Turning your maternal anger into self-care and compassion – A Review

I was very interested to read Angry Mother, not being a stranger to occasionally/actually quite often getting incredibly angry with my children, but rarely feeling such levels of anger in any other situations (ie when not performing the role of ‘mother’). I wasn’t sure how a book could help me with my feelings of frustration at the million things we have to juggle as mothers, and the number of times we have to repeat ourselves; increasing the decibels each time in the hope of getting a reaction. I thought of anger as a bad thing, a thing to be managed or controlled with ’emotional intelligence’ , so to be told that anger isn’t a bad thing, but a healthy thing, and a useful thing, removes a lot of the guilt about regularly feeling so angry and actually leads to less frustration and better communication all round.

I have shared some of the insights from the book with my children in the hope that they will understand what anger is for, and what the messages behind their anger are, and how we can use those messages to get ourselves into a better mindset and a better place.

The conclusion of the book sums it up very neatly: ‘The aim [of the book] has not been to calm down a mother’s anger and dismiss or minimise it, but to show mothers that their anger is valuable and essential in understanding themselves, their children and their situation.’


Elizabeth Wickenden
Director – Grapevine Media Group Ltd


Mum Rage – It’s More Common Than You Think

Why this book matters:

  •  Mum rage – the very real yet unspoken, complex phenomenon of maternal anger that resonates with many mothers
  • The pandemic has, and is, posing many mental health challenges for many women during early motherhood, according to recent findings by the Mental Health Alliance.
  • Practical tips to turn your anger into compassion and self-care.
  • Written by an experienced existential and trauma-focused psychotherapist and mother of two small children

Many mothers feel maternal rage, but no one likes to talk about it. Mums aren’t supposed to get angry and when they do, they often feel ashamed – it goes against our notions of what motherhood should look like: immaculate houses and smiles all round.

Yet, all mums, no doubt, have experienced moments of rage. Rage at their children. Rage at their partners. Rage at the world that leaves them overwhelmed, unsupported and tired.

In her new book, Angry Mother Assertive Mother, Cristalle Hayes, psychotherapist, mother of two and champion for mothers’ wellbeing and mental health, helps mothers to navigate these explosive and intense, but very normal, feelings. Cristalle reviews the mother’s role and guides readers through her simple methodology and techniques for navigating the complex experience of motherhood. Angry Mother Assertive Mother helps mums to regain control of their emotions, manage and channel their anger in a constructive way and helps them to avoid getting stuck in feelings of guilt and shame. It also explains the absolute importance of practising self-care and restorative compassion, especially after bouts of anger.

Mothers often come from a place of lack: a lack of sleep, a lack of time, a lack of self-care. Motherhood can be overwhelming and the expectations all-consuming. Angry Mother Assertive Mother is essential reading for mothers, or mothers to be, who are looking for more inner acceptance, assertiveness and strategies and support to change what isn’t working. It combines psychological insight with practical, non-judgemental suggestions and is packed with journal prompts, exercises and stories and quotes from the author’s own experience and those of many mothers from diverse backgrounds, cultures, circumstances and sexual orientation.

Read this book to understand:

  • Maternal anger and how not to get stuck in guilt
  • How to regain control of your emotions
  • Your unique triggers and how to recognise and anticipate them
  • Ways of expressing your anger safely and modelling assertiveness instead of rage
  • The need for self-care and compassion after episodes of maternal rage

Angry Mother Assertive Mother: From maternal anger to radical repair, by Cristalle Hayes, published by Rethink is out now, available on Amazon


Cristalle Hayes is available for expert comment, guest articles and interviews on a range of topics around maternal anger including:

  • Maternal Rage – what is it & how to deal with it
  • Are you an angry mum? Take the quiz and learn what to do about it
  • Why am I an angry mum? 6 triggers and how to diffuse them
  • Why anger can be a positive and useful emotion
  • Actionable ways to communicate anger healthily
  • 7 healthy ways to repair after anger
  • Simple techniques to keep your cool when your kids & others drive you mad
  • A real mums guide to releasing trauma and dealing with anger
  • 5 Minutes Please – simple self-care ideas
  • Working mums and anger: what can we do?

About the author:

Cristalle Hayes is a mother of two and an existential and trauma-focused psychotherapist. She has helped people from many different backgrounds and situations tap into their own strength and overcome serious issues, including problems with stress anxiety, depression and trauma.

She has also shared professional and therapeutic spaces with women of all backgrounds, ethnicities and circumstances navigating their anger. For more information see: https://cristallehayestherapy.com/