Why I started this blog…

into the fog

Anyone stopping here anytime soon may notice there are only a handful of posts.  That’s because this is a brand-spankin-new blog.  I’ve been wanting to write more and toyed with a variety of ideas, and settled on creating a blog.  A public place where I can open up and share my thoughts, feelings etc.

Since I have shared, and plan to share, some things that are very person I’ve decided to use alias.  The main reason comes down to fear.  I’m not afraid of internet trolls, stalkers, or hostile comments.  I’m afraid a family member, or two, will somehow come across my writings and feel hurt.  When I write here I want to be open and honest.  But I know some of the things I have shared, and plan to share, could hurt my family.  Specifically, my mother.  She has such low self-esteem and is extremely critical of herself.

For example, I’ve observed when one of my siblings was forthright with my mom (possibly over an offensive statement she made about a group of people), she became dismissive and then, shortly afterward, shut herself in her bedroom and did not interact with any of us for a great length of time…days.  Which I found offensive because I had spent a lot of money on a flight to visit her.  Then later (even years later) she will reference the event in negative tones and words toward herself and/or the accused.  This is an all too familiar cycle.

So, yes, my writing here, under alias’, is based out of a fear of hurting others.  Or, more appropriately, I don’t want my fear to stifle my writing right now.  Therefore I am choosing to hide in order to feel free.  A little backwards, but I am optimistic better writing will come of it.  I love and care so much for my family and I don’t want to hurt them in any way.

As I am writing this I realize there is a completely different perspective here.  I could see this decision to keep my anonymity is based on fear of hurting others.  Or the complete opposite.  My decision is based out of love and concern for how others will feel.  And, that’s okay.

I’m excited to share the feelings in my heart and the busyness that occupies my mind.  Hopefully, it will be coherent.  Hopefully, I will come to understand myself even more.  And my greatest joy would be to connect with other kindred spirits on this crazy journey of life.

The Anti-Yelling Challenge

Mississippi

About a month ago I was talking to Bradley, my husband, about my mommy-guilt. Bedtime at my house can be atrocious sometimes almost always. I’ve been at this for over 7 years, but most nights feel like an alien invasion: complete chaos and confusion. No matter how many times these kids go to bed. I digress. Bradley and I were talking about ways I could overcome my mommy-guilt. And, I really, REALLY wanted to stop yelling. Yelling didn’t do any good, it scared my kids, it made them cry, they often got ready slower, and I felt terribly guilty every.single.night. It felt like Groundhog Day. Why couldn’t I figure it out? How impossible is it to get it right?

So Bradley and I talked about what would motivate me to stop yelling. I knew I should stop, but I needed something big to help get me motivated. After brainstorming a few ideas I decided to reward myself with money toward a trip I wanted to take to visit some friends in Europe. The deal was every 5 days of not yelling I could put $100 toward the trip. But I had to make it 5 days straight to get the $100. That was the beginning of February. It has been a month.

I have had many ups and downs. But the ups are longer and the downs are getting shorter. It is slowly improving. My kids seem happier. I know I’m happier.

One day, early on, my kids were pushing my buttons and I felt myself starting to boil inside. I stopped what we were doing and I told them I was working really hard to not yell. We talked about how we all feel when I yell at them. I explained that I don’t like yelling and I am learning and working really hard to stop.

Now when I feel the anger brewing inside I stop and get their attention. I tell them I feel very frustrated and I feel like I am going to yell at them. We talk about what we can do to defuse the situation. Or sometimes I ask one child to take a break in another room (or all of them :)). It’s been amazing how much it helps to have their support. My 7 year old daughter will work really hard to help her younger brothers make good choices too. It’s not perfect, but I was surprised how much it helps having them on my team. They want me to succeed at this too!