Scream Free Parenting. I thought nobody would want to be on this show. After all who wants to admit they’re a screaming shrew of a mom, even if we all are. And the word screaming sounds so much worse than the word yelling. Yes I’m sure I would rather be known as a yeller than a screamer! Screaming just takes it up to another level.
Yet if I truly wish to confess, I’m probably more of a screamer than a yeller. And I’m willing to bet that the reason for that, is that now, after all these years, I’ve developed… (drum roll please!)…patience! Hard to believe, but yes, I’m willing to wait a bit before losing my cool.
At the same time, my kids are a little older and they don’t surprise me quite so much anymore. I rather expect a mess all around. I know when they eat, there will be a mass of dishes left all over the place. I know when they shop, there will be tags and bags flung far & wide. I know when they come home from school, there will be papers, water bottles and backpacks strewn. I know these things, because probably my yelling about it all has not made enough of an impact.
What has changed from my yelling days are that most of the kids can find their shoes everyday, no matter where they left them the night before. And they remember to put them on. And if it’s cold, they grab a jacket. And when they’re ready to go somewhere, they remember most of their stuff.
I know from my husband’s children, who marched boldly before our five, that they may not have been too neat in childhood, but when they found their own safe haven of a home, they began to pick up like pros!
And so I’m a bit more relaxed, a bit more patient. Does the mess make me crazy? Absolutely yes. But I live with it. I do what I can to brush it aside or clean it up. But even in my newfound patience, the tension builds one small incident at a time, for a long time, until…boom, I am not yelling, I am screaming.
I am screaming like I stumbled on a murder scene, or the house was collapsing or I’m trying to get out of a nightmare. I know there must be some words coming out of my mouth, but it’s mostly the screaming I hear. The kids take quick looks at each other and wordlessly and in seeming agreement scatter, but not before they grab whatever they would have casually left lying on the floor. No bodies are left. Except.
My husband’s eyes are saucer sized as though he’s surmising this happens with a high level of frequency and this is what he has to look forward to in retirement. He’s glued to his seat in what appears to be fear.
My blood curdling scream weakens as my vocal cords give out.
Wow. That felt good. I think I’m all better now. Ah-ha! On to the next task. Life is good. Of course, all the people standing in my way are now out of the way. We’ll see how long it takes before someone leaves their shoes by the couch and socks in the cracks of the couch…about 15 minutes, I’m sure.
The kids had a babysitter once who watched them while we were on a quick jaunt out of town. When they got too unruly (or messy) for her and she was probably at her wits end, she held a screaming contest! They all took turns and screamed as hard as they could. The kids all claim she won it! (Why am I not surprised?).
But I think she had a point. There are great tension reducing factors in a good, well timed scream. And I’ve found that I need one now and again. Kind of like a massage. With the same benefits. And like a massage, you don’t need one everyday, or even every week or month, a couple a year will do. And really, I think the kids kinda respect that.
Mom comes alive. For a few quick seconds, loud as they might be, I am not the Cinderella maid of the house, I am the commander. That sounds so good…I might start screaming more often.
Scream free parenting! Whatever that is, it’s not for me! I am momma, hear me roar. And if you don’t like it.
Clean up your mess!