Bottled up emotions do me NO good…

177 days without yelling, 187 days of loving more to go!

Dear Computer Keyboard,

My mind is full of so much that I want to say, that I want to get out, that I want to write about yet I can’t because my mind is too overwhelmed. It doesn’t know where to start. What to process first. Because I am too stressed to process what I need to process in order to start writing and feel better. Does that make any sense? So I implore you, can you please pull the words out of my head and help remove the writer’s block? If not, I swear I am going to lose it and by that I mean I am going to scream at my boys and that is the last thing I need right now.

Thanks for your help,
The Orange Rhino

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I want to write about my baby turning one, about being in denial that I no longer have a “baby” in the house, about being disappointed that I didn’t spend as much “quality” time with my last baby as I hoped, about being frustrated with myself that I am not good at fully enjoying the quality time that I do have.

I want to write about loving my 4 boys but how I sometimes think it would be great to have a girl TOO. Not instead, but TOO. About how smelling a little girl’s Strawberry Shortcake doll just now brought tears to my eyes because I know that some of my most favorite childhood pastimes I probably won’t share with my boys.

I want to write about how I know in my heart 4 kids is our family but that I still dream of having another child. But we won’t because right now my three eldest are each struggling, really struggling, and I am at my wits end which makes it blatantly clear to me that 4 is our limit (because #4 isn’t old enough to give me problems!)

I want to write about how with 4 kids, I can’t seem to figure out how to adequately give each one the help they need right now. How frustrated I am that I have been told by speech therapists and occupational therapists what I should do to help my kiddos yet I can’t find the time (scratch that, that I don’t make the time) to help them.

I want to write about how I love having 4 kids, but how it has ostracized me from lots of things that I knew it would, that I wouldn’t change it for a world, but still sometimes it gets me down, sometimes I feel alone and lost and like no one understands me or my challenges.

I want to write about how having 4 kids is wonderfully…hard. How I don’t have it all together like people think…but that I wish I did. That I was truly the “wow, you are such a patient mom, you always seem so pulled together to.” Ha, as if!

I want to write about how I constantly question my boys’ behavior and worry if it is just a phase, if it is a boy thing, if it IS normal or not, if it is a result of my parenting and then I worry about what others think about their behavior and what others think about my parenting. And I know no one’s opinions matter per say, but I still worry.

I want to write about how I haven’t yelled lately but that I’ve used a firm voice an awful lot to try to get said behavior in line. And that I don’t like that. At all. And that even though I haven’t broken my Orange Rhino Challenge rules, I am still not pleased with myself because I know I can do better.

I want to write about how despite all the craziness in the house I love my boys SO much and that I wish I could enjoy the good moments more, yet it is near impossible because the minute I find myself enjoying the moment BAM someone starts screaming.

I want to write about how I want to actually seize the moment and go on adventures with my boys, yet how I feel stressed most of the time and can’t help but wonder, is it worth it? Is it worth it to push myself for a few hours of fun? (The answer is always yes but still at the beginning, I always wonder!)

I want to write about how excited and proud I am that #3 decided to potty train himself while on our recent adventure, but how sad I am that he is growing up and that I will yes, miss changing his diapers. We always had such great chats during diaper time, seriously, and it always gave me 30 seconds to stop and stare at his beautiful baby face and cherish his adorableness.

I want to write about how #3 still screams an awful lot and that as much progress as we have made in a year, I still feel like we are dealing with the same issues and I worry that something is wrong. That either I am parenting wrong or that there is something else going on. Autism has been ruled out but still, I worry.

I want to write about how we feel #2 is being bullied and we don’t know how to proceed. He is only 4. That’s right people. 4. Who knew kids could be so mean? Who knew that watching my son being excluded and then laughed at would bring back painful memories of my own childhood?

I want to write about how #1 is always anxious and worried. That he gets it from me and I feel awful about it. Awful that he experiences these feelings, awful that I get frustrated by the 100th question driven by concern. What is a boardwalk? If it is on water, will it fall down? Will I fall in the ocean? Will I drown? Will a lifeguard rescue me? All he needs to hear is “you’re safe” instead he hears frustrated and short responses to his questions.

I want to write about it all. Every last bit of it and more.  I want to write about all that is clogging my mind and putting me on edge with my kids, yet I fear that if I sit down and truly, deeply write about what’s on my mind and then read it on the screen it will be real. Which I know is actually a good thing, but still.

I want to write because keeping all my feelings of sadness, anger, frustration, confusion, disappointment bottled up inside is leading to one thing…a not nice mommy. I might not be yelling but I am not necessarily as nice as I want to be either. Not even close. I need to let these feelings out because my boys deserve better. Full. Stop. Period.

Note to self (1): After I wrote this, I instantly felt better. I felt a weight lifted. I felt a teensy bit of patience and love come back into my body. Don’t keep things bottled up. It does you NO GOOD.

Note to self (2):  When you start to feel overwhelmed, tackle the stress bit my bit. You didn’t write anything because you felt the need to write the whole thing. You didn’t know where to start. You wrote a little bit about each feeling and felt like you made progress. Kind of like getting through the day without yelling. Take it one step at a time…

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10 thoughts on “Bottled up emotions do me NO good…

  1. Awesome post! I am in a similar boat and while it’s hard to admit the issues sometimes – it is amazingly freeing when you do!

  2. When I was a kid I was in dance competitively and one day I was upset because I hadn’t won top in my division. And the MC saw me and knew me from years of being in that competition and he said “so you didnt win top overall…thats ok because winning and being awesome doesnt necessarily make you good at something but trying hard and trying to get better will ” now part of me thinks that guys full if the stuff I cleaned off my LO’s butt earlier today but I think he was on to something because being a mom isnt about being the best or winning a competition, its about trying to be better. Some days we’ll have off days and some days we’ll walk away with the gold…but as long as we see that improvement needs to be made and we’re trying (even baby steps worth) to imrove then we are good moms. Our kids see that we’re trying and as long as we understand that they’re not perfect and we just want them to try, I think they’ll tend to show us the sane courtesy. So, since your kids aren’t articulating it (though wearing the orange shirt came oretty close) they are thankful that you’re trying and love you for it. Happy Birth Day Momma, be proud of surviving and loving that baby for a year and hey…..maybe them boys will give you hordes of granddaughters to show girlu things to.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, they are close to home and always make me feel not as alone.

  3. Thank you for the post! It’s like a mirror reflection of what I have not been able to write or articulate properly. All I know is tireless frustrating moments about coming to terms with myself and my situation. Never succeeding. :( at times, I think it was much easier giving up especially when I slipped up with my kids. My five year old will say, “I will go to daddy, not you. Dad is cool.” And all the harder I try, more hurt I feel.
    When I told my hubby about this non yelling journey, his reply was, you FAILED because you we’re screaming at them just. It just killed me instantly.
    Is there light at the end of the tunnel??

  4. Thank you for these words – each and every one of them. Someone told me the other day that we read so as not to feel alone. I was hurting so much at the end of my day with my kids, and literally Googled “I yelled again” and your post with a similar title was the first to come up. Thank you for sharing your struggles. Your words bring comfort, hope, inspiration and so much support and encouragement.

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