Friday, January 3, 2014

A Year Without Yelling: Let's get this party started

Days 1 & 2

The early days of 2014 have been conflict-free in the best possible way. I awoke at 10am on New Year’s Day to a house filled with friends, hot coffee already brewed and fresh crepes on the breakfast table. Real life and its troubles were on holiday. I nearly yelled once, snapping a sharp “Lucas!” as he tormented his sister, but caught myself and we talked instead. House guests left, different house guests arrived. There is nothing like an audience to keep me on my best behavior.

Day 2 was a blur of good food, endless laughter and spirit tasting at an awesome distillery. Not a bad way to keep frustration at bay. Dropping the kids off with my mother for an overnight stay also helped quite a bit. These few days are lived in suspended reality. Though my dear friends have left and I pick up my children in few hours, we’re sliding into a relaxing plan-free weekend. My real work begins on Monday, the return to the comforting and crushing demands of routine. On school days the clock must be obeyed. The kids, sensing this urgency, will become slow-moving boneless blobs incapable of brushing teeth or dressing themselves while insisting I CAN DO IT MYSELF! and then starting up a game of Candyland and spilling something sticky.

Deep breath. Deep breath. Happy place.

A friend shared a HuffPost article today - "The Important Thing About Yelling"  - and it pretty much addresses exactly why I have decided to give up my screaming fits. I tend to make light of my parenting struggles, but this no-yelling resolution is born from a very deep fear that the author of this piece captures perfectly. If I keep yelling I am going to damage my relationship with my family. I will certainly mess up a lot this year, but I love the people in my life too much to give up. I may need the support of friends and perhaps this heavenly bottle of Terroir Gin I purchased, but I can do this.

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