I mentioned to my husband and my brothers that I was starting this challenge and they were shocked that I would be doing it. They all told me that I rarely ever snap at the kids, and they think I do a pretty good job at keeping my cool even when they are being little monsters (I say this with love) My brother later told me that my explanation was pretty awesome so I decided that I was going to share (an almost verbatim) account of what I said ‘I know I don’t yell much. And it takes a lot for me to snap at the kids. But, even if I only snap once a day, once a week , or once a month am I being fair to them? Why am I snapping? Is it legitimately something they are doing? Or is it because I am in a b*tch mood? And if it’s only because I am in a b*tch mood doesn’t that make it even worse? I don’t want my kids to feel afraid to come talk to me about anything because they aren’t sure if I am going to snap. I want to foster good communication with them, I want them to trust that they can talk to me. And right now I feel that if I can snap less and make myself seem more welcoming to them and their ideas/opinions (even if I am getting annoyed because they are repeating the same thing over and over and over) I can achieve that. Maybe I don’t snap a lot, but how much is too much before they stop wanting to talk to me about things that matter?’
I seen this a few months ago, and I think it explains how I feel better then I can:
Maybe me snapping at them when I get frustrated won’t affect our relationship… but then, maybe it will. Here is how my week went, I wrote an entry for each day at the end of each day before bed;
Sunday July 21 – Today was my first day not yelling/snapping/raising my voice. I wish I could say that we had a great day and that I was successful… but I would be lying. And that isn’t going to accomplish anything. This morning I was all gung ho on the whole challenge, but thanks to lack of sleep (meaning next to no patience with anything) I was a snappy bitch. I was able to bite my tongue when it came to the kids, until Alex continually put his feet on the table at supper time and wouldn’t stop regardless of how many times and ways I asked him too. Then the rest of the day was downhill. I guess once I snapped, I couldn’t stop myself. Tomorrow is another day though. /sigh/
Monday July 22 – Today was a better day than yesterday. Not perfect by any means. My count still hasn’t started. I snapped at the kids a couple times today, but the good news is I got a good nap in and the afternoon was better than the morning. I am going to keep working on a way to stop myself from snapping. Being tired is not a good reason to snap at them. Not to mention it’s not fair to them. Another day of feeling guilty for not being as successful as I would like to be. /sigh/ Again, though, tomorrow is another day. Since today was better than yesterday, I’m going to do even better tomorrow! Eventually I’ll get this figured out and the count will start! I decided that when I hit 7 days without snapping/yelling I am going to have cake with the kids!
Tuesday July 23- I am so so so so so so so excited to say that today finally counts as day 1!!!!!!! I made it through the whole day without snapping, yelling, raising my voice (except when Alex was going to run out into the street when we went for a walk at the park and I needed to get his attention so he would stop running towards it and come back and hold the stroller, but that’s okay yelling, and when he came back I stopped using my loud voice and explained why he needed to stay close) I am so proud of myself for catching myself before I snapped at all, even though I only got 4 hours of sleep last night. It’s an amazing feeling and I can’t wait to hit day 2 tomorrow!
Wednesday July 24- Day Two!! What an amazing feeling. Who would’ve thought that going two days without snapping at the kids (and my husband) would make me feel so amazing! Another thing that I noticed today was that the boys are starting to listen to me better. I find that I am repeating myself less. I have started approaching how I talk to them a little bit differently, and it’s paying off. What an amazing feeling!
Thursday July 25- Back to zero… I only snapped once, but it was enough that it made me feel bad. Although when I snapped at the boys for fighting, they got the message pretty quick and cut it out, and didn’t fight anymore for the rest of the day. I see that as a plus, even if I have to start counting again.
Friday July 26– Day 1! Again. I did snap today, but it was at a perfect stranger and she deserved it. No one is going to call my kids brats and not have me say anything about it. We took the kids to a baseball game, where, as you would expect they were very excited and antsy. The woman in front of us told me that my kids were brats and they had no place at a baseball game. My response was very rude and I am not going to post it here.
Saturday July 27– We are back at Day 2! Today we celebrated Christmas in July, and while it was amazingly stressful for me, I managed to keep my cool with the kids and not snap. (Even when Alex was throwing sand at people and driving me crazy!) Go me!
This week wasn’t perfect. But I think I did pretty good considering that it was my first week trying to change what has become a bad habit. Habits are hard to break! Tomorrow marks the beginning of a new week and my goal is to do better than this week. My kids deserve this!
Love, hugs and more to come later!