You know how it goes. Every day you wake up and promise yourself you will do things different. You will be happier, you won’t snap at your kids, you’ll have your emotions under control. But most days you fall short.
Dealing with anger is one of the hardest things about being a single mom. You had such a different vision of what you thought you’d be like as a mom, but since your life has changed, it can be hard to keep that big emotion in check.
Girl, I totally get it. I know this all too well because I tend to get frustrated really quickly because I’m overwhelmed with being the sole parent. When there is no one there to share those responsibilities with when things get tough, it’s no wonder why you may struggle with anger.
Let me let you in on a secret:
Managing your anger is possible and it’s easier than you think! These tips will help you start dealing with your anger in a positive way today!
Let your kids know
Many times moms will try to ignore their anger especially if it has to do with their kids. Imagine this, your toddler is in the stage of having various meltdowns over really trivial stuff. In your head you know that this is developmentally appropriate and so you try to ignore how frustrated it makes you that they are screaming because they wanted to shut the light off and you did it. Or they are freaking out because they can’t put their own shoe on. Or you didn’t give them the pants they wanted. But almost every time, you end up snapping because that anger builds inside of you and isn’t dealt with.
Instead of ignoring your feelings, let your kids know how you’re feeling. Identifying that you’re angry helps you recognize how you’re feeling before you snap and also helps your kids begin to identify and label emotions for themselves. Letting your kids know you’re angry gives you the opportunity to cope. Again that’s a great thing for your kids to see. They learn from you that it’s ok to get angry and there are things that can be done to help themselves when they feel that way.
Write down how you feel
If you are angry at your kids, your ex, your friend, family, life, or all of the above, a great way to get rid of those feelings is writing it down! You can do this in one of two ways. Write in a journal to get the feelings out or write it down on a piece of paper and tear it up, burn it, or get rid of it! It can be very cathartic to write out your feelings because it doesn’t have to be pretty or well said. You can legitimately write whatever you want!
I’ve done this when I get super angry and I can’t figure out an outlet to get rid of it. I write all the nasty, hateful, or bad stuff on paper. Depending on what it is about, sometimes I keep it, sometimes I rip it up.
Sometimes it’s better to not verbalize those feelings because it can damage your relationships. You still have to co-parent, or you still have to be a mom, or you still have to see your family. But it helps to acknowledge those feelings even if it isn’t verbalizing them.
This is an amazing tool to relieve stress from your body and mind. Pick your favorite way to exercise and try it out! Exercise has tons of benefits and you can read more about that in this post. Exercising has a way of making you feel better on the inside and outside. I used to run a lot and whenever I felt stressed, I immediately felt the urge to run it out. And it worked every time! Now I do an online exercise program but it still helps me to be less stressed out which leads to controlling my anger better.
Talk to a friend
I cannot begin to tell you how good it feels to talk to a friend who gets exactly what you’re going through! It immediately makes you feel like you aren’t alone. It may be another single mom friend who knows just how tough it is to raise kids by yourself. Or understands the difficulties of co-parenting. Or maybe it’s a friend who has kids that are the same age as yours and understands what it’s like to want to pull your hair out because of the particular phase they are going through. Just being heard and understood can do a lot for relieving your anger.
Give yourself grace
It’s normal to get angry. It’s normal to be really angry about a lot of things because you are a single mom and the sheer amount of stuff you have to deal with is insane for just one person. No one is perfect and if you get angry with your kids, a friend, or your family, apologize and most likely everyone will be able to move forward.
I tend to get angry most often with my kids just because we are around each other 24/7. But if I take it out on them, I will immediately apologize and we hug it out and talk about it and they are good to move on.
Yes, anger is a hard emotion to deal with as a single mom but it’s not impossible to manage. Let your kids know how you are feeling. It’s just as helpful for them as it is for you. You can write down how you feel or commiserate with a friend. Try exercising to get rid of any negative feelings. When the inevitable happens and you do get angry, give yourself some grace. You are doing the best you can and these tips will help you get a better grip on your anger starting today!