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Old 09-27-2009, 12:27 PM   #1 (permalink)
it's all happening
 
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Sober parenting


I'm on day 8, and I am still very happy to be sober. But I'm realizing that part of the reason I drank so much is because I am very, very bad at dealing with stress. Especially stress from parenting.

I have a very, very tough time dealing with temper tantrums and constant questions and requests and talking back. On the surface, I am very calm, and then at some point I lose it and blow up on everyone. I've blown up twice today, and I feel awful about myself when it happens.

Any advice on how to keep from blowing up? Right now, I'd really like a drink just to calm down, and I can't leave the house because DH is at work and I'm the only one responsible for the kids. I'm as far away from the littlest one as I can get (he's in his crib having a temper tantrum) but I can still hear him, so my stress level isn't getting any better ....
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Old 09-27-2009, 12:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi Pennylane,

Temper tantrums are hard to deal with and I think one thing that can help is to be consistent with your kids. It's hard because kids can wear you down, but if you can be consistent, it can help keep things running smoothly. Try putting on some music that your kids like and bounce around with them. It can be a great stress reliever. I hope you feel better.
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Old 09-27-2009, 02:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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My now teen age kids are both mildly autistic/ADHD, and when they were little, I just couldnt handle it alone. My mom, my day, my siblings, and my housekeeper all pitched in to watch the kids a lot so I wouldn't be flipping out. And I'm a sober person!! I also went to see a psychiatrist and got prescribed some prozac. It really keeps me from going nuts. Its an extremely long acting, slow acting anti-depressant that you cant get high on. Some kids are just more....intense. If you can join a preschool mom's group and do some babysitting exchange, that can also be a good break. Your sobriety will mean so much to your kids later on. My son now comes home with horror stories about other kids in his school whose parents are drug/alcohol abusers. He'll come right out and tell me "I'm so glad you're not that way". He knows he was a handful. Good luck and let us know how it goes.
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Old 09-27-2009, 02:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Hi PL

Early recovery is an emotional rollercoaster...or it was for me anyway - with kids it must be even more insane.

No advice for me, but if you haven't seen it yet, we do have a forum on relationships and parenting in recovery
Relationships & Parenting In Sobriety - SoberRecovery : Alcoholism Drug Addiction Help and Information

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Old 09-27-2009, 04:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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:ghug3....i know what you're going thru...so lots of love and thoughts..
...coming back atcha....Ozzy....
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Old 09-27-2009, 05:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I too felt exactly the same way as you Penny. I felt like a ticking tomb bomb. I never hurt my son, but I lacked patience in a big way. Time away from the alcohol helped me. My shortness was a result of my withdrawal from the stuff. I got better and my parenting got better with time. Not perfect here, but better.

Also Mom Groups or anything that will lend you some time to care for yourself is a good idea. I do a play date exchange with a friend. Her husband is military and gone a lot. She's got 4 kids and so I "try" to take them as much as I can so she can have a break. Find someone that can let you have some "me" time. Family, friends, church, mommy groups, or parents' day out. PM me if you need to. I check in at the end of the day and the morning. Will try to be on more often if you need someone to talk to.

Being a mommy can be a lonely and definitely hard job. Especially, being a mommy while recovering, but it can be done. I'm proof and there are many, many more around here too. Hugs - Sarah
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Old 09-27-2009, 05:31 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks, everyone. I made it through sober. A little edgy and stressed, but sober. A friend stopped by with her baby, so I got a little baby loving time, and then my husband came home around 6 and took over as Boss in Charge.

After my dad died, someone told my mom that she could go over the grief, or under the grief or around the grief, but eventually she'd have to go through it. That's how I felt today -- like I was finally diving in, straight through the stress. And I'm here on the other side, feeling fine. No buzz, no numbness. Probably might take me longer to get to sleep tonight. But at least my mind is working on what I can do to be better in this situation next time it happens (because there will be a next time, I'm sure ...) and wondering if I need to up the Prozac!

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Old 09-27-2009, 08:57 PM   #8 (permalink)
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..speak to the doctor first..any increase can be worse...

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Old 09-27-2009, 09:58 PM   #9 (permalink)
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It was worse for me the first few years. I found a good therapist and I have an online message board full of other mom's who are a great support and kick me in the rear when I need it. It does get better, but you need to make sure you are getting the help you need too.
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Old 09-28-2009, 07:38 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I used to start drinking wine while I was cooking dinner and continue til I went to bed. I totally numbed out for the most part, but if my son was being difficult I would really snap. My patience was totally shot. It has actually gotten better since I stopped drinking, I'm much less reactive.
Actually, last night I had a few glasses of wine at a party after not having drank for quite a while. When I got home, I totally lost my temper with my son and know for sure I should not drink and parent!!
Also, the anxiety that accompanies coming down is so not worth it.
Learned that lesson again...

Anyway, I know what it's like to have a really short fuse for any temper tantrums, excessive questions and babble. I go one step further and feel I have no desire or patience to play games and do fun stuff with my son.
I think I'm going to be revisiting the possibility of trying meds with my dr this week...I don't want to be like this...
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Old 09-28-2009, 08:59 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Although it may seem somewhat ridiculous to make a formal amends to a four year old, that simple action was the starting point of a new relationship with my son. It has made all the difference. Parenting became a joy, and the difference in his reaction to life was stunning. Within a few short months he became much calmer, better behaved, more thoughful and loving, and all around happier. Friends in AA used to remark that they couldn't belive the difference in him.

Although I would have said I was a good and loving parent, I was secretly resentful of my son. I'd watch the clock, couldn't wait for the time to get him in the tub and off to bed so I could start pounding booze. And I'm thinking I'm this great dad, taking care of everything, sacrificing for everyone else. Boo hoo hoo poor me. How horrible is that. being resentful of a 4 year old? Well, not horrible at all, just alcoholism. Alcoholism was more than just drinking. It robbbed me of my soul. I didn't know how to love. It wasn't until I recovered from alcoholism that I truly knew what love meant.

Of course, prior to doing that, I had to surrender to my alcoholism, stop drinking for good and all, turn my life over, complete an inventory and confession of my wrongs, and seek to have my defects removed. I had to see the truth of what I had done and strive to repair the damage.

The 12 steps was the best parenting advice I ever got. And it had nothing to do with parenting.
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Old 09-28-2009, 12:19 PM   #12 (permalink)
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The 12 steps can be applied to almost everything in my life today. Parenting is a big one!

I've struggled with my weight for a long time. This last year I've been able to get a firmer hold on it and take off some weight and get healthier. It's an amazing feeling. Yep, I've used the 12 steps to help me deal with the reasons I over ate and didn't move enough. I am so grateful to the 12 steps.
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I am so thankful for my sobriety

Dios me da la Sernidad
Para acceptar las cosas que no puedo cambiar
La fuerza para cambiar las que si puedo
y la Sabidura para reconocer la diferencia
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