My reasons are not what you might think. He works outside the home. I work within it (double duty, really. Childcare all day, and my freelance work all night). I am with the kids 24/7. I am wiping their butts, playing endless games of Candyland Bingo, schlepping them and their massive amounts of gear here, there, and everywhere, and scraping their tossed and pulverized Cheerios off the floor All.Day.Long. I am entitled to losing my shit with them every once and awhile.
He, however, sees them for less than two hours a day during the week. It should be sunshine, rainbows, and puppies when Daddy's around. Only one of us is entitled to being strung out and exhausted with the kids, and it ain't the guy who just enjoyed a blissful 30-minute whine-and-tantrum-free commute home, in which he wasn't forced to listen to "The Wheels on the Bus" for the 4, 457,286th time.
Truth be told, I'm not a yeller. I will swear aloud (not at the kids). I will walk out of the room to escape the screaming, yelling, fighting, or whining that's pushing my buttons. But I think I can count on one hand the number of times I've yelled (more than just raised my voice) at Isabella. I'm more a fan of the stare of death. One look can almost always get Isabella to do whatever it is she's protesting. Either that, or I freeze her out and ignore her. Behavior modification at its finest, people! Are you taking notes?
But on the rare occasion when I have raised my voice, I can't say I've felt that guilty about it. Apparently, I'm in the minority.
A few months ago (yes, that's how far behind I am in blogging about news stories I've read), I came across this NYT article. The article describes a survey of 1,300 parents, in which respondents were asked the main source of parental guilt. Two-thirds of them named yelling as their biggest guilt-inducer.
Okay, so parents feel guilty when they yell at their kids. Really guilty, apparently. That's not so shocking. In the era of mommy guilt that flows forth from just about every parental choice (from working outside the home to nursing versus formula-feeding, to tv or not-to-tv), I don't believe it's shocking to find that parents feel badly when they yell at their kids. Many feel like backing over themselves with their car when they forget to send their children to school with a hat on a 40-degree day.
But what irked me about this article is this quote: “Parental yelling today may be partly a releasing of stress for multitasking, overachieving adults, parenting experts say.”
Come on. Seriously? Do we really need this kind of anvil thrown at us?
Reading between the lines, this line of bull really means that parents are less patient with their kids because they're working (or maybe working too hard). We're trying to do too much, all at once, and our kids are suffering.
I will admit to being even less patient when I'm on a deadline. When the work is piling up, the hubs is due home late, and my kids aren't napping in the afternoon, a period that sometimes allows me a little time to work, I am more prone to snapping at them.
But give me a break. Even if I wasn't working, or if the hubs and I were Trump-esque in our lifestyle and bank accounts and didn't need to work for a living, we would still lose our patience with our kids once and awhile and yell at them. We aren't spanking them. We aren't locking them in their closets with only a handful of Baby Mum-Mums and a sippy cup full of water for hours on end.
So guess what? I don't think there's anything wrong with us occasionally raising our voices when the situation warrants it.
I don't feel guilty when I yell.