3rd Reset: Day 1

8 May

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I have to re-set again today. I don’t deserve to maintain my counter from yesterday because I yelled this morning. But I did yell less this morning which is a start in the right direction. I felt good when I stopped myself yelling. My boys listened because I wasn’t yelling – go figure. I tried really hard to remove some of my triggers – I went to bed at a reasonable hour last night, I

packed lunches last night instead of scrambling this morning. Bags were all packed, homework signed and ready to go. So that eased the pressure. Plus I got up 15 minutes earlier than usual.

Again, not yelling made me feel good. I started to yell, then pulled myself back. I still have to reset for today but I’m slowly getting back there….

I love this photo of the twins… I am like their sun. I have all the warmth to give and they need it to survive. If I take it away, it’s dark, and cold. They need me to shine for them every day. I’m tryin’ boys… I’ll get there xx

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I will try again tomorrow…

7 May

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2nd reset: Day 1

7 May

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Arghhhh I just YELL and YELL! Omg it’s just so hard not to yell. How on earth did I manage not yelling for a whole month? Grrrr…. I feel like I’m on a slippery slope back into my world of constant yelling. I want to stop. I feel so bad about myself when I do yell. I think my triggers are just out of control atm. I am stressed, rushed, tired…. I need to work on getting back into a better routine of eating, exercising and sleeping to conquer those triggers. It’s right after the school holidays, we’re all a little bit out of whack. I know I can do it, I’m just not prioritising it right now. Why not? No reason, just not thinking about it. But I should. I will. I remain committed to not yelling and loving more.

I got out a juicebox this morning (I like to take them to work) and saw that someone had put the straw in it for me, meaning I couldn’t take it to work! I was grumpy as over that until my 4 year old said he’d done it for me so I could drink it and he thought he was helping me because he loves me. Awww… I was going to yell, I was cranky that over a stupid juicebox and a straw… I’ve lost sight of the bigger picture and I need to get back to my happy  place. The place where I did not yell for a whole month. I know I can get there. There’s tonnes of love just waiting to be tapped into within me, and within my boys… I know I can do it….

1st Reset: Day 2

2 May

Right – back on the horse people. No point sitting around moping about my blow out over the school holidays. I am back to the start and at day 2 of no yelling, more loving. My sister is staying with us at the moment and is in my ear about how I’m doing everything wrong etc and if I only did XYZ the kids would all tow the line. She’s a great “in theory” parent. I’m a more experienced “real” parent. In an ideal world yes I would follow through with every single consequence, and I would have the kids tidy the whole house before they were allowed television privileges blah blah but it’s no perfect world and I’m not a perfect parent. All I can do is try again. Man it’s hard. The kids drive me crazy. But I’m back on my fitness bandwagon, I’m eating better, sleeping better so  hopefully my short fuse gets a little bit longer…

Fail fail fail

29 Apr

I don’t know what day I am up to but it does not matter because 3 days ago (and every day since) I have yelled. I hang my head. I am not proud. I have been tired, stressed, on holiday with my family and only enjoyed the odd snippet as the waves of self-pity and god knows what else overwhelm me each day. The kids are damn hard work. What a thankless job motherhood is. Well, I think I don’t give enough that that kids have to be thankful for. Here I am desperate for love, gratitude oh hell I’d settle for compliance right now. Every conversation is an argument for one reason or another. Each car trip or request I brace myself for painful emotional conflict and I am never disappointed. Ever. The twins packed their resistance and awe inspiring defiance in their luggage and my exasperation with them has kept a dark cloud over our family trip. They reflect all my shortcomings as a parent. All of them. It’s a painful mirror to look into each and every day. Some days I don’t even want to look. I feel like if they’d just behave and not make everything a battle then it’d be easier not to yell but it does not work like that. I am the parent. I’m not allowed to sulk in the corner because they were mean to me. I have to try again. Each day I have to try again. Some days I’m marvellous at it, other days I just don’t want to face the trauma that the day can bring. For me and from me. Today has been better than the past few days but I am still tired and have hours to go yet…

Day 23: I am not alone

18 Apr

This post is for the original Orange Rhino. I subscribe to her blog, and every post resonates with me for one reason or another. She has 4 sons in similar age brackets to me. I relate to this woman from the other side of the world, we are sharing a similar journey and similar experiences. Things that happen to her, happen to me – eg, like her I leave the dinner table for 5 seconds and return to absolute chaos and food everywhere! …She doesn’t even know it but she helps me be a better mum every day. Today, her post was about how sometimes motherhood can break your heart. So, I am writing to her today.

You are not alone. I am sorry you experienced some disheartening news about your baby. We go through this kind of thing too. Our 10 year old twins have ADHD. It’s been a long (and resistant) road to diagnosis only this year. The school journey over the past 5 years has been hard. We have had a lot of disheartening feedback about our boys, one in particular. Parent/teacher interviews are always hard to hear.  Orange Rhino you said this today:

“Even though I know it will all work out and that I know he will be fine, I will be fine, we will be fine, it still hurts to know that one of my sons is struggling. Upon hearing the news I immediately started in with the:

“It’s my fault. I am a bad mom. I am not present enough. I don’t play too much. I expect too much. I don’t expect enough. I don’t do enough. This is my entire fault. And if it isn’t my fault for acting wrong, it is my fault for sharing my DNA.”

Oh yes, I played the “I suck as a mom” card over and over and over in my head this afternoon. I was so down that I couldn’t even cry. I was past crying. “

This is me too. Often. I go through periods where things just cruise along, it’s damn hard work, but the wheels are turning and everything is relatively ok with the kids, with me in my heart and in my head. Then I have a day like you just had and I’m back to the heartache and the guilt. This happened for me on Monday night, when I felt completely railroaded by one of the boys’ teachers who stressed she failed to see why he was not completing his homework regularly. Oh I don’t know, because at any given time the house is chaotic, it’s noisy, he forgets it, I never make time to sit with him to do it because he refuses a lot of the time, or takes so long I just want to watch paint dry instead, or I have to cook dinner, or I am not home from work, or the rest of the kids are mucking around, or FAR OUT LADY SOME DAYS I’M JUST TOO DAMN TIRED AND I DON’T WANT TO DEAL WITH MY DIFFICULT SON TONIGHT… then times it by 2 because both of the twins are like this. By the time she’d finished I’d had every confidence sucked out of me. The hard won effort that I had been putting in was taken from me. I felt defeated. And back to the feelings of “I just don’t do enough” and “If I’d only done XYZ when they were younger”, I doubted myself…again… and all of it came down like a tonne of bricks.

Thank you for sharing your heartache. It helps me deal with mine. Knowing I am not alone helps me keep going. So I wanted you to know you are not alone, so maybe it helps you keep going too. Because of you, I have not yelled for 23 days. And I was a vicious yeller. Because of you, when Monday night happened to me, I had more emotional energy available to process it because I did not waste it by yelling and screaming my frustration at the kids. Some days I too am so down I can’t even cry. You are not alone. You are a beacon of light to so many mothers and I think you are wonderful.

Day 19: Door – 1 Mum – 0

14 Apr

Ok so I yelled today and immediately thought “Oh noooooooooo I’ve just reset my challenge calendar…” and I was super mad at myself. Until I realised the kids had not heard me. HA! They were down the other end of the house and they did not hear me when I yelled “Oh my GOD BOYS DON’T LEAVE THE LEGO BUCKET INSIDE THE BEDROOM DOORRRRRRR!! AAARRRRGGGGHHHHH!!!!!!!”  after I opened their bedroom door and it immediately hit the huge lego bucket and bounced back and smashed into my face. Man. I’m lucky huh… lucky they were not anywhere near me. Actually let’s be truthful, THEY are lucky they weren’t anywhere near me. Mum immediately after a door has smacked her in the face is not pretty…. 19 days people…. 19 days since the kids have heard my big bad yelling voice. Still winning at life…

Day 17: What to do when covered in shampoo?

12 Apr

Can I just say – it’s damn hard not to yell at your kids when this happens:

I was in the shower mid-shampoo and I heard the 3yo and 4yo come into the bedroom. 5 minutes before they’d been yahooing out the back in the black dirt that is currently our backyard. I know what they do when they come in. They jump on the bed. The nice, big, king-size bed sporting a $500 white linen doona cover (I got it on special ok). Cue inner rage. There’s me, shampoo all over my hair, eyes closed, desperately trying to calmly have the kids extract themselves from my bedroom without touching the white doona cover with their black feet. Omg. Nobody listens to me the first time. Or the second time. I’m trying to fling open the shower door to assert myself calmly, authoritatively when I all wanted to do was yell:

“GET OUT NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

There was no magic I-did-not-yell-therefore-they-listened-to-me moment. No. I had no tricks up my sleeve where I could get down to their level, reason with them and deliver consequence for poor behaviour choices. I was in the shower. I was soapy. I was blind. I was about to lose my $500 white linen doona cover (purchased on special) to the grubby feet of two giggling children having the time of their lives on the king-size bed. All I could do was firmly repeat “Out. Now. Please” (in my head “or so help me god”). Followed by “If you don’t get away from the bed right now there’s no tv today” – eventually the kids decided they’d leave, and the white linen doona cover remained untouched. For now.

Man, could I have classed yelling at that time as an emergency yell? Possibly. I think I was just lucky (or more like they were lucky) that they stayed away from the bed.

Today the Orange Rhino blogged this:

Yes, when I stopped yelling at my boys, I became alive again.

Parts of me that had been stuffed away for years came out. I started laughing more. I started smiling more. I started walking with a greater pep. I started sleeping better. I started finding joy in the small things, in the normal moments with my boys like bath time, dinnertime, playtime, chat time.

This is me. I have noticed that instead of yelling, I get down closer to the kids to talk to them, to touch them, I engage more (er, unless I’ve got shampoo in my hair). And doing that means I get to squeeze little bodies until they giggle, I see my big boys smile because I’ve ruffled their hair instead of yelling at them, I feel closer to my babies. All of them. I am still tired. I do snap and say mean things when I shouldn’t and I am improving that every day. But life’s that little bit sweeter each day because I’m not pouring my energy into my lungs, I’m pouring it into my heart instead.

Day 15: Parenting from the couch

10 Apr

Blergh what a shit afternoon. I spent over an hour in traffic busting it to get home (the trip is only 13km and usually only takes 30 minutes!). By the time I’d gotten home, all hell had broken loose with the babies running amok with Aunty Jane. The 4 year old is way too cheeky for his own good and just won’t behave. Dinner had been defrosted and was ready to serve but the 4 year old was soooooo NOOOOIIIIIIISSSSYYYYYY!!! Add that trigger to my list. Too much noise. Oh my lord. I told my SIL that I’d made a commitment not to yell anymore. She said that was great, then glanced around the dining area in dismay… Oh the kids were just revved  up and not behaving at all! Actually I’m going to be fair. The twins were really great. The little one was good. It was the 4 year old. Man, he just gets hyper and giggles his head off and is naughty… Well, I did not yell. I’ve committed to not yelling. So I did not yell. I gave him his warning, if he moved off his stool again it was bed, no negotiating. He moved off his stool. He was sent to bed. No negotiating. And no yelling. Well, not from me anyway. He had it out in the bedroom until he couldn’t yell anymore, yelled that he hated me and then went to sleep in a huff. Not before I told him that I loved him to infinity and explained that infinity meant forever. He said he did not love me forever. *Sigh* damn kid. I know he loves me. But tough call for mum today…

I am tired today. I did dinner from the freezer, and once it was done I knocked off. The rest of the parenting came from the couch tonight. I love you guys, but all instructions are coming from the loungeroom now! Babies are asleep. Twins are nearly in bed. I have a cider. All is well with the world. And I did not yell today either. Go me.

 

 

Day 14: Tough week

9 Apr

Ok, so it’s 2 weeks in to the no yelling for a year challenge. 14 days. In that time I think I’ve almost raised my voice beyond an authoritative level maybe once or twice. The first 8 days were good. I was focussed, new project and all. Then it’s back to normal reality of life, and sometimes forgetting that yelling is now off the menu. For example, I DID raise my voice in a panic when this happened. One of the twins was in the toilet and his 3 year old brother also needed to jump in and do a wee before having a shower. The big one would not shove over (hideously incensed that his privacy was being violated) and while normally I’d not allow this, truth was the 3 year old was naked, and desperate to go, and if his brother did not let him in there was going to be piss all over the floor which yours truly would have had to clean up. So, in desperation I raised my voice to “LET HIM IN!!” It was not just the case that he would not open the door, the door was slightly open already. It was the case that the 3 yo was already naked, at the toilet bowl (next to his brother) ready to go, and his brother kept shoving him out of the way. Grrrrrrrrrr… I was ready to explode. Just let the poor kid do a wee he’s only little and HE CAN’T HOLD IT!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

 

Deep breaths.

 

So there have been a couple of other incidents where I have snapped. In haste. In frustration. Some of the other bloggers on the challenge refer to their yelling coming from frustration with small children who don’t know better. A LOT of my frustration comes from dealing with 10 year olds who damn well know better and that makes it tough. The twins constantly bitch at the babies no matter what’s being talked about the twins say something like “I learned that the sun is a star today mum” and then the 4 yo without fail will pipe up “No it isn’t” and it’s on for young and old yesitisnoitisntyesitisnoitisntyesitisnoitisntyesitisnoitisntyesitisnoitisntyesitisnoitisnt!!!!!!!!!

GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I usually just ignore this. Let them scrap in the back of the car until they finally sort themselves out. Man the babies love to push buttons and I’ve told the twins to ignore them, that it’s a game the babies like to play and the twins always lose but they persist…. 

14 days with only one or two little teeny snaps… Nothing devastating. Not bad 🙂 

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