You yelled at your kids. Again.
You didn’t mean to speak so harshly, but the words fell out of your mouth in an angry blaze and there seemed to be no stopping them.
Besides, that child really got you MAD! You had a great reason to yell!
And yet… bottom line, you know that your anger flare up wasn’t right.
Now you’re left with this horrible mix of:
- justification (“They deserved to hear those words!”),
- guilt (“I’m setting a terrible example for my kids.”),
- condemnation (“That was a really awful thing to say.”),
- self-loathing (“I’m horrible for treating my kids that way.”) and
- hopelessness (“I want to change, but I have no idea how to break this cycle.”).
And the longer the cycle continues, the more out of control you feel, right?
Oh, I have been there, dear momma!
As a mom to four passionate and feisty little ones, I have responded in anger many, many times when I shouldn’t have.
And I understand that heavy burden that still remains inside a mom (even after she’s asked for forgiveness and everyone else has moved on).
You want freedom–freedom from the condemning guilt, and freedom from mommy anger itself.
Totally get it!
Here's how I want to help:
- I want you to see that you're not alone in this. Every mom struggles here.
- I want to explain the difference between conviction and condemnation (critical to getting freedom here!)
But first, we need to get something straight…
Faced with Mommy Anger Guilt? Start Here
First, we need to come to terms with this: Anger isn’t going away. At least not completely.
We can make great progress in limiting anger, but we are imperfect people and anger triggers will still continue to plague us.
Second, I want you to understand and accept that this is a process, and processes take time and patience.
Dealing with anger starts with a decision to make a lifestyle change.
And while, yes, that lifestyle change includes new ways to deal with anger triggers and how we process in-the-moment anger, it also includes re-framing how we deal with the guilt when we still do get angry.
Conviction Versus Condemnation: The Critical Difference
When faced with mommy anger, it's vital that we learn to accurately assess the type of emotional response we're encountering.
We need to determine if we're feeling God's conviction or our own condemnation.
There's a huge difference between the two. Conviction is a helpful step on the road to emotional/spiritual health; and condemnation is a destructive wildfire that leads us down a dark, hopeless path toward despair.
Conviction is God's healthy way to encourage us toward change; while condemnation is a negative, destructive thought pattern that seeks to destroy and undermine our self-confidence.
Conviction is God's way of directing His children back onto the right path. It's that gentle discipline that we give our kids when we see them doing the wrong thing. Just like a parent guiding a wayward child, the conviction of God reminds us of what's true, and guides us toward a new way of thinking.
Think of conviction as correction with hope.
Condemnation, however, is a chastising that leads to shame and hopelessness. It's not grace-filled and without positive solutions for change. Condemnation seeks to kill and destroy and not to offer a new opportunity to live differently.
Condemnation is harsh discipline without the power of hope.
Last, I want to ask you a important question (Don't miss this)…
What will be your response when faced with mommy anger guilt?
Mommy Anger Guilt Requires a Response
We do need to listen to God’s conviction regarding our actions (He doesn’t want us to sin in our anger and his conviction is meant to correct our behavior). Listening to God's spirit of conviction is an important aspect of knowing how to follow God. Please hear me on this point!
When those changes are not made (or when we become impatient with our process to change), it's very easy for our emotions to fester into self-condemnation.
That's why when we feel conviction we need to be quick to respond. The first lesson God teaches us as children is to trust and obey because if we can make this a habit, we can short-circuit future pain and problems that stem from not listening to God.
But condemnation? That, my friend, we need to kick to the curb because it's not helpful or productive. It breeds self-doubt and destroys confidence.
Often there's not a mysterious force that brings on the condemnation (although the Bible does speak of a very-real enemy that wants to hurt and destroy God's children). I don't want to underestimate the enemy's desire to hurt us in this manner; however, I also don't want to give Him credit for things that He may not be doing.
The bottom line is that WE are often the source of our own condemnation.
We all have baggage from our past and false ideas about ourselves that we must continually combat. All of these ideas are continually swirling around in our head and influencing how we process every aspect of our life.
They are our internal filter, and they can absolutely trigger condemnation when processing mommy anger.
Will You Tear Yourself Down Today or Build Yourself Up?
One of the most powerful (and convicting) scriptures for me is this one from Proverbs 14:1:
“A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands.”
We have a choice everyday as to how we will deal with the situations we're given. We can make a choice to learn from destructive behaviors (like mommy anger).
Option 1: We can let mommy anger change us through a spirit of conviction, and we can choose to stop condemnation in it's tracks and reframe it in the name of truth; or…
Option 2: We can ignore healthy conviction and choose to be dragged down the spiral of condemnation, which will lead to despair and more pain.
What will you do with the mommy anger guilt you're feeling? Will you listen to God's promptings in your heart to change? Or will you choose to let unresolved conviction sour into condemning thoughts?
I believe that these moments are really opportunities for growth and a chance to discover new ways to interact with anger in a healthy way.
I'll be praying that both of us can make the right choice to hope and healing when mommy anger strikes!
You may also like these other posts on anger: