When the kids are driving you nuts, wrap those hands and hit some bags!
Mum rage: it’s not quite the image we have in mind when we think of motherhood, but it’s an absolute #mumtruth all the same. Kids have an uncanny knack of knowing just how to push our buttons and a large number of us are guilty of snapping after a push too many (quickly followed by our other go-to emotion: mum guilt).
I’m not embarrassed to admit I suffer from mum rage. When I have higher levels of energy, I suppress it with a deep breath, mutter some swear words under my breath and fake a smile. But when my ammunition runs low (usually when I don’t eat or sleep enough), instinct takes over. I can hear my own mother’s shrill voice come pouring out my mouth and, as hard as I try, hitting my internal ‘reset’ is difficult once the kraken has been released.
Thankfully, there’s one thing that’s helped me cope much better: hobbies. And, in particular, my weekly Muay Thai lessons.
How it works…
Getting to this session on a Saturday afternoon is a challenge in itself. By this time, I’m usually completely worn out from the early wake-up call from my kids (they always miss the weekend sleep-in memo). A morning of feeding, washing, dressing, packing, carrying, walking, hand-holding and stroller-pushing follows. Then comes the ordeal of putting my older boy down for his afternoon nap – I’m totally ready for my own snoozefest at that point. But instead, I sneak out of his room, kiss my younger child goodbye while she plays with my helper, force myself out the door and head to the gym. I know it will be worth it.
Warm-up involves skipping for 10 minutes. It’s perfect because I get to zone out (a bit of a rarity in motherhood). Next, I put my hand wraps and gloves on. I start to feel so badass, I forget I’m a mum. But I haven’t forgotten my rage. As soon as I get to hit the punching bags, I feel the pent-up anger that’s been welling up inside of me slowly and gradually dissipate. My week’s supply of frustration is replaced with an endorphin rush, as each punch and kick sinks into the bag and leaves a satisfying imprint. I let it go, let it go, and don’t hold it back anymore.
After a few more rounds of padwork, I’m completely gassed out and spent. But then my instructor pushes me to end the class with strength and conditioning exercises. I do them and am amazed each time at how much my body can withstand. I feel invincible.
By the end of the class, I am as zen as a panda. I shower, then go home to my kids, who are happy to see their chill and relaxed mum – and I’m happy to see them. I can’t wait for my next week of Muay Thai therapy.