3/4/14 A success! No yelling at anyone. Well the kids fell asleep before I came home, so maybe it doesn't count a whole lot, but I didn't yell at my husband. I did notice a lot of my negative emotions with him though. Irritations, hurt feelings, and frustrations. Did you know that irritation and frustrations are a part of feeling angry? Knowing I was feeling these emotions gave me pause to think about why and how I should deal with it. So yes, it counts even if the kids were asleep.
3/5 Success with kids. No yelling. Very patient, fun, and nice day. Husband? Not the best. He made me so mad I kicked a laundry basket. In my defense, it was in the laundry room with no one to see me, and I didn't cause any damage. Triggers for me: Husband yelling at the kids. Husband screaming at the kids. Husband setting unrealistic expectations for the kids. Husband blaming me when his unrealistic expecations aren't met with the kids. Sigh. For example, I was cleaning the living room. My husband was in the kitchen cutting up a pear. Charles is eating cereal with milk in the kitchen. He spills milk (not sure if it was done on purpose). Mike gets really mad at me and insists I clean it up because it was my fault I walked away from Charles when he was doing something for the kids. Say what? He says cleaning up the living room was not a priority. Because he was in a, what, a pear emergency, mind you, right in front of the kid who was spilling milk? At one point, we started to raise our voices, and I cut it off quickly. Our voice never got beyond normal loudness. Phew! So overall success. Need to work with hubby. Work a lot.
3/6 Had a really calm conversation about the pear incident. I said, "Next time, instead of blaming me, please just ask me to clean the milk up. I would be happy to clean it up." To this he not only agreed, but admitted he gets stressed out about the mess kids make, and that he would lighten up on the kids and shouldn't have blamed me. Holy cow! Non-aggressive communication really works better! I was on the way to a MNO, so I was cooking a few things to cook in the oven while my husband took some personal time downstairs. C cries "pee!" and as I take him to potty, I hear some getting dumped in the pantry. T had dumped a whole bag of cut up seaweed on the floor. I took a deep breath, and took C to the bathroom only to realize he had already peed and tracked pee all the way to the bathroom. I changed him and wiped down the hallway and the bathroom. Then I decide I don't have time for a teaching moment and picked up the seaweed. In the mean time, T having decided he did not get the rise out of me he expected, pulls down his pants, pees, and drags himself to the bathroom making the exact pee mark I just cleaned up. As I am wiping the same hallway for the second time, C decides he wants to join in the fun, and pulls his pants down and pees in a plastic shoe box. At this juncture, I have decided to write down levels of yelling.
Level 1. A desperate "da, da, da." (My I am too hippie to say no but need to convey no so I use a made up word word) "no, no, no" and "oh stop, stop, stop". All said with slightly louder than normal tone of voice but without malice or hostility. More desperate than hostile.
Level 2. Snappy. No longer just desperate, this tone of voice is only slightly louder than normal, but there is definite hostility in the voice.
Level 3. Moderately loud voice. Starting to really get out of control.
Level 4. Yelling.
Level 5. Screaming. Red faced, totally out of control, blind rage screaming.
Level 6. Physical violence.
Goal is to never reach level 3. Will tolerate level 1 and will work hard to eliminate level 2. So far, so good.
Through all the dumping and peeling, I only reached level 1.
3/7 Level 1 with kids. Snappy with hubby.
3/8 I am starting to think level 1 is inevitable. Some snappy remarks to my husband. I did apologize right away.
3/9 Both kids drew all over the floor, toys, and the toy cabinet. I didn't get mad, and calmly took away the crayons and asked the kids to wipe up the mess. T got so into cleaning, he wouldn't let me take over so he could eat dinner. A magical moment, indeed. Then when they were both tired about to go to bed, C peed on the vent, and as I was cleaning that up, T peed on the carpeted floor on purpose. And as I was cleaning that up, C pees on the bed on purpose. And through all that I kept repeating, "mommy is really really upset." But I was too upset for bed time reading so I just turned the lights off and eventually laid down with them. They fell asleep without much protest. So level 1 with kids, snappy with hubby. I have done remarkably well this week. One more day to go to complete a week without yelling! Edit: I thought I was safe to blog for the day since my kids are both asleep, but my husband brought up home schooling again. This conversation was tense and while I didn't raise my voice at all, I would say it was a Level 2.5 in hostility. I said some unkind things, true things, but still. Must work on my anger with regards to my husband.
3/10 Level 1 with kids Level 2.5 with hubby.
3/11 So my kids ran out into the street. So it was still a Level 1 in that I wasn't yelling out of anger and more out of desperation, but I was scared, and my voice was louder. But I think this is understandable? I did scream at my husband to come help me. More like Level 4 because there was definite anger component where I was raging that he was ignoring me on purpose. Which he wasn't. So far, this has been the worst day of my challenge.
3/12 A perfect day. Despite that I was post call and exhausted. Despite that my husband had to work and I and to take care of the kids all day. Despite that we made a decision about prek and I filled out paperwork for what seemed like hours. I am sighing the sigh of contentment.
3/13 An almost perfect day. I sort of half snapped at the kids once and twice at my husband. I say half because it wasn't really snapped, not that bad, but it wasn't all that nice tone of voice. I am really feeling free. I cannot believe I lived for so long without knowing how to handle anger effectively. My kids are going to learn from example and from teaching how to expressive anger in constructive ways. I will break the cycle of anger. Self improvement is one of the most precious gifts of motherhood. I cannot be grateful enough for the personal growth that has happened since I became a mother.
3/14 perfect day with kids. Not so perfect with hubby. Snapped at him during the day. Then he woke me up while I was sound asleep because he was in the mood. Lord, I think I have to be honest and say I reached level 5. We have a family bed, so I didn't yell, but several f bombs were dropped. I was totally out of control. But what kind of ahole wakes up a pregnant woman with insomnia problems because he is in the mood?!
3/15 perfect with kids. Lord, I think the hostility between my husband and me may have reached close to level 5. We were out in public and I was with my FIL, so there was no yelling, but I was for sure in that crazy white rage. I did the whole clippy mean voice in combination with the stony silent treatment. Maybe I should give myself a break and call it Level 4. Anyways, not so great.
3/16. Perfect day. Honestly, I went climbing and didn't see any of my family for the entire day.
3/16. Whoa. Level 2 with kids. I was definitely snippy with them. Level 2 with hubby too. Not the way I wanted to end week 2.
3/18 Didn't see the kids. A full day + extremely long board meeting Perfect with hubby in the 10 min I saw him. I don't care. Still a perfect day!! BTW I am totally getting better at work with anger too. Yay, me.
3/19 perfect day. I was so happy. I played stayed at home mom all day. My kids are just so wonderful. I love them so much. Good with hubby too.
3/20 I started to get a little agitated with kids, but I stopped myself. Maybe a level 1.5? It really wasn't that bad. Could be better though. With hubby, level 3 full on. I had a strong urge to throw my orchid, but I remained much more calm in my demeanor. And my orchid is safe.
3/20 level 6 with hubby. Seriously. He woke me up drunk because he was in the mood. I went totally loco and pulled his hair and hit him. In our family bed with kids sleeping. There--I admitted it. Yes, I have an anger problem.
3/21 Made up with hubby. I took full responsibility for what happened the night before. He apologized profusely for drinking too much and once again waking my insomniac pregnant self again. And I let go. My husband remarked that this was a remarkable improvement in itself. Normally, after his behavior the night before, I would have fumed for days with cold silent treatment + snappy responses. Things were still tense until evening and I was snappy with both kids and hubby. Hoping for a better day tomorrow.
3/22 A perfect day.
3/23 level 2 with kids. Level 5 with hubby. I screamed at him because he always makes the kids cry when he is washing them off after a bath. I asked him to let me, and he kept going with T screaming. I can't believe I screamed at him in front of the kids because of bathing technique differences. Lord. Anybody else thinks not yelling at the husband is so much harder?