TODAY, I YELLED!
I had had an emotional morning for a variety of (non-kid related) reasons. I found myself spiraling out of control as I was dealing with poop, a child who was objecting to being cleaned and another who was struggling with my mood and being extra clingy. When my clingy daughter tried to push the other away from me as I was trying to clean up the poop, I shouted:
“JUST STOP IT!”
She immediately burst into tears and ran to her room. I let her go. I needed space but I regretted yelling at her. She was reaching out to me, wanting reassurance that I was still her rock, even when I wasn’t feeling the best.
I went to her room after I had taken a couple of minutes to regroup. I knelt down to her and opened my arms, inviting her in. As she allowed herself to be enveloped into my embrace, I apologised wholly and completely. “I am sorry I yelled at you. I shouldn’t have done that and I wish I hadn’t. It doesn’t feel nice, I know, and I want you to know that I will always be here for you and I love you very much.”
She sniffled into my shoulder as we both paused in reflection. Finally she broke the silence with a surprising, thoughtful response. “It’s a ‘liddle’ bit scary when you yell. You must have been very mad, Mummy.” Tears flowed down my cheeks and she wiped them away. “Don’t worry, Mummy, you can have some of my birthday cake!” she empathised.
How could I have yelled at this child? I know why I did but how could I?
The truth is, it wasn’t her; I wasn’t mad at her. I had failed to take care of me and had taken it out on her. Sometimes life puts us in this predicament and we find there is little relief when we need it most. These are the times our emotions sit teetering on the edge, ready to jump out at the next opportune moment.
Just as our children build up their emotions and send them hurtling out at us when they can finally hold them no longer, we too do this. The difference is, we can and should control them. Whilst we can see beyond our children’s anger and emotions and see a hurting child during their outbursts, a child can’t possibly give us the same understanding, they feel our anger, take it on board and turn from us in fear.
This is why making amends is imperative.
The rest of our day was blissful. My daughter had a new sense of calm and tolerance about her which took her right through until bedtime. Taking that little bit of time out to reconnect and reassure her revived her confidence in me and allayed her fears. This then afforded me the space I needed to work through my own issues.
Today I yelled, but tomorrow I will try not to!
You may also like to read:
Damage Limitation Following a Parental Meltdown ~ Kate Russell (Peaceful Parents, Confident Kids)
Beautiful and honest.
Relating to and loving this post. I’ve been actively trying to be more patient with my girls the last two weeks, and I’ve noticed how much more physically affectionate they are with me and how they just seem more calm overall.
I think we can all relate to this post. I feel so bad when I end up yelling. I know that it’s my fault and that I needed to not let my annoyance out in that way. Thanks for this thoughtful post. More motivation to keep trying my hardest to demonstrate the behaviour I want and expect from my kids. I can parent better and I will keep trying.
I’ve found it helpful when I feel the first tiny sign of frustration to simply ask myself “why does she keep acting like a three year old?”. Obviously the answer is in the question and I can feel my anger drain. Also organise a few weekly things that give you breaks from the kids. Lead the balanced life that you hope they will.
Oh how I had a moment similar to your day, the day after you had written this with my younger. We too reconnected and she seemed even more at peace later that day than she had in awhile. This was good deep perspective you gave.
My “non-kid related issues” do affect our home as well. I frequently struggle to maintain calm and any type of reliable routine beyond meal times, weekly shopping a handful of other things in my home as my husband and I both have simply “too many irons in the fire” and don’t know how to purge any thing else at this time. It is evident that sometimes that stress carries over to our kids time and attention. It breaks my heart and I long for the day when we can step away from these roles.
Thank you for sharing your walk in RIE parenting. I continually appreciate your fresh and personal perspective!
Wow, thanks Sherra! It sounds like you have a lot on your plate. Being a mindful parent, as you are being, and taking time out to reconnect with your children after bad days will mean that when you free some time up in your busy schedules, your children will still have a strong and trusting bond with you. Take it easy if you can! xx
I love this post Kate! So few parenting posts talk about those moments when we’re not at our best making you feel very alone as a parent sometimes. Thank you for sharing x
Thank you, Nichole!
Thanks for sharing this Kate. It’s okay, sometimes parents just got carried away and you erupted like a volcano. Great post though.
I’m sooooo glad I met you at Problogger – this post hit home for me today. Thank you 🙂
Thank you, Kristy. That’s so kind of you to say.
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