Okay, so it's been 2 weeks now since I started my personal challenge to end yelling. Here's a quick update in how I've been doing so far.
The first couple days were not so good. I realized quickly that snapping at people (T man included) was a very "normal" reaction for me during stressful situations. Unfortunately, my definition of stressful appears to be anything and everything. I would snap at T man to "stop" in a much more stern manner than was necessary. (Remember, I don't vaguely tell him No) I caught myself getting seriously irritated at the tiniest of things that shouldn't have caused such a negative reaction from me. By the end of day 3 though I'm glad to say that I went without yelling for a whole 12 hours :-) I still spoke sternly when needed, but only when actually needed. And I did have to speak loudly to be heard above the noise, but I don't consider that yelling.
Week 2 progressed about the same. Calm, level headed and very aware of myself and my tone of voice. We had a couple of snow days and I worried at first that the cabin fever was going to get to us all, but it honestly didn't. I thought I had conquered my yelling! :-)
I'm deeply ashamed about what I'm going to write next. I want to be completely honest with you guys though because I believe we need to share our faults along with our achievements. People, parents, mothers NEED to know that they are not alone when they feel like they've failed.
Sunday night. The shit hit the fan. =( I lost it in a bad kind of way.
The day started off well enough with T man sleeping in till 9 then going straight to Grama's house for a few hours. Hubby and I took advantage of our alone time and went out for a nice sit down breakfast. Then we did some errands, piddled around the house and watch a bit of t.v. T man came home when the snow started again and took an afternoon nap. (So far so good) Our afternoon was spent just playing in the living room, doing some house work and watching Sesame Street. Then I got tired. Really, really tired. I don't know why, it just hit me like a ton of bricks. I actually fell asleep, passed out cold, I the living room floor.
I woke up >=[
I woke up in the nastiest, most foul mood you can imagine. Suddenly, everything that T man did or said just grated on my nerves! Hubby went out to pick us up some dinner, then after we ate he went in the backyard to bring in some fire wood. Naturally T man wanted to help, but it was (obviously) freezing cold and bringing in the wood is a heavy, messy job. After snapping at him too many times and physically moving him out of my way (for the billionth time) I just looked at him and felt ... nothing. I didn't like him, didn't want him, I wished he just wasn't there. I momentarily regretted ever deciding to have him in the first place. As he dragged the wicker waste basket to the back door I snapped. I cussed at him, snatched the basket off the floor and threw it down the stairway.
WHAT THE HELL?!? =(
What in the name of God is wrong with me? And that is pretty much what Hubby said to me. Of course I realized how absurd and horribly disrespectful I had just behaved towards my toddler, but hearing it out loud from daddy really nailed the lid on my coffin. I suddenly felt about 1" tall. My bad mood wasn't gone (those suckers are hard to shake) but I was determined to take back my self control.
Breathe deep. Count to 5. Crouch down to his level. Speak softly. BREATHE!!!!
I reminded myself of these things over and over for the rest of the night. And as I laid in bed with T man that evening, nursing him to sleep, I silently begged him for forgiveness. I'm not perfect, I've never claimed to be, but that sudden outburst of uncontrolled aggression was a mistake I don't want to repeat again. T man deserves to be cared for and respected, not dismissed as an irritation.
I will check back in again in another week or so, and I promise you, I will NOT be ashamed to share these next several days with you. =)