So, I have a confession… I’ve deterred a little from the No Yell Challenge in the last few days. Maybe you thought I wanted to mix things up a little- and you’d be right- but it’s more than that. I felt like I was failing my own challenge… I promised real, so Mama is getting real.
Do your kids ever make super repetitive, annoying noises? Like unst, ah, ah, oohhaaaa, unst ah, ah, oohhaaaa! Over and over and over and over. And over. Sounds like a mentally ill beat-boxer. Please stop. (Louder) Unst, ah, ah, oohhaaaa, unst, ah, ah, oohhaaa! I said please stop now. (Unchanged) Unst, ah, ah, oohhaaa! Please, I have really had enough. Please stop. Silence. Blank stare. Please finish putting your jammies on. Fine. Unst ah, ah, oohhaa. Ugh. (Insert one of those phrases I wish I could say but can’t. In this instance it would be something along the lines of Shut the fuck up, child.)
Am I being too sensitive? Am I too easily annoyed? Maybe. Probably. But it’s seriously so aggravating to be so close to that me-time and stare at a child taking his sweet fricken time to get his jammies on. I am totally powerless. If I want him to get to bed so I can sit my ass on that couch and relax, I have got to endure this process. And he knows it. He totally knows it. I am aware that he’s pressing my buttons. I am aware that he’s aware that he’s pressing my buttons. Is he daring me to yell? Yes, I think so. He is challenging me. C’mon Mama, will you bite? You bet. Suck.
Here’s a shaming truth: I’m afraid that I have yelled for too long that they don’t believe me or respond when I don’t. It’s like they test every task I give them to see if I will yell. The “breathing” bullshit is just that. Seems like my kids are pushing harder, talking back more, listening less. Fighting me every step of the way. From tantrums to refusal of chores, homework, bedtimes (for God’s sake, brush your teeth!), dressing, undressing, meals. Holy shit. Where does it end?
If there is one thing we Mamas can’t do, it’s give up. Never give up. Always keep trying. Even when you are tried out. Even when it seems so exhausting, so hard so immensely heavy, keep trying. So that’s what I plan to do. I did yell tonight. But instead of coming downstairs and feeling like shit, I went and laid next to my biggest baby and held him in my arms, so tight, and whispered in his ear that his Mama is trying. That his Mama will keep trying. That she needs his help. That it breaks her heart to raise her voice but she just gets so frustrated she can’t help herself. And that though she raises her voice, her pride and love for him is unchanged. Mama is sorry. There’s hugs and cuddles and nose rubbing, smiles and secrets and a few hidden tears.
Tomorrow is a new day and Mama’s not gonna give up. Peace, Mamas.