I have a confession to make.
Even though I love my boys to the moon and back, I yell at them.
Not just once in a blue one either.
It’s more like … I don’t actually even want to admit this to myself … but it’s kind of all the time.
Not every minute of every day, and not every day, but way more than the none that is okay.
I have yelled so loud my throat hurt.
Sometimes it’s HEY! Yelled from across the room or the front seat of the car.
Sometimes it’s GET IN THE CAR NOW to make sure we have a cheerful start to the day.
Sometimes it’s GO TO SLEEP because that’s as relaxing as any lullaby.
But always it makes me feel like an asshole.
And always it makes me wish I never did it.
A while ago, Sam said “I don’t like it when you yell.”
I responded with “And I don’t like it when you don’t listen.”
What. The hell.
I heard myself saying from that voice that knows it’s not right to yell at these little people I love the most.
Last night, after I yelled at Sam to quit screwing around at ten p.m. because that was the only time I had to myself all weekend and I really wanted to get some writing done.
But as Sam did that thing where he flinches at the sound of my voice rising I realized it wasn’t even him I was mad at.
I just want you to snuggle me, Mama.
So, I did. And I apologized in one sentence for yelling and told him I would work on that. I didn’t spend any more time on it because a) I wanted him to go to freaking sleep and b) he doesn’t need to deal with the burden of my emotions around why I’m angry and how I’m going to deal with that.
As I snuggled with him I thought, well maybe I’m just a yeller and that’s just the deal. We can laugh about it later like my mom and I laugh about her “flying hand.”
But right now, it’s not funny. Right now I have a little boy who doesn’t deserve getting yelled at even if, especially if, he is pushing my buttons.
I don’t want to yell at them. I know other ways to handle things but yelling seems to be my default mode. What if I can’t change it?
Those were some of my thoughts as I prayed about the situation and guess what I randomly stumbled upon: The Orange Rhino, and this article specifically spoke to me:
It reminded me there are other people out there wrestling with the weight of similar issues and somehow it helps to know that.
So, I’m jumping in and taking the Orange Rhino Challenge: no yelling for 365 days.
In it’s most basic form it’s like this: if you yell, you go back to day one.
Day one: so far, so good.
Of course, my little darlings are still fast asleep.
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