Hi, my name is T. & I am a screamer

3 Jun

There. I said it.

A few days ago I came across a post which made me cry. I don’t know if it was me (definitely me) but as I kept on reading I felt more and more horrible. Horrible for being able to relate, horrible for EXACTLY knowing what she meant when she said she saw the fear in the eyes of her child. JUST HORRIBLE.

I promised myself I would change.

15 Minutes later Iliana came to me and whined for the 358th time and I lost it. I screamed at her that I can’t take any more of her whining. WOW. The promise to myself lasted 15 fucking minutes. I should get a medal for that. Don’t you think?

The failing-to-be-the-perfect-mom guilt kicked in. Again.

Am I slowly turning into my father? He was the screamer in our family. My mom was the calm, the patient, the loving. My dad screamed. Not often but when he did he screamed like there was no tomorrow. I still remember it to this day. I remember I used to tell my mom that he scared me when he screamed and that I would NEVER do it. Funny (definitely not the appropriate word), how life turns out.

You see, I know the theory all too well. I have even read a whole book about being a scream free parent and I still think it belongs to one of the best parenting books I have read so far. But there are (sleep deprived) days that I feel I can’t deal with anything. I say something once, twice, three times and my children keep ignoring me. I know what I am supposed to do and what works with Yianni & what works with Iliana. Still, I lose my patience and what do I do? I scream. And what happens next? They obey. Out of fear. Total loss of communication. TOTAL FAILURE.

It breaks my heart. EVERY TIME.

I then ask them not to talk to me for a while. I stare at the wall, trying to comprehend what just happened to make me lose control. Sometimes I stay angry. Sometimes I cry. Sometimes I just keep staring at the wall.

Yiannis knows better not to approach me in the following 10 minutes. Iliana on the other hand, waits for a few minutes to pass, checks for a window of opportunity and when she sees the sorrow taking over the anger she approaches me cautiously.

Mami, hast du dich beruhigt?  = Mom, did you calm yourself down?

It breaks my heart all over again.

I apologize and hug them and try explaining the unexplainable. And each time my kids tell me, it’s OK mom. It’s NOT OK though. It sucks.

Then I remember my blogger friend Jane’s words who embraces imperfection and accepts the challenges that parenting brings upon us.

At the end of that horrible day I feel less of a perfect mom and more of an imperfect, normal human being bound to make mistakes. I forgive myself. I give myself some credit. I usually end the day with a glass of a wine and a consolidating self talk: At least I don’t….them (I will leave it up to your imagination to fill in the blanks). I take a deep breath and promise myself that I will do it better tomorrow. At least I will fucking TRY.

love,

until next time

tatu

p.s. I am thinking of creating an A.S.(anonymous screamers) group, would you care to join me??

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23 Responses to “Hi, my name is T. & I am a screamer”

  1. memyselfandkids.com June 3, 2013 at 9:54 pm #

    Wise words from that blogger.
    Recognizing & accepting imperfections is good for us & is a step in overcoming or at least dealing w/them.
    So, chill out, hug your children & do the best you can.

  2. expatsincebirth June 3, 2013 at 10:29 pm #

    Hi, I could have written this… I’m usually very patient – that’s what others say – but I’m not. I do loose it from time to time and, sometimes more often that I think is good for me and especially for my kids. I also never wanted to become like my mum: and now I do exactly what she did. – I can so relate, Tatu, and I don’t have an answer or “the” solution to this. I did try all sorts of techniques (the breathing (but there is never really time to do that in “those” moments!), the counting, the imagining myself in a bubble (like nothing can make me angry or upset)) and I’m still looking for the right way for me to recognize the triggers on time and act in a way that I don’t feel guilty and ashamed afterwards. – I think you’re doing a good job. We’re doing all a good job. Like memyselfandkids says: we’re doing the best we can. But if anyone has the perfect solution not to scream to our kids in high-tense-situations: please speak up! 😉

    • wonderlandbytatu June 10, 2013 at 6:23 am #

      I did try all sorts of things as well and they worked for a few times and then I was back to black. The only thing that does work from time to time is me walking away. This way I can guarantee I won’t say anything that I will regret later on. Thank you for being honest, it makes me feel more ‘normal’ xxx

  3. Elina Zambounis June 4, 2013 at 12:06 am #

    Definitely count me in on your A.S group!
    You will be so happy and relieved to find out that there are other moms that can scream even louder than you can!!!
    ; )

    P.S: by the way, I grew up in a home where both my parents would scream and impose terror on me on a regular basis…what were the chances of me becoming the calm and patient parent that those books suggest?
    Still I do recognize that considering my upbringing, my parental stereotypes and my conditioning to tension and authoritarian parenting, I do manage pretty well as a mom…
    That said, I don’t mean of course to brag about my parenting skills, or my level of enlightenment, I just want to give you another view of how our children could benefit from our human, imperfect nature.
    Being a parent nowadays, I do value the work I had to do with myself in order to minimize the repertoire of my familiy’s patterns.
    What would there be left for me to surmount had they been perfectly loving and tender?

    So whenever you scream to your children, (which of course I don’t recommend, nor do I think is EVER necessary) always think that besides all the negative feelings that you may be creating to both you and them, you are also giving them a good chance for them to become even better than you are, of them being able to reach you and overcome your own parenting abilities, that is…
    The value of that should never be neglected. ; )

    Love you (and sorry I never managed to reply to your SMS…)

    • wonderlandbytatu June 4, 2013 at 6:33 pm #

      no worries (about the sms).
      Parenting is hard. It is frustrating and it is beautiful. But it is DAMN HARD & the thing is my children should know that I struggled. Why show them something fake? Something unrealistic.
      Life is not easy anyway.
      Thank you for your heartfelt & honest thoughts. I truly appreciate them. xxx

  4. meditatingmummy June 4, 2013 at 1:08 am #

    Oh T, don’t feel too badly. We all do it, scream, raise our voices, yell a little and really… upon the fifth or sixth time of pretending you can’t hear or ignoring your mum, means you have to get their attention one way or the other. I switch off sometimes and pretend I can’t hear when they ask me a question, they say… “mum, can you not hear us?” and what do i say… no, I can, I’m just doing it to let you know… if you don’t listen to me, I can’t hear you. It has to work both ways. A crazy method if you will, it works sometimes, it doesn’t work other times. I have one child who follows rules and other looking to break the rules. I can’t ever talk at her, I have to find other means and ways. It is exhausting. I’m hoping Summer holidays will calm things down. It has made me relax a little, we are on our first day and we went into our backyard, pretended we were in Paris and had a picnic. We love to travel, so it was fun. I had got them a kite, so after our picnic, we played a little and now they are watching t.v. I don’t feel guilty after a whole school year of limiting technology to the weekends. They are allowed to relax a little.
    You are a wonderful mum, you are doing your best for them every single day. That is all that matters. Many hugs.
    xxx

    • wonderlandbytatu June 4, 2013 at 6:27 pm #

      Of course you shouldn’t feel guilty about letting them enjoy some TV. You know, everyone has such high expectations of us parents. We shouldn’t do that, we must do that, this parenting thing is sooooo demanding.
      Your Parisian picnic sounds like fun! Could I send you my kids over next time?? (I wish).
      Thank you my friend for always having the perfect thing to say to make me feel better! xxx

  5. Gina June 4, 2013 at 7:40 am #

    Count me in too. Elina is right. You cannot imagine how many of us feel the EXACT SAME THING. I can tell you something worse: I notice my exact behaviour on my daghter when she plays with her brother..and that Tatu mou, is totally disappointing. I also read this article you mentioned and I also promised I would try not to do it. I think it didn t last more than 1 hour..I feel constantly like I am the worst mom of all, amking my kids afraid and unhappy since all they see of me is a sad screaming mom…

    • wonderlandbytatu June 4, 2013 at 6:21 pm #

      On bad days yes, it feels like we are the worst moms . Let’s be realistic though, we are still doing the BEST we can and sometimes it’s enough and sometimes it ain’t. Letting go of the mommy guilt is of utmost importance, I try to constantly remind myself of that. And you know what else? YOU ARE NOT ALONE. This should count for something, right? xxx

  6. sakuraandme June 4, 2013 at 7:48 am #

    Hey T. First a huge hug from me to you! 🙂
    I’m about to post a post about looking after my nephews. Although I talk about spending quality time with our kids, I also know the realities of bringing up small children. You WILL have days that you scream and feel your world is falling apart. Then you will have the days when they are asleep and you long for them to wake up and be with you. Parenting is a thankless job. You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t!
    Don’t be so hard on yourself. Kids are forgiving and all they care about at the end of the day…is you!! You are their world…you are there night and day! 🙂 Again I hug you…..Paula xxxxxoooo

    • wonderlandbytatu June 4, 2013 at 6:18 pm #

      First of all thank you for the hug. A hug ALWAYS helps!
      Such a nice thing to say, I will try to keep it in mind, thank you lovely Paula xxx

  7. Anka June 5, 2013 at 5:08 am #

    Sign me up, Tatu! I also have a problem with screaming and losing it with my children. Like you, I saw this behavior modeled by my father. But, what’s a mom to do? Parenting is HARD and NO ONE is perfect. Perhaps blogging is more beneficial than we realize. It’s such a wonderful outlet. It helps me decompress during me weak moments.

    Hang in there girl. We’ve all been there, done that!

    • wonderlandbytatu June 10, 2013 at 6:25 am #

      I hear you. Blogging is cleansing!
      Thank you for your encouraging words and thoughts! xxx

  8. Ice Beautiful June 7, 2013 at 1:01 pm #

    I would definitely join AS – I can relate so much. Every time I say “never ever again” and the next think I find myself seaming because it look that just screaming works. But also sometimes when I dare to be totally honest with myself I confess that there are more reasons for my screaming than just a whining kid – there is always something more that is “eating” me. I am not happy with my life in general? Maybe.

    • wonderlandbytatu June 9, 2013 at 6:11 pm #

      exactly how I see it. The kids are kids and behave like kids. We should be the ones that keep our cool, only when we have 13,000 other things on our minds we get carried away…

  9. penneyfox August 3, 2013 at 3:14 pm #

    I read the post you linked to in MSN. At the very end, the writer links to the Orange Rhino challenge. It’s like the whole thing comes back to her. If you have some time today, read some of her posts. They really help pull things in perspective.

    • wonderlandbytatu August 3, 2013 at 3:30 pm #

      I already did this morning after you linked us to her site. I can’t believe she has managed to stay ‘clean’ 😉 for a year and a half, it seems almost impossible to me (not for her, but for myself)I think one has to start with baby steps. Have you read the scream free parenting book by Hal Edward Runkel? If not, I urge you to get a copy and read it, it is truly great (and realistic).

      • penneyfox August 5, 2013 at 2:56 am #

        It’s pretty amazing how she can do this for so long with all those small boys. I have one boy and that’s more than enough for me. I’ll have to check out that book and add it to my book list. And yeah, I totally agree … baby steps. And just making those small changes can be so hard.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The Authoritative New Parents’ Guide to Sex After Children, Redux | Nothing By The Book - June 4, 2013

    […] so sorry, babe. (But you know there are toys, right?) Go visit Wonderland by Tatu and read Hi, my name is T. & I am a screamer. Get your mind out of the gutter! Not everything’s about sex–she’s talking about […]

  2. you think they forget | wonderland by tatu - June 7, 2013

    […] reason that I feel an enormous amount of guild when I lose my patience and misbehave is that Yiannis is old enough to remember. The good times and the nasty times.  The only thing I […]

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