January 23, 2024
Glennon Doyle: Welcome back to We Can Do Hard Things. We have one of. Our dearest pod friends here with us today. She’s a pod icon. She’s a pod icon is what she is. She’s a pod con. She’s a pod con. She’s just out there changing lives all over the place. Dr. Becky Kennedy is here today.
Dr. Becky Kennedy is a clinical psychologist, bestselling author, mom of three. She’s rethinking the way we raise our children. In that, she’s making us all rethink everything in the world. She has been named the Millennial Parenting Whisperer, which honestly kind of annoys me because I feel like that is really ignoring all of Gen X as per usual, but that’s fine.
By Time Magazine, Dr. Becky is the author of the number one New York Times bestseller, Good Inside, a guide to becoming the parent you want to be, which is just, [00:01:00] if you’re not a parent, just by the way, none of that matters. It doesn’t matter if you’re not a parent because everything that Dr. Becky says.
Applies to every relationship in your life and Maybe most importantly, your relationship with yourself. Totally. And how to re parent yourself. Helps me re parent myself. Yes. Um, she is the founder of the Good Inside membership platform and host of the chart topping podcast, Good Inside with Dr. Becky. Babe, tell Dr.
Becky what happened this morning at your big, loud, sweaty gym. Okay, so
Abby Wambach: sitting there and usually there’s like a few, few minutes before everybody gets started. And this gentleman in there, he was talking about his three year old and a new baby on the way. And he, all the other women were giving him notes.
And he, he said, well, have you ever heard of Dr. Becky? And I said, no, I’m actually speaking with her today. And he was like, are you kidding me? She’s guiding me and my wife through this process of parenting. And I just thought that that was a little fun, little [00:02:00] tidbit. It’s not just the moms of the the fathers of the world are, are hearing you loudly.
Glennon Doyle: I love the idea of just these dudes like doing those weights and grunting and then saying have you heard of Dr. Becky in between. Yeah, I feel like that’s a revolution. Hi,
Dr. Becky Kennedy: hi guys. Um, no, thank you. Thank you. I mean that’s you always You three always know how to make me feel good. I woke up really early today.
It was one of those tough nights of sleep. And so, ah, sudden boost of energy seeing you three. Thank you.
Glennon Doyle: Well, we talked recently about, we’re always just like, can you come back? And then like, what do you want to talk about? Just tell us when you get here, Dr. Becky. We know it’s going to be good. But you asked if we could talk about mom rage.
And I was
Amanda Doyle: like, what’s that? Right, right.
Glennon Doyle: Right, so sister didn’t even know of what you speak. And I have been thinking [00:03:00] a lot about it since you suggested that we discuss mom rage. And I want to say before we start that everything we’re going to discuss today, I have applied to wife rage. Woman in culture rage, sensitive human rage, queer rage, news rage, like it applies to every part of our lives, what we’re going to discuss today, which is rage, why we have it and what we do with it.
But starting with mom rage, I love because I’ve been thinking this morning about when I was. Raising my little ones when they were little I will tell you mom rage for me doesn’t last when they’re older. It’s different now I mean, it’s a little bit of a mom low grade terror. It’s not the same as when you’re raising young kids, and I remember dr Becky I was thinking about whether I was gonna tell the story or not and I am gonna tell it Because we’re never allowed to tell these stories And we’re always afraid they’re going to come take our kids [00:04:00] away.
And my kids are pretty much grown, so almost emancipated.
Amanda Doyle: Yeah. Good luck. Come get them. Old enough
Glennon Doyle: ish. So if you want to come get them, that’s fine. I’m not sure what you’re going to do with them. But I just want to say that I remember I actually wrote in Carry On Warrior that while my kids were little, I felt like a dormant volcano, like I was constantly just gonna explode at any moment and trying to look calm.
And I want to say I was trained for raising small children. I was an early childhood education major. I was a teacher of children, so I had every single skill you’re supposed to have to be able to do this well. Most people are just like, I don’t know, they’re a freaking engineer and somebody gives them a child and they have to figure it out.
So, I don’t know how people do that. I will tell you that I had one moment, many moments, but I’ll tell you about one, where I had one in the tub, [00:05:00] it was after a 12 hour day of being alone with three kids and talking to no one. I had one in the tub, one very cranky one who wouldn’t stop screaming, and another one who was like hungry and needed dinner, and I was sitting by the tub, and it had been after a very long day, and the very cranky one who was standing in the hallway, she came and she started screaming again.
I can’t believe you’re gonna tell this story. And I just took the door of the bathroom, and Dr. Becky, I slammed that fucking door so hard in this child’s face. Three. Slammed the door so hard, so close to her that it scared the living hell out of her. It scared the living hell out of me. And we recovered. I didn’t know [00:06:00] about repair back then.
So I think I just said that it was the
Amanda Doyle: wind. It’s a windy, windy
Glennon Doyle: bathroom, but I just want to start. There’s probably so many people listening who have done. Things that are not that dramatic who have done things that are more dramatic and we’re never allowed to talk about it because Well, we’re going to talk about why we can’t talk about it, but I remember mom rage all too well.
So Dr. Becky, what is mom rage?
Dr. Becky Kennedy: First of all, thank you for sharing that story. And I also let me just start right away Yes, I’ve had moments where I look at myself after they’re like such out of body moments. I was like, did I just say that to my kid? Did I just use that tone? Like, I don’t believe in calling my kid a spoiled brat and, you know, saying, you know, this whole lecture and shooting these dark eyes.
And, um, I too have been there. I think every parent who loves their kid [00:07:00] has been there. So, you know, when I think about what mom rage is, I actually think it’s helpful first to say what it isn’t, because mom rage does not mean you’re a bad parent. It does not mean you’re a monster. It does not mean there’s something wrong with you.
It does not mean you’ve messed up your kid forever. It doesn’t mean any of those things. To me, what, what mom rage means is it’s this combination of not having our needs met, not
Glennon Doyle: having any skills to
Dr. Becky Kennedy: manage anger, which I’m sure we’ll get to is One of our most important protective emotions, and shame, right?
And just sharing stories can help with that element. Not having your needs met, not having skills to manage anger, and shame is a very, very combustible situation. And then it takes, as we [00:08:00] all know, one tiny thing. And it is the match. for this really explosive, scary moment. And you said it, Glenn, in a way that it’s scary to us.
Like it’s, it’s scary to yourself, you know, as well as to other people. I
Amanda Doyle: just feel like it’s, it’s made to be this like deficiency of like, you don’t have what it takes. But for me, I feel like it’s just like proof of human limit. There is a limit to one’s capacity to respond to demands. Demands of physical touch, or mental load, or incessant problem solving, or just, like, the verbal abuse that children inhale at us.
Yeah, what the hell? It is the sensory overload, the time requirements. Like, even by tiny humans that you love, there is a limit. And so, mom rage just occurs at the intersection between [00:09:00] All of those demands and the human limit of you, and it should be unsurprising, but it isn’t because we have this myth that if a mom loves her kids enough, there will be no limit and she will find a never ending well of patience and whatever resources to draw upon.
But that isn’t true. Humans have limits and. We butt up against them and if other people like for example, if there’s no such thing as dad rage Perhaps that just means that they are not in the position To butt up against those limits as much as moms are
Dr. Becky Kennedy: to me This this way of describing it is really powerful as like a reframe, right?
It’s like a metaphor Okay, so to me what moms do okay is Metaphorically, with our emotions, right? We feed everybody. We feed everybody around us. We put things on the calendar. We show up for them. We go to soccer games. We do [00:10:00] all of the things. And if you think about that as food, you’re constantly feeding your kids, or maybe even probably also family members around you.
And if you think about what it would be like at the end of day one, when you fed everyone else, but literally never fed yourself, you’d probably be hungry. Okay, but now it’s day two. Now it’s day three. And your body is probably Giving you signals that you need to eat. And women have become expert at avoiding and pushing away those signals because acknowledging and taking care of our own needs has probably been learned to be threatening in our earliest relationships.
So we ignore and we ignore and we ignore. Okay, well, what would happen if you went a week without eating? Actually think about how loud the signal would need to be in your body to get you to eat. I know in my body you would have to be like, Becky, stop! I’ve tried [00:11:00] to have hunger signals in your stomach.
I’ve tried to alert you and, and I am actually going to scream out and take over your entire body to protect you. Because anything at a lower level has not been heard. Like when I think about Moms and our needs in this way because anger at the end of the day is just a feeling that tells you what you need That’s what anger is and by the time it converts to rage.
We’re starving. We’re starving
Glennon Doyle: Hmm, isn’t it interesting that anger is what tells us what we need and anger is shamed out of women So why would that be? It would be because if women start listening to anger as a signal towards what we need and start demanding it and taking it, then all of culture must be rearranged.
All of it? Mm
Dr. Becky Kennedy: hmm. [00:12:00] Wow. And, and we can break this down to be smaller, right? Because I know sometimes I’m like, okay, my day to day life, you know, I don’t know if I’m changing patriarchy on my own, but like, how does this just even apply in our day to day lives for anyone listening? We all have many anger signals really reframed as something I might need for myself.
It might be as simple as I’ve been running around my house, I just need to sit on my couch. I need to sit on my couch for five minutes in relative stillness. Or I need, I don’t know, to see my friends. Like, I need to see my friends separate from our kids. There are these needs we have, and when you pause and connect that to anger, we’re probably actually not just angry at our kids, we’re angry because our body is saying, Yes, you have a legitimate need.
Yes. And you haven’t taken care of that need in a long time. And then what we say to ourselves is, what’s wrong with me? I’m a horrible parent. We push it away. And yes, any feeling we put a lot of energy toward pushing down [00:13:00] has that much more energy to spring out of our body in a, you know, inopportune moment.
Abby Wambach: is why so many women. out there, mothers, especially, but so many women struggle to know what they want because they’ve put so many other people’s needs in front of their own. I mean, stuff like, what do I want for dinner? It’s like a foreign concept. And then that’s also angering. How do I not know what I want?
Well, it’s this whole system and you’re doing it also to yourself in these family dynamics that you just keep. giving instead of taking. Do you think
Glennon Doyle: it’s annoying Dr. Becky that it’s called mom rage? Because like road rage is people getting mad because there’s too much traffic. So like, why is it called mom rage instead of like too many demands and not enough needs met bullshit rage?
Do you know what I mean? Why don’t we have another name for it? Because that’s, that, that shames the person [00:14:00] that shames the mother. Like it’s something wrong with me as opposed to if there’s something wrong with the system in my home or in my culture where I am supposed to be superhuman.
Dr. Becky Kennedy: Yeah, I appreciate that reframe.
I mean, I guess to me the way I see it and why I think mom rage is just almost useful to compare to dad rage as an example is I think the reason for dad rage, they’re generally different societal sociological reasons. So when I think about the term mom rage, I don’t think about it as much as blame, but differentiating like, why do women tend to have anger separately?
when they’re parents from maybe their male counterparts, but certainly our anger comes from the system that was not set up, you know, to, to support us, to, to, to help
Glennon Doyle: us. And it makes it seem like when you say mom rage, it makes it seem like it has to do with the relationship between the mother and the child.
And that’s what pisses me off because actually [00:15:00] it’s not my fault and kiddo, it’s not your fault. We don’t have enough help around here. This mom rage thing is robbing both of us. It’s not a kid’s fault at all. So it doesn’t really have to do with the relationship as much as lack of support around the relationship.
Is mom rage more common for some moms than others? Or do other people, are there moms that don’t have mom rage? I haven’t met any.
Dr. Becky Kennedy: Yes, I think that, you know, before we become parents, we probably don’t, you know, we think a lot about like swaddles and things like that, but probably any of us now who are parents look back saying, I think what probably really mattered was checking in about my boundary setting, is checking in about how am I at doing things for myself, even if it involves inconveniencing others.
Those things pre exist having kids. We all have kind of different tendencies there, they then get massively exacerbated when we have kids because being a mom is being put into this caregiver role. And if at that point you [00:16:00] haven’t established for many reasons, kind of practices around setting boundaries, thinking about what you need, proactively taking care of yourself, Abby, what you said, I think about that a lot.
Most women, you know, your needs. when they’re not men, as opposed to proactively asking for them to be men. But that probably predated having kids also, right? And so, I think that the moms who don’t struggle with this as much, we all get there, I think would say, Yeah, I actually do feel decent about setting boundaries.
I do feel okay holding those boundaries, even when people are upset. I don’t tend to feel responsible for other people’s feelings. I care about other people’s feelings, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t feel responsible for changing the way I live my life. when I know I’m doing something good for myself just because other people are upset.
Yes, and that is why, to me, the system 100 percent has to change. And I also believe there’s things we can do as individuals while we’re waiting that really help us build boundaries, help us [00:17:00] Protect our time. That’s really important. Proactively. So we’re all just a little bit less vulnerable to those moments that again, really feel bad for us.
Abby Wambach: again, when, when we build those boundaries and I think about our family system a lot. Glennon and I take a lot of time during the day to make sure that we are taking care of ourselves and what we’re teaching our kids, our daughters especially, is that that’s paramount. Take care of yourself. Put your mask on first before you can go out and, and help the other people.
So this isn’t just about you, this is also teaching our children how we get to set our own boundaries for their futures in their, in their lives.
Dr. Becky Kennedy: Yes, and Glenna, that’s your, that’s the line I think I see quoted, you know, almost as much as anything else from Untamed, is like, you know, the way we parent is the model for our kids, right?
We don’t want to continually pass on the idea that motherhood is not martyrdom, and you don’t pass that on with your language, you pass it on because your kids are watching your decisions, right? I mean, here I am in [00:18:00] California on a work trip, and you know, before I left, yeah, two of my kids were like, why are you, like, why are you going and you’re missing this?
It’s 100 percent legitimate. Feelings and you know, to me, it was very important to say, look, I, I understand that you’re feeling this way and here’s what I’m doing on this trip and I, I want to be honest with you, I feel really lit up. by those things. Like, I, I love those. And I actually, I’m not trying to even say, and that makes me better mom to you.
I don’t even know. Like, I think it’s so interesting how we’ve had to justify self care as a form of caregiving. It’s like very odd to me. Like, why don’t I just deserve that? Period. You know, and
Amanda Doyle: I’m resting because it makes me more efficient later. It’s like, no, resting to rest. assholes. Yeah,
Dr. Becky Kennedy: exactly. Right.
And so, yes. And I do think about the intergenerational impact of, I feel so strongly in my own small family of at least knowing there’ll be three kids out there. And if they choose to have partners who say, Oh, motherhood [00:19:00] is not self sacrifice. That’s not what it is.
Amanda Doyle: Yes. I love the psychologist Zillman, who is the one that figured out that the Psychological effects of rage can last for days and that the rage builds on rage so that you have these like Repeated aggravations that they call a sequence of provocations that build on each other So the last one is when you lose your entire shit and I was like, yeah, what is motherhood other than?
A sequence of provocations, like there, that is the definition. And I feel like it’s important to call out the elephant in the room, which is like, you can have boundaries with partners and work people and figure that out. But let’s be real that like. Often, a parent’s relationship with their kids is one that in any other context we would describe as a bad
Glennon Doyle: relationship.
Yes! So one sided! My God!
Amanda Doyle: [00:20:00] They do not treat us well. And if you had a friend that was in a relationship with someone who talked to them like your toddler talks to them, You would insist that her dignity and mental health requires that she leave their ass, but we can’t.
Dr. Becky Kennedy: these
Amanda Doyle: provocations, like, it’s different in some ways, right?
Like, they can treat us like absolute shit, and we just have to be provoked and keep trucking. Like, this is a reality, right?
Glennon Doyle: Dr. Becky, maybe you should talk to the kids.
Dr. Becky Kennedy: You know, you know, I know it’s often the quickest solution, people say, but like, can’t you just help my kid not do these things and then I won’t react that way.
I understand we can’t make
Amanda Doyle: them change. I’m just telling you, we spend years in a bad relationship provoked and trying to keep our shit
Dr. Becky Kennedy: together. Yes, and. I’m going to push back on that a little bit. [00:21:00] So, okay, because here’s, to me, there’s a difference between staying connected to our kids and, like, feeling abused by our kids.
And I do think boundaries come into play. And it’s a dance, and you don’t get it exactly right. Nobody, I don’t, nobody does. But, I don’t know, you’re, you know, your kids are, I hate you, and you’re the worst. You know, mom in the world all the time and you know, and you’re meanwhile like my whole life is taking care of you, right?
So it feels very, you know, provocative. I don’t recommend, and people will say to me, Dr. Becky, I’m, I’m doing what you said. I just sit there and I say, it’s okay to be mad. And I’m like, why are you doing that? Like, I don’t think I ever said that. Please don’t say that. And let your feelings out. And I’m like, oh my goodness, that feels like close intention wise.
Right. But what I would recommend in that situation to say. Again, if it’s over and over, it’s like, Hey, I know you’re upset and I care about that, and I also know you have another way to say that to me, and I cannot stay in this room. While you say that to me over and over, you’re allowed to [00:22:00] be mad. I’m going to take a deep breath.
You can as well. And I actually really do want to figure this out. So let’s find other language so I can stay in this conversation. We don’t have to sit there and just quote, be a kid’s punching bag. But the alternative to that doesn’t have to be You’re an awful kid, no iPad for a week. There’s a lot in between.
Glennon Doyle: If someone asked you directly, like, why have we learned that anger is bad? Why have we learned that anger is something we should not show? Because moms do. We even feel angry, we feel guilty.
Dr. Becky Kennedy: Yeah, well, anger is one of our most visceral emotions, especially as a kid. And it’s, our emotions are, are, are put there for evolution, right?
They have evolutionary purposes. And our anger really puts us in touch with what we want. and need. [00:23:00] That’s what our anger does. And again, that’s useful because when I’m older, if I’m in a relationship where someone isn’t treating me well, I would hope, I’d be like, you know what? I want someone to talk to me respectfully.
I feel angry. That’s a useful sign that my body’s telling me this is not in alignment with my values. But when our kids are young, anger is also one of the most powerful feelings we have, right? And to me, the essence of what’s hard in kids is that kids are born with all the feelings and none of the skills.
And when it comes to managing. Feelings, you need skills, and the hardest feeling to manage is anger. So for kids, when they express anger, which is really, if you think about it, a tantrum. A tantrum is a kid’s way of saying, I know what I want. And you’re getting in my way of getting what I want, right? Still a hard thing for adults to experience, but definitely pretty messy for kids.
And they are massively inconvenient to parents. That’s what tantrums are. They’re just ball of inconvenience. You’re like, this is not what I want to deal with. I’m [00:24:00] trying to get through the grocery store. I’d want to have a nice night. Right. So what do we do to kids? Especially to little girls because we have much less tolerance for their not quote good Compliant easy, whatever we call it is euphemistic for please don’t have any needs and please don’t make my life inconvenient at all We send them to their rooms or we say we don’t do that in our family And what do kids and especially little girls learn?
We take moments as kids and we learn attachment lessons Because as kids, you’re not learning moment to moment. You have to make generalities to function in the world and to draw bigger conclusions about what’s safe and what’s expected and what’s dangerous. So what do you learn? You don’t learn, my mom doesn’t like when I have a tantrum about ice cream, no.
The lesson is, when I get angry, people go away. Yes. Yeah.
And that’s [00:25:00] scary, and so it becomes very adaptive for your body to layer fear, to actually say that entire part of you that wants things for yourself, the signal for that is anger, but it’s really just a part that wants things for yourself. is not compatible with attachment. And when I go to those quote mom rage moments, let’s say we’re going to rename it, but let’s just call it that for, you know, for clarity for this moment.
I, I actually think that young part of us that wants things for herself, she’s the one who’s screaming out. She takes over our body, and in that moment, and all the moments before when we’ve kind of closeted her, you know, she’s saying, Hey, I’m here, and remember, I’m here to protect you. I know what
Glennon Doyle: you want.
You need me. You need me. Listen
Dr. Becky Kennedy: to me. She’s desperately Screaming out.
Glennon Doyle: Oh, it’s our, it’s a tantrum. [00:26:00] It’s our tantrum. It’s a grownup tantrum. It, it,
Dr. Becky Kennedy: I think in tantrums, kids are really learning about their relationship with desire. Oh. And desire is anger. It’s really closely connected.
Glennon Doyle: Okay. So a mom, a person, a human, because this works in marriage too, right?
Like it’s rage is an unmet need. It works in every, in every arena. Because I just feel like I’m starting to truly through therapy, et cetera, understand when I’m angry what I want and need and I’m not what need I’m not getting and get and actually getting it. This is amazing, incredible. This is amazing.
This is amazing. Talk to the person who Is me two years ago. Like, talk to the woman who is like, I don’t know. I, I am furious. I’m a volcano, but I don’t know how that’s attached to my needs. I wouldn’t know where to start.
Dr. Becky Kennedy: So, here’s what I’d start with. [00:27:00] I would just start by saying to ourselves, and we can say this right now.
Because right after those moments, we’re still so raw, it’s hard to do anything new. Like, usually after those moments, if this is a new thing for you to try to be curious and compassionate with yourself, the best thing to do is just pure grounding, sensory breathing, naming things in the room, super, super simple.
That’s all our body and brains can handle, anyone. But in this moment, Like, I find a lot of power when I just tell myself, Becky, like, every struggle has a story to tell. Everyone, every rage moment, that is a struggle, has a story to tell. There’s a story there. And understanding the story, this is where we conflate things, doesn’t, quote, make it okay.
Like, we collapse, oh, so it’s okay. Understanding isn’t approval. They’re very different things. Understanding the story under a moment of rage helps us figure out [00:28:00] what led to that moment. And I don’t know anyone who thinks you can change your behavior if you don’t know what led to the behavior in the first place.
And so when you remind yourself, okay, this struggle, there’s a deeper story. And it’s an important story, like giving yourself that there’s something important here. There’s something to understand and then reminding yourself to separate. And this to me is always key. Like I’m a good person. That’s my identity.
who, let’s say, had a rage moment. And if that’s new, you’ll watch those two things collapse so fast. I’m a horrible person. It’s like, wow, okay, they just collapsed. My horrible moment somehow became I’m a horrible person. We cannot reflect from that place. We cannot reflect because all of our energy is trying to figure out our goodness.
You can’t do any problem solving. We can’t do any future planning from that state. We’re in an abyss. And so when people say to me, Am I letting [00:29:00] myself off the hook? I’m like, if you want to let yourself off the hook for change, blame and shame yourself. That’s the best way. You will not be able to change.
If you want to keep yourself on the hook for change, remind yourself you’re a good person underneath. Tell yourself that over and over. I’m a good person who is having a hard time. I’ve said that to myself eight times in a bathroom, 28 times. And something does kind of loosen a little bit. And then you can start to be curious.
And to me, a really important question after those moments isn’t just What happened in that moment is only a part of it. Like, I think we’re saying, like, you get yourself to the cliff, you’re going to fall off the cliff. Like, it’s not that useful to be like, well, why did I fall off the cliff when I was standing on the cliff?
I think the better question is, like, when did I start driving down that road that ended in the cliff? Right? And we do. It’s like, laughable when you say it that way, but that’s, you know, that’s what we say to ourselves all the time. And usually, that actually leads to something really productive. Right? And to, again, make it more concrete.
Like, I know for me, exercising [00:30:00] three days a week for 20 minutes, okay? I don’t do anything fancy, Abby, I’m not going to your gym, okay? But, like, that’s all. That’s, and if I don’t, my body feels different. I don’t feel as capable and strong. I really don’t. And I’ll be like, oh, it’s interesting. For the last three weeks, I’ve kept saying, oh, I can’t do it for this reason, or I have to be at work.
Like, there’s always these excuses. Or when I look at my calendar, I’ll say, Wow, the number of appointments I have for work or picking up something for my kids or driving around versus the number of appointments I have for myself, that ratio is, it’s always off, but it’s way off. And then when I start to intervene from there, it’s not magic.
It’s not like, and then I never yelled at my kids again. Of course not. But it does really really shifting. Yeah, because
Glennon Doyle: it’s just taking care of your human self. It’s, I feel like in my moments of mom rage, which by the way, if you don’t have like a door slamming or screaming, if your mom rage to me, um, I don’t know if you’ve seen lost daughter or read that book.[00:31:00] Okay. It’s, it’s basically about mom rage. You have to see it. And the movie’s beautiful. And there’s just this moment where the mom She’s overwhelmed and she has two little girls and she’s a beautiful mother who loves her kids. And she just grabs her daughter and you just see her squeeze just a little too hard.
I feel that moment in my bones. I see it as is a desperate reasserting of, I am a human being too. I am human. I am human. That’s right. And I think that’s what mom rage was to me. Like, no, I am human. Yes. And I’m as human as you are. There is a limit.
Dr. Becky Kennedy: And that’s why the shame and how we don’t, because I think in those moments, you’re right, and I’ve had these moments with my kids in a power struggle or in a moment where I’m screaming, where I look back and I’m like, I think in a way I was Looking for my kid to validate me.
Oh, you’re having a hard time too. Like I was looking for my [00:32:00] five year old to say, Okay, I know we’re in this power struggle, but you do have a point about wearing my jacket, and I know you’re doing that from a place of protection. Like, I think, I think by going after him, You have to wear your jacket! Don’t you know you have to wear your jacket?
Like, I was looking for him to say that, and it’s not a perfect antidote, nothing is, but I do know When I’ve had a more recent conversation with one of my friends and just be like, how annoying are five year olds? Oh my goodness. How hard is it to parent a five year old? Or when I, when I do as cheesy as it sounds, like say that to myself, you know, more often, oh, this parenting thing is hard.
Like I know I’m a good parent trying to take care of my five year old and he makes it so hard. Oh. And I look at myself in the mirror once in a while and say, Becky, like no one’s saying this to you right now, but you could say it to yourself. It’s better than hoping your five year old does. You are a loving parent who’s trying and we’re gonna go out there and get the morning rush, you know, and, and you and I know, I say in the mirror, like, we’re doing this from a place of love, let’s go get them.
Again, I feel like I’ve stepped [00:33:00] four steps back from the cliff, which can make a really big difference. Versus being right at the edge.
Amanda Doyle: Yeah. It’s so important because it’s like, that is so counterintuitive. That when you have a rage moment, where you know that like, they didn’t deserve that, you feel like complete shit for it.
None of that was commensurate. You know, like it was a little thing that the huge thing came out of. That is the exact opposite moment. Where you’re gonna look at yourself and be like, Babe, you need some things. You, I’m giving you extra grace and compassion. You feel worse about yourself. You think you need to double down an effort.
You think you need to try harder, but like if trying harder was going to work. It would have already worked. That’s
Dr. Becky Kennedy: right. In our membership, we have this text back feature, where parents can text us certain, um, like [00:34:00] acronyms or phrases, right? Um, so, because sometimes you do need to hear it back, right? And one of them is STS, just stop the spiral, right?
And what you get back, there’s a bunch of different ones, but ours, like, Just reminders, like, you’re a good parent, this thing is hard. And we need that in the moment, right? We’re so alone. Aloneness adds to shame. Shame adds to the potential to rage. And so, I, I wish for every parent to have, you know, that feature or that friend, where they, you know, can have that.
Part of the cycle, like a little bit interrupted,
Glennon Doyle: right? I listened to you on a podcast recently about this. And you said, or somebody said that you can tell if you’re in like a guilt moment or in like a, Oh, okay. We need to fix that. Or we need to figure out what we need. That’s a different place than a shame spiral.
And you can tell. Whether you’re in the guilt moment or the shame spiral, because if you’re in the guilt that will move you towards healing, you will [00:35:00] be moving towards the help you need. And if you’re in the shame moment, you will be staying away from the help you need. I don’t think I said that, but I love that.
So credit to whoever said that. So I used to be a teacher, and I worked at a school, there were no white kids in my class. And they were mostly poor families. And the way the world reacted to angry moms who are not white was, it is more easy for white women to talk about rage and be forgiven for it, right?
Yup. We would have to think very hard before we would Report things like it just kids would be removed faster than they would from a white family. Yep. How do you, how do you talk about that?
Dr. Becky Kennedy: The first thing that comes to mind is within good inside. We were talking about, you know, different people who work at gun side, like meaningful things that almost they’ve learned [00:36:00] about themselves just through working at the company.
And before this airs. I’ll get her permission to make sure it’s okay to share, but what she shared, she’s a black woman said, I’ll never forget Becky. When you said in a workshop, anger is a sign that we’ve preserved access to our self worth because if anger is what you need, you really can’t have self worth if you don’t have access to what you need.
The belief. That you have a healthy entitlement to want and need things is intimately connected to feeling worthy. And she just shared, she was that like in, in my community, anger is terrifying, is bad, is wrong. The idea that anger could be connected to self worth is, uh, is a complete 180. And I don’t know if I have a solution as much as joining you and saying you’re right.
It is a completely different thing for me to have rage, for me to yell at my kid publicly in a grocery store than if I was black yelling at my kid, you know, in a grocery store. [00:37:00] Um, it is. The more anybody tries to push away a feeling, or the more any of us learn that a feeling is bad and dangerous, the more explosive we are around that feeling, because we never develop skills to manage that feeling.
It’s such an awful cycle. So I just want to say you’re right. There is an inherent privilege we all have here in talking about anger and rage. It feels like
Glennon Doyle: people from groups where anger is feared and rejected by the culture need even more spaces where they can express it freely and not be penalized for it because Yes.
You know, we can do it on a podcast and a lot of people can’t do it anywhere.
Amanda Doyle: Yeah. I mean, I’m one, one recommendation of a resource for that Ruth King. She wrote a book called healing rage and another one called mindful of race. And she talks a lot about those intersections. And she also talks about rage [00:38:00] as.
Fierce clarity and untapped fuel that it is like the seat of personal transformation and we should not view it as You know a useless emotion or the kind of thing where you’re like, oh fuck that up Okay, let’s try to forget and move along that it is a very seat of useful transformation
Abby Wambach: I’ll just say, like, I’m doing quite a bit of work on my own self in terms of my access to anger and, and I dare I say rage. And I do think that there’s probably a subset of people listening to this that don’t even relate because they don’t have the kind of self worth, I’m speaking for myself, to be able to get [00:39:00] angry.
Because the attachment that I learned when I was a kid that any kind of anger people would go away. And so there’s probably a lot of parents, they can’t even bring themselves to rage. They’re just living in a low level of depression, sadness, loneliness, confusion. Or it’s coming out sideways in different relationships.
Maybe not at their children. Maybe it’s at their spouse. That’s definitely something that I relate to more because I don’t rage. I definitely. Feel it, but I don’t express it, and I think that that can also be pretty dangerous.
Dr. Becky Kennedy: Oh, we can say many things about Freud, but to me, the idea that depression is anger turned inward is, is, you know, a powerful idea, and I think that’s very true for a lot of women.
Glennon Doyle: If somebody’s like, alright, I’m willing to consider the idea that the reason I’m so pissed at work, the reason why I’m so full of rage at home, [00:40:00] or with my kids, or with my partner, or whatever, is because I have some unmet needs. I buy that. What
Dr. Becky Kennedy: next? Okay, so this is like always my favorite part because that’s my favorite thing is to go from like deep thoughts into like absurdly practical manageable strategies.
That’s how my brain works too. So what I’d say to you truly is to carve out time and that language is meaningful. I was just talking about this with Eve Rodsky. Women always talk about finding time or making time. Not a thing. You get to the end of the week, there’s no time leftovers. You don’t find it. As she always says.
You’re not Albert Einstein. You cannot mess with the space time continuum. You have to carve out time. And I would really say this, and I mean this very directly, carve out time for my mom rage course. It is an hour, and well, I mean this, and if it doesn’t really change things for you, well, You know, talk to you about it.
Okay. Because what I, what I want to make sure people do [00:41:00] is they give themselves the respect of saying like, I do deserve more than like one tip about this, not just for my kids, but for myself, we really deserve that. And as a little preview, that’s not the only thing I’ll say is to me, one of the first things we can do.
is actually to like create a little bit of a different relationship with our calendar. I think about, and I was referring to this before, protecting your calendar. And a lot of us really do live and die by our calendar. Like, we’re like, what am I doing today? Right? And then we’re like, am I free then? Oh, I guess I could go to that meeting even though I don’t want to go because my calendar says I’m free as opposed to gazing in and saying, do I want to go to that?
But we can also use that to our benefit. And I would ask everyone listening here. To go to your calendar and put on a block of time. And for me, when I started doing this, I wouldn’t even know what. I would just say, my needs matter, do not cancel. That’s what it literally said, because I’d look at it, and someone would be like, can you do this meeting?
And [00:42:00] if I called it something else, I’d be like, yeah, I’ll just, I’ll move that around. I’ll make time for that later. Never happened. But if it said do not cancel, I tend to, like, be pretty literal. I’m like, oh, I’m not free then, right? And I don’t know, like, my calendar said do not cancel, so I’m not going to do it.
Amanda Doyle: Myself from the past bossed myself from the present and
Dr. Becky Kennedy: told me not to cancel. That’s exactly right. Use your present self. For your future benefit because at that moment, you’ll be panicked at the idea of how could I do something for myself, but right now you can set it up and what I, what I want to tell everyone out there, okay, is I know as soon as you do this, this is what we say to ourselves, but I don’t know what I would do.
I don’t know what I want. I don’t know. Right. But let’s go back to that idea that. This rage moment is a sign that you’re starving. Okay, so if you haven’t eaten for a week, imagine being at a restaurant and looking at the menu and saying, I don’t know what I want. I guess I just won’t get anything. Any of your friends would be like, pick something.
It literally [00:43:00] doesn’t matter. And over the course of trying different random things, you will eventually learn Which you’d want to do again, and which is really not for you. And I, I really think self care is the same thing. And if what you do the first couple times is you’re like, I couldn’t even make a decision, I just sat on my couch.
Okay, that’s okay. That happens sometimes on a menu. You get just like a piece of bread. But it’s still better for your body than nothing, right? And then if it says, it’s simple as saying, I’ve heard some people like to draw. I don’t know. Okay, I’ll take that from the menu. Like, it could be completely random.
But it’s always better. than waiting for some lightbulb moment of being like, I love knitting! Like, that’s not gonna happen! Just not gonna happen. Right? So, think about yourself as starving and realizing that anything you do that doesn’t involve caregiving of someone else because that’s a way of pouring yourself out is part of a [00:44:00] successful journey of figuring out what you actually do.
Glennon Doyle: Amen! Okay, say it again what we’re writing on our calendar in that block. It’s six words. My. My.
Dr. Becky Kennedy: Needs. Matter. Matter. Do. Do. Not. Not. Cancel. Cancel.
Amanda Doyle: Can we go into existing calendar things and write, my needs matter. I am
Glennon Doyle: canceling.
Dr. Becky Kennedy: A hundred percent! That’s right. Never wanted to be in that meeting in the first place.
Glennon Doyle: And maybe we’d have less rage if we did, love. Yes. Wow. A
Dr. Becky Kennedy: hundred Glennon Doyle: percent. We love you, Dr. Becky. I love you all so much. Pod Squaders, your needs matter. Do not cancel. We’ll see you next time.