My Crazy Girl and Me
I'm not a yeller...at least not outside of organized sports, then yelling is fair game! (Get it? Fair game!)
But in my house, I really wouldn't say I yell a lot. Raise my voice to let the kiddo know I'm serious (because I do goof around a lot), but it's really not often.
At least until potty-training...
Within the past month when we've gone full-on no diaper during the day at all, I have cleaned up WAY TOO MUCH fecal matter, and I have also seen a fear in my daughter's eyes that I hoped she would only show her soon-to-be murderer. I have literally yelled and hit my hand on the door just to make her feel a small part of the frustration and anger that I felt at that moment.
I'm pretty sure all she felt is fear and sadness, and those feelings do not foster a potty-trained kid or a healthy mother-daughter relationship. Trust me.
I don't share this information because I am proud of it or because I have all the solutions. I simply share because this is my soap box, and I have something to say that I need to hear:
Yelling at your children is NEVER okay. I'm not talking about the voice of warning that needs to be sharp and loud to keep your kids safe, nor am I talking about the "will you turn that noise down?!" moments. I am talking about the moments when your blood is boiling and you feel that exasperation down through your fingertips that just uncontrollably explodes out of you!
But that's just the thing. You can control it. YOU CAN CONTROL IT (I'm raising my voice at myself, not yelling)! It is really hard to forgive the 70 x 7th poopy mess that you've had to clean up this week for sure, but it's possible.
The question comes down to it, Rachel, what kind of mom do you want to be? Do you want to be the kind of mom that yells at her kids? No? Well, then stop it! Do you want to be the kind of mom that holds a grudge against her 2 year old for being scared of pooping on the toilet and then scaring her after she has an accident because you are completely out of ideas? No? Well, then stop it! Do you want to be the kind of mom that invites and encourages the spirit of God into your home with positive, uplifting, and loving words, thoughts, and actions? Yes? Well, then just do it!
And that "just do it" philosophy is probably a lot easier said online than done as you literally watch your daughter poop her pants for the upteenth time, but there's good news (thank goodness)! You have help, which means you have hope. You're literally going to get dozens of more chances over the next few months to approach a disgusting, stinky, and heart-achingly horrible mess better than you approached the last one. You get this opportunity because Jesus gave it to you. The second verse of a song you sing to Alexa often (and gets you choked up as you sing it to her) goes like this:
If the Savior stood beside me, would I say the things I say?
Would my words be true and kind if He were never far away?
Would I try to share the gospel? Would I speak more rev'rently,
If I could see the Savior standing nigh, watching over me?
Rachel, you've made mistakes, but you can do better. You can be kinder, more loving, more empathetic, more patient, more long-suffering, more easy to be entreated, and more Christ-like. Lucky for you I've compiled some resources to help you for when you are having a tough day. You're very welcome.
1. Remember, you really do love love love your beautiful baby girl! I mean, look at this face!
2. You know that the words you say stay with you longer than anyone, for now, and your family can't spiritually afford to have you not at the top of your spiritual game as much as possible -- and improving what you say and how you say it is possible!
3. Here's a great talk about The Words We Speak and you could greatly benefit from reading it again.
4. Here are a couple great blog posts with reminders that unnecessary distractions are debilitating as a mom and when I yell at my kids when no one's around, my kids are around, and they're my most important audience!
5. You're not the only mom with this problem/concern. The latter mom in #4 made an entire blog with all sorts of helpful ideas and resources for your improving pleasure! Her story is inspiring, her challenge is frightening, and her list of alternatives to yelling is thought-provoking! You should spend some time beat-bopping around her website.
6. You can do this! You're kids are young, and everyday is pretty similar to the day before, so you are going to get BUCKETS of chances to make your mothering experience EXACTLY the one you want it to be! You're on the Lord's side on this one, and you can choose, every moment of everyday, to be the person He wants you to become.
Thanks for the pep talk! I needed that! Now since I'm not sure I'm ready to commit to 365 days of no yelling, I'm going to shoot for 1 week. Starting yesterday, because I did well and I need all the help I can get, for one week I am not going to yell at my kids...no matter what poopy mess and craziness awaits me. I can do this!!
I'll update you next Monday on how I did! Yay for making our homes and families what we want them to be!!