This didn't happen overnight. When I had my son I never yelled at him- he was the only one so I had had time to work with him on his behavior and had time to give myself breaks when I felt overwhelmed. Baby number two came and my son was in his terrible twos so I had my moments of losing it a bit- nothing grates a mom's nerves more than trying to console a screaming baby while a toddler is ranting and raving about nonsense. Baby number three came and while she was a little darling, my two older kids decided that they just loved to fight with each other about anything and everything. What is a breastfeeding mom who is stuck on the couch nursing a baby to do when a fight breaks out but to try and yell louder than the fighting kids?
Now I feel like the only thing I do all day is yell. I hate yelling. I think parents sound ridiculous when they scream at their kids but alas I have turned into a ridiculous parent. I can see my attitude rubbing off on my three year old daughter who is a little girl who doesn't take crap from anyone and I am embarrassed that she is learning her behavior from me. I have to send her to school someday and I don't want my little diva to be kicked out of preschool for being the baddest babe on the block.
For the good of my kids and for the good of myself I am going to challenge myself to not yell at all for the next week (though I will still allow myself to yell at the dog if he barks and wakes the baby up from her nap because she barely sleeps as it is). I don't want my kids to look back and remember their childhood as dealing with a raving lunatic of a mother and I want them to be able to model their behavior after me. When (not if) they don't listen or misbehave I will talk to them about what they did; maybe the kill them with kindness approach will work and my kids will turn into lovely little people. Maybe they will even stop fighting and trying to annihilate each other but I won't hold my breath on that one. And if they are still little monsters I still have little Jilly Billy who I can try and not screw up...