The Mother Rage

Before I became a mum I used to suffer the occasional bad mood. Something trifling like my monthly pay packet being £10 too low – or a few dirty dishes left in the sink – could leave me cold. I would let the grumpiness envelope me like a warm black cloak, enjoying exercising the muscles in my forehead as I scowled for England.

And then I became a mother.

The Mother Rage is a whole new ball game. It takes the black cloak of grumpiness, throws it to the wind and replaces it with a clinging wetsuit, impossible to remove (especially when you have wobbly bits which cling to the unforgiving fabric).

Today I am donning the black mood wetsuit, after waking to find The Mother Rage had me in a vice-like grip.

It’s the wardrobe that collapsed in our bedroom last night, spewing out mountains and mountains of forgotten clothes all over the bed and floor. It’s the constant emails sitting in my inbox. It’s the poo which stubbornly continues to cause my child discomfort every few hours. It’s the (self-proclaimed) Northern Love Machine’s failure to put out the bins. It’s the washing’s refusal to dry. It’s the people I’ve been chasing for articles and meetings for the past week who haven’t got back to me. It’s the top on the medicine bottle which won’t bloody open. And it’s all the other people who are happy and smiling and on top of things, whose shining faces only serve to highlight the sourness of my own. Damn those smiling faces.

The Mother Rage cradles me in her arms and refuses to let me go.

The thing is, I know each and every one of the points which deepen my bad mood are only trivial things. But one trivial thing on top of another, on top of another, with the never-ending cycle of work / baby / messy home will keep The Mother Rage quite content for a good 24 hours.

And the most annoying aspect of The Mother Rage? The one thing which can guarantee to feed it for a further day?


It’s the (self-proclaimed) Northern Love Machine’s fault. It’s the baby’s fault. It’s the stupid medicine bottle’s fault. It’s the wardrobe’s fault. It’s Gmail’s fault.

It’s everyone else’s fault bar my own.

Except it’s not. It’s my own bloody fault for being such a perfectionist and such a rubbish juggler.

And that one point on its own is enough to keep The Mother Rage going a good few hours longer.



Filed under Being a mum

17 responses to “The Mother Rage

  1. I have total sympathy with you and I’m quietly smiling to myself that I’m not alone in this. It’s not one thing that makes me grumpy it’s every damn thing and sometimes just being grumpy makes me grumpy. I think another person might say chill out and don’t stress and things will get done when they get done. But from one grumpy perfectionist to another, harumph and a big fat raspberry to all unfinished jobs x

  2. A very chilled mother I know says she thinks of all the things she manage to get done in a day, and ignores the ones she doesn’t. Not sure I can be quite so Zen about the mess and chaos, though I do think Mother Rage is hugely sleep induced. I get so much more done when I haven’t ended up with one or more small boys snoring in my bed and kicking me throughout the night.

  3. I find my mothers rage gets worse on a Friday, beacuse I have this silly notion that weekends are for relaxing so try to cram everything into a Friday so I can ‘chill’ over the weekend. It never happens, I end up more stressed every week, and still end up runing around like a mad women all weekend! The only saving grace is, its Friday, I can put the kids to bed and open a very lovely bottle of wine!! 🙂

  4. I can so relate. I hope the rage releases its grip on you soon.

    Do you ever read “Lessons from Teachers & Twits”? I found today’s entry a great reminder for how to approach this struggle.

  5. The most revolting thing about Mother Rage (and god knows I have it regularly) is that you wake up angry, and you just know that the day is going to be crap, and lo and behold, it is. The mother rage doesn’t like being alone – so it shares its malevolence which in turn causes ‘angry children’ which in turn causes more ‘angry mother’. And the cycle continues until such a time that you wake up and sun rays fill you again and you wonder who the awful bitch was who was living in your house the day before.

  6. The only cure for the mother rage is a night out with friends. Hand this prescription to the NLM and off you go. x

  7. If its any consolation I am the same, I just don’t have time to do everything I need to. My house is a tip, the ironing pile is about to encroach on my bed and my ‘to do’ list gets longer everyday…and it makes me cross 😦

    Shall we just go out and get drunk? x

  8. I am a rageaholic these days. If I am pre-menstrual then things are even worse. My house is always a mess and I can never get anything done and it is all my OHs fault obviously! Raaaaaahhhhhhh

  9. I know how this feels. I’ve been in it a few times this past week. I’m not sure how you stop yourself from perfectionism but Kate’s “prescription” sounds like it’s well worth a go!

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