I don’t know why I’m so angry

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

hi im not sure what is wrong with me and it really concerns me. i get angry and annoyed very quickly about small things and i try not to but it takes control over me and i dont know what to do. i yell at my son that is 2years old and i hate myself for that cause he doesnt know better. i get very angry or aggervated at my boyfriend alot on the smallest things like if he goes to the store without me and forgets something that i asked him to get.

i dont know if its because i am constanly stuck in the house 24/7 with my two boys(2years old and 8 month old) i have not been away from them from the day they were born. i just really need help i dont know what is wrong with me sometimes i feel like disapperaring for a couple of days but i know i cant run away or leave cause i have two boys that i love so much and will never leave. i even get thoughts of my boyfriend cheating on me. he did it for the first 4 years of our relationship and said it was only cause he was in jail for 5 years before we meet and he lost out on part of his life. he said he was over it and wasnt doing it anymore i believe him but then i get these thoughts that are constantly on my mind.

please help me i dont know what to do anymore i want to be a better mother to my boys and a better gf but i just feel down all the time and dont want to do anything.

A: I am so very glad you wrote. The time to get help is when problems like this start. You’re right to be concerned about the effect of your mood on your boys. They need you to be as stable and loving as you can be.

I am concerned about you. It’s possible that you are experiencing some postpartum depression. Your younger child is only 8 months old. Although it used to be thought that postpartum depression showed up in the first weeks after a baby is born, recent research opens the window for developing it to 6 months to a year. Pediatricians often don’t recognize it because they are focused on the health of the baby and because the mothers feel so bad about their irritability they often don’t report it. Please go back to your OB-GYN for an honest talk about how you’ve been feeling.

On the other hand, you may have a huge case of what my grandmother used to call “cabin fever.” During long winters in the old days, people were stuck in their homes/cabins for months at a time. Close quarters, boredom, and the usual everyday conflicts of life would get to people and they’d end up fighting and brawling and generally feeling terrible. You may not be brawling, but you sure do feel boxed in.

As much as we love our kids, the conversation with little ones is, shall we say, kind of limited. As much as we care for them, they can’t be expected to take care of us. It’s a one-way street for quite awhile. Smiles and coos and childhood play are all wonderful but they’re not the same as someone bringing us a cup of tea and saying, “So — how are you?” and really wanting to listen.

The best cure for what ails you is other parents. There’s nothing quite so relieving as talking to other moms who have kids who are at the same age and stage. Please look into your local churches and human service organizations to see if there is a parent drop-in center or parent support group where you and the kids can go at least once a week. The 2-year-old needs to begin learning how to have friends. And it sounds like you could use a friend or two yourself. Your pediatrician may know where you could find a parent group.

You and your boyfriend also should be talking about how to give you a “mom’s night out” so that you can join a club or go to a gym or just visit with a girlfriend. You need the break. He would benefit too because it would give him personal time with his boys. When men do at least some caregiving for their young children, the kids become more attached to their dads and the dads get more enjoyment from their relationships with their kids.

Please follow up on these suggestions. If you are happier, you and your whole family will benefit.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 7 Aug 2011

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2011). I don’t know why I’m so angry. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 23, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/08/07/i-dont-know-why-im-so-angry/