The other day I read a blog post on Huffington Post about a mom who had decided to not shout at her kids anymore. She gave her reasons for her decisions and most rang true for me too. That empty feeling in my stomach at the end of a day kept me awake at night and I’d lie in bed regretting my banshee type screeches and yells.
I’d try to fall asleep feeling like the worst mother on earth and a little voice would ask “how’s this working for you?” And I’d have to meekly answer that it wasn’t. It wasn’t what I had in mind when I became a mother.
What slapped me in the face, hard, was her writing how she’d be on her best behaviour in public, remaining cool and calm because of her audience, but what about her audience that was always watching? Her four children.
I try and teach Emma and Ben to be polite, to not shout or get angry at each other and yet I allow myself to lose my rag on a daily basis, screaming and shouting at them. And I, like most parents know, it’s not what you say but what you do with your children that matters most.
It was three days ago that I read her post and three days since I shouted. I’ve found we’re all a lot more relaxed around each other and I haven’t seen that petrified look on Emma’s face. I’m not saying it’s been easy but it’s definitely easier than I thought it would be. And it could also be also complete coincidence but they both seem to be cooperating better.
I feel better. I haven’t had that horrible feeling in my stomach and I haven’t had any regrets at the end of the day.
I don’t know how long this no shouting rule will last but at least if that little voice, at the end of the day, asks “how’s this working for you?” I can honestly answer so far so good.