226 days without yelling, 139 days of loving more to go!
Whenever you find me, you take over my entire being and make me an absolute b*tch! You are one of my worst triggers for yelling. Could you do me a favor? Could you either stop invading my body or send me a manual on how to handle you? I would be most appreciative. So would my boys. I am much more pleasant when I am not nervous!
The Orange Rhino
There are several “yells at my kids” that I cannot shake from my memory, like this one. I think it is so “memorable” because it is exactly what I didn’t want to achieve that day.
I was 36 weeks and 6 days pregnant with number four. It was potentially my last night as a mom of three kids and I wanted it to be special and perfect because I knew once #4 came, I would be even more exhausted, more cranky, more busy than I had been the last 8.5 months. I wanted to have one last hurrah with my three boys. I wanted to take them out for a fun dinner where they got all my undivided attention. I wanted to laugh and joke with them. I wanted to have fun with them. I wanted to snuggle them into bed feeling secure that when #4 comes, they will still be as important as ever even if they didn’t feel like it because lots of my energy was going into caring for their new baby brother. Oh how I wanted to shower them with hugs, and kisses, and lots of love that night.
But I didn’t. Instead I showered them with impatience, intolerance and lots of yelling.
All because I was anxious.
and short tempered.
I was all sorts of not positive emotions.
In fact, I was EVERY EMOTION but what I wanted to be that night.
All because the next morning I was headed to the hospital to try and flip #4 out of breech position. I had three natural deliveries and was terrified of a C-section if he didn’t flip, terrified of recovering from a C-section with three older boys at home, terrified of the potential of an emergency delivery at 37 weeks as a result of the procedure, terrified of feeling disappointed if my last delivery was a C-section and not the delivery I wished for, terrified of having a baby NOW when I wasn’t mentally ready, when the house was still under construction and so not ready to welcome a baby.
I wanted SO BADLY for the procedure to go well. I wanted SO BADLY to have special time with my boys just in case I did deliver tomorrow. So much so that I was an absolute mess b*tch!
And it came out in the form of yelling.
“KNOCK IT OFF #1!”
“DAMMIT, #2 WHY CAN’T YOU LISTEN?!”
“BE QUIET #3! USE YOUR WORDS!!!”
Oh, I yelled most of the day. It was AWFUL. Absolutely awful. And then came dinner. We couldn’t go out to Friendly’s as planned which just added more disappointment to my list, further fueling my mood. So we brought it home.
I opened the styrofoam containers which had trapped in the steam from the once hot food.
The boys started eating.
“My food is soggy.”
“I didn’t want macaroni and cheese.”
It was my turn to complain. But I did more than complain. I SCREAMED at the top of my lungs so much so that my hands shook and my face turned bright red.
“GOD DAMMIT KIDS! All I wanted was a nice peaceful and special meal before tomorrow and you’re ruining it! Absolutely ruining it! ”
They stopped complaining and all simultaneously burst into tears, my then 5 year old telling me that I was the meanest, worstest mommy ever.
My heart sank. I was mortified and ashamed and OH SO INCREDIBLY SAD.
They weren’t the ones ruining dinner, I was.
The pressures of my current situation had absolutely gotten to me and I had taken it too far on a day when all I wanted were loving moments, when all my boys NEEDED were loving moments. I felt so disappointed in myself. So disappointed in the lost moments that day. So disappointed that they might wake up tomorrow and be with the babysitter and without me for three days and their most recent memory would be of mommy screaming at them like a lunatic.
Oh the guilt at that moment at me alive.
“Oh boys, I am SO SORRY. Mommy is just so stressed and I lost it. I am so very sorry. I love you so much.”
We eventually cleaned up from dinner and made it up to bedtime. As bad as losing it was, it did whip me into the emotional place I wanted to be pretty quickly. Patience found me, helping me to have the bedtime I wanted: a slow, peaceful, loving half an hour. We chatted longer during bath time, we cuddled longer over story time, we snuggled longer during tuck-ins to bed. I let everything go a little longer that night. I cherished everything a little bit more. And it was wonderful.
I didn’t get the day I wanted, but I did get the bedtime I wanted, that I so desperately needed. I had found the strength to FINALLY get a hold of my behavior; I had found the strength to FINALLY rise above the pressure. And I was proud of myself.
I think #4 was too. En route to the hospital the next morning he did one really big (and painful!) fist pump in the air and flipped into position. Not only did I get to have the natural delivery I wanted, but I also got to go home to my boys and try again for a fun-filled, loving day before #4 arrived. And I got it. Times 13.