The Root of my Yelling

43 days down, 322 to go! 

Dear College Ruled Yellow Paper,
I would be lost without you. I need you like I need water. You keep me going because you free me. You free me of all the thoughts which are bogging me down and stressing me out. You give me clarity. So thank you. Please don’t ever disappear even in this ridiculous digital age. In my eyes, no computer or App can replace you.

The Orange Rhino


I have a confession to make. I am in love with someone beyond my husband, my kids, my family, my friends.  I, The Orange Rhino, am in love with my yellow college-ruled (NEVER ever wide ruled) pads of paper. I have one in the kitchen and one next to my bed. Whenever I feel like my head is going to explode from the constant bombardment, I turn to my dear friend, the yellow pad of paper.

You see, while some people do Yoga to find calm, I make to-do lists, schedules and charts to find calm! It simply brings me inner peace. When my mind is feeling crazy and overwhelmed by my ridiculous, over ambitious ideas of what I need to do to be a better mom, what Dr. appointments I need to make, what house chores I need to do, what house chores I would like to do, what personal goals I have, yadda yadda yadda, I put it all down on one of my many yellow pads of paper. And then I organize it. And then I turn to the  other two things I love – Microsoft Excel and Microsoft PowerPoint – and make a “fancy” prioritized to-do list, or a “fancy” color-coded schedule, or a “fancy” chart. And I feel better. Much better. Nothing gives me a greater natural high than making a list or a chart.

While the graphic representation of the inside of my mind can be frightening, I still love the order, the organization, the clarity it brings. I love being able to physically see how to proceed, how to stay calm. My lists and my charts are my map to get away from my mental chaos…and I would so be lost without them.

So it should be of no surprise when I started feeling challenged, feeling mental overwhelmed on this Challenge, when I started Digging Deeper, that I got pen and paper and made a chart. Several Charts actually. And guess what, I found clarity. Lots of it.

See Exhibit 1 & 2 (LOL as I write that): What Triggers, my Triggers?

From these two charts, I was able to figure out the main driver at the root of all my yelling.

I am an IMPATIENT person.

I am impatient. There I said it. I am an impatient person.  And what I feel propelled to write next is “I always have been, always will be.” But I refuse to accept that. I will NOT always be an impatient person. I am going to become a more patient person. Full stop. Period. Why? Besides the obvious that patience is a good thing?

Because “love is patient.”

On our wedding day, my husband and I promised to each other to be Patient and I owe the same promise to my sons.

How can I live up to that promise?  Well I need to understand what drives me to be Impatient…besides DNA. I love you and all dad, but I could have done without your impatient gene. That’s a joke by the way. I like my DNA. Mostly.  But seriously, what does drive me to be so impatient – with my kids, with my life, with myself?

Well another sketch helped figure that one out. See Exhibit 3, re-drawn for legibility purposes AND with some blanks. Can’t give everything away now!! I have 322 more days to blog!

Exhibit 3: I am Impatient Because…

Why am I so impatient? Crap there are lots of reasons!!!

Well crap, there is A LOT on this chart. A LOT. It is frightening indeed (especially since the empty boxes have been my life long personal challenges! But oh do I feel like a weight has been lifted. You see, all these lines with words, well these words have been bouncing around in my head for years. Driving me nuts. Making me feel overwhelmed because I KNEW that they were giving me a headache, literally and figuratively. But seeing them on paper, formally identifying them and now sharing them with the Orange Rhino Community, well, it is empowering. Because now I can’t hide anymore behind the excuse of “I don’t know why I am so stressed, why I am so impatient.”

Because, yes you do, Orange Rhino, yes you do. It is time to TAKE CHARGE, it is time to work on you. Because the nicer me, the nicer mom, the nicer more loving kids I will raise. Or at least that is my theory. Here’s hoping it works!

How will I take Charge? Did I get a map out of these other charts? Yup! But I’ll save that for a rainy day (ie. when I am ready to expose myself even more…could be a while!)

P.S. I hope this post maybe inspired you a little, made you think a little, but if neither of those I hope it made you laugh A LOT at my DORKINESS!!! Wow can NOT believe I just publicly shared these charts with strangers… 

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18 thoughts on “The Root of my Yelling

  1. As weird as it seems, my triggers are eating poorly more specific – sugar. When I over eat, I eat an abundance of sugar (which is my chosen form of bingeing) it is me not taking care of myself, then I stop waking up early, no makeup, staying in my robe all day, completely disengaging from my girls and husband, even (I am so embarrassed to admit this) even not showering as much. Taking shortcuts, not having have routines . The minute I start making MYSELF a priority, I don’t yell or I catch myself before I do and basically have the space inside me to be aware of my beloved family and how grateful I am I have them.

  2. I always love reading your posts. Always something to think about, and always something to laugh about, which really puts everything in perspective. Thank you! BTW, I love lists, and I love college-ruled notepads too 🙂

  3. Orange Rhino, I stumbled upon your blog and am encouraged and committed to not be that “yelling mom” (I am her btw)..but i’m not settling for that characteristic. Thanks for your courage.. glad to know other mommies out there suffer with the same things. Keep up your inspires other mommies 🙂

  4. awesome as usual OR…I commend your bravery and sharing! I love being part of this community and using many of these strategies to yell less and love more…now if I can just bring myself to officially accept the challenge! Kudos…LA

  5. I laughed while I read this just because I too have an entire notebook full of my old to do lists. I just started following you. I am so looking forward to not having a sore throat at the end of every day. I thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings, and more importantly, my three little angels thank you

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  8. Wow….I stumbled upon your blog while visiting Momastery…you are amazingly brave…and intentional….and honest….thank you for sharing your heart. You have encouraged me to examine closely my own heart…

  9. I feel ya.  For me, it’s steno pads with hard cardboard covers- but God help me if they ever stop making them…. I would be committed to a psych ward within a week!

    • those are my close 2nd – i take those when I am on the go. and then i have this really beautiful journal i use to capture future post ideas. it has an orange rhino on it and everything!

  10. Have you read Scream Free Parenting? Not that reading it has actually made me Scream Free, but it has some great info that might be helpful. I really liked this post, BTW. I know, personally, that a lot of my yelling has to do with being overwhelmed due to my ADD. Knowing that doesn’t excuse it, although it might give me ideas on how to handle it.

    • Thank you. Yes, being overwhelmed I feel is one of my huge problems and it is self induced. Sigh. But I have found through this entire process that the more honest I am with myself about what triggers me. the more I am able to take responsibility for it and work at fixing it. We are all works in progress, right? Knowing is half the battle!!

      • I totally understand now how important it is to be honest to oneself. My Partner always tried to tell me to look at it and Count how many times a day I yell at our daughter, I just blocked him… Thank you to make me understand more and more to take responsibility for ones own reactions for being able to change and stop that whole cycle of shouting!

    • Becky- oh gosh….someone who understands! I am constantly frustrated with my oldest son who has ADHD but I know it’s my my *own* ADD triggers my emotionally charged, completely overwhelmed feelings and reactions to him. I have been trying to be calmer and take a breath before responding. It’s helped. Any other tips?! I feel like I’m drowning sometimes :/

    • Becky- I have ADD too and have two kids with ADD, we all 3 just found this out in the last year. I figured out I have ADD born anxiety, it’s always been there. I just didn’t recognize it for what it was. Now I can see it in myself, I can also see it in my kids. Figuring out what I am feeling may “just” be add anxiety nonsense rolling around in my brain vs something “real”, has helped my mind set a lot, some days. I’m still processing through it to be honest, but awareness really was more than half the battle. good luck!

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