A Better Week

I haven’t had a very good week. Frustration and disappointment seemed to have seeped into my bones and I can’t shake them. I’m sick to death of this never-ending cold weather. I’m frustrated with myself for never finding the motivation to ever get the things done that I really want to do. People have let me down and even though they probably didn’t even realize what they’re doing, I’m feeling it a little more deeply than usual. Overall, it’s been a pretty crummy week.

My attitude toward the boys has been crummy too. And in return, theirs to me. It’s probably mostly a refection of my own mood, but they’ve been very crabby this week too. Caden’s whining has reached an all time high. Shepard has already perfected his imitation of Caden’s moans and groans. I hear the most whiny and annoying “Whyyyyyyyyy?” about a thousand times a day. Asking Caden to do anything to help out around here is practically a death sentence to him. I just want to scream! Or hide. Calmly assessing the situation and doling out patience and understanding is NEVER my first instinct.

While I feel like my relationship with Caden in particular has gotten a lot better in the past few months, I’ve really regressed this week. I know this makes me sound like a rotten parent, but some days I just get so sick of trying to make sense of everything he says. He talks so much and it’s such a mental exercise trying to understand what he’s saying. I can’t just pretend I know what he’s saying either, because he’ll always catch me. Shepard has been overly demanding in his neediness too. He wants a response to literally every word out of his mouth and it’s just so tiring. I’m completely worn out mentally and this week I didn’t even try to be a better mom while feeling that way. I gave in to my urge to yell and say no and hide. It hasn’t been good.

This morning, at just when I needed it most, I heard about something called The Orange Rhino Challenge. It’s about a mom of four boys who decided to challenge herself to go an entire year without yelling. And then write a blog about it. I haven’t had a chance to look through it much yet, but I did read the top ten things she learned throughout her year of not yelling. Some of these things really hit home.

One of the biggest reasons not to yell – it doesn’t work. This is definitely true here. If I yell at Caden, he starts screaming back at me. If I yell at Shepard, he screams his loudest no! and hits me. It never, ever, works. It only results in all of us feeling worse about ourselves and each other.

Also, the problem is usually me, not them. This is also true. Especially this week. The boys haven’t been doing anything particularly naughty, they’ve just been getting on my nerves with their questions and fighting and whining. I yelled not because I was necessarily mad at them, I was just upset with a lot of other parts of my life that they have nothing to do with. But because they’re the ones around all the time, they have to deal with my frustration and disappointment whether they were the cause of it or not.

Anyway, it definitely looks like a challenge worth looking into. I do yell more than I should, though I think my biggest problem is hiding. Shutting down. Ignoring my kids because I just don’t want to deal with them. Refusing to interact with people when I really should be sitting them down for a true conversation. I tend to hope my problems will disappear rather than take the steps to make my life better. I don’t want to be that person anymore. I really don’t want to be that mom anymore. I know I’ll have many more bad weeks in my life, but for now – this upcoming week – I’m going to be better.

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