It all started on December 7, 2013. After the circus. I decided once and for all to get serious about not yelling at my kids. It doesn't feel good. I love them and they need to know that, even when they aren't acting very lovable. Especially when they aren't acting very lovable.
I vowed no more yelling. Then I yelled on January 7th. Exactly one month later and just one short week into the year. I yelled on February 8th. Not as intensely, but the trick to knowing if it "counts" or not is if it feels bad. Truthfully, it felt bad.
On March 2nd, I posted this on the Yell-Free Year Challenge group's wall on Facebook:
I yelled on December 7th.
Then again on January 7th.
Then once more on February 8th.
I will make it more than one month. I WILL make it more than one month.
I got so many supportive comments and such positive feedback for my success so far. One person pointed out at this rate, that's only 12 yells a year. True, that doesn't sound so bad, but my goal was zero. Someone else pointed out that in the last 3 months - 90 days - I had only yelled 3 days. 87 yell-free days. Good point.
I felt confident. One of the last comments asked if my yelling was related to my PMS...hmm. I looked at the dates again and noticed the pattern and shrugged, sure that it was merely coincidence and that I just had a 30 day tolerance limit before my head popped off. One side effect of my birth control is irregular cycles and I'm terrible about tracking/remembering so I just assumed I was irregular. But maybe I need to pay more attention.
Because I started on March 8th.
And I yelled on March 9th.
The scene: Theo was in time-out for talking back and telling us no repeatedly. We were eating lunch and sitting 20 feet from time-out. He continued shouting and being disrespectful from time-out with the intention to push our buttons. Job well done, because I reached my boiling point and bolted out of my chair and over to time out. I squatted down, eye level with him and shouted "STOP IT!! Just STOP!!!!!"
I turned and walked back to my seat with shame in my heart and embarrassment on my face. Looked at Ryan and said, "I guess I can't make it past 30 days." Then I remembered the question about my cycle and literally felt this connection happening between my mind and my body.
It hit me, maybe she was right. Maybe my tolerance is not thirty days, but maybe my tolerance is just lower while my hormones are out of whack. Maybe the trick is getting a better handle on myself ahead of time. Preparing mentally for these situations might be the key. I have to increase my ability to ignore toddler/pre-schooler behavior and be the bigger person. I have to keep in mind that I cannot be disappointed in a 2 or 4 year old with out of control emotions when that is the very thing that I have modeled for them. I have to remain calm when I am upset. Or tired. Or moody.
So I'll say it again....and I will believe it again. Because I will try harder. Again.
I will make it more than 30 days.
I WILL make it more than 30 days.
Because don't these two deserve the best me I can be?