I am far from perfect. I probably border on majorly flawed. I know yelling at your children is ineffective, shouting doesn't get the point across, and screaming actually has an adverse effect. I get all of that. Like I said, though, I'm not perfect. I often lose my cool, have a difficult time controlling my temper, and even say things I immediately regret. I constantly rue my actions and try to do better. I know that what my kids are really hearing when I yellis not positive, and for that I feel an immense amount of guilt.
My plan is to remain calm in all situations. I've read enough parenting books and scientific journals to know yelling at children isn't at all useful and, in fact, can have a negative effect. But I've also read extensive studies that suggest all healthy relationships have ups and downs, and as long as every negative interaction is followed by many positive interactions, there is no permanent damage to a relationship, or to the person on the receiving end of a negative exchange. Either way, yelling at my children always leaves me feeling sick to my stomach. I agonize over every word I said and every step I took. I replay the moment in my mind, analyzing what I could have done differently and how I could have handled the situation in a more understanding manner. It's the ultimate mom guilt.
But life is sticky and there is very little regard for family time in our society. Our society doesn't value mothers or their need for time off. Mothers are torn in every direction, with many trying to juggle full-time jobs, kids, and every other responsibility that falls on their shoulders. Mothers are exhausted, undervalued, and are expected to "do it all." It's no wonder I often lose my cool. Still, it's important to remember the following, because what my kid hears when I yell is rarely what I am trying to tell them.