Thursday, February 10, 2011

I'm Just a Yeller

My kids are home from school while their teachers send a couple days on professional development. I come into these extra long weekends and holiday weeks with a mix of anticipation and trepidation. The thought of tossing routine to the wind brings a smile to my face. I mean, I love routine, but every now and then  it's nice to just "hang" without a list of tasks to attend to before bedtime. The potential result of breaking routine with five kids, though, is a day (or four) filled with bickering and boredom.

On this four-day weekend, I have a plan to keep the latter at bay. The plan requires a mom who actually participates in activities with the kids, who enacts swift discipline when things even look like they'll head sideways, and who is not hiding out in the office "working" all day. ("Working" is a general term I use for pretty much any time I'm on the computer, lol.)

That said, I do hope you enjoy this re-post from the archives...

Here's a question I've heard more than once: When and how did you discover that you were angry, and not just doing what Moms have to do - yell at our kids to get them to do anything?

Can I be to-the-gut point-blank honest here? For me as much as for you? Thanks...

The fact of the matter is, we moms do NOT have to yell at our kids to get them to listen to us. While certain circumstances will require a raised voice (safety concerns, a massive brawl of 14 children that needs to be stopped, a generally loud situation), if it seems as though every circumstance is one of those, we need to take that as our first clue that something is amiss. A raised voice should be the exception, not the rule. If we are yelling regularly, we have a problem.

If you were a fly on my wall, you would likely listen in on the odd conversation between Pat and I where one of us is asking, "Why do we have to yell at the kids to get them to listen and obey?" It's one that we revisit more regularly than I'd like. Really, though, we both know the answer... If we need to yell at our kids to make them listen and obey, it is because we have taught them that they don't have to listen or obey until/unless we are yelling.

I assure you, I am the last person who will ever pass judgement on another mother! I know how hopeless it feels, how impossible it looks. I am the queen of yelling and swearing, and I often catch myself thinking, "I am never going to be able to NOT yell!" So as you read my gut-honest words, do not feel condemned. Everyone has their issues...anger happens to be ours.

If you think you may have anger issues but are not totally sure, here are seven questions you can ask yourself:

1. Have I ever told myself or someone else, "I'm a yeller. That's just who I am."?

2. Have I ever had the urge to hurl an object across the room in frustration?

3. Whether or not I speak them, do I think curse words in my head when I'm frustrated?

4. If my child(ren) does thinks like slamming doors and shouting, "I hate you!" am I tempted to respond with those same words and reactions?

5. Do I frequently find myself feeling annoyed with my children's constant interruptions and requests?

6. Do I sometimes react in ways that are disproportionate to the situation? (For example, feeling truly angry about a spilled cup of juice.)

7. Am I a different mother behind closed doors than I am out in public?

There's no magic formula, no points system, but if you found yourself answering "yes" to a few of those questions, it's probably time to get alone with God and ask Him if you have a problem with mommy anger.

And you know that hopeless, impossible thing? For the record, that's a lie. It's a big, fat, ugly lie that Satan wants us to believe so that we don't even try to overcome this struggle. Victory is possible. I believe it with everything in me. If I didn't, I wouldn't be out here on the World Wide Web (and hopefully, eventually in book format) publishing all my shortcomings for the world to see. The only way it's hopeless and impossible is if we try to do it on our own.

For nothing is impossible with God.
~ Luke 1:37 (NLT)

Related posts:

Seven Steps to Stop Anger in its Tracks

How to Help an Angry Mom

What to do When You Mess up

Why I'm Writing About my Anger

And if you happen to be a publisher, editor, agent, or friend of someone who is (*wink), check out the book proposal...


  1. Enjoy your four days with your family.


  2. Mommas definitely have their days . . . good or bad. Through all, even during the toughest we need to reach out to God for how we respond. Being a Mom is a learning experience each and every day.

    Enjoy your kiddos.


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