Irritable Mom Syndrome: Two Cures for Moms Who Feel Stretched Too Thin

by Dave Burdick

Irritable Mom Syndrome: Two Cures for Moms Who Feel Stretched Too Thin

This month’s Womens Magazine out of Boulder, Colo., has the latest on an ailment with a catchy name: Irritable Mom Syndrome. From Jenny Knuth:


Among moms, it’s widespread by mid-summer—as common as the common cold—but tragically, often undiagnosed and untreated. You, too, may be an unwitting victim of this silent, or more accurately, screaming epidemic.

Do you:
Snap at the kids for just being kids?
Speak with controlled, measured tones through a clenched jaw?
Despair at the prospect of getting the kids into the car, out, then in, then out?


If you answered yes to any of the above, you may have “Irritable Mom Syndrome.”


This common affliction is, well, annoying. But the good news? It’s treatable. Two local health practitioners—an Eastern-tradition trained acupuncturist and a Western-tradition trained therapist—have tips for dealing with the underlying causes of this condition.


East Side
“In Chinese Medicine,” explains Elise Sachs, acupuncturist and Chinese herbalist with Inner Balance Acupuncture in Boulder, “each body organ has associated emotions.”


Anger and frustration are emotions of the liver. Which means when these emotions take over, liver energy is likely out of balance.


The treatment, for a change, is all about you. Nourish yourself, learn what helps you feel good inside and find your balance. You’ll soothe your irritation at its source.


West Side
Catie McDowell, a licensed psychotherapist in Boulder who specializes in mother support, finds her clients surprised by Irritable Mom Syndrome.


She attributes this dilemma to three causes: isolation, unrealistic cultural expectations (due to such diverse factors as media idealization of motherhood and research findings that emphasize the need to actively foster children’s brain development) and poor self-care (from trying to meet said expectations).
Learn more about the causes and effects of Irritable Mom Syndrome at Womens Mag—as well as plenty more that both Sachs and McDowell have to say on the subject.