It happened again. We had another rough morning and I feel horribly guilty for yelling too much, too loud, too mean. Why is it that one awful parenting moment can so easily make me doubt my worth as a mother? Why can’t I stop the cycle of yelling at my kids? I don’t want them to remember their childhood years as a pile full of broken memories of their Mommy screaming at them. Just typing that makes me so sad.
This Sunday at church, one of our priests stood by the baptismal font during communion and offered healing prayer to anyone who wanted to pray with him. I walked over after receiving communion, and asked him to help me pray for patience. Patience with my kids, my family, and myself. I needed to start somewhere and this perfect opportunity gave me hope.
But I’m quickly learning that I need a whole lot more than hope if I’m ever going to fix my yelling problem.
8:15am this morning. I looked up from the sandwiches and fruit I was tossing into lunch sacks for the kids to check the time. From the other room, I heard her big brother giving a lesson on Lego firemen and how they help people in trouble while she ohhhed and ahhed and asked questions here and there. For the most part, they were playing happily together while I rushed about the kitchen assembling healthy lunches. I was grateful in that moment.
With the lunch task completed, I ushered the kids upstairs so that we could all get dressed and ready and out the door.
The kids couldn’t agree on a show to watch together on the ipad while I got ready. He wanted Lunar Jim and she wanted Calliou. There was no compromising and so I took the privilege away. That’s when it happened.
My little man told me, in the middle of our angry, rotten argument over the fact that I took the ipad away, that he was going to get rid of me. (He also told me that he loved the ipad more than he loved me, but that’s a whole different post altogether.) The kids were still in their jammies, I had no time to take a shower, and it was apparent we weren’t going to get there on time. I should have just given up on trying.
“I’m going to get rid of you, Mommy! he threatened, with all the power and might of his little four-and-a-half-year-old voice.
His words were like a dagger to my heart.
And when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, it did.
“Oh, really? How are you going to do that, bud?” I retorted as I pulled my sweater over my head.
“I’ll put you in the trash can!” he screamed as hot tears spilled down his cheeks.
And with that, he forced the dagger in further and twisted it sharply. I knew in that moment that I was failing him as a parent. I could sense the anguish behind his words. I could feel his anger squeeze my heart and wring it out. I had become so worthless to him that he wanted to throw me away.
Right then and there, in my mind, silently to myself I vowed to make some serious changes.
I finished getting dressed and then got down on my knees and pulled him to me, wrapping him with all that I had left. I cried with him, and we both whispered over and over again our vows to stop fighting and yelling. Baby girl timidly walked over with open arms and joined in on our big hug.
This is where the healing begins.
I dropped them off at school and came home to start writing. A good friend of mine had forwarded me an email about an upcoming program at her church. I couldn’t believe my eyes as I read the description of the free workshop. “The instructor will demonstrate ways to eliminate power struggles and yelling, get kids off video games/screens without a fight and create stress-free mornings.” I immediately signed up, thanked her for inviting me, and breathed a sigh of relief.
I can stop beating myself up. I’m putting a plan in place. Help is on the way and I’m excited about the future.
My fourth post for WhatToExpect.com's Word of Mom Blog went live yesterday. Please check it out if you have a chance.
Thanks so much!