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I’m beginning to think this anonymous chap had me in mind when he said these words.
Just last week, I started drafting this triumphant post of how I had managed to conquer the yelling monster and had gone 150 days straight without shouting at Gy. Yes, I did! So, small pat on the back, if you please and do I hear the strains of applause from my devoted readers? Yes, yes, I can hear it. Well, you can stop clapping.
Because, I broke the streak. At 155 days, to be precise.
And what caused it? The most ridiculous thing ever. She hadn’t brought her homework from school.
Yes, yes, I know. I am a horrible mother, not worthy of sympathy. Believe me, I’ve said it to myself a hundred times since it happened. The worst part was I didn’t even realise it was happening. There I sat, in my chair, looking her in the face, her eyes brimming over , as I reprimanded her. And the tidal wave of anger was full and overwhelming, so much so that I didn’t pause for breath, for nearly three minutes. When I did take a break, she looked up and in a choked voice, asked me, ‘But, why are you shouting at me for this?’ Then, she followed it up with a hug, her hot tears staining my cheek, as she wept profusely.
Hearing those words, it hit home. I had relapsed. After nearly six months of positive parenting, learning to let go, taking time, slowing down, everything had come crashing down. The edifice of pride that I’d built tumbled down, right alongside. I sat there, broken and defeated. All those weeks of being a patient person had been rendered futile. Just one episode and I cracked, and how!
I shuddered, both physically and from within, since I understood that it wasn’t easy being at the receiving end of the yelling.
It’s not easy having someone glower at you, while you’re doing your work.
It’s not easy to explain yourself when the other person is too busy shouting to listen.
But, after this happened, and my mind had cooled, I had a choice before me: stay defeated or be determined. I had yelled, so, what next? Obviously, there is that feeling of guilt. Let it happen, for without it, the need to reform may not occur. Here’s the thing, though. Use it as a prop for better things, not as a crutch to continue doing what you do. If you let the guilt guide you to a more determined YOU, there’s your next battle being won.
Next, I decided that I would have to tackle this new-found trigger (her not bringing homework) from a different angle (I’m trying out some tactics and that will, hopefully, be a new post). Yelling at her doesn’t help. It only tells her that Mom will yell if I don’t bring it home. It won’t motivate her to actually bring it home.
Finally, be determined. You’ve relapsed before and you’ve succeeded before. So, there is always hope!
There was a small part of me that didn’t want to write this post- a part that wanted to keep it quiet and sweep it under the rug of ignorance. But, I couldn’t bring myself to do it. If I have triumphed, I am ready to share it with the world. The same goes for my defeats: I must share those as well.
For, without the two, there can never be progress, on the personal path that we have chalked out for ourselves. And, if I can learn from this defeat, to rise on to determination and decide that this is worth doing, I’m sure that when I look back, I will be the happier for having shared my story.