234 days without yelling, 131 days of loving more to go!
Dear Green Turtle, a.k.a. my husband, as named by our boys,
I know sometimes I blog too much and hang out with you too little. I know sometimes I check Facebook too much instead of checking in with you. I know I talk a lot about me, The Orange Rhino, instead of us, The Orange Rhino + The Green Turtle. I hope you have noticed that I have tried to find a better balance; that I have tried to hold your hand at night more instead of the “keyboard’s”. I also hope you noticed that while I am not a perfect wife that I do think I am becoming a little bit of a better wife as a result of all this blogging, as a result of taking on this Challenge.
You see, last night I was writing as normal. Somehow I ended up talking marriage, a topic I have been asked to write about but which I have mostly avoided. But last night I opened up that can of worms and tonight I can’t help but delve in deeper even though I HATE worms! I have spent so much time feeling like a crappy wife, feeling like you deserve better than me. When I realized last night that I was becoming a less “crappy” wife, well, it made me stop and think. It made me think that yeah, I talk about The Orange Rhino blog too much and yeah it can be a time suck BUT it is good for me and it is good for us. Because it is making me a better parent and a better spouse. So when you are tired of my Orange Rhino talk, just try to remember that it isn’t just benefiting our kids, it is also benefiting me and US.
How you ask? You like bullet points so here are 12 ways The Orange Rhino Challenge is benefiting US:
1. I’ve learned that feeling disconnected from you makes me cranky (and sad) and apt to yell so now… I actively make us have date nights at home during the week to keep us connected not just because I don’t want to yell but also because I want to keep our marriage strong
2. I’ve learned that not yelling at our kids makes me more positive about them so now…I share more positive stories with you and we share more laughs (read here)
3. I’ve learned that if I feel bad about my body that I am prone to yell so now…I exercise more, eat healthier and am generally happier and turns out I also snap at you (and the kids) much less (read here)
4. I’ve learned that I need sleep to be a more pleasant and controlled person so now…I go to bed earlier and as a result don’t start the day yelling at you to make the bed because I am more rested and reasonable
5. I’ve learned that I expect a lot from the kids and you and that my expectations of to-do’s was too high so now…I just do certain things on my own because really, I can do it and it isn’t a big deal for you to do it and nagging you just made us fight (like making the bed and wiping the toothpaste off the counter!) (read here)
6. I’ve learned that keeping bad feelings in doesn’t do me any good, that it just makes me snap-happy and yelling-tempted so now…I actually talk to you if I am upset instead of keeping a grudge and spiraling us towards a dark place (read here)
7. I’ve learned that letting the kids know the days plans and changes keeps our fights down so now…I also do the same with you because neither of us like surprises, or fights
8. I’ve learned that yelling at the kids just makes them shut down and shut me out so now…I try to not yell at you because you do the same(understandably)
9. I’ve learned ruminating and ruminating on things I can’t change makes me uber grouchy, uber un-present and uber prone to yell so now…I try my hardest to let go of things more often, especially when I am with you so I can enjoy our time together (read here)
10. I’ve learned that a dirty cluttered kitchen counter makes me feel suffocated (read here) and set up to yell at anyone who left anything behind so now…I clean the counter every night for 5 minutes and I KNOW that makes you super happy
11. I’ve learned that I need to ask for help that I can’t be superwoman or I’ll crack so now…I ask you for help when I need it instead of beings pissed at you that I do everything
12. I’ve learned that it is easy to make excuses (read here) and not do something hard for fear of not knowing how. I’ve learned that it takes determination and commitment. I’ve learned it is possible to build a bridge, to overcome a challenge. I’ve learned that I made a lot of excuses about why I couldn’t stop yelling AND that I’ve made a lot of excuses for why marriage is hard. I’ve learned that I can’t say “we have 4 kids and that’s why it’s hard to stay connected and have fun like we used to” because that is an excuse so now…SO NOW I AM COMMITTING to toss that excuse aside and put just as much energy into us and our connection as I did the day we met.
The Orange Rhino