The shame of mummy rage

It happened again the other day.

It hit so suddenly I didn’t even realise what had happened until it was over. The wave of rage that sweeps over me when it’s all got too much. When it’s been too many requests for food/comfort/drinks/a book/sleep/going out one after the other and even at the same time. When I’ve not managed to get one simple thing that I wanted to do done today. When the word “Mummy” has been screamed for the thousandth time in a row. When I was just about to get that sit-down I’ve been desperate for all day but the baby chose right that second to snap wide awake and scream for me. When the cat has just clattered through the flap and is miaowing for dinner.

I lost it, just for a second, and I screamed: “Will you just shut up!!?” at my two-year-old.

My toddler doesn’t know asking the same question incessantly while I’m trying to hold an important conversation is annoying.

She doesn’t understand why flinging the sofa cushions on the floor for the 134th time so far today might be pushing things too far.

She doesn’t know how frustrating it is trying to get out the door on time while she’s refusing to put on her shoes.

She doesn’t get that a huge tantrum in the supermarket is mentally exhausting to handle.

She doesn’t get why I don’t want to read her a book right this second having just sat down and put my feet up after a long day out.

She doesn’t know that at 7pm I’m hoping for some me time and so would really appreciate her just drifting quietly off to sleep without any help from me.

My baby doesn’t know crying out for mummy for the fourth time in a row at night is driving mummy insane with sleep deprivation.

She doesn’t know that it’s bad timing to do an epic up-the-back poo just as she’s been strapped into her car seat.

She doesn’t know that I can’t hold her all the time because there’s washing to be hung up and dinner to be cooked.

She doesn’t know that I’m trying my best to get her home for food but I can’t drive any faster without breaking a few laws.

She doesn’t know that I’m not a human pacifier, that having her attached to my boob throughout the night is not an option.

My children don’t yet understand why everything they want cannot be done at the drop of a hat.


They don’t understand that mummy is not a superhero. That I have emotions that are frayed and strung tight as a wire through lack of sleep and the general feeling of being overwhelmed at having two little people depending on me so much.

I should be able to show infinite patience for my children. To be the calm in the storm. I wish I could remind myself of this in those moments when the rage takes hold. But it’s like something breaks inside of me and a tidal wave of emotion has to escape somehow.

In the immediate aftermath of those moments I feel like the worst parent in the world. What sort of person speaks to their toddler in that way?

But then I remind myself, I am not a superhero.

I’m a human being. A human being who puts herself last 99 per cent of the time. A human being who has not slept properly for more than seven months. A human being who loves her children with every fibre of her being.

And so I hold my head up high and hold my children close to me. They have forgotten my outburst already, it’s as if it never even happened.

And once again I am the calm in the storm as I plough on with coping with the next tantrum, the next demand.

If you have ever been there mama, please know that you are not alone.


Lucy At Home

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  • I love this post because it is one that I know EVERY mother can relate to. I don’t know of a single mother who has never lost her cool. I think it’s a right of passage to some extent. We do learn from our kids as much as we teach them. I do believe they teach us how to be patient in the long run.

  • Damn right you are a super hero. All Mum’s (and Dads) can relate to this post. It’s so heart felt and honest. It’s a comfort to know we are all part of one big club. I’m still hoping that a regular 8 hour sleeping pattern will change the way I feel on some days. It’s been 4 years now though so I’m not holding out too much hope! #brillblogposts

  • You ARE a superhero in MY book. You’re also real. Thanks for sharing these raw feelings: I do relate. Although I don’t have my own kids, I’m stepmom to 3 (half the time) and there are TIMES when I feel pushed to the limit, particularly during the summer months. I have literally clapped a hand over my mouth and gone out to vigorously pull weeds in the garden or take a brisk walk (each time feeling lucky that I made it out the door before the outburst reached full force!).

  • It happens to the best of us. I shouted at my daughter the other day after I got tired of her whining, but of course that only upset her and made things worse. It can be so hard to keep it together when you’re sleep deprived/stressed/just needing a break. #BlogCrush

  • Thank you, for reminding me that I’m NOT the only one who snaps from time to time, then feels incredible guilt at doing so. We’re just human. #BlogCrush

  • This post really resonated with me. We know that our children (usually) don’t do it on purpose, but sometimes it just all gets too much. Then we yell. Then we feel the guilt. I have been through this cycle so many times. I desperately try to keep calm, but there are days when it’s just too much. I love the honesty in this post, and be assured that you’re not alone. x #blogcrush

  • I think a moment of rage is completely understandable, it’s a human emotion and teaching your kids how you handle it in the aftermath will teach them how to handle their own rage in future. #BlogCrush

  • Oh I feel this! Especially now it’s the school holidays. Mine just bicker all the time. It’s driving me crazy! We’ve all been there I think. Sometimes I’m actually amazed I manage to answer so calmly so many times before the last straw! #blogcrush xx

  • Yes I’ve been there and it’s horrible. Children – especially very young ones – don’t even see us as people. They live in a bubble of their own priorities and it’s tough to see the world from the perspective of a tiny dictator. My eldest is 3 now and I am starting to get him to see things from my point of view. E.g the other night I was tidying his toys and he said: “Play with me daddy” for the xxth time. I replied: “Well can you see I’m tidying up your toys – maybe if you help me it will be done quicker. Daddy is very tired.” And he said “OK!” and helped me. There is hope! #blogcrush

    • It is tough. Nice that your boy is starting to recognise other people’s feelings. They’re all instinct at this early age. I know my kids just don’t understand and I bet they will be little angels when they’re older, most of the time! Thanks for reading

  • Yes my lovely you are a superhero! So many of us will read this and totally get it – we’ve all been there. Everyone has their limits sometimes and combined with sleep deprivation it’s a wonder that we don’t self combust! Well done for speaking about this so beautifully honestly xx #blogcrush

  • Absolutely we are pretty dam amazing, after all we deal with a lot of crap, and yes they don’t know, but still it is exhausting. So we are pretty fab I think. I love this post, such a great read that I think most parents will totally relate to! #blogcrush

  • Oh, we have all been there. We have all crossed that line, heard that last wine that broke the camels back. Give yourself a break, a deep breath, and know that you really are a super hero! #BlogCrush xo

  • Oh you are so not alone on this one. I am generally a really calm relaxed person so I have a lot of patience with my kids BUT I do fall victim of mummy rage quite regularly. It is so hard when the kids are being so demanding and you are exhausted not to get a bit ragey. God I always feel so guilty whenever I shout at my eldest that sometimes we both end up crying and saying sorry. You are a superman lovely, none of us are perfect and like you said, the kids never remember the time mummy lost it, they remember all the happy times xx #blogcrush

  • I can definitely relate, so many times I snap and then remind myself that they don’t think like adults, they don’t understand and nor should they x

  • Hate that I’ve done this to both my daughters (age 2 and 1) but it’s all part of this thing called motherhood. May God give us more and more patience whenever we run out of it. Lol.

  • I wrote a post almost identical to this. It’s so true. Well done you for speaking out about what many mothers go through xxx