Letters To My Daughters: Why I Yell

This letter matches up with my Honesty Column post for this week.

Dear Zoe,

I’m sorry that I yell too much. I don’t like it and I know you don’t either. Lately you have been covering your ears as soon as you think I’m going to raise my voice. It makes me sad that I make you feel like you want to do that.

I yell when I’m frustrated. Frustrated means annoyed and for me it’s like a little gripping feeling inside that can get very tight. To make the feeling go away I yell so it comes out. I think it’s a bit like how you feel when you don’t get what you want. You stamp your foot and yell a bit to make the bad feeling go away.

Thing is though, it doesn’t really work, does it? When I yell at you the gripping feeling sometimes actually gets worse, and then it turns into sadness because I can see I have hurt your feelings. I don’t like doing that. Sometimes the gripping feeling is so strong that I don’t think first. What I should do is to stop and take a big deep breath. Then I could talk to you without yelling and we might both feel a bit better.

I’ll try my hardest to do that.

I love you lots and lots,
love from Mummy.

You might also like to read a more light hearted letter I wrote to Miss 4 –  Things I Love About You.

The Honesty Column: Yelling


I’m finding this topic a little unbearable and have been putting it off a bit as I wasn’t sure what tact I was going to take. I was supposed to write this a couple of days ago. Turns out Thursday was mad and I didn’t have 2 seconds to rub together to write anything. On Friday I was functioning on less than 4 hours sleep so the topic was a bit too close to home as I was in the midst of doing what I was supposed to be writing about and I just didn’t feel like dealing with it. Yesterday I just couldn’t get the thoughts right in my head. This morning I’m not moving until it’s done.

This post is about yelling – the fact that I do it, why I do it, and how it makes me feel. I have to be quite matter of fact about it I think, otherwise it could easily become a post about what a bad mother I am. Which I’m not. I’m a good mum. Not quite the Mum I thought I would be, but that’s ok.

I yell when Miss 4 is continually doing something I ask her not to do, is asking me for the same thing a hundred times even when being told no for whatever reason, and I have a whingy baby hanging off my leg or screaming every time she is put down. Of course I’m more prone to yelling when I’m tired, which is a lot of the time. I yell when I wish I was doing something else. I don’t want to be Mum every single minute of every single day. When I’m at home it is mostly impossible to get even two minutes where there isn’t a demand made on me and my time by one of the members of my household, husband included. Some days it drives me batty. I yell. At everyone. Even the dishes on the sink. I know, silly right?

Sometimes I yell really loudly. I yell things like

  • “Don’t take that off Sadie!!! I’ve already told you not to do that!!!”
  • “NO! I’ve already told you we are NOT doing that!”
  • “WHY DID YOU DO THAT?!!!” (4 year olds can rarely tell you WHY they did something, so it’s pointless thing to yell and ask!)
  • “JUST STOP IT!!!”
  • “AAAAGGGGGHHHHH!!!!”

And then there is the annoyed and snappy responses which wouldn’t pass as yelling, but certainly get there if the frustration continues.

It doesn’t help anything. I know that, but it’s the result of a build up of frustration that just explodes. A couple of times it’s even taken me by surprise. It’s awful to see Miss 4 put her hands up over her ears when I breathe in. I do say sorry. I’m always forgiven. Miss 4 says to me “You never do that again, ok?” and gives me a hug. That has made me cry a couple of times.

Does it happen every day? No. Do I feel bad when it happens? Yes. I have to give myself a bit of a break though. I’m not perfect. I’ll try harder because I want to. I won’t get it right all the time. I’ll yell again and I’ll apologise again. But maybe next time it will take longer for it to happen or I won’t yell as loudly.

Is this a cry for help? No, just the facts about my experience. Being a parent is hard, it can be boring, and its definitely not always fun. I’ve realised just how much of myself I’ve given up in order to be a Mum to two small humans. I wasn’t quite prepared for the extent to which my own self would disappear, or be pushed aside, and I must admit I do struggle with that and the lack of time I get to myself as a result. It’s why my littlest one goes to Family Day Care three times a week (even when I’m not working) and why I was counting down the days until four year old kinder started. It’s the main reason why I get so frustrated and yell.

I’ve written a letter to Miss 4 about why I yell and how I’ll try not to because it doesn’t make any of us feel good. You can read that here if you like.

That’s about all I can handle writing about this I think. Do check out what Barbara Good has to say about this same topic.

Yours In Reduced Frustration,
Jess.

P.S Next week’s topic certainly more light hearted than this one! Tune in next Thursday to read about “Peppa Pig – You have a lot to answer for!”

Letters To My Daughters: Things I Love About You

I have two daughters. Zoe is 4 and Sadie is nearly 1. I’ve started writing letters to them for them to read when they are older or for me to read to them anytime. This first one is for Zoe:

Zoe green tutuDear Zoe,

It’s early on Sunday morning and I’m sitting on the floor in your room watching you sleep. Your fabulous curls, well, some of them, are sticking straight up on the top of your head and straight out over your ear, kind of the way you might see them drawn on a funny cartoon character. You look very comfortable all wrapped up in your Minnie Mouse doona.

Today I just want to tell you about all the things I love about you. Are you ready? :-)

I love it how you run to greet me when I come from from somewhere, or when you do. The smile on your face is just the best thing ever and will be something I’ll always cherish.

I love how you stroke the back of my hair when you’re giving me a cuddle. That just makes me want to cuddle you forever.

I love how much you love pink and princesses. These aren’t my favourite things but I know they are yours and I think it’s fantastic that you get so excited about them.

I love that you aren’t afraid to be yourself and say what you do and don’t like without worrying about what anyone else thinks. I know this is because you are little but I hope you can always be yourself and be happy with that.

I love your crazy curls. They really make you look like you and I think they are just beautiful. I promise to help you look after them a bit better too.

I love how you love books and how you always ask for stories. One day not so long ago we went to the library and you ran in the door yelling “Books! Books! Books!” very excitedly. I love how you always want to borrow the junior fiction books even thought you can’t read them yet, but you love to carry them around. You usually pick the pink ones and anything with ballerinas, princesses, or unicorns on the front.

I love how you always forgive me when I do something wrong like yell too much. When I say sorry you usually give me a cuddle and say “That’s ok. You never do that again, alright?” very seriously. That makes me smile and I try my hardest never to do it again.

I love how much you love Sadie. You always greet her with a big smile and say “Hello Bubba Lugs!” in just the same voice that I use. Sadie really loves you and I hope you two are always good friends.

Oh! There’s a big breath and a little snore from you. We had a late night last night with Jemima, Elle and Jo here so you’re having a bit of a sleep in this morning.

Hmm, what else do I love?

I love that you ask me questions about all sorts of things now, usually by saying “Why?” But you also often ask me what something is called because you don’t know the word and you usually repeat it perfectly.

I love the cheeky grin you have when you’re being a bit silly. You really are very funny.

I love your expression when we give or show you something you like. You put both hands up to your mouth, open your eyes wide, take a gasp of air and say something like “Oh! It’s beautiful! I love it!” or you don’t say anything at all and just gasp with excitement. It’s just the funniest and cutest reaction.

There are lots and lots of things I love about you and I’ll write more of them down as I think of them.

Lots of Love from Mummy.

The Honesty Column: Mission – Bedtime. Bravery Required.

asleepMISSION: Bedtime.
OBJECTIVE: Successfully put targets to bed and get them to sleep. TARGETS: 2 x small humans:  1 x 4 year old and 1 x 10 month old. MISSION TO BE COMPLETED BY: 8:30pm. SKILLS REQUIRED: Negotiation, patience, lie detection. LEVEL OF SKILLS REQUIRED: High. EQUIPMENT NEEDED: toothbrush, toothpaste, pyjamas, story books, night light, beds. BACKUP: 1 x husband and 2 x cats. Fat ones. DIFFICULTY: Yes. Several.

 

REPORT TO HEADQUARTERS:
It seems to complete this Mission several smaller battles need to be waged.
BATTLE 1: It’s not night time!
Damn daylight savings. True, it doesn’t LOOK like night-time out there, but TRUST me when I tell you, kiddo, that it is indeed past your bed time. It will be dark very soon so we better beat the darkness to bed!
BATTLE 2: But I don’t WANT to go to bed!
I know that, but you need to get lots of sleep so you aren’t too tired tomorrow. But I’m NOT TIRED! Oh, but you are my dear, the bags under your eyes and the stroppy behaviour give you away. Into bed you will go. NO!!!! You will get into bed NOW or I will throw the cupcakes in the bin! Good. Thank you.
BATTLE 3: I don’t want to wear THOSE pyjamas! I want to wear my fairy skirt and t-shirt. 
Ok, fine, whatever. Not fighting this battle.
BATTLE 4: I want another story! 
Sweets, I have already read three stories, that will do quite nicely. I WANT ANOTHER ONE! Well, no, you certainly aren’t going to get another one if you speak to me like that! SLEEP NOW!
BATTLE 5: Mum? I’m hungry. 
You should have told me that before it was bedtime. You are not getting up to eat now.
BATTLE 6: I’ll just get up and get a drink.
*deep breaths*
BATTLE 7: (best whingy voice) But Muuuuum, I haven’t got a grown up to cuddle me!
I have just given you a big long cuddle! I have to feed Sadie now! SLEEP! But… I’ll get Daddy to come in and cuddle you.
BATTLE 8: Mum, do you like my dolly?
Zoe! SLEEP NOW! NO MORE TALKING!  *huge annoyed sigh*

The smaller of the two targets was relatively easy to get to sleep, however, 8:30 was not the time she thought to be appropriate. Up and wide eyed until 9:30, then with a feed and a cuddle she was off to sleep. In my bed. This child will not tolerate a cot. The screaming is not worth it. The cot was dismantled and replaced with a single mattress on the floor. At least there is room for me too. However, mostly she ends up in my bed for the whole night. The husband has been relegated to the single mattress on the floor. Or the couch. At least he gets a full night of sleep.

Now, I appreciate your faith in me taking on this Mission, but this was an exhausting process. I have also come to understand that it is the SAME MISSION EVERY SINGLE NIGHT with the same battles from both targets. This seems to be to be slightly monotonous and frustrating so I will not be taking on any of the Missions in the future. You will need to find someone else silly enough to attempt this. It is clear I simply do not have what it takes. I’m going to watch TV and eat chocolate instead.

Oh, by the way, the cats provided no assistance at all, and insisted on getting in the way, so their use as backup needs to be reviewed.

Good night.

P.S you must also check out Barbara Good’s take on this topic.

P.P.S This: :-D

YouTube Preview Image

The Honesty Column: Why I Love Four Year Old Kinder

zoekinderattitudeOne fabulous thing that has happened in our household lately is four year old kinder. I was counting down the days to Miss 4 starting her 15 hours a week over three days. I read an article recently about a mother who didn’t really want her daughter to start school and listed all the reasons why and the things they do together. She was really sad about it. I couldn’t relate at all. Don’t get me wrong, I love doing things with my daughter, and we do plenty of them, but I am also very very tired and a bit desperate for a break from the daily dramas and demands of the largest of my two small humans.

These are the things I’d like a break from:

  • asking for a particular item of food, then refusing to eat it
  • asking repeatedly if we are going to the beach tomorrow
  • asking why we are going home when she has just been told three times
  • frowning and grumping when being told no
  • not being able to wait, for anything, ever
  • constantly grabbing things off her baby sister and making her cry
  • wanting to do painting and sticking all the time
  • having to sit on or very close to me all the time
  • wanting me to watch TV with her whenever she does
  • using her whingy voice CONSTANTLY, even to ask for an apple
  • asking to make cupcakes all the time
  • looking at something, looking at me then asking me where that something is
  • having MEGA meltdowns (major crying, screaming, not being able to breathe type episodes) when we have to go home from somewhere she doesn’t want to leave etc.

I also do realise that she would need a break from me just as much as I need one from her. It can’t be fun hanging out with Grumpy Mum too often. She would be sick of me:

  • asking her to do things when she’s not ready. In a minute Mum! You tell me that, why can’t I say it too?!
  • snapping at her because I’m frustrated and tired. Are you still angry Mum?
  • being told to hurry up when she thinks she is going quite quickly enough. Slow down Mum!
  • telling her no we can’t make cupcakes now cause it’s dinner time. Why would that matter?
  • not understanding her strong need to wear her dress ups RIGHT NOW, even though it’s bedtime.
  • often having to pay attention to her baby sister before her. But I need a cuddle Mum!
  • not playing in the sandpit with her. Just make cakes with me Mum!
  • not taking her to the park at the precise moment she wants to go. Can we get out of the house Mum?!

So, I love four year old kinder cause we both need some time out. But also she gets to have a world of her own and that is so important. I am not the only person in the world who is going to teach my children things. I’m also not going to be there for every single milestone they pass or achievement they make, and that’s ok. Miss Four has to find her own way through kinder, negotiating friendships, settling into new routines, learning new things, trying new activities. All awesome stuff that will help her grow and keep her interested in the world. They have to have some of these things to themselves and this is one start to a long journey of my daughter having her own life experiences. Then when she gets home, I’m calmer (so important!), she brings me a painting that she did for me and we put it on the wall (we may run out of space soon!) and she tells me about her experiences while we eat cupcakes together.

Four year old kinder makes me happy for her and for me too.

How does kinder / school make your feel?

Don’t forget to check out Barbara Good’s take on this topic too in her Reality Bites column over at A New Good Life.

A New Friend In Six Words

 

number6A collection of seven six word stories:

Many years, many attempts. Connection Lost.

Busy day. Crunchy carpet. Who cares?!

I love you. Please don’t go.

Jane loved Jack. He didn’t notice.

Francine decided to grow old alone.

Panic. Get out! Fires rage. Loss.

Nod. Smile. Chat. Laugh. New friend.

This post is a response to a prompt over at Frogs For Breakfast.

Image credit: number 6 by Lydia and her Salad Days 

tweeting up: a rhyme for teachers in the twittersphere

twitterimage

This rhyme has been specially written for Lesley Cioccarelli who helped me with my GoFundMe campaign, well, a long time ago. Lesley and I met up one day in a cafe in Canberra and it was her first ever ‘tweet up’ so that was my inspiration for this rhyme. Hope it brings a smile.

 

TWEETING UP: a rhyme for Lesley and other teachers in the twittersphere

There is nothing to be scared about
No need to be shy
Just tweet away what you’ve got
and you’ll get an @ reply

You’ll send an @ reply right back
It really is quite simple
Look on your keyboard above the two
And use the old @ symbol

Like that, right there, would you believe
An amazing thing is done
A relationship that wasn’t before
Might have just begun

The chatter will then take off
Conversations might fly right past
You’ve got to keep your fingers ready
Get them going really fast

Then it all goes up a notch
When eventually you meet
This person or these people
Who were no more that a tweet

At first you may not be entirely sure
Exactly with whom you’re speaking
Their avatar’s a little different
And well, you’ve done your own tweaking

But then the question “Do you tweet?
I’ll follow if you do.”
Then you both exchange your names
And loudly say “Oh that’s YOU!”

After that you laugh and laugh
And laugh and laugh and laugh
“We’ve known each other for ages online
Now here’s the cross in our path!”

Off you go at lightning speed
Chatting without barriers
Aren’t you glad face to face conversation
Can hold more than 140 characters!

Image credit: Twitter Buttons as OSCON by Garrett Heath