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a mom's battle with anger

April 24, 2008

I didn’t want to write about this. I still don’t. It is far too personal and revealing, and I can’t help but think about all the eyes I will encounter after this is published. But I’ve realized in recent conversations with girlfriends that I am not the only woman struggling with this. Many, if not all, women fight the same battle every month. Yes, I am talking about those dreaded hormonal changes that have become known as PMS. I can already hear what you are thinking… “I can’t believe you are blogging about this!” Seriously, I can’t believe it either.

I think PMS actually stands for Psycho Mommy Syndrome, because for one week out of every month the “good mommy” goes on vacation and she is replaced with some horrible woman who didn’t even want kids anyway, and who gets angry at just the sound of little feet running around the room. For one week out of every month, I can’t think of a single nice thing to say to anyone. In fact, I suddenly become an expert at being mean and nasty. If a child comes to my room in the middle of the night, I would normally say “what is it sweetie?” But for that one week, I am more likely to scream at them until they run from the room in tears. 

Only in the last couple years did I realize that psycho mommy had something to do with my hormones. For a while I thought maybe I was bipolar or something. I was sure that there was something horribly wrong with me. There have been many times that I’ve sat praying and crying begging God to just take me out of this world and give my kids a decent mom. I quit praying that prayer when it occurred to me that most likely my replacement would occasionally be a psycho too. When I first made the connection I was relieved that it wasn’t my fault. I was not a monster after all. But in the same moment I realized that it was also not something I could grow out of or fix. It is very likely that psycho mommy will visit regularly until long after my children are grown, and for their sake, I have to do something about it.

I’ve thought about taking medications, going to therapy, and becoming wealthy enough that I could just hire a babysitter and go to a hotel for a week every month. But I don’t think any of that is what God has in mind. It occurred to me that God made me this way. He makes all women this way. I don’t really think it is fair, but whatever. God is God. But if God did this, then maybe there is a reason. What if this is an opportunity for me to grow spiritually? Maybe He put this in the lives of women to remind us where we came from. That, like Eve, at our core we are sinners. It doesn’t matter how “good” we are, somewhere inside all of us a monster is lurking.

Albeit very slowly, I am learning to see this monthly battle as a chance to completely surrender to God. I know that on my own I am a psycho. It doesn’t matter how hard I try to control it, I am angry and mean and horrible. But I’ve decided to try an experiment. Every time I know psycho mommy is on her way, I am going to lock the doors. I will make an extra effort to fill my life with Christ, in what I listen to, what I read, and what I watch on TV. I will spend extra time in prayer, continually refocusing on Him. Just maybe God put this challenge in the lives of women as a continual reminder that we need to rely on Him.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. April 24, 2008 10:00 am

    I think we need a psycho mommy network where those who are not in psycho mommy mode can fervently pray for those who are 🙂 Seriously. Thanks for being candid.

  2. scrabblenut permalink*
    April 25, 2008 7:34 am

    Agreed!

  3. April 26, 2008 11:08 am

    Well, I experience this, too, even though I’m not a mommy yet…I go through PTS – Psycho Teacher Syndrome! You lose all patience, have no tolerance for things that you would normally think were cute, etc. I get it! Thanks for sharing & making the rest of us feel “normal” in our abnormalities 🙂

  4. Kim Smith permalink
    April 28, 2008 1:47 pm

    I am right there with ya! I know it is coming and I try to have this converstaion with myself. It goes something like this… ” Okay Kim you know it is coming so don’t worry that the house looks like a tornado. or just take a deep breathe when the kids are screaming your name for the 100th time and all you want to do is scream back.” I have a lot of conversations with myself to help calm me. (I do sound like a pyscho as much as I talk to myself.) For some reason most of the time it doesn’t work and stuff just comes out of me that on normal days wouldn’t.
    I agree with taking that time to focus even harder on our Savior. What an awesome realization that we can’t do this on our own.

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