A bunch of moms gather to scream and release the frustration of the past two years
If you’ve been a mom during this pandemic and don’t feel this with every fiber of your being, you have won the game of life. For the rest of us, meeting in a field screaming profanities into the cold winter night’s air sounds exactly like the sort of therapy we need right now.
Sarah Harmon, a mental health therapist and yoga teacher who founded the health and wellness group, “School of Mom,” decided one January night to invite a bunch of moms into a field at Charlestown High School outside of Boston to scream. That’s right, after the pandemic sent already exhausted, overworked, and under appreciated moms into a tailspin, local women decided perhaps gathering together and screaming is just what the doctor ordered.
“I was educating them about anger and how underneath anger there’s so many more emotions — there’s sadness, there’s anxiety, there’s fear, there’s resentment — and they had no place to put it,” Harmon told TODAY. “Moms were at home and not in community, and just struggling.”
She said she first started floating the idea last year and after much enthusiasm from other moms, they held their first event in March 2021. “It was an Arctic night but people came out anyway and we just screamed at the top of our lungs and then we hugged and went on our merry way and it was quite healing,” said Harmon.
There is actual structure to the process. Harmon leads the moms through five rounds of screaming. They start with a regular old scream, then move onto profanities, and then to a “free for all” where participants can scream whatever they need. As someone who has done this into her pillow in a locked closet on many occasions, I see the appeal.
While it may seem comical to think about a group of women screaming into the abyss, how we got to this place is frightening. Nearly 1.8 million women have dropped out of the labor force amid the pandemic to take care of family and children in distance learning. Add to those trying to stay employed while living in this new world of constant anxiety, in-person learning instability, closed daycares, mask mandate changes, caring for elders, financial concerns, being trapped at home, and the million of other nuances that happen in a day, and it’s clear we are at a breaking point. We’re not tired, we’re done. We have nothing left to give.
For Harmon, it’s about giving women a safe space to let it out and have a moment of connection with others feeling the exact same way. “Hopefully this message for people is permission to let it out,” she told TODAY. “Go somewhere safe, grab a friend and release it.”