Yep. You read that right. I told my kids “I quit” and you won’t believe what happened next. It was an ugly day. Scratch that, it has been an ugly season. I honestly can’t remember the last day that a door was not slammed, a foot was not stomped or a voice was not raised. It’s pretty common knowledge that I have one son that struggles with intense emotions, but this has been different. All of the children have been on edge, despite all my best efforts to change the equation.
Before you hate me and think I am the worst mom in the world, I want it to be very clear, that I have never and will never attempt to tell you the “best” way to parent. This is not a post where I will tell you the secrets to a happy family. Quite the opposite, in fact, it is my goal to create a place where you just don’t feel alone. I am pretty sure I am not alone in this feeling of hitting my limit.
That is just what happened. I hit my limit.
There is only so much yelling, so much stomping and so much screaming this one mom can take! It wears me down. I have started and restarted my journey to be a more peaceful parent and practice what I preach several times in the last few years. My latest attempts have worked wonders for myself.
What I mean by that, is I have found a calm for myself. I have filled my parenting toolbox, implemented strategies that are working and I actually have been yelling much less, if any at all. Despite all those changes for the better, my home is still a warzone. It is not peaceful. It is not pretty.
Normally, I vent to my friends via chat or text messages for a moment of validity. Sometimes, I call someone after the kids are in bed to find support. And I always lean on my husband for support when the day is done. However, my kids never see this.
I am living a lie.
In front of my kids, I say all the “right” words. I give all the “right” consequences and I remain consistent and fair. My voice stays calm and my mood remains flat. Not overjoyed but not angry. I let the anger roll off my back and save the sadness for behind closed doors. My kids have no clue how unhappy I am.
Today, I told my children “I quit“.
I didn’t scream it. I didn’t pout it. I just said “I quit.” I was broken and they could see it. Tears started streaming down my face. I told them of the love I have for them. I told them how much I care about them and how no matter what, I would always love them, but something had to give.
I didn’t have a long drawn out speech, because, honestly, they wouldn’t have listened. Instead, I told them how I felt. I told them how it hurt that I couldn’t remember a day of no yelling. I told them it broke me. I told them I felt like a failure. I told them I couldn’t keep going like this.
I know, I know… you are probably thinking to yourself “Wow, how could this mom put so much on her children? Wow, get a life, woman.” Right? Well, even if you are, I am here to share something truly amazing that happened next that pretty much floored me.
I walked away for my break, my breather, and my quiet time. I went to unload the dishes and left the kids with my words. I expected them to brush it off and go about their day. I expected the arguing to start right back up. Honestly, I expected nothing to come of it and I felt awful for letting it out on them.
Yet, as I stood there unloading the dishes with a toddler wrapped around my legs, I could hear something happening in the other room. The boys were calm. They were gentle. In fact, they were working. They both got out their schoolwork on there own. They both finished their work on their own. They both made their snacks on their own.
And you know what? It didn’t end there.
No, in fact, it continued through the rest of the day. I have to say it was one of the most peaceful days we have had in a long long time.
So, who knows, maybe all it takes is a little tiny bit of brutal honesty to reset. Maybe all it takes is respecting my children enough to tell them how I really feel. Maybe, just maybe, this is the start of something new.
Here’s to a day with no yelling, no stomping, and no screaming. What do you think? Do you think it can happen?
Have you ever told your kids “you quit”? Have you ever wanted to throw in the towel and walk away? How did you get through that feeling? What did you do? Connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram or subscribe by email. I can’t wait to hear your ideas.
I absolutely love this Anger Management Course for Mama’s ! It is different than just the zen advice you might get elsewhere. I kid you not, before this course I was a yelling mess, frustrated and feeling like a pretty terrible mom. Now, things are a lot prettier. I only have to resort to the yelling at inanimate objects on rare occasions. My house is actually more zen, and I feel like a better mom! I am armed with a toolbox of ideas and I understand myself better which gives me so much more control! You should check it out!
Want to stop yelling? Have some tips you want to share with the rest of us? I’d love to hear all about it!