Sunday, October 11, 2009

Mommy Yell-est

My name is Jenny Huizinga and I yell at my kids. O.k., there, I've admitted it. I don't yell everyday, but it happens. And I am not proud of it.

I don't start out yelling. It usually goes like this:

"Honey, please go put your shoes on."
"Honey, put your shoes on, please."
"Please go get your shoes on."
"Go get your shoes on now please."
"Your shoes!"
"Get your shoes on!!"
"What are you doing??? Get your shoes on now!!!"

You get the picture. By the end there is no "honey" and certainly no "please". And by then, my daughter or son is in a foul mood, and so am I. Plus, I also get to feel guilty about the whole encounter. Often, during the actual yelling part, I have sort of an out-of-body experience. It's like I am floating above, seeing myself hollering, all the while thinking - hmmmm.... this doesn't seem to be working. Unfortunately, even though the good me can see that the yelling me is being counter-productive, it's hard to make the real me take a breathe and go to my "happy place."

Am I the only mom in the world who yells? I doubt it. (Thanks to TLC I'm sure there's footage of Kate Gosselin yelling at her brood). But it still makes you feel a little like Mommy Dearest when you do have those moments. How do you stop? That's that the million dollar question.

As much as I'd like to think that if my kids would just listen to me all would be well, that's just not realistic. It's a mother's pipe dream. I hate to admit it, but I'm part of the problem. When I sit down and analyze my peak yelling periods, it usually coincides with us being late for something or in a hurry to be somewhere.

One of the moms from Caitlyn's class told me that she had a new mantra for parenting - "hurry is the enemy of love". The idea that I could be hurting those I love by always rushing them hit me hard. How many times a day do we tell our kids to hurry up? I know I say it a lot! Sometimes I'm even the reason we're hurrying - letting them sleep in so I can get some housework done first, talking to my Mom on Skype, searching for my keys. Does all this rushing get us anywhere? Not really.

After yelling at the kids to get their shoes and backpacks on, and rushing them off to school, Caitlyn was early and Jack's class hadn't even started. In Jack's class no one even noticed we were late. All that was accomplished was tears, frustration, and a future requirement for psychological counselling. But seriously, none of us was "feeling the love" and that's not good. God forbid if anything happened to one of us, I wouldn't want my last words to be ones of admonishment, especially about something as silly as shoes.

From now one, I'll work on limiting the use of the words "hurry up" in my vocabulary and remember that the world will not end if we are late. And if I do lose it - at least I'm not on reality T.V.!


  1. Amen to not being on reality TV! I don't want my actions, when I reach the limits of my frustration, recorded for all of posterity to evaluate.

    I am sometimes not proud of my reactions but accept that I am not perfect. I then make a conscious effort to do it differently, and maybe better, next time. I also think it's good for kids to see how you correct your wrongs. I've said, "Sorry sweetie, that was wrong of mommy to yell at you and I apologize." And in that case, I like to think a bit of humility had just been taught.

  2. Glad to know I'm not the only one who has to apologize!