Tuesday, January 26, 2016


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.


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


  1. I love your approach! I've been trying to be calm in the midst of chaos with my 8 and 10 year old sons. It's amazing what a little adult control can do to diffuse situations. Thanks!

  2. Look at for Paul's next Buzzkill podcast he's planning to look at anger.
    I relate to the changing what triggers me - it was EVERYTHING! The real moment of clarity on anger was once I left work late (my fault) and then was in a queue of traffic ... anger... why aren't we moving?.... anger... I'll be late for my meeting and I'm the key holder.... anger... Then I saw a car on it's roof, firemen around, ambulances etc. Now I start directing my anger on the person who had the crash. Suddenly I'm like - Holy Crap you arsehole. This person has had a crash, luckily you weren't involved and now injured or with a smashed car to deal with. You are late as you never manage your time correctly... a totally transforming zen moment.
    However the anger at home is still an occasional problem as those people know my buttons and how to push and hold them down as well.

  3. I agree. I also still get angry, but the most significant change is I no longer take everything personally.

    As the parent, we are the target practice our kids have for dealing with others. We get a lot of shit, blame and criticism. Because I we are a safe place to try those things out.

    When drinking this crushed me. Now, I see the tactics and I respond.

    Of course, I sometimes get drawn in and things become personal. But that never helps.

    We are making our lives better. Sober is the start of that!


  4. I was sober for 5 years, but no one told me about the anger issues that I was going to be experiencing back then. I fell off the wagon for a few months and have been sober for the last two days. I'm looking forward to following you blog. Excellent work. Keep it up.

  5. I still get angry, but not as often and when I do, I am able to handle it much better. Most of the time.
    When I was teaching, I was trained in classroom management, but when you have 25 five, six, and seven year olds together, well, I wasn't all zen either!

  6. Anger remains a problem for me. I haven't heard anywhere someone in recovery having a magical cure for it. It's like all things for me, a daily struggle. When I'm connected to my program, I'm usually equipped to handle it.
    Thanks for the thoughts on parenting. I have a 3 and 8 mo old. The three year old is just starting to show of that stubborn defiance that I know so well from adolescence. God help me!


  7. Oh I'm so glad I found you too! I read Belle's tired of drinking blog and someone mentioned you. I'm 37 have 3 kids (10 girl, 7girl, and 4 boy) I am so angry all the time. I do realize how I can see the good in outside events that used to frustrate me, but yes at home I tend to still be loosing it quit often. I'm just over 100 days sober. And I go through phases of feeling really good to really down, not PmS related! I run, read, yoga, take baths, make baskets, work. Yeah, I guess some stillness might be required. I'm excited to read more, thank you!