The temptation is there, folks. Oh, is it ever there! School has been in session for a short bit, and there are so many new opportunities to say “yes.” And many parents, me included, are tempted to say “yes” to everything.
- “Yes” to being class parent.
- “Yes” to helping with the fundraiser.
- “Yes” to this and that play date or activity.
- “Yes” to making creative lunches.
- “Yes” to baking cute snacks for school functions.
- “Yes” to organizing the neighborhood party.
But I can’t. I mean, technically I could. But if I want to keep on yelling less and loving more, I just can’t.
Is Being Over-Busy a Yelling Trigger for You, Too?
Recognize it. Being over-busy wasn’t an easy yelling trigger for me to spot, even though it’s actually one of my strongest! When I started taking notes about when and why I yelled, I eventually saw how saying “yes” too much left me feeling overwhelmed, overtired and overstretched. Doing too much was not only making my life way harder, but it was also truly, truly leading to significantly more yelling.
Own it. It was especially hard for me to admit to this trigger because I enjoyed doing the things I said “yes” to, and I didn’t want to have to say “no.” When I finally acknowledged having an overfull plate was a trigger, I felt a little sad, a little disappointed even. I liked trying to do it all! I liked pushing myself to see what I could achieve. I liked being a class parent, helping with fundraisers, and making cupcakes with ducks on top. But I didn’t like yelling at my kids. And the feelings of sadness and disappointment I experienced every time I yelled trumped the feelings of sadness and disappointment I had from admitting my trigger.
Work at it. Every day. I now say “no” to many things, but I still have to work hard at it. To manage this trigger, I have to stop and remind myself daily that, “an overwhelmed me is a yelling me.” Every day I tell myself, “I can only do what I can do, and that is okay!” That saying “no” to one more thing doesn’t make me a bad mother, friend, or wife. It doesn’t make me a failure. It can also help to keep in mind that choosing to say “no” can actually help you succeed in being a better parent, friend, spouse or partner.
Find the upside. Every day, I remind myself that saying “no” more brings out the best “me” in me. What does it do for you? I find that I am more relaxed, less overwhelmed and therefore better able to enjoy my kids. I am happier and more open to experiencing moments as they are happening. I am able to love more and yell less, and that makes managing this trigger worth all of the daily hard work!