Eggs with a side of yelling… and socks.

No, I PROMISE I am not going to do 31 days of eggs.  I think I’ve egg-zausted the whole egg thing for now. This is more about the yelling thing.

I yelled this morning.

About socks.

I’m really grouchy about having to write it down too.

I had made it an entire 24 hours without yelling at my family, and they were even in the house during that time.

(what? you don’t yell at your kids and spouse when they aren’t even in the house?  it’s just me?  oops.)

I didn’t even make it into the kitchen before the yelling started.  In the end, I served my son some eggs with a side of yelling for breakfast.

eggs with a side of yelling

Here’s the deal.

I thought I had the upstairs of the house to myself.  That’s where all the bedrooms AND the laundry room are.

I dashed into the laundry room to get dressed, so I did the whole swap from PJ’s to day clothes right there in the laundry room.   (no, i didn’t swap from pj’s to yoga pants.  what would be the point?)

Our laundry room has two big doors that stay open all the time.  It lets light into the hallway and landing area at the top of the stairs.

After I got dressed, I started the routine of turning off all the lights.  All the bedrooms, bathrooms, and closets.

As I finished, my 4th grader popped out of the playroom (located directly across from the laundry room) and yelled “boo!”

That’s when the yelling started.

Me:  What are you doing?

Him: I couldn’t find my socks.

Me:  GET YOUR “TUSH” DOWNSTAIRS RIGHT THIS INSTANT!

Me:  AND YES, I’M GOING TO WRITE THIS DOWN.

He trudged downstairs and I retrieved a pair of matching socks from his sock drawer in about two seconds flat.  In that two seconds, I already felt the regret.

What kind of mom screams at her kids before they’ve even had breakfast in the morning?  Is that any way to start my child’s day?

Oh yeah, the human kind.

I walked into the kitchen, handed my son his socks, and started cooking breakfast without a word.  I handed him socks, and two minutes later I handed him a plate of scrambled eggs with tortillas.

Yelling, eggs, and socks.

What a great way to start the day.

So here’s why I yelled.  See if any of these sound familiar to you.

1.  I yelled because I was startled.  I didn’t know anyone was upstairs.  Adrenaline does that to me.

2.  I yelled because I wanted my husband to hear the hand-off.  Hubby was already in the kitchen.  I was sending my child downstairs and he was in trouble.

3.  I had JUST BEEN NAKED.  I was worried my son had seen my naked “tush.”  He’s a fourth grade boy. (that part creeped me out.  i think i’ll be asking hubby to have a conversation with him on that subject.  it is NOT ok to lurk and try to see mommy changing clothes.)

4.  I had just turned the light out in that closet.  I had to walk back in there, turn the light back on, find the socks, and turn the lights back off.  I’m not a big fan of retracing my steps.  It’s just… inefficient.  If he needed socks, he should have said something when I was in there to begin with.

(that’s not as lazy as it sounds.  i’ve messed up my knee and every step i take is a painful one.  the whole “i’m in pain” thing makes me less able to enjoy the word “boo.” )

5.  I felt guilty.  Guilty that my son is so used to digging in laundry baskets that he couldn’t find his socks when they were in his sock drawer.  Guilty that I had gotten dressed in the laundry room instead of my closet.  Guilty that I was the last one getting dressed.   Guilty that I didn’t have him lay his clothes out last night.  Guilty that I’m not better at the whole “happy morning” thing.  Guilty that I’d been checking emails and stuff.  (give me a minute, i’ll find more to feel guilty about.  i’m good at it.)

6.  He earned it.  Our standing rule is that the kids can’t play in the playroom on school mornings.  Until they are dressed, fed, and have loaded backpacks at the front door there isn’t time for that stuff.

Wait.  Did I just say that?

He needed redirection.  His behavior needed to be corrected.  But since when do I think that screaming is an effective form of discipline for my kid?

Do I really want my kids to be motivated to make good choices to avoid the sound of me yelling?

(that’s so much uglier on the screen than it was in my head.  the words hurt my heart just to type them.)

does yelling even work

We weren’t even late for school.

Not even close.

So now that I’ve had time to think (and cry and pray) I’d like a redo on the morning.

Here is how I wish it had gone.

Son:  Boo!

Me:  AAAAAAAH! You startled me.

Son laughs with delight.

Me:  What were you doing in the playroom?

Son:  I couldn’t find my socks.

Me: Lets see…

Then I would walk him into his closet, pull the socks out of the drawer, and hand them to him.

How hard would that have been?  Or I could have just pointed to the closet and said SOCKS.  I could have stood there and supervised to make sure he stayed on task to find the socks and turn off the silly light.

Or maybe I could have had him lay out his socks and school clothes last night.

(oh wait… that’s right back into that list of stuff i feel guilty about.  strike that last idea, at least for now.)

Now what?

See? This is why I keep a yelling journal.

why my family keeps a yelling journal

This is also why I’m thankful for Grace.  I’m thankful that God is the God of New Beginnings.  I’m thankful I get a clean slate.  I’m thankful my family speaks the language of apology and forgiveness, that we don’t even pretend to be flawless, that we accept that love is messy.

Today wasn’t the first time I’ve yelled at my kids for not being dressed.  I’ve done it while I was still standing in my PJ’s.

In the Living Translation, Titus 2:7 reads

And here you yourself must be an example to them of good deeds of every kind. Let everything you do reflect your love of the truth and the fact that you are in dead earnest about it.

Think this will help?

leading by example

I added a reminder to tomorrow morning from Titus 2:7a.

That’s the time I need to get my own tush out of bed to get dressed.

Think it will help?

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Susan Baker
I have a passion for encouraging weary worn out mothers to find joy in everyday motherhood and peace in unlikely places. I have two elementary school boys, one nerdy husband, and two cats. I have a strange fascination for bad puns, the color pink, socks, and books. I worry about running out of toilet paper, wine, and chocolate.. I serve an amazing God. I live an ordinary life filled with wonder.
Susan Baker
Susan Baker

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Comments

  1. I HATE being startled and would probably have reacted the same way. The Yelling Journal is still doing the trick because it is making you think about why you reacted. Baby steps!
    PS I’m sending you a nimination for The Sunshine Award in a post tonight. It’s a “participate in what ever way you choose” kind of a thing. Have fun!

    • I know the Yelling Journal is working, but it still isn’t fun. My husband told me later that he was cracking up when I yelled “AND I WILL HAVE TO WRITE THIS DOWN IN MY YELLING JOURNAL.” He thought that was funny, but had enough sense to not tell me so at the time.

      Thanks for the nomination. I’ll try to squeeze it in before I start on the October series. 🙂

  2. Unfortunately I can relate. To all of it.

  3. You’re not alone on that long list of feeling guilty ordeal. I’ve been on this no yelling journey with you lately. I feel like I’m literally going to pull all of my hair out before I conquer doing it!!

  4. I hate this series, so much. Thank you. And thanks for being courageous enough to post it. I would have written and deleted and rewritten and figured out a way to NOT say some of the hard stuff.

    • Funny you say that you hate the series. In a way, I do too. It was hard to write. Some of the posts still touch raw spots even a year later. But then I remember that I yell less than I did a year ago. Writing the series helped me. Yes, I still blow my stack from time to time. But somehow, it’s never been quite as bad. The yelling journal really does work wonders.

      • Wait!!! This *is* from last year! I hadn’t noticed. I followed the link from facebook, I think, and just jumped in at the beginning.
        I have thought a couple of times… oh, no. She’s not going to get what I meant. I hate that I identify with it. I hate that I need it. But it’s going to be helpful, I can tell.

        • I understood exactly. I have a love/hate relationship with most of the posts in the series. I hope it helps you even half as much as it helped me.

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