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True Me Tuesday

Yesterday, after we'd spent over an hour at the grocery store buying school supplies and arguing over what cereals we can and cannot eat, I nearly bit Vicbowin's head off.

Well... okay, I did bite her head off.

I was unloading the groceries into the back of the truck. I was tired, my feet hurt, Remewin was fussy from the four shots she'd received that morning at the doctor. . . and I'm now making excuses. . .

I'll just tell you the facts and let you decide, on this True Me Tuesday.

The kids were all sitting in the air conditioned car (windows down to blow out the heat) and after I was done returning the cart I hopped into the drivers seat next to Vicbowin.

I was slammed with a wall of hot air. I looked down and saw that the heat had been turned on and was going full blast. I looked over at Vicbowin and she giggled and I lost it! I yelled at her saying how 'not funny' that was. I gestured at her siblings in the back seat and explained how hot they could have gotten and that they could all be dead now!

"It's 80 degree's outside!" I hollered.

Vicbowin curled in on herself and whimpered that she was just trying to be funny.

Now as I look back on it my stomach turns and I feel excessively (and yet not enough) nauseous. I yelled at my child for the dumbest thing!

And what's worse is I do it all the time. All these great memories I could be having with them and what do I do? Convince my kids that they're slowly killing their siblings.... all at volumes well beyond the 'still, small voice' level.

I try to tell myself that I'm not the only mother in the world who yells (and screams) at her kids, but then I have this little nagging voice that says something to me like "Yeah, the other ones are called child abusers."

I don't like that answer so I brush it off and try to hide it. Like it's my big family secret.

Then I feel sick all over again. I blame my behavior on my children, I hide it from the public and I get mad when my kids say anything about it. What kind of mother does that make me?

All these things go through my head on quiet nights and I have to repeat to myself over and over again, I'm not a bad mom--I'm not a bad mom--other mom's yell too.

It's hard to tell though. Especially online when we spend so much time regailing the crazy things our children have done in joking, humor-filled tones.

It doesn't help when I see pictures of bright smiling children on the internet and think sadly:

"They'll never need counseling."

So, for my second True Me Tuesday post I thought I'd tell you all that I yell at my kids. A lot of times it's over really dumb stuff--like whether or not they wear their shoes while they take in the groceries or for not putting the bowls in the sick instead of on the counter.

I don't have a home where we all sit around washing dishes and laughing. There has absolutely never, ever been a day where my husband and I and our kids washed the car with bright smiles and soaked clothes.

So I'm throwing out this painfully, terrifyingly honest post today because firstly I want to send out feelers about other moms. Do you yell too?

Secondly, it's the whole gyst of the True Me Tuesday posts... to be honest in the hopes that I'm not the only one muddling through this whole thing.

Please, no hate mail. ::pleading voice::


Polly Blevins said…
I yell at my kids too. I have noticed that I do it when we are in a hurry and they don't understand that the "we" includes them and they need to get a move on it. The other times I notice my patience wearing thin is when I am making diner, McKelle is crying because she is hungry and the kids always need something. I have also noticed that my kids won't listen to me if I don't raise my voice a lot. That is annoying because I don't want to yell and I am not angy but they won't listen until I do. I don't know what to do about that. Today though, I have dedicated it a "no yell day". It is 12:30 and been very successful. It has been a fun day. I must admit, I chose today to practice my patience because we have no where we have to be. I figure if the hurry thing is a cause of my yelling, I should do well today.
Cari Hislop said…
I don't have kids so I can only say I'd probably occasionally yell at them even though I'd like to think I wouldn't. But there's a difference between raising your voice to be heard and shouting in anger.

As an adult I know my mother did her best, but the good things are easily lost in memories of my ears ringing with the high decibel of her rage. The danger is that if you raise your voice in anger it can easily turn into spite or cruelty because you're already in a negative unloving state. This is what happened in my home growing up and I couldn't wait to leave.

What I do to keep myself in balance and fight the programming of my childhood is to constantly remind myself that I might not have tomorrow to say, "I'm Sorry". If you were to die, what would you want your young children to remember about you? What would you want your last day with them to be like? If you make every day a last day you see all the little irritations in a completely different light.
Claire Wessel said…
I yell all the time. I have the advantage (it has an upside afterall!) of having a daughter who spends most of her time at her dad's house with a stepmom who not only can scream much louder than I do, but also holds a grudge, has lists posted of who is out of favor that day, and is similar to a passive agressive 12 year old. My daughter finds my quick-to-yell, quick-to-let-it-go personality preferable to her alternative. It makes me feel better about my flaws! I do my best to be a nice as possible to my kids so the times when I'm completely short-tempered will be balanced out. None of us is perfect and all of us have days we want to throttle our kids. I think the best advice I ever read was to give 3-5 compliments for every negative interaction with kids. I've found that to work really well, not only for their feelings but to force me to find the positives in my kids on the days I really don't care to be complimentary.

Anyways, you were probably hoping someone would report your antics so you could get a state-sponsored vacation from the kids. It's totally not going to happen :) Yelling at kids who turn the heat on in a hot car is not only normal, it's expected (unless you are heavily, heavily medicated)
Claire Wessel said…
Oh, I do apologize a lot as well. If it was justified, no apologies. However, if I was more upset than the situation warranted, I admit it and apologize. I think it is good to admit flaws and be humble with the little people.
Cannwin said…
What generally runs through my mind after I've scolded and yelled is the scripture that says to 'reprove in times of....need... (totally not quoting here) and then show forth an abundance of love.'

I try to do that. Show forth all the love I have afterward.

I'm not sure I do a good job of it, but I hope it's better than what I grew up with. :)
Jessica Bair said…
I YELL AT MY KIDS! IN FACT I'M YELLING NOW:) I try to do a good job each day of not yelling as much as the previous day. Some days I do really good and other days I do very poorly. I do show my kids lots of love and affection and give them praise. They always know that I love them, even if I get mad. In fact, most times I'll yell at my kids, set them in time out, then hug and cuddle afterward just so they know I still love them. CHARITY, YOU'RE NOT ALONE.
PTK Designs said…
I think every kid in the neighborhood knew the sound of my raised voice! With 2 boys and 1 tomboy girl, getting their attention wasn't always easy. They key was to never make the attack personal. Children's self esteem needs to be nurtured. If I telled that day, I would always take the child aside for some one-on-one time to calmly discuss the problem. If it was a safety issue I would explain my reasons and concerns and then explain the proper way of doing things.
I am a red-head and a temper came with the hair. I have calmed it down tremendously, but there are still "some of those days"!! I hope you can find a solution that works for you. Counting to 10 helps some. Good luck and blessings to your family.

Myya said…
I read this & it made me feel so much more normal. I too yell, and probably WAY too often. I yell for the dumbest things. I feel bad & guilty every. single. time! My mom was a yeller & I always swore I would not be because that is so much of my memories as a child, yet... I still do it sigh.

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