Last night as I was in the midst of rage cleaning the house, my husband tentatively asked me, “Are you ok?”
I looked him dead in the eyes and sighed, “No, I’m not ok.” Because I’m not. I’m exhausted.
I spent the weekend with a houseful of guests, preparing and serving endless meals. Add to that volunteering at a school fundraiser for the better part of a day, running around trying to find supplies for a final school project for one kid, tending to the broken heart of another kid, doing laundry, grocery shopping, answering a thousand requests of “where is…?” and “mom, mom, mom, mom, mom,” and not ever having a moment to myself to breathe and I was DONE.
All the exhaustion, mental, physical, and emotional, finally caught up and manifested itself into a good old heaping dose of mom rage.
But not JUST rage. Add in a side order of guilt and self-loathing.
Because I should be able to handle ALL of it, right? I should be grateful for this life. I should be happy. And I am.
The rage still simmers. Why?
And then I saw a TikTok about mom rage that is going viral and it all makes sense.
Libby Ward, the woman and mother behind Diary of an Honest Mom, took to TikTok to share her hot take on mom rage and it’s a message all moms need to hear.
Because maybe it’s NOT mom rage. Maybe, just maybe, it’s a valid reaction to the unattainable expectations we are all drowning under.
Ward starts off her video, saying:
“Maybe it’s not mom rage.
Maybe it’s mom is doing everything for everyone and having less of her needs met than anybody else in the house, all while society tells her to calm down and shut up because this is motherhood and “you chose this anger.””
And honestly, I’ve never felt so seen.
Yes, motherhood is amazing. It is a journey of overwhelming love and joy. it’s also rife with frustration, loneliness, a deep sense of inadequacy, and the all-consuming task of carrying the weight of our children’s worlds on our shoulders.
But sssshhhh….don’t say it out loud. Don’t dare admit that you don’t love every single second of motherhood.
Because if you do? “You’re ungrateful.” “You shouldn’t have had kids.” “What did you expect?” “You chose this.” “Stop complaining.”
Ward goes on to explain that the anger we feel is valid and necessary. Let that sink in for a moment. It’s VALID.
“We need to stop treating all anger from women and moms as if it’s a mental health issue.
We’re allowed to be angry about things that are unfair and unequal.”
YES, WE ARE.
Society has given us an impossible standard to achieve.
We are told to:
“Work like you have no kid. Mother like you don’t have a job. Carry the entire mental load. Be the default parent.”
To top it off, we’re supposed to do all of this without adequate support. We can have it all. Do it all. Be it all. Oh, and by the way, you’re on your own. Good luck with that.
Our society expects us to handle everything, and yet, we have “inaccessible childcare option, lack of maternity leave, unequal access to health care,” just to name a few of the barriers we’re up against.
Not to mention, we’re expected to shoulder all of this without ever needing a break.
So where does this leave us? Where do we fit on the never-ending to-do list? Are we even on the list?
Because SELF-CARE, ya’ll. Don’t even get me started.
Ward goes on to say that even while being expected to do it all, the work of motherhood is grossly undervalued. But if you complain about it, you’re overreacting:
“Being expected to do it all and never need a break and simultaneously having all the work you do be undervalued by society and the people in your house and then be gaslit by society into making you feel like you’re overracting for being upset.”
And yet…the reasons you’re upset are VALID. No matter what society would like you to believe. There are a million reasons why you should be upset.
You’re exhausted. You’re undervalued. You feel invisible, unappreciated, unsupported, and overwhelmed. You are constantly putting yourself DEAD LAST.
Ward ends her post with these words:
“You’re upset cause you’re exhausted and you’re tired because it’s tiring. It’s not a character flaw, it’s a social issue that needs to be fixed.”
And all the mothers said, “Amen.”
The video is resonating with moms everywhere. It has gone viral with over 1.3M views, 217K likes, and 6K comments.
I think we all needed this today. Because guess what? There’s nothing wrong with us. It’s okay to admit that sometimes motherhood is overwhelming, exhausting, and feels too much to bear.
Because it is.
Motherhood is hard. And we are all struggling. And that rage you sometimes feel? Is real and borne out of multiple factors, including stress, ANXIETY, and unfair expectations.
It doesn’t mean we’re less-than. It doesn’t mean we’re failing.
It just means we’re mothers. Mothering in a world that still, so often, fails us.