I’ve been on a personal challenge to stop yelling at my kids.
This week I was tempted, oh so tempted to yell. But I didn’t. I certainly got angry a few times and one day my anger boiled over and I had to get away from my son.
I had to take a long time out so that I could calm myself down before I was able to address the problem at hand.
You see, my 3-year old broke something of mine that he knew he wasn’t supposed to play with. It wasn’t something expensive, and it is totally replaceable. Looking back, it almost feels silly that I got that mad over something that small.
The truth is that I was already at the end of my rope.
I had been on my computer all morning and just wanted to get my stuff done. I didn’t want to spend time with him. I didn’t respond nicely to his requests. like I usually do. He was picking at my heels, and I just wanted to do my own thing.
I could feel the tension rising.
I could feel myself slowly getting more and more agitated.
Then he broke my stuff.
And I boiled over.
I was furious! I sent him to sit on the couch and wait for me to come back.
I went upstairs to calm myself down.
After a few minutes, I went to him and we were able to regroup, and lessons were learned….by both of us.
This situation really made me think.
Why did such a small thing throw me so far over the edge?
I realized a few things about myself that day.
- I don’t handle my kids very well when I’m distracted by my computer, specifically facebook and blogs.
- When I’m distracted, my 3 year old will find a way to get my attention. Usually by breaking a rule or by being super loud.
- I can’t handle too much noise. I find that when there is too much sound around me, I get agitated.
This morning, all 3 things were happening, and it was just a matter of time before I lost it.
It all started with me.
I wasn’t there.
I wasn’t available.
I was distracted.
I admit I’m on my computer quite a lot. It sits on my kitchen counter, right next to my kids playroom…right in the middle of everything.
I can jump on for a second at any point during the day.
I hear a ding from facebook, and I’m there in an instant.
It’s great for blogging, but not so good for taking care of my kids, and getting me out of my Mom Funk. It’s also really not helpful when it comes to succeeding in my Stop Yelling Challenge.
So….my next personal challenge is going to be hard.
I’m staying off the computer when my kids are around.
I’m turning off all notifications on my phone.
I will get work done before they get up in the morning. I will use nap time to blog in peace. I will be more organized so that I don’t waste the time I have.
Even though it will be hard, I’m excited about it.
I’m happier on the days when I’m not sucked into my computer. I’m more playful, I get more accomplished, and I have more patience.
I think I’ll be happier…freer maybe? I know one thing for sure…my kids will be happier.
I’ve found this out about myself, too. I get the most frustrated and grumpy when I’m trying to work and he interrupts me. It’s hard to find that balance – to be able to connect with others online, when you are confined to the house most days. I’ve found scaling back has helped me a lot and setting aside chunks of time to just play has helped us both. Thanks for sharing your story! Good luck to you. 🙂
Yes, the balance is difficult for me find too. I do most of my connecting with others online, so it’s hard stepping away. I hope that after an internet detox, I can find a better balance.
omg!! I really thought I was the only one…. I’ve felt horrible.. And have also thought about doing the same thing. I sometimes even have to go somewhere alone to shed some tears Bc I’ve felt bad having some attitude with theityle guys for no reason…. Glad there’s other moms Out there experimcing the same hard things. It’s deff not easy… And I know we love our kids!
Go you! I can totally relate as those are my triggers too. For awhile I was keeping my laptop in our bedroom and only pulling it out at nap time, etc but like you mine has resided in the kitchen for much of the winter as of late. I think you may have inspired me to go back to my old ways. It was definitely more freeing 🙂
It is very nice being away from the computer. I’m amazed at how my attitude changes when I’m not on my computer.
Have you heard of Hands Free Mama? She has a blog at http://www.handsfreemama.com and a book on this very subject. She believes we miss a lot of our kids moments when qe are distracted by devices. I too have found myself sucked into my phone as it has access to everything (really how did we live before smartphones and laptops?) and I get easily angered by my daughter wanting my attention. After my wake up moment the other day I keep my phone use to bare minimum and check things or read blogs when she’s gone to bed. Well done in not yelling though. Keep it up. Xx
I have heard of Hands Free Mama, and have been following her for a long time. I just didn’t realize until recently, how much technology has infiltrated my life. It makes me feel sluggish and unhappy.
So true, I feel brain zapped after using it for too long. And since reading your post about when mum chooses to be happy, I bought a sign that says ‘if mama aint happy aint nobody happy’ and im going to hang it in my kitchen to remind me how much influence I have over my family’s happiness. Thank you.
Great idea! I might need to make a sign for myself.
I can’t tell you how much this series means to me. It seems as though you and I have bad days at the same time. It is always reassuring to know others are going through the same thing. Thank you for also finding the solutions to the problems plaguing my stay at home momminess.
Oh Kristina, we are not alone! I’m amazed at how many people have reached out to me saying the same thing. There are so many of us out there! I don’t know if I have all the answers…but I’ll share the solutions that work for me.
I totally agree with this post. I always say my kids are perfect except when I’m not on top of my “A-game” as a mom.
Totally Andrea! The attitude of our family begins with us. I love your saying!
I could have written that post, from the placement of the computer to not liking noise to losing it when I’m distracted by the computer or my to-do list. Thanks for the wake-up call! Will be stepping away from my tech more too!
Looks like we’re computer twins! Glad I could give you the wake up call we both needed.
I have discovered that I am the exact same way! The more distracted I am, the less patience I have with my daughter. And, I get so aggravated when she “interrupts” me. I have also found out that noise is a trigger for me. I start getting overwhelmed by too much noise or chaos. It makes my anxiety skyrocket! G
Theres Just One Mommy
You’re right! I tend to loose it more when I am distracted, or when I am trying to get something done… That’s also when they try so hard to get my attention — not always in positive ways.
I used to stay off the computer more during the day. Need to get back to that.
I get the same way with my 4yr old daughter. Whenever I’m on the computer I get agitated extremely easily. I’ve been doing a lot better with either doing computer work before she wakes up or after she goes to bed… and that seems to work well. I see you’ve found a schedule that works for you aswell. I think taking the challenge of not yelling at your kids is awesome. I might have to join in on that. 🙂
Kids grow up really fast and pretty soon the time we have with them will be limited, so it’s best to be a better parent while they are still young.
Emma @ P is for Preschooler
I’ve discovered that too. That whole “negative attention is better than no attention” thing. My daughter will go out of her way to be annoying when I’m on the computer or otherwise involved in something. Oftentimes it’s unnecessary stuff and I should be focusing on her. But I definitely know where you’re coming from!
Have you seen The Orange Rino site?
I deleted my facebook a few weeks ago after being literally addicted to it for eight years. For the first week and a half I noticed that all my thoughts were in “Status mode” and that was annoying.. and I still miss the ease of getting a hold of friends or family and the current events. But other than that, I have become a completely new human being. I have managed to find SOOOO much time in my day! I get up early every morning and read my Bible. I actually PLAY with my kids and sometimes they catch me just sitting and watching them play. They LOVE the attention and seem so much more joyful and fulfilled.. I am not trying to get everyone to do it or claim that I have all the answers. But, I definitely feel like I wasted a TON of time doing something that really left me feeling angry, misjudged or rejected the majority of the time. I had plenty of friends, family and supporters on there, but the few haters and friendship deleters are the ones that I typically tended to dwell on. That’s just not healthy. I hope everyone finds things that build them up rather than tear them down! I have been so much less angry and so much more rightly focused! Thank you for a great blog of encouragement and good advice!
Found this on pinterest randomly. thanks, God knew I needed to read this today after my past weekend. Thanks!
I simply love and appreciate your honesty!!!!you must be doing your very best in the realy hard journey of motherhood my respect to you!!!!!
Oh thank you so much! 🙂
yeah, guilty. now what. 🙁
its not even just facebook. its apps. twitter when i get bored or done with all of those… sigh. i really have to work on unplugging!!! 🙁
just deleted two apps. wasnt really doing more than “checking in” to them anyway.
I began the habit of going on my phone when my son was a baby especially when I fed him. Bottle in one hand and phone in the other. Then the addiction would spread into other times like when he was lying on his play mat. And it continued as the months went by. Then one day he was playing and I decided to just check Facebook (which obviously turned into scrolling through my news feed). Then I looked up to see my son smiling at me. A beautiful smile. But how much of that smile had I missed?
And then it occured to me, how long would it be until he gave up smiling at me because mummy wasn’t looking?
Until your kids are just old enough to wake up early and go without naps, but haven’t started school, and your husband works second shift. I get no time to alone in a day, maybe 1/2 hour at night before I drop from exhaustion. Am I also supposed to feel guilty about carving some teeny patch of time out for myself and hope it doesn’t get interrupted?
Some of us Mom’s only have an online social life, due to one thing or another. Maybe it’s my frustration boiling over here, but I’m tired of being told that a few 10 or 15 minute snatches of my day is too much for my kids to handle alone or that I should feel guilty for taking it. Almost as tired as I am of getting interrupted after only 5 of those minutes have passed and I have to stop anyway to break up a fight or wipe a nose or get yet another snack.
Oh trust me, I hear you, I do! I’m not saying that we should NEVER be on our phones. I’m still on mine with my kids around. I’m just saying that it’s a trigger for me, and it might be for others too. I get so irritable when my kids pull me away. Sometimes I need to remember to put it down and to really focus on my kids, so that I don’t yell at them. It’s a balance. I’m totally the mom at the playground on my phone.
This is exactly the reason I don’t own a smartphone! I’d be up in it all the time.
I’m fortunate I have a place away from my children to do work. Even so, I do struggle to be available for play to my child all day.
OMG. …. I made it my news years resolution to detox from Facebook and Pintrest. I get so caught up and distracted and we all know where that leads. No excuses on WHY I haven’t started other than I’m SCARED! I’m still a Justin to my life as a stay at home mom of 3 under 5 (just made 17 months this week) and I miss and crave the inner actions of other adults! I know I have to cherish this time and opportunity and I do try but I struggle. Going to start putting my phone and computer in “Time Out” tomorrow I promise <3
This is so true for me too, and something I’ve known I need to work on for a long time. One of the catch 22’s is I sometimes get on the computer as an escape from the overstimulation of the kids but then they do try harder to get my attention and I get more frustrated by their behavior.
Thank you, thank you! I am too busy, and started noticing my triggers but was caught in cyclical behavior, yuk!!! I am taking this challenge starting tomorrow. I will let you know how it goes the first week, the week before school starts. The heart idea is starting tomorrow as well: what a GREAT connection piece!