Monday, February 01, 2016

Quitting the Yelling

I  had a terrible weekend.

Ben went to a hockey tournament with Harry (AND THEY WON THE TOURNAMENT AND HARRISON SCORED THE GAME-WINNING GOAL OF THE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME), and I stayed home with the other 3 kids.  Cooper had a fever on Friday but seemed OK on Saturday.  Jack STILL has a fever today, and he threw up ALL WEEKEND.

We were basically housebound until Ben and Harry got home on Sunday.

Soon after this picture was taken, Dorothy ripped off her bandaid and scratched open her face.  Again.
 I left Jack on the couch at one point and took the other 2 across the street to the park because we needed to leave the gross house.
 I also cleaned the entire house and changed all 7 beds' sheets.  AND cooked the kids a vegetable with dinner even though it was just Dorothy and Cooper eating.  And everyone wore their pajamas all day long.
 Dorothy colors like she does everything else-- INTENSELY and with extreme focus. She is a lot.
 Cooper is more genial and laid back, and if you've met him you know he almost always clenched in a full body clench, so to call him laid back is saying something about his sister.
 Jack rallied to lay on my shoulder and breathe snot and puke breath all over me while we watched Tommy Boy.  He loved Tommy Boy, and even though he had never seen it before, he was able to correctly anticipate and shout out many of Chris Farely's lines, which delighted me because he's always looked a little bit like Chris Farley.
Long story short (ha!  as if!), I have embarked on a 21-day project to quit yelling at my kids.

Today was day 1.  It was... not a success.  But I have been in my office since 3, so the there has been no afternoon/evening yelling.  Erm.

You guys know I love Gretchen Rubin and her books and her wonderful podcast, right?  So I figured getting daily emails that would help me change a bad habit would be totally great.  And the first one was excellent.  It's not her fault that I couldn't quit yelling  I have PMS for one thing, and I was alone with 3 kids all weekend, and today was a bitch and a half.  We had Little Gym.  Mondays have deadlines for my adjunct class, and Ben and I tag-team work.

But!  I think not yelling would be a total happiness booster, and even though I am only a day into the project, I know from reading Rubin's other stuff that this won't really be about changing who I am, it'll be about changing my circumstances so I won't need to yell.  Today, for example, I realized that nagging Dorothy and Cooper about wearing their coats makes me prone to yelling (not about the coats but about the next thing that comes up) because I get so frustrated.  So I just threw their coats in my giant tote bag and got on with my life.  IT WAS SO MUCH NICER.

I took her 4 tendencies quiz, and I am pretty sure I am an upholder (I say pretty sure because I am worried that I just WANT to see myself as an upholder and that swayed my results).  This means I would be able to succeed at this 21-day project without any sort of external accountability, but I'm going to post about it here because why not?  A little accountability can't hurt, right?  I really do want to have more patience, and I think I need a little help thinking critically about what I am doing now to run myself ragged.

Something else that would be a happiness booster (for others, maybe even more than myself)?  If I could stop posting Hillary Clinton stuff on Facebook.  BUT I LOVE HER.  And I have a daughter now.  This feels personal.  I want to see the first woman president, and I want to see her right now!


  1. You know, I had a really terrible Sunday morning and I was beating myself up about being a jerk to the kids, but then I thought about it and realized that I started the day strong: cuddled up on the couch with Mary and talked softly before the sun came up, made French toast, etc. And then by 9:00 AM I was acting like a crazy person. So it's not all us, you know? But not yelling would make the crazy stuff die down faster, probably. A good goal.

  2. I have slowly been changing as many of my circumstances as possible (exhibit a million: we now have an afternoon nanny instead of an afterschool program and OH MY GOD is my life so much better; picking up one child on my way home from work and coming home to house that feels warm and happy and lived in with two children already present is amazing), and then just forgiving myself in the situations where yelling was necessary (and asking my children's forgiveness in situations where it was not).

    But, I actually re-found this post on my big computer and not my phone just so I could say YES on the Hilary Clinton stuff. Did you see this article: There are lots of other good ones, but that one captured many a recent frustration.