March 6, 2012 by Gina
Sometimes…I yell at my kids. I’m not proud of it and let’s be honest, if I’m yelling at my kids, it’s usually the almost-3 year old. I know in my head and in my heart that yelling at my son is not a good idea and really doesn’t get him or I anywhere. Yet, when Finn is in the middle of a 60-minute meltdown and I can’t get him to calm down no matter what I’ve done or haven’t done, I sometimes lose my cool. It’s embarrassing and I feel guilty and like the worst mother in the entire world afterward. I also know that this is normal – no parent can be a bastion of strength and calmness all the time (deep breath).
Finn is a very spirited and independent boy. I know these traits will serve him well as he grows into a boy and a man. I want him to make his own choices, be spontaneous, be strong-willed and be a leader. I just don’t want him to use those same traits as a 2-year-old who refuses to have his poopy diaper changed (unfortunately for all of us, he shows no desire to be potty trained). I will be able to smell Finn from across the room, ask him or tell him that it’s time to have his diaper changed and usually be met with a definitive “NO”. During these moments, I’ve tried everything – silliness, playfulness, discussion, rationalizing, stern words, consequences, counting to three – you get the idea. Sometimes one of these tactics works and we successfully have a diaper change without any problem. Other times, a major meltdown comes out of nowhere and I either remain calm and let him work through it or blow my top and yell at him to lay down and change his diaper. At the point we finally get a fresh, clean diaper on, his butt is a flaming mess because he has ultra sensitive skin and then another meltdown occurs because it hurts to wipe the poop from his butt.
I am just using this changing diaper situation as a scenario in which I’ve lost it and yelled at Finn. It is usually over these mundane, everyday tasks that my own meltdown of sorts occurs. Most days, I handle the tantrums and mood changes of an independent two-year old with all the tricks a professional mother has in her bag and it’s no big deal. But sometimes, I can’t take it and I’ll slip up and yell at my son. My husband and I have discussed this on many occasions and try to come up with ways to channel Finn’s energy and wilfulness. It’s a challenge and parenting is a really tough job every single day. I know that most days Finn and Getty are getting the best mother and father for them. Some days, mistakes are made, even in parenting and I apologize and move forward. I love my boys more than anything and I hope they will always know that at their very core. They are loved…even if their mom sometimes has a bad day too.