Browsing Tag



Zoloft {Day 5}

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I met with a psychiatrist and I’m feeling hopeful!

It seemed like forever from the time when I made my appointment with a psychiatrist to the actual date of the appointment…

but it finally arrived and I met with a doctor last week.

I am happy to report that it went SO WELL. Read More »


The First Step

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Anxiety hits in different ways for different people.

Well, I finally went and did it–

I made an appointment with a psychiatrist.

After a few years of struggling to stop yelling at my kids, I am seeking help of the medicinal variety.

I already know that my husband is going to read this post and give me a hard time. Read More »


When You Want to Give Up

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Just one of those days…


“I am so f*cking sick of the cooking and cleaning and ungrateful children,” I texted my husband at 4:55 P.M.

A nice lil’ thought to leave him with as he made his 45-minute drive home from work.

Maybe it was a little overdramatic. Or maybe it wasn’t, since I say this type of thing pretty frequently.

And what had happened to cause this text? Nothing out of the ordinary– just the same stuff that happens every day.

The children misbehave.

They hang on my legs.

I don’t know what to make for dinner.

They won’t eat my dinner even if I do make one.

They make messes everywhere they go.

I have vacuumed 56,000 times already today. 

Why can’t someone invent some type of self-cleaning floor for underneath a kitchen table?!? Is that so much to ask for??

I want to sit down. WHY AM I ALWAYS STANDING UP?!?

As is my default, I yelled my way through bath time and getting pajamas on. I told my husband to cook his own dinner and then I escaped to my bedroom.

I laid on my bed for close to two hours, watching TV and playing on my phone. I pretended that I had no responsibility to get anyone to bed or read them stories.

I ghosted on my nightly mom duties.

But it didn’t feel as glorious as I had hoped.

I pretended to be asleep every time my husband came in the room because I was embarrassed by my behavior.

Unfortunately, I eventually realized that hiding in my room for the night wasn’t going to solve my problems, because even though I like to fantasize about running off to an island and having no children, that’s not going to happen.

I’m going to wake up in the morning and those three little monsters who drive me insane 75% of the time will still be there.

So I regrouped and made some battle plans.

The kids want to misbehave? I’m going to better about enforcing the rules.

They want to make messes? Then they will have to clean them up without me.

And they can start pulling some weight around here. WHY HAVEN’T I BEEN GIVING THEM CHORES UNTIL NOW?!?

With some tools to fight my feelings of helplessness, my mood improved enough for me to make the trip downstairs to eat some mini powdered donuts.

I know there will be more days where I want to give up, but I also know I’m not the only mom who goes through this.

Even just knowing that can make all the difference for me.


Practice Trigger Management {Orange Rhino Project}

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So now I know what my triggers are…but what do I do to address them?


Part of the Orange Rhino Project was to track the triggers that make me yell.

It’s not easy or fun to stop what you’re doing every time after you yell and write down exactly WHY you just yelled. Because most of the time, the reason is silly.

“Kids walking too slow in the parking lot.”

“Nate dropped something.” Read More »


The Orange Rhino Challenge: Days 6-12

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Why am I sucking so hard at this?!

Days Without Yelling Zero

Let’s just start with that graphic.

Zero days without yelling. Meaning I yelled today. And most of the other days.

Le sigh.

WHAT IS MY PROBLEM?! Well, I will tell you. Read More »

Parenting Problems/Tips

The Orange Rhino Challenge: Days 3, 4, & 5

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It’s not going all that great on Days 3, 4, and 5 of the Orange Rhino Challenge.

Yell Less Love More
Well, I yelled.

Day 3

I was caught off guard and it just slipped out. My sister called me on my cell phone just as we were walking in the door from being outside.

I shouldn’t have picked up the call, because everyone was hot and whiny and demanding of my attention…but I picked up anyway. Sure enough, my five-year-old started trying to talk to me while simultaneously pawing through my purse and removing my hand lotion.

As my daughter continued to have a conversation with me while I was clearly busy, I yelled “Be QUIET!” at her.

BOOM. Two day streak over. Just like that.

Thirty minutes later, I heard myself yelling at the dog. “GET OUT! Go in your CRATE!”

As it so happens, the activity for Day 3, “Get Your Kids to Help,” was to have the kids remind you of the challenge every time you are about to start yelling.

I told my three-year-old and five-year-old to say “orange rhino” to me when they think I’m going to yell. They also made pictures of orange rhinos and attached them to popsicle sticks to give me a visual cue.

(The orange rhino coloring page is available here.)

When my daughter heard me yelling at the dog, she looked over and held up the picture of the rhino she was coloring.

“Thank you, you’re right,” I told her. “I need to stop yelling.”

I decided to stop trying to do work while the kids obviously wanted to play. Instead, I closed up my laptop and paid some attention to them.

The rest of the day went fine, but I was bummed to have to set my counter back to zero.

Days 4 & 5

Confession: I didn’t read the chapters for Days 4 & 5 yet. I fell behind a little.

I definitely yelled on both Day 4 and day 5, so clearly my method of winging it isn’t working.

But there have been some positives.

My daughter is still using the rhinoceros sign and she says “Rhinoceros!” when she thinks I’m about to yell.

My response is always, “Thank you, Lilly!”

Having that system in place where someone catches me right before I’m about to yell is extremely effective.

My goal for today (Day 6) is to right now, as soon as I’m done writing this post, read Days 4, 5, and 6 and recommit to the challenge.

Read Days 1 & 2 here.

Days Without Yelling Zero

Parenting Problems/Tips

The Orange Rhino Challenge: Days 1 & 2

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My first two days doing The Orange Rhino Challenge went by quickly…but did I yell?


After a particularly bad night of screaming at my kids on Friday, I decided to embark on The Orange Rhino Challenge, as portrayed in the book Yell Less, Love More.

If you want to join in the challenge, it’s not hard (in theory). All you have to do is buy the book and devote 10-15 minutes a day to the challenge.

Each day there’s a new step or two to take, plus helpful hints and motivating words to help you stop yelling.

I like the fact that there’s just a short chapter to read and absorb each day. It seems like a small commitment to make in order to have a healthier, more peaceful household.

Day 1

I woke up at 5:00 A.M. on Saturday morning and couldn’t fall back asleep. I was still thinking about the night before and feeling guilty.

So I got out of bed, went down to my office, and wrote. I confessed my parenting sins to the blogosphere, hopeful that by making my declaration to stop yelling public, I would have to follow through.

Once I hit publish, I got to work on the challenge. I read “Day 1: Admit the Need to Change.”

I felt satisfied that I had fulfilled Day 1’s task by the blog post I wrote.

I was still worried that if I got angry, I might yell, though.

How would merely admitting the need to change make me not yell at my kids?

It must have had some effect on me, though, because I didn’t yell. All day. It was a miracle.

Even though it was 100 degrees outside and even though I burnt an entire rack of ribs on the grill and we had to have cereal and hot dogs for dinner and even though the kids did their normal spilling of drinks and hitting/biting each other, etc.

I just didn’t yell.

Sure, it could be that my husband being home helps take some pressure off, but honestly sometimes I’m more stressed when he’s around.

One of the tips suggested in the book was to pretend like you’re being filmed for a reality TV show.

Hello, I can definitely do that! Let’s pretend it’s a show called Real Housewives of Purcellville. (But does this mean I need to get dressed and wear makeup every day?!)

While I didn’t put that tip to use yesterday, I will try it during the week.

What I did do that seemed to help was to verbalize when I felt like I was getting close to yelling.

So if my son was being really whiny and I felt like my fuse was about to be set off, I would say, “Mommy is trying really hard not to yell, so I need you to help me out.”

Another thing that worked was just walking away. A few times during the day I just got up and went to my bedroom. I read my book for a few minutes or just took a breather.

Somehow it got to be 7:00, the kids’ bedtime. I had made it all day! Rather than risk ruining my perfect day in the last few minutes, I had my husband put them to bed.


Day 2

First I want to say that I was so touched by everyone’s kind words and warm reactions to my confession. It was really nice to feel supported by so many others.

The title of Day 2 is “Ask Others for Support,” about the importance of asking for help when you need it.

I got to work creating my personalized support network, lining up my husband as my “Pep Talker” and some of my friends as my “Texters” (the people who I’ll text when I have the urge to yell).

I also told my kids that I was done yelling at them and I needed them to help me.

Also, I want to clarify that when I say “yelling,” I don’t mean yelling at them to “Stop fighting!” or “Get out of the street!”

I am referring to the mean, ugly yelling where I am losing my temper and having an outburst. When I say things like “Why are you kids so awful?!” “Why can’t you EVER do what I tell you?!” at the top of my lungs and scare them to tears. That’s what I mean by yelling.

The times when you feel horrible guilt afterwards. If you’ve done it, you know what I’m talking about.

Anyways, Day 2 was a pretty calm day at our house.

We spent time riding bikes and walking the dog outside in the morning and in the afternoon I cleaned and organized (which always calms me).

I read an issue of Us Weekly and surprisingly stumbled on some parenting advice about yelling. Score!


In case you can’t read the small print, Julie Bowen (from Modern Family) says, “I read some article where Reese Witherspoon said, ‘If you’re not yelling at your kids, you’re not spending enough time with them.’ It made me feel so much better.”

See? Even Reese Witherspoon yells at her kids!

There were definitely a few instances where the kids almost put me over the edge, but I resisted the urge to yell. I think having a productive day for myself had an impact on my mindset and put me in a happier mood. Whatever works!

My goal for tomorrow is to read Day 3’s assignment right when I wake up so I can set the tone for the day. Today I waited until late afternoon to read it.

My other reminders: just walk away if I feel like I’m about to erupt, take time to relax during the day, and use my support network.

Cheers to two days without yelling!

Days Without Yelling

Parenting Problems/Tips

Rewinding the Clock

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I read something that made me stop and think. But was it too late to make a difference?

Rewinding the Clock

While my Facebook feed is usually filled with a barage of mindless posts designed to waste my time and keep me scrolling, occasionally there is a diamond in the rough.

Something that makes me think.

Last night it was this:

David Young quote

I only wish I had seen it an hour sooner.

Because now it was 7:45 and my kids were already asleep…too late to rewind the clock and take it back.

And boy did I feel like a piece of shit, asshole mom.

Instead of filling my children with good thoughts before they went to bed, I screamed at them for not putting their toys away. Like really screamed.

Enough to make them cry.

Then as an added part of their punishment for their room being a mess, I didn’t read them any books.

I let them go to bad sad, hurt, angry, and probably a whole host of other damaging emotions, just to get my point across that we keep our house tidy– that is THE RULE.

Let me add, my kids (the ones I was yelling at) are five and three. Are they even capable of cleaning up to my standards? I’d like to think yes, but maybe not.

So after putting them to bed in a flood of my rage and their tears, I went downstairs. I cleaned up some more and then found myself on Facebook.

The David Young quote didn’t pop up first in my newsfeed, but after a few minutes of browsing there it was.

Of course, my mom is the person who had posted it and of course I assumed it was directed at me, because moms know everything.

It hit me hard when I envisioned how the night could have gone instead of how it did go. And as always, I worried about the long-term damage that yelling has on kids.

I don’t want them to see me as a monster, but that’s how I act when I start yelling. It’s like someone has lit my fuse and there’s no stopping me until I burn out.

I know in the moment that I need to stop screaming, but I don’t. Or I can’t. I’m not sure which, but it doesn’t really matter. The only thing that matters is that I know I need to stop before I end up doing some real psychological harm.

Just the other day, my five-year-old daughter was sitting at the kitchen table coloring. As she drew one of her favorite things to draw, a picture of the two of us surrounded by flowers and butterflies, she said to me, “Mommy, we should have a Girls’ Day where we play games and spend time together while Daddy watches the boys.”

It was so sweet and out of the blue that it caught me off guard. I instantly realized that for all of the horrible-ness I do to her when I yell, this little girl still loves me. She still wants to spend time with me and play games with me and color together.

So maybe I’m not past the point of no return yet. Maybe there’s still hope for my children to grow up remembering a calm, sane mom who counts to ten instead of unleashing her fury on defenseless kids.

All I can do now is try to change.

This quest to stop yelling is one I have attempted before, but I never followed through with it. I even wrote several posts about it.

But now I’m committed. I’m starting The Orange Rhino 30-Day Challenge to help me stop yelling today. Not tomorrow. TODAY.

It’s one activity a day for 30 days. I can do that. You can, too.

Maybe I can’t rewind the clock and get a do-over for last night. But I can ensure that my future hours and minutes are spent letting my kids feel loved and appreciated, clean rooms or not.

Image courtesy of David Young. His inspirational book, A Little Guide to a Big Life, is available here. Title image courtesy of Alvesgaspar [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

Marriage Me, Myself, & I Parenting Relationships

The Sock Problem

Ben knocking over water

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All signs pointed to the fact that it would indeed be a “yell-y” day, as my four-year-old calls it.

It was Monday, first of all. I had gotten barely any sleep the night before. I don’t know why. It was just one of those nights where I tossed and turned and was awake way too much. 

The baby had a bad cold so he was up at 4:45 A.M. to start the day. Yay! 

The kitchen was not clean and tidy like I like it be when I wake up in the morning, so that was bothering me, too.  Read More »

Parenting Problems/Tips

You Have to Teach Me Everything

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You Have to Teach Me Everything

If you read my blog regularly, you know that I struggle with yelling. Yelling at my kids, my dog, and even my wonderful husband.

I made it my New Year’s Resolution to stop yelling, but that didn’t happen. I bought books. I read articles. I made a commitment to stop doing it.

But even with the best of intentions, I failed. I feel like my patience has been worn thin. Being home with a four-year-old, a two-year-old, and an eight-month-old everyday can be stressful and challenging. 

Yes, I appreciate the luxury of staying at home with my kids and not “working” a typical 9-5 job. I get to be with my kids all day. Great, right? Except…I’m with my kids all day. And they’re not little angels all the time. Read More »

Parenting Problems/Tips

What’s Going On Over Here (Hint: Still Yelling)

Raise your words

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I feel like I’ve been M.I.A. for the last week, so I wanted to update you on all the fun, exciting things going on in my life! #NOT

Not much fun or exciting going on here, unless you count the fact that my two-month-old is sleeping through the night.

Shhh– don’t tell anyone or he’ll stop doing it! I actually am really excited about that, but I know all too well that a child’s sleeping patterns can change on a whim. So I’m kind of holding my breath here and just seeing how long it will last. Read More »

Parenting Problems/Tips

How to Stop Yelling at Your Kids (When You Don’t Know Where to Start)

How to Stop Yelling at Your Kids

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Even if it’s not your New Year’s resolution to stop yelling at your kids for all of 2015, it’s still helpful to have some tools in your arsenal for when you do lose your cool.

Unfortunately for me, I was yelling every single day. Hence why 2015 will hopefully (if I stick to this!) be “A Year of No Yelling” for me.

Now, if you read my post from last week, “The Day I Put a Hole in the Wall,” you will know that I’m the last person who should be giving expert advice about topics such as ANGER MANAGEMENT or NOT YELLING. 

And I’m not— this is not any advice from me. It’s just the plan that I have set up to try to stop yelling, and it’s a plan based on research and expert advice. I have no idea if it will work or not, but I am very hopeful.  Read More »


The Day I Put a Hole in the Wall

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Believe it or not, I didn’t plan on writing this post. It wasn’t marked on my blog’s editorial calendar as “Discuss major parenting meltdown of the day.”

But it happened. I threw my stupid Tervis Tumbler water cup and put a hole in the wall.

Trust me, I was fine with the only people knowing this being my husband, my kids, and a select few friends who I would probably confide in.

Then I thought, Screw it.  Read More »

Books Guilty Pleasures Parenting Problems/Tips

Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: Book Review

Peaceful Parent Book Review

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I stumbled upon the book Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting when I was Googling how to stop yelling at your kids.

I was getting so easily frustrated with everything my two-year-old (now three) was doing. It seemed like the only way she would listen to me was when I yelled.  Read More »