The pressures on mothers these days are endless. Health, cooking, cleaning, finances, work, and everything their child or children need on top of it. Mothers aren't getting enough sleep either, according to WebMD. Bottle it all up, and you have a prescription for stress, irritability, and snapping at the kids.
When mothers become overly stressed, they are in a prime position to unload and over-react, snapping at their kids. It has nothing to do with anything the children are "intentionally" doing. It is just a mass amount of built-up emotion that comes spewing out, and children tend to take the brunt of it, unfortunately.
Moms Get Upset With Their Kids
Temper tantrums in toddlers are one thing, but nobody really expects it to come from a mother. When it does, though, it's often very sudden, surprising, and explosive. It is not uncommon, so mothers who have done this and feel guilty of; they should know they are not alone. These are very real feelings and sometimes intense episodes of anger that moms who are overly stressed might feel.
According to The Journal of Family Psychology and Frontiers in Neuroscience, mothers who are highly sensitive (meaning they are very in touch with the feelings of others including their children) have even more difficulty with this. It is hard for them to be an effective parent when they have their own stress, and they pick up on their child's emotions too.
For example, a mom is in fight or flight mode, and now she just picked up all of her child's stressors too. It's difficult to stay calm when overwhelmed with so much emotion.
Everyone Feels Stress, How Is This Different
According to the Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, parenting stress is the distress you experience when you feel you just can't cope as a parent. The demands being placed on you are too high, and you don't have the resources to meet them.
Every single moment of a mother's day can be a possible trigger. There is no telling what will happen. Is she going to get a call from school? Is she going to wake up to a sick child? Is she going to need to work late? Every little thing feels not-so-little, says Ellen Kolomeyer, a perinatal mental health specialist. Moms might feel like they are crawling out of their skin, going to burst into tears, or both when they are escalated.
How To Tell If You Are Over Stressed
There are a lot of different reasons that moms can be stressed, but how does a mom know when she is taking on too much stress? How would she know if she is imbalanced and on the verge of a meltdown or burnout?
- Anxious For No Reason: Anxiety is an emotion which is characterized by feelings of worry, fear, and tension. It is often caused by a trigger, event, emotion, or thought which provokes an anxious response. Because many people are not aware of their triggers, they believe they have become anxious for no reason. Digging deeper into oneself will often lead to the root cause.
- Feelings Of Resentment Towards Family: This sounds worse than it is. Resentment describes a negative emotional reaction to being mistreated or feeling wronged, maybe taken advantage of by someone. When it comes to feeling this towards her family, it is typically because the mother is the default parent. She handles everything and is not feeling reciprocated.
- Trouble Concentrating: Having issues with concentration is one of the main signs of a generalized anxiety disorder, according to the Journal of Anxiety Disorders.
- Quit Doing Hobbies/Isolating: When people isolate themselves, it can be a sign of depression. Being overwhelmed and not able to handle it anymore can also cause a person to be isolated. The less they do, the less stress they will have.