Growing up, I always fantasized about my life with my children. I never thought I would be the mom who yells or curses at her children. I envisioned I would be the gentle parent who always reacted calmly and never shamed my kids for accidents.
Then while in the midst of being postpartum with my fourth baby, it hit me. “Did I really just curse at my child for spilling their milk?” This was not me, this was not my parenting style. I felt so ashamed and worthless. Those feelings were enough to help me realize I needed help. Overcoming postpartum rage was not something I could overcome by myself.
Postpartum rage is different from regular anger. Being angry is a normal part of life, we all experience it from day to day. But postpartum rage is anger multiplied by 100. You feel out of control, and irrational, and every single thing your child or spouse does, lights the fire of anger within you. You know in your heart that you shouldn’t be acting in this manner, but your brain won’t let you.
I thought I failed. I just kept saying it over and over . . . I failed. I failed my kids, my husband, and myself.
Then, one day I realized I can’t do that to myself. I needed to give myself grace. I was freshly postpartum, I had three other children under the age of five, and it was harvest season and my husband was in the combine all hours of the day and night. That’s when I decided it was time for help. I reached out to my doctor, and we decided on a treatment plan. We decided on a combination of medication, counseling, and exercise.
Finally, some positive thoughts began to enter my mind. Now, as the days have gone on, I am finding new ways to cope with my postpartum rage. When I start feeling angry I give myself a “mom break.” Just a few minutes of uninterrupted time helps me clear my mind and focus on the good and moving forward from the bad. Sometimes all I need is to take a step back, take three deep breaths, and I am ready to move on. But the biggest change is I am finally giving myself some grace, and that is truly freeing.