“I feel so deflated…I yelled at my kids”

250 days without yelling, 115 days of loving more to go!

Dear Cathy,

You wrote the following on the Facebook wall tonight. I started to respond but I started writing a novel so alas, my response is tonight’s post!

I feel like I need to purge/confess/atone … I screamed, I yelled … BIG TIME. Now I feel so deflated … and sad :0( I’m promising myself and the monkeys to be better. I feel like I need some guidance or encouragement, just something. I feel like I start over everyday … but so be it, I’ll take it one day at a time and re-commit to this pledge everyday if that’s what it takes.

I am so sorry I am just getting this and couldn’t reply IMMEDIATELY and bring you a bottle of wine and yummy chocolate cake with extra icing. But alas, I couldn’t. So grab a fork, pull up a chair, pour a glass of wine for yourself and pretend to dig into this cake with me. No cutting slices, lets just eat it as is!

Oh, I have so much to say!

First off, thank you for sharing your struggles with us. For trusting us with your feelings. That is gutsy and amazing.

Second, know that I, and I am sure your husband, and kids and the fellow Orange Rhinos all agree that trying to change the habit of yelling is pretty impressive. So many people yell at their kids big time and don’t care. But you do. You care enough to make a change. And that is absolutely AWESOME.

According to Al Batt (I have no idea who he is, but I love what he said):
It is easy to sit up and take notice.
What is difficult is getting up and taking action.

It takes courage to take on such a big challenge. It takes commitment. It takes love. And you have all three. So please don’t feel deflated. Feel proud that you are trying so hard. Feel proud that every day you get up and show up to be a mom, one of the hardest challenges. Feel proud that every day, despite perhaps yelling the day prior, you keep trying.

According to Winston Churchill (I totally know who he is!)
“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”

So according to him, and I am in total agreement, you are succeeding even if it doesn’t feel like it. I know, easy for me to say right? But I believe it. You wrote on the Orange Rhino facebook page tonight because you want to succeed. That tells me you will. Because you have the enthusiasm and the dedication to figure it out. And by the way, I have a hunch you are already yelling less than you did before and that IS A SUCCESS big time.

Please be assured that it took me numerous tries to figure out the whole not yelling thing. Collectively 30 days I believe with starts and stops. Oh how I wish I was writing during those days so that you could read how you are NOT alone. But I didn’t because I was nervous about what I would write; what people would think. Again, you totally exposed yourself tonight and that is more than I could do 280 days ago. Pretty amazing.

Anyway, I share the following with you in hopes that it helps.

1) FORGET 365 DAYS. I wrote a whole post about that here: Forget 365. In a nut shell, I am an all or nothing addictive personality. If I didn’t set such a crazy goal for myself I would have cheated lots and the cheating would have led me right back to not caring. But I learned quickly that it ISN’T about going 365 days straight. It is about having MORE LOVING MOMENTS period. Yell less, love more. So read this post and find a goal that motivates you but doesn’t stress you. Pick a goal you know you can succeed at and nail it, ie. not yelling at bath time. Then build on up from that.

2) If I didn’t post on FB every time I wanted to yell, if I didn’t text a friend when I wanted to yell, if I didn’t have my kids say Orange Rhino to me when I got cranky, if I did none of these things, I wouldn’t be here today. Tell a friend, tell all of us about your commitment and every night Toot your Rhino Horn. I know people hate that but accountability works. These little things help. So please, use me. This is why I created the page – not just to get support for me, but to give support.

3) Keep a diary. I know, sounds 7th grade. But seriously. For a few days write down all the times you yell, what the kids are doing, what you were doing, how you were feeling, how they were feeling. You’ll start to notice a trend of triggers. Triggers that are easy to work on (quick wins) and triggers that take more time. Take it one trigger at a time. Keep asking yourself why? why am I yelling? Acknowledging my triggers helped kicked me into shape. I’m yelling because I mad at my husband, not my kids. I’m yelling because I just got on the scale and I gained weight, not because I am annoyed my kids can’t get dressed on time. Saying it out loud puts it all in perspective.

Face your deficiencies and acknowledge them; but do not let them master you.  Let them teach you patience, sweetness, insight.
~ Helen Keller 

4) Tell yourself it’s okay. Tell yourself that you are making progress. And that every moment you try is a step forward.

5) Know that you are NOT ALONE. That we are all here because we are all struggling. And that I can always be a phone call away to tell you it’s okay. To remind you that you are amazing and that you have courage and commitment a lot of people lack. Seriously. If you need me, email me and I’ll call you as soon as I can.

Xoxo,
The Orange Rhino

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