With holidays fast approaching and children who seem to think that since the sun makes it dark near 5pm it's perfectly alright to stay up almost all night ... my frustration levels are on the rise. I find myself almost nightly fighting three munchkins, who may as well be coated with slick mud, to get into bed and stay there. "Back to bed." ... "Go to sleep." ... "Why are you up again?" ... "Would you just go to sleep?!" ... "Jiminy Crickets! You're driving me bonkers! Go to bed!" These things might as well be recorded so that I can save my voice. It doesn't matter what time we begin the bedtime rituals, ever since day light savings time it wouldn't matter if I had an Acme hammer! Every night I want to pull out my hair. Every night they're up and down and all around ... anywhere but their beds! And almost every night for the past week, around the two hour mark, I've yelled.
For those of you who don't know I decided many months ago now to take The Orange Rhino Challenge. And, of course, being the person that I am I was completely convinced that I could go a year without trying too hard and be able not to yell at all. Of course, that's hog wash! This challenge is hard! Harder than you'd think it would be.
I started over several times the first week alone. Then made it a few weeks only to start over again. Repeat that cycle a few more times and you find me about a week and a half ago. I'd decided that I'd just do it this time. Never mind the whole "If I fail I'll just start over it's OK". Nope, I was going to do it darned it ... no matter what the kids did to try my patience.
Not going so good right now. The kids are going crazy, I'm loosing my mind, and my dear husband, I'm sure, would love to run away some days. I close my eyes after the kids finally go to bed, and stay in bed, each night and pray that I don't yell the next day. The next day usually goes just fine, then it's bedtime ... two hours into "Get your bottom back in that bed young lady/man!" and I'm ready to tear my hair out. That very next child gets snapped at and then they all get told that I will scream at the very top of my lungs at all of them the very next time they open their doors.
Not my finest moments.
I've been told (by my children) that I have scary eyes at night, that they don't like it when Mommy yells, and that they promise that they'll go to bed right away next time. Usually I get told this sometime during the day after a night where I've snapped. My response? "I'm sorry that my eyes get scary and that I yelled. I really do wish you'd go to bed right away tonight so that I don't get frustrated with you. I am trying really hard to not yell at you guys but you're not making it easy when you wage war on bedtime."
They all promise to go to bed. I say that I won't yell. Bedtime arrives and the whole vicious cycle starts over again.
Why am I telling you all of this? Well, 1) I know that I am not alone in this battle. 2) I need to make myself accountable to someone other than myself this time around in the challenge. And 3) Because I am frustrated again as I type this (almost 9pm) and I am attempting not to yell at this very moment.
All day I've been using the piece of advice that I shared Friday on the weekly wrap-up. I keep telling myself "WAIT" . I refuse to yell tonight. I refuse to yell this week or the week after or even after that. I am tired and cranky, wishing that they'd just go to sleep like they used to. I have already had, in the last twenty minutes alone, two children make a trip to the bathroom because they'd "forgotten" to go before bedtime and one child have a meltdown because she couldn't find her "comfy" (security blanket).
I keep looking at my orange nail polish, the orange paper we did our turkey hands on, the orange leaves on our thankful wall, and the poster I just made (on orange paper) that simply has the no sign over the word Yell which is now taped to my computer tower. Why orange? Check out Orange Rhino's page and you'll figure it out pretty quickly. It's a visual reminder (especially because there's really very little orange in our home) for me to yell less and love more.
I'll be re-polishing my nails in the morning and doing the girls nails sometime tomorrow as well. We'll make a few more no yelling zone signs for bedrooms and the like. I will make it this time ... but the goal right now is not for a whole year. Tonight the goal is tonight. Tomorrow I take on the challenge not to yell for the rest of this year, only a 37 day commitment this time. Perhaps a month at a time is what I need to focus on right now. Tonight I will make it through bedtime without yelling.
If, for whatever reason I do yell I'll let you know on the HC Facebook page. I don't plan on yelling, but then none of us ever really do. Check out the page if you haven't already, the kids have a surprise planned for everyone there on Wednesday this week.
**All clip art used here was found on free clip art websites.**