Too many "Oopsies" Don't Make it Right
By TheOrangeRhino on March 22, 2012
24 days down, 341 to go!
Dear Day 24,
Thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Thank you for being so kind and taking it down a notch because quite frankly days 20, 21, 22, and 23 have sucked. No, that is putting it mildly. They have been miserably depressing and horrifically challenging to the point of me wanting to give up on The Orange Rhino Challenge and blogging all together. I *think* I’ve turned the corner, I hope so!
The Orange Rhino
The boys, yes all 4 including my bambino, did a fabulous job of finding their most annoying personality trait and parading it around the house from 6 am until 6 pm every day this week. #1 had two to three full-on emotional outbursts everyday over the smallest thing. #2 didn’t stop talking, even to take a breath. #3 spoke in a scream all week and #4 cried whenever he was put down. Oh, and #3 and #4 barely slept. Of course my sleep deprivation and stress headaches also hung around every day all week. Put my kids’ awesomeness together and BAM this week smacked me in the face. Oh, and I forgot to mention that when I am sleep deprived, I start to get extra moody and hormonal and start walking towards “my dark place.” So that made this week extra special.
Then it happened.
I took all 4 cranky boys to the pediatrician’s office to check to see if a double ear infection was the root of #3’s sleeping problems (per the doctor’s request). It wasn’t. Dammit, I was really looking for an easy solution! Anywho, picture a room about the size of a queen size bed. Maybe smaller. Now picture 1 doctor, 1 resident, 1 stroller (with baby), one mommy, three kids, a doctors table and a wall of cabinets. Now picture the free space. Right. There is none. We are snug as bugs in this room. And yes, I am claustrophobic. And yes, the baby is screaming (his teeth hurt?!), #3 is screaming “no shots, no shots” and #1 and #2 are bickering over who gets what color marker. It was such a lovely family bonding moment. Ha. Hardly.
Before Challenge, B.C., I would have broken into a sweat trying to keep the peace so that (1) I could look like a pulled together, terrific mom who doesn’t snap and (2) so that I could focus on what the doctor had to say. Instead of my normal I’m-at-the-doctor-and-the-room-is-too-small-and-you-kids-are-driving-me-nuts-nasty snap, I just laughed. I took one look around the room and thought to myself “This is f*****g nuts. I have four kids under 5. I bring my own circus wherever I go. God help me.” And the sweat never came. It was so odd. I totally surprised myself.
But it was JUST what the doctor ordered.
It reminded that I AM changing, that I AM becoming a calmer person, a person who doesn’t YELL at her kids when she is stressed. And boy did I need that reminder. I needed my groove back. I needed to feel good about myself, about this Challenge. I needed to know that all of my hard work means something.
I needed to feel empowered and invigorated again, because although I made it through the last few days not yelling, they were not so graceful. I had too many “oopsie snaps” and even occasionally flirted with the idea of “The Nasty Snap” much more than I care to admit. And while I didn’t break any Challenge Rules that I set forth for myself, I did realize one thing this past week:
Not yelling is great, but if it is replaced with lots of snapping, even if unintentional, that’s not so great.
“Oopsie snaps” are a reflection of my being not as patient, not as engaged, not as empathetic as I wish. I wish to be all those things because when I am, it means I am being more loving. Period. I started this challenge because I wanted to stop yelling. But why stop yelling? Because I felt awful every time I did. But why? Was it guilt? Was it embarrassment? Was it disappointment in myself? No, it was love. I love my boys immensely. I fell in love with them the minute I knew they were growing inside of me…and I fell even harder the minute I held them in my arms.
But my yelling, it was hurting their feelings, it was scaring them, it was shaming them. It was everything BUT loving them. And quite frankly, lots of snapping, well after a while, it isn’t loving them either.
So as I think about it, really, my commitment to do The Orange Rhino Challenge, to Not Yell for 365 days, it’s not just about changing the volume of my voice or changing my tone. It’s deeper than that. It’s about changing my entire momma attitude. It’s about being more patient, more engaged, more empathetic…more loving. Lucky for me, as I really hope to conquer this challenge, I have a feeling that if I yell less, I will love more. And If I am more patient, engaged, and empathetic…I will yell less. So whatever I chose to work on, I’ll win. I’ll love more. And at the end of the day, that is what is at the HEART of The Orange Rhino Challenge. Loving more.
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