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Angry Mum

by Sam
(Melbourne, Australia)

Dear reader, excuse my English. I have been a mum for 6 and half years. Unfortunately I understood I had problems when my son was acting up for eating, or screaming because he was too tired. And my husband wasn't helpful at all--in the opposite, he was very abusive.

I know that in my angry moments I smacked my children, pushed them, pulled their hair, and generally being aggressive toward them. I have tried so hard to stop the physical aggression, but now I'm dealing with the verbal abuse.

I try so hard to read and look for help. I went to several therapies and nothing works.

When I'm happy with my husband, which is a couple of times a year, it's much better at home. I forgot to mention that when I became a mum I moved countries, and became a step mum of 2 children full time, with no help or support and no family. And a husband that traveled overseas more than 42 weeks a year.

Since 3 months, I stopped looking after my step children, and I am trying to forgive my husband for all the abuse I have been through, but I still verbally put down my children and I get angry so quickly for mess in their rooms and stuff everywhere.

I am quite fussy, and need to be in a clean and tidy environment.

I explained to my children that mum needs help and that I love them, and I am so sorry to hurt their feelings. But I know it's not enough.

I know that if I do a self talk and spend time trying to think that no matter what I will be a good mum it does work. But if I stop doing it I fail. I have too much stress in my life.

Please help me and give the best advice. I want to be better, and I will. Help, please.

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello Sam, and thanks for telling your story here. You are writing on this site because you want to stop hurting your children, and to be a better mother. That is because you're a good person. I will try to help.

First, it occurs to me as I read your story that you may be trying too hard to forgive your husband, and taking your anger out on your children. You refer a couple of times to your husband being abusive to you, and burdening you with child care. I suggest that you read the following page on relationships to make sure you're getting on track in your marriage: how to deal with abusive relationships.

I also suggest that you read this page on parenting skills, and learn and practice these daily.

Please, Sam, do these exercises every day, and stop hurting your precious children. At the beginning of each day, make a list of the things you love about each of them, and try to focus on that during the day. They are innocent, and worthy of your respect and love.

Make up your mind to be the good person you are inside, and you can do this.

Believe in yourself, and the goodness of your heart.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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