Yeller.

I’m a yeller.

#thatsright #iadmitit

It’s something I struggle with as a parent. When I get all flustered and irritated, my gut reaction is to yell. My instinct is to shove everyone away from myself, to distance myself from anyone and anything so that I can settle my mind in peace.

Obviously – as a mom to four young kids – that rarely works out…

#notforme #notforanyone

I’ve yelled at my kids. A lot. Especially since we moved into a house with an upper level. My kids go upstairs and they play and they watch movies and they hang out with their neighbor friends or cousins…and I typically don’t go upstairs until I’m heading to bed.

So I stay downstairs.

And I yell at them…or for them…or to them…or ABOUT them

#weareloud #iamloud #welcometomylife

I’ve always been aware of my yelling, this isn’t a new thing. I grew up in a loud family. My sister and I were known for our bickering – Bicker Sisters should have been our shared nickname.

#maybeitwas #nobodywantedtotellus #becausewewouldbickeraboutit

My parents bickered like married people do…and they didn’t hide it from us. It was life – why hide real life from your real kids in your real house and your real family?? When there were issues outside of our home (( mean friends, rude parents, job woes, money probs, etc. )) my parents got a bit worked up about it. Discussions were always loud. When we would travel and visit extended family members, wine and politics were always on the table…so…again. Loud.

I am the product of opinionated people. Opinionated, loud people who like wine.

#weloud #sowhat #iloveit

The thing I’m getting at here is…yelling isn’t necessarily a BAD thing in my fam. It’s a way of life. It’s part of who I am and where I’ve come from. Yeah, my Mom yelled at me. I deserved it. I was a little sh*t for most of my life. I was hard-headed and snarky. I colored on everything and spent most of my time dreaming up different lives in different places I had never been – forever bored with everyday nonsense.

I love my Mom. She was exactly the mother I needed her to be. She was – and is – the woman that kept going, the one who got up every day and pushed me to be better, to do better, to learn and grow and move forward. And sometimes she yelled at me. She was a yeller. I feel like she probably had the same thing that I have now…that flustered thing…where she just wants everyone to shut up for a minute so she can flipping think.

#wenevershutup #iwasanannoyingkid 

***

The other day I read a thing that said something about how yelling was abusive and that being a “yeller” is bound to cause serious trauma in your child. (( Note that this article specifically mentioned that yelling in any capacity qualified as abuse. )) It made me feel guilty, it made me question myself and my parenting. I was stressed out and nauseous for awhile…

#likeawholeweek #iworriedandworried

Why did I worry so much??

Because I AM A YELLER.

And right there in front of me was this article that CLEARLY said that I was RUINING my perfect, precious angel babies.

#howcouldidothattothem

HOW COULD I EVER YELL AT THEM??? LOOK AT THEIR ADORABLE LITTLE FACES.

27907965_10210152126511161_8525909221840294518_o

*** My Adorable Four – Don’t be fooled, everyone was cold and tired and crying. They all laughed for this because Zoey (( my youngest )) farted REALLY loud just then. ***

***

My mind began to fill up with all sorts of things…

I felt like the worst person…THE WORST MOTHER. How could I treat my children so poorly? After all, there are so many people who desperately want children and HERE I HAVE FOUR of them. I am lucky. I should be cherishing them. I should be soaking up every single second of their existence.

Right?

RIGHT??

#wrong #sortof

***

Really quick…I just want to say that it is possible to CHERISH your children and still want to return them to the Baby Store every now and then. We are all just people, after all. And children are the worst sometimes. They are cute because if they weren’t, there wouldn’t be any of them.

***

Also, if you’re a new reader and aren’t familiar with me or my style, know that just about everything that sounds horrible is usually a joke. Or not. But usually. I’ll just leave it up to you to guess what’s a joke and what’s actually really awful.

***

Here’s the thing, Friends.

My kids were born from my belly. All four of them were planted in my womb, they grew inside of my body and then they were birthed into this world, taking their first breaths in my arms. They knew my voice, they recognized my habits and my words. They knew my smell and my movements.

#poorthings

When they were just tiny babes inside of my body, concealed from the world, they heard me.

#theyknewme

They heard me yelling at their Daddy for bringing home ANOTHER load of craigslist crap…uh…I mean…treasures. They listened each time they heard me singing to my favorite songs in the shower, in the car, in the house, in the yard, in the grocery store…

Before they were born they heard me bickering with my beloved over the dishes and laundry. They heard me yell at him when he farted in a doorway – one that I needed to pass through. Each of my four children were healthy babies with normal pregnancies…which means it’s safe to assume that at some point in utero they heard ALL OF THE THINGS going on in my general bubble. Like every time I barfed and every time I cried and every time I ordered a spicy chicken sandwich from Wendy’s.

#becausepregnancy 

***

My kids know me, is all I’m saying here. They know me and that means they know that I’m uncontrollably loud and usually a bit crazy. I’m emotional and impulsive. I love creative projects. I really enjoy being outside on warm days and rainy days and cloudy days. I will always encourage them to make things before buying them. I will always force them to play with people instead of things. I will always yell at them from downstairs because I’m too lazy to walk upstairs every time I need them.

#forreal #ihatestairs

In other words…I am a yeller and I am not abusing my children.

#everythinginmoderationyo

EVERYTHING IN MODERATION!!

#exceptkindness #andlove #andcoffee #okcoffeetoo

Just as in everything in life, I think this article ended up just being a great reminder to seek a lifestyle of MODERATION. In eating, in vacationing, in exercising, in shopping, in sleeping…actually…scratch that last one…

#alwaysSLEEP #napnapnapnapnap #everydayimsleepsleepsleepin #justkidding #idontsleep #soyoushouldforme

…and MODERATION in PARENTING!!

Everything in moderation. Our children are perfect gifts. They come just as they are, helpless and wonderful. They are beautiful in their perfectly imperfect little bundles with tiny baby butts and cute little quirks. AND WE LOVE THEM. (( Remember, no moderation necessary there. )) But we don’t need to WORSHIP them. We don’t need to HIDE from them. We don’t need to WRAP THEM UP in layers of invisible packing supplies. If our children required bubble wrap, there AIN’T NO WAY they would enter the world through a vagina/abdominal incision. NEITHER of those options are clean, safe or sanitary.

#babiesaretough #soarevaginas #andmommies #ofallkinds

YES. OK. YELLING AT YOUR KIDS ALL THE TIME FOR EVERYTHING is ridiculous. Of course it is. It’s abusive. Absolutely. Sometimes I catch myself yelling at my kid for silly things.

#excessive #notabusive

EXAMPLE : Last night my kids were exhausted. They hadn’t slept well the night before and had had a very long, full day. Dinner was ALMOST ready but just NOT quite in time. My daughter (( she’s four )) was my shadow, asking me every few seconds if she could have peanut butter toast. I was doing my best to tide her over with my

“Dinner is ALMOST done, Sweet Girl. Just a minute. Go sit down, please. It’s coming.”

She ignored me. She started to really get on my nerves when I couldn’t open the oven or move a pan because she was LITERALLY on my heels.

I started yelling.

“TAYLOR! GO SIT AT THE TABLE AND JUST WAIT!”

I did this for the next few requests from her for toast…each getting whinier and whinier.

I made myself turn and look at her little face and I saw the tears welling up in her eyes.

YELLING wouldn’t help in this situation. It wasn’t connecting to her, it wasn’t putting any urgency into her actions. There wasn’t any change in her behavior. YELLING was useless. It wasn’t accomplishing anything.

So I stopped and I got onto her level and I made her look at me.

“Taylor, dinner is almost done. See? The plates are out and there are green beans on there already. Would you like to have a piece of garlic bread while you wait for your noodles?”

Done. She was still teary and until she was also able to have a little bit of milk she was still emotional. But it stopped her annoying whining which gave me the peace I needed to be able to settle my own mind.

#parenting #yellinginmoderation

NOW LET ME TELL YOU RIGHT NOW…this hasn’t always been the story. I haven’t always been so quick to calm down and recognize that my yelling wasn’t helping. During pregnancy, I have very little control over my emotions AND/OR yelling. When I’m exhausted, I am easily angered. When I’m HANGRY, it’s impossible. I need food and I need sleep. As long as I get a bit of both now and then, I can handle parenting.

BUT I AIN’T PERFECT, GUY!!! Nobody is.

***

So what, man? What is the whole point of this? 

Maybe you’re not a yeller. Maybe you don’t struggle with patience like I do. Maybe you come from a quiet family. Maybe yelling is a trigger for you, maybe you see me yelling at my kids and assume abuse. Maybe you see me yelling at my kids and feel concern for my precious babes.

It’s ok, really.

We are all different. It’s the beauty of this life as humans. We all have the opportunity to live and to grow as we journey through completely unique experiences and pathways. Unfortunately that also means that we each will and do carry around unique heartaches and scars.

We have unique pain as we have unique love.

I’m really sorry for the pain that you carry, for the scars you bear. I have them too. If you need someone to talk to about your own personal journey, about the pain you have that gives you that instinct to protect children of yellers, know that I will listen to you.

#messagemeANYTIME

But please, before we cast our concerns, can we take a bit of time to look BEYOND the moment? Take more than a few minutes or even a few hours or days and invest some time and life into the people you feel most concerned about. Seek out their pain and try to spread around a little extra love.

(( Remember!! Never love in moderation but always in ABUNDANCE!! ))

Before you allow yourself to feel concern for my child and share your OVERWHELMING WORRY for his or her well-being, allow yourself to feel love for ME. Allow yourself to extend kindness to my kids. Get to know them…

(( With my permission, of course. No weirdos, please. ))

…and get to know me. THEN if you feel that same worry or concern, please share them with me OUT OF LOVE.

***

Yellers of the world, I’m with you. You’re not ruining your kid. Stop feeling guilty. You’re doing your best, right? Instead of condemning yourself the next time you find yourself yelling at your precious Littles, just remember…moderation.

Yelling is part of who I am…and my kids are going to have to just get used to it, as I did with my Mom. They are stuck with me. And her. And I think we are all ok with that.

***

Cheers Friends,

Allison.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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