I'm getting much better at handling my anger outbursts. I'm not saying I don't ever have them - they do come - but much more often now I am able to stay calm and somewhat 'zen' when I'm being pushed, pushed, pushed by my grumpy offspring.
It's the parenting that really pushes my anger button. I never seem to get angry at random things like other motorists or broken things or annoying people on the radio ... but parenting ... it can push me into previously uncharted emotional waters!
Of course as a mum I also experience ridiculous amounts of love and devotion and protection and pride and all of that. But anger.. yeah .. that's the quite intense one.
When I first got sober I had some spectacular outbursts.. but slowly I learnt that screaming at the kids didn't actually achieve much other than make them scream back at me even louder. And slowly I learned that keeping myself low and level worked much better at defusing their outbursts. I find now (when I am managing to control myself) I go into this weird 'zen' mode when I'm almost on a go-slow not responding to their outbursts. It's very disempowering for them and things settle down much more quickly.
And when I decide the fight is over I move very quickly act all easy-breezy and loving again to try to make it easier for them to come out of their bad mood. Because I figure I'm the adult so I have to show emotional management because goodness knows at ages 11, 9 & 6 their emotional management skills are very underdeveloped.
THANK GOODNESS I GOT SOBER!!!!!!!!!
Honestly - with so many tough parenting years to come (the teenage years - 'shudder') the more clever I am at controlling myself in the midst of their turmoil the better.
Anyway.. we are nearing the end of our long, long summer holidays. I've got an extra kid here today so have been surrounded by 4 young boys all day and it's hot, they're tired, they're sick of each other (my sons especially), and the bickering has been intense. But I've managed to (so far) stop myself from completely losing my rag.
I've been placating, negotiating, feeding, watering, entertaining, exercising, monitoring and generally parenting young lads without too much angst. And now it's 5pm and because I don't drown myself in wine every evening (like I used to) I am going to make myself a nice cold soda water instead. With ice and a slice. Because I'm worth it.
And here's hoping the zen approach stays with me til bedtime...
Love, Mrs D xxx