lives in Maumee, OH. She married her husband, Rob, in 2013 while living in Florida. After relocating and living in Minnesota for a year and a half, they moved and finally settled down in Northwest Ohio. She has four kids who keep her on her toes, Marley (7), Jude (5), Benny (3) and Cooper (1). They also have 2 cats and a goldendoodle puppy. She loves taking naps, watching reality TV and working out (at home, because...kids) in any free time she gets. Her hobbies include online shopping and scrolling Pinterest for new recipes that, at most, half of the kids will eat. She is a bit of a hot mess and her life is crazy, so follow along with the chaos on her instagram @alyjohnson1413

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