Written by Lifestyle Contributor, Erin Moran is a wife, mama, photographer, mental health advocate and recovering yeller.
They say it takes 21 days to make or break a habit and after almost 9 years of yelling it had certainly become my response when directions were not followed the first time, rough housing turned to WWE matches or home cooked meals were met with scrunched noses and noises of disgust. I was a habitual yeller….I was that mom.
I am quite sure there were moments in the summer that when I commanded my kids to SIT like our neighbor’s dog Diesel (a formidable German Shepard) who immediately sat and awaited his reward (sorry pups!) I would often drive into work plagued with mom guilt and wondering how the morning got so away from me hoping my kids would recover from a tough morning at home to face the day at school.
There was a single defining moment for me when enough was enough. My eldest, Gabe, had done something that pushed me over the edge and I unleashed my fury upon him. I don’t remember what I said…and I sadly don’t even remember what he did, but I will never forget the look on his face.
It was total fear and complete sadness. My middle guy, Zach, cowered on the couch with his hands over his ears and my sweet little one, Abby Lou, immediately began to cry even though none of my anger was directed at her.
That day I started researching “how to stop yelling” and that was the last day I yelled at my kids.
One of the first things I learned and will share with you is that my reaction to my children, or really anyone, says more about me than them. I was yelling, sometimes screaming, because I did not have control of my own “stuff”. The overflowing stress from work, relationships, and ridiculous expectations I placed on myself was finding the path of least resistance and landing squarely in the way I disciplined my kids.
So here’s the thing…you have got to take care of YOU. How you feel hangs so delicately on the balance of what you pour into yourself and what you let others pour into you. And what you fill up on is what you will have to offer others including your kiddos. Junk in, junk out. And you guys, I was filling up on junk literally and figuratively. But all that being said…in that moment I was doing the best I could. I just needed to learn a new way. So give yourself GRACE and love yourself where you are at.
It’s hard to parent positively if you don’t love you…the man you are…the woman you are..the parent you are. If you don’t start from a place of love (for you) then everything you do will be a struggle and a fight to dig yourself out of a hole. It’s not about being perfect…it’s about loving the you – you are in this moment, flaws and all.
Stay focused on growth and not perfection and show your kiddos how important loving yourself is. You can parent positively through your own
struggles and still raise healthy, happy, loving humans.
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