Modern motherhood is difficult, and that’s not news to anyone who’s become a mom over the past couple of decades.
It’s stressful from the moment you find out you’re pregnant. Then there’s the sleep deprivation of the baby phase – that can last long into the toddler years and even beyond. There are the learning and school issues of the young kid years, and all the teen angst of the adolescent years. Then there’s the pressures to succeed and excel during the high school and college years, and the worries that do not end (sorry!) when your kids become young adults out on their own.
The emotional toll of motherhood and the ridiculous expectations that society sets can make all of us feel “mom rage” at times. We may not like to admit it out loud, but there are days when we just want to scream into the void and escape all of our responsibilities, because it’s all JUST. TOO. MUCH.
No matter what age your kids are, and whether you’ve ever lashed out at your child or partner or not, I highly recommend the book Mom Rage: The Everyday Crisis of Modern Motherhood by Minna Dubin. The writer describes how society tells mothers that we aren’t supposed to be angry. Still, she admits she was an angry mom – exhausted by the grueling, thankless work of full-time parenting and the feeling that her career was slipping away. She would find herself frustrated and screaming at her child or exploding at her husband.
“When Dubin eventually pushed past her shame and talked with other mothers about how she was feeling, she realized that she was far from alone. Mom Rage is Dubin’s groundbreaking work of reporting about an unspoken crisis of anger sweeping the country—and the world. She found that while a specific instance of rage might be triggered by something as simple as a child who won’t tie her shoes, the roots of the anger go far deeper, from the unequal burden of childcare shouldered by moms to the flattening of women’s identities once they have kids.”
So, if you’ve ever found yourself ruminating on thoughts like, “Why did I even get a college degree to now be sitting here cleaning up mac and cheese from the floor every day?” or “How will I ever stop feeling like a failure trying to juggle my job with having to drive my kid all over the place every other night for practices?” – this book is one you need to read.
Every mom out there will be able to relate to the feelings expressed in this thought-provoking book, and it delves into topics like mom guilt, self-care, cultural pressures to be ‘good mothers’, and the powerful negative emotions that often come with parenting – especially in today’s competitive, modern world. It’s important to note that the book also includes a helpful section called “Nineteen Steps Partners of Mothers Can Take Toward a More Equitable Division of Labor (and Alleviate Your Spouse’s Mom Rage in the Process).
Minna Dubin draws on insights from moms across the spectrum of race and class, and she offers practical tools to help readers disarm their rage in the moment, while never losing sight of the broader social change we need so that we can stop raging for good.
This book will help every mom understand that our anger is not a moral failing. It’s a compassionate reminder that there are so many social forces that drive mothers to feel rage about their role as a mom, and that there are societal and situational solutions that can help all of us.
I invite you to check it out.
(The author received a free advanced reader copy of the book)