The last thing you expect to feel as a new mom is angry. But, stress and frustration can easily build as you try to secure your footing in this new world of motherhood. All of these emotions can be overwhelming and may trigger feelings of anger. Because you are now in charge of a tiny, helpless human being, it is very important to find ways to cope with anger as a new mom.
There are plenty of things that made me angry when I was a new mom. A solicitor ringing the doorbell just as I was putting my baby down for a nap. My husband forgetting to take out the long string of "diaper sausages" from my supposedly "stink-free" diaper pail. Unexpected visitors when I just wanted to stay in my nursing nightgown and hospital socks all day.
But, for some new moms their anger runs deep. Maybe they are parenting on their own, and not by choice. They could be estranged from their relatives, which can be much harder to deal with when you have a new baby. They could be dealing with personal health issues, or a baby with health issues. Regardless of what makes you angry as a new mom, here are some ways to cope.
1. Write It Down
One way to cope with anger is to let it out. For me, that means writing it in my journal. I vent and say all the things I wouldn't dare say aloud. In my journal I can curse someone out, repeat the same things over and over again, and make terrible points. Grammar and spelling? None of it matters, because it's just for me. By the time I am finished writing, I feel like my mind and heart are 10 times lighter.
2. Talk To A Friend
If you have a friend who's also recently had a baby, you are probably both going through a lot of the same things. Sometimes sharing stories and bouncing problems off of each other will help you see them in a new light. You can also learn coping strategies from each other.
Exercise does wonders for emotional problems, and strengthens your body, to boot. According to Psychology Today, exercise even has a prophylactic effect against anger, meaning if you exercise before doing something that makes you angry, it won't affect you so negatively.
4. Fix The Smaller Problems
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), anger is caused by problems in our lives that often have simple solutions. Rather than continue to get upset, fix what's wrong and you will have one less cause for anger. For example, if it triggers your anger to have to walk upstairs to change your baby's diaper, keep a stash of diapers, wipes, and a changing pad downstairs.
5. Change Your Scenery
The APA recommended temporarily changing your environment in order to cope with your anger. Step outside, go for a drive, grab a cup of coffee. Sometimes all you need is a few minutes away from a stressful situation in order to recharge and clear your head.
6. Take Deep Breaths
Even when you can't step away to clear your head, you can always take deep relaxing breaths. According to the APA, deep breathing and relaxing imagery can help calm down angry feelings. This is something you can try while nursing, in the car while running errands, or anytime you begin to have feelings of anger.
It's not uncommon as a new mom to become angry with her partner. Sometimes it's for valid reasons, and other times it's because you feel like they can't or don't pull enough weight with the baby. According to Health, one of the healthiest ways to cope with anger is to forgive. Forgiveness can help you stop reliving those feelings over and over again.