337 days of not yelling, 28 days of loving more to go!
You had a very sexy appeal this morning. Oh were you so enticing! Life felt hard and you seemed so easy, like the perfect escape from the madness. But alas, sexy isn’t always better and I am glad I didn’t give in to your attempts to lure me back in.
The Orange Rhino
Today, I just wanted to say f*** it. Screw it. I don’t care. I don’t care about my promise to my boys. I don’t care about The Orange Rhino Challenge. I don’t care about yelling.
Today, I just wanted to SCREAM out loud. I wanted to yell at my son for asking “how are diggers made?” too many times. I wanted to yell at my other son for eating his breakfast too slowly. I wanted to yell at yet another son for spitting. And I wanted to yell at my sweet little baby for screaming all. morning. long. Today I just wanted to scream I can’t do this mothering thing, I can’t do this not yelling thing!
Yes today, this morning, all I wanted to do was scream. And honestly, I contemplated it because yelling would have been so much easier. SO MUCH EASIER! It would have released some of the stress I am feeling. It would have stopped them in their tracks. It would have made their behavior halt…for at least 30 seconds.
But then the behavior would start again. Because it always does. Yelling doesn’t stop behavior permanently, it doesn’t even teach new behavior. It’s just a very very small stop gap. The only change this morning when the behavior started up again would be that in addition to them doing their so-called annoying behavior I would be feeling guilty inside. Guilty that I lost it. Guilty that I didn’t find self control. Guilty that I yelled at them for no real reason at all.
And that mama guilt does me no good. It just makes me more stressed, more pre-occupied, more down. And right now, I so don’t need that! I don’t need the extra mental burden – it will just make it hard to get things done, it will make it hard to stay calm with the kiddos, and it will make it hard for my kiddos to stay calm because they will sense my mood and feed off of it, driving me bonkers and wanting to yell more.
So while yelling might seem easier, it really just makes everything HARDER.
Yelling does me no good.
So I told myself that this morning. Over and over and over again. I sounded like a broken record and I even wanted to scream at myself to shut up, but I didn’t care. I knew I couldn’t yell. I knew I didn’t want to yell. I knew yelling wasn’t an option so I did whatever I could to stay in check.
Was it hard? YES.
Was it exhausting? YES.
But was it ultimately easier than yelling? YES.
Will I be saying “yelling does me no good” all day today? YES
But again, it will keep me in check. And I need that because today, this week, I feel like I am in a giant pressure cooker. And this mama is just about cooked! This mama is just about to let out lots of steam with a big ‘ole yell. Not because of the kids but because of life.
So again, yes. Yes, I will tell myself “yelling does me no good” all day. And when that wears on me I will spice it up with one of my other popular statements…
“I’m not mad at the boys, I’m just stressed out.”
“I don’t want to yell, I love my boys.”
“You can do this Orange Rhino.”
“Take a deep breath.”
“My boys aren’t stressing me out, life is.”
And of course, the one that makes me stop and laugh,
“You can’t yell, but you can pick your nose.”
Yes I will talk to myself all day with positive comments to keep me on track. Because it works. You might be thinking I’ve lost my mind. Or better yet you might be thinking, wow after 337 days she still has the urge to yell so what’s the point? The point is that life will always be stressful. Sometimes you can change it, sometimes you can’t. And sometimes kids will be the source of stress. Sometimes you can change that, sometimes you can’t. But what can always be changed is me. My reaction to stress. And while these 337 days haven’t made stress magically disappear, and they haven’t completely ridden me of the desire to yell, they have changed ME.
These 337 days have taught ME who to control my reaction to stress; how to keep myself in check so that I don’t unnecessarily unload it on my kids with an awful, gut-wrenching yell. And that’s the point. I’ve changed. And I still firmly believe that you can too.
I survived the day. Even when my 6 year proclaimed “Mom!!! I am so mad at you that I am going to make you made at me and yell and ruin your blog!” I did talk to myself and after my son challenged me I went through my “Favorite Song Friday” blog posts and played every single song. Check ‘em out if you haven’t! The Fighter and Seasons of Love are my favorites…