So it’s been almost one month since I took my Lenten oath of not yelling…mainly at my kids. Forty days of keeping a perfectly calm tone and not screaming like a maniac.
What was I thinking?
Could it actually be done or would I crack under the pressure of a sassy-mouthed little girl who insists that she has nothing to wear when, in fact, I actually did all of the laundry and put it away?
So this is what I can tell you.
Has it been easy? No way!
Have I almost lost my cool? Of course!
Did I have to leave the room a few times so I wouldn’t yell? Absolutely!
Has it been worth it? Yes. Really, I’m not lying.
Although lightning wouldn’t strike me if I did let out a howl or two, or at least I hope it wouldn’t, I’ve really tried to stick true to my word. I guess it’s Catholic school guilt that’s still lingering!
I want to show my kids that when mommy says she’s going to do (or not do something in this case) she means it. I also think not yelling has benefited my blood pressure and all-around mental status!
Not yelling has meant finding new ways of problem-solving. Instead of screaming when my daughter knocks over the entire container of Nesquik on the floor that I vacuumed less than two hours ago, I simply tell her not to worry about it, but also give her the broom to sweep it up.
The yelling mommy would have lost her cool and went on a rant about how no one looks at what they’re doing and I’m not the maid, yada, yada, yada. In reality, it’s just an accidental spill that can be cleaned up in minutes. Without yelling, the mess still gets cleaned up and no one feels bad or has veins popping out of their head.
When my daughter wants to wear a shirt to school that’s too small for her, the yelling mommy would lose it while visions of the teenage years would give me heart palpitations. The Lenten, non-yelling mommy, says what she thinks is appropriate and then dishes out a consequence in a calm voice. “If you choose to wear that, then you can’t go to the birthday party this weekend.”
Hmmm…and what do you think she chooses? I’ll take the appropriate clothes and the birthday party mommy.
Yep, that’s what I thought. After this scenario, the shirt in question mysteriously disappears, never to cause problems again.
By not resorting to yelling I’m finding other ways to get my point across without acting like a maniac. “Maniac mommy” is not a good look for me nor is it one I really want to be embedded in my daughters’ brains as part of their childhood.
The real test is going to be not yelling once Lent is over. There will be no real guilt holding me back. Hopefully, I won’t relapse, lol. I think everyone likes non-yelling mommy a lot better, myself included.