So it turns out, I can’t go two days without yelling at my kids.
The day started out good. Little J. woke up and smacked me (I realize that sounds bad, but I told him calmly that “we don’t hit” and he stopped). We’ve been having a problem with hitting and I’ve been attempting to deal with it by reacting quietly and calmly. We were giggling and having a great time. Enter Daddy. Little J. hits Daddy, Daddy yells, Little J. breaks down and spends the next hour in a bad mood.
We recovered somewhat, but he spent all morning fussy and clingy. He was under my feet all day, and Baby Bro was crabby, too. By noon, my Facebook status was the repeated mantra, “I will not lose my shit.” I tried…I tried so hard to keep my shit together. But between Little J. spending 10 minutes on the potty, only to leave the bathroom and pee on my floor, then doing it again, except the next time it was poop in the undies, and Little A. fussing because the poor kid has barely gotten to finish a nap or a feeding since we started potty training two weeks ago, add to that that it took two hours for me to get a shower in because of the antics of the children…well, my next status update said, “And there is goes, shit got lost.”
I yelled, I swore. The only thing I can say is that I didn’t yell and swear at the kids, just very close to them.
Little J.’s reaction was to raise up his arms and give me a big hug. Again, I had to wonder what he would have said to me if he had the full use of language. But his reaction was exactly what I needed. Instead of playing into my anger and yelling and screaming in return, my two year old son took the high road and comforted me. How backwards is that?
The weird thing is yelling seemed to break the tension. I felt like I had released my anger, and the kids were suddenly quiet. Little J. and I shared some ice cream and moved on with our day. I know that yelling isn’t a healthy way to deal with my anger, and I need to find a different way to let it out–one that doesn’t lead to emotional eating on top of the disappointment I felt in myself for my parenting fail.
I didn’t know I was a yeller until I had kids and I don’t want to turn my kids into yellers. I have to constantly remind myself that I’m not just raising kids, I’m raising future adults, and I want them to be happy and healthy adults, so I have to model that behavior now while they are young.
So I had a moment of failure today. But I pulled it together and salvaged the afternoon. I’m happy to say I didn’t yell at all this afternoon.
So here are my plans to be more accountable and do better in the future:
This whole thing is a work in progress, but I have to remember at all times, my kids are more than worth the effort.