What’s much more important than putting your child first


An observation I make all the time: we mothers worry the most about our children after separation and anxiously watch how they experience this time and deal with the father’s actions.

Every word the child says is weighed in the balance and interpreted. It is compared to other peers and filtered with the stories read on various mothers’ forums with a toxic Ex partner.

We look at our own painful journey and anxiously ask ourselves how a child is supposed to cope emotionally and psychologically if we as adults can barely get it together?

And we run from place to place. We ask our pediatricians and look for suitable psychologists in the vicinity, make trial appointments, introduce the child and try desperately to avoid everything that can be avoided.

If it weren’t for factor X – the toxic Ex.

Who of course does not play along. Who refuses a possible therapy for the child. Who, with a contemptuous wave of his hand, sweeps aside the opinions of the pediatrician and the child psychologist, both of whom recommend therapy.

And we even go to court to have the signature formally replaced. So that the child can finally be helped.

Sometimes that works – and sometimes it doesn’t. Then we’re back to square one and feel even more powerless.

The child is obviously exposed to a hell of a childhood and nobody is allowed to help him because this devil of a father prevents it!

That the child is only used so that energy can flow between us and the fathers, we know meanwhile.

Just this makes us so angry and also unspeakably sad.

And we are angry with ourselves that we were so naive and stupid to have fallen for this man.

How can we get our children out of this? How can we stop it being used as a means to an end – to save on child support or to exact revenge on the mother who dared to leave the demigod?

Invitation to the FeelBold Friday

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How can we save our children?

The most important part you have already done to save your child: You’re separated from the toxic child’s father.

Because nothing is worse for children than growing up in a lying, subliminally aggression-flooded home. Yes, as long as a family remains “intact” from the outside and does not slip into the milieu, it is very unlikely that the Youth Welfare Office or guardians ad litem will suddenly appear at the door and have their say on the subject of child welfare.

All mothers who remain in a highly toxic relationship for the sake of their children will be looked lovingly but firmly in the eye by me at this point.

Yes, our kids go through a real thread after a breakup, no doubt about it.

They have to talk to dozens of strangers and turn their innermost selves inside out over and over again. Sometimes they are heard, sometimes they are not.

Let’s not even get started on what it means for a child when, on the one hand, he speaks the truth to strangers, gets everything off his chest, and then, on the other hand, is disappointed and forced to do something he doesn’t want to do – for example, to go to an indifferent or evil father or even to spend longer vacations with him.

No question – that is more than bad.

However, in my opinion, what the affected children need most is support and orientation.

If on the one hand one parent is toxic and constantly full of hate and anger about the other and tells lies, children feel with time that there is something wrong. The child’s father is regularly late or makes promises he doesn’t keep – he can’t be relied upon.

At this point, there is already no support and no guidance.

But what can be found on the other side? With you as a mother?

If you just melt away and react hectically to everything the ex throws at your feet; if you don’t know at all anymore where up and down is; if you lose yourself in drama and make excited phone calls – then the atmosphere around you is filled with insecurity and fear.

Your child soaks up this atmosphere like a sponge.

Does this mean you offer support and guidance?

Probably not.

So what can your child do? Depending on his temperament, he can either really freak out and act out this terrible, frightening energy in his own way or withdraw completely.

And with his behavior there is plenty of cause for concern.

With that, you’re just tearing yourself apart even more.

Do you want to feel confident about managing child hand-offs with your toxic ex?


What if you take your child’s behavior as a call to calm yourself down first?

I can see you rolling your eyes.

You wish for nothing more than that! You dream about it day and night – to finally be able to live your everyday life with the child calmly and without being triggered by the Ex!

Then let me ask you a question: What do you do for it?

Thinking and dreaming alone will not change anything.

You have to take action.

But action does not mean constantly reacting to your ex’s antics or filing the next petition with the court, unless there is an immediate danger for your child.

Action means following a structured plan that helps you set boundaries and work on yourself in such a way that you really find your emotional balance, strengthen yourself in the long run, and actively change your belief system.

If you really want to save your child, become a stable lighthouse. Use your example to show your child what it means to make the best of a difficult situation and develop resilience.

Offer your child the support he or she needs while the other parent has a personality disorder and is therefore out of the picture.

Put on your life jacket first, sweetheart. Don’t get lost in psychotherapy for your child while you yourself are still totally between the ropes emotionally.

Use the therapist as an extra supplement to strengthen your child’s support, but not as a substitute and with an attitude of “Now go for it – I can’t take it anymore.”

You first. Then your child.

Motherly love has nothing in common with sacrifice

Motherly love is shown in your empathy. In your strength. In your example. In your light and clarity as you calmly and confidently take one step at a time, unflinchingly walking your path.

A path without drama, anger or defiant thoughts of revenge.

If you want to help your child come out of this childhood with a highly toxic father as strong as possible, show him how.

By swimming yourself free of it first.

Invitation to the FeelBold Friday

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