The Internet is Divided Over How This Mom Handles Anger on Challenging Days with Her Toddler

A TikTok video showcasing a mom’s creative way of relieving stress during challenging days with her toddler has gone viral, accumulating over 15.4 million views. In the video, she can be seen tossing ice cubes into a bathtub as a means of relaxation.

Jennifer, a 23-year-old poster (@livingthrulove), shared her experience as a new mom and revealed her biggest challenge: managing her anger. The part-time bookseller from South Carolina explained to Newsweek that she never used to be an easily overwhelmed or angry person until she became a mother. In a video caption, Jennifer referred to hurling ice cubes in anger as a form of therapy. The clip has gained nearly 2 million likes online.

According to a survey conducted by Pew Research Center in fall 2022, it was found that 62% of the 3,757 U.S. parents with children under 18 stated that being a parent had been more challenging than they initially anticipated. Out of this percentage, 26% acknowledged that it had been significantly more difficult.

Jennifer acknowledged that being a parent carries significant responsibility and, along with it, the potential for stress and frustration. She acknowledged that children can push their parents to their limits and test their patience. Jennifer admitted that she strives to be a perfect parent for her daughter but recognizes that she is only human and can lose her composure when pushed too far.

After dealing with her toddler’s usual behaviors like tantrums, defiance, and fussing for several days, Jennifer confessed that she has an urge to throw ice.

Taking care of a child almost 24/7 can be quite taxing on anyone. It’s similar to any demanding job – there are days when you absolutely love it, and there are days when you can’t help but dislike it. Certain days can be particularly challenging, and it’s during those times when my patience tends to wear thin.

Jennifer explained that she shared the video of ice-throwing with the intention of supporting other parents who may be facing similar challenges. She has been sharing content related to motherhood for years to create a sense of solidarity among mothers who may feel hesitant to openly discuss the difficult aspects of parenting. By being open and honest about her own experiences, Jennifer hopes to create a space where other mothers feel understood and supported. She emphasized that motherhood is an incredibly tough responsibility, and no one should have to face it alone.

“I rarely throw ice. Lately, I’ve only resorted to this behavior when I’ve accumulated a lot of anger and become completely overwhelmed,” she explained.

Jennifer, who prefers not to disclose her last name, mentioned that she has experimented with various techniques like meditation and breathing exercises to cope with her frustration. However, according to her, nothing compares to the satisfaction she feels when she throws ice.

“I’ve found that throwing ice has been incredibly cathartic,” she shared. “While other techniques have helped me manage my emotions, throwing ice has given me the opportunity to fully experience and release my emotions in a safe and controlled manner.”

What Did the Expert Say?

Ana Aznar, a child psychologist and founder of REC Parenting, an online platform supporting parents and caregivers, discussed the video with Newsweek. According to Aznar, “mom rage” describes the intense feelings of anger and frustration that parents often experience, which are typically triggered by the demands of parenting.

According to Aznar, the experience of identity crisis is more common among women when they become mothers, as their entire sense of self undergoes a transformation. However, it is important to note that this crisis can be encountered at any point during the journey of parenting.

“Many women often experience mom rage, a common occurrence that can lead to feelings of guilt and shame. It’s crucial to understand that motherhood is a complex journey filled with mixed emotions. While we may deeply love our children, we can also have moments of intense anger, boredom, or resentment. These emotions do not define us as bad mothers.”

Aznar, however, does not particularly appreciate the technique used by Jennifer for two specific reasons.

According to Aznar, simply throwing ice cubes around is not an effective way to address anger issues. Instead, it is important to delve into the underlying reasons behind the intense anger and identify which needs are not being met. By understanding the root causes, one can then begin to work on resolving them. Aznar also emphasizes that techniques like throwing ice cubes or screaming into a pillow are ineffective and can actually exacerbate the situation. Research has shown that these methods may even make individuals more aggressive.

According to Aznar, it is important for mothers to keep a journal of their emotions and seek guidance from a counselor. This can be helpful in managing emotions in a positive way.

TikTok Reacts

The video has garnered an impressive 30,000 comments, with the top comment receiving an astounding 253,000 likes. The comment applauds the mother’s ability to express her anger in a healthy manner that does not negatively impact her child. It recognizes the significance of postpartum rage and acknowledges her exemplary parenting skills.

Another user expressed that postpartum rage is a common experience and emphasized that those who haven’t had children may not fully understand it. They also shared that they are currently going through it themselves.

“I experienced such intense postpartum rage. It wasn’t directed towards my baby, but I found myself furious at everything else around me,” expressed another individual.

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