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Mom Fail Friday: The One Where I Yell A Lot

I find that I am really struggling with what I have recently heard termed “Mommy Deafness.”

You know what I am referring to? If a friend or neighbor asks your 3 or 4-year old to pick up a toy, or stop pedaling their bike vigorously toward the street they oblige quickly, willingly, sometimes even with a smile on their face. But if you, the Mom, the parent, makes such a request you might as well just beat your head against a wall and call it a day.

Right? Or am I alone on this? Because if I am, then I seriously need to have my son’s hearing checked. (All sarcasm aside, my son did recently have a bout of double ear infections that created some minor hearing loss, which was substantiated on a trip to the pediatrician.) His inability to hear me, whether it is meaningful or accidental has created moments of sheer frustration for me, and I have begun to resort at times to that much-dreaded term, yelling.

I really despise a yelling household. I came from one, and I always told myself that I would do my best not to have yelling become an every day norm for my kids. Now, don’t get me wrong as I do have a penchant for being overly colorful—the yelling that is taking place in our home right now, by me, is mostly the “I TOLD YOU TEN TIMES ALREADY TO PUT YOUR SHOES IN THE COATROOM!” type of yelling.

I would never raise a hand to my children, and I do believe that some forms of yelling might as well be physical (because they can leave long-lasting wounds). But what I am trying to say is that sometimes I feel like the only way to reach my son, to see that look of attention, to know that the light bulb has indeed switched on in his brain is to raise my voice.

And I really, really hate it.

So here I am, writing my “Mom Fail Friday” post and I know that there might as well be a blinking, neon Vegas-style sign hanging over my head that says “I’m a yeller.” My cousin Heather once wrote (jokingly, I am sure) that she couldn’t imagine me having anything to write about for Mom Fail Friday, but she is wrong. By far, my biggest failure is my recent inability to take two minutes, step back, breathe, assess the situation, and employ a better means of getting my message across.

And the total irony here? Is that I am a SPEECH COMMUNICATIONS MAJOR.

That just gets me—seriously—haven’t I been given the tools, the resources, had the skills molded to be a great communicator, to weave my way effortlessly through interpersonal communication quandaries? Yes, I have. But not when it comes to the development of a pre-schooler. I am at a total loss.

I read books, I read blogs, I read message boards. I talk to my husband, I talk to my family, I talk to my friends–always searching for that magic nugget of advice that will make the clouds clear and the sun come streaming through onto what will certainly become my June Cleaver role as mother. It has yet to happen. So I have to ask—is yelling a characteristic handed down from one generation to the next?

My husband is Sicilian, and I know that there is great emotion and yelling that comes with that background. But he raises his voice very seldom, and when he does–the whole world listens, even my son. As I said there was some yelling in my childhood home—so is it ingrained in me? I recognize that I need to nip it in the bud and now.

I need to remember that this is a developmental stage that should pass, or at lease get somewhat better as he turns the corner to five and six. And really, what am I yelling about anyhow? My son doesn’t hit other children, he doesn’t act recklessly, he isn’t creating any dangerous moments for anyone. He just won’t eat his dinner, or pick up his toys, or share with his sister. The normal stuff. That’s it.

So I just need to stick a sock in my mouth. Period.

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Article by ShadyTree

Allison just returned from NYC where she received the Mom of the Year Award for her tireless devotion to all things motherhood. And then she woke up, realized her son was late for pre-school, her daughter hadn't had a bath in 3 days and her own eyebrows looked like they belonged on Chewbacca from Star Wars. On a day-to-day basis she juggles all the tough stuff that most Moms do, but tries to remember that at the end of the day it isn't about how perfect her life appears to be to everyone else, it's about how perfect it is for HER that counts. ShadyTree tagged this post with: , Read 6 articles by

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5 Comments Post a Comment
  1. justheather says:

    Oh, I am so right there with you! It’s such a struggle to step back, calm myself and respond without screaming at the top of my lungs. I want better for my girls, but the instinct is very ingrained.

  2. MFJ says:

    I wish I could find a way to undo all of the yelling that I have done also. Unfortunately, the most commonly repeated phrase every morning at my house is, “JUST GET IN THE CAR!”

  3. Allison says:

    I think things have been a little better–but I think I need a bigger sock!!

  4. CreativeDecoMom says:

    Oh, I sooo know where this is coming from. With my older one, I was fine, no yelling and she listened. She cleaned, she did what she was supposed to. Now, with my almost 5 year old, she doesn’t hear me unless I am yelling. Even then, she still won’t clean her room, get her clothes on when she needs to and manages to make us almost late every day, no matter how early we get up. Then, of course, I feel terrible.

  5. […] I am a yeller. I prefer to use my Mary Poppins, soothing as a lullaby, calming voice when I speak to children. […]

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