To the mummy who shouted at her child

shouted at her child

Dear Mummy,

I know – you couldn’t help it. You had been pushed, and pulled on repeat a million times over. Your emotional cup was empty. You just had enough. And before you could stop yourself you were stood there, shouting at this little beautiful being, spitting out words of anger because you just could not take any more.

As soon as you had done it you felt hateful – full of self loathing for the mum you had become at that moment. For the words you had said. And for the effect that it had – your child standing there, hands over their ears, trying to protect themselves from your threatening voice. In that moment you had become a monster, and as far away from the parenting ideal that we so desperately try to clutch at in this modern day. You felt so guilty and frustrated that you reached that low today. You wished you could turn back time, take back the words.

Hear me now

You are not a terrible parent because you shouted at them. This was one moment in time. Think about all the other moments throughout the day that you are loving, giving and nurturing.

Think about all the things you do for your children. Think about how much of a good parent you want to be – and the proof is right here because you’re reading this and the fact that you are beating yourself up so badly about that one moment that you lost control today, maybe yesterday too, and maybe more often that you choose to – shows that you CARE. You CARE about your parenting, the parent you are and the impact of your parenting on your child. If you had shouted, and didn’t care then perhaps you could call yourself a bad parent, but it’s so painfully obvious that you are not.

You are human

And we humans are not perfect. We all have our flaws. We have tempers. We can be pushed beyond our limits. We can feel our emotions too much.

And know this too – the garden of life can not always be rosy. Yes we know that shouting at our children is not good for them, and losing our rag is just part of the delicate balance between the positive and negative side of parenting that just is.  But trust me – you are not the only mum who shouts at their children.

Today I couldn’t control my emotions and I threw down my mum mask at the school gates and opened up about what had happened minutes before, and the days before, and the weeks before only to be met with….not judging…but empathy.

Yes, we can keep the moments we are not proud of to ourselves and only show everyone the best version of ourselves but it’s when we open up about our shortcomings that you realise that a) we are all the same and b) you are not the only one having a meltdown at your kids. Just as you are yelling behind closed doors, how many of your neighbours might be yelling at their children behind closed doors? I heard at least one on my five minute school run this morning. You get the picture.

And know this too

Just because you yelled one or twice or three times it doesn’t mean you are on a slippery slope to yelling all the time. Sometimes we just need to blow our top and it’s all over for a long time. Sometimes it might roll over to the next day. It depends on what is going on your life. If you’re running on empty – sure, you’re more likely to shout at your child or children just as I did this morning. If you’re happy, supported and well rested then you are far less likely to shout in this way.

Life can be hard

So please mama, as I say this to myself now, so I say it to you now. Give yourself a break. You are not a bad mum just because you shouted at your child or children. You are just human. And being a mum can be hard. If you’re reading this because you’re just shouted at your child and you’re feeling insanely guilty, here’s a great article on 5 things to do after you’ve shouted at your children (which just proves, it’s totally normal).

Stay strong mamas. And remember be gentle with yourself – you’re doing the best you can.

Parenting: To the mummy who shouted at her childl



  1. I needed to read this today 🙂
    I’ve also shouted. I do shout. Not often but I do. I will always apologise though, often pointing out what caused the shouting in the first place.

  2. Its amazing that we can feel terrible for shouting or telling off. That said, we’ve come a long way as I remember as a kid getting more that being shouted at (I remember slipper in school by the teacher – wouldn’t even think about it now)

    The way I see it is kids do need to be told when they are doing wrong. In most cases we can talk to them and explain, but if kids are shouting and arguing back then you may need to raise the voice to be heard

  3. That was me. Big sigh and yes, I feel guilty about this all the time. I always have a chat with T after I’ve done it. I apologise for shouting and also explain why I did it. Yes, parenthood is a struggle sometimes.

  4. We will all be that person at some stage in our lives. It ca be hard with the constant barrier pushing by children which of course is natural. We are only human and there is only so much one person can take before getting annoyed.

  5. I don’t know many mums who haven’t shouted once in a while. I hate it when I loose control and shout, I feel so terrible after but I always try to say sorry for shouting after and explain that I should have made my point in a calmer way. It happens though and yes we should give ourselves a break x

  6. I really needed to read this, I feel bad every time I shout at my little one, but yet can’t help myself. I really need to remind myself everytime that this is not the mum I want to be. #CoolMumClub

  7. What a thoughtful piece. We’ve all been there. You just wish you could grab all those hateful words and ram them back in your mouth and pretend they were never said! We are indeed all human and we all make slip ups. Whether it be as a mum, partner, sibling, off-spring, we can’t be perfect all of the time! #coolmumclub

  8. We’ve all been there and continue to be there right? Like most parenting things it tends to go in phases where I feel like I’m shouting at my kids all of the time and then there will be a lovely few weeks of everyone getting on nicely together. It’s hard not to get the Mum Guilt, but reassuring that everyone goes through it. #CoolMumClub xx

  9. Great post. I shout all the time! I don’t think I’ve ever shouted at Bobsy, aside from to get her attention and keep her safe. But, at 6, The Boy no longer seems to be able to do what he’s told if there’s just a nice conversation! #Coolmumclub

  10. If my kids were commenting they would be saying “Mum shouts all the time”!!!! I try really hard some days not to, but it can’t always been helped. And its not just us Mums, my two teens are prone to bouts of shouting themselves. #coolmumclub

  11. Honestly, there isn’t a day that goes by when I feel like I’m shouting ‘Everyone stop shouting’ in our home…patience runs thin and tempers fray. I’m so painfully aware of it though, and that’s the first step right?

    Love the supportive feel of this one. All in it together right? #coolmumclub x

  12. Thank you! I think we all need this reminder. I feel so guilty when it finally gets to much and I raise my voice. I feel like the worst mum in the world. Thank you for your words of encouragement #coolmumclub

  13. What a wonderful, supportive post. I’m on my third child now, and try hard not to shout…but it happens more than I’d care to admit. But I don’t think I’m a bad mum for doing it, not like I used to. I used to beat myself up about it with my first son, but now I’m kinder to myself. And actually, that’s lead to less shouting!

  14. Love this post. Thank you for the reminder that losing it every now and then and shouting does not make us bad parents – just normal human ones! It’s so easy to get focused on the guilt at times like this but we all have moments like it. It makes such a difference when other parents empathise rather than condemn too. I had a moment like that at Legoland recently when I was on my own with the girls and getting frustrated. I pointed out that there was only one of me and Sophie wished there could be two of me. My response was “if there was clone mummy and real mummy then clone mummy would be here and I would be on a beach in Tenerife!” A passing mum who was obviously having a similar moment replied with a heartfelt “I hear ya! I’ll get the drinks in!” Made me chuckle and helped that frustration melt away knowing that it wasn’t just me having one of those moments!

  15. It’s so easy to forget that we are NOT alone in getting tested by our little ones. So thank you for the reminder and great to know that you were met with empathy rather than being challenged and left feeling worse. #coolmumclub

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