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!”

2 Replies to “The Honesty Column: Yelling”

  1. You’re definitely not alone here.
    My wife and I have three under 8. We yell. We feel bad. They feel bad. Everything you’ve written is very familiar to us.
    When I feel frustrated, instead of just taking a big breath, I take in as much air as I can, and hold it for 4 seconds. This triggers a small endorphin release that helps calm you down. Then, if I still can’t keep an even tone, I just give them a hug. This goes against my instinct of not wanting to re-enforce behaviors, but it makes both of us feel better and makes it easier to talk about the issue.

    Well done for getting it out there 🙂

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