Who knew motherhood would be so hard? As I laid my head upon the pillow, desperate for a peaceful night’s slumber my mind frantically began to race, waiting for the screaming to begin.
The kind that make your heart stop, all while beating wildly out of control all in the same moment. I flew out of bed in the dark, holding my breath. Once the screaming started, it would continue at times for an hour. Anger, rage, and feeling overwhelmed by motherhood became my daily bread.
desperation sets in
Three years ago we sold our house and all of our belongings, in hopes of a bigger, better dream in the country. We bought some property and moved into my in-laws cold, dark, and dreary basement. My oldest had just turned five, our middle was three, and little did we know that our third was nestled in my womb, smack dab in the middle of all the chaos.
Night after night, with no reprieve in sight my child’s inexpiable screaming was met by my own out of control rages. Swear words and spit flying out of my mouth, wild-eyed, screaming and yelling at this child. I took her by the shoulders and tried to shake the screaming out of her already terrified little body. I was desperate!
I was a walking anger bomb ready to explode at a moment’s notice. My mother-in-law finally had to say something to me.
lost without any answers
We frantically searched for answers. My husband worked nights and then slept during the day. I shuffled around in an exhausted stupor. I was on my own for most of the chaos.
The anger and rage burned hot like an inferno.
I reached out for advice. We were given all kinds of clever ways to “teach” our child. It was very well-intended but no less ineffective. Lock her in her room and she will learn that her attention seeking tactics won’t work. She needs more discipline, try spanking her. This went on for months, with my daughter’s condition only worsening.
It hurts to say this, but it became borderline abusive.
One night my husband and I took her outside in the middle of the night and placed our screaming child in the car, not knowing what else to do with her. Hopeless. She immediately stopped screaming when she saw a star falling through the sky.
I knew that was our sign.
Looking into her eyes nearly broke me. All I saw was an empty shell of fear and insecurity. I told my husband, “We’re losing her. We are all done spanking this child. I will find another way.”
I spent every spare second researching and finally stumbled upon night terrors. Night terrors are not the same as a nightmare by any means. We compounded the problem by causing her even more fear. I called my trusted mom mentor. I wish I would have gone to her first.
“Angie, go buy a chair and place it in the girl’s room. Every night the screaming starts, scoop that child up, and sit with her in the chair until the screaming stops. No matter how long it takes, you hold her until she feels safe again.”Valeria Amsing
Uncontrollable sobs escaped me as I sat in the dark, holding my little one. As I held her close through the wee hours of the night, my own heart exploded with motherly love. I realized I was never held for comfort growing up. I lost my mother at the same age my child was then. The nurturing of a mother’s love was something foreign to me.
Overcome by a sense of deep relief as we both felt held. I would wait patiently until I heard my child breathing deeply before gently placing her back into her bed. It took two straight weeks but they were the most peaceful weeks that we had known in months.
Motherhood is overwhelming, especially if you weren’t taught how to be a mom. We learn, then we grow. We haven’t spanked our children since. There are much better, more gentle ways to teach them.
Can I say I stopped yelling and screaming immediately? No, that took many more years to unravel. I still yell sometimes, but much less frequently than before. I lost my shit last night in a way that I haven’t in awhile. Grace reminds me of just how far we’ve come.
If you struggle with anger, rage, and feeling overwhelmed by motherhood, you’re not alone. You are not the only one.
Give yourself what the little girl in you needs.
God sees you mama. You are not a disappointment nor a failure. Motherhood is hard. It won’t always be this way. One day, they will be the ones losing sleep over us, cleaning up our messes, and changing our poopy diapers.
Want to learn more about grace-based parenting? This book was the beginning of helping me to understand the difference between consequences and punishment.
I also created a free guide of resources that helped me overcome my anger and rage if you sign up for my email.
What about you? Are there areas in your motherhood that you struggle with?