When All You Want to Do is Yell

My next goal in life is to be a book author and speaker. Just typing those words right now I almost laugh out loud as I battle my dominant inner voice that says, “Yeah right, when in the world are you going to write a book? And, “What could you speak to people about? You’re not an expert in anything!”

Holding the space for the desire for now. I guess technically I have enough material that swims through my head daily and can be found on this web site to write a book.

But when I imagine myself speaking and try to drum up my inspiring presentation topic, the only thing I can come up with right now is, “Attachment Mama’s 101 Ways to Unravel as a new Parent” or “Attachment Parenting, Full-Time Work and Self-Care? Best of Luck!”  Not that inspiring!

Today is one of those Mondays where I really would love the social freedom to stand in the middle of the street, on top of my desk at Whole Foods and in the middle of a meditation or yoga class (yes, all three) and yell at the top of my lungs.

Yes. I would find that enormously satisfying. And then after I let go of each of those yowls, I would like to be transported instantly to Colorado where I could hike for three hours to the top of a mountain and yell some more.

I could go into my personal sob story on why self-care feels utterly impossible to me and how challenging my personal juggling act is and how I’m running on empty consistently. But I feel totally lame doing that because I know every mother has her own version of spinning plates. And not to mention single mothers out there that are doing all of it without any help!  And, worse than that, there are mothers who are dealing with a lot more than figuring out how to stay sane while feeling over-extended.

Most the time at work, I keep to myself because I have 1800 (feels like) projects to manage and can’t afford to get distracted by small talk.  For the same reason, I rarely if ever get on the phone any more with my girl friends.  I’m sure I come across as unfriendly at work and lame to my friends, and that sucks.  I’m working on figuring it all out…

So last week I decided to reach out to a woman at work that I had secretly labeled “rough around the edges.”

I asked questions about her job, her expertise on certain products and then noticed a picture of a teenage boy on her shelf.  So I asked if it were her son.  She said, “Yes.”

I then asked how old he was.

She said, “He was 14 in that picture, but he was 23 when he died.”

I quite literally started crying on the spot as I told her how sorry I was.

She went on to say through her own tears that if I’ve overheard her being short with people on the phone that even though it’s been three years, she still has trouble coping and being present in the world.  Good Lord, of course.

Can anyone imagine anything worse to have to live with every day?

When I then think about the work-house-children-childcare-diet-marriage-no exercise rut that I’m in, I think, Thank Your LUCKY stars for the health and well-being of your children and husband, for your health, and for your job.

Now, just because I know that other women are facing life challenges far, far, far bigger and deeper than mine — I still believe that we all have feelings of frustration that come up that we need to process and allow to move through us so that our emotions don’t come out sideways if you know what I mean.

According to Carrie Contey, when you feel like upping the volume with your frustration about something related to your children — do it!  It’s healthy and normal to express frustration and anger. But here’s the trick.  Don’t unleash ON them.  She recommends letting the emotions flow UP and out of you and avoid scaring or shaming them directly.

So, instead of yelling at their little faces about whatever they’re doing in the moment that’s driving you crazy, tilt your head up and yell at the ceiling or the sky with “I” exclamations.  “I’M SO FRUSTRATED!!!”  or “HITTING HURTS PEOPLE and I WANT IT TO STOP!!”  or “THIS IS NOT OK WITH ME!!!”

And then our Littles can learn that feeling and expressing emotions like anger is normal and parents feel them too — but they’re not put in a place of being traumatized by it.

I think the greatest possible gift for our children would be to grow up witnessing and experiencing their parents expressing frustration, anger, and disappointment and modeling how to get to the other side to resolve issues and support each others feelings in the process.

My husband and I hold the vision for it every day and we’ll continue to practice until we get there.

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3 Responses to “When All You Want to Do is Yell”

  1. Mom says:

    Once again, you have spoken from the heart about issues we all deal with every day. How sad for the woman who lost her son, and how wonderful that you reached out to her.

  2. maybe one day, next door to the yoga class, you can hold a yelling class… 🙂

    i worked w/a very cool woman years ago who led retreats that included “vocal workshops” = yelling “appropriately”. she said that lots of women couldn’t do it at first, but after a couple of days they were quite transformed. 🙂

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