I never knew so much anger even existed in me until I became a Mom. No one told me I would experience this kind of anger, raise my voice in a tone I’ve never heard before, and feel incredibly isolated and ashamed because of it. There are times when I don’t even recognize this person who has yelled relentlessly at my kids. It’s shameful, embarrassing, and humiliating BUT not yelling is really hard to do sometimes.
In the last year I have really tried to focus my response to my kids in high tense moments. I’ve been inspired by @simplyonpurpose and have done her #noyell challenges and have prayerfully and intentionally focused on my emotional response to my kids.
I feel like I am finally seeing growth, a change:
Every single time we get in the car the kids fight over where they are going to sit, so I started telling them where they would be sitting before we even got out the door in hopes that it would help. In some ways it has helped, but not yesterday.
We were running out the door to preschool and I said “Charlize is behind mommy. Jax is the middle. Sawyer is in the back.”
Jax did NOT want to sit in the middle and was throwing a tantrum about his seating arrangement. I got the other two buckled and told Jax “you can get in the car yourself or I will pick you up and put you in. It is your choice” He ran. I chased. I picked him up and tried to buckle him. He screamed and kicked and fought. I could feel my anxiety creeping in. I stopped and told myself “just breathe.”
Deep breath in. Deep breath out. • “I’m going to hold your legs down until you calm your body down because you’re hurting me when you kick and I need to get you buckled.” He eventually stopped kicking, but was still screaming. This was at least ten minutes in and I somehow managed to stay calm the entire time. “When you are finished crying, I will buckle you in and we will head out.”
This is my son Sawyer (on a different day) having a tantrum over seating arrangements as well.
I waited. And waited. And eventually he was ready.
The old me would have responded so much differently. There would have been yelling and lots of tears from him and me; and probably a panic attack too. But not yesterday, yesterday was progress!
Time. Intention. Consistency. Grace.
Follow Me: @theperfectmom