11/23/19–> It’s crazy to think back on those days, just 3 years ago and see how much different life is even today. WAY LESS yelling. In fact, very little…I’ll be honest this stage of life is more about the hard discussions, real life things that sometimes leave me in tears in bed at night, feeling under-prepared, unsure, and overwhelmed with how much innocence to break, and how much to keep hidden.
Death. Love. Friends. Bullies. Sex. Hate. And so on…
So those of you in the stage of life I discuss below, hang in there. We either get wiser or our kids grow up, not sure which. Or maybe both…Even still…
Part 1 of a Blog I wrote 3 years ago…
All mom’s yell, I don’t care how well you parent.
At any given point in the day, the crumbs on the floor…the pee all over the bathroom wall…the arguing…the talking back…the tantrums at the dinner table over tater tots….
BECOME the tipping point of our day. And everything from the last day. The last week. Possibly even the past 6 months comes to a boiling point and needs escape.
And we yell.
Maybe we yell really loud. Maybe we even scream.
It may not even be directly related to the incident at hand or the child involved…but it is there and it needs to escape.
We feel undervalued.
We are out of patience.
We have our own agenda in mind that isn’t being achieved.
We are in a hurry.
We are resentful.
We can’t put to words why we feel like we do.
I am one of them.
But here is where I am at in this journey of motherhood…
1) Rest. Sleep.
We as mom’s need it. Yesterday I had a HUGE mess of laundry and dirt and dishes and my kids were still at school for another hour. I was so tired, BUT I could see the mess around me knowing it needed addressed. But I closed my eyes and sat down and rested for an hour. I slept. I woke up feeling better. And had a better evening. If I hadn’t, I would be so tired by supper that every little thing, like spilling a drink on the floor, would send me over the edge. And I would YELL…and be met with tearful eyes and perplexed looks over my extreme anger over such a normal childhood mishap.
2) Don’t let the disrespect or tantrums escalate you to anger.
I quit giving warnings. I quit counting to 3. I quit giving meaningless threats. Here’s 1 thing I have learned, especially with kids like mine with special needs and attention…address the ISSUE right away. Kids are typically wanting boundaries, they are seeking it through their actions. So nip it in the butt right away BEFORE they continue to escalate in their behavior and YOUR TEMPER seeming rises to a boiling point and you REACT. (and yell)
3) Stop Multi-Tasking.
WHOA. This one is a hard one for me. I used to try to do the dishes, do the laundry, prepare supper and try to help my kids with spelling words or learn how to do new tricks ALL at the same time. And when I’d burn the food, break a dish, and my kid was in tears because I wasn’t watching their new trick..I would YELL. So now I give them attention first, hear them out, give them my FULL focus…and send them on their way FULFILLED.
4) Don’t push an agenda.
Part of my angry yelling was from REACTING. REACTING to my frustration with not getting my way. I had set it in my mind I was working out at 6:00 am and my youngest would get up at 5:30 am and want to watch cartoons, have a drink, and was hungry…AHHH! I NEEDED my time. I DESERVED my workout time. And I would obsess about it until I got it done. AND sometimes I would take my anger over not getting my workout in ON her. And YELL.
5) Lower your expectations.
This may sound terrible. But I had to lower my expectations of my kids behavior and realize things weren’t going to go as planned…MOST of the TIME. Like when we went to the movies, and I took my son’s ear plugs because he hates loud noises. We got into the movie, we had our popcorn, kids were all settled and the movie started….AND my son jumped in my lap, through his ear plugs down on the floor, grabbed my neck and began crying. OUT loud. And would NOT stop. And I got mad. WHY?? This was supposed to be a fun family event together, watching a good warm, fuzzy movie. And he was ruining it. And I wanted to YELL. And probably would have, had we not been in a movie theatre. I had to get over myself, recognize his needs, and realize this was the struggle we were going to have…and it would be FINE.
6) Just say no.
Another reason I would YELL. Because I would give of myself 100% to everyone, all day. Being everything, to everyone. Meeting everyone’s emotional needs. Answering every text, message, and phone call with patience and empathy. I would let people walk all over me and it would be okay. And I would say yes to every ball practice, every play practice, every after school activity, every church event, every fundraiser because I wanted to be a good mom. AND it only made me a bad mom. It would be 6 pm and my patience and will-power and control would be GONE. I did not leave any in the tank for anyone else. The “else” being the most important people in my life. And I would YELL at every little thing. So now I run on a reserve tank. I set boundaries. I say no. And I value my patience and time for my kids.
7) I make sure I get time for my stress reliever as often as I can.
I lift heavy weights. Throw around bars. Learn new skills. And improve my fitness. It’s how I relieve my stress. It has helped me through many tough times. And still continues to today. We invested in a home gym so I can visit my stress reliever more easily…AND I can teach my kids the importance of relieving stress in a healthy way as well.
8) You are the mom, trust your gut. AND surround yourself with people who can help you BUT also know your true colors AND the environment and situation with your kids. Don’t believe everything you read.
This one has so many levels, for me especially. And it may make some people mad…but here it goes. I used to read James Dobson, I read Baby Wise. I read SO many strong-willed, discipline your child, this is how you do it books. AND I would get SO mad. My child did NOT respond to these methods. These Godly, Biblical-lead methods that I was being preached as the only way. Did NOT work. I prayed over my child. I disciplined her. I read her Scripture. I saw how it worked for other mom’s AND I would YELL. Why didn’t this method of doing it God’s way work for me?! It was supposed too. It was Biblical. And yet, it only made my situation with my child worse. And I realized my child was different. BUT it took me accepting it first. Then, it took me letting go of all I was taught as being the norm and working, and realizing I had to forge my own way. I had to do what I felt was best for my child. And work with her, and help her in a non-typical way. And all then, only, then…was I able to release some anger and frustration at myself, my inabilities, and my “less-than” mentality I had imposed on myself for not being able to raise my child like I was being told was the “way.” And I was able to stop YELLING.
9) Let your kids in your life.
I used to get so angry when they would try to help me. Or get in the way. Or beg to help me with a task I was already struggling with. “Man! Just get out of my way so I can get this food cooked…” Or “leave me alone so I can get my workout done! UGH, LEAVE me alone!” “No you will make a huge mess, you can’t do this with me…” When I slowed DOWN, for one. When I stepped back and realized they weren’t trying to purposely annoy me. Or get in my way. When I took my own “needs” out of the picture for awhile, and realized they wanted to just be with “me” or do what “I’m doing”..the anger turned to compassion. For some reason, it never crossed my mind they actually might want to spend time with me or learn from me….FOR a very long time. I would watch my husband be so patient and giving of his time and talent. Or my in-laws or parents let them make messes and I could see how much fun my kids would have with that…and realized they weren’t actually trying to ruin my life…haha, they wanted to be a part of it. I would stop YELLING so much.
10) Communicate better.
I would get so mad when I’d yell out 2-3 directions or chores or things I wanted completed when I’d get home from work or class…and I’d return home to find NOTHING done. Or it was only half-done or done completely wrong. And I would YELL because I felt disrespected. Man, worst feeling ever to be white noise in a house full of people you’d give your life for. And here’s what I learned…my kids were not understanding my 3 yelled statements of chores. I was not communicating exactly what I wanted in a way they could process. Especially my oldest with sensory processing issues, my son who can’t hear, and my baby. (ha! makes me laugh now looking back at my disgust in my kids and their lack of doing chores, when I now know their short-comings) So now I write my list down of chores for the week. Each day has an assignment…they know ahead of time the expectation for the week…and NO more of me throwing a chore in at the last minute, demanding them to do it as extra because I am mad….