I am either losing my mind or I am a genius…

Tonight Hubs and I put the 3 older kids to bed at 7 like we always do. (the three of them are currently sharing a room since we are in a two bedroom house and are locked into a lease, if you remember when we made our big move out to Manitoba we didn’t have much for options and took the first house we got, which came though mere days before we left New Brunswick. Thankfully, they are big bedrooms.) Most nights they lie in their beds, talk and play and are asleep by 730-800. I can deal with it. They aren’t too loud, I don’t need to go in there three hundred times. We are all happy. BUT. The last few nights… gah… they yell, they scream, they jump around, they fight, they dance… they in general just go crazy. Hubs and I take turns going in there… Starting with gentle reminders to lie in bed, go to sleep… then escalating to raising our voices and yelling. Which we are trying really hard not to do. And for the most part we are doing great with our quest to not yell. But bedtimes were getting absurd. So tonight I decided to do something different.

Tonight when they started getting absurd we tried the gentle reminders. I could see us both getting really frustrated by 730 sensing we were in for another long night. So I went into their room. I turned their light on. I said ‘it’s not bedtime anymore. You guys are obviously not going to go to bed like I asked. Please get up and go play with your toys.’

They looked at me like I lost my mind. So did Hubs. He whispered to me that I was either really smart, or really crazy. The kids weren’t sure what to think. ‘Let’s go’ I prompted and ushered them out to the living room where I pulled out some cars and started playing. They looked scared. I was trying not to laugh.

At 800 Alex said ‘Mom, I think it’s bedtime. It’s dark and the clock is pointing at the 8’ I replied ‘Yep. The clock says it’s bedtime. But Mom says it’s not’ ‘You mean we don’t get bedtime tonight?’ ‘Nope. You guys can stay up all through the night’ Him and Nick looked devastated.

At 815 I turned off all the lights except a lamp. I sat on the couch with a couple books and started reading. Zoey came over and snuggled up to me to listen. Soon Alex and Nick came over too. After a couple stories Nick asked if he could go read them in his bed. Alex looked afraid of my answer. I told them yes. They could each bring two books into their beds. I brought them back to bed and tucked them in (it was about 840) I heard from them once since then.

I don’t think 700 is going to work as a bedtime anymore. I am going to push them to 730 tomorrow and see what happens. Maybe I’ll even get lucky and they will start consistently sleeping later then 7am. Then I can really call myself a genius. Right?

Love, hugs and more to come later
Lynn

An Update on the Orange Rhino

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At one time, I was posting weekly about my challenge with the Orange Rhino. (A no yelling for 365 days challenge… You can read about it here

Originally I was going to keep up the daily journal type entries, but I was finding it discouraging to have be writing out my failures. So I decided to stop writing them and just mark on the calender the days I made it through without yelling. It kept me accountable, but without making me feel like I was failing my monsters. 

Today I decided that I was going to write an update for two reasons. One- I don’t wan anyone to think that I gave up on the challenge. I am still going strong. And two- Because today I am proud of myself. Today is the first time I have made it to day 10. 

I cannot even count how many times I have started back at zero. In the two months since I started this challenge, the best I had been doing was 7 days (which I did twice, not counting this time!). Today is day 10. I hope tomorrow is day 11 without yelling/snapping. But only time will tell. 

Love, hugs and more to come later!

Lynn

The Orange Rhino ~ An Update

So, before I started getting ready to drive halfway across the country and then did the drive, I was keeping a daily log of how I was doing with the Orange Rhino Challenge.

Sadly, I stopped tracking it so I really don’t even know what my numbers might have been… According to my daily log that I was keeping, I made it to 4 days without yelling/snapping etc. Which is pretty good. I also know that I have been snapping less than I was before, and my kids seem to listen to me the first time I say something to them a little more often. 

I am going to re start my daily log now that I am home and getting settled and I am going to make a go at this. This month we are going to try and make a go of potty training and taking the pacifier away from Nick, so we will see how it all goes! 

I am going to start my daily logs tonight and post every Saturday with my weekly accomplishments and daily logs!

Love, hugs and more to come later! 
Lynn

The Orange Rhino ~ July 21-27

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:

listen

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!

Lynn

No Yelling for a Year-The Orange Rhino

If you have never heard of the Orange Rhino Challenge, you can read about it here. Essentially what it is, is a pledge to not yell/raise your voice for as many days as you would like to challenge yourself. The woman who wrote this particular blog challenged herself to go a year, and is now into her second year being yell free.

First off, I would like to say that overall I am not one to do a lot of yelling. But I came across this challenge a couple days ago and decided that I want to give it a try. When I was reading through the blog that explains what the challenge is all about, it listed the 7 levels of yelling. While I don’t really yell at the kids, I am guilty of snapping at them, and I always feel guilty for it. So I want to stop.

The Orange Rhino Challenge spoke to me. I knew before I stumbled across it that I hated snapping for what seemed like no reason. I knew that I wanted to stop doing it. But I didn’t know how. After reading some of the posts on The Orange Rhino website, I now know that I am only human. I make mistakes. But I can take steps to make myself a better person. I can teach my kids better ways of communicating, by being a better communicator with them.

One of the tips on starting the challenge is to make it official, so that you are held accountable to actually go through with it. So this is my official announcement that starting today, I am not going to yell or snap at my children or my husband. (or anyone else for that matter) for 365 days. I am going to update every Sunday with my progress on this challenge. I’m sure there are going to be times I do raise my voice or snap at my family and need to reset my counter, but this is me taking the first step in becoming a better mom and a better person.

Love, hugs and more to come later!

Lynn