Thursday, February 18, 2010

Giving Up...

Lots of little things here.  As a family, we're giving up the television (as soon as the Olympics are over), and we're giving up desserts and sweet snacks. The grown-ups here (all two of us) are following the traditional fast, eating only enough at two meals to equal the main meal and meat only once a day, except, of course, for Fridays, which are always meatless.

I'm giving up coffee (Saints preserve me!) and am committing to fifteen minutes of exercise every morning sometime before 10 am (because I really hate to exercise...).  Also, I'm trying to get in more spiritual reading (should be easy once the Olympics are over, I'm thinking.)  and I'm trying (trying, trying, trying) to practice  the habit -- the beautiful, charitable, lilting virtue -- of a kindly-modulated voice.
in short,
I yell too much, folks.


 I admit it.  And I hope this doesn't come as a shock or disappointment to anyone who doesn't know the real Lisa-at-home-warts-and-all, but I'm afraid I'm more a loud mama than a dulcet-toned one. =sigh= 

Hi.  My name is Lisa and I'm a yeller.

  It's a habit. A bad one.  And it's a hard one to break after twenty years now of raising my voice to:  1) be heard over the din, 2) break into the apparently sound-proof worlds of toddlers and teenagers, 3) make good and sure everyone knows when I'm frustrated irritated angry mad.

But, I'm giving it up for Lent.  Seems like a goodly goal, doesn't it.  But we're -- what?  two days into Lent now?  And I've only hollared at the children, um, let's see...  two three  five or six times?  =sighing again=

It's gonna take some time, I think.  I'm only just at the "catching-myself-after-the-fact" stage right now.  But I'm working on it.

Thing is I really handicapped myself, giving up coffee, too. It's going to be a challenge this Lent. But I'm not giving up.  It'll be worth it in the long run.  One step at a time.  One bitten tongue at a time.

Prayers needed here.  

What are you doing for Lent?


Anne P. said...

Lisa, My name is Anne, and I am a yeller! But, for some reason, lately, and I think it's just because I am too dang tired, I have been better about it..I just don't think I have the energy to yell anymore! HA! But, that really is my worst habit..that, and repeating myself to the children..telling them more than once to do something..yeah..they are not loving life right now with a huge preggo Mama during Lent!

Laura said...

I am not a yeller but I am very sarcastic...yelling is more honest.
Workin' on it.
Great post.

Annemary said...

I too am working on the yelling thing and the tone of voice thing as well. I feel like it's my biggest failing as a parent. It's certainly not what I would want to hear. Trying to remember that the kindest word is the unkind word unspoken.

I've given up chocolate as well but coffee??? For the good of my family and harmony in the home (you know, that yelling thing!)I will continue to have my early morning cup and I will say a prayer for you.

God bless you on your Lenten journey.

becky said...

Too funny, Lisa: your Lenten mortifications are EXACTLY the same as my family's and mine. How uncanny...or is it just that we all have too many sweets and coffee, not enough time with God, and yell too much? Either way, I am also resolved to unseat my worst habit..and you hit it on the head when you said you have to be heard above the din, and vie for attention. Any ideas of how you can achieve that without raising your voice? I considered a whistle, but hey, I would constantly lose it, and it seems just too "Captainish--Sound of Music-like. I used to be quite soft-spoken, but with 6 kids now I feel more like Ma Kettle. You mentioned to me before that you have some "calming techniques" for keeping to share those now?
BTW: I was relieved to hear that so many other moms struggle with yelling...the world at large, with avg 2 kids, doesn't seem to struggle with this, and I sometimes think it is only me.

Abbey said...

Only 20 years of yelling??? That's child's play.... you can do this! I've pledged to give up worrying and complaining ... I've already taken ONE step forward and THREE steps back ... Loving Father, please help me!

Bia said...

now here's the thing: if you give up coffee, then the yelling is a given.

that's all i'm saying:0)

Sarah - Kala said...

I'm a name-caller. Ooops! I better work on that.

I'm trying to not complain. Hence, keeping coffee in my diet.

I'm praying a daily Stations of the Cross. Trying to, that is.

MightyMom said...

a yeller huh?

I KNEW you were my kindred spirit!!

ayup. I yell. much more than I used to for sure. what I HATE is when I yell out of reflex...only to find that the kid is actually doing something GOOD....sigh.

For the record, I've found clapping my hands sharply 2 times - or with the syllables of the name I'm wanting to scream.... (clap on, clap off.) {or snapping if the situation con't handle the clapping} gets their attention so that I can then speak *more* normally....

Wendy said...

I've been thinking about the tone of voice issue these days, too. And, like you, I seem to catch myself after the fact.

It always hits me the hardest when I hear my preschoolers repeating something in my same tone of voice (something like, "how many times do I have to ask you ...?") I can't let them get away with the disrespect and then I catch myself realizing that maybe I'm not treating them with parental respect either.

If it were easy, I wouldn't have to struggle with it and I wouldn't have to keep coming to God to ask for His assistance. In that sense, it keeps me humble. But, I still hope my kids don't remember me with an ever-exasperated tone of voice.