22 Jan 2010

Why do I yell?

Why do I save my ugliest for the ones I love the most?

Sometimes when I look at myself yelling at Jemimah I barely recognise the woman I see. My face. My body language. Even my voice is different. Who is this horrible fearsome creature that has been unleashed upon the most vulnerable of all, my own daughter?

Why is it that I work so hard to build for her a golden childhood only to leave her with a memories like this that she will carry right through her life?

I feel so ashamed, but I just can't stop.

I comfort myself that it happens rarely, but that's not good enough, is it? It needs to happen never.

I'm pondering these questions right now, not because I've been yelling, but because I haven't. We've been on summer holidays of one type or another since the middle of November - first from school but at home, then over Christmas at my parents' and recently although back at school, we've been in Melbourne and operating on 'modified holiday time' spending all of each day at the swimming pool and much of the afternoon outside.

On Sunday we return home. Holidays will be over, and real life will intervene. Life with stresses, life with too much to do. Life with cooking and washing and extracurricular activities and work as well as school. Life with the possibility of being overwhelmed and losing control. Life where yelling is all too likely to happen.

And so I'm pondering. I'm thinking about life. I'm thinking about keeping it like it is when we're in holiday mode. In keeping it a peaceful life all year round.

That's what I want.


Before she's all grown up and its too late.


  1. I've come to the conclusion that I cannot do it....at least not on my own. God has to do this work in me. It is all about control. When I recognize that my agenda isn't as important as HIS, I don't yell. Impossible for me to do and so I cry out for help to the One whose mercies are new every morning.

  2. Wow! You could be talking about me. Right there with you girl. May God grant us some measure of change before it is indeed too late.

  3. Me too, dear Jeanne! That's why I always pray that God will cover my mistakes. I know that my parents aren't/weren't perfect, but I truly remember very little of the bad. I pray that it will be that way for our kids, too.

    That's not to say I don't also try to be more Christ-like. I pray for strength and growth in that area all the time, as well.

    I think it's really important to be open with our kids about that, and ask their forgiveness when we mess up. They will learn a lot about God's grace when we are humble and admit our weaknesses.

  4. Ah, you have hit a nerve common to us all. We don't show the yellers that we are on the net, but yes, our kids know.
    It is good to assess ourselves, isn't it. Maybe re-prioritize those stresses, give the BEST of us to these precious responsibilities we have. Ask for grace and more grace. Forgiveness, as Sue mentioned. Keep close to God.
    Positively, my mum did yell occasionally. But you know, I hardly recall those times. I probably deserved it and she worked really hard to make life "golden". And it was!!!! My adult children have been very forgiving. Thank God

  5. Interesting post, resonates so clearly with my heart and where I am at at the moment! Enjoying ready the comments too, I think it seems to be something we can all relate to.
    Luv Donna

  6. Oh boy. I yell a lot especially when I am stressed. I suppose during holidays we don't get as stressed.

    I realized that I haven't yelled at the children much these holidays either.

  7. Guilty. The flip side is the chance to model humility, contrition, remorse and grace. And kids grow up and figure out that everybody's mom yelled!! lol... Don't be too hard on yourself!

  8. A verse came to me two days ago..."Throw off everything that hinders"...I figure a light curriculum will help me remain calm...the more I heap on the curriculum plate, the more stressed I become because we can't do it all...the more chance I have at feeling overwhelmed and 'out of control'. That's when the temperature seems to rise. So I am thinking about what I want to achieve with our children, and working backwards from those goals as to how to reach them. I want to be a calm, loving mother. Firm yet kind. I want to enjoy our time together while learning. If I can't do that, there's little point for me in home educating them. I hope hope hope we can do that this year. Another verse which has been helping me lately is this one..."Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:5-7

  9. Great thoughts and verses butterfly. I am really enjoying people's responses here, Jeanne.
    I was thinking of Psalm 18 "Your kindness made me grow."

  10. I totally understand where you're coming from Jeanne. It seems we all can relate.

    I often find myself overeacting or handling a situation poorly - instantly becoming angry at myself for not responding as I should've.

    We all fall short - we cannot do it in our own strength. But thank God He is working on us and moulding our characters (if we let Him) to be what He wants us to be....so there is hope! This is what I hold on to.

  11. Hi Jeanne,
    I can so relate to your post, especially when I'm stretched really thin, and the children are arguing over a trivial matter (well, it seems like it to me, anyway).

    I would so like to have the patience of Job, who we are reading about at the moment. :)

    I hope that you have a great week,

  12. I got chills reading that post because I so easily could have authored it as well. Thanks..it inspired me to be a better mom!

  13. me too. it helps me to realize quick when I see some of the same tell tale behavior foibles in my own kids! yikes. they are imitators...

    this is the subject that inspires me to think about habit training, not just in my kids, but in my very own self first. hard stuff.

    but it cannot be put off for another day, the days go by too quickly and soon they will be forever impressed upon and then they will fly. it has to be the uppermost in my prayers and thoughts. now.

    thanks for the painful reminder :)


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