The other day I taught swim lessons to a brother and sister, and once their lessons were finished, they had a little free swim time in the pool with my kids.
About twenty minutes into the free swim, the sister did something to annoy the brother, and he sort of whacked her in the head a couple times.
The mom, was, understandably, not happy.
She just kind of looked at me, feeling embarrassed.
I reassured her.
“It happens here all the time,” I told her. “I’m just glad it’s someone else’s kids doing it right now.”
“Yes, but do you ever yell at them?” she asked me.
I didn’t really used to yell.
But lately, especially with the stress of the money troubles and my husband’s surgery,
oh yeah, and the seven kids,
I have lost it a couple times.
Maybe more than a couple.
“Yes,” I told the mom.
“But I haven’t cursed at them yet, so at least there’s that.”
The last time I yelled at the kids,
like really yelled,
was on Sunday, when I was driving Number 3 and 4 to a swim meet.
They did something to the DVD player in the car so it didn’t work, and I just lost it.
I’m not even sure exactly what I said to them, although I’m pretty certain I threw quite a few empty threats out there.
Number 3 and 4 grew quiet for a minute.
They didn’t cry, though.
They didn’t apologize either.
In fact, they didn’t really even look remorseful.
As I continued on my screaming tirade, do you know what those two little shits did?
They laughed at me.
Which, in turn, made me even more furious.
So I yelled louder.
And the only outcome of my tongue lashing was perhaps a burst blood vessel in my own neck.
The yelling did not change their behavior.
But it did make me feel like an out of control asshole who just spent 5 minutes modeling the exact behavior that I tell them not to engage in with each other.
Since then, I’ve been thinking about that.
Because I don’t just yell at the kids.
I have been known to go off on my husband.
Sure, I may have reason to be upset.
But the yelling just makes me feel….
And I don’t want to feel that way anymore.
I don’t want to be a yeller.
I want to reclaim control.
I’m putting it out there. I’m making a proclamation.
I’m not going to yell anymore.
It’s going to take a lot of leaning in,
and even more whispering,
I am done with the yelling.
And I’m also very thankful that on this,
my first self-imposed, yell-free day,
I was not anywhere in the vicinity of the house when Number 7 flushed a big ass Duplo block down the toilet.
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