Although this article is generally directed towards single moms, everyone struggles with anger at one time or another. The tips and links herein can benefit all parents.
Is being a single parent too overwhelming? Are you an angry single mom? You used to be fun to be around. Your relaxed demeanor, huge smile and hearty laugh drew people. Now, your bitterness has taken over and you have only anger to offer. Your anger is also damaging to your children. You want your children to have better memories than mom demonstrating anger more often than joy.
How can you stop anger? Try focusing on the good. Does your ex call and send birthday cards? How about child support? If so, you are getting more than most.
Change your expectations
More often than not, people get upset because they have chained others to their own expectations. Sometimes we don’t even realize we have these expectations of others. This is especially critical if your ex has remarried or has a new relationship. When we place unreasonable expectations on others, we automatically set ourselves up for disappointment. It is unreasonable to demand that things be done ONLY your way when it comes to parenting.
Is visitation, custody or child support making you angry?
Take a moment and consider the child. What does your son/daughter feel? Are you angry because you think the other parent is not doing a good job and therefore should not have much visitation? If that is the case, try writing down an honest list of pros and cons about the other parents’ job as “parent”. You may find that your anger is misplaced or you have distorted anger.
Is your anger VALID?
I remember the years when my children would not receive a birthday card let alone a phone call. I would feel so angry that their biological dad would not call or write. The child support was a secondary issue. Although we struggled financially, it was much more painful to see my children be promised phone calls and birthday cards only to be let down. So, I had to make a choice, were the action of the other parent going to control me?
In my opinion, here are some valid reasons for being angry
· Disrespectful towards you
· Doesn’t call the kids
· Makes promises and doesn’t follow through
· Bad mouths you in front of the children
Reasons that are NOT valid:
· He/she is remarried
· He/she was a few days late with child support
· He/she has a new baby
· He/she forgets to call once or twice
Remember, being angry is like drinking poison and hoping the other person will die. We have a choice, we can choose anger or we can choose joy. What will you choose today?