Getting through the day, one cup at a time.

Admission of Guilt

on June 10, 2012

I need help. This I know. It’s easy to justify everything, blame the kids, blame my parents, blame society. But it’s me. And I need some motherly love from the interwebs.

I read this:

“Sometimes parenthood brings out terrible traits you never you knew had and never had to deal with in the past. I decided I was ready to share That Terrible Day in the hopes that other parents on the verge of yelling at their kids can find alternatives to doing so.”

– Sleeping Should Be Easy

And it’s me. Her post, titled “How to stay calm with your child” talks about alternatives that she uses in order to avoid yelling at her child.

I am a yeller.

I’m not talking about ‘raising my voice’, I’m talking about full on screaming out of frustration and anger. I don’t know how to deal with my anger. This is something that I’ve been working on, but I need e-hugs. Or something. My mom-pride hurts. My kids are great kids…most of the time. And when they’re not, then they’re just being kids, right? Right? It’s so hard to tell, some of their behaviours seem…intentional. That smirk, that smug, know-it-all, smirk. Argh!

What about repeat behaviours? Bad behaviours. How many times is opening the movie cases and taking out the DVDs just innocent child mistakes? Moving chairs to reach breakable or messy items? Colouring on the walls? Putting toys in your mouth? Hitting a sibling? Pulling the dog’s tail? Playing with the %^&*(%#(*& dog’s water dish for the billionth time and soaking your clothes and the floor?

I could understand once, twice, even five times. But over and over and over again? It just honestly seems like they’re not listening! I ENVY parents who seem to have unlimited patience with their children. I have a limit. A big ol’ limit that my kids know how to pass. And I don’t know what to do. Should I expect these behaviours and let them go with a ‘silly! Nononono. That’s not what we do. Hahaha’ because I don’t think I can do that. I can adapt. I’ve moved the DVDs up onto a shelf to remove temptation, searched for stealthily hidden crayons, even tried to agree on tactics and limits with the kids. I can’t do everything. Or, at least, it feels like I can’t. When they don’t listen, and their actions appear intentional, then it makes me feel like I’m failing at mothering. That failure angers me, because I want to be a good mother. Some days I feel like a good mother. How am I supposed to disperse this anger without screaming? I don’t want my kids to fear me. I feared my parents, it’s not nice.

Please be kind. I know I don’t deserve it, but I’m asking for input. Suggestions. Even: “Oh yeah coffeepoweredmom, my kids make me that angry too. You’re not alone. Here’s how I deal with it…” I want to improve myself. I want to be a great mother for my children. I need help.


21 responses to “Admission of Guilt

  1. kebibarra says:

    You do deseve kindness and lots of it! It’s hard as shit being a parent and I think anyone that says else wise is well….I haven’t created a word for them yet. So you screamed. I mean I know it hurts you afterwards. It hurts me too when I react a certain why to my three year old when I know damn well all he is doing is exactly what he is suppose to do- what he is wired to do, be three. Sometimes I have to remove myself from the room- I go in restroom and just sit for a few seconds until I know my voice is ready to speak to him in a normal tone. and when I can’t make it to the restroom quick enough and I do outburst–I return to him within mins and tell him i’m sorry for getting so upset. We aren’t perfect–we’re parent’s, normal people with normal people emotions. Don’t beat yourself up you aren’t the only one that struggles and eventhough I know you know that sometimes its hard to remember. Hugs to you—you are freakin awesome! P.S wanna talk about anger control my little sweet boy has been hanging on me like a freaking monkey saying lets go outside lets go outside like 50 times within the two mins it took me to type this out….Lord Jesus–we’ll get through it together, all of us! lol

  2. grandmalin says:

    Just realizing that there’s a problem means you’re a great mom. Kids don’t really hear what you’re saying when you yell, it’s just one big angry noise to them. Nobody has all the answers and you know your own kids better than anyone else. Teach them to clean up their own messes and undo their wrongs. Actions have consequences. Hang in there. They eventually grow up and leave home. 🙂

    • Hahaha, but then I won’t want them to go….maybe…
      Thank you. That helps a lot. Sometimes I feel so lost, especially when I see other parent’s who don’t seem to lose it like I do. Working on it!

  3. I truly think the parent who “has endless patience” is a myth. We all scream sooner or later. Sometimes I think my kids need me to truly blow my top so they can see that I’m serious. I try not to make it a regular occurrence because then it loses its effectiveness, but every now and then a good yell is totally called for.

  4. Amy says:

    I think we could be the same person in this regard. Yelling and losing my patience is the one part of parenting that I just can’t get a handle on. Just when I think I’m doing great and finally figuring it out, I get hit in the face with a key (thanks, Nathan) and start yelling all over again. I have noticed that when I yell less, their behavior is a little better. The more I yell the worse they get. It’s a nasty cycle.

    I just found this thing on Pinterest (yay!) where you make a glitter bottle and shake it up. If they do something wrong, they have to sit and hold the bottle until all of the glitter settles. Kind of like a time-out, but better. I’m going to try it and see if it helps give us both a chance to get a hold of ourselves.

  5. I think just the fact that you made this brave admission is a huge step in controlling your yelling. For me, definitely stepping away for a few seconds has helped me keep my cool. I probably still say something sassy or rude to him, but that little break keeps me in check.

    I read in a book that these emotional explosions are wired in our brains, so that when kids throw tantrums they are actually working from that part of their brain that explodes. It’s very similar to when we road rage; we sort of just go ape s*** and lose it for a bit. I think it’s part of that fight or flight mentality where we react instinctively. It is so so hard to control that, and that’s why I think the fact that you’re even able to identify it is a seriously huge step.

    Hang in there, mama! It happens to the best of us, and don’t let these instances define who you are.

    • Hey thanks! I can definitely (99%) say that it is linked to my anger management skills. I can also say that I don’t know how else to channel this, but I am working on it. It really helps to have a partner who is kind and understanding like Phil, and so many understanding moms out there in the big wide interweb that can be so compassionate. 😀

  6. jofurniss says:

    I shout too. Not loads but more than I’d like. I was talking to my Gynae a while back about it bc I have a hormone contraceptive and wondered if it was affecting me (talk about seeking something to blame!) and she just looked at me like I was a nutter: “but if you don’t shout at them” she asked, “how will they know you are angry?” I’d still rather not yell, but she made me feel more human.

    • Exactly! I try to tell my kids that certain behaviours aren’t appropriate, and that we all need to work TOGETHER to fix things. Parents make mistakes too, and I LIKE to think it helps them to see me screw up and then apologize.

  7. I yell too much and then feel guilty, it’s been bad recently. I have a 2 year old and a 3 year old and they bounce off each other. I try to have chilled out days and not let the little things get to me, but as soon as my 3 year old starts manically screeching I know things are going to get out of hand. At this point he shuts down to all instructions and I feel the only way to get through to him is by shouting. I’ve tried taking him to one side and explaining things quietly and calmly, but he just looks over my shoulder, giggles and wriggles around, that makes me angry! The best way I’ve found for dealing with this is to be as organised as possible. Make sure the change bag is ready to go, lunches packed the night before and a plan of where we’re going to go. When the screeching starts it’s time to go before things get out of hand. When we’re out and about they’re usually really good kids. The best thing is when you feel things are getting tense, have a change of scenery, go to the park, walk to the shop, play upstairs, have a bath, anything that stops them taking that step too far that’s going to make you angry. Keep us updated with how it’s going.

    • A change of scenery is a great idea! I hadn’t thought of that one. Walks (if they’re behaved…that’s a big IF) tend to make me feel calmer, and a big bonus is that now our backyard is finished so I can safely toss them out there and then sit on the porch and supervise.
      Ally’s almost 4 and when she smirks or laughs when I’m giving her a talking to – it drives me up the wall!
      I also remember BEING a child and not being able to contain the smirk or giggle. Not because the situation was funny but because it was a nervous reaction to confrontation. My parents used to get madder and more violent because of it. I try to just clam up and maintain eye contact until she stops smiling or laughing. Then I ask her to repeat the lesson, etc. that we were just discussing so I can confirm she WAS paying attention, she was just having a nervous reaction. I don’t know if that’ll help with your 3 year old (I would have done anything as a kid not to make my parents angrier but that darn smile would not stay away) but your honesty sure helped me! I’m glad I’m not the only one who tries to be calm but is still angered by their kids. *phew*

  8. lorajbanks says:

    Anyone who says they never yell at their kids is either lying, wishing or canonized. I bet even Mary yelled at Jesus. There is no way to get around it. We all know it’s terrible, but sometimes the only way you can be HEARD is to yell. I really feel like as long as you recognize that it’s not okay, and do your best to stay conscious of it, that’s all you can do. The dynamic between kids and their parents is pusher and limit, and while you want to teach your child gently about why they shouldn’t tip over the damn dog bowl, it’s impossible not to have your buttons pushed when that’s ALL THEY DO.

    I saw this movie the other day. It’s really interesting about the how society has changed and is adversely affecting the family unit. It makes a lot of sense if you want to check it out.

    • It is queued up and ready to go! Thanks BMBF. 😀 And your spiel about the dog bowl? That’s exactly how it is. Exactly. I don’t want to point fingers, but Kira is the worst for doing things she’s not supposed to. Every time I leave the room. And I don’t want any comments from snarkers saying I shouldn’t leave the room. Sometimes you gotta poop, handle a different kid, clean something, or cook something.

      • Okay. It was queued up and I tried to watch it, but it’s morning time and the kids are clamouring for my attention. On a more awesome note, Ally has a pretty epic rendition of Rumour Has It going, hahahaha.

  9. knittingmommas says:

    I am a yeller too, I have tried not to scream at my children, and my best defense on those really bad days, is to take hold of myself, and scream at nothing, before talking to my kids and saying, Mommy is angry about this, or mommy is really crabby today, we need to be extra careful to follow the rules, then, before I lose their focus, no matter how mad I am, how bad they’ve been, I make sure to give them a hug, or if I can manage it, and they haven’t done something to earn a time out, I will tickle them and make them laugh.

    • That’s a good idea! Does it still scare your children? I’m afraid that my kids are going to be scared of me.

      • I think it scares the two year old sometimes, but the boys, 4 and 5 understand that mommy is frusterated, and the scream is rarely directed at them, though sometimes I just can’t hold it in, but this way I can comfort the two year old, even seconds after being totally willing to throttle her, which shows all the kids, mommy may be angry, but I still love you.

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