This guest post is part of the “Yell Less, Love More” Blog Book Tour! Thank you Suzanne for so bravely sharing your story and sharing an important message that Yelling Less isn’t just about having a better relationship with your kids, but also about having a better relationship with life in general!
I have always been hot tempered. I was the kid who threw my toys, the teenager with the dramatic outbursts, but by the time I graduated from college, I had control of myself. Or so I thought. When I first became a mother, it seemed like I totally had a handle on this mothering business. Pinterest had nothing on me! I was going to be a great mom! And then reality set in, about the time my first started walking and I became pregnant again. Oh, I learned some humility from toddlerhood!
So I realized I was not the perfect mom, by any stretch of the imagination. I was actually a mean mom. I yelled at my kids, and I hated myself for it, hated what it did to my boys, but I couldn’t seem to stop. Yet I knew I had to stop. For my boys. Because I am modeling behavior for them, and teaching them how to handle anger and frustration. I want to raise good, kind men. I want them to be better than me.
I started searching the internet late one night and happened upon the Orange Rhino Blog. Eureka! I found I was not alone with my burden or newfound goals. I dabbled in the Orange Rhino community and followed her on Facebook, but I had never fully immersed myself in all it means to be an Orange Rhino. I picked up bits and pieces of advice, but I’m one of those girls that need something tangible in hand. [pullquote]So I realized I was not the perfect mom, by any stretch of the imagination. I was actually a mean mom. I yelled at my kids, and I hated myself for it, hated what it did to my boys, but I couldn’t seem to stop.[/pullquote] One morning over (cold) coffee, I saw that she was extending the offer of doing a book review to all moms-not just those with blogs! I immediately reached out to Sheila, and I was randomly selected for the opportunity to read her book, “Yell Less, Love More,” before it was published! I couldn’t believe it! As soon as my book arrived, I literally tore open the package and began to read.
Sheila has a gift for writing that is so easy and open-it feels like talking with someone you know and could trust. She opens up with her own heartbreaking struggles, and it deeply touched me in so many meaningful ways. More than once, a poignant story she shared brought me to tears. She mixes a touch of comedy with her endearing realness in describing her journey as the original Orange Rhino. Her story never comes across as pompous or superior, just another mom in the trenches, struggling to make it through the day. Or just breakfast.
Sheila’s book, “Yell Less, Love More,” is broken down into 30 easy to read sections, so you can take it day by day with your morning coffee or in huge swaths when you have the time. Each chapter has a relatable story, tips, actions to help you on your way, and inspiring quotes that embody the Orange Rhino goal. She includes a “Yelling Meter” to help you define what exacts constitutes yelling-from the nasty voice to yelling in an emergency.
The chapter on tracking triggers is the one that makes you take a long, ugly look at yourself to determine what it is that makes YOU yell-whether it’s a cluttered house or being hungry-which is painful and strangely cathartic. Because once you are aware of your triggers, you can work on managing or controlling them. [pullquote]Because once you are aware of your triggers, you can work on managing or controlling them. [/pullquote] There are even tracking sheets provided in the back of the book to help you get started. Realizing YOU are the problem (and not your kids being kids!) is a tough to stomach, yet necessary.
Each day has some clever advice in the “Today’s Tips”, like changing your password to reflect your goal-“yelllesslovemore”- and meaningful tips that actually work, like posting inspiring quotes (on orange sticky notes) or posting pictures of your children as babies around the house, which was perfect for me since I’m a very visual person. The book is filled with advice that will appeal to a wide range of personalities-it is definitely not a one size fits all approach, and she encourages you to find solutions that will work for you (I found that jumping in the kiddie pool was a perfect way to cool off and stop a yell!) It’s not the type of book you never want to open again once you have finished, and I’ve actually gone back and reread some of the chapters or flipped through for the tips for desperately needed ideas.
I wholeheartedly recommend Sheila’s book, “Yell Less, Love More,” to anyone struggling to stop the yelling. It seems yelling is the unspoken shame among many parents, and whenever I open up to other moms, my confession is always met with great relief that they are not alone. I definitely needed help to stop yelling at my kids, which is not something I’m proud of, but I am proud to be making a change, and this book has been instrumental in helping me implement that change. And it’s not just about stopping yelling, it’s about changing your whole outlook on life-and loving more.
Pre-order “Yell Less, Love More” by clicking here!
Curious in getting daily support from The Orange Rhino and a loving community? Join the “Yell Less, Love More 30-Day Challenge Book Club!” Read all about it here!
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Thank you Suzanne for such a beautiful piece, truly!