If you are the perfect mom with the patience of a saint this blog post is not for you.
For those who know me in real life you might think I hold my stuff together pretty well. And that is true, in public at least. I think we all have the face we wear around others and then the other, the true self that only surfaces when we are at home.For me, I don't want anyone to think I'm a monster of a mother. And maybe monster is an exaggeration. Still, I don't want anyone knowing that sometimes I'm not so nice and calm with my children. After all, I'm a mom blogger. Doesn't that mean I adore my children every second of everyday? Well you might think that but it's not reality. Of course I love them always but I don't always like them. In those situations that's when I lose it.
I'm a passionate person. I do everything 110% be it happy, sad, or upset. Like everything else in life there are two sides to the coin. So while being passionate about things can be positive it can also be very negative. One natural reaction when I'm getting upset is to yell. Who wants to listen to some yell all the time? The Bible verse in proverbs Only a fool gives full vent to his rage kept playing over and over. Sure I wasn't going postal (do people still say that?) but I still felt bad about the yelling. It's like I went from 0 to yelling without any gradual increase in volume. I knew it was wrong and that I wanted to stop.
But how? Every time I tried I fell right back into the biggest trap women face. The comparison trap. I know a lot of moms who seem to have it all together all the time. No matter how bad (yes I said bad) their children are in public or at playdates they just smile and calmly laugh it off. Meanwhile I'm like WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM!?!?!
I felt like a failure as a mother. A pretender, an emotional wolf in patient sheep clothing.
My daughter is generally compliant and with her I don't even need to yell to get my point across. My son however, pushes my buttons (naturally we are the most alike) and everyone gets to hear what happens next. I yell, he yells louder, and nothing gets accomplished. Yeah not fun. So if yelling doesn't work why do I keep doing it? Well I don't know really, automatic reaction I suppose. Sorry it's not more philosophical than that, I'm just trying to be real.
I came across another blog, The Orange Rhino, and was inspired by her story. She set an original goal for herself of 365 without yelling, pretty amazing right? I saw that she is now in year 2 of not yelling which is very encouraging! And that's when I thought “Hey I can do that too! I can go without yelling.” I set a slightly smaller goal for myself of just the school year. But began a little early, because it's never too early to stop yelling. No one knew about this challenge except myself and my family. Part of me didn't want to share encase I failed miserably. Whether this is a success or a train wreck you all will know. And yes that scares me just a little.
To start off my own challenge I did what The Orange Rhino suggested: make a list of my triggers. There was no need to take time and reflect, I already knew what they were and have known for awhile. But knowing and doing are two different things. Now I'm finally taking my list and putting it into use, like a battle plan. For example, I know ahead of time if I didn't get enough sleep or I have a lot of work to do that I'm going to be on edge. So when the kids get going on their “He's looking at me!” or “She's not playing with me!” instead of freaking out I have been walking away. Going into another room to find my center before walking back and handling the sibling drama.
It is important to have someone to keep you in check, an accountability partner. For me, my daughter is very helpful. When I told her about what I wanted to do she was very supportive and agreed that everyone, animals included, needed to stop yelling. Her and I decided that if someone starts yelling we needed to say “remember the no yelling rule!” The boy child is too young to get it but he gives up sooner if the rest of us keep our voices low. I will take that as a win, for now!
The big question: How is it going? It has been 5 days since the last incident.
Do you struggle with yelling and want to stop? Then I encourage you to join me in the no yelling club. Here there is no judging, just encouragement for all of us to be the best mothers we can be. If you need an accountability partner I am here for you! Email me, tweet me, Facebook, whatever and I promise to support you in your journey!