138 days without yelling, 227 days of loving more to go!
Dear Orange Rhino Blog Counter,
It is 7:47 pm on Saturday June 23, 2012, also known as 47 minutes past bedtime on the day I almost yelled. I should have known the minute I woke up that it was going to be one of those days and that I should just stay in bed. You know, one of those days when everything bothers me. Where everything makes me want to yell ENOUGH, KNOCK IT OFF, LEAVE ME ALONE!! When every moment I think I pull it together, for good, and then bam, a trigger is set off. Yeah, I had one of those days. And oh was it not fun! I’m just glad it is over and that I didn’t yell. And not because that meant I didn’t have to re-set you to 0 but because I love my kids too much to take out my issues on them. Yes, I have issues. Just because I have “stopped” yelling doesn’t mean I don’t have other areas to work on!
Let’s keep ticking towards 365, shall we?
The Orange Rhino
Let’s review the day.
Teething, cranky, crying baby? Check.
Constipated, crying toddler? Check.
Over tired, mischievous 4 year old? Check.
Out-of-sync without school schedule, worried about Kindergarten, not listening 5 year old? Check.
And that is just the kids.
Not feeling well mommy? Oh Check, check, check.
Very tired mommy despite 4 nights of “good” sleep? Check.
Preoccupied and scared mommy because of not feeling well and having drs. appointments ahead? Check.
Overwhelmed mommy at the site of 4 moving boxes from a year ago to unpack? Check.
Moody mommy due to baby almost turning one and being in denial that this is our last baby? Check.
Have I covered all my triggers that make me want to scream? Um no. There is one big one. One that really put me over, that really put me on edge and barely able to keep it together. And guess what, it had NOTHING I repeat NOTHING to do with my kid’s behavior. Or my husband’s actions. IT had everything to do WITH ME and my insecurities.
When I feel insecure, when I feel socially nervous, when I feel less than everyone around me, I become, well a b*tch to everyone close to me. And everything bothers me, everything makes me want to SCREAM!!! And that is exactly what happened this afternoon.
We took the kids to the local pool in town. As is, going to pools with 4 kids under 6 years makes me nervous. Understandably. A pool and young kids is gosh darn hard work, it’s exhausting, and it’s nerve wracking. But alas I knew it was important to my kiddos so I told my nerves to take a hike and we went to the pool anyway.
WELL I forgot how I get when I am (1) nervous about my kids safety and (2) nervous about fitting in. Yup, you read that right. Fitting in, or lack thereof. It’s one of my BIGGEST TRIGGERS. I have never ever in my life felt like I have fit in. I have always felt like an outsider. The third wheel (in fact, I pretty much always have been the third wheel). And if I wasn’t the third wheel, I have felt like the outcast because of how I look (physically), how I dress (lack of style), what age I am (yup, every situation I am in I am at least 5 years younger than everyone and yup everyone points that out to me), and my current stage in life being different than those around me (single, then married, working, then stay at home mom to 1 child, then 4). It is a very rare occasion that I “fit” into the social environment that surrounds me.
And it is so hard for me. Because really, who likes to feel like an outcast, to feel like they don’t belong? I don’t. And well, I have felt that way for as long as I can remember. I know so much of this feeling is me and not reality. And trust me I KNOW I need to work on it. Especially after today. Because today it impacted how I react to my kiddos, it impacted the experiences I can create for them.
One step onto the pool deck and all my feelings of inadequacies hit me in the face and I became tense and short. Everywhere I looked where thin, fit, beautiful moms. With well behaved children (my 2 year old was screaming. Loudly.) Everywhere I looked were groups of people, of friends, having fun together. We were there alone. No one said hi to us. Nor should they have, but still, I felt out of place. I felt weird. I felt like an outcast.
And when I feel this way, I get REALLY anxious and snippy and unpleasant. Add this to my already existing nerves about managing 4 kids at a pool… and well all I wanted to do was cuddle up under a beach towel and hide or yell at anything that annoyed me (which when I am overly anxious is EVERYTHING.)
Well hiding wasn’t an option and yelling at my son for screaming wasn’t an option (nor would it help). Yelling at my kids for pulling at my swim suit wasn’t an option (nor was it necessary). Yelling at my son for having to go the bathroom AGAIN wasn’t an option (nor was it nice). Yelling at my husband for making us go to the pool wasn’t an option (besides, it wasn’t his fault, I agreed to go). Yelling at the world that I felt uncomfortable, that I just wanted to go home where I didn’t feel all eyes watching me wasn’t an option.
The only option I had was to get over my trigger. The only option I had was to find the strength to keep it together. And I found it in my kids. I found it in their laughter as they splashed each other and then worked together to soak me.
I survived the hour of what felt like torture and I came home and managed to slowly come out of my shell. Somehow I became pleasant again and lost the desire to unnecessarily yell at everyone for everything. Oh wait, not somehow. I know how.
I posted on The Orange Rhino Challenge facebook page the following:
“Posting here so I do not yell.
Today has been a hard day.
It seems every single trigger has been set off. At least once.
Trying my hardest people.
Trying my hardest.”
And guess what? The second I pressed “post” I felt better. I felt my desire to yell drift away. Just writing the words “So I do not yell” and “Trying my hardest” reminded me of my goal and to keep on trying, no matter how anxious and preoccupied I still felt. And then a few of you chimed in, in support and I really felt better. And I made it through the day. And the day became “The Day I Almost Yelled…but Didn’t!” Phew.