Before motherhood I used to get in these enraged moods from time to time and the only thing I could do to overcome them was to celebrate them by listening to NIN really load and screaming at the top of my lungs. Well, that was the only safe thing to do that wouldn't harm any of my loved ones or myself.
Since motherhood, however, I have to admit these moods come around a lot more often and much more loadly too. In fact, it wouldn't be exagerrating to say that I'm living a NIN's kind of life. It appears that almost daily I need to vent my spleen and there are not too many people who can do it as spectacularly as Trent Reznor on the NIN albulm 'The Downward Spiral'. Motherhood is a daily fight agains this downward spiral and yet sometimes its better just to relent and celebrate the intensity for what it is.
So, I try to go to the gym three times a week to listen to this albulm as load as possible without deafening myself (although, not necessarily avoiding damage to my ears) and my soul screams along to every word as I run run run to that place of rage and magic. It reminds me how powerful the passion of anger can be and how it doesn't always have to be a bad thing. At its best rage is a machine that is pure, raw, honest, cathartic and, above all, human. Its primal and powerful and even pleasurable, if you can just get past your own desire to control it or hide it. Which begs the question - why do we try to stuff the rage down inside us where it will do us more harm? What is so socially unacceptable about hiding our frustrations with motherhood? We spend our every waking minute with toddlers who vent their frustrations out on us without any editing and we have to allow ourselves to find a safe place to get that out so we can remain calm and centred and focused and loving amidst all the chaos, tantrums and trials of caring for our children.
For me, that safe place is, as always, inside music. And when it comes to the seductive celebration of the darker demons within and the enraged inner critic, there is absolutely nothing that beats a NIN's lyric as far as I am concerned.
So my best tip to mothers is - find a way to celebrate the frustrations and get them out of your system. Running at the gym with your favourite albulm and letting your soul scream a little bit makes it easier to face the day the way you want - with endless empathy and ceaseless compassion for your little toddlers frustrations with the huge number of new things they face every day. As you do, with them.