This guest post is part of my “Yell Less, Love More” blog book tour. In addition to several randomly selected bloggers, I randomly selected several Orange Rhinos without blogs to review my book and share their “yelling” story here. This courageous post by Joanne P., a mother to four young children, is her story about how she came to be an Orange Rhino.
I Knew I Had to Break the Yelling Cycle, but Never Knew it Was Possible. Bring on The Orange Rhino!
by Joanne P.
My name is Joanne and my story began many years ago…well 1980 to be exact. I was born into a very passionate family. I think passionate is the kind way to say we dealt with our emotions by yelling, slamming doors, stomping feet and getting angry. Mean things were said, not because we didn’t love each other, but because we just didn’t know any other way. My folks divorced when I was 8 years old and that didn’t help things. As I struggled to figure out what was going on when I was a kid, I continued to grow into a very independent, strong willed “I can do everything on my own”, fiery young woman. Now some of those qualities can be good, but the way I was walking through life was tough. I didn’t know how to ask for help and my first reaction to things not going “right”was to yell, say mean things and fly off the handle. I lost some friends along the way and it’s a miracle I have a good relationship with my sister now!
In 2003, I started dating my husband, Mike. By the grace of God that man stuck around even when I threw things during arguments!! Yup, I did that. Ugh! It was in this relationship that I first began my journey to calm down. I didn’t know then that I was taking the first baby steps to Yelling Less and Loving More…but it had started. Communication with my then boyfriend was key, we talked ALOT (still do)!! He asked me to marry him in 2005 and we were married in 2006! In 2007 we welcomed the first of our four kids into our lives! Little did I know then that becoming a Mom would bring up a lot of my old ways. Why was it so easy to yell at a toddler?? Why was it so easy for me to get all red faced and scare the daylights out of my son?? I didn’t know how to answer those questions in my first year of motherhood or even my second and third years.
A few more years passed and I now had two little boys. For several months I hadn’t been feeling good about the way I was reacting to my kids, I couldn’t put my finger on what was wrong or what I could do, it was those closed door moments in my house when a kid wouldn’t go to nap, bedtime horrors, a toddler that wouldn’t eat or put a jacket on when it was 10 below zero outside. It was those moments that I was so quick to react, yell, and say mean things. I knew it all had to change, but didn’t know how. To be honest I can’t even remember now how I managed to stumble onto The Orange Rhino website. I have tried hard to remember, but I now know that I was just supposed to find it! In January 2013 I signed up for The Orange Rhino 30 Day Email Challenge. Who knew then that those first 30 days would change my life so dramatically!!
I worked through each day from the daily emails. Writing down all my thoughts, owning my yelling, discovering my triggers and learning what I could do to stop yells before they started! I remember thinking at the time that this challenge would make such a great book!!! How awesome would it be to reach millions of Mom’s and Dad’s and help them discover a path to Yelling Less and Loving More! Well, Sheila was already on that!!
Now we are here on the cusp of her Book launch and I have had the privilege to read and review her book for you all! What an honor!!
Here is what I love about this book first and foremost!! It is like talking to Sheila in person. Like sharing those down and dirty parenting secrets with your best friend. Those secrets you would never share at book club or bible study because they make you feel that embarrassed! In Sheila’s book, Yell Less Love More, you get to take that journey with her in a safe no guilt place! This isn’t about making ourselves feel bad about what we have done, it’s about discovering ourselves and learning a new way to walk through our days with our kids, our spouses and ourselves! It is brilliant!
Here are some of my favorite things about the book:
- Easy to follow daily chapters! Day 1, Day 2 etc.. They are not too long and can easily be read over morning coffee or an evening glass of wine 😉
- All the awesome quotes from the email challenge, Facebook page and new ones to help you along the way. I have always loved the inspirational quotes. I like writing them down and putting them up around the house!
- All the personal stories from Sheila!! She has a knack for sharing her story and helping to make you feel and know that you are NOT alone!
- Love Love Love the daily places to write things down and tips for going forward. This is a practical book, not just something you will read but a place that you can journal too! What a great way to commit to new ways of doing things and put them into practice.
- All the things we have loved from the blog…like the Alternatives to Yelling and Triggering Tracking Sheet!! It is all there in one place! You even get your own Orange Rhino to cut out and use for signs!!
This book will not only help everyone feel like they are not alone, but it will help each of us own our past, look to the future with tips and alternatives to our struggles and lead us to a path of Yelling Less and Loving our families more! Some of the benefits I have seen in my family are not even things that I do, but how my kids deal with their relationships with each other. They have their own trigger phrases that I hear them say out loud when they are getting mad and it is unbelievable to me how I can see that by teaching myself new ways to deal with stress and yelling triggers, I am at the same time teaching my kids that too!! What a gift! We are breaking the cycle! No longer will my kids yell just because their Mom did!
In my almost two year journey, there have been great successes and major set backs. I have two more kids now than I had when I started the challenge, which means that even today I still have to work hard at being an Orange Rhino. My daughter sure knows how to push buttons and is a master at the grocery store scream!! You guys know the one I am talking about!!!
Thanks to Sheila and The Orange Rhino community I always have a place to share and learn and grow! This book and this community is all about building each other up and growing in love!
Thank you Sheila for sharing your story and helping so many of us become Orange Rhino’s! I think I can say on behalf of the whole Orange Rhino Community…..THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!! THANK YOU, from the bottom of our HEARTS!
Now everyone…..GO BUY THIS BOOK!!! It will change your life!! You can pre-order it here!
Love ~ Joanne