Turns out I’m a yelling mom.
After decades of praying for a child, I was blessed to become a step-mom and later adopt a little guy who is better known in my circles as PhD, Phat Dawgs, Phat Diggity, Bugga-so or Kambell.
Through all those decades of fertility treatments and adoption missteps, I had plenty of time to plot the kind of mother I was going to be when my chance came. I wanted to be a singing, cookie baking, wipe your tears, and tell a joke, type of mom. One who was firm in discipline, but quick with hugs and praise. I figured the older I got, the more likely I would be to make time for praying and playing. I would be patient and kind.
Over the holidays, my mother-in-law told me I yell too much. Across the land, all the ladies collectively sucked in their breath in solidarity with me….
I know, I know. My. Mother-In-Law. Told. Me. I. Yell. Too. Much.
Emily’s reaction?!?!?! ***Insert bad word here.***
Once I said my bad words, I thought about that assessment and I went to the Lord in prayer. I prayed for a calm spirit and a still tongue, for revelation of my sins, for guidance towards change. Immediately verses began to come to me.
“How many are my iniquities and sins? Make known to me my rebellion and my sin.” Job 13:23
“Let us examine and probe our ways…and let us return to the Lord.” Lamentation 3:40
“But each one must examine his own work, and then he will have reason for boasting in regard to himself alone and not in regard to another.” Galatians 6:4
It’s never easy hearing criticism about ourselves. It’s not any easier to assess that criticism in order to make ourselves our best self. While we are far from perfect, as Christians, we are called to walk with the perfect one, Jesus Christ. That walk would be incomplete without self-assessment.
Through prayer and reflection, I determined that I do yell often. I yell in praise and excitement. I yell in disappointment and discipline. I yell a lot. The question is how does that impact my kid? Does he care how much I yell? Am I influencing the adult he will become because of my yelling?
Turns out he loves my exuberance when yelling for home runs, perfectly in the line colored pages, and good grades. Also turns out, he does not like the discipline yelling. Not because he thinks I yell too much, but because he’s disappointed in himself for getting in trouble.
I’m comfortable with my positive yelling. I’m not so comfortable with the screeching-disciple yelling. I’m going to do my best to change that yelling. Starting today…less yelling as a form of discipline.
Yelling was not part of my plan.
And yet. Here I am. The yelling mom.