89 days down, 277 to go!
Thanks for sending me great inspirational quotes…they keep me going. That and the growing herd of Orange Rhinos out there!
Your lovely wife who deserves a great Mother’s Day gift, hint hint, maybe an Orange Rhino with hearts all over it?
I called my mom tonight and said “mom, tell me, how did I get this far? What’s the secret? Was I just not yelling that much to start with?” She of course assured me that yes, indeed, I was actually yelling that much.
“So what then?” I asked. “Have my kids miraculously become angels who never get on my nerves?” She of course assured me that no that certainly was not the case, but that my boys were terrific, just not angels all the time.
Okay, then maybe my life has just gotten easier and therefore I am less stressed and have more patience to not yell. I didn’t need her to tell me that wasn’t the case. I actually have more on my plate that causes stress than I did 89 days ago.
So what the heck is the answer?
Why have I been able to go 89 days without yelling?
I need to know so that I can keep going!!!
At first blush it is easy to say, oh, I’ve been creative and come up with lots of ways to either divert my kid’s behavior or to calm myself down. Like saying “ooga schmooga booga,” taking pictures, screaming into a closet, drumming on a kitchen table, counting to ten. But that’s not the real secret. Those creative solutions would never be made possible if I hadn’t gained immense self control. If I hadn’t learned to STOP first and then think of an alternative to yelling.
So the question isn’t what are the tricks, but what got me to STOP and THINK. Coming up with tricks is easy – it’s the stopping that is hard.
As I sit here, I struggle to think of how I learned to STOP. Because trust me, self control? Not one of my stronger suits. At all. If I think something, I say it. If I want to eat something, I do. If I want to buy something, I will. So why now. What in god’s creation have I done to learn self control this go around?
Good ‘ole mom helped me answer that question…in her eyes,
I had a strong DESIRE to change.
I made that desire PUBLIC.
I became ACCOUNTABLE to all of you.
I asked for HELP from all of you.
I kept a DIARY of my yelling moments.
I involved my KIDS.
I dug deep to really truly figure out my TRIGGERS.
I acknowledged my triggers and ACCEPTED them.
And then, I PRACTICED.
And I liked the results.
So I practiced some more.
And I really liked the results. A LOT.
So I kept practicing because the results were totally worth the hard work.
And they still are.
But if I had stopped, if I had given up when I wanted to and then I never would have discovered the results. And TRUST ME, I wanted to quit and trust me once a week I STILL contemplate quitting because not yelling is hard, mentally exhausting work. But instead of quitting, I leaned on this community and I kept doing all the steps above. If I hadn’t done so, I can’t help but wonder…
Would I be enjoying the results?
Would I be feeling the joy of knowing I am taking one step towards being a better mother?
Would I be feeling more calm, less stressed, less ANGRY, less bitter?
Would I be feeling the love and support my boys give me when I don’t yell, but am really super close?
Would I be feeling more love for my boys?
I don’t know.
But I do know that all the hard work is worth it.
Several of you have asked me, is it worth it? How can I change? How can I do this? I want to do this? But I can’t seem to start…
“You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi
All I can say is, JUST TRY. Try doing what I did and see if it works (especially the using the community part!!!) If I can learn to not yell, then you can. I didn’t just used to yell. I used to SCREAM. We’re talking level 7, raging screams 1-3x a day plus yelling at level 6. Sure, I had good days when I used the level 0 voice all day but I also had the really not so good days, or not so good moments. Never in a thousand years did I think I could go 89 days without yelling at my boys. I thought maybe 14. And when I yelled at Day 8 try 1, I thought, maybe 10 days. And here I am. At 89 days. Because I kept trying.
Because it simply was time I started yelling less and loving more. It was simply time to be an ORANGE RHINO.